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Gordon Confers with Officials of Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

May 8, 2009
Dwayne Page
Glen and Mary Lynn Page, Congressman Gordon, and Kristie and Bill Rogers of Caney Fork Electric

Congressman Bart Gordon recently met with representatives of Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to discuss energy reform legislation currently being drafted in the U.S. House. Caney Fork Electric Cooperative serves DeKalb, White, Warren, and Van Buren counties.

Pictured: Glen and Mary Lynn Page, Congressman Bart Gordon, and Kristie and Bill Rogers

Congressman meets with MTUD Representatives

May 8, 2009
Dwayne Page
Congressman Gordon with Mike Corley and Charlie Bowman of MTUD

Congressman Bart Gordon recently met with representatives of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District to discuss energy reform legislation that is currently being drafted in the U.S. House.

Pictured: Michael Corley, Congressman Bart Gordon, and Charlie Bowman of MTUD

Former Tigerette Named to District's Hall of Fame

May 8, 2009
Dwayne Page
Ashley Redmon and Coach Danny Bond-

A former DeKalb County Tigerette has been inducted into the District's Fast Pitch Softball Hall of Fame.

Ashley Redmon was a member of the Tigerettes from 2001 to 2004. As a pitcher, she maintained an overall ERA of 1.23 and her overall pitching record was 58-26. Over those four years, the Tigerettes earned two regular season championships, one district tournament championship, one regional championship, one sub-state championship, and one state appearance.

Redmon received three All District Awards, two All Tournament Awards, and one Best Offensive Player Award.

In 2004, she signed a letter of intent to continue playing softball at Maryville College and graduated with a business degree in May 2008.

Redmon is the third former Tigerette to be named to the District's Hall of Fame, joining Kim McCoy and Tonya George. Danny Bond is also a member of the Hall of Fame for his years and success as coach.

Tigerettes Win District Tournament Championship

May 7, 2009
Dwayne Page
Tigerettes Win District Tournament Championship
District MVP Victoria Bennett
District Coach of the Year Danny Bond

The DeKalb County Tigerette Fast Pitch Softball Team won the District 7AA Tournament Championship in Baxter Thursday night beating Cannon County 15 to 0 in three innings.

Olivia Norton was the winning pitcher.

Cannon County emerged from the loser's bracket to face the Tigerettes after beating Livingston Academy 4 to 1 and then knocking off Macon County 9 to 3 in ten innings Thursday.

The Tigerettes were the top seed in the tournament after winning the regular season district title and earlier in the week they beat Cannon County 6 to 0 and Macon County 7 to 1 to get to Thursday night's tournament championship game.

Prior to the game the All District Teams were recognized.

DeKalb County's Victoria Bennett was named the District's Most Valuable Player and Danny Bond is the District Coach of the Year.

DeKalb County's Morgan Page, Kristina Stephens, and Cynthia Woodward were named to the First Team All District; Alex Meadows and Jaylen Garrett made the Second Team All District; Olivia Norton and Brooke Hutchings received Honorable Mention; and Alex Meadows and Brooke Hutchings are members of the District's All Freshmen Team.

The Tigerettes will host a first round game of the Region Tournament Monday in Smithville. More details will be forthcoming. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

Meanwhile, the Tiger baseball team lost 4 to 2 to the Macon County Tigers in the semi-finals of the District Tournament at Baxter Thursday afternoon. With the loss, the season is over for DeKalb County as the format of the tournament was changed from double elimination to single elimination.

Qualifying Deadline Approaching for Liberty Election- Early Voting Hours set for Smithville Balloting

May 7, 2009
Dwayne Page

Persons may file qualifying petitions for the Liberty Municipal Election.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected in Liberty on Thursday, August 6th.

The qualifying deadline is noon on Thursday, May 21st

The positions are currently held by Mayor J. Edward Hale, Jr. and Aldermen Jarrett Pistol and Howard Reynolds, Jr.

Meanwhile, the dates and times are set for early voting for the Smithville Municipal Election

All early voting will be in the basement of the courthouse starting Wednesday, May 27th through Thursday, June 11th from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and from noon until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

The regular city election day is Tuesday, June 16th from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the courthouse. The voter registration deadline for the Smithville election is Monday, May 18th.

In Smithville, three aldermen will be elected. The candidates are Incumbents, Jerry Hutchins, Sr., Tonya Sullivan, and Willie Thomas, and challengers, Gary Durham, Shawn Jacobs, Aaron Meeks, W.J. (Dub) White, and Todd Van Dyne.

School System Records 80 Students with Perfect Attendance

May 6, 2009
Dwayne Page
Clay Farler

A total of 80 students in the DeKalb County School System have recorded perfect attendance for the entire school year, to date.

Clay Farler Attendance Supervisor, says he wants to commend those students for their commitment. "We have some students every year who make it through the entire year of school without being sick enough to miss school or have any other thing to happen in their lives that causes them to miss school. We have several students at every school who have had perfect attendance through this entire school year and when I say perfect I mean they have been there every day for every minute of the day. They have not been late and they have not left early. At DeKalb Middle School, thirteen students have been there every day of the year. At Northside Elementary, thirty three students have had perfect attendance. At DeKalb West School and Smithville Elementary School, we have had ten students who have not missed any days. At DeKalb County High School, we have had fourteen students who have been there every day of the year."

"We encourage students to be in school every day of the year. The first day of school is an important day and the last day of school is important and I want to thank all the students and their parents and guardians who have helped make sure that the students were in school to learn all they could. We normally have to go to school 180 days of the year but this year because of days missed for snow and other things, we will only be going 174 days of school this year."

Meanwhile, Farler says each of the schools have exceeded the state benchmarks for attendance. "The state of Tennessee requires that every school in the state have an attendance rate of 93% or greater. At this present time in our schools we have a total of 2,917 students county wide and at least 93% of all those students have to be present on everyday of the school year. The rate at each of our schools is running quite a bit better than that."

"At DeKalb West School, their current attendance rate is 95.4%, so that means for this entire school year, of the 161 days we have already gone to school (as of May 4th), their students have been there on average of 95.4% of the time."

"At Northside Elementary, their current attendance rate is 96.2%."

"At Smithville Elementary, their rate is 94.7%. That's a little lower than some of the other schools, but if you remember, a couple of months ago we had a lot of illness in our elementary school so that tended to bring the total yearly average down a little. But that's still a good average for the year."

"At DeKalb Middle School, their current attendance rate is 95.4% and at DeKalb County High School, their attendance rate is 94.7% which is really good. Last year they (DCHS) had a rate of 94.1% for the full year so that's running quite a bit better for the full year than it has in the past."

The last day of school will be Friday, May 22nd. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be given to the students. DCHS graduation will also be held Friday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

Three Apply to Succeed Judge Turnbull

May 5, 2009
Dwayne Page

Three people have applied to succeed Circuit Court Judge John A. Turnbull in the 13th Judicial District.

The applicants are Algood attorney Wesley Thomas Bray, Cookeville attorney and former Criminal Court Judge Lillie Ann Sells, and Livingston attorney Amy V. Hollars, who is currently serving as Special Circuit Judge.

The application deadline was (Tuesday)

The Judicial Selection Commission will meet on Friday, May 22nd at the Justice Center, 421 East Spring Street, Cookeville, Tennessee, to initiate the process of filling the vacancy in the 13th Judicial District Circuit Court created by the resignation of Judge Turnbull.

Turnbull, who has held the position since 1989, recently announced that he is stepping down from the bench, effective June 15th. He has been on disability leave for several months due to back ailments. Turnbull was last elected in 2006 and his term expires in 2014.

Hollars, daughter of Judge Turnbull, was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen last fall as a temporary special judge to fill in for her father after he took disability leave.

Now that Judge Turnbull has resigned, the governor will appoint a replacement to serve until the next regular election, which is in 2010. The person elected will serve out the remainder of Turnbull's term through 2014.

The 13th Judicial District is made up of DeKalb, Putnam, Overton, White, Cumberland, Clay, and Pickett counties.

City Employees Face Monthly Surcharges Unless they Kick the Habit Under Health Insurance Program

May 5, 2009
Dwayne Page

Smithville employees enrolled in the city's state sponsored health insurance program who use tobacco products may be assessed a monthly $50 surcharge if they don't kick the habit.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson addressed the issue during Monday night's city council meeting. "I guess all of you who are participating in our state sponsored insurance got this letter. What it says is that as of July 1st, anyone that uses tobacco in any way, smoking, dip, or chewing, will be assessed a $50 per month charge and that's for any employee that uses it (tobacco)."

"I think what most agencies are doing is they will help you quit (using tobacco) with some medicines, patches, gum, or whatever and it will be (cost) almost nothing if you want those aids to help you quit"

"I don't know all the ramifications if you say you've quit but you haven't quit by July 1st and something happens where you would need the insurance. I don't know what happens then. That remains to be seen"

"Members who do not use tobacco will not have to pay the surcharge. Also members who quit by July 1st, 2009 will not have to pay the surcharge. However, members who use tobacco on or after July 1st will have to pay the surcharge starting January, 2010. It also goes on to say that members who pay the surcharge and then kick the habit can qualify for a quitters refund."

In other business, Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson reported that the city will only grant one sewer bill adjustment for filling up customers swimming pools this year." Usually this time of year, everybody starts filling up their swimming pools. A lot of times, we'll adjust their sewer rates because its (swimming pool water) is not going through the sewer. We've been doing it more than once a year but we're going to stop that and do it only once a year. So anybody who has a swimming pool, you will only be getting one sewer rate adjustment per year."

Hendrixson also gave a brief report on engineering plans for the water treatment plant rehab project. "We met with them (Wauford Engineering Consultants). It was just a 50% meeting. It was still a rough draft but it went pretty well. We're going to get all new pumps, three at the intake and three at the treatment plant. We will be working the water fluoridation in to it as well. They had to go back to the drawing board to work that in but I don't think it's going to be much of an issue. We'll be hearing back from them (Wauford) probably within a month at a 75% meeting."

Concerning the water fluoride issue, Mayor Hendrixson added "Until we get it (fluoride) back in the water system, if the public is concerned then you probably need to consult your dentist or your physician."

Northside Elementary School to present the musical, “I Love Rock & Roll: A Musical Time Machine"

May 4, 2009
Radio personality, "The StyckMan" holding a photograph of his on stage character

Northside Elementary School presents the musical, “I Love Rock & Roll: A Musical Time Machine,” on Thursday, May 7th at 6:30pm in the NES gymnasium. Directed by Kelly Jo Birmingham, the fifth grade students will present popular rock songs of each decade, beginning in the 1950s.

While DeKalb County does not have a theater for public performances of the arts, Northside Elementary School’s spring musical provides our students with the opportunity for artistic expression. This year’s production is comprised of approximately one hundred, seventy-five fifth grade students plus staff. “I Love Rock & Roll: A Musical Time Machine” is a student-based community project, combining the talents of Northside students, faculty, and staff, as well as the talents of several Smithville community members. Former Northside parent, and Smithville resident, “The StyckMan” of 94.7 The Country Giant, will be performing in Northside’s musical. He states, "This will be my 5th musical with Northside, however I've never been on the stage with the students until now. I will tell you this: this show will be different from anything that we've ever put on stage".

Admission is free to the public. Come support the arts at Northside Elementary School this Thursday evening!

Teen Charged with Aggravated Sexual Battery of 13 year old Female

May 4, 2009
Dwayne Page

A 15 year old boy has been charged in a juvenile petition with aggravated sexual battery of a 13 year old girl.

The boy will appear in Juvenile Court on May 6th.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings released the report Monday which states that "On April 26th, it is alleged that the boy did sexually assault a female juvenile, 13 years of age, by displaying a screwdriver and forcing her onto his lap, at which time he allegedly put his hand under her shirt, fondling her breasts, and put his hand in her pants at which time digital penetration did occur."

The victim told police that on Sunday, April 26th at around 3:00 p.m, she and a female friend were at the Housing Authority park on Tommy Harold Street. On their way home, the girls passed the home of the boy on Highland Street. The victim said she heard him say "hey" and the two of them began to talk. She said the boy was holding a screwdriver in his hand. The victim said that after about two or three minutes of talking, he went down to one knee and pushed the screwdriver into the ground next to him and then pulled her close to him and forcefully sat her down on his knee. He was forcefully restraining her by holding her around her waist. She claims that he put his hand up her shirt and inside of her bra. The victim says she told the boy to stop and let her go numerous times throughout the incident but was scared to yell or use force in fear that he would hurt her with the screwdriver. She claims that the boy then put his hand down the front of her pants and inside of her panties. She continued telling him to stop. The girl told police that this lasted two or three minutes and he then released her and went back inside of his residence.

The case was later reported to Smithville Police and the Department of Children Services.

Meanwhile, in another case, two people were arrested by Smithville Police Saturday after allegedly creating a disturbance at a local restaurant.

31 year old Joel Thomas Hayes of Dowelltown is charged with public intoxication, unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance (hydros), and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court May 28th.

33 year old Karen Lynn Welsh of Dowelltown is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court May 28th.

Officer Travis K. Bryant reports that he responded to City Café on Saturday, May 2nd where two subjects, Hayes and Welsh, were intoxicated and causing a disturbance. Upon speaking to Hayes, Officer Bryant noticed his speech to be very slurred and he was very unsteady on his feet. Hayes stated that he had taken hydros earlier in the day. During a search, incident to arrest, Officer Bryant found on Hayes one yellow pill in a blue pill crusher and fourteen and a half yellow pills in a Playdoh container, all believed to be hydros. He also found an ink pen tube with powder residue inside it.

In his report, Officer Matt Holmes states that upon speaking with Welsh, he noticed that she had very slurred speech and she was very unsteady on her feet. Welsh told the officer that she had taken two hydros by mouth and had snorted one about an hour before.

46 year old Kimberly Ann Baker of Liberty is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court May 28th.

Officer Matt Holmes reports that on Saturday, May 2nd he responded to Subway where a female, Baker, was intoxicated. Upon arrival, Officer Holmes observed a male and female inside Subway and the male was holding up the female by her belt. The female, Baker, was very unsteady on her feet and she had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Upon speaking with her, Officer Holmes noticed her speech to be very slurred. Baker admitted to being intoxicated.


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