Local News Articles

Chili Cook-off Raises $3,400 for Habitat

November 2, 2012
The Chili Flappers” from the DeKalb County Board of Education
“The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials
“‘Lei’ Me Out Chili” from Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District

A great crowd turned out on Friday to enjoy chili and delicious baked goods at Habitat for Humanity’s Ninth Annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, which was held at the 303 Building on the square. “The Chili Flappers” from the DeKalb County Board of Education again won the “Best Chili” award, and “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials followed in second place. In the decorating contest, “‘Lei’ Me Out Chili” from Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District won first place honors.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor and the Habitat Chili Cook-off Committee, the event raised $3,400.00, which will be used toward the current construction costs for the fourth Habitat house on Hayes Street. “We had a great turnout for the Chili Cook-off,” said Pryor. “We had five new chili teams this year, and everyone enjoyed coming out and visiting with their friends and neighbors, while sampling all the delicious chili. We truly appreciate all the chili teams for their hard work and dedication to this event year after year. We also thank everyone who brought the delicious baked goods, especially the Tiger Pride Kitchen from DCHS.” Pryor added.

Twelve teams participated in the event, including “The Bean Counters” from Janney & Associates; “Chili Flappers” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Smokin’ Hot” from the City of Smithville; “‘Lei’ Me Out Chili” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “Chili with Electability” from the Inn at Evins Mill; “Indian Summer Chili” from Indian Creek Baptist Church; “Blessed and Highly Flavored” from Allen’s Chapel & Buckner’s Chapel Methodist Churches; “‘No Liability’ Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association; “Fantasy Falls Forest” from K. Daly-McEver; and “Blueberry Creek Farm” from Chala Salisbury.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181

Jon Slager, DeKalb County's Newest Attorney

November 2, 2012
Jon Slager Takes Oath to the Bar from Judge Bratten Cook, II

DeKalb County has a new attorney

Jon Slager has received his Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the Nashville School of Law. A lifelong resident of DeKalb County, Slager is a 2003 graduate of DeKalb County High School and a 2008 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.

He is associated with local attorney Jim Judkins. His office is located at 200 South Third Street in Smithville where his practice includes criminal defense, domestic relations law, estate planning / wills, personal injury and more.

He recently took the oath to the bar administered by Judge Bratten Cook, II

Nashville Attorney Hired to Help Represent DUD at UMRB Rate Review Hearing

November 2, 2012
Dwayne Page
Dewey Branstetter, Jr.
Keith Blair

A Nashville attorney has been hired by the DeKalb Utility District Board of Directors to assist their lawyer in representing them before the state's Utility Management Review Board in a rate review hearing.

The DUD board met Thursday in regular monthly session and retained the services of C. Dewey Branstetter, Jr. of Branstetter, Stranch, and Jennings PLLC of Nashville. He will be joining DUD attorney Keith Blair in handling legal issues pertaining to the matter.

The Utility Management Review Board, citing the lack of jurisdiction, decided in October that it would not consider a petition filed by concerned citizens and ratepayers on whether or not the DeKalb Utility District should build a water treatment plant. But the UMRB decided that it would act on the petitioners request for a DUD rate review.

A petition, signed by more than 1,000 persons was submitted to the Tennessee Comptroller and Utility Management Review Board in July asking for a state review of rates charged by the DUD and its plan of services including the proposed water treatment plant.

The UMRB met last month in Nashville and the issue regarding the petition and the DUD was tops on the agenda. During that meeting, the UMRB ruled that it had no jurisdiction to consider the petition as to the proposed water treatment plant. "On the jurisdictional issue only with regard to whether the UMRB has jurisdiction to consider the petition before it, the UMRB essentially approved a motion setting forth that they did not have jurisdiction on the question of whether or not DUD should be building a water treatment plant," said DUD attorney Keith Blair during the DeKalb Utility District's monthly board meeting in October.

But while the UMRB chose not to weigh in on the water plant issue itself, it did agreed to conduct a rate review. That hearing could be held in Smithville but no date has yet been set.

Meanwhile, in other business Thursday DUD Board Chairman Roger Turney asked whether the City of Smithville had submitted a new water contract proposal. DUD Manager Jon Foutch said none has yet been received.

Alexandria Post Office to Remain Open But at Reduced Hours

November 1, 2012
Dwayne Page
Postal Official David Underwood conducts meeting in Alexandria
Concerned Alexandria Postal Customers Learn About Plans for their Post Office
Several Alexandria Postal Customers Gather for Community Meeting

The Alexandria Post Office will not close but its daily operating hours will likely be reduced starting in January in an effort by the U.S. Postal Service to save money. The carriers will continue delivering mail to Alexandria postal customers but will begin working out of the Watertown Post Office beginning Saturday, November 3.

David Underwood, Manager of Post Office Operations, held a community meeting at the Alexandria city hall building Thursday afternoon to explain the changes. About fifty concerned postal customers in the area showed up to learn more about the plan.

M2U00876 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
"The Alexandria Post Office is going from a full time eight hour a day post office to a six hour a day post office," said Underwood. "Your address won't change. Nothing will change with your delivery. Your carriers are being shifted. They are going to come out of Watertown. But your delivery is not changing. Your address is not changing. Where you go to pick up packages when you're not home and get a notice, you still come here (Alexandria). Our intent is to make it as invisible as possible to you with the major changes being we are no longer going to have a full time benefit getting post master in Alexandria. There will be a part time post master working six hours a day. Your Saturday hours won't change from what they are now. Your collection box time at the post office is not changing. The mail will go out at the same time every night it always has. There's not much going to change but by shaving that two hours off which is how many hours this office earns with its revenue and volume, making it a lower level post master that gets less money, taking the processing out of this office from the carriers and consolidating it in with no more work hours at another post office, over time the return on investment is huge for us. It saves us a lot of money," said Underwood.

Alexandria postal customers began receiving surveys in September outlining four different options for the Alexandria Post Office. A total of 1,110 customer surveys were mailed and 437 of them were returned. Ninety two percent of the respondents (404 customers) said given the options they preferred a realignment of the hours.


M2U00873 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Based on the results of the survey, Underwood said the Postal Service will likely set the hours for the Alexandria Post Office for 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with lunch from noon until 1:00 p.m. and Saturday hours will be from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The Postal Service will make its final decision on the change soon and a notice will be posted at the Alexandria Post Office as to what the new daily hours will be and when they will take effect. Underwood said the new hours will most likely become effective around the third week of January.

Total Saturday window service hours will not be reduced and access to delivery receptacles will not change as a result of the POST Plan realignment of weekday window service hours, according to Underwood. Access to delivery receptacles will not be reduced from the current hours.

Alexandria postal customers were not surveyed about reassigning the carriers. Underwood said the postal service made that decision itself. "Its internal. That's something we decide. We call it Delivery Unit Optimization where we make the decision because its not affecting customers whatsoever. Its where we decide to consolidate carriers in a hub location because we have the same amount of clerks who can do that distribution work there. Rather than have them do it remotely and having a whole bunch of clerks doing a little bit of work (in different post offices) I've got the same clerks doing the same amount of work (at one location). Its a pure business decision. We're doing this everywhere," said Underwood.

The Alexandria Post Office is among 260 post offices in Tennessee which will have their hours changed or downsized within the next couple of years, according to Underwood.

Budget Committee Hears from County Officials and Employees on Wage Scale

November 1, 2012
Dwayne Page
Budget Committee Members
Mike Clayborn, Katherine Pack, and Jeff McMillen
Trustee Sean Driver and other county officials and employees

Members of the budget committee heard from public officials and their staffs Tuesday night concerning establishing a wage scale for county employees.

All seemed to like the idea of setting up a pay scale for workers based on their years of service and while some said they were undecided, most are still opposed to giving employees job titles and basing their pay somewhat on their classification.

Some suggested implementing a step increase this year based on years of service, if it can be done without a property tax increase, and wait on job classification until an independent study could be done to formulate a plan, but the budget committee members took no action. It will be up to the budget committee to make some recommendation to the full county commission board.

County Mayor Mike Foster, an advocate of job classification, cited a long list of duties his staff has to perform and added that it isn't fair that they are paid much less than employees of the board of education central office and other counties who perform similar jobs and are classified by job titles. "Since I've been here the job has grown and grown and I still have two people (employees). When they (employees) look around across the street (board of education) and see somebody doing exactly the same job and who is not dealing with the landfill, the fire department, the billing, the grants and all the things we do and who is making twelve thousand dollars a year more than they are and they look at other counties who are making more then it becomes a little problem. If I lose one (employee) it'll take me six months to a year to get anybody doing that job. That's where I am. I don't think I'm better or that my girls are better than anybody, but if I'm going to keep them I've got to pay them. There's a law that says I can pay my secretaries at whatever they (county commission) will approve. But that's not what I want to do. I have never wanted mine to get a raise and no one else to get one," said Foster.

County Clerk Mike Clayborn said his employees also perform a variety of duties in the office. "We do seven different things and I could make it look like a hundred. But those seven things are just to do with license plates. They do twelve things that have nothing to do with license plates. People may say anyone can sell license plates. If that's all they did that would be alright. But that's not all they do. I'm for the step raises but I'm against the classifications. I don't want classifications in my office. I don't want classifications in the other offices. I think they should all be the same," said Clayborn.

Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen said he does not like the notion of having to classify one courthouse employee over another because they basically perform the same tasks and are equally important."I do think that we need to put a step increase in. I think it's a great idea. The way I look at it is if you're coming in that front door (to register of deeds office) and you've got a deed in your hand, the most important person to the public is that person in the register's office. If you've got car tags in your hand, the most important person is the people in the (county) clerk's office. If I put a classification on my girls they might look at each other and say ‘you're supposed to take care of this'. In the register's office, when you come in I want you taken care of as quick as possible and in the best manner that can be done. Again, I am not against the step increases. I think its great. I just don't want to have to put classifications on my employees. But what they do at the ambulance service or the landfill is none of my business," he said

Trustee Sean Driver said he opposes job classification of county employees at the courthouse and county complex fearing that morale might suffer. "I am for the step raise program out of fairness. But at this point, I am not for classification because of morale breakdown. The only way I'd be for classification at this point is that if they were classified all the same in these government offices," said Driver.

"I'm against the classifications at this time", said Clerk and Master Deborah Malone. "But I am for step raises," she said.

"I am for raises. I'm not for sure about classifications. I am not sure what I feel or what I think on classifications," said Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell.

"What I would really love to do is implement the step raises and have the independent consultant do a survey or whatever they do and then get back and meet back together and see where we are then. But I am definitely for step raises," said Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack.

Budget committee member John Green said he would like for the county to do more for employees, many of whom are making just barely above being eligible to qualify for food stamps." I've worked in a lot of factories and there has always been classifications, job titles, and certified people. There are many different jobs. And we've got important jobs in this county. But the bottom line is we need to try to help. There's people paying insurance right now. There's people who are making barely above being able to qualify for food stamps. That's bad. Maybe we ought to start people out a little bit better. I still think the step raises and a step pay scale needs to be in there because when you work thirty years at a place you shouldn't have somebody who has just started yesterday (earning the same pay)," he said.

No pay raises were included in this year's budget, other than for employees due a raise in a four tiered salary pay scale for the Sheriff's Department which was implemented last year to bring their salaries in line with other law enforcement agencies in the area.

Each courthouse or county complex employee working for a public official is budgeted to receive the same amount of pay $23,024 per year except for one of the employees in the assessor of property's office who receives $28,579 under an agreement reached years ago. This employee uses his own personal vehicle for making on-site reviews of property and is responsible for his own expense associated with that vehicle other than a county reimbursement rate for mileage which is currently 47 cents per mile for travel within the county.

Employees in the county mayor's office receive pay for extra duties in working with grants.

New York Man Inline Skating Across Country for Autism Awareness

November 1, 2012
Dwayne Page
Brian Patrick Inline Skating West on Highway 70 at Foot of Snow Hill
Brian Patrick

Brian Patrick of New York is inline skating across the country to raise money and awareness for autismspeaks.org. His journey brought him through DeKalb County Tuesday.

Patrick's journey began in Montauk Point, New York on September 20 and it has taken him through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and now through Tennessee.. He is traveling by himself with a 22 lb. backpack "I am working my way to California. I'm on my own, I don't have an entourage. I don't have a travel companion in a car that can go up ahead of me and check out the road conditions. I am limited on my resources. I don't have the privilege of spending every night in a hotel. Its probably every three days. There are sacrifices that I am making but this is not about me. Its about helping people that are part of the Autistic Spectrum," said Patrick.

"On my journey, I've been speaking to parents and others, some of whom have children on the Autistic Spectrum to give them some insight into my experience. I have a child, Riley and he was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was about three years old. Up until fifteen years ago, Autism was something that was never really discussed until AustimSpeaks came along and really pushed it to the forefront. Austim is no longer an issue. Its an epidemic. Even though you may not have anyone in your life that is on the spectrum and you may be thinking everything is okay, at some point it could affect you or someone you know because of the amount of kids that are being diagnosed," he said.

Patrick, who is also on the Autistic Spectrum with Aspergers, encourages you to learn more about autism by visiting AutismSpeaks.org or checking out his website at at li2lb.com.

Almost 3,200 Vote Early

November 1, 2012
Dwayne Page
Last Chance to Vote Early

A total of 3,196 DeKalb County voters cast ballots during the two week period for early voting, October 17 through November 1.

Thursday, on the last day for early voting, 414 voted including 400 in person and 14 by absentee.

The early voting turnout for this year's November election is down from four years ago. For the November 2008 election, a total of 4008 voted either early or by absentee. On election day, 3,182 voted for a total turnout of 7,190.

Election day voting Tuesday, November 6 will be from 8:00 am. until 7:00 p.m. at all sixteen precincts in DeKalb County. WJLE will have LIVE local election return coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

DeKalb County voters may cast ballots for President of the United States, a U.S. Senator of Tennessee, U.S. Representative of the Sixth Congressional District, and State Representatives of the 40th & 46th districts. City of Smithville voters will also decide the outcome of a liquor referendum.

Habitat Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale Friday!

October 31, 2012
2011 Winners “Wild West Gang” from DeKalb County Board of Education

Who makes the best chili in DeKalb County? Find out on Friday, November 2, when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 9th annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the 303 Building on the town square. You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches will also be for sale. Take out is also available.

“We are looking forward to another great day of good food and fellowship at the chili cook-off,” said Nolan Turner, president of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. “We are building with a partner family on Hayes Street right now. The proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will be used to purchase the building materials, so we hope everyone will come out and eat lots of chili for a great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “The Bean Counters” from Janney & Associates; “Chili Flappers” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Smokin’ Hot” from the City of Smithville; “‘Lei’ Me Out Chili” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “Chili with Electability” from the Inn at Evins Mill; “Indian Summer Chili” from Indian Creek Baptist Church; “Blessed and Highly Flavored” from Allen’s Chapel & Buckner’s Chapel Methodist Churches; “‘No Liability’ Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association and “Dog Woman of The Woods” from K. Daly-McEver.

At last year’s chili cook-off, the “Wild West Gang” from DeKalb County Board of Education had a clean sweep, taking both the “Best Chili” award and first place honors in the decorating contest. “Blessed and Highly Flavored” from Allen’s Chapel and Buckner’s Chapel Methodist Churches received second place in the “Best Chili” category. The 2011 event raised approximately $3,100.

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

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

Court Approves Settlement in Lawsuit over School Bus Wreck

October 30, 2012
Dwayne Page
Court Approves Settlement in Lawsuit over School Bus Wreck
Ashley Spivey

A final settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against the DeKalb County Board of Education over a school bus accident in April, 2010 on Highway 56 in front of Northside Elementary School at the close of school.

Judge Amy Hollars approved the minor settlement for $20,000 on Thursday, October 25 in DeKalb County Circuit Court in the case of Ashley Spivey and her daughter, who was two years old at the time of the accident. Claims on behalf of Spivey's one year old son were dismissed from the final settlement. Although the boy was involved in the crash he was not seriously injured and his medical bills were only approximately $200.

A total of $13,333 of the settlement will be retained by the clerk of the court in an interest bearing account on behalf of Spivey's daughter until the child reaches eighteen years of age on March 4, 2026. The remaining $6,666 will be paid to Spivey's attorneys plus discretionary costs in the amount of $677, which will be paid directly to Spivey's lawyers by a separate draft.

Spivey, as the mother of the child, had asked that she be paid $2,000 for the use and benefit of her daughter, but the court denied Spivey's request given her history of involvement with the Department of Children Services and the existence of an open case against her in the Juvenile Court.

The $20,000 judgement is in addition to a $25,000 settlement, approved in August, 2010 stemming from a lawsuit against Sammy Spivey, the owner of the car in which Ashley Spivey and her children were passengers at the time of the crash. In that settlement, a total of $18,864 was distributed to the health providers of Spivey's child, and to the insurance company, and to Spivey's attorneys for fees and expenses. The remaining balance of $6,135 was to be directed to Spivey as parent and guardian for her daughter's use and benefit.

In her case against the DeKalb County Board of Education, Spivey also had originally named DeKalb County and the bus driver, Walter Phillips, as defendants but the county and Phillips were later dropped from the case. The dismissal order stated that the alleged negligent operation of the school bus by the school bus driver was within the scope of his employment with the DeKalb County Board of Education, and that DeKalb County, a separate governmental entity, is not a proper party to this action, nor is Walter Phillips, individually, a proper party to this action under the Governmental Tort Liability Act insofar as the DeKalb County Board of Education has admitted that he was acting within the scope and course of his employment.

Spivey was represented by Nashville attorneys Blair Durham and Ben Winters of Durham and Dread, PLC. The counsel for the school board was John D. Schwalb of Williams & Schwalb, PLLC in Franklin.

The court's order approving the minor settlement states as follows:

"On April 26, 2010, at approximately 2:53 p.m., a collision occurred on North Congress Boulevard and Smith Road, in Smithville between a 1992 Chevy Blazer operated by Kenny Waymon Dyal and owned by Sammy Spivey and a 2003 public school bus, operated by Walter Cecil Phillips, owned by the DeKalb County Board of Education. Ashley Spivey was a front seat passenger and her daughter and son, both minors, were rear seat passengers in the Dyal driven vehicle. Ashley Spivey is the natural mother and the legal custodian of the two minor children.

Mr. Dyal was traveling north on Highway 56. The bus, driven by Mr. Phillips was turning left from Smith Road onto Highway 56. As Mr. Phillips made his left turn, he was struck by the vehicle driven by Mr. Dyal.

The plaintiff (Ashley Spivey) in this case alleges that Phillips was negligent in the operation of the school bus thereby causing personal injuries to the occupants of the Dyal driven vehicle. The DeKalb County Board of Education, as an affirmative defense, allege that the accident and injuries were caused by Kenneth Dyal.

As a result of this crash, the two year old female minor child was injured (two broken legs). Immediately following the accident, the child was admitted to the emergency room at DeKalb Community Hospital and transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The medical expenses incurred on behalf of the child totaled $45,745 all of which were substantially reduced to recognize payment by TennCare. In addition, the one year old male child was evaluated at DeKalb Community Hospital where medical bills in the amount of approximately $200 were incurred, but also substantially reduced as a result of TennCare. As a result of a prior settlement involving the plaintiff (Spivey) and others alleged to be responsible for the injuries, the medical bills have all been paid by or on behalf of the plaintiff (Spivey). No future medical expenses are anticipated. No permanent injuries resulted from this motor vehicle accident.

On August 10, 2010, a decree approving a minor settlement was accepted and signed for a settlement in the amount of $25,000 on behalf of the two year old child from defendant, Sammy Spivey, and Progressive Insurance Company. The parties agreed in this matter that $18,864 be distributed to the child's health providers, insurance company, and attorney for fees and expenses. The remaining balance of $6,135 to be directed to Ashley Spivey as parent and guardian of the child for the minor's use and benefit.

The parties to this settlement have agreed, subject to the court's approval, to compromise and settle the two year old child's claims for the amount of $20,000. The one year old child's claims, related solely to medical expenses previously satisfied by a prior settlement will be dismissed as there exists no injuries to him. For this amount, $6,666 is to be paid to the law office of Blair Durham for fees and expenses rendered on behalf of the minor petitioner. There are certain discretionary costs that the defendant has agreed to pay that will be paid directly to counsel in the amount of $677 for depositions and medical deposition fees. This leaves for the minor petitioner an amount of $13,333. Said settlement amount constitutes payment for the child's compensatory damages on account of her physical personal injuries and it does not include payment for any punitive or exemplary damages, none of which are recoverable under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, nor does it involve any type of interest.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement between the parties, the plaintiff parent, Ashley Spivey, individually, and as parent of the two year old minor child, has asked that the court authorize one settlement check in the amount of $2,000 to be paid directly to Ashley Spivey as parent and legal guardian for the use and benefit of the minor child. To the extent that the provisions of the relief sought do not comply with Title 34, Chapters 1, 2, and 3, the parties have requested that the court waive those requirements pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 34-1-121, if the court finds it is in the best interest of the minor to waive such requirements based on the facts and circumstances of this case. The parties request that the balance be payable to the DeKalb County Circuit Court to be deposited and held in an interest bearing fund with the DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk's office until the minor child attains the age of 18 years old, and thereupon, to pay over to the minor child the balance with accumulated interest.

The parties to this litigation have further agreed that the petitioners Ashley Spivey and her minor child, agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless respondents, the DeKalb County Board of Education and its insurer, Tennessee Risk Management Trust, for any subrogation claims which may be made for any and all medical expenses relating to both minor children arising out of the accident and injuries referenced herein, including, but not limited to, those expenses for which a third party (or parties) retain a subrogation lien (or liens) or hospital lien (or liens) against the DeKalb County Board of Education and the Tennessee Risk Management Trust Company.

As a result of the prior settlement there are no TennCare liens or recovery asserted or available to the State of Tennessee pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated 71-5-117 nor is there any entity acting or participating in this matter pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated 71-5-116. Neither the plaintiff, Ashley Spivey, nor the defendant, named or unnamed have been placed upon notice of nor are there any hospital liens of record pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 29-22-101 which remain unsatisfied.

There are no liens asserted or available under the terms of any Employee Welfare Benefit or similar plan which assert a lien against the proceeds of any settlement under the terms of a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.

In accordance with the above-findings and the Petition to Approve Minor Settlement, it is therefore Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed as follows:

The minor plaintiffs settlements are hereby and in all respects approved by this court as being in the best interests of the minor children.

The court finds that the sum of $20,000 when considered in connection with the previous payments made and approved in the related minor settlement is fair and reasonable under the facts and circumstances of this case and the defenses and assignment of legal fault that was asserted or potentially implicated and the potential for recovery from the defendant.

Upon the payment of $20,000 to or for the benefit of Spivey's two year old minor child and her attorney the defendant DeKalb County Board of Education and its insurer, Tennessee Risk Management Trust their employees, agents, representatives and officers shall be forever released and discharged from any and all further liability and indemnity for any and all claims known or unknown, either presently or hereafter as a result of or in any way connected with the aforesaid incident occurring on April 26, 2010, as it may relate to the two minor children, including any claims related to health insurance benefits paid under by TennCare the claims of the minors against all defendants is dismissed.

The court further orders that counsel for the plaintiff be entitled to a fee of one third of recovery in the amount of $6,666 plus discretionary costs in the amount of $677, the later of which will be paid directly to counsel for the plaintiff by a separate draft.

The court declines at this time to approve payment to Ashley Spivey as the natural mother for the use and benefit of the two year old minor child the sum of $2,000 given the past history of involvement of the Department of Children Services and the existence of an open case in the Juvenile Court of DeKalb County.

Accordingly, after deducting the fee and payment to Ashley Spivey the remaining balance of $13,333 shall pay to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within five days.

The Clerk of the Court shall retain the said fund in an interest bearing account or accounts pursuant to Rule 67.03 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure and the minor will be subject to distribution pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 34-1-104 until the minor attains the age of majority on March 4, 2026.

Upon the minor child attaining the age of majority, the Circuit Court Clerk shall distribute to her the remaining sum of $13,333 (less any distributions pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 34-1-104 plus any interest earned thereon directly to the child.

This court shall retain jurisdiction over this matter in the event that any distribution of said funds prior to the attainment of majority becomes necessary either at the properly documented request of Ms. Spivey, the State Tennessee Department of Children's services or the Juvenile Court of DeKalb County or any guardian or custodian, if any appointed by the Juvenile Court.

The costs of this cause are assessed to the defendant DeKalb County Board of Education. The Circuit Court Clerk is directed to prepare a bill of costs and forward the same to John D. Schwalb".

F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts to Host Booksigning Saturday

October 30, 2012
The Story of Christmas by Patricia Pingry

The Story of Christmas tells the nativity story in 200 words that are simple enough for a toddler to understand. From the Annunciation by the angel through Jesus' birth, the appearance of the shepherds, and the journey of the wise men, the Christmas story is presented in its most traditional form and paired with vibrant illustrations children will love.

Author Patricia Pingry has written dozens of children's books and edited hundreds more. She was the editor for Ideals Publications, which included Ideals Magazine, for many years. Among her best-known titles are the previous edition of this book and its companion, The Story of Easter. Together these two titles have sold over 2 million copies. Patricia lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she continues to write and develop children's projects.

Patricia Pingry will be signing books at F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts in Smithville on Saturday, November 3 from 11:00am to 1:00 pm.


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