Local News Articles

School Bus Stranded During Flash Flooding

September 17, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Bus Stranded on Dearman Street During Heavy Rains
Facebook Photo from Contributor Shows Flooding on College St at Greenbrook Park
Facebook Photo from Contributor Shows Flooding at Highway 56 & 70

A bus, loaded with 32 students heading home from elementary after school programs, became stranded in a flash flood on Dearman Street Monday afternoon.

M2U00838 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Central dispatch received the call at 6:01 p.m. from someone reporting that the bus had slid off the road. The side doors to the bus were heavily damaged but neither the driver, Gayle Pack, nor any of the students aboard were injured. The students, who exited through the rear emergency door of the bus, were loaded onto another bus which was called to the scene. Because of the rising flood waters, the DeKalb County Rescue Squad was summoned to assist in transferring the students from one bus to the other. Members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on site along with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and other school administrators.

Director Willoughby told WJLE that it may morning after the water recedes before its known for sure what happened. "There was a lot of flash flooding in the area. We're not exactly sure what happened. But its evident that the door was hit. The water was probably twelve to fifteen inches deep right there. It could have washed out a place in the road and the bus front tire may have hit a hole and caused the damage to the door. The important thing is that no one was hurt. The bus driver handled the situation really well," said Willoughby.

Charlie Parker, Smithville Fire Chief and DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator, said much of the flash flooding Monday afternoon was in the Smithville area. "We had several places where water was up and over the road including College Street, Meadowbrook Drive, Dearman Street, Bright Hill Road, and down at the intersection of Highway 56 & 70 near DeKalb Tire and Service we had to detour traffic around for a little while because the drains just couldn't handle it. We've had a lot of water everywhere even out in the county on Turner Road and Jacobs Pillar Road. We had houses on Short Mountain and College Streets where water flooded basements. There were no evacuations other than in a couple of cases on Turner Road where residents, who had water coming up to their porches, decided to leave their homes on their own until the water receded," said Parker.

Director Willoughby said he appreciates the support of the community in responding to this emergency. "We had individuals from the community, parents and volunteers who came out there to help transfer those students from one bus to the other. They just wanted to make sure everything was okay. We also had law enforcement officers, the rescue squad, and EMA coordinator Charlie Parker and his crew. We want to thank everybody for going above and beyond. It's what communities are about and our community did an outstanding job. They just jumped in and did what was needed. I just want to say thank you to all those folks who helped out," said Willoughby.

Dowelltown Man Charged with Incest

September 17, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Billy Ray Baker
Randall Johnson
Jenadiah Ray Barnes

A 65 year old Dowelltown man has been charged with incest after allegedly admitting to having sex with his niece.

Billy Ray Baker is under a $50,000 bond and he will be in court October 5. Baker was arrested on September 10

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, September 6, a girl came to the Sheriff's Department and reported that Baker, who is her uncle, had raped her. Upon further investigation, a criminal detective from the sheriff's department contacted Baker who admitted that he had sexual relations with his niece but that it was consensual. Baker was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

49 year old Randall Johnson of LaFever Ridge Road, Silver Point was arrested on Thursday, September 13 for being a fugitive from justice. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court on September 20.

Sheriff Ray said that a deputy went to Johnson's residence after authorities in Noble County, Indiana contacted local authorities to report that Johnson was wanted for possession of marijuana and for failure to appear and that he was believed to be in DeKalb County. Johnson was found, taken into custody, and brought to the jail for booking.

33 year old Jenadiah Ray Barnes of Brush Creek is charged with six counts of forgery. His bond totals $18,000.

Sheriff Ray said that Barnes allegedly passed six forged checks at Prichard's Foods in Alexandria in the amounts of $135 and $100 on June 22, 2011; $135 and $160 on June 24, 2011; and $225 and $225 on June 29, 2011 The name of the victim was forged on the checks without authorization.

The warrants were taken out against Barnes on September 2, 2011. Barnes was arrested on September 10, 2012. The reason for the delay in his arrest on these charges was because he had apparently been held until now in another facility on other offenses. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

25 year old Jennifer Ann Ferrell of Dowelltown is charged with filing a false report. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court on September 20.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 12 a deputy went to Regions Bank on the public square in Smithville to serve a warrant on Matthew Baker, who had earlier been spotted in the bank. The deputy searched the bank but couldn't find Baker. Ferrell, who works as a cleaning lady in the bank, told the deputy that Baker was not there. Later, as a security officer was locking up the bank, Baker emerged from inside. He told the officer that he had hidden in the ceiling tile. Ferrell was charged because she allegedly lied to the deputy about Baker's being in the bank, according to Sheriff Ray.

49 year old Johnny Michael Howard of Billings Road, Sparta is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on October 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday September 12, Howard was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 when he was stopped by an officer who had prior knowledge that Howard's license was revoked. A computer check confirmed that his license were revoked for driving under the influence on February 1, 2012 in Cannon County. Howard was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Murfreesboro Man Charged in Burglary of Vehicles at Four Seasons Marina

September 17, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Timothy Ray Featherstone
Joseph Daniel Richardson

A Murfreesboro man, who allegedly broke into four vehicles parked at Four Seasons Marina in July, has been picked up in Georgia after an investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

44 year old Timothy Ray Featherstone is charged with four counts of burglary, one count of theft under $500, two counts of theft over $500, one count of theft over $10,000, and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He was arrested on September 12. His bond totals $200,000 and he will be in court September 20.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on July 29, Featherstone allegedly broke into four vehicles parked at Four Seasons Marina at 327 Marina Drive. Items were taken from each vehicle including credit cards, which Featherstone used at Walmart in Smithville.

In one of the auto break-ins at the marina, Featherstone allegedly broke out the back glass and stole diamond jewelry, costume jewelry, a watch, bangle bracelets, a purse and wallet, $100 in cash, shoes, clothes, suitcases, phone chargers, flat iron, and an Ipod with a total value of $21,575

At a second vehicle, entry was made by breaking out the front passenger window. Featherstone allegedly stole a leather coach purse, coach wallet, checkbook, black leather pouch, makeup, credit cards, gift cards, and $250 in cash with a total value of $605

Entry to a third automobile was made by breaking out a sliding glass window. Taken were ten Nintendo DS games, money pouch, $10 in change, coupon book, miscellaneous and children toys and books with a total value of $415

Featherstone allegedly entered a fourth vehicle by breaking out the front passenger side window. He allegedly took a brown Fossil wallet, $140 in cash, and credit cards with a total value of $175.

Sheriff Ray said that on the same day, July 29, Featherstone used a stolen credit card to purchase numerous items from Walmart in Smithville totaling $657. He returned to Walmart later that day and spent $352, again using a stolen credit card.

According to Sheriff Ray, criminal detectives of the sheriff's department began an investigation and developed Featherstone as a suspect. His image was captured on the store surveillance cameras at Walmart. Featherstone's information was entered into the National Crime Information Center computer system after which he was found in Georgia. Featherstone has been extradited back here to face the charges. Sheriff Ray said more arrests are forthcoming from this investigation.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 31 year old Joseph Daniel Richardson of Liberty is charged with aggravated burglary, two counts of forgery, theft of property over $1,000, and possession of a prohibited weapon. His bond is $30,000 and he will be in court on October 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on July 20, Richardson allegedly broke into a home on Cedar Street in Liberty. Entry was made through the garage. Richardson allegedly stole from the home, a 20 gauge and 12 gauge shotgun, muzzleloader, and pellet rifle, a gold diamond ring, gold class ring, and several other pieces of jewelry, along with a blue pyrex totebag with a total value at over $1,000.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Sheriff Ray said that Richardson is also accused of passing forged checks at the Stop N Buy on Highway 70 at Liberty on three occasions earlier this month.

According to Sheriff Ray, Richardson allegedly passed at the Stop N Buy a forged check in the amount of $55 on Monday, September 3; another forged check for $60 on Friday, September 7; and still another forged check for $60 on Saturday, September 8.

On Friday, September 14, when detectives went to Richardson's home on Church Street in Liberty to question him, they found a pair of brass knuckles in between the mattress in Richardson's bedroom, after he gave the detectives consent to search. Richardson admitted that the brass knucks belonged to him.

Groundbreaking Held for Fourth Habitat Home in DeKalb County

September 17, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Groundbreaking Held for Fourth Habitat Home in DeKalb County
Habitat for Humanity Breaks Ground For New Partner Family Home

A ground breaking celebration was held Sunday afternoon for the fourth Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County.

Committee and Board members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County and the new partner family, Melba Vinca and her grandchildren Bradley Mullican, Cayton Lance, and Justin Lance gathered for the brief ceremony at the future site of the home on Hayes Street in Smithville.

habitat from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Nolan Turner, President of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, said construction may begin this week. "Construction will begin this week. We will get the footer dug and poured and after three or four days setting we'll lay the blocks then hopefully two weeks from Friday we will be starting the framing. I understand a crew we've got coming in will have it under roof in three days. They'll come back the next weekend and do the electric work and possibly the plumbing. They are professionals, This is what they do all the time and this is their volunteer work. Some of them are local but they build these log homes and they're out of state a lot. If weather goes right we should be very close if not completed by Thanksgiving. The home is a 1,050 square foot house plus the porch. It will have three bedrooms and a bath and a half," said Turner.

During Sunday's ground breaking ceremony, Turner made welcoming remarks and introduced the partner family..

Dr. John Carpenter, minister of the Smithville First United Methodist Church and Bright Hill United Methodist Church led the attendees in the Responsive Reading and prayer. After the groundbreaking, Dr. Carpenter closed the ceremony with prayer.

This is the fourth Habitat home in DeKalb County. Two of them are on Adams Street. The third is on Hayes Street.

To qualify, applicants must: (1) have lived in DeKalb County for at least one year; (2) be willing to partner with Habitat to realize dreams of home ownership; (3) currently occupy inadequate or substandard housing; (4) demonstrate the ability to pay a mortgage; and (5) fall within Habitat's income guidelines.

All applications will be reviewed and considered by Habitat's Family Selection Committee before a partner family is selected. The partner family will work with Habitat on construction of their home and to develop the skills necessary for successful home ownership. Construction labor is provided by Habitat volunteers, and some materials are donated by Habitat supporters, as well.

Traffic Stop Results in Citations Against Three for Drug Offenses

September 16, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Randy Caplinger

Three people are in trouble with the law for drug offenses after Smithville Police stopped their car for a simple traffic violation earlier this month.

Chief Randy Caplinger said 26 year old Margie Grace Drennan was arrested on Saturday, September 8 for simple possession and she was cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to the warrant Drennan was a passenger in a vehicle, driven by 23 year old Kerrie Lynn Neal, which was stopped for a light violation. A check for warrants showed Drennan had an outstanding warrant against her from Davidson County. Ms. Drennan was placed under arrest. She told the officer that she had some methamphetamine in her pocket and a small amount of meth was recovered. The officer also found marijuana and rolling papers.

Neal was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia after a needle was recovered from her purse. Meanwhile another passenger, 23 year old Porsche Lynn Batey was cited for simple possession after pills were found in her possession. Drennan, Neal, and Batey will be in court September 20.

In other cases, 22 year old Fernando Colunga was arrested on Sunday, September 9 for driving under the influence. According to the warrant, Colunga, operating a motor vehicle, was stopped for failure to maintain his lane of travel. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and his eyes were glazed over. He submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. His court date is September 20..

32 year old John Keith Hale was arrested on Sunday, September 9 for aggravated assault. According to the warrant, Hale and the victim got into an argument. When the victim started inside his apartment, Hale hit him across the back with a metal ball bat. Hale's court date is September 20.

37 year old Crystal Alice Turner was cited on Sunday, September 9 for shoplifting, simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Turner was stopped in the Wal-Mart parking lot for suspicion of shoplifting. Turner gave police permission to search her purse and merchandise from Wal-Mart was found there along with a schedule II drug and paraphernalia. Her court date is September 20

28 year old Michael Brandon Redmon was arrested on Sunday, September 9 for evading arrest and criminal trespassing. According to the warrants, Smithville Police received a call about Redmon being at J. R. Motors, property belonging to Jewel Redmon. Michael Redmon had earlier been told to stay off the property and police were informed to arrest Redmon if they saw him on this property. When an officer approached Redmon, he began running. The officer yelled stop, this is the police, but Redmon kept running. He was later picked up on South College Street.

34 year old Charles Montez Turner was arrested on Monday, September 10 for theft of property over $1,000. According to the warrant, Turner allegedly took a 1994 Chevrolet Camaro, on Sunday, September 9 belonging to the victim without her consent. The victim told police that she had told Turner that he could not take the car but he left in the car anyway. His court date is September 20.

42 year old Morris E Knowles was arrested on Thursday, September 13 for violation of an order of protection and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Upon arrest drug paraphernalia was found on Knowles' person. His court date is October 11

Meanwhile anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

DTC Members Reject Proposed Bylaw Amendments

September 15, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
DTC Directors Bennie Buck Curtis, Ronnie Garrison, and Randy Campbell

Members of DTC Communications (DeKalb Telephone Cooperative) voting during the annual meeting Saturday soundly defeated three proposed bylaw changes which were on the ballot. The meeting was held at the fairgrounds in Alexandria.

By a vote of 231 to 62, voting members said no to making those three changes in the bylaws as recommended by the DTC board of directors.

Meanwhile, the three incumbent DTC board members running without opposition, were each re-elected to a new three year term Saturday.

Ronnie Garrison of the Smithville exchange received 231 votes. Randy Campbell of Liberty had 207 votes, and Bennie Curtis of Alexandria garnered 197 votes.

Had the proposed bylaw amendments been approved by the membership, former employees and close relatives of current employees and directors would not have been eligible to serve as a member of the DTC Communications Board of Directors. Another proposed amendment sought to hold the annual meetings at such location within the service area as the Board of Directors may designate before each and every meeting. All three proposed bylaw changes were defeated together in one vote.

In addition to Garrison, Campbell, and Curtis, other members of the DTC board are Charles Dwight Vinson of Milton, Roy Nelson Pugh of Auburntown, Greg Rogers of Woodbury, James Dillard, Jr. of Gordonsville, Terry McPeak of Norene, Jimmy Oakley of Temperance Hall, and David Parker of Woodland.

Brentwood Arts to Assume Lease of Lakeside Resort

September 15, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lakeside Resort

The Corps of Engineers has agreed to allow Brentwood Arts to assume the lease of Lakeside Resort on Center Hill Lake

In a recent memo sent to UCHRA board members, Executive Director Luke Collins, wrote that the transaction on the lease will be finalized once Rural Development approves a loan to Brentwood Arts.

Meanwhile, Collins wrote that efforts continue to sell Lakeside Resort. "As promised, it is my desire to keep the Board members informed on a regular basis about activities and issues affecting UCHRA. One issue of great concern to many Board members is the proposed sale of Lakeside. While the process is taking longer than we had hoped, progress is being made toward that goal. On Wednesday, September 12, James Starnes, Pat Callahan and I, traveled to Nashville to meet with representatives of the Corps of Engineers. Also present were Jim Himelrick and Bob Pierce, current managers of the facility, and George Williams, Board member of Brentwood Arts. The Corps has agreed to allow Brentwood Arts (a non-profit 501C3) to assume the lease. At this point we await Rural Development's approval of a loan to Brentwood Arts before the transaction can be finalized," wrote Collins.

The mission of the Brentwood Art Society is to encourage, support, and develop art and cultural programs.

In April, Himelrick and Pierce, partners in American Modus, laid out their vision for Lakeside Resort in a power point presentation during a UCHRA policy council meeting in Cookeville. The UCHRA later voted to pursue an agreement with them.

Himelrick and Pierce proposed entering into a management contract with UCHRA as they worked toward acquiring their own land lease on the property with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and assuming all UCHRA loan obligations on the resort by January 1st, 2013

The 2012 objective was to restore the property to the 2010 level of cash flow, increase bookings through extensive marketing and high level of service, and carefully manage expenses and maintain the property at a high level.

The 2013 objectives are to make property improvements, upgrade landscaping, make unit interior improvements to lodging facilities such as adding flat screen TV's, carpeting, and other cosmetic upgrades. Increase amenities and family activities, add lake inflatables and cabins, pool amenities, etc.

American Modus Partners, LLC,. is a Brentwood based company which was organized in 2010. Himelrick and Pierce were part of the Investors Equity Holdings group that put $1.5 million worth of improvements into Nashville Shores before its sale in 2011.

UCHRA acquired Lakeside Resort several years ago, securing a 25 year lease at a dollar a year from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who owns the property.

Lakeside Resort, consisting of 139 acres on the banks of Center Hill Lake off of the Cookeville Highway, created problems for UCHRA financially, apparently being unable to support itself or to service the debt on the note owed on property there.

On other matters, Collins' further wrote in his memo, "On August 30, the Policy Council and Executive Committee approved a motion made by the Personnel Committee on August 23 for UCHRA to create a position for a Grant Writer. The job was posted in-house and three current UCHRA employees applied. We are pleased to announce that Kelly Dishman has been selected to fill that position."

"On Friday, September 7, the sealed bids from firms seeking to be our new auditor were opened. A representative from the Comptroller's office was in attendance. The firm that successfully bid for the job is Jobe, Hastings & Associates, located in Murfreesboro, TN. The Comptroller's office will be reviewing the audit as well."

"Last week the annual TAHRA convention was held in Pigeon Forge, TN. Three UCHRA staff members attended the full convention. Agencies from other regions sent many more attendees. By sending only three, we kept expenses well below amounts spent on this convention in the past."

"Yesterday, Willie Kerr, Frank Smith, Mike Nesbitt and I traveled to Nashville to meet with representatives of Governor Bill Haslam's office. We were also able to meet with several State Senators and Representatives. We advocated for continued support of our programs and increases in funds wherever possible. In general the response was positive."

Tigers' Record Still Perfect After Big District Win Over Owls

September 14, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

After blowout wins in the their first four games, the DeKalb County Tigers faced their toughest test of the season Friday night and passed with flying colors against the Smith County Owls, winning 32 to 13.

It was the 500th football game in school history for DCHS and the first victory over the Owls since an 18-0 shutout in 1995 at Carthage. The last time the Tigers beat the Owls in Smithville was 1981. Smith County still leads the series 22-8. Because of district realignments, the two teams have not always played each other every year. The annual rivalry was renewed in 2009.

Smith County scored first with 9:52 left in the opening quarter on a pass reception to Jalen Manning covering 52 yards for a touchdown. The P.A.T. by Jared Kent was good and the Owls led 7-0.

The Tigers answered with 8:29 left in the first period on a six yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Will Molander. Ben Driver's P.A.T. was good and the game was tied at 7-7.

Late in the first period, the Tigers had a first and goal on the one yard line but lost yardage back to the 22 yard line in the drive on a high snap over the head of quarterback Lucas Phillips. Ben Driver was called upon to try a 39 yard field goal, but the kick was no good.

After recovering a DC fumble at the Tiger 39 yard line, the Owls cashed in a couple of plays later when Jalen Manning scored on a 31 yard touchdown run. The P.A.T. try failed but Smith County led 13-7 with 8:48 left in the second quarter.

After a Smith County turnover, the Tigers drove to the Owl one yard line and quarterback Lucas Phillips capped it on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown with 21 seconds left in the half. The P.A.T try by Driver was no good but the game was tied at 13-13.

The Tigers blew the game open in the second half. With 2:39 to go in the third period, Devonta Milan scored on a 70 yard punt return. Driver's P.A.T. kick was good and DeKalb County had its first lead of the night 20-13.

With 8.3 seconds left in the third period, the Tigers jumped out front 26-13 on a three yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Sonni Fullilove. The P.A.T. try by Driver was no good.

After a 38 yard Chris Chapman interception return, the Tigers scored their last touchdown with 9:55 left in the game on a two yard pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Will Molander. The P.A.T. try by Driver was no good but DeKalb County was up and went onto win 32 to 13.

With the win, the Tigers improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in district play. Smith County drops to 3-2 on the season and to 0-2 in the district.

Next Friday night, the Tigers will host Hixson for Homecoming. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Lattimore Named School Board Chairman

September 13, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Johnny Lattimore, second from left, named School Board Chairman (older photo)

Seventh district school board member Johnny Lattimore was elected Chairman of the DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night.

The school board reorganizes each September, naming a chairman, vice-chairman, and an assistant secretary.

Lattimore's name was placed in nomination for chairman by sixth district member Doug Stephens. Third District member Kenny Rhody then nominated second district member Charles Robinson for re-election as chairman "for the outstanding job he's done this last year," said Rhody. "A lot of research goes into that role. It's a tough role when you do it the right way. There's a lot of research and I think he performed an excellent job as chairman," added Rhody.

M2U00829 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Robinson thanked Rhody for the kind words and the nomination but said he was removing his name from consideration. First district member John David Foutch then moved that the nomination cease and that Lattimore be elected as chairman by acclamation. All voted in favor. Fourth district member Billy Miller was absent.

After the vote, Chairman Lattimore said "I would like to reiterate what Mr. Rhody was saying that Mr. Robinson has done an outstanding job over the last few years as chairman. We appreciate all of his hard work and dedication. He put a lot of time into being chairman of the board and we appreciate that," said Lattimore.

In addition to Chairman Lattimore, the board re-elected Rhody as Vice-Chairman and First district member Foutch as assistant secretary without opposition.

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly personnel report to the board.

Those employed since the last meeting are:
Katie Goolsby, teacher at DeKalb West School
Tommie Pilgrim, substitute maintenance
Michael Merriman, bus driver
Tenile Rowland, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School
Jennifer Benton,, JoAnn Vanatta, and Mary Mathis, substitute cooks
Wade Ferrell, substitute school nurse
Mary Margaret Tripp, classroom assistant at Smithville Elementary School
Donna Knowles, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School
Sara Halliburton, teacher at DCHS
Shirley Mathis, substitute bus assistant
Michelle McManus, substitute cook
Gentry Underhill, bus driver

Transfers:
Suzanne Gash, transferred to a teaching position at DeKalb Middle School

Meanwhile, Sue Driver, a teacher at Smithville Elementary School and Bethany Rigsby, teacher at Northside Elementary School, were both granted a leave of absence as requested.

Joy Parker, a teacher at DeKalb Middle School is retiring as of October 26 while Janice Patrick Tanner, substitute school nurse, resigned as of August 15th.

The board, upon the recommendation of Director Willoughby, authorized the signing of a contract with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet for the proposed re-roofing projects at Smithville Elementary, DeKalb Middle, and DeKalb West Schools after an attorney has reviewed it.

The board adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring bus drivers.

The resolution states Whereas, school bus drivers have an opportunity to ensure that a student's school day begins and ends in a positive manner by the way they greet each student in the morning and bid them farewell in the afternoon; and

Whereas, school bus drivers must assure the safety of the students to and from school every day; and

Whereas, bus drivers must be ready to handle any emergency situations that might occur; and

Whereas, bus drivers are valuable employees. Without them, the school system would not run properly and smoothly because many of our students could not get to school; and

Whereas, school bus drivers spend many hours learning new rules, regulations and safety procedures to keep our transportation system great; and

Whereas, the superintendent and school board greatly appreciate the commitment and dedication of our school bus drivers and wish to honor them for their service to our school system.

Therefore, be it resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby establishes September 20, 2012 as Bus Driver Appreciation Day in DeKalb County Schools; and

Be it further resolved that the Board encourages students, parents and staff in each school to join us in expressing appreciation to the bus drivers for all they do".

Chairman Lattimore also congratulated Director Willoughby for being named Director of the Year in the Upper Cumberland and for being in the running for Director of the Year in Tennessee. Willoughby was among nine directors of schools across the state up for that honor which went to the Bradley County director.

In other action, the school board voted to provide a bus to transport anyone, especially elderly or handicapped persons from DeKalb County to the Dailey and Vincent Concert in Gainesboro on Saturday, September 29 if there are enough people interested in riding a bus there.

Dailey & Vincent are set to host their third concert for their Helping Hands Charity, on Saturday, September 29 at the Jackson County High School Gymnasium in Gainesboro. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

Since its inception, The Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund, administered through the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation, a 501©(3) organization, has raised over $60,000. It exists to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged children of Jackson and DeKalb counties to meet immediate medical, nutritional and educational needs not covered by insurance or other means.

Funds raised by the concert will be divided evenly for use in Jackson and DeKalb counties.

Concert tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and are available in Smithville at Cantrell Furniture or Mapco Express or by calling Julie Vincent (615-418-5759). Tickets are also available online at www.daileyvincent.com.

TDOT Announces Possible Overnight Closure of Hurricane Bridge

September 13, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hurricane Bridge

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced that a possible nighttime bridge closure may occur on Hurricane Bridge next week to allow the contractor to pour a portion of the deck.

TDOT officials say this closure may be held either on Tuesday or Wednesday, September 18 or 19 between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. depending on progression of work. (The work will more likely take place during the week of September 24th, but there is a chance that it could be done during this report period).

Whenever these closures are scheduled, variable message boards will be used to inform the public and local media will be notified. The marked truck detour route will be used to reroute traffic.

The bridge currently is down to only one lane of traffic, and it is being maintained and controlled by a temporary signal for the safety of the traveling public. The current weight postings of 10 tons for two-axle vehicles and 18 tons for vehicles with three or more axles will remain in effect and will be strictly enforced. This will allow for work adjacent to the north side of the bridge to continue. Further temporary lane shifts may be implemented by flaggers on an "as needed" basis to facilitate work as it progresses.

Estimated project completion date is October 2013.

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