Local News Articles

Johnny Barnes Named New UT Extension Director

December 16, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Johnny Barnes

DeKalb County will soon have a new director of the local UT Agricultural Extension Service.

Johnny Barnes will be taking over from Michael Barry effective January 1. His first day on the job will be January 4.

Barry has taken another position.

County Mayor Tim Stribling made the announcement during the County Commission meeting Monday night. "The UT Extension/ Agriculture Committee met a couple of times. County Commissioners Mason Carter, Betty Atnip, and Jeff Barnes are on that committee. On November 24 they conducted interviews along with Mark Willoughby and Jim Stewart, who is the regional director for the Central Region of the Extension Service. They conducted interviews for Director of the Extension Service. The former Director Michael Barry took a position with the Extension Service in Davidson County. That left an opening here. Requirements were that you had to have an agriculture degree and a masters degree. They interviewed and then the Extension Service met on Tuesday, December 8. They again met with Jim Stewart and they have hired Johnny Barnes as the Agriculture Agent and Extension Director," said Stribling.

"Barnes has worked for ten years in Wilson County as a 4-H agent. He lives in Alexandria and is a DeKalb County native," Stribling added.

"I'd like to ask everyone to stop in on January 4 and welcome Barnes. I think he is going to be a great asset to our county," said Commissioner Betty Atnip.

Walmart Shoplifter also Found with Drugs

December 16, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

A shoplifter at Walmart was also found with drugs in her possession earlier this month.

43 year old Patsy Lynn Estes was arrested by Smithville Police on Friday, December 4 for theft of property, criminal trespass, simple possession of Schedule IV & VI drugs and tampering with evidence. Police were dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifter. Upon arrival officers saw Estes placing items in plastic bags. Estes had previously been ordered by store management to keep away from Walmart through a "Notification of Restriction from Property". As she was being taken into custody and placed in the patrol car, Estes was observed with a bag in her hand which contained a leafy green substance which was later determined to be marijuana. Also in the bag was a prescription bottle containing two pills which didn't match the prescription. While in custody, Estes removed a pill from her person and crushed it before it was checked into evidence. Her bond is $13,000 and she will be in court on December 17.

19 year old Justin Michael Bone was cited on Sunday, December 6 for simple possession of a Schedule VI drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police responded to a report of a vehicle traveling all over the highway. An officer later stopped the automobile and spoke with the driver, Bone. An odor of marijuana was inside the vehicle. After obtaining consent to search, one gram of a leafy substance believed to be marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle. Bone's court date is January 28.

51 year old Janice Lynn Johnson was arrested on Tuesday, December 8 for DUI and cited for two counts of simple possession or casual exchange. Officers, dispatched to a hit and run, spotted the vehicle on West Broad Street and pulled it over at Kilgore's Restaurant. The driver, Johnson was incoherent and shaking uncontrollably. Johnson was unsteady on her feet and she refused to submit to sobriety tasks. Upon receiving consent to search the vehicle, police found 33 round white pills believed to be Soma and one oblong white pill thought to be Hydrocodone. Johnson had no prescription for the pills. Bond for Johnson is $1,500 and she will be in court on January 7.

61 year old Lawrence E Willet, III was arrested on Friday, November 27 in Wal-Mart parking lot for DUI. An employee flagged down an officer on routine patrol at Wal-Mart concerning a man whose vehicle had struck one of the cart returns. The officer stopped the automobile and identified Willet as the driver. He had an odor of alcohol on his person and there was an empty beer bottle in the back seat floorboard. Willet submitted to but performed poorly on sobriety tasks. His bond is $1,500.

33 year old David Allen Cobb was arrested Tuesday, December 8 for public intoxication. Police were dispatched to the Sheriff's Department in reference to an intoxicated person. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Cobb who was standing inside demanding to speak with the Sheriff regarding another matter. Cobb had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. He was unsteady on his feet and he appeared to be disoriented. Cobb's bond is $1,500 and his court date is January 7.

45 year old Kevin Matthew Dossett was arrested for joy riding on Wednesday, December 9. According to police, Dossett took a vehicle without the owner's consent and returned it later in the day. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 17.

26 year old Jeremy Ray Mooneyhan was arrested on Thursday, December 10 for a third offense of driving on a revoked license. Police made a traffic stop of Mooneyhan's vehicle and he couldn't provide a valid driver's license. A computer check with Central Dispatch revealed that Mooneyhan had two prior offenses for driving on a revoked license. Mooneyhan was taken into custody. His bond is $4,000 and his court date is January 28.

Three Injured in Monday Evening Crash

December 15, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Three Injured in Monday Evening Crash
Three Airlifted after Wreck on Big Rock Road

Three people were airlifted after their pickup truck crashed Monday evening on Big Rock Road.

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 31 year old Christopher Lewis of McMinnville and 34 year old Carol Lewis of Smithville were flown by helicopter ambulance from near the scene to Vanderbilt Hospital while 31 year old Johnny Ray of Smithville was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Trooper Johnson told WJLE that Christopher Lewis was traveling north on Big Rock Road in a 1996 Chevy S-10 when he failed to negotiate a curve and went off the right side of the road and struck a tree. After the crash, Lewis got out and apparently tried to flee on foot. He was later spotted lying in the woods several yards from the crash site. According to Trooper Johnson members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad arrived on the scene and brought Lewis back up a steep embankment in a stokes basket. Trooper Johnson said Lewis acted belligerently and appeared to be intoxicated.

Meanwhile Carol Lewis and Johnny Ray, passengers of the pickup, were trapped in the truck. Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department used extrication equipment to get them out.

Trooper Johnson said charges are pending .

The crash was investigated by Trooper Johnson along with Trooper Adam Cothron , Sergeant Billy Prater and members of the Critical Incident Response Team of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Along with several members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb EMS and Sheriff's Deputies were also on the scene.

Landowner At Odds with County over Gate across Sunset Drive

December 15, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Orders Gate Across Sunset Drive to be Removed

The man who has been ordered to remove a gate across a county road indicated recently the issue is not as simple as the county commission
believes and said misstatements have been made about the topic.

Grant Manning, in an email response to WJLE, said the gate has been up for over four years and he has maintained the road since 1990.

The county commission last month went on record to direct the Road Supervisor to take the necessary action to have the gate removed on
Sunset Drive off Allen Bend Road in the Belk community.

Manning referred to a 2004 decision from the county's planning commission in an effort to further clarify the issue.

"In a County Commission meeting of November 9, 2015 they elected to change the intent of the instructions on the plat, approved by and
given to us by the DeKalb County Planning Commission in 2004,'" Manning said.

"In 2004 they came out and spoke to us, and gave us a copy of Subdivision Regulations for DeKalb County Tennessee. They referred to
diagram 6, page 20, and told us that if the main farm portion was ever sold the new owner would have to provide their own gravel driveway and
connect it to the wider portion of our existing driveway behind an existing residence," he continued "The reason given then was one of
safety. The small driveway (9 feet wide) does a very sharp right turn about 200 feet in. He walked us down to that point and said that they
probably wouldn't be able to get fire equipment around that tight turn, and as the other side of the driveway dropped off quite badly, that was the only way the plat would be approved".

But at the November commission meeting, County Attorney Hilton Conger gave a different version of the story.

"There's a plat that was approved by the planning commission in 2004 and the people who owned that property subdivided a 1.8 acre tract off
of that and it referred to two roads, Sunset Drive and Hidden Hollow Way. Those two roads are shown on the DeKalb County Road list and have been since 1998. They certainly don't meet county specifications. One of them is nine feet wide," he said. "When this plat was approved there was a notation that was entered on the plat which provided that should the current owners sell that property or that property be otherwise transferred then the remaining acreage would not have its primary access along this 20 foot easement with a nine foot wide gravel driveway," said Conger.

The planning commission minutes from the 2004 meeting on this matter state that" these 2 roads (Sunset Drive and Hidden Hollow Way) are
listed on the 911 Map and the Official County Road List and Map. The status of these roads was then discussed in detail. If Sunset Drive and Hidden Hollow Way are not considered county roads, then access to the 2 existing homes could be affected if access is controlled by the subdivided lot".

"Although the gravel drive is utilized for primary access for both residences, the house at 500 Sunset Drive will still contain approximately 261 feet of road frontage on Allen Bend Road, if the subdivision is approved. Consequently, this house is not being land-locked, but the resident will be required to construct a new driveway to Allen Bend Road. After further discussion on the matter, staff stated that a plat restriction should be included on the plat if these are not county roads stating that if the property is subdivided further, a new road will be required to be constructed that meets the
county road specifications," according to the planning commission minutes

Conger told the commission in November "The current owner of that residual property, he (Mannning) and one of the owners I think are in a dispute over this but at any rate the owner of the property (Manning) put a gate across this road back a few months ago. It came to the attention of the planning commission and its the planning commission's recommendation to the commission that the gate be removed."

"As far as I know, the new owner and myself are not in a dispute,"Manning said.

"He (neighbor) bought and paid for his portion of the farm, but because of the2004 decision by the DeKalb County Planning Commission written on my plat, he was obligated to put in his own gravel driveway wherever on his land he wanted to," Manning argued. "Trying to be a good neighbor
I told him he was welcome to use my small driveway as it had served all of us well over the past 25 years. But, I wanted him to sign a
license' which would define our relationship and limit my liability. He chose not to."

Manning said the gate was installed in May 2011 after an incident in March that year.

"Two highly intoxicated males came onto the farm in their truck and took out 60 feet of fence, got stuck, got unstuck, and left the farm careening
at a high rate of speed," Manning said. Then later "we had numerous ATV intrusions, where the kiddies would destroy the graded gravel road
surface despite being posted," he said. "Since the gate went up, it has kept the drunks and ATVs off the farm."

Manning also said he has maintained the road for several years and he has evidence to prove it.

"I have maintained the roads since 1990 when we built and paid for them. I have kept the gravel up using Rogers, and Mid Tn Limestone in
Rock Island, and have receipts and/or check stubs to document all of it," Manning said.

"The county has bush hogged the roads a few times over the past 25 years, but I've always done that too. They recently brought me three
loads of gravel, about one a year, the first they have since October 2012, which was the last time I got any from Mid TN Limestone."

Manning said the commission made its decision without any input from him."I am now 70, and had to spend two months of my Social Security just
to hire an attorney as things have gotten way out of hand," Manning added.

Manning did not say whether he will take down the gate as demanded by the county but he has reportedly retained an attorney on this matter.

Seat Belt Fines to More than Double in 2016

December 15, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

Starting in January, the seat belt fines will more than double in Tennessee.

Getting pulled over for not wearing a seat belt costs $10 for a first-time violation and $20 for a second offense. Starting in January, fines for not wearing a seat belt increase to $25 for a first-offense violation and $50 for second and subsequent offenses.

Commissioner Bill Gibbons of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOS&HS), Colonel Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer and Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) Director Kendell Poole called the increase in seat belt fines an effective additional tool to curb traffic fatalities in the state.

“So far this year, state troopers have issued over 107,000 seat belt citations,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “That is a 255 percent increase over the same time period in 2010. We will continue to make this a priority, but we hope the day will come when it is difficult for a state trooper to find a motorist not wearing a seat belt. We hope the tougher fines will encourage motorists to obey the law.”

Along with announcing the seatbelt fine increase, The TDOS&HS has announced a reminder that THP will be out in force during the holiday period to ensure travelers reach their destination safely. State troopers will focus their attention on traffic violations that place motorists in jeopardy, such as distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving and lack of seat belt usage. The holiday enforcement period will begin at 12:01 a.m. on December 24th and conclude at midnight on December 27th.

The holiday season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. The THP will utilize several enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks, and driver license and sobriety checkpoints to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes over the holiday season.

“We care about you and your safety,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “What we are hoping to accomplish with the fine increase is a heightened sense of awareness among our motorists. The best safety tool that a driver or passenger has while riding in a vehicle is to wear his or her seat belt. When people fail to wear their seat belts, they increase their chance of being injured or killed in a car crash. Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death and serious injury in a crash. One life lost due to not wearing a seat belt is one life to many.”

HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT

Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are just two of the several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Important tips include:

•Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
•If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
•Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing *THP;
•Wear your seat belt or use protective gear on your motorcycle as your best defense against an impaired driver; and
•Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take the person’s keys and help him or her make other arrangements.

“We are very thankful for the friendships and partnerships that TDOT has with the Department of Safety and our state troopers,” Commissioner John Schroer said. “We understand that it takes all hands on deck to ensure a safer Tennessee, and the seat belt fine increase will help state troopers and local law enforcement in their efforts”.

During the 2014 Christmas holiday, seven people were killed on Tennessee roadways in seven fatal crashes. Alcohol was involved in 71.4 percent of those crashes, and three of the six vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. There was also one pedestrian killed during the 96-hour holiday period.

Santa Makes Another Appearance for Alexandria Christmas Parade (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

December 14, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Santa Makes Another Appearance for Alexandria Christmas Parade
Malone's Chapel Baptist Church won first place for best float
 Grand Marshals Jimmy and Daris Mullinax.

Santa made another appearance in DeKalb County on Sunday for the Alexandria Christmas Parade.

Crowds gathered downtown and along Main Street to catch a glimpse of Santa and all the other attractions of the parade.

The parade made its way into town led by Alexandria Interim Police Chief Chris Russell followed by Sheriff Patrick Ray and the Grand Marshals Jimmy and Daris Mullinax. The Parade also featured floats, the DCHS and Watertown high school bands, local businesses, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, vintage automobiles, farm tractors, four wheelers and motorcycles, Alexandria, Smithville, and DeKalb County Fire trucks, Tennessee Division of Forestry and Smoky the Bear, Smithville- DeKalb Rescue Squad, DeKalb EMS, horseback riders, horse drawn wagons and Santa Claus.

In the floats category, Malone's Chapel Baptist Church won first place. Second place went to Girl's Bakery and Diner, and the Alexandria First Baptist Church received third place.

For best vintage automobiles, David Graham received first place for his 1973 Camaro RS. Ronnie Harris received second place for his 1971 Plymouth Scamp. Third place went to Paul Johnson for his 1965 F100 Ford truck.

Drawings were held after the parade for prize giveaways.

Sykes Gets Five Year Sentence for Burglary

December 13, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Judge Gary McKenzie

A five year sentence was handed down last Monday, December 7 in DeKalb County Criminal Court against a local man in a burglary case.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

42 year old Scottie Sykes pled guilty to burglary and received a five year sentence to serve at 45% before his release eligibility date. He is also to make restitution to Smithville Police Detective Lieutenant Matt Holmes in the amount of $1,845. The sentence is to run consecutive to another sentence he is currently serving. Sykes was given credit for time served from June 8, 2014 to December 7, 2015. He was also originally charged with theft over $1,000 and vandalism over $1,000 but those charges were nollied or dropped under this plea deal. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, June 8, 2014 Sykes entered a barn located on Smith Road in Smithville and took two generators, a rake, broom, pitchfork, and a gas can. During the burglary, Sykes also allegedly committed vandalism damage to the barn totaling $1,845.

Meanwhile, 25 year old Amanda Louise Smith, charged with bringing contraband into a penal institution, entered a plea to simple possession. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation. Her fine was $750. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Smith was arrested and brought to the sheriff's department on unrelated charges. When Smith stepped into the jail, a female correctional officer asked her if she was in possession of any illegal items. Smith replied no. During a search, a silver container fell out of Smith's bra. Thirty nine pills believed to be subutex, and eleven pills thought to be valium were found in the container.

48 year old Timmy Harvey George entered a plea to facilitation of a schedule II drug. He received a four year sentence suspended to probation. George was fined $2,000 and must make restitution to the state in the amount of $150 jointly and severally with co-defendants in the case. The sentence is to run consecutively with another case against him. According to the indictment returned by the grand jury on July 27, " George and three other men, on or about the 24th day of February, 2015 knowingly did sell a schedule II controlled substance, to wit: Hydromorphone, constituting the offense of sale of a schedule II controlled substance, to wit: Hydromorphone, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated."

52 year old John Warner entered a plea to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended except for 45 days to serve. The sentence is to run concurrently with a General Sessions Court violation of probation against him. Warner was fined $610 and he will lose his license as per Department of Safety regulations. He was given jail credit from July 1 to December 7, 2015.

59 year old Genevieve Sonnier entered a plea by information to reckless driving and received six months probation. She had been charged with driving under the influence and evading arrest and cited for driving on roads laned for traffic, violation of the implied consent law, and simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Diazepam). Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 while patrolling Dale Ridge Road, a deputy observed a white Hyundai failing to maintain its lane of travel. The officer activated his blue lights and siren to make a traffic stop but the driver of the vehicle, Sonnier did not pull over until traveling another two miles down Dale Ridge Road. Upon speaking with her, the deputy noticed that Sonnier had a strong odor of alcohol on her person. Sonnier refused to submit to a blood test and said she couldn't complete field sobriety tasks due to health issues. She admitted to having consumed three beers at a local bar. Found in her purse were three small yellow tablets believed to be Diazepam. Sonnier was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Bandy Found with Methamphetamine

December 12, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Nelda Jane Bandy
Manuel Estrada Lopez
Johnny Darrell Murphy
Brian Franklin Strahan
Francisco Monzon Lopez
Kevin Troy Coe

The Sheriff's Department arrested a woman last week after finding 5.8 grams of methamphetamine on her.

36 year old Nelda Jane Bandy of Old West Point Road, Smithville is charged with possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) for resale. Her bond is $25,000 and she will make a court appearance on December 17.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, December 3 a Sheriff's Department Detective conducting an investigation at a residence on Midway Road spoke with Bandy. After she gave the detective consent to search her person and purse, he found in her right pants pocket a metal container which held two small plastic baggies with a white crystal substance. Inside her purse was a plastic baggie which also held a crystal substance. The three baggies field tested positive for meth and had an approximate combined weight of 5.8 grams. According to Sheriff Ray, Bandy said she was only trying to make some money with the drugs. She was placed under arrest.

27 year old Manuel Estrada Lopez of Lafayette is charged with driving without a license. He was also cited for violation of the financial responsibility law and driving on roadways laned for traffic. His bond is $1,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, November 30 a deputy responded to Cookeville Highway in reference to a reckless driver. The officer stopped a 1999 Ford Explorer for failing to maintain lane of travel and spoke to the driver, Lopez who admitted he did not have a license. He also had no proof of identification.

45 year old Johnny Darrell Murphy of Hayes Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for having an expired drivers license and no insurance. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court December 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 5 a deputy was dispatched to Turtle's Bar on Highway 70 east in reference to an intoxicated driver who had run into two vehicles in the parking lot. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Murphy, who was determined to be the driver of a silver Dodge that had hit the two automobiles in the parking lot. Murphy had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and was very unsteady on his feet. His eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. He admitted to having consumed five beers. According to Sheriff Ray, prior to the incident in the parking lot, Murphy had been in an altercation with someone. He was transported to the emergency room of the hospital by DeKalb EMS. He submitted to a blood alcohol test but he didn't undergo field sobriety tasks due to his injuries. He was placed under arrest after being released from the hospital.

50 year old Brian Franklin Strahan of Toad Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on December 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 5 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Toad Road for a possible domestic. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said she was sleeping when she heard Strahan yelling at the children. The woman said she and Strahan then got into an argument and he punched her in the face. Strahan was placed under arrest.

43 year old Francisco Monzon Lopez of Rock Island is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while consuming an alcoholic beverage. He was further issued citations for no drivers license, violation of the open container law, and violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $3,500 and he will make a court appearance December 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 6 while on patrol a deputy spotted an automobile with its lights on and engine running in the parking lot of Jewel's Market on South Congress Boulevard. The officer stopped and spoke with the driver, Lopez. Two bottles of liquor with the seal broken on them were within arms reach of the driver. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His eyes were glazed and his speech was slurred. Lopez had in his possession a loaded 22 caliber rifle. He refused to submit to field sobriety tasks and a blood alcohol test. Lopez was placed under arrest.

54 year old Kevin Troy Coe of Auburntown is charged with domestic assault and violation of an order of protection. His bond is $3,000 and he will make a court appearance on December 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, December 3 a deputy was dispatched to New Bildad Road in reference to a domestic incident in a red Chevrolet S-10 truck. The officer spotted the truck and stopped it on New Bildad Road. A woman jumped out of the truck. She had blood running down her face. The woman said her boyfriend, Coe had hit her in the face several times knocking out a tooth and injuring her nose. Coe has an active order of protection against him and is not supposed to be near this woman. He was placed under arrest.

DCHS Proposes Final Exam Exemptions

December 11, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Board of Education

As a means of inspiring student motivation and achieving higher grade point averages and better attendance, the Board of Education is considering allowing final exam exemptions for DCHS students.

Under the proposal, high school students would not be required to take final exams provided they met the following conditions:

*"A" average with no more than three excused absences

*"B" average with no more than two excused absences

*"C" average with no more than one excused absence

No exemption would be allowed for any unexcused absences. Five unexcused tardies equals one absence.

"We started looking at this a few years back. A lot of counties surrounding ours has gone to this to try to increase their attendance rates, their student GPA's, and academic grades. DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant and Assistant Principal Jenny Norris have called other counties and have gotten their break down on how they have done it over the past few years," said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps during Thursday night's monthly Board of Education meeting.

"We've met and researched and talked to these other counties and what the leadership team is proposing is that we offer an exemption policy for our students. If they have an "A" in the class they are allowed to have up to three excused absences. If they have a "B" they can have up to two excused absences or one excused with a "C". They have to be excused absences in order to be exempt from the exam. We're really hoping that this will improve our attendance rate," said Norris.

Fourth District Board member Kate Miller expressed concerns about the proposal. "This policy was in place when I was in high school and when I went to college I was not prepared for a final exam. I know there are more tests now but there is nothing like that high stress, high stakes test at the end. I know there are end of course exams and I think it would be reasonable to say that classes that have end of course exams, they could be exempt from the final exam because that is a duplication. But for the other classes, do we really need to exempt students who have a "C" average? Do they really understand the material like they should? I'm just concerned about that," said Miller.

"In the past there have been concerns about kids being prepared to take finals before when they do go to college but there are still mid terms that they (students) would be taking. You'll still have benchmark tests that kids will have to prepare for that's more than just the chapter test," said Cripps.

"And with all the state tests, they're going to have several tests. For example, this year our Juniors are going to be testing at least eight days," added Norris.

The School Board has delayed action on the request until a workshop can be held to discuss the issue further.

In other business, Director Cripps updated the board Thursday night on personnel moves since the last meeting.

Chasity Redmon has been employed as an educational assistant at Smithville Elementary School, replacing Kaci Miller.

W.C. Braswell from the Adult High School has been granted a leave as requested.
Sara Young from DCHS has been granted a leave as requested

Margaret Coyle, DeKalb Middle School, part time speech instructor has resigned.

Consumers Reminded About Open Enrollment Deadline

December 11, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace started on Nov. 1 and will run until January 31, 2016. To have your insurance in effect on Jan.
1, 2016 you must apply, select a plan, and pay your first premium by December 15, 2015.

Barbara Myers from the Tennessee Healthcare Campaign will be in Smithville on Saturday, December, 12th and January 16th from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Community Complex. Ms. Myers will be assisting people who wish to enroll in health insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act.

If you currently have an account with the Marketplace and you want to be sure you have the best plan for you and your family in 2016 you should update your account information. You can make an appointment to meet with a Navigator at Dekalb County Community Complex on Dec. 12 to assist you in either updating your account or creating a new application for 2016. Just call (844)-644-5443 for your appointment.

If you are not sure what to do please make an appointment and a Navigator will answer your questions and show you how the program works before you make your decision. Remember this year the personal responsibility payment you will be charged for not having health insurance is increasing to $695.00 for each adult and $347,50 per child or 2.5% of your income whichever is greater.

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