Local News Articles

School Board Adopts Fuel Reimbursement Policy for School Field Trips & Other Activities

July 10, 2008
Dwayne Page

Because of the ever increasing cost of fuel, the DeKalb County Board of Education has adopted a policy for the upcoming school year seeking reimbursement from groups for the costs of bus transportation to and from school field trips and extracurricular activities.

Under the policy, adopted by the Board of Education Thursday night, sponsors of field trips and extra curricular activities will have to pay the bus driver, as in the past. However, beginning this fall, they will also have to reimburse the school system for the cost of fuel as well as the cost of wear and tear on the bus.

The calculation is figured on the cost of fuel per gallon based on the last delivery costs, divided by average bus mileage of 6.5 miles per gallon, rounded to the nearest whole cent, and then doubled for the wear and tear of the bus, multiplied by the number of miles traveled.

For example, the current cost of fuel, based on the latest delivery, is $4.34 per gallon. Divide $4.34 by 6.5 miles per gallon and the cost is figured at 67 cents per gallon. Then add another 67 cents for the cost of wear and tear and the total cost per mile is $1.34.

Based on this calculation, if a field trip were taken today at 108 miles round trip, then the cost to the sponsor or group using the bus would be $144.72.

The costs would fluctuate somewhat with the changing price of fuel, but the wear and tear costs would never drop below 50 cents per mile.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says he regrets having to enact such a policy "but with the cost of fuel we have to do something. It's just going to be more expensive to run buses. We actually estimated the cost of fuel at $5.00 per gallon for diesel for this next school year, but after talking to the distributor, he said we might have felt a lot safer estimating the cost at $6.00 per gallon."

"The extracurricular activities that we use our buses for and for the field trips, all those are very important educational tools. What we are going to do is look at where we go a lot closer and we will be more creative with field trips. We might do field trips that are closer to home. The TSSAA has already looked at next year's (football) schedule on revamping the teams that we would play so the teams would not have to travel as far. We've been doing two field trips per teacher a year but there's a possibility we might have to cut back to one trip. It's not something we want to do but I believe we're going to have to look at some reality here with this fuel cost."

Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III added that "As best as I can calculate it with 180 days of school and what we put in the budget, it's going to cost the school system about $2,000 a day to run our buses or $10,000 a week."

Third district member Kenny Rhody responded " That's versus $400 or $500 a day two years ago. The costs are eating it (budget) alive and that's just for fuel. The costs of tires, oil, and everything else has gone through the roof too."

In other business, Director Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel. Those employed for 2008-09 since last month are as follows:

Orlando Guzman, Shop Foreman
Peggy Pursell, Transportation Manager
Jonathan Wright, Band Director
John Pryor, teacher at DeKalb County High School
Lyndsey White, teacher at DeKalb West School
Cynthia Pulley, teacher at DeKalb West School
Shelly Jennings, teacher at Northside Elementary School
Cynthia Hale, teacher at Northside Elementary School
Taleen Lambert, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

April Hines, teacher at Smithville Elementary School, has resigned
James Wilkerson, mechanic, has resigned

Kathy Bryant, teacher at Northside Elementary School, was granted a leave of absence as requested.

Last month, the school board voted to ask the County Commission for an additional $200,000 in funding for the 2008-09 school budget, based on information from the state

Thursday night, the board voted to rescind the action making the request based on new information from the state.

The total State Basic Education Program (BEP) Funding allocation for DeKalb County for 2008-09 is $12,083,000 including instructional, classroom, and non-classroom funding. The total required local matching funds for DeKalb County is $3,921,000. The total BEP funding for DeKalb County including state and local funding is $16,004,000.

School Board members and the Director were under the impression that since the local BEP match requirement was $3.9 million and the tentative budget showed local operating revenues for schools at only $3.7 million, then the county would have to add another $200,000 to the school budget or risk losing state funding for schools.

However, Director Willoughby said Thursday night he learned last week from state education officials that the county can count it's appropriation of debt service funding for schools toward the local match, which is significantly more than $200,000.

The school board also adopted a resolution seeking participation in the Local Government Energy Efficiency Loan Program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

The resolution must also be adopted by the county commission before the school system can participate.

Under the program, the school system may apply for interest free loans in order to improve energy efficiency at all five schools. Money saved through energy conservation measures would be used to repay the loans.

Maintenance Supervisor Earl Jared says if the program is approved most of the work would involve replacing lighting. " A lot of our light fixtures are going to be obsolete by 2010. This would get all those changed out. For example, the gymnasium at the high school has 1,000 watt incandescent bulbs. They pull around 10 amps. The flourescents that I have found that we could put up there pull 2 amps and give more light."

Early Voting Begins July 18th for August Elections

July 9, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission has set the dates and times of Early Voting for the August 7th elections.

Early Voting will be held Friday, July 18th through Saturday, August 2nd from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays. All Early Voting will be in the basement courtroom of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Meanwhile, the election commission has released a sample ballot for the DeKalb County General Election, Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries, and the Dowelltown and Liberty Municipal Elections to be held on Thursday, August 7th.

The first page of the sample ballot reveals the names of Democratic candidates for the United States Senate including Mark E. Clayton, Gary G. Davis, Kenneth Eaton, Leonard D. Ladner, Wm Mike Padgett, and Robert D. Tuke.

Incumbent Bart Gordon is the only Democratic candidate for the United States House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District.

The second page of the sample ballot shows the names of Democratic candidates for the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 40th Representative District including Cleveland Derrick Bain, Jeff Barrett, Steven K. Cantrell, Gayla C. Hendrix, Carl (Hix) Jones, Dean Sircy, and Sarah Marie Smith.

Spaces are on the ballot for DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee member from each district and precinct but there are no candidates.

The sixth page of the sample ballot includes the name of incumbent Lamar Alexander, the only GOP candidate for the United States Senate.

Two GOP candidates are listed for the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 40th Representative District including Nicky Rittenberry and Terri Lynn Weaver.

There is no GOP candidate for the United States House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District.

The seventh page of the sample ballot reveals the names of candidates for Assessor of Property, School board member in the 5th and 6th district, and constable in each district.

Candidates for Assessor of Property include Democratic incumbent Timothy (Fud) Banks, Republican John David Foutch, and Independent Sandy C. Brown.

Candidates for school board member in the 5th district are Larry Evans and Incumbent W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, both Independents.

In the 6th district, candidates for the school board are Incumbent Linda Louise Fuston and Bruce Parsley, both Independents.

Constable candidates are Republican Incumbent Reed Edge in the 2nd district, Democratic Incumbent Wayne Vanderpool in the 3rd district, Democrat Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Democratic Incumbent Mark Milam in the 5th district, Democrat Cantrell Jones in the 6th district, and Democrat Johnny King in the 7th district. All are unopposed. There is no candidate for constable in the 1st district.

The ninth page of the sample ballot includes names of candidates in the City of Dowelltown and City of Liberty elections.

In Dowelltown, Incumbent Mayor Gerald W. Bailiff is unopposed and Aldermen candidates are Incumbent Joe L. Bogle and Elizabeth A. Redmon, also unopposed.

In Liberty, three aldermen will be elected. The candidates are Todd Dodd and incumbents Jerry W. Johnson, Dwight Mathis, and Paul M. Neal.

The tenth and eleventh pages of the sample ballot ask for a "yes" or "no" vote on the retention of two state supreme court judges, William C. Koch, Jr. and Gary R. Wade; two court of appeals judges (middle division), Andy D. Bennett and Richard H. Dinkins; court of appeals (western division), Steve Stafford; court of criminal appeals (eastern division), D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.; and court of criminal appeals (western division), Camille R. McMullen.

To view an actual sample ballot, visit www.dekalbelections.com

DeKalb County Schools Re-Open Next Month

July 9, 2008
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools go back into session next month.

Registration for all students will be Tuesday, August 5th from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. That will be an abbreviated school day.

Thursday, August 7 will be an administrative day at all schools and all teachers must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Students will not attend.

The first full day of school for all students will be Wednesday, August 6

A system wide professional development day will be Thursday, July 31st at DCHS and all teachers from all schools must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

All teachers will report to their individual schools Friday and Monday, August 1st & 4th from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each day.

Incoming freshmen students from DeKalb West and DeKalb Middle Schools and their parents are invited to attend Freshmen Orientation Night on Thursday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m. Students will receive their schedules and attend an orientation session with their home room teachers. Students who attend Freshmen Registration night will not be required to attend school on the regular registration day on August 5th

This Orientation Night is only for Freshmen transferring from DeKalb West and DeKalb Middle Schools.

Students new to DeKalb County are invited to registration during regular school hours July 23rd-25th or call for an appointment with the counselor at 597-4094

Meanwhile all high school students who are new to the DeKalb County School System are invited to come by the DCHS guidance office and register July 23-25th from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Students new to the school system are strongly encouraged to register during this time to avoid long registration lines during the first week of school and to allow the guidance office staff time to send for your records which will help determine which classes you need to register for.

This registration period is only for students new to the school system and not for freshmen transferring from DeKalb West or DeKalb Middle Schools.

Freshmen students transferring from DeKalb West and DeKalb Middle Schools and their parents are encouraged to attend Freshmen Registration Night on July 31st starting at 6:00 p.m.

A Social Studies Make and Take Workshop will be held Wednesday, July 16th at DeKalb Middle School as part of an optional inservice day for teachers.. Registration is at 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. This is especially for teachers in grades K-5. Nicole King will be the presenter.

August Sales Tax Holiday Approaching

July 9, 2008

Tennessee’s third annual August Sales Tax Holiday, which gives back-to-school shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing, school and art supplies, and computers free of Tennessee sales tax, will begin on Friday, August 1.

“Getting ready to go back to school is a busy, important time for families to prepare their children for success,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “This Sales Tax Holiday is an opportunity for families to enjoy savings on those items that kids need to be ready for a successful
school year.”

The long weekend of savings begins at 12:01 a.m.on Friday, August 1 and ends on Sunday, August 3, at 11:59 p.m.The state’s dedicated Sales Tax Holiday Web site, www.tntaxholiday.com, has been updated with new materials, including information about exempt items, frequently asked questions and more.

During the designated three-day weekend, consumers may purchase select clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item, and computers with a price of $1,500 or less without paying Tennessee's state and local sales tax on
the items. The tax holiday also includes purchases of qualified items sold via mail, telephone, e-mail or Internet if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after
the exemption period.

“During the 2008 August Sales Tax Holiday, Tennesseans can purchase qualified items free of sales tax as they prepare for the upcoming school year,” said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. “This annual Sales Tax Holiday, which Governor Bredesen established in 2005, has
provided an excellent tax savings opportunity for all Tennessee shoppers and we are pleased to help further his tax-saving initiative.”

Please visit the Sales Tax Holiday Web site at www.tntaxholiday.com to learn more about the items exempt from sales tax. The Tennessee Department of Revenue also offers assistance to consumers via e-mail, Salestax.Holiday@state.tn.us, and through its toll-free statewide
telephone hot line, (800) 342-1003. Staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.Central Time. (Out-of-state and Nashville-area callers, please dial (615) 253-0600.)

Examples of exempt items include:Clothing:Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms whether athletic or non-athletic and scarves School Supplies:Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons,
erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors

Art Supplies:Clay and glazes; acrylic, tempera and oil paints; paintbrushes for artwork; sketch and drawing pads; and watercolors Computers:Central processing unit (CPU), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and preloaded software (Note: While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible)

The Sales Tax Holiday is an ideal way to prepare your children for a successful school year, but school supplies are not all that is needed.

Ensure a healthy school year for your children by enrolling them in CoverKids, Tennessee’s free health insurance program for children 18 and under. Please visit www.covertn.gov to learn more or enroll.

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent
of total state tax revenue.

During the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the department collected $11 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.9 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer
compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government.

To learn more about the department, log on to www.Tennessee.gov/revenue.

Police Chief Asks for More Officers- Says Department Overworked and Understaffed

July 7, 2008
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, saying his department is understaffed and over worked, came before the Mayor and Aldermen Monday night asking that two additional certified officers be hired.

Chief Jennings says the city's policy of having the officers work 12 hour shifts, as opposed to 8 hour shifts, is increasing the workload on officers and creating a lot of overtime.

According to Chief Jennings, funds are in the budget to hire one other officer, a position which has remained unfilled since last summer. He says a second additional officer could be hired to fill officer Callie Matthews position while she remains on unpaid medical leave. "The bottom line is, I'm understaffed. When the prior chief left, there was one full time slot left unfilled. I have another officer out on medical leave and that leaves me with another slot. I'm asking the board to approve the advertising for two full time officers. One full time officer would fill the slot that was never filled when the prior chief left. The other would come in for a temporary position to work in Matthews' place until such time as she may be able to come back to work. If she is able to come back to work, that officer would understand he would have to give up that position so she could come back and take the position as road officer. If Ms. Matthews, for whatever reason, is unable to come back to work, then that position would be offered to that person full time. The addition of those two officers would improve the operation of my department, cut down on the long hours, extra hours the officers have to work, and it's better to pay straight time to people of about twelve dollars than it is to pay overtime to officers that are employed here which runs into eighteen to twenty five dollars an hour."

Mayor Taft Hendrixson admits the overtime issue is a concern but says the police officers he has talked to prefer 12 hour shifts, and that most of the law enforcement agencies in the area also work on 12 hour shifts. Plus, he says when an officer is out, the chief and investigator should take up the slack. "Last year we spent in the neighborhood of $60,000 or $70,000 for overtime. We can't continue going on doing that. We do work 12 hour shifts in the police department and about all the departments I know of around us do. And everyone of the officers I've talked to like this because one week they'll work three days a week, one week they'll work four days. One week they work 36 hours, one week they work 48 hours. In all departments, you may have somebody out sick but we have a chief and an investigator that I think they should fill in when an officer is out. I think that is part of it as road officers."

Chief Jennings says both he and Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. are willing to fill in for others but he believes the investigator should spend his time trying to solve crimes. "We have one chief, one investigator, and nine road officers, but one of them (Matthews) is out on medical leave. That leaves just enough officers to cover the shifts. In the event that an officer is out, my investigator fills in. In the event my officers get backed up on calls during the day, dispatch calls me and I go out and help out. I'm available to come in during any emergency situation, day or night. It makes no difference. I have one part time officer who helps out but he can only work 20 hours per week because he's not certified. The investigator works (as road officer) when he's asked, but crimes are increasing continuously and his job is to investigate crimes. When he works a 12 hour shift, he cannot do that. He has solved a lot of cases but it impairs his ability to do investigations when he has to work 12 hour shifts as a road officer."

Jennings says before he took over as chief, the city had one chief, ten road officers, one investigator, one part time officer, and one school traffic guard and the officers worked eight hour shifts. " Before I took over as chief we were only working eight hours but when the prior police chief left several officers left with him and left the department short handed. They went to 12 hour shifts because they were really short on personnel. We have enough officers now to fill the 12 hour shifts but that's if nobody is out sick or nobody has to be off. But as you know that is not a possibility. We're going to be out, we're going to have overtime, people are going to be sick, they're going to be off for various reasons, vacation, sick days, and sometimes they have personal problems and have to be off. So you really don't know from one week to the next exactly what kind of situation you're going to run into. It's a situation that you deal with daily."

Chief Jennings added that when an officer is overworked it can affect his safety and job performance which could lead to accidents and increased liability to the city. " Let's say an officer works at six o'clock at night to six in the morning. He has to go to court at nine o'clock. He sits in court from nine a.m. until two or three in the afternoon, then he's got to come back at six that night and work until six the next morning. That creates stress and fatigue which can cause the officer's reaction time to slow down and his decision making process to be impaired. It can shorten his patience, he can become irritable, and that can affect his job performance."

Alderman Steve White, who is now police commissioner, said he wanted more time to study the issue but Alderman Tonya Sullivan later made a motion that the city advertise for the hiring of one certified police officer. "I make a motion that we advertise for a full time officer to try to alleviate the $60,000 to $70,000 spent per year in overtime. Alderman Willie Thomas seconded the motion and Alderman Jerry Hutchins, Sr. voted with them. Aldermen White and Cecil Burger voted "no".

Meanwhile, in other business, the aldermen voted unanimously to approve Mayor Hendrixson's appointments to various city boards.

Alderman Burger was appointed to serve as the city council's representative on the Smithville Electric System Board while Dr. W.E. Vanatta was re-appointed to a new term as a citizen member. Burger will serve for two years, through June 30th, 2010 and Vanatta for four years, through June 30th, 2012.

Alderman White was appointed to serve as the city council's representative on the Smithville Planning Commission for two years and Wallace Caldwell will serve as a citizen member for four years.

Paul Hardeman was named to the Board of Zoning Appeals as a citizen member through June 30th, 2012

Alderman White was also appointed to serve as the city council's representative on the E-911 board for two years.

The council gave approval for the city to include seized and surplus property to be sold at auction along with the Sheriff's Department's surplus sale to be held on September 27th.

Alderman Sullivan moved that the city obtain specs for playground equipment for the city park on Smith Road, since funds are in the budget for the project. The vote was unanimous.

Sullivan also thanked the city employees including Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson, Public Works Director Kevin Robinson, and the police department " for the excellent job performed during the Jamboree. We appreciate their efforts and work. It wouldn't be successful without the help of the city workers."

Mayor Hendrixson added his thanks saying "they did a wonderful job and I appreciate them too."

Hunter Hendrixson also thanked the volunteer fire department and expressed his appreciation to Riverwatch and Evins Mill Nursery for allowing the city to use their carts for the trash detail during the Jamboree.

County Fire Department Has Busy Week

July 7, 2008
Dwayne Page
County firefighters battle blaze at the home of Nichole Boehm

County firefighters battle blaze at the home of Nichole Boehm

The DeKalb County Fire Department has had a busy week.

A Wednesday night fire destroyed a single wide mobile home at 705 Johnson Chapel Road, belonging to Barbara McHugh. She had the home rented to Nichole Boehm.

Boehm was not at home when the fire started. She had already left to go to work.

Someone at the Cedar House Restaurant nearby saw smoke coming from the home and called 911.

Members of the Midway, Cookeville Highway, and Short Mountain Highway Stations responded along with the fire department's equipment truck. The Cassville Fire Department from White County provided mutual aid assistance with a tanker truck.

The home and it's contents were lost in the fire. The cause of the blaze is undetermined.

County Firefighters answered four calls on Friday.

Members of the Blue Springs Station responded to a report of a structure fire at 5:13 p.m. at the home of Jewel Redman at 7592 McMinnville Highway. A small fire started in a breaker box, but Mr. Redman quickly extinguished it with a pan of water. There was apparently no significant fire damage but firefighters ventilated the house.

Also on Friday, at 7:20 p.m., a fire was reported in a detached garage at the residence of Wayne and Doris Malone at 802 Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown. The Liberty Station responded. The fire apparently started in a trash can from an unknown source, but the Malone's were at home and were able to extinguish the blaze with little damage.

Later that night, at 9:48 p.m., firefighters responded to the home of Andrea Restrepo at 1024 Cook Road, Liberty, where a blaze had begun in the kitchen. Firefighters were able to contain the fire and there was no other damage to the home. Restrepo suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS before being transported to DeKalb Community Hospital for further treatment.

The Liberty, Short Mountain Highway, Dowelltown truck (main station), tanker, and equipment truck came to the scene.

Firefighters from the Johnson's Chapel Station were called to set up a helicopter landing zone at 10:20 p.m. Friday night after a 66 year old woman suffered a snake bite on her left ankle near the cabin where she was staying in the Sligo area. She was airlifted from near the scene and flown by a helicopter ambulance to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Her name was unavailable.

(Photo provided by Fire Department Photographer Callie Matthews). Click on picture to see larger image.

Liberty Man Arrested by Sheriff's Department

July 7, 2008
Dwayne Page

A Liberty man was arrested on drug, theft, and other charges last week by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department after officers responded to a hit and run in Dowelltown and a disturbance in Liberty.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 22 year old Stephen Hunter Pugh of Sweetwater Road, Liberty was charged Tuesday with violation of probation, failure to appear (two counts), resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of property, theft of property under $500.00, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Sheriff Ray says deputies received a call on East Main Street in Dowelltown about a hit and run. When officers arrived on the scene, the owner gave them a description of the vehicle. While there, the deputies received another call about a disturbance at a business in Liberty. Upon their arrival in Liberty, officers talked with the complainant, who advised that Pugh had come to the victim's residence on Jimmy Malone Road in Liberty inquiring about scrap metal. When the victim told Pugh they had no scrap metal to give to him he started to leave, but jumped out of his truck, loaded aluminum guttering into his vehicle, and fled the scene. The victim followed him to a market in Liberty.

Deputies found Pugh in a bathroom in the store, He allegedly admitted that he had just injected Dilaudid into his arm and threw a hypodermic syringe into the trash can. Deputies saw blood on Pugh's arm and were able to retrieve the syringe. While Deputies were trying to handcuff Pugh, he began resisting to the point where the deputies could not cuff him. After a brief struggle, Pugh was cuffed and taken in for booking. Deputies also had two warrants on Pugh for violation of probation which were served on him. Pugh is being held without bond for the violation of probation and failure to appear. Pugh will appear in General Session's Court on July 17th.

Meanwhile, 26 year old Sabina Solano of Morgan Dive Smithville was arrested on a sealed indictment for Sale of a Schedule II Drug (Dilaudid) and Delivery of a Schedule II Drug (Dilaudid). Solano was indicted in the last Sheriff's Department Drug Round Up in April. Solano was also arrested on two charges of failure to appear. Solano's bond was set at $10,000 on the indictment. No bond was set on the failure to appear warrants. She will appear in court on July 18th.

Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

July 7, 2008

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club conducted a Special Event Station at the 37th Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival on Saturday, July 5th, 2008. The station was setup at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library during the early morning hours on Saturday. Antennas were assembled, radios were properly checked, and transmissions were begun just before 8:00 AM local time. Operations took place in the 20 meter, 40 meter, and 10 meter Amateur Radio bands, and the station was publicized in Amateur Radio magazines QST and CQ-Amateur Radio and the club website at http://www.dcarc.drivehq.com/.

The station contacted 167 total Amateur Radio Stations in 33 States, and 4 Provinces in Canada. The most distant station contacted was in Hawaii, this year was the first time a Hawaiian station had been contacted. Other interesting contacts included the Ham Station on the Battleship USS New Jersey anchored in Camden, NJ and now a museum. Also contacted was the Ham Station at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and two different Science Centers in Arizona and Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Amateur Radio Operator Guests included the following: N4HWL – Ken Tenpenny – Murfreesboro, TN; KH6AD – Bob Soare – Smithville, TN; KJ4BQK – Carl Wachsman – Smithville, TN; KI4UUP – Andrew Thomas – Crossville, TN; W4GKM - Nick Smith – Crossville, TN; and AG4VF – Bruce Newberry – Pegram, TN.

Participants of the station included local Amateur Radio Operators:
KG4BTO - Joe Ferrell; KF4QNT - Kevin Neely; and KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis.

Pictures of the Special Event Station can be viewed at the club’s website at: http://www.dcarc.drivehq.com/.

The local club looks forward to operating another special event station at next years Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival. The club would like to offer its thanks to Jamboree Coordinator - Mr. Neil Dudney, Justin Potter Librarian - Mrs. Kathy Hendrixson, and Smithville Postmaster Mr. Michael Lynn for their support of this activity.

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 - 6:30 PM at the Justin Potter Library. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.

Neil Dudney to Retire as President and Coordinator of Fiddler's Jamboree

July 5, 2008
Dwayne Page

Neil Dudney will soon be retiring as President and Coordinator of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival, a position he has held for sixteen years.

A plaque was presented to Dudney Saturday night on stage prior to the beginning of the finals competition.

The plaque reads "This plaque is presented to Neil Dudney for 16 years of service to the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival as President and Coordinator. Your hard work and dedication have helped preserve Appalachian music and crafts for future generations. Your efforts will long be remembered "

Dudney received the plaque from the man expected to be his successor as Jamboree President and Coordinator, Jack Barton, who is currently assistant Jamboree Coordinator.

Dudney told WJLE Saturday night that he will continue to be a part of the Jamboree, serving as an assistant and advisor.

Dudney is one of the founders of the festival. Up until he was named President and Coordinator, Dudney served as sound engineer for the Fiddler's Jamboree.

Dudney's wife, children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren joined him on stage as he received his award.

(Click on picture to see larger image)

Eric Vick Named Grand Champion Fiddler of 37th Jamboree

July 5, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 37th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is Eric Vick of Lyles, Tennessee.

Vick won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.

Vick made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest and defending champion from last year, Ped Scruggs of Hartsville.

The two day festival came to a close at 11:00 p.m. Saturday night.

Other winners in the Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place- Eric Vick of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; and Third Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Justin Frazor of Smyrna; Second Place- Woody Stephenson of Nashville; and Third Place- Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville; Second Place- Jay Bland of Kennesaw, Georgia; and Third Place-Edward Adams of Lebanon.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville; Second Place- Eileen Stewart of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Darrin Stryker of Crossville.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville; Second Place- Sherry Guenther of Monterey; and Third Place- Tammy Scruggs Reed of Hartsville.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place- Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; Second Place- Sarah Ward of Columbia; and Third Place- Chuck Holcomb of Winchester.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- Crosswind of Olive Hill, Tennessee; Second Place- Grass Cutters of Cookeville; and Third Place- Blue Tradition of Murfreesboro.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Ped Scruggs of Hartsville. Second Place- Delmer Holland of Waverly; and Third Place- R.B. Scruggs of Hartsville.

Square Dancing: First Place- Little Texas of Franklin; Second Place- Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; and Third Place-Rhythm-N-Motion of Cookeville.


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