Local News Articles

DeKalb Fair Named Best in it's Class for 2007

January 21, 2008

The DeKalb County Fair Association has been awarded " Best Fair" in it's Class for 2007 by the Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention.

The award was presented Saturday night during a ceremony at the convention held in Nashville at the Airport Marriott Hotel

The convention is sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Fairs Association.

This year's convention was attended by more than 800 fair mangers, vendors, and volunteers. Nearly 50 of the states "best fairs" were represented.

Five areas of fair operation have been identified as the most important characteristics in evaluating fairs. These are Agriculture/Livestock/Exhibits/Exhibitors, General Appearance, Community
Participation, Programs, and Carnival.

The DeKalb County Fair Board would like to thank the sponsors, supporters, volunteers, and the people of DeKalb County for making this fair one of the best in Tennessee for 2007.

Sheriff's Department Makes Five Arrests on Sunday

January 21, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested five people Sunday on various charges.

45 year old Connie Gale Chapman was charged with simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says a deputy spotted a vehicle on the side of the road on West Main Street Dowelltown and found Chapman inside. Upon consent to search, Chapman was found to have two plastic bags of marijuana and a bottle containing marijuana cigarette butts. Chapman was placed under arrest and has posted a $2,000 bond. Her court date is set for April 30th.

Meanwhile, in another case, two people were arrested on Webb Lane, Smithville after county deputies responded to a disturbance call. 41 year old Mark Gregory Brock was charged with domestic assault, driving on revoked driver's license, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Ray says Brock was leaving the residence when deputies arrived at the scene and discovered that he was driving on a revoked driver's license. Upon further investigation, Brock was found to have assaulted his wife, 37 year old Daphney Kay Brock, by slapping her in the face. Brock and his wife were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after officers found crack pipes and cut straws with a white residue.

Bond for Mark Brock was set at $4,500 and his court date is set for January 31st. Daphney Brock will also appear in court on January 31st and her bond was set at $1,000.

Also on Sunday, deputies went to the residence of 58 year old Harold Gene Blackwell of Jay Hutchins Road to execute a state warrant for failure to appear in court on 31 year old Russell Allen Blackwell.

Sheriff Ray says when deputies arrived at the residence, they saw Russell Blackwell through a window in the home. Harold Blackwell came to the door and told the officers that Russell was not there. Deputies discovered that Harold Blackwell had a trap door in the bathroom closet of his home and that Russell had gone through that passageway to get under the home, where he was found hiding.

Russell Blackwell was arrested on the failure to appear warrant and he is being held without bond. His court date is January 30th.

Sheriff Ray says Harold Blackwell admitted to hiding Russell Blackwell and he was charged with aiding and abetting. His bond is set at $3,500 and his court date was set for February 21st.

Local Man Dies in Saturday Evening Wreck

January 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

A DeKalb County man died from injuries suffered in a pickup truck crash around 5:22 p.m. Saturday evening on New Home Road.

Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 40 year old Roy R. Colburn, III of Tammy K. Road, Dowelltown was driving south in a 2000 Chevy S-10 pickup truck when he failed to negotiate a curve, ran off the north bound lane, struck a culvert and rolled three times. The truck then hit a utility pole, rotated 180 degrees and came to rest up on it's wheels in a private driveway.

DeKalb EMS quickly arrived to treat Colburn and a Life Flight helicopter crew also landed at the scene. Colburn was transported by ground ambulance to DeKalb Community Hospital where he died.

Trooper Raymond says Colburn was wearing a seat belt and there was no indication of alcohol.

Trooper Raymond was assisted by Lieutenant Brian Lawson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene providing assistance and the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was at the hospital.

Plans Underway for 2008 American Cancer Society Relay For Life

January 19, 2008

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of DeKalb County is getting underway! Plan to register your team by attending the Kick-Off Celebration on January 28th starting at 5:30 pm. This “celebration of life” brings the DeKalb community together in a unified effort to fight cancer.

Former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, families, businesses, civic organizations, and the public are invited to take part in this exciting team event. Relay For Life is scheduled for May 9th 2008 at Greenbrook Park.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a family-oriented event where participants enjoy the camaraderie of a team and also raise funds to help eliminate cancer. Participants camp out at the Relay site, and when they are not taking their turn walking, they take part in fun activities and enjoy local entertainment. The event helps communities celebrate those who have faced cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease.

Teams from companies, churches, organizations, hospitals, and schools collect donations and can win individual and team prizes for their efforts.

“Relay For Life brings the progress against cancer to the forefront,” said Ivadell Randolph , event chair. “Many participants are our family, friends, and neighbors who have dealt with cancer themselves. Their involvement is proof of the progress that has been made not only reducing death rates, but also in the quality of life following cancer treatment.

“The funds raised enable us to continue our investment in the fight against cancer through research, education, advocacy, and patient services,” said Casey Midgett. “Thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors like: Liberty State Bank, DeKalb Community Bank, Regions Bank, Wal-Mart Smithville, DeKalb Shell Market, Shiroki North America, Inc., Tenneco, Smithville Curves for Ladies, DeKalb Community Hospital, & Dr. Dana Thompson, the money raised by participants goes directly to the American Cancer Society’s funding of cutting edge research & lifesaving programs.”

Information about how to form a team or become involved in Relay For Life is available by calling chairman Ivadell Randolph at: 615 597 5296. or you can visit the RFL DeKalb website online at http://events.cancer.org/rfldekalbtn. You will be able to check out our event, sign up as a team or volunteer, request a Relay Luminaria, or just see what Relay is all about!

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org

DCHS' Page inks scholarship papers with Vol State

January 18, 2008

DeKalb County High School senior, Bray Page, will continue his baseball career after his playing days with the Tigers are over, this spring. Page, the son of former DCHS baseball standout, Kelvin Page, signed scholarship papers, Friday morning, with Vol State Community College, a two-year college located in Gallatin.

Pioneers' assistant coach, Brandon Nolen, was on hand for the signing, and said the school is pleased to get a player of Page's caliber. "Bray came up for an independent showcase workout in Gallatin, and we just stumbled upon him. When we saw him throw across the infield and off the mound, we knew he was a guy we wanted to have in, right away. He has a great deal of potential, a good arm. Both our head coach and pitching coach instantly fell in love with him on the mound."

Page is excited to continue his baseball career on the next level. "They have a great baseball program. I went down there and threw, and I really liked the atmosphere of the school and the players, and it's just a great place to play baseball. The game (of baseball) has been great to me, and I really love the game. I've played all the other sports, but baseball has always been there for me and I've succeeded in it."

Tiger baseball coach, Scott Odom, is proud to see Page move on to the next level and continue his playing career. "We're really proud of Bray, and seeing him move on to play at the next level is something very exciting for our program. Signing early will help him take some of the pressure off, with our season coming up, which is sometimes a concern with seniors, especially if they get off to a slow start. Bray has started with us since he was a freshman, and hes been a great kid you can always count on. He's a leader, and you always know what you're going to get from when you put him out on the field. He means a great deal to our team."

Vol State Community College is a member of the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association and of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Page will enroll at the school upon graduation from DCHS in May.

Gordon Reminds Tennesseans To Take Sales Tax Deduction

January 17, 2008

U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon is reminding Tennesseans that they are eligible to deduct state and local sales tax from their federal income tax returns for the 2007 calendar year.

"As we get our tax returns in order, we should all remember this deduction," said Gordon. "Without it, Tennesseans would pay more in federal taxes than residents of equal income in states with an income tax."

Taxpayers were allowed to deduct state sales taxes on their federal returns until 1986, when the deduction was repealed; however, the state income tax deduction was retained.

In 2004, Gordon and other members of Congress from states without an income tax succeeded in reinstating the sales tax deduction on a temporary basis. The deduction gives taxpayers the option to claim state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes when
they itemize their federal income tax returns.

The sales tax deduction expired at the end of 2007. That means Tennesseans are eligible to take the deduction for tax returns filed this year for income earned in 2007, but the provision would need to be extended for taxpayers to use it when they file taxes in 2009.

Gordon said he will work with his colleagues in Congress to reinstate the deduction so Tennesseans can continue to use it.

"Tennessee taxpayers shouldn't be penalized for living in a state without an income tax," said Gordon. "It's only fair to continue to make this deduction available to hardworking Tennesseans."

Taxpayers who want to claim the deduction but have not kept receipts showing paid sales tax can use tables provided by the Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov or call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to have the forms sent by mail.

Temperance Hall Voters to Cast Ballots at the Community Center

January 17, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission has made the decision to change the polling place at Temperance Hall to the Community Center.

The Temperance Hall Community Center is located at 2760 Old Temperance Hall Road.

On Election Day, February 5th the polls will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

The polling place was temporarily moved to Temperance Hall Methodist Church last year. No voting will take place at the church on Feb. 5th.

The Election Commission is in the process of mailing letters and voting cards to everyone in the Temperance Hall Precinct. The voters should receive the new cards before Election Day, but if there is some delay, voters may use their old voter registration card or any other form of identification at the polls.

USDA Releases Payments for 2008 Tobacco Transition Payment Program

January 16, 2008

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, announces that annual payments for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, for the 2008 payment year, were released Tuesday, January 15.

DeKalb County quota holders and producers will receive $513,691.90 in 2008 program year payments. Green says that direct deposit transactions should arrive in bank accounts within 3 business days while mailed checks should arrive within 10 business days for quota holders and producers who have enrolled in the program.

The Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP), also called the "tobacco buy-out," helps tobacco quota holders and producers transition to the free market.

The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357), signed by President Bush on Oct. 22, 2004, ended the Depression-era tobacco quota program and established the TTPP. The program provides annual transitional payments for 10 years to eligible tobacco quota holders and producers. Payments began in 2005 and continue through 2014. Payments are funded through assessments of approximately $10 billion on tobacco product manufacturers and importers. The remaining payments will be made in 6 annual installments that will be issued in January of each year.

For more information on the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, please contact the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency at 615-597-8225, extension 2.

Habitat Restore Relocates- Seeks Donations and Business

January 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

If you have gently used furniture you're willing to part with, the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County's Restore would probably be glad to get it.

The Restore is now in a new location, next to the former location, at 415 Miller Road in the old popcorn factory building.

Robin Driver, the owner of the building, says he was happy to make space available in the building for the Restore. "I had spoken with some people with Habitat. They told me they were looking for a place to put their Restore. I have the old popcorn factory over here in town. So I donated space in the building for them there. I feel it's a great cause and those of us who are in the housing business here in the county, I feel like it is incumbent upon us to help every way we can. It's obviously the way we make our living and it's also a great cause to get deserving families into houses."

Mike Antoniak says Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is grateful to Driver for his generosity. "Robin is a real benefactor of the Restore. I lot of these stores pay quite a bit of money just in overhead but he has donated this space for the Restore and it's given us a real head start."

Antoniak says the Restore is looking for donations, and of course, you can shop too, and all proceeds will go toward the mission of Habitat for Humanity. "We're looking for gently used, recyclable, or overstocked items, building supplies, and building materials. Actually what we're looking for is materials or items donated to Habitat that can't be used in the houses for whatever reason. We've got appliances, doors, wood and wicker furniture, and some upholstered pieces. We'll accept pretty much anything that might be usable in a house. We're not taking clothes or books at this point. We've talked about maybe taking some of the type of items you might find in a thrift store. We'll see how the space allows once we get fully set up. If you have something to donate and you want to support Habitat this is a great way to do it. If it realizes our expectations, it should become a primary source of funding for the Habitat houses and Habitat projects in the county. Not everyone can drive a nail but this is a way to support Habitat either by donating or coming out and buying something."

The Restore is open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

If you have any questions you may call the Habitat number at 215-8181 and leave a message. Someone will return your call.

Election Commission to Strictly Enforce 100 Feet Campaign Free Zone at Polls

January 16, 2008

Voters will no longer encounter candidates or their supporters soliciting votes or distributing campaign materials at the polls when they come to vote.

The Election Commission is enforcing a strict 100 feet Campaign Free Zone for this and all upcoming elections in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated 2-7-111(a)(b).

State law concerning this issue states as follows: "TCA 2-7-111 (a)....The officer of elections shall measure off 100 feet from the entrances to the building in which the election is to be held and place boundary signs at that distance. (b)(1)Within the appropriate boundary as established in subsection (a) and the building in which the polling place is located, the display of
campaign ads, and solicitation of votes for or against any person, political party,or position on a question are prohibited. No campaign posters, signs or other campaign literature may be displayed in any building in which a polling place is located."

The State Division of Elections has expressed an opinion that the 100 ft. Campaign Free Zone is a radius measurement and if the 100 ft. measurement ends up in the middle of a public road, the 100 ft. boundary continues to the opposite side of the road from the Courthouse. Signs will be posted at all entances to the building.

Candidates are reminded that No campaign literature, campaign advertisments, or solicitation of votes is permitted within the 100 ft Campaign Free Zone. In the past some have parked vehicles endorsing a candidate around the Courthouse. Any vehicle left in such a manner violates the 100 ft. Campaign Free Zone and are subject to be towed at the owners expense.

Early voting begins January 16 and continues through January 31 for the Presidential Preference Primaries. The voting hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. everyday except Thursday. Thursday hours are from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Voting is held every day except Sunday. The early voting location for all voters is the basement Courtroom in the DeKalb County Courthouse, located near the Election Office. For voters entering the South entrance (that is the side with the Veterans Memorial and Eternal Flame) the voting room is straignt ahead.

Efforts have been made to reserve parking spaces for voters. Several parking spaces are marked with orange cones labeled "Voters" "Elections Dept". The loading zone which is marked with yellow horizontal lines in front of the South entrance may be used as a "Drop Off Zone" for voters if others are driving them to the polls.

Voters are encouraged to look at a sample ballot prior to voting. Sample ballots are hung at the polling place, have been published twice in the paper or may be obtained from the Election Commission office upon request. Please visit our website at www.dekalbelections.com for more election related information.

Voters are required to show some form of ID when voting. If DeKalb county registered voters have moved since the last time they voted, their registration needs to be updated. If voters come during Early Voting election officials can take care of the address change when they vote. Procrastinating until Election Day will slow down the voter because they will be required to
fill out an address change at the election day precinct. This usually takes longer than stopping by the office or taking care of it when you vote early.

Remember that February 5th is a Primary Election Day and voters will be required to indicate on their application for ballot which party primary they want to vote in.

Election Day, February 5, the polls open in DeKalb County at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.


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