Local News Articles

Jury Convicts Man of Child Rape

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jose Juan Reyes

A 31 year old man indicted for raping an eight year old boy between November 2012 and March 2013 stood trial and was convicted by a jury Tuesday, July 1 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

It took the jury of six men and six women only half an hour to find Jose Juan Reyes guilty on the charge of rape of a child. Although they could have, the jury imposed no fine. Judge David Patterson, who presided over the trial has set a sentencing date of July 28 for Reyes. He will remain incarcerated without bond until that hearing, either in the DeKalb County Jail or the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

According to Gary McKenzie, Deputy District Attorney General, one of the prosecutors in the case, Reyes could be facing up to 40 years in prison for this conviction. "He is looking at a range of punishment and it begins at 25 years and goes all the way up to 40 years. The maximum he's looking at is 40 years. One thing about this charge if you are convicted it is a 100% sentence, which means if he gets a 25 year sentence, he has got to serve 25 years. He will not be eligible for parole. I am very pleased with the verdict. I think the jury did an outstanding job of listening to the proof and all the evidence in considering it and returning a verdict," said McKenzie.

WJLE was the only media present covering the trial

According to McKenzie, Reyes was a trusted friend of the boy and his family prior to this incident and he had been renting a room in the home of the child's aunt. "Jose was an acquaintance of the aunt. Somehow there was a friendship. He asked to rent a room and it kind of went from there. It (offense) occurred at the aunt's home, which was off the McMinnville Highway in DeKalb County. That's where it took place," said McKenzie.

The child, who has just turned ten years old, testified Tuesday that he was at his aunt's home when Reyes committed the act while the two of them were alone in Reyes' bedroom.

Although the child did not immediately report the incident to his aunt, he did relate it to his grandmother later while at her home. According to the grandmother's testimony Tuesday, "He came to me upset. I told him I believed him. I confronted Jose but he denied it. He (Reyes) cried and begged saying he would not hurt him (child). I said yes you did," she testified.

When the boy's mother learned of the incident, she took him to the sheriff's department to report it, according to the grandmother.

Mike Billings, who was a detective for the sheriff's department at the time, testified that after meeting with the child and his mother, he contacted the Department of Children Services and later went to Reyes' home. "The sheriff and another detective and I went there and knocked on the door. He (Reyes) opened the door and said I know why you are here. He (Reyes) said he knew of the allegations made against him," he said. Reyes was then taken to the sheriff's department and mirandized (read his rights). According to Billings, no interpreter was needed to communicate with Reyes because he spoke in English.

During his testimony, Billings read a statement which he wrote down as Reyes verbally gave it to him. In the statement Reyes allegedly admitted to putting on a condom and committing partial penetration of the boy.

As a result of the investigation, Reyes was indicted in April 2013 for the rape of a child.

Reyes chose not to testify during the trial.

In his closing remarks to the jury Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong said Reyes violated the trust of the boy's family and stole his childhood. "He (Reyes) was a trusted friend of the family. He fostered and grew that relationship with his victim. He gained his trust and friendship and for what? To satisfy his own desires. He used that friendship and trust to destroy the childhood of a young man and he'll (child) never get that back," said Strong.

Allison West, Assistant District Public Defender, said the state had not proven its case of rape. In her closing comments to the jury, West said the boy himself described the incident as "touching" and that is not "rape". Touched, ladies and gentlemen. That's (the child's) words. That is not rape of a child. Rape (according to the statute) is unlawful sexual penetration. There is no testimony here today of penetration. There is no testimony (from the child) that this happened. There is testimony that contact happened. Touching. Sexual contact is an entirely different statute and an entirely different crime than the one that is charged and that the state says happened here today. Again, looking at the law, aggravated sexual battery is unlawful sexual contact when the victim is less than 13 years of age. Ladies and gentlemen, if the state has proven anything at all here today through the witnesses they have put on, it is aggravated sexual battery. It is not rape of a child," said West.

In response, McKenzie told the jury that the state had shown that the child was raped by Reyes. "He (victim) did not say "touch". There is one thing he (Reyes) wants more than anything else in this courtroom and that is for you to lessen his responsibility. Do you think that applies to our victim? Do you think there is some way we can lessen the hurt that occurred to that little child? Don't lessen his (Reyes') responsibility and don't let misleading statements in front of you about what the victim said help do that. Listen to the (judge's) instructions and what he will say to you is that "Sexual penetration" is "however slight". You have the victim in this case telling you what he did and you have the defendant's own words of what he did and both of those things mirror each other. They're both describing the same event," said McKenzie.

During the child's testimony Tuesday, a "utility dog" was brought in the courtroom to be near the youngster and put him at ease. McKenzie said it was the first time for such a practice in this judicial district. " Some refer to the dog as a therapy, utility, or facility animal but the purpose for the dog is when you have a child that young on the witness stand and they're having to relive such a traumatic event, having the dog there helps that child focus his attention on the dog and allows the child to open up and be able to talk and answer questions that are asked to him. That's very important. He (child) did a really good job of opening up and Assistant D.A. Strong and I are very pleased to be the team to have utilized the dog for the first time in this district," said McKenzie.

The child also drew praise from District Attorney General Randy York for his courage in testifying. "I am very pleased with the verdict. In these kind of cases, I'm always impressed with the overwhelming courage that is displayed by a young victim to come forward, take the witness stand, and look the jury and defendant in the eye and say this is what happened. I am also impressed with the work of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department including Sheriff Ray and (former detective) Mike Billings and the work that Assistant D.A. Strong and Deputy D.A. McKenzie did. Finally, let me say this was the first case in the history of this district where we had used a utility dog. I think it's the second case in the State of Tennessee. I'm pleased with the work of the Child Advocacy Center and Jennifer Wilkerson. It all comes together and I'm really satisfied with the result," said General York.

"We were pleased with the investigation of the sheriff's department to get all these details together which made such a strong case and I think that's why we had a verdict that came back so fast," added McKenzie.

In addition to this conviction, Reyes faces a rape charge involving another young child in a separate case along with charges of criminal exposure to both victims to HIV.

Drug Defendants and Others Sentenced

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Leon Burns, Jr.

Several drug defendants and others were sentenced last Tuesday, June 24 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

Many of the cases were the result of undercover drug investigations by the Sheriff's Department.

48 year old Sandra Atnip pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year suspended sentence in each case to run concurrently. She was fined $2,000.

52 year old Glenda Kay Lemons pleaded guilty to attempted delivery of a schedule III drug and received a two year sentence all suspended to probation. Her probation will be supervised by TDOC for one year and then she will be on good behavior probation. She was fined $2,000.

31 year old Terra Locklear pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a schedule III drug and one count of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received three years in one case and four years in the other to run concurrently for a total of four years. Locklear was granted judicial diversion and will be on probation. She was fined $2,000 and ordered to make restitution of $57 to the sheriff's department.

22 year old Brandon Lee Atnip pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule III drug and received a three year sentence. He was granted judicial diversion and must pay a $2,000 fine.

51 year old Berna Barnes pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to good behavior probation. She was fined $150.

47 year old Roger Rapp pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000. Rapp was given jail credit from April 12 to June 24, 2014.

30 year old Christopher W. Miles pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence. He was given credit for time served and will be on probation for the balance of the term. Miles was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $80 to the sheriff's department.

31 year old Brandon Smith pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. Smith was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $40 to the sheriff's department.

31 year old James Todd Qualls pleaded guilty to amended promotion (meth) and received a four year sentence, suspended to probation. He was fined $2,000 and given two days jail credit.

24 year old Emily Claire Garrett Anderson pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III drug. She has been granted Judicial Diversion for a period of two years. Her probation will be supervised by TDOC and she must pay a fine of $2,000. Anderson was given two days jail credit.

50 year old Scott Allen Ferrell pleaded guilty to sale and delivery of a schedule II drug. He received a four year sentence in each case to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other for a total of four years and concurrently with two other cases against him including a violation probation. He was fined $2,000. Ferrell will turn himself in at the jail on July 18.

49 year old Marla Turner pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a five year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. She was fined $2,000. The term is to run concurrently with another case against her. Turner is to make restitution of $120 to the sheriff's department.

29 year old Amanda Atnip pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a schedule III drug and two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a three year sentence in one case and four years in each of the other two cases. All are to run concurrently for a total of four years. She has been granted judicial diversion. Atnip was also fined $2,000 and ordered to make restitution of $55 to the sheriff's department.

Carl Martin pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence on state probation. He was fined $2,000.

31 year old Michael Ray Reeder pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule VI drug for resale. He received a two year sentence on state probation. He was fined $2,000.

56 year old Tommy Redmon pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II drug and received a two year sentence as a range one offender to be served on probation. He was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $60 to the sheriff's department.

47 year old Howard Mayo, Jr. pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule III drug and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000.

32 year old Ricky Shannon Pollard pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. Pollard was granted judicial diversion. He was fined $2,000.

43 year old Richard Scott Adams pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and introduction of contraband. He received a five year sentence in each case, all suspended to supervised probation to run concurrently with each other. Adams is to make restitution to the sheriff's department. He was given jail credit from October 21, 2013 to May 20, 2014.

32 year old Duane Edlao pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule VI drug for resale and received a one year sentence. He was granted judicial diversion and fined $2,000. Edlao's probation will be unsupervised after six months.

32 year old Lori A. Lewis pleaded guilty to passing a forged prescription and received a two year sentence on state probation. She was granted judicial diversion.

Meanwhile in other cases, 45 year old Shannon E. Tayes pleaded guilty entered a plea by information to reckless driving and received a six month sentence, all suspended to probation.

20 year old Skyelar Patrick pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a four year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He must complete domestic violence counseling.

61 year old Virginia Presnell pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and received a six month sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She has requested judicial diversion.

55 year old Rickey Lynn Devault pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and received a six month sentence on probation. His probation will be supervised for only three months if court costs are paid and then on good behavior probation.

Smithville Aldermen Adopt New City Budget

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

Smithville property taxes and water and sewer rates will remain the same for another year.

The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday morning voted unanimously to adopt the new 2014-15 budget on second and final reading following a public hearing.

The new budget totals $6-million 504-thousand 600 dollars. Under the new spending plan, the property tax rate will remain the same at .6490 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Water and sewer rates are to remain the same. City water customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are $7.50 per thousand gallons. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District remains at $2.67 per thousand gallons.

City sewer customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons plus the flat usage rate of $3.62.

Hourly and salaried city employees will get a 1.5% cost of living pay raise except for police officers who are due to get a raise under the eight step wage scale for all hourly employees in the department.

The aldermen voted to give the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad an additional $2,000 just for this year to help them finish their new building near Greenbrook Park. The city annually budgets $1,500. This year, the rescue squad will get $3,500 from the city. The idea was proposed during the last meeting two weeks ago by Alderman Tim Stribling.

Since the city did not spend it's budgeted amount for paving, $150,000, an amendment was adopted reflecting that in the 2013-14 budget. Because of that , the actual general fund deficit by the end of this fiscal year 2013-14 (June 30th) should be less than the projection of $365,112, according to City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson. "We took out $150,000 we had put in for paving which isn't going to happen before July 1. When you take that out and a few other things we have the projections down to a little over $200,000 in the red for this fiscal year but we have a good cash surplus in the general fund and water and sewer," he said. The city has budgeted $100,000 for street paving in the new budget

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $1,002,000 but $904,000 of that is for airport projects, which are largely funded by grants.

Specific projects are as follows: Legislative- $5,000; Parks and Recreation- $5,000; Public Works-Buildings and Grounds (unspecified)-$10,000; City Hall Building (Unspecified) $10,000; Fire Protection (Pagers) $10,000; Street Department (Unspecified) $25,000; Police Department (Police Car)$28,000; Animal Shelter-$5,000; and Airport-Lighting Rehabilitation $427,500, Fuel Farm $330,500, Hangar Door $50,000, and Land Acquisition $96,000 for a total of $904,000.

According to Hendrixson, a home near the airport is in the flight path and will eventually have to be removed. The state provides grant funds to the city to help acquire the property. "There's a house (currently being rented by the owner) on Allen's Chapel Road that is in our flight path according to the FAA. The state funds monies to municipalities to go out and acquire properties (such as this). We'll have to demolish the house once it's been acquired through the state and it will become city property. The state is in the appraisal phase and then the property has to be surveyed," said Hendrixson.

Proposed water and sewer fund capital outlay expenditures include $55,000 for a water service truck, $150,000 for sewer plant improvement design fees, $410,000 for the automatic meter readers project, which will be funded largely through a loan/grant program

Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

Monday Night Crash Under Investigation

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Man Injured in Crash on West Broad Street near Baker's Body Shop
Tims Truck Service Pulls Polaris Ranger ATV up from Steep Embankment on Mountain View Drive
State Troopers and Tims Truck Service Inspect Damage to Polaris Ranger ATV

A one vehicle accident Monday night remains under investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

The mishap occurred on West Broad Street in the yard of a residence near Baker's Body Shop. The operator of an SUV left the highway and crashed into a utility pole.

Sergeant Brad Tatrow said the driver of the SUV was 59 year old James Einfeldt of Smithville.

DeKalb EMS and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also at the scene. Einfeldt was later airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Meanwhile in a separate accident, five people escaped serious injury during the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning when their 2014 Polaris Ranger ATV went off the road in Lakeview Mountain Estates and overturned down an embankment.

Trooper Chris Delong said the ATV, driven by 33 year old Jordan Howell of Murfreesboro was traveling north on Mountain View Drive when his LED lights went out. As he looked back in search of another light source, the All Terrain Vehicle went off the road in a curve. Four of the five persons on board were thrown from the ATV.

Passengers included 35 year old Jason Myatt of Bowling Green, Kentucky, 36 year old Justus Carter of Shelbyville, 40 year old Beverly Camp of Eagleville, and 32 year old Hannah Pulvers.

DeKalb EMS treated some of them at the scene. None were seriously injured but Camp was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle.

Trooper Delong said Howell was cited for operating an ATV on the roadway. Trooper Bobby Johnson assisted Trooper Delong at the scene.

Man Charged with Burglarizing Same Home Twice

June 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bobby Floyd Duggin
Elizabeth Ann Chalfant
 Zachary Alexander Walker
Jan Marie Winchester

A man who allegedly broke into the same residence twice within nine days has been arrested by the Sheriff's Department.

49 year old Bobby Floyd Duggin of Pea Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of theft of property over $500, and one count of theft of property under $500. His bond totals $16,500 and he will be in court July 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday June 7, Duggin allegedly broke into a residence on Lodge Street in Liberty through a kitchen window and took $450. The second offense occurred on Monday, June 16 at the same home and entry was made through the same kitchen window. Duggin allegedly stole $600. The cases were investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

Meanwhile, 32 year old Elizabeth Ann Chalfant of Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with forgery. Her bond is $50,000 and she will be in court on July 10.

Sheriff Ray said Chalfant allegedly passed twelve checks from a checking account without the victim's permission from May 12-29. The total of the twelve checks was $5,387. The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

19 year old Zachary Alexander Walker of Hodges Road, Smithville is charged with public intoxication and domestic assault. He was also issued a citation for underage consumption of alcohol. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court July 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on June 23, a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Short Mountain Highway in response to a report of an intoxicated juvenile. Upon arrival the officer made contact with Walker, who was outside the residence screaming at family members. Walker had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he admitted to having been drinking. A woman there reported that she and Walker got into an argument while he was in the residence and that he slapped her in the face and knocked her down. As others tried to get Walker outside, Walker punched her in the face. She had a bruise and knot on her upper right cheek bone. Walker was determined to be the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest.

41 year old Jan Marie Winchester of Forrest Avenue, Smithville is charged with assault. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on July 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, June 26 an officer was dispatched to the Dry Creek swimming hole in response to a fight in progress, Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with Winchester and another woman who had been fighting. After speaking to several witnesses and both parties involved, the officer determined that Winchester was the primary aggressor. She was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Authors of John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero to have Book Signing

June 30, 2014
“John Sevier: Tennessee’s First Hero,”

Gordon Belt and Traci Nichols Belt, authors of “John Sevier: Tennessee’s First Hero,” will be at F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts in Smithville on Friday, July 4 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. to sell and sign copies of the book.

A celebrated soldier, admired politician and founding father of the state of Tennessee, John Sevier led an adventurous life. He commanded a frontier militia into battle against British Loyalists at Kings Mountain. He waged a relentless war against the Cherokees in his effort to claim America’s first frontier. He forged the state of Franklin from the western lands of North Carolina and later became Tennessee’s first governor. Following his death, Sevier’s accomplishments faded from public memory, but years later, writers resurrected his image through romanticized accounts of his exploits, relying heavily on folk tales and recollections from aging pioneers. Thus, life and legend intertwined. Join authors Gordon T. Belt and Traci Nichols-Belt as they examine John Sevier’s extraordinary life through the lens of history and memory, shedding new light on this remarkable Tennessee figure.

Gordon T. Belt is an information professional, archives advocate, public historian and founding editor of the Posterity Project, an award-winning blog devoted to archives and history in Tennessee. Gordon holds a master’s degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is the director of public services for the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Traci Nichols-Belt is the author of "Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War," published by The History Press. She is an ordained and licensed minister and holds a master’s degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Anderson University.

Children Enjoy Summer Reading Finale Party

June 29, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

Children enjoyed a puppet show by Susie Randleman and more Friday during the Grand Finale Party for the "Fizz, Boom, Read" Summer Reading Program at Justin Potter Library.

(PLAY VIDEO BELOW OF CHILDREN TALKING TO WJLE'S DWAYNE PAGE AT JUSTIN POTTER LIBRARY FRIDAY)

The children who met their reading goal received a certificate and a goody bag.

Animal Rights Activists Return to Protest "Giggin for Grads"

June 28, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Animal Rights Activists Return to Protest "Giggin for Grads"

Animal rights activists were back again Friday holding signs in protest of the 2nd annual DeKalb County Young Farmers & Ranchers "Giggin for Grads" .

The frog giggin tournament was held Friday night from 7:00 p.m. until the weigh in at 1:00 am. Saturday morning. Participants met in the parking lot of the DeKalb County Complex.

Proceeds from the tournament are used to fund an Agriculture scholarship for a high school student. Prize money also goes to the teams with the heaviest bags of frogs.

Paramedic saves THP Lieutenant who suffered heart attack

June 27, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hoyte Hale, Tyler Grandstaff, and David Allred

A DeKalb EMS paramedic is being hailed a hero after saving the life of a Lieutenant of the Tennessee Highway Patrol who suffered a heart attack during an outing on Center Hill Lake last Friday, June 20. Both the paramedic, Tyler Grandstaff and THP Lieutenant David Allred were off duty at the time.

Allred and his family had just set up camp at Floating Mill Recreation area when he felt faint and then collapsed.

Fortunately, Grandstaff , who was with his family closeby at the same time, came to his aide. "We were at the lake at Floating Mill and we had a man exhibiting signs of chest pain and diaphoresis (profuse sweating). He was pale, grayish and didn't look well. I went to the truck and got my bag and my oxygen tank and did what we normally do. He was conscious but not alert and very disoriented. I started an IV and gave him some oxygen and fluids. Gladly an ambulance got there pretty quick," said Grandstaff.

"We had got there at the campground and probably had been there for an hour and a half," said Allred. "We had just got the camp and everything all set up. I walked over to my brother's camper. I told my wife that I feel like I'm fixing to pass out. I did. At no time did I have any pain until after the second or third time I went down, then the pain really started. After that I could hear everything going on. I remember when Tyler ran up and I heard him say he was going to get his bag. I could feel everything going on. I could feel what he did to my arm and when he stuck the IV in and although I couldn't communicate, I could understand everything everybody was saying," said Allred.

DeKalb EMS was notified and quickly arrived on the scene. Grandstaff accompanied Paramedic Tim Briggs and EMT Becky Atnip in transporting Allred by ambulance to Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

One week after the attack, Allred is out of the hospital and feeling much better, although he is not yet back to work. "It was a massive heart attack. I go back for an update with the doctor on July 21st and he will re-evaluate everything and see what we're going to do. I still have two more blockages. Hopefully after we get those taken care of I'll return to work," said Allred.

Had it not been for Grandstaff and others, Allred said he might not have survived. "As far as Tyler and the other Paramedic and EMT persons, that's what saved me. As far as Cookeville Hospital, they also did a great job. The dispatchers here did a great job. Everybody did their job that day or I wouldn't be here today. Thankfully Tyler was there that day or I don't think I'd be here," said Allred.

"I am glad I was there to help him out," said Grandstaff.

As a show of appreciation, DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale Friday presented Grandstaff with a certificate for "Outstanding Service". Allred and members of his family were also on hand for the occasion at the headquarters of the Central Dispatch/911 Center in Smithville.

The certificate states as follows:

"DeKalb County Emergency Services Outstanding Service Award is hereby granted to Tyler Grandstaff for your outstanding instinct and actions on June 20, 2014. Your actions undoubtedly contributed to a positive outcome. We sincerely appreciate your dedication to DeKalb EMS. DeKalb County Emergency Services. Awarded June 27, 2014. Signed by Hoyte Hale, EMS Director".

Director Hale said he is also proud of Briggs and Atnip for the work they did on the Allred call and for the professionalism of his entire staff. " Tim and Becky was the crew that transported him (Allred) to Cookeville and they did a great job too! I'm glad we have crews and staff who are dedicated to their job," he said.

16th Annual Fiddler 5K and Fun Run Set for July 5th

June 27, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tecia Puckett Pryor
16th Annual Fiddler 5K and Fun Run Set for July 5th

The 16th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will be Saturday, July 5, the weekend of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree. All proceeds from the race will be used in building another Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County.

The race will begin promptly at 7:00 a.m., RAIN OR SHINE. The course begins and ends on Church Street in Downtown Smithville. "We encourage anybody who is interested in doing either the one mile fun run or the 5K which is a 3.1 mile course to go to www.fiddler5k.com where you'll find a printable registration form that provides all the details of registration and a link to online registration," said Race Director Tecia Puckett Pryor.

(CLICK PDF LINK BELOW FOR REGISTRATION FORM)

2014 Registration Form.pdf (160.7 KB)

Paper registrations must be submitted no later than Monday, June 30. "If you want to register by paper. If you want to print out a form and mail it in or bring it by my office, that needs to be done by Monday, June 30. If you pre-register online you need to do that by midnight Wednesday, July 2. The advantage of pre-registering is that you save $5.00 and you may pick up your packet on Friday evening, July 4 from 5-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Life Enrichment Center on Church Street, which is also the start line for the race. That's a real perk in that you don't have to get up quite as early on Saturday morning, July 5. You'll already have your race bib and t-shirt and you'll be ready to go. But you can still pick up your packet on Saturday morning. You don't have to pick it up on Friday night if that doesn't work for you," said Pryor.

Participants may also sign up on race day."The cost of race day registration is $30 and $25 for those age 18 and younger. Again, for early registration it's $25 for adults age 19 and older and for youth its $20 for ages 18 and younger so you save a little bit of money by pre-registering," Pryor said.

"We have a fabulous shirt this year. It's made of the same material as last year. It's called the new tech shirt. It's going to be navy. It looks really great. I want to thank our t-shirt sponsors because they help underwrite the cost of the shirts so that more money goes to Habitat. Our sponsors are Janney & Associates, CPA, Stonehaus Winery, DeKalb Community Bank, First Bank, Dr. Mitchell S. Tatum, DDS, Glenda Davis, CPA, Federal Mogul, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, DeKalb Community Hospital, Sligo Marina, and Tenneco Automotive. We are really appreciative to those folks and what they do to help us," Pryor continued.

"A few years ago we went to chip timing where you have a chip on your bib and when you cross the finish line it will instantly tell you how fast you did the race. We have a gun start meaning that the start is not chip timed, everybody starts at the same time but the finish is chip timed and that is done by Tennessee Race Timing of Cookeville. They do a great job for us with the timing," she said.

"For our awards, we give an overall male award and a female award for the fastest runners. We also started giving a Masters award a few years ago which is for the fastest male and female age 40 and older. We also give out the top three awards in the age categories of nine and younger, and then go up from there in five year increments. We give ribbons for those categories. For the Fun Run, we only give awards for children who are age twelve and younger. We give overall awards for male and female and then we do the top three. Everybody gets a nice ribbon and the overall winners get medals. We also have some goodies for the first place winners," said Pryor.

"We changed the course a couple of years ago. The start line is no longer on Highway 56. It starts right across from the Life Enrichment Center on Church Street and goes down town hill by the swimming pool and the golf course, up Riley Avenue by the hospital and then comes up Main Street to the finish. It's a fairly challenging course but it's really a beautiful course with all the trees as you go down town hill and coming up Main Street," she said.

"A lot of kids participate in the One Mile Fun Run and we also have adults that just like to get out to walk a mile and be part of this. The Fun Run stays right in town. It does not go down town hill. We have it really well marked. Both races end right at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. In the parking lot of the funeral home is where we will be on Saturday morning so if you want to register and you haven't by then be there by 6:00 a.m. and we'll get you registered. If you pre-registered and didn't pick up your packet on Friday night then come to the same place, the Love-Cantrell Funeral Home parking lot because that's where we will be set up to start and finish," said Pryor.

Spectators are urged to come out and cheer on the runners the morning of the race. "If you live along the race course, get out and cheer on these runners. It's great when you're out running and you see people out cheering for you," she said.

For more information or copies of paper registrations call the office of Tecia Puckett Pryor at 597-7370 or stop by at 312 West Broad Street, Smithville.

Funds raised through the Fiddler 5K support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. "We hope to have a great turnout and raise a lot of money for Habitat. We hope to see everybody on Saturday, July 5," Pryor concluded.

A Ground breaking celebration was held last month for the fifth Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County. Committee and Board members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County and the new partner family, Tia Adcock , her son Caven Ponder, and daughter Caitlin Adcock gathered for the brief ceremony at the site of the home at 202 Hayes Street in Smithville.

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