Local News Articles

“Cheese Wagon Chili” A Double Winner at Habitat Cook-Off

October 30, 2017
Winner for "Best Chili and Best Decorated Booth" "“Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb Board of Education Transportation Department-Shara Cowan, Baylie Davis, Jimmy Sprague, Lori and Trinity Gallagher, and Michael Agee
The Golden Spoon Award Winner: “Bobby Ray Detachment 1377 - Marine Corps League” from the Marine Corps League-John Hummer, Carol Brown, Janet and Mike Allen
“Liberty and Chili For All” from Liberty State Bank took second place for “Best Chili”: Denise Barrett, Rhonda Caplinger, Roy N. Pugh, Lisa Garrison, and Trina Graham
Third place chili honors went to “The Courthouse Gang”: Tish Summers, Katherine Pack, Lisa Cripps, Jeff McMillen, Ronda McAbee, Makenzy Gash, Melissa Yarbrough, Tim Stribling, Butch Agee, Shannon Cantrell, Patrick Ray, Sean Driver
Second Place for “Best Decorated Booth”:  Team MTNG-Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas-April Gray, Dana London, Greg Vinson, Brenda Gay
Third Place for “Best Decorated Booth”:  "The Bean Counters” from Janney & Associates, CPA’s-Josh Tramel, Kevin Huff, Tom and Patricia Janney, Lindsay and Cathy Finley,Jessica Leiser, Mark McCowan and Brenda Dorsey

“Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County School System Department of Transportation took top honors for both “Best Chili” and for “Best Decorated Booth” during Friday’s 14th annual Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-Off and Bake Sale.

This crowd pleasing event held on the Town Square was another great success with $5,300 raised for Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, according to the Chili Cook-off Committee. The weather couldn’t have been better and approximately 400 folks came out to enjoy the day.

In just their second year participating, “Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County Department of Transportation took Top Chili Honors, with “Liberty and Chili For All” from Liberty State Bank coming in second place. Third place chili honors went to “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials.

The Best Decorated Booth Award also went to “Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County Department of Transportation, with “Team MTNG – Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas coming in second place and “The Bean Counters” from Janney and Associates, CPA’s placing third.

The Golden Spoon Award went to newcomer team “Bobby Ray Detachment 1377” from the Marine Corps League, who raised $143.00 for Habitat in cash donations at their booth.

Rounding out the eleven participating teams were “Volunteers for Justice” from the DeKalb County Bar Association, “Hot Momma’s” from Federal Mogul Motorparts, “Burning Down the House” from Smithville Storage, “Evins Mill Chef’s Chili” from The Inn at Evins Mill, and “Hot Checks Chili” from Wilson Bank and Trust.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County thanks each of these teams for their enthusiasm and support of the event; all those who donated the delicious baked goods; city and county officials and Smithville Electric for facilitating the event space; and all the fine folks of the community who came out to support Habitat and this great community event.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181 or find them on Facebook @HFHDeKalb TN.

"Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Tuesday

October 30, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Captain Steven Leffew greets trick or treater during 2016 Halloween Downtown event

Parents, children, and local businesses are invited to join the City of Smithville and the Police Department's "Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Tuesday, October 31 from noon until 5:00 p.m.

Some offices in the DeKalb County Courthouse, Smithville City Hall, Smithville Police Department, Justin Potter Library, and participating businesses downtown will have candy and special treats for the children. Look for the stores and offices with a picture of an orange pumpkin on their windows. Maps are available at the police department and Justin Potter Library to show parents which businesses will be taking part in the event.


Scan20001.pdf (355.45 KB)

For more information call Beth Adcock at the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210 extension 1 or check out the police department's face book page soon for details at https://www.facebook.com/SmithvillePoliceDepartment.

This event is sponsored by the Smithville Police Department and the Smithville City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a “Best Costume Contest” for downtown businesses and offices. Take pictures with your phone and send them to Shan Burklow at 615-594-2792 by 1:30 p.m. on October 31. First, second, and third place winners will be presented a “Halloween on the Square Best Costume Award”, media recognition, and bragging rights.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will have special treats for children Tuesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Stop by for a hot dog, candy, and a tour of the Smithville Fire Hall. Meet with Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker and the Smithville Fire Department Volunteers.

Other Halloween events include the following:

*Justin Potter Library will participate in the "Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat" from noon until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. The library will have a Halloween Craft Activity for the children from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. so come by and create your own Halloween bookmark. All little ghosts and goblins are invited to join them at the library for a day of fun. For further information, call the library at 615-597-4359 or check their website at dekalblibraries.net or join them on Facebook.

*Calvary Baptist Church invites you to Trunk or Treat with us, October 31st from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. The church is located at 530 Foster Rd, Smithville. Bring your little spooks by for some candy and fun!

* Smithville First Baptist Church would like to invite you to our annual Fall Festival immediately following trick or treating on the Square. Tuesday, October 31st from 5-7PM at the corner of Church Street and College in our Life Enrichment Center. Please join us for food, games, candy and fun! We also welcome you to join us in worship every Sunday morning at 10:00AM

* NHC Smithville will welcome Trick or Treaters starting at 6PM on Halloween night. They will give out candy until it all runs out or 7:30PM, whichever comes first.”

DeKalb West Cheerleaders Excel

October 29, 2017
Tammy Payne, DWS Cheer Coach
DeKalb West Cheerleaders Excel (Photo by Beth Tripp)

DeKalb West Cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleading Association Cheer Camp, June 7-9. It was a camp packed with rigor and skills with little down time. DWS cheerleaders performed cheers, jumps, motion techniques, chants, and dance for extreme routines. UCA staff evaluated the team members each day. On the final day of camp, all DWS cheerleaders were eligible to try out for the honor of All-American Cheerleader; skills in jumps, dance, motion, and cheer were evaluated by UCA staff. Makayla Cook, Ellie Vaughn, Zoi Hale, Kortnee Skeen, and Faith Tripp were selected as UCA All-Americans. Each All-American selected is eligible to perform with other UCA All-Americans at Disneyland in November. Other individual awards were Makayla Cook-jumps, and Zoi Hale-dance. The “Most Persistent for Perfection” Award went to Alonna Christian and Ellie Vaughn. The squad won the following awards: 1 superior “Gold” - chants and sidelines, 1 superior-extreme routine/dance, and 1 excellent -cheer/builds. The DWS squad also was presented with the “Superior” overall trophy. All DWS cheerleaders participated in an optional service award partnered by UCA and St. Jude; each DWS cheerleader received a service pin for their participation.

DWS Cheerleaders are cheering on the Bulldogs this upcoming year. They started their year cheering at the Back-to-School Celebration, and the DWS PAWS pep rally.

Once again, congratulations to DWS Cheer Alumni. DCHS football and basketball Cheerleaders, Haley Dies, Hannah Evans, Emily Roehner, Breanna Gibson, Mariah Mofield, and Holly Evans, who all were nominated for All-American. Rosa Payne will continue to cheer. She was selected as a Cumberland University Football Cheerleader and Collegiate Competition Cheerleader. Congratulations to all DWS cheerleaders (present and past)!

Early Voting Ends Thursday for State Senate Special Primary

October 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

A total of 95 persons have taken advantage of early voting in the 17th Senatorial District Special Primary election with four days left.

Seventy three have voted in person and there have been 22 absentee voters . A further breakdown shows 53 have voted in the Republican Primary and 42 in the Democratic primary.

Early voting continues through November 2 at the following times: Monday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. until Noon, Wednesday 9 a.m. until Noon and Thursday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. All early voting is on the first floor (basement) courtroom of the courthouse.

Two candidates are seeking to fill the remaining months of the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers, who is now running for Governor.

Mark Pody is unopposed for the Republican nomination. Mary Alice Carfi is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The primaries will be Tuesday, November 7.

The general election will be December 19

Billy Hawkins to Speak at Veterans Day Program

October 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Billy Hawkins

Billy Hawkins, retired Brigadiere General of the Tennessee State Guard, will speak at the annual Veteran's Day program sponsored by the American Legion and Ladies' Auxiliary on Saturday, November 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the County Complex.

Preliminary music will begin at 9:30 and the main program begins at 10:00. Music and singing will be part of the program. After the program everyone will go to the courthouse to witness the laying of a wreath at the Veteran's Memorial with "Taps" being played. Afterwards all veterans and their families are invited back to the County Complex for a delicious meal.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Drops to 3.7%

October 29, 2017
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% in September, down from 4.4% in August and well below the 6% rate recorded in September 2016.

The local labor force for September 2017 was 7,790. A total of 7,500 were employed and 290 were without work.

Jobless rates for September among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:

DeKalb: 3.7%
Clay: 3.6%
Fentress: 3.6%
Van Buren: 3.4%
Cumberland: 3.3%
Overton: 3.2%
White: 3.2%
Pickett: 3%
Warren: 3%
Putnam: 2.8%
Cannon: 2.7%
Macon: 2.7%
Smith: 2.6%

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced that in September 2017, for the first time ever, the jobless rate was below 5 percent in every county across the state. This is the second consecutive month rates have declined in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

September also marked the fourth consecutive month Tennessee experienced a historic low statewide unemployment rate. At 3 percent, Tennessee has the lowest unemployment in the southeast and the eighth lowest rate in the nation.

“With every county seeing unemployment rates below five percent and with a record statewide unemployment rate, Tennessee’s fiscal strength is clear and the investment in our workforce is paying off,” Haslam said. “Employers know that Tennessee is a place where they can find skilled workers, so they continue to expand and relocate here.”

Williamson County reported Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate in September at 2.1 percent, down from 2.7 percent in August. Davidson County recorded the second lowest rate at 2.2 percent, falling from 2.7 percent the previous month. Rutherford, Cheatham, Wilson and Sumner Counties all have a September rate of 2.3 percent, down more than 0.5 percent from August.

“Many of the most notable decreases in September took place in counties with the highest unemployment rates, pointing out the economic growth and opportunity in some of Tennessee’s most distressed counties,” Phillips said.

Rhea County continued to have the highest percentage of unemployed workers in Tennessee, but in September its rate fell from 6 percent to 4.9 percent. In January, Rhea County recorded a 10.2 percent unemployment rate. Each of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state saw similar decreases in September.

This is the fourth time in 2017 unemployment rates have decreased in all 95 counties. Rates also dropped in every county during February, April and August.

The improved county statistics for September follow the fourth consecutive month Tennessee experienced a record low statewide unemployment rate, which was 3 percent, down 0.3 percent from August. The national unemployment rate also dropped in September to 4.2 percent.

The statewide and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, but the county 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 an economic time series.

Additional information about Tennessee’s labor statistics, as well as job search resources and postings, can be found at Jobs4TN.gov.

Applications for Angel Tree Project Available Monday, October 30

October 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Applications for Angel Tree Project Available Monday, October 30

Applications will be available for pickup for the 22nd Annual Angel Tree Project from Monday, October 30th through Friday, November 3rd.

Spokesperson Laura Stone said that the application turn in date has been set for one day only. "Applications can be picked up October 30th through November 3rd. You will continue to pick up your applications at the Department of Human Services, but the application must be returned in person on Thursday, November 9th at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center," she said.

"Completed applications must be returned to the First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center Building in downtown Smithville (on the corner across from First Baptist) on Thursday, November 9th from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Applications not returned to the Church LEC Building on November 9th WILL NOT be accepted. There are no exceptions to the requirements of the application process. It is very important that you understand we will only accept applications this one day only," said Stone.

"Applications can only be picked up at the Department of Human Services on October 30th through November 3rd and can only be returned to the Church LEC Building on November 9th. In addition to bringing the completed application, applicants must provide photo identification of the person applying and social security cards and birth certificates for ALL children listed on the application. We will only be keeping the application; all other documents will be returned to the applicant. If an applicant cannot appear in person, their application can be submitted by a family member as long as all of the required information is presented." Stone continued.

"Eligible children must live in DeKalb County and be no older than age 12 by December 25, 2017. The Department of Human Services will only be passing out the applications. Nothing will be returned to them and any questions should be directed to Laura Stone at 615-464-7135”. Do not contact anyone at the Department of Human Services or First Baptist Church or anyone other than Laura. Your application will be denied if these directions are not followed. Stone adds that "the Angel Tree has been such a tremendous success in the past and with economic times extremely tough for many in our area, we want this years Angel Tree to be no exception. The Angel Tree helps so many families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is sad to think about, but many of these children would not otherwise have a single present for Christmas. With the economy still struggling, we are expecting demand to be high."

Tigers Bound for State Playoffs

October 28, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tigers Bound for State Playoffs

The DeKalb County Tigers have punched their ticket to the TSSAA Class 4A Playoffs after defeating the Cumberland County Jets 16-8 at Crossville in the last game of the regular season Friday night.

The Tigers (3-7 overall, 1-3 region), who finished 4th in Region 3, will travel to Lewisburg next Friday night to take on Marshall County (7-3 overall, 5-0 region) who finished 1st in Region 4.



The only score of the first half Friday night came on a 45 yard touchdown pass play from Tiger quarterback Tyler Cantrell to Bradley Miller. Andrew Fuson added the extra point and DeKalb County led 7-0 with 11:49 left in the 2nd period.

The Tigers scored twice in the 3rd period. Andrew Fuson booted a 32 yard field goal to give DeKalb County a 10-0 advantage. Grayson Redmon then caught a touchdown pass from Tyler Cantrell good for 79 yards. The extra point try was no good but DeKalb led 16-0 with 2:08 left in the 3rd period.

After a fumbled punt, the Jets scored on their next possession with 11:44 left in the 4th period on a 27 yard touchdown run by Jacob Kerley. They added 2 more points on the conversion but DeKalb County went on to win 16-8.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage next Friday night, November 3 from Marshall County. Kick-off will be at 7:00 p.m.

GOP Fall Picnic set for November 4

October 27, 2017
Mingy Bryant

The DeKalb County Republican Party will be hosting a FREE Fall Picnic at Green Brook Park on Saturday, November 4, 2017, from 11:00AM-1:00PM. All DeKalb County residents are invited to come and share in fellowship and hear from our Republican candidates and campaigns.

Candidates/Representatives from the following campaigns have been invited to attend and introduce themselves: Mae Beavers for Governor, Diane Black for Governor, Randy Boyd for Governor, Beth Harwell for Governor, Bill Lee for Governor, Marsha Blackburn for US Senate, Andy Ogles for US Senate, Stephen Fincher for US Senate, Judd Matheny for Congress, John Rose for Congress, Mark Pody for State Senate, Terri Lynn Weaver for State Representative, Chad Williams for State Representative, Menda Holmes for State Representative, and Clark Boyd for State Representative. In addition to these federal and state candidates, local elected officials and candidates have also been invited to attend. This includes Sheriff Patrick Ray, Trustee Sean Driver, Road Superintendent Butch Agee, and Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell.

“2018 is shaping up to be a huge year for Republicans in Tennessee,” GOP Chair Mingy Bryant said. “We are expecting record Republican turnout in DeKalb County in 2018 and this picnic is a great way to learn about the candidates. This also serves as a get out the vote event for the Special Election for State Senate, District 17. We look forward to doing all that we can to help elect Mark Pody as our next State Senator on December 19.”

Voter registration will be available. Again, this is a free event and open to all residents of DeKalb County. For more information, go to our Facebook Page at DeKalb County Republican Party.

Smithville Head Start Welcomes Community During Open House

October 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Kids Face Painting
Kids enjoy hot dogs and other snacks and special treats
Head Start Teacher Vicki Corley gets flu shot during Open House Friday

Children, parents and family members participated in an afternoon of activities and fun during the annual Open House at the LBJ &C Smithville Head Start Center Friday.

Director Cathy Shehane and staff organized the event to better educate families in the community about the facility.

Parents and visitors were encouraged to visit the educational booths set up for their convenience. Booths distributing both information and literature and other guests were: Justin Potter Library, Adult Education, Tennessee Reconnect, the DeKalb Health Department, Tennessee Early Intervention, Legal Aid, ACTS, DeKalb Prevention Coalition, UT/TSU Extension, Genesis House, a Face Painting Booth, Healthier Beginnings, Board of Education, Smithville Police, and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss.

Food including kid-friendly snacks and desserts were available throughout the afternoon. Health department staff administered flu immunizations.


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