Local News Articles

4-H Livestock Teams Compete at Region Contest

May 14, 2012
by: 
Michael Barry
4-H Junior High Livestock Judging Team
4-H Senior High Livestock Judging Team

DeKalb County 4-H members recently traveled to Murfreesboro to participate in the Central Region 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. The event featured 34 teams from 23 different Middle Tennessee counties. The livestock judging contest is composed of eight different classes of beef cattle, hogs, sheep, and meat goats. Team members evaluate and place the livestock in each class based on performance and market criteria. They are also required to answer five performance related questions about each class. Even though the 4-H members receive a team score, they must work individually during the contest to complete their analysis of each class. By participating in 4-H judging activities, 4-H members gain life skills such as decision making, teamwork, and communication.

The junior high team is made up of 4-H members in 7th and 8th grades. Caitlin Lawrence, Casey Vickers, Morgan Vickers, and Wyatt Martin placed 12th in the Junior High Division. In addition, Caitlin Lawrence was the 12th highest scoring individual from more than 100 individuals in the Junior High Division.

The Senior High team is made up high school 4-H members. In addition to judging and answering questions on the livestock classes, the senior 4-H members are also required to give oral reasons justifying their placings of the particular classes. Justin Bass, Brooke Reffue, Brandon Barnes, & Courtney Caldwell earned 10th place in the Senior high division.

Picture captions:
TOP PHOTO: Members of the 4-H Junior High Livestock Judging Team are (front row left to right): Morgan Vickers, Casey Vickers, (back row): Caitlin Lawrence and Wyatt Martin.

BOTTOM PHOTO: 4-H Senior High Livestock Judging Team members who recently place 10th at the Region 4-H Livestock Judging Contest are: (front row) Brooke Reffue and Courtney Caldwell. (back row): Brandon Barnes and Justin Bass.

Northside Elementary Fifth Graders Graduate From DARE Program

May 14, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Northside 5th Grade DARE Essay Winner Hannah Anderson
Northside 5th Grade Classroom DARE Essay Winners

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received pins and certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held today (Monday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:

Brooklyn Wilson from Amy Raymond's class
Nicole Godinez from Amanda Griffith's class
Hannah Anderson from Carrie Gottlied's class
Jessica Davidson from Ginger Wenger's class
Dulce Maciel from Alisha Day's class
Caleb London from Cheryl Vance's class
Joni Robinson from Melissa Hale's class
Madison Parsley from January Agee's class

Hannah Anderson was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Monday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Anderson gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot. Judge Bratten Cook II also presented her a check for $50.

Sheriff Patrick Ray, who spoke during the DARE graduation, told the students that "D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community. "I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now and forever."

Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, Assistant Principal Julie Vincent, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong, County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, and Trustee Sean Driver.

Hannah Anderson's Winning Essay is as follows;

"What DARE Has Taught Me"

"This year DARE has taught me about the choices I make. It taught me to make good choices. DARE taught me how to stay healthy by not smoking. Smoking can cause very bad health problems and it can even cause cancer."

"Another thing DARE taught me is to not ever take drugs! Some types of drugs can cause breathing problems. Drugs can affect your brain, too. They cause short-term memory loss, not being able to see things far away, and more. Drugs are very addictive. Once you start taking them, they are very hard to get off of. So, never even try drugs because you will get addicted to them."

"DARE also taught me about the friend I choose. If your friends get into a lot of trouble, if they are bullies, or even take drugs then you don't need to be friends with them. They could cause you to make bad choices. So pick good friends."

"I have enjoyed DARE a lot this year, and it has taught me a lot of interesting facts."

(Top Photo: DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Judge Bratten Cook, II, DARE Essay Winner Hannah Anderson, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

(Bottom Photo: FRONT ROW-Jessica Davidson, Caleb London, Brooklyn Wilson, Joni Robinson, Nicole Godinez, Hannah Anderson, Dulce Maciel, and Madison Parsley; BACK ROW, Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Judge Bratten Cook, II, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

McMinnville Woman Wanted in Arkansas for Fraud

May 14, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Elizabeth Ann Moyer
Tammy Lynn Davis

In his latest report on county crime news, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that Elizabeth Ann Moyer of Twin Oaks Road, McMinnville is charged with being a fugitive from justice. Her bond is $50,000.

Sheriff Ray said that Moyer is wanted by the Garland County Sheriff's Department in Hot Springs, Arkansas for fraud. She is to be extradited to Arkansas by Garland County authorities. Moyer was arrested on Wednesday, May 9.

45 year old Tammy Lynn Davis of Quebeck is named in two sealed indictments returned August 1st, 2011 for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance in a school zone; and on January 30, 2012 for sale and delivery of a schedule II drug. She was arrested on Saturday, May 12 and she will be in court on Friday, May 25. Her bond totals $80,000.

62 year old Ismael Solis Gaona of Campbell Road, Smithville is cited for no drivers license and a violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). He will be in court on June 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, May 9 Gaona was operating a vehicle on Blue Springs Road without a drivers license. He failed to negotiate a curve and flipped his truck into a corn field, according to the property owner. The amount of the property damage came to $1,250.

44 year old Kimberly Ann Patterson of Bethel Road, Smithville is cited for a second offense of driving on a revoked license. She will be in court on June 6. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, May 10, a sheriff's department drug detective passed Patterson on West Broad Street and then pulled her over on Hayes Street. He checked and confirmed that her license were revoked for failure to file security after an accident.

DARE Graduation Held at DeKalb West School

May 14, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Addison Grace Oakley and Thomas Tippin Top DARE Essay Winners

Fifth graders at DeKalb West School received pins and certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held today (Monday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at DeKalb West School are Addison Grace Oakley and Thomas Tippin . The fifth grade teachers are Jeana Caplinger and Jane Watson.

Oakley was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Monday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Oakley gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot and she received a $50 check from Judge Bratten Cook II.

Sheriff Patrick Ray, who spoke during the DARE graduation, told the students that "D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community. I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now and forever."

Others on hand for the ceremony were DeKalb West School Principal Danny Parkerson, Assistant Principal Sabrina Farler, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Mayor Mike Foster, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Trustee Sean Driver, and employees of the Sheriff's Department.

The following is Oakley's essay:

"DARE. While I have been in DARE I've learned that drugs can really ruin your whole life and that even if it sounds good cause all your friends do it, it's not. Just think, "why smoke". Smoking causes breathing problems and no one wants that. It also causes heart problems and no one wants that. It also causes heart disease, lung cancer. Its really not worth it. Scientists have found over 200 poisons in cigarette smoke. You also can harm or kill the person that you love just by letting them breathe your smoke. That's called second hand smoke. So just remember, if someone offers you a cigarette, say "No". Its better for everyone."

"Marijuana is illegal, so if someone has it, tell an adult fast. Its very dangerous. It can also cause breathing problems. Marijuana affects your brain and your body. Some examples are: short-term memory loss, loss of the ability to concentrate, slow coordination, and reflexes."

"Drinking is not the smart thing to do. If you are with others who are drinking, there is an increased risk of injury, car crashes, and violence. Alcohol can also damage every organ in your body. So any bad drugs are never good to use so try to keep your body healthy because if you have big dreams, like playing NBA or NFL, you might want to have a backup plan. If drugs can kill people, they can easily kill dreams. Chief Don has taught us that just because your friends or your family does, it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Things I learned at DARE.

D. Define
A. Assess
R.Respond
E. Evaluate."

(Pictured: left to right- FRONT, Addison Grace Oakley and Thomas Tippin; BEHIND, DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Judge Bratten Cook, II, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

Retirement Reception Held for DeKalb West School Librarian Genrose Davis

May 13, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Retirement Reception Held for DeKalb West School Librarian Genrose Davis

Since she began her career thirty seven years ago, Genrose Davis has been working to help foster a love of reading in students all the way up to the eighth grade at DeKalb West as the school librarian. But with the close of this school year, Davis will be turning in her own library card, deciding the time has come to retire.

Family, friends, students, and co-workers came to bid Davis a fond farewell during a reception in her honor at DeKalb West School on Thursday.

"I have had one job my whole life and this has been it," said Davis in an interview with WJLE. Davis began her career as an educator at DeKalb West in 1975, one year after the school opened , consolidating the old Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown schools into one facility.

"When I was hired there were four other people in front of me and they got the classrooms," said Davis. "The chapter job was left open and they wanted a half time librarian. It was about three to four weeks into school. I was hired for that job. I taught reading and I did the library the other half. My official pay was divided between federal programs and the county," she said. A few years later, Davis became the school's full time librarian.

Growing up, Davis attended the old Liberty elementary school and then DCHS. She furthered her education at MTSU where she received a BS degree. Davis said while she did not originally intend to become a librarian, former DeKalb West School Principal Woodrow Frazier convinced her that she was right for the job. "I went to school to be a physical education teacher and had an elementary endorsement but Mr. Frazier said I would have one of the best jobs in the school (as librarian). His wife was a life long librarian. She loved the library and he did too so that was my start in the library," said Davis.

"The first year, they brought somebody in from the state department and showed me how to do the cards for the card catalog and by Christmas, he (Frazier) asked me if I would go back and get the endorsement for the library service. I went back to MTSU and got my endorsement and I've been here for 37 years now," she said

As the school librarian, Davis gets to see all the students at one time or another. " I have around 450 students. I've seen them all. I have them for nine years. Initially I did reading in grades 3, 7, & 8. I had library classes where the kids came once a week. Now we're on a three day rotation. I have the kids in the school everyday. Most of them come twice a week, but every three days there's a day 1, day 2, and a day 3 schedule and we just rotate all through the year so that they're in the library almost two times per week besides the open times," she said.

Davis points to the introduction of the accelerated reading program as perhaps the most revolutionary change she has seen come along as librarian. Under the AR program, students choose books at their appropriate reading levels and read them at their own pace. The students then take a quiz by which the librarian and teachers can monitor reading performance and vocabulary growth. As a motivator, students can earn points and win prizes for their efforts. " Mr. Eddie Hobson (former DWS principal) bought the accelerated reading program several years ago. Our county system of computers did not have the server to run that program back then because it was networked in the whole school. Once we got a server that would run that, we were able to do accelerated reader in the classrooms and the library. There is a quiz on almost every book. The kids can read the book and then they can go to the computer and take the quiz. When that came along that revolutionized this library. We have about 9,500 AR quizzes that go from primmer up to 8th, 9th, and 10th grade level books," said Davis

"I reward the points. When I do my AR prizes we reward two students in each classroom. We do yearly points and cumulative points. I've managed the points since they came into kindergarten then from first grade all the way to eighth grade, I keep up with all their points. We have a prize chart we developed. We have prizes for 50 points all the way up to 3,000. When the kids get to a particular level, they have that particular prize," she said.

Another successful program has been the after school read night program. "I have done extended contract for six years. We open up the library for parents and grandparents and older siblings to come in and read to or with the younger students. If you can get the kindergartners and first graders reading, they will be successful in most everything else in their class work." said Davis.

Davis said while she is looking forward to retirement, she will miss all the students, but especially the younger kids. "I'm going to miss seeing those kindergartners and first graders faces when they pass that first test. When they can begin to read and do it on their own and go to the computer by themselves and pass a quiz, its really exciting," she said.

(Pictured above: DeKalb West Principal Danny Parkerson, Director Mark Willoughby, and Assistant Principal Sabrina Farler Present Librarian Genrose Davis a plaque for 37 years of service. Davis is retiring)

Twenty Seven Students Served by Adult High School

May 13, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Susan Hinton, Adult High School Instructor/Supervisor, gave her annual report to the Board of Education and the Director of Schools Thursday night.

Hinton explained that a total of twenty seven students were served for the current year. Some either moved or dropped out during the year. Others are still attending. There were two graduates for the year; five GED graduates; and three who will be graduating this summer for a total of ten for the school year.

Hinton read essays by one of her students, Ben Southerland. She also explained how others can further their education through the Adult High School program. Persons interested are referred to the DCHS School counselor to set up an appointment.

City Receives Two Bids on Fire Department Ladder Truck

May 11, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
City takes Bids on ladder trucks similar to the one shown here

Sealed bids were opened Friday afternoon at city hall from two companies wanting to sell the City of Smithville a ladder truck for the Fire Department.

EVS-Midsouth, Incorporated of Memphis submitted a bid for $746,705 for a Pierce Impel 75 foot HAL Quint with 1,750 gallon per minute pump/500 gallon tank.. The other bid is from Cumberland International Trucks of Nashville for a 2012 Sutphen 75 Foot Pumper/Ladder with a Stainless Steel Rescue Style Body Complete and Delivered in the amount of $785,818.

Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson opened the bids. Mayor Taft Hendrixson was also present along with Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker, a few members of the fire department, Buddy McCain of EVS-Midsouth and Bradley Johnson of Cumberland International Trucks.

The bids will be presented to the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen at the next meeting on Monday, May 21 for consideration. The aldermen have the right to either accept one of the bids or reject both. Officials say bids from both companies are for trucks already built. Modifications would be required on either truck to meet the specs.

EVS-Midsouth, Inc proposes the following lease/purchase plan: Customer down payment of $250,000 (due at contract signing). The city could pay off the truck over a three year term in three annual payments of $173,746 at a rate of 2.45% or over five years in five annual payments of $107,068 at 2.55%.

Cumberland International Trucks offered six options in its proposed lease/purchase plan with financing terms from one to seven years as follows:

Option 1:
Lease Term: 3 years
First Payment Date: September 15th, 2012
Payment Frequency: one year
Lease Rate: 2.51%
Payment Amount: $270,245
Total Lease Payments: $810,736

Option 2:
Lease Term: 3 years
First Payment Date: September 16th, 2012
Payment Frequency: one year
Lease Rate: 2.51%
Payment Amount: $270,274
Total Lease Payments: $810,824

Option 3:
Lease Term: 5 years
First Payment Date: September 15th, 2012
Payment Frequency: one year
Lease Rate: 2.46%
Payment Amount: $165,993
Total Lease Payments: $829,967

Option 4:
Lease Term: 5 years
First Payment Date: September 16th, 2012
Payment Frequency: one year
Lease Rate: 2.45%
Payment Amount: $165,950
Total Lease Payments: $829,753

Option 5:
Lease Term: 7 years
First Payment Date: September 15th, 2012
Payment Frequency: one year
Lease Rate: 2.66%
Payment Amount: $122,145
Total Lease Payments: $855,022

Option 6:
Lease Term: 7 years
First Payment Date: September 16th, 2012
Payment Frequency: one year
Lease Rate: 2.66%
Payment Amount: $122,160
Total Lease Payments: $855,124

Public Invited to View the County's New Exercise Room Saturday

May 11, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Anyone interested in making use of the new fitness (exercise) room in the county complex on South Congress Boulevard is invited to stop by Saturday to get a first hand look at the facility.
(PLAY THE FOLLOWING VIDEO SHOWING THE NEW EXERCISE ROOM)

County Mayor Mike Foster said the room will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Saturday for people to view. Persons may ask questions and provide input on what the county should charge for memberships to use the room. "We're going to have the community center open Saturday for people to come through and look at the exercise room," said Foster. "We're wanting to get information from the public as to what kind of hours to set (for the exercise room). We invite people to come by and look at the exercise room and pre-sign if they want to. We encourage people to come and participate and use the exercise equipment. We can talk to them about hours that might fit their needs. We can talk about a price for the entire family, for an individual, or for daily use. That money (fees) will be used to operate it and to put some money aside so that the equipment can be maintained and replaced so that we don't wind up with a room full of bad equipment. Its all really state of the art right now. So we ask anybody to come by and look at it. The room is located on the community center end (north side) of the shopping center. We'll be there from about 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 12. Come by and look at the equipment and figure out what you might want to do. We'll try to have trainers from some of the other shops here in town who are already doing that to come by, maybe one day a week and talk to you about a program and try to get everybody who wants to participate set up on a program that fits their needs," said Foster.

DWS Building Project, Re-Roofing Needs Addressed in School Board's Tentative Budget

May 11, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education adopted a tentative budget for the 2012-13 school year Thursday night to be presented to the county commission's budget committee.

The spending plan outlines funding options for a building project at DeKalb West School and re-roofing needs at three schools, including a possible bond issue. The budget also includes pay raises and the addition of a few positions.

The local property tax rate for schools would not be increased under this spending plan.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said he and County Mayor Mike Foster have been in budget discussions trying to come up with a workable plan that would be accepted by both the school board and the county commission. "A few weeks ago you (school board) gave me permission to work with Mr. Foster. We have worked together in several different meetings to get a budget where we would not have to ask for a tax increase. Mr. Foster said there is a possibility they (county) may do a bond issue (for DWS project) and he is going before his board (county commission) with the same packet (tentative budget) that you have. I do want to thank Mr. Foster for working with me," said Willoughby.

Before the vote Thursday night, Director of Schools Willoughby gave a summary of new spending in the proposed budget and items which have been dropped.

The tentative budget includes:
A state approved 2.5% pay raise for teachers.
A 2.5% increase for teachers along with the regular step increases and degree advancements
A local 2.5% increase for support staff along with the regular step increases per salary schedule
An increase of 9% for projected health insurance costs
The addition of one math teacher at DCHS
The addition of two extra teaching positions (one for kindergarten and one for DMS sixth grade) if needed due to enrollment (currently unassigned)
Putting custodians on twelve month contracts instead of the current ten month contracts
Replacing Bookkeeping Computers for the School Bookkeepers
Additional costs in Special Education due to contracted services
Normal increases for utilities, transportation fuel, and for supplies

Items dropped from the proposed budget:
The addition of an assistant band teacher
The addition of an assistant soccer coach
Eliminating the Drivers Education Class

The food service budget, which is self supporting, includes a 2.5% increase for support staff with step increases as per salary schedules. The central office bookkeeper under food service will go from an 11 month to a 12 month position. Assistant cafeteria managers, called upon to serve in the absence of a cafeteria manager, would receive a quarter per hour more than their cook position.

The spending plan calls for $600,000 in local funding to meet a 12.5% FEMA grant match for building eight tornado "safe rooms" at DeKalb West School.

During the April school board meeting, Director Willoughby announced that the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency had approved grant funds of more than $1.5 million for the safe room project at DeKalb West School, pending final approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. No final word has yet been received on the grant.

To provide local matching funds for the classroom addition at DeKalb West School, and for the renovation of the kitchen/cafeteria, Director Willoughby said two options are being considered. Under one plan, the local grant match ($600,000) would be funded from the reserves and fund balance without the bond issue

Under the second option, a bond issue by the county commission would fund the local grant match ($600,000), a cafeteria and kitchen renovation project at DeKalb West School, as well as a re-roofing project at DeKalb Middle School (roof and removal of metal overhang soffit), DeKalb West School (roof and removal of metal overhang soffit and seal off gymnasium), and Smithville Elementary School (8,000 square feet of the roof).

Whichever plan is selected, Director Willoughby said the DeKalb West School project can go forward. "The $600,000 matching money for the FEMA grant is in the budget either way. It is in the budget using our reserves. We will be using $1.3 million in reserves to balance this budget without a tax increase," said Willoughby.

The tentative budget calls for an appropriation of $1,236,824 from school reserves to balance the budget (with a bond issue for the building program) or $1,836,824 without the bond issue.

Meanwhile, in his monthly report on personnel, Director Willoughby announced that the following teachers would be retiring:

Dixie Crook, teacher at DCHS
Harriett Cantrell, teacher at DCHS
Kathy Hendrix, Principal at DCHS
Genrose Davis, teacher at DeKalb West School
Meanwhile Missy Vantrease, Educational Assistant at DeKalb West School will be resigning at the end of the school year.

Leave of Absence
Lori Alexander, teacher at DeKalb Middle School, leave as requested
Suzanne Williams, bus driver, leave as requested
Kenneth Wayne Taylor, custodian at Smithville Elementary School, leave as requested.

Second Graders Learn the Names of All U.S. Presidents and States

May 10, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Students in Janet Woodward's second grade class at Smithville Elementary School have learned the names of all the U.S. Presidents in the order in which they served.

The children recited the President's names for WJLE Thursday morning in their classroom.

The children also learned a song naming all the states in the country.

Members of the class pictured in these videos are:
Jacob Beaty
Conner Crabtree
Maggie Felton
Marley Jones
Shayla Kirby
Javontae Martin
Jesse Martin
Kevin Martinez-Soto
Brenda Muniz-Guzman
Ethan Pope
Harrison Pryor
Addison Puckett
Madison Ray
Justin Rico
Olivia Taylor
Kaydence Thompson
Jamison Trapp
Orlando Escobedo

In addition to the video presentation here, you can listen to the children each morning May 14-18 following the 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. morning local news on WJLE AM 1480 and FM 101.7.

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