Local News Articles

Jamboree Visitors Treated to Lots of Entertainment and Fun

July 1, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Pam Muller of Eugene Oregon received a Tennessee State flag from State Representatives Mark Pody and Terri Lynn Weaver and State Senator Mae Beavers
Oren Kagan of Mount Juliet received a United States flag. He was born in Israel
Fiddlers Jamboree Coordinator Sam Stout presents plaque of appreciation to former Coordinator Jack Barton
*Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo): First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee
*Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39): First Place-Kody M. Hash of Walland, Tennessee
*Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39): First Place- Chris Stewart of Lebanon
*Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet): First Place- - The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama
*Dobro Guitar :First Place-Chad Davis of Sparta
*Mountain Dulcimer: First Place-Keith Oler of Murphy, North Carolina
*Hammer Dulcimer: First Place-Betty J. Groulx of Arcadia, Florida
*Novelty Event: First Place- David Turner of Alexandria
*Autoharp:First Place- Logan Purtear of Hixson
*Gospel Singing (Solo): First Place-Amanda McKenney of Cullman, Alabama
*Country Harmonica: First Place-Daniel Amick of Centerville
*Old Time Banjo: First Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville
*Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet): First Place- Eryn Jenkins and group of Wilder, Tennessee
*Mandolin: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro
*Old Time Fiddle Band: First Place-Uncle Shuffelo and his Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville

Performers picked, sang, and danced all day Friday until around 10:30 p.m. during the first day of the 46th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

The jamboree opened Friday morning with Lloyd Tisdale doing a little dance accompanied by a band even though he had to use a walker to access the stage.

State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody presented flags flown over the state capitol to two Jamboree visitors Friday evening. Pam Muller of Eugene Oregon received a Tennessee State flag and Oren Kagan of Mount Juliet was awarded a United States flag. He was born in Israel.

Following a Jamboree welcome Friday evening from Coordinator Sam Stout and an introduction of local public officials, the Community Chorus entertained the crowd with a patriotic program. Stout, who became the new Jamboree Coordinator in February, presented a plaque to former Coordinator Jack Barton for his years of devoted service to the Jamboree as Coordinator. Barton remains a member of the Jamboree Board of Directors. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department presented colors to begin the Jamboree welcome Friday evening.

Preliminaries were held in sixteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

*Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo):
First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee
Second Place- Maddie McKenney of Cullman, Alabama
Third Place-Michael Klug of Shelbyville

*Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Kody M. Hash of Walland, Tennessee
Second Place- Sierra Ivie Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place-Tanner Dunn of Cookeville

*Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
First Place- Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Second Place-Sierra Ivie Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place-Kody M. Hash of Walland, Tennessee

*Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet)
First Place- - The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama
Second Place- Daniel and Elizabeth Seber of Smithville
Third Place- Suff Hollar Ramblers of Mount Juliet

*Dobro Guitar:
First Place-Chad Davis of Sparta
Second Place-Makala Carr of Rickman
Third Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

*Mountain Dulcimer:
First Place-Keith Oler of Murphy, North Carolina
Second Place-Tyler Andal of Nashville
Third Place-Donita Brown of Springfield

*Hammer Dulcimer:
First Place-Betty J. Groulx of Arcadia, Florida
Second Place-Daniel Amick of Centerville

*Novelty Event:
First Place- David Turner of Alexandria
Second Place-Hillary Klug of Shelbyville
Third Place-Ivy and Tyler of Nashville

*Autoharp:
First Place- Logan Purtear of Hixson
Second Place-Betty J. Groulx of Arcadia, Florida
Third Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg

*Gospel Singing (Solo):
First Place-Amanda McKenney of Cullman, Alabama
Second Place- Annabella Dakas of Smithville
Third Place-Eryn Jenkins of Wilder, Tennessee

*Country Harmonica:
First Place-Daniel Amick of Centerville
Second Place-Tyler Martelli of Chattanooga
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

*Old Time Banjo:
First Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville
Second Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville
Third Place- Conner Derryberry of Shelbyville

*Youth Square Dancing:
First Place- Main Stage Explosion of Pleasant View
Second Place- Little Texas of Franklin
Third Place-Jackson Hollow of Franklin

*Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
First Place- Eryn Jenkins and group of Wilder, Tennessee
Second Place- Lonesome Tradition of Cookeville
Third Place-Harvey Brownsmith and group of Signal Mountain

*Mandolin:
First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro
Second Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville
Third Place-Tyler Andal of Nashville

*Old Time Fiddle Band:
First Place-Uncle Shuffelo and his Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Second Place-Puddle Jumpers of Dyersburg
Third Place- Slim Chance Band of Smyrna

The Fiddler's Jamboree resumes at 9:00 a.m. today with preliminaries in the following categories:

*Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39)

*Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over)

*Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over)

*Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over)

*Bluegrass Banjo

*Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39)

*Flat Top Guitar

*Contest Fiddle for the Neil Dudney Award

*Bluegrass Band*

*Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over)

*Square Dancing (4 Couples-8 Total Dancers).

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back tonight to compete for first, second, and third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.

The Jamboree Blue Blaze Award will be presented at 5:00 p.m. to recognize a band that is actively cultivating a love of bluegrass music. This year’s winner is the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held this afternoon during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

WJLE will broadcast the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

In addition to music and dancing competitions onstage, the Fiddlers Jamboree also features dozens of crafts displayed along the downtown streets, plenty of delicious foods for sale at local food booths, and lots of shade tree picking under trees around the town square.

State Fire Marshal Encourages Tennesseans to Leave Fireworks to the Experts

June 30, 2017

The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Tennesseans of a simple, yet significant tip for safer Fourth of July celebrations: Let the pros handle the fireworks.

With a multitude of professional displays scheduled for the Fourth, including one of the nation’s largest in Nashville, there’s no shortage of festive and colorful fireworks to enjoy in Tennessee. State fire officials urge Tennesseans to take part in these professionally run events instead of risking their lives and possibly breaking the law by detonating fireworks themselves.

“The State Fire Marshal’s Office wants consumers to stay safe as they celebrate our nation’s independence with family and friends,” State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said. “To avoid the risk of injury and property damage associated with consumer fireworks, we encourage Tennesseans to join other community members in attending a public display put on by trained and licensed professionals.”

Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In addition to injuries, fireworks can devastate homes and property. Since 2013, fireworks have caused over $1 million in property damage in Tennessee according to state fire data.

Shooting fireworks at home requires that consumers learn their local fireworks laws. Tennessee’s counties and most of its cities have ordinances and restrictions regarding fireworks usage. Before detonating any firework, the State Fire Marshal’s Office urges residents to check with their local police and fire department to determine the local laws about fireworks.

A 2007 Tennessee law prevents children under 16 from purchasing fireworks; and those who are age 16 or 17 must present a photo ID to purchase them.

State legislation passed in 2011 reclassified sky lanterns as special fireworks exclusively for use by individuals with a professional license (certified flame effect operator, certified outdoor display operator or certified proximate pyrotechnic operator). The general public cannot purchase or use sky lanterns. If a sky lantern is found in the possession of someone who does not have a professional license issued by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the device can be confiscated and later destroyed.

A law passed in 2015 prohibits flying a drone (unmanned aircraft) above an outdoor ticketed event with more than 100 people, or in the vicinity of a fireworks display site, without the permission of the event operator.

If consumer fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these important safety tips:

• Never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks.

• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.

• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

• Wear eye protection.

• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

• Never throw or point fireworks at people or animals.

• Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface away from homes, dry leaves and flammable materials.

• Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.

• Keep a bucket of water and a garden hose nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.

• Sparklers are not toys and cause hundreds of injuries every year. Sparklers burn hot, can reach temperatures as high as 1,200° F, and stay hot long after they’ve burned out. You wouldn’t hand a matchbook or lighter to a child to wave or play with – so, don’t give a child a sparkler.

For more fire safety information, download and print the State Fire Marshal’s home fire safety checklist. Tennessee residents can request a free smoke alarm by visiting www.tn.gov/fire.

Smithville Police Make DUI Arrests

June 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hugo R. Fuentes
Angela Kristina Haynes
Jason Allen Bates
Thomas E. Lee

Smithville Police recently made two DUI arrests.

27 year old Hugo R. Fuentes was arrested on Tuesday, June 20 for driving under the influence and he was cited for a driver license violation and financial responsibility. Police responded to the Food Lion parking lot where a man, in his vehicle, appeared to be sick and intoxicated. While enroute, the officer spotted the vehicle (which had left the parking lot) on South Congress Boulevard. The driver appeared to be sick and he was swerving in and out of his lane of travel. The officer initiated a routine traffic stop at DeKalb Funeral Chapel and spoke with the driver, Fuentes. The officer could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Fuentes’ person and he was unsteady on his feet. Fuentes submitted to field sobriety tasks but performed poorly. Fuentes couldn't provide proof of insurance and a computer check revealed that he was driving on a suspended license due to failure to show proof of financial responsibility. His bond is $1,500.

26 year old Angela Kristina Haynes was arrested on Sunday, June 25 for driving under the influence. Police responded to a report of someone passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle at the intersection of West Broad Street and Wal-Mart Drive. The officer awoke the driver, Haynes. She was unsteady on her feet, had red watery eyes and her speech was slurred. Haynes submitted to standardized field sobriety tasks but performed poorly. She was then taken into custody without incident. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is July 20.

47 year old Angela Joan Close was cited on Tuesday, June 20 for allowing a dog to run at large. According to police, a dog owned by Close left her residence on Carter Street and was in the public roadway which caused a motor vehicle accident with injuries. Close had been warned several times to keep the dog/dogs on her property.

41 year old Jason Allen Bates was arrested on Friday, June 23 for assault. Police responded to a complaint of an assault and spoke with the parties involved. According to police, it appeared that the victim was trying to retrieve three dogs from Bates and he (Bates) grabbed the victim on her left thigh just above the knee cap and then began to scratch her. The victim had bruising and several scratch marks. Bond for Bates is $3,000 and his court date is July 14.

32 year old Carolyn Hale was cited for theft of property on Monday, June 26. She allegedly took a purse from a shopping cart at Wal-Mart on Saturday, June 24. The purse was recovered on Monday, June 26 and returned to the victim. Hale’s court date is July 13.

81 year old Thomas E. Lee was arrested on Monday, June 26 for domestic assault. Police were informed that Lee and his victim were arguing and that he kicked her leaving a bruise on her back side. Lee’s bond is $2,500 and his court date is July 13.

DeKalb Jobless Rate for May Drops to 3.8%

June 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County jobless rate for the month of May is 3.8%, down from 4.9% in April and below the rate of 4.8% in May, 2016.

The local labor force for May was 7,540. A total of 7,250 were employed and 290 were without work.

Jobless rates for May among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Jackson:4.5%
Pickett:4.2%
Clay: 4%
DeKalb:3.8%
Fentress:3.7%
Van Buren: 3.5%
Cumberland: 3.4%
Cannon:3.4%
Overton: 3.3%
White: 3.2%
Putnam: 3%
Warren: 3%
Macon:2.8%
Smith: 2.7%

Following the lowest state unemployment rate in nearly 20 years, Tennessee’s county unemployment rates for May 2017 have decreased in 94 counties and remained the same in 1, according to data released today by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 2.1 percent, a decline from 2.7 percent during the prior month. Knox County’s rate is 2.5 percent, decreasing from April’s 3.1 percent. Hamilton County declined from its previous month’s rate of 3.6 to 2.9 percent while Shelby County has an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, a decrease from 4.4 percent in April.

“We continue to see a substantial drop in the unemployment rate of our metropolitan areas, which is great,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “But the most encouraging numbers are coming from Tennessee’s distressed counties, many of which saw a significant drop in their unemployment rates.”

Rhea County’s 5.1 percent makes it the only area in the state with an unemployment rate above 5.0 percent in May. That figure represents a 1.5 percent drop from its revised April 2017 rate, one of the largest rate decreases for the month. The remaining 94 counties have unemployment rates of 4.8 percent or lower. Cannon County was the only area not experiencing any change.

“This shows that job growth in Tennessee isn’t exclusive to our major metropolitan areas; people are returning to the workforce in every corner of our state,” Commissioner Phillips said. “We continue to focus our resources on those Tennesseans who are still out of work, but the numbers show we are making progress.”

Preliminary unemployment rates have fallen for both Tennessee and the United States. Decreasing by seven-tenths of a percentage point, the state rate is 4.0 percent for May. The national rate fell a tenth of a percentage point to 4.3 percent for the month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

State Gas Tax to Increase Saturday, July 1

June 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

Many new laws will take effect in Tennessee on July 1, but the impact you’re likely to see most directly is at the pump.

Gas taxes are going up through the IMPROVE Act, Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to work on a multi-billion dollar backlog of road projects.

The tax on a gallon of gas is going up by 4 cents on July 1, and then 1 cent each of the following two years, adding up to 6 cents total.
The tax on diesel fuel is going up by a total of 10 cents over the next three years.

There’s also a $5 increase in the cost to register your car.

The gas tax increases are offset by several other tax cuts, the most notable of which is on groceries. The tax will drop from 5 percent to 4 percent.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW NEW LAWS TAKING EFFECT IN TENNESSEE JULY 1, 2017)

https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=www.capitol.tn.gov/legislati...

WJLE to Broadcast "LIVE" and "LIVE Stream" Fiddlers Jamboree

June 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

If you are a fan of the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival you can listen to most of the on-stage entertainment Friday and Saturday, June 30 and July 1 LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE Streaming at www.wjle.com.

Thanks to the following advertisers who are sponsoring at least one or more hours of the LIVE coverage on WJLE this weekend:

*Potters Home Center

*Star Manufacturing International, Inc.

*Alexandria Auto Parts

*Arrow Termite and Pest Control

*Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company

*Belk Grocery & Sporting Goods

*Cantrell’s Furniture & Appliances

*Close & Paschal Auction and Realty

*DeKalb County Ace Hardware

*DeKalb Dental Center

*DeKalb Farmers Coop

*DeKalb Funeral Chapel

*Dogwood Plaza

*Bert Driver Nursery

*DTC Communications

*Evins Mill

*Family Medical Center

*Face Pace Urgent Care Clinic

*Griffin’s Produce

*Janney & Associates, CPA

*Kilgore’s Restaurant

*Larry’s Discount Grocery

*Liberty State Bank

*Love-Cantrell Funeral Home

*Middle Tennessee Natural Gas

*NHC Healthcare Center of Smithville

*Optimus Pest Control

*Poppie’s Boutique

*Pichard’s Foods in Alexandria

*Sheriff Patrick Ray

*St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital

*State Farm Insurance Agent Jackie Smith

*Stonehaus Winery

*Dr. Wesley Suddarth, DDS in Alexandria

*Swallows Insurance Agency

*Three Star Mall in McMinnville

*White Possum Grille

*Wilson Bank & Trust

*Woodbury Insurance Agency

*Voyager Carpet & Floor Covering

46th Annual Fiddlers Jamboree & Crafts Festival Begins Friday

June 29, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
46th Annual Fiddlers Jamboree & Crafts Festival Begins Friday
Fiddlers Jamboree Starts Friday

The 46th Annual Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival begins Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1st starting at 9:00 am each day and continues until the final competition has been awarded. With over 35 music and dance categories, streets full of hand-made crafts, and over a dozen food booths, there is something for everyone at the Jamboree.

Preliminaries will be held in the following categories on Friday, June 30:

Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Solo); Junior Clogging (ages 13-39); Junior Buck Dancing (ages 13-39); Old-Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet); Dobro Guitar; Mountain Dulcimer; Hammer Dulcimer; Novelty Event (Spoon Clacking, Jug Blowing, Washboard, Tub, Saws-Appalachian Related Only); Autoharp, Gospel Singing (Solo); Country Harmonica; Old Time Banjo; Youth Square Dancing (4 Couples-8 Total Dancers); Gospel Singing (Duet,Trio, and Quartet); Mandolin; and Old Time Fiddle Band.

The top three acts in each category will be called back for the finals on Friday night and a first, second, and third place will be awarded.

A United States flag and a Tennessee State flag will be presented on Friday evening. The flags, which have flown over the state capitol, go to the persons who travel the greatest distances, both from inside and outside the country, to get here. The flags will be presented by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody.
The Community Chorus is expected to perform with a variety of patriotic songs.

Fiddler's Jamboree Craft Awards will be presented during the weekend for "Best of Show", "Best Appalachian Craft", "Best Newcomer", and "Best Craft Display"

On Saturday, July 1, preliminaries will be held in the following categories:
Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over); Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over); Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over); Bluegrass Banjo; Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39); Flat Top Guitar; Contest Fiddle for the Neil Dudney Award; Bluegrass Band; Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over); and Square Dancing (4 Couples-8 Total Dancers).

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back Saturday night to compete for first, second, and third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held Saturday afternoon, July 1 during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

One child will receive the Best Overall Instrumental Entertainer Trophy Award and the top fiddler will get the James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Trophy.

This year’s “Blue Blaze Award” will be presented to the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. The group will receive the award and perform on stage Saturday at around 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the on-stage musical entertainment, the Fiddlers Jamboree will feature many crafts, plenty of delicious food; and lots of shade tree picking around the public square.

WJLE will broadcast most of the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE Streaming at www.wjle.com.

To learn more visit http://smithvillejamboree.com/

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