Local News Articles

Legislative Update from State Senator Mae Beavers

March 19, 2010
State Senator Mae Beavers

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Mae Beavers

Senate Committees worked at “full steam” this week as they wrapped up budget hearings for various agencies and departments of state government and moved a number of important bills to the Senate floor for final action. The committees are preparing to conclude their business within the next two to three weeks, as the General Assembly is working to adjourn the 2010 legislative session by the end of April.

Senator Beavers’ Ignition Interlock Bill Gets Approval from Senate Judiciary Committee

Senate Bill 2965 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday with a 9-0-0 vote, bringing the bill one step closer to becoming law. The bill is designed to increase the use of ignition interlock devices to curb the number of alcohol-related car crashes on our Tennessee highways.

Currently, ignition interlocks are required for repeat offenders, those drunk drivers who have statistically driven hundreds of times before they are ever caught. Senator Beavers’ bill would require interlock devices to be installed for a year in cases of aggravated first offenders (those who blow a 0.15 BAC, which is almost twice the legal limit), people driving with children in the car, or those involved in accidents caused by alcohol impairment.

Courts often restrict those convicted of drunk driving to traveling only to work and home. The restriction routes can be difficult for law enforcement officers to monitor. Officers would easily be able to see if a convicted offender has a court-ordered interlock device, which would be installed at the offender’s expense.

Interlock devices are small pieces of equipment attached to the steering wheel of a car with a tube that the driver must breathe into in order to allow ignition to start. The current alcohol ignition interlock technology makes it easier for courts to require drunk drivers to utilize the device. “This bill represents a big step forward towards increasing the use of these devices to keep drunk drivers off our roads,” said Senator Beavers. “The record is clear that ignition interlock devices save lives.”

As of January, 2,743 Tennessee driver’s license holders had an interlock restriction, while 580 license holders had an interlock device installed. Eight other states already have laws that require DUI offenders to install interlock devices if they register .15 or higher. The National Transportation Safety Board has urged Tennessee to pass a more uniform and mandatory system for installation of interlock devices for those convicted of drunk driving.

Lawmakers Honor Veterans Through Various Legislative Measures

Among legislation approved in committees this week were several bills to honor and provide assistance to Tennessee’s veterans. This includes legislation approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee that would develop and encourage relationships with veteran-owned businesses that have not always had access to state government contracts.

The bill, Senate Bill 2785, calls for state agencies actively to solicit bids and proposals for equipment, supplies, and services from veteran-owned businesses. These businesses are defined as those which are at least 51 percent-owned by a veteran who has served honorably on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are at least 548 veteran-owned businesses in the state.

In separate action, the Senate Government Operations Committee approved Senate Bill 2488 that would create the Veterans' Honor Medal program to recognize and honor distinguished service by Tennessee veterans. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, under the bill, would commission the design of a medal for the program to which gold or silver stars will be added to indicate that an armed forces member was killed or wounded in action. The medal program would honor both active duty, National Guard and reserve component veterans based on criteria established by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Similarly, the Senate Transportation Committee approved legislation to authorize a “wounded warrior” specialty license plate with proceeds going to help with the cost of rehabilitation, readjustment and treatment of veterans. The bill, Senate Bill 3416, would give first priority to providing assistance to members of the Tennessee National Guard wounded in conflicts in federal service and then to all other disabled veterans in the Armed Services. Any remaining funds could be used for other honorably discharged veterans. The license plates would be designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and, if approved, could be ready for sale as soon as this summer.

The Senate Education Committee also approved two military-related bills. The first proposal, Senate Bill 942, ensures that military personnel who have taught as JROTC instructors for at least two years and are licensed to teach another subject are credited with their years of service in JROTC instruction for the purpose of salary rating.

The second measure, Senate Bill 3022, authorizes local education agencies to issue a diploma to a student who failed to receive one due to their service in the Vietnam War.

Tennessee law already allows for high school diplomas to be issued to veterans whose education was interrupted by service in World War I, World War II, or the Korean War. A surviving spouse or other immediate family member of a deceased veteran may also request the diploma.

Protecting Medical Patients from Sexual Offenders

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill this week to require the Board of Medical Examiners to deny the application for licensure or revoke the license of a physician convicted of an offense which requires registration as a sexual offender. The bill, Senate Bill 3362, provides for communications between the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) Sex Offender Registry and the Board of Medical Examiners within 30 days to assure notification is given. It also requires the Medical Examiners to make sure that no existing physician is currently listed on the Registry.

The action comes after a mother in Middle Tennessee learned her child’s family practice physician was listed on the state’s Sex Offender Registry. The doctor had been convicted of first-degree rape and sexual abuse of a young girl in 1987 before moving to Tennessee. He obtained a medical license in Tennessee in 1992 after being turned down by two other states. The state later renewed his license, even after the TBI listed him as a violent sex offender.

The LOOP- A Legislative Update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

March 19, 2010
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

The following is a legislative update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

Greetings! This week session is rolling right along as we continue to present and hear bills. One of the bills heard this week was a constitutional amendment giving Tennesseans the right to hunt and fish. This amendment to the Tennessee Constitution has completed its journey through both the House and Senate and will now appear on the ballot in the form of a referendum in 2010. Before a constitutional amendment is adopted, it must pass one General Assembly by a majority, a subsequent General Assembly by two-thirds, and receive a majority of voters’ approval on a ballot in a gubernatorial election year. Senate Joint Resolution 30 was approved by the House this week with a 90-1 vote, and has already passed the Senate.

Senate Joint Resolution 30 adds a new provision to Article XI, Section 13 of the state’s constitution which reads: “The citizens of this state shall have the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law. The recognition of this right does not abrogate any private or public property rights, nor does it limit the state's power to regulate commercial activity.”

Since, other countries have outlawed certain types of hunting the House sponsor believes this measure will act as a pre-emptive strike to protect the time-honored traditions. Fourteen other states have approved similar provisions.

This week, Tennessee joined states across the nation in celebrating ‘Sunshine Week,’ a time designed to remind public officials and citizens of the value of open records and other transparency in government measures. In recent years, Tennessee has passed a numerous laws designed to make the public’s access to open records an easier process. To that end, we created an Office of Open Records Counsel within the Comptroller’s office to deal with open records request, and to help citizens navigate local governments’ public records process.

The state’s open record counsel recently presented the office’s 2009 report, which showed that the number of requests coming through the office has increased over 2008. The Office of Open Records Counsel handled 1,085 inquiries about the requirements of various open records laws. Roughly half of those inquiries came from within state government, media and citizens made up the other half—with private citizens edging out the media for more requests. For more information on the Office Open Records Counsel in Tennessee, please visit www.state.tn.us/comptroller/openrecords.

Students entering childcare facilities, pre-k, kindergarten, or seventh grade this fall will have a new set of immunization requirements. According to the State Department of Health, this is the first update to immunization requirements in ten years. Most of the new rules take affect on July 1.

New childcare, pre-k, and kindergarten children will be required to show proof of vaccination for Haemophilus influenzae type B (HBV), Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. Previously, these shots were recommended but not required.

Meanwhile, students entering seventh grade will be required to have a tetanus booster shot and show proof of immunity against chicken pox. This can be demonstrated by having a prior chicken pox diagnosis or by taking two doses of the vaccine.

The state is providing new official immunization certificates to doctors. After completion of the required vaccinations, a doctor will complete a certificate which will be given by the parents to the school as evidence of required vaccinations. As with other required vaccinations, students may be exempted for medical and/or religious reasons. For more information, you can visit www.health.tn.gov.

In Brief...
HB2685 ‘English in the Workplace’ continued to advance this week, winning approval from the Consumer and Employee Affairs Committee. The bill will next be presented in the House Calendar and Rules Committee, which sets floor calendars.

House Joint Resolution 746 which is a resolution urging 911 call centers to accept text messages was approved by the House on Monday evening. It was drafted after other states began implementing technology within their 911 call centers to accept text messages. Idaho was the first state to begin accepting the text messages and so far results have shown this to be positive, especially for those who are hearing impaired.

House Bill 3007 encourages departments in state government to implement new strategies and innovative ideas in regards to saving money and operating more efficiently. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority of House members’ approval, and many House members signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.

In closing, I was delighted to have so many folks from my district visit the Capitol this week. The Farm Bureau from Macon, Dekalb, and Smith County took the time to visit and discuss issues important to us all. We had the Firemen from Dekalb County who also came to the Capitol as well as two leadership groups, one from DeKalb County and the Youth Leadership from Smith County. It is always inspiring to see today’s youth take an active interest in government. They are the future. I applaud the youth Leadership group for participating in my Education Committee as we discussed bills that would affect the schools across the state. It was great to see them appointed as honorary members of the Education Committee. We discussed current issues and had a short Question and Answer session as well. Doug Dillard, pastor of Lighthouse Community Church in Smith County, was gracious enough to be Pastor of the Day on Thursday and pray before ses sion began. Before I introduced him I began with a Song for the Lord. This truly has been a busy week but a blessed one indeed! I always look forward to hearing from my constituents and hearing your concerns. I am here for you; please do not hesitate to call my office.

Congressman Bart Gordon to Vote For Controversial Health Care Bill

March 19, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Congressman Bart Gordon

Congressman Bart Gordon says he will vote in favor of the controversial health care bill when it comes to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a prepared release, Congressman Gordon says "The health care bill being considered by Congress now accomplishes three things: one, it reduces health care costs for families and small businesses; two, it improves access to affordable care, regardless of pre-existing conditions; three, it lowers our budget deficit. That’s why I am supporting it.

Over the past year, I have been contacted by thousands of Middle Tennesseans with opinions on health care. Because this issue is so important, I have heard from passionate voices on all sides through face-to-face meetings, call-ins, surveys, town halls, calls and letters.
During that time, I have consistently said I would not support any version of health care reform unless it brings down rising health care costs, improves access to affordable care, and does it all without adding one nickel to the national deficit. I’ve now been presented with a bill that does all three; in fact, this proposal reduces the deficit by $130 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the 10 years after that. Finding solutions to the problems we face has been challenging, but we simply cannot sustain the status quo any longer.

I’ve heard from many Tennesseans in the past year who are struggling to afford health care. Since 2000, health insurance premiums for the average family have doubled. Too many hard-working families and small businesses are getting priced out of needed health care.
There is no evidence this trend of escalating costs is moderating. If no reform is passed, the average family premium in Tennessee is expected to increase from $11,550 today to $19,700 in 2019. Hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans who currently have insurance are projected to lose their coverage. Small businesses that have stretched their budgets to cover employees will be forced to either cut care or cut staff. If we do nothing, local hospitals that are already struggling to accommodate uninsured patients through emergency room care and other resources will be stretched to the breaking point; some will likely go bankrupt.

Drawing from Republican and Democratic ideas, the bill before the House now has the potential to bring about major, commonsense remedies to our system that most all Tennesseans agree are necessary. Under the bill’s reforms, Tennesseans with preexisting conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer would be able to purchase insurance from any insurance company in the United States. Young adults would be able to remain on their parents’ policies until they turn 26. Families in financial trouble would receive tax breaks to help them find affordable insurance plans in the private sector. And finally, for the 100,000 seniors in my district, the bill would eliminate the Part D donut hole and extend Medicare’s solvency nine years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Growing health care costs are also straining our economy and increasing our national debt. Health care expenditures now account for 20 percent of the federal budget. Without reform, that number is projected to double in the next ten years. The Congressional Budget Office calls current federal spending on health care “the single greatest threat to budget stability.” These costs must be contained if we are to get serious about cutting our national debt. I voted against the House bill in November because that version didn’t do enough to address health care inflation. The Congressional Budget Office now says the current bill will address the problem by reducing the deficit.

With this bill, we have an opportunity to address a number of inefficiencies that have drained our system and driven costs up artificially. To begin with, we can address the pressing issue of frivolous and expensive malpractice lawsuits, which force doctors and hospitals to practice defensive medicine and put a huge financial burden on the system. That’s why I introduced a measure based on Tennessee’s own successful Certificate of Merit Program, which has already brought down the number of malpractice suits in Tennessee by 60 percent.

We can attack waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare. We can hold insurance companies accountable and prevent companies from hiking premiums arbitrarily and dropping patients when they get sick. These are the measures I believe are essential to sensible reform, and these are the measures the new bill includes.

In November, I said I hoped the Senate and House could work out the difference and produce a bill I could support – one that takes responsible steps to make health care more affordable for our economy and for our families and small businesses. If I and each of my 534 colleagues in Congress had been able to write our own health reform packages, we would be looking at 535 different bills today. In the end, the question I’m faced with is this: will this reform be better for Middle Tennessee than the status quo? I think it will. That’s why I believe passing meaningful health care reform is essential and why I have made my decision to help ensure health care is affordable for Middle Tennesseans today and for generations to come."

DeKalb Community Hospital Welcomes New Physician

March 18, 2010
 Dr. James McKinney

DeKalb Community Hospital is pleased to announce the association of a new physician. Dr. James McKinney will be seeing patients at the Medical Specialty Office and performing surgery at DeKalb Community Hospital. DeKalb Community Hospital works hard to bring in the brightest and the most reputable specialty doctors so that those in our community can receive the care they need and still stay close to home.

Dr. James McKinney grew up in Alabama. He completed Medical School at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and his residency in Orthopedics at the Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He is Board Certified in Orthopedics and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Dr. McKinney has lived in the Upper-Cumberland Region since 1992. He and his wife, Karla, call Cookeville their home. The couple have 2 children. When he is not in the office Dr. McKinney likes to work on his farm and has a special interest in tractors. He is also very involved with the Boy Scouts. He is looking forward to helping serve Smithville’s health care needs for years to come.

Three Running for Mayor of Smithville

March 18, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Debbie DePriest
Taft Hendrixson
Bruce Medley
 Cecil Burger
Steve White
Shawn Beckham

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson will be challenged for re-election again this year.

Hendrixson, who is seeking his third term, will face opposition from former Smithville Mayor Bruce Medley and DeKalb County High School teacher Debbie DePriest in the city election on Tuesday, June 15th.

Hendrixson was first elected mayor in 2006 and he was re-elected in 2008. Medley, a local livestock producer, served one term as mayor from 1988 to 1990. He did not seek re-election in 1990.

DePriest will be making her first attempt at elected public office.

Meanwhile, Incumbent Aldermen Stephen White and Cecil Burger are seeking re-election. Also in the race for alderman is Shawn Beckham.

White was first elected in 2000 and will be looking for his sixth term as alderman. Burger is seeking his third term as alderman. He was first elected to that office in 2006. Prior to that, Burger served as Mayor from 1990 to 2006.

This is Beckham's first attempt at elected public office.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on June 15th. Each term is for two years. The terms of office for those elected will begin on July 1st.

Noon today (Thursday, March 18th) is the qualifying deadline.

Early voting for the Smithville Municipal Election will be May 26th through June 10th. Meanwhile, May 17th is the voter registration deadline for the Smithville City Election.

Voters who don't live in Smithville but own property in the city may vote in the municipal election under certain conditions.

The Smithville Charter allows Property Rights Voting. The property must be a minimum of
7500 square feet and the person owning the property must reside in DeKalb County. Proof of ownership and residence must be shown by the following means: (1) A certified copy of the deed and the execution of an affidavit that the person still owns this property and (2) A copy of the most recent DeKalb County real property tax notice, and (3) Proof of residence in DeKalb County. Property rights registrants are entitled to vote but not to hold any municipal office or serve on any municipal board or commission. Proof of ownership and registration form must be provided to the Election Commission office by the May 17th registration deadline.

Meanwhile, Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley reminds voters who have moved since registering to vote that the election commission office needs your current address on file.

"While checking the names of registered voters on some of the petitions returned recently, we noticed some voters have moved but have not informed the election commission office of their change of addres," Stanley said. "Updating the record is a simple process. All the voter needs to do is fill out a change of address form, which is available at the election commission office. To see if you need to update your record, simply check the address on your voter registration card. If it is different than your current address, you need to update the information with the election commission."

"Updating the address will make your voting experience go much easier and quicker." Stanley said," and will not slow down the line at the polling place during early voting or election day."

Scholarship Applications Due Soon

March 17, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lori Barnes Myrick

The DeKalb County High School Guidance Department is urging parents to encourage their high school seniors to submit scholarship applications by the deadlines.

Lori Barnes-Myrick, DCHS School Counselor says almost all local scholarship applications are due at the DCHS Guidance Office by March 23rd.

The following scholarships are available:

Hunter Davis Memorial Scholarship for an FFA member enter into an agriculture related field (Due April 6th to Hunter's mother, Annette Davis)

Kyle & Kenny Robinson Memorial Scholarship for student athletes

DeKalb Community Hospital- for students going into the healthcare field

DeKalb Retired Teachers Award for students who will major in education.

Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club Award for female students only.

The Elzie and Nell McBride Memorial Scholarship for future MTSU students only

The DeKalb Farmers Coop Award for students going into an agriculture or related field.

The Lucille Stewart Memorial Scholarship Award for basketball players or basketball cheerleaders going into teaching.

DeKalb Republican Women's Club Scholarship. Male or female students may apply

AmVets Scholarship and AmVets Auxiliary Scholarship for a male and female student who are children or grandchildren of a veteran.

The DeKalb County Soil Conservation District Scholarship is for students majoring in agriculture.

The DeKalb Firefighters Association Scholarship is for students who have a parent or grandparent who is a current member of the DeKalb Firefighter's Association.

And the Liberty State Bank, DeKalb County Scottish Rite, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, Alan Hooper Memorial Scholarship, Eddie Crips Memorial Scholarship, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, Smithville Rotary Club, First Bank, Class of 1966, Class of 1969, the Jeff Garrett Memorial Scholarship, the PTO, Jolly Angels Scholarship, Smithville Women's Club, and the Agee Oil Company Scholarship.

Local Scholarship Applications are now available in the Guidance Office or
on the DCHS website: http://www.teacherweb.com/tn/dekalbcountyhighschool/guidance/

Burn Permits Required Through May 15

March 17, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Visible signs of spring are beginning to emerge as warm temperatures and sunny skies push back the doldrums from what has been one of the coldest winters on record. As Tennesseans begin to take advantage of this weather to do some yard work around the home or farm, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry wants to remind folks that if they are considering conducting an open burn, a burn permit is required in advance of such activity.

“Burning vegetative material that has accumulated around the yard or using fire to clear an old field can be an efficient tool to get rid of such debris,” said State Forester Steven Scott. “However, it is very important that citizens practice safe outdoor burning recommendations. Obtaining a burn permit in advance of debris burning is our way of making the public aware of those recommendations and helping them know when, where and how it is safe to burn.”

The free burn permits are required in all areas of the state by law from now until May 15 unless otherwise covered by local ordinances, so residents should check with their local government for other restrictions. The permits can be obtained by calling your local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Phone numbers for each office can be found in the state government section of your local phone book, or by visiting www.BurnSafeTN.org and clicking on the ‘Burn Permits’ button for a list of phone numbers by county. Permits are generally good for 24 hours and can be issued for weekend burns.

More than 415,000 permits were issued last year for activities that included unconfined, outdoor burning of brush and leaves, untreated wood waste and burning to clear land. The volume of requests on any given day can be high, so the Division asks residents to exercise patience if they experience any delay in getting through to an operator.

Once a burn permit is obtained, debris burners should practice common sense while conducting a burn. This includes:

Establish a control line around the fire, down to bare soil before conducting the burn.
Notify neighbors and local fire departments in advance as a courtesy.

Have tools on hand such as a leaf rake and garden hose or bucket of water to help control the fire.

Watch for changing weather conditions as winds can blow the fire in the wrong direction.

Always stay with your fire until it is completely out. It is not only the smart thing to do, but it is also illegal to leave an open fire unattended.

Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires in Tennessee. The Division’s burn permit system has dramatically helped reduce the numbers of escaped burns since the program began in 1995. Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $50. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline toll-free at 1-800-762-3017.

Burning permits can be obtained from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling the DeKalb County office of the Division of Forestry at 597-4015. Permits for the weekend can be obtained on Friday. For residents in the City of Smithville, you must call Central Dispatch at 215-3000 to obtain a burning permit.

For more information on the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, visit www.TN.gov/agriculture/forestry. For more information on safe debris burning, visit www.BurnSafeTN.org

Children in Smithville Day School Visit WJLE

March 16, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Several children in the Smithville Day School at the Smithville Church of Christ visited WJLE on a field trip Tuesday morning.

The children were interviewed on the radio and sang "Jesus Loves Me"

The Smithville Day School is a pre-school program that meets every Tuesday and Thursday. There are five classes and children from eighteen months to pre-kindergarten are served. During this time, the primary objective is to provide an exciting and rewarding environment for your child. Some of the goals are to increase your child's language development, improve physical development, increase intellectual development, master hand/eye coordination activities, enhance fine and gross motor skills, increase awareness in interpersonal relationships, stimulate by exposure in the areas of arts and crafts, teach moral and cultural values concerning honesty, obedience, friendship, and trust.

A Bible lesson is taught every day. During this time, your child is taught the difference between right and wrong, the feelings experienced when they have done something wrong, and the values of trust, honesty, obedience, and respect for their parents. Children are taught about the many Bible characters in the Old and New Testaments and how these stories are applied to each child's life. Above all, the children are taught they we should love God.

For more information, call 615-597-6308 or Frances Hedge at 597-4975.

Smithville Water Plant Renovation to Begin by August

March 15, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

It may be August before any significant work begins on the renovation of the Smithville Water Treatment Plant.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson updated the aldermen on the project during Monday night's city council meeting. "We had a pre-construction conference with W & O Construction last Tuesday. Of course they were awarded the bid on the water plant and they have been given notice to proceed. They will be doing some things down there in the electrical work, probably maybe pouring a concrete pad for a generator, but the majority of the work is probably not going to start until August. They have ordered all the pumps and there's about a ten or twelve week lead time on all this equipment. They will be doing some things down there but the major part won't start until about August. It was stressed to them highly that the water producing had to go on so there won't be any foreseen interruptions in water producing. The engineer is confident they will do a good job. The engineering firm works with them good and they were the low bidder. So like I said they will be doing some things down there but the majority of the work probably won't start until around August."

The Smithville Board of Aldermen, on February 1st, approved a resolution awarding the construction bid to W&O Construction Company of Livingston in the amount of $2,542,000. The actual costs will be more when taking into consideration fees for engineering and other related services. The city will receive a $500,000 community development block grant administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help fund the project. But the bulk of the funding, $2,342,000 will have to be appropriated from the city's water and sewer fund.

Mayor Hendrixson said last month that the city would not have to borrow the money. There are sufficient funds in the city's water and sewer fund reserves to support the project.
The project entails modernizing the water treatment plant and making improvements to the raw water intake. Mayor Hendrixson says W &O Construction has 365 days to complete the project and service to customers will not be interrupted while the renovation is underway.

In other business, the aldermen voted to accept bids for the airport hay contract. The current two year contract expires in April.

Mayor Hendrixson said the city has been asked to make a donation to Project Graduation. The aldermen voted to contribute $500. This is the same amount that the city has donated in the past.

Alderman Shawn Jacobs mentioned that some citizens have raised safety concerns about an intersection near the public square. "It has been brought to my attention by some citizens that the intersection of Webb Street and South Third Street by the dentist office and across from the Foutch residence. I understand that there have been quite a number of accidents at that location. It was suggested by the people who brought it up to me that a four way stop be put there. Personally, I hate four way stops. I think they probably cause more accidents than they solve but I thought we might want to discuss it and ask Lieutenant Leffew or his department to maybe take a look at the statistics of the number of wrecks we've had there and get a recommendation as far as public safety goes. I'm not sure what to do but I've heard discussions about that being a dangerous location because of the hill there, you can't see and some cars pull out too far trying to see if anybody is coming up the hill.'

Lieutenant Leffew said he would gather some information and report back to the board.

Qualifying Deadline for Smithville Election is Noon Thursday

March 15, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Candidates interested in running for mayor or alderman in the Smithville Municipal Election have until noon on Thursday, March 18th to qualify with the DeKalb County Election Commission Office in the courthouse.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on Tuesday, June 15th. The positions are currently held by Mayor Taft Hendrixson and Aldermen Stephen White and Cecil Burger. Each term is two years.

Mayor Hendrixson has qualified to seek re-election. He will be challenged by former Smithville Mayor Bruce Medley, who has qualified to run for mayor. Debbie DePriest has qualified to run for Mayor.

Meanwhile Aldermen White and Burger will be seeking re-election. Shawn Beckham has also qualified to run for alderman.

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