Local News Articles

DCHS Celebrates Homecoming (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 30, 2016
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School students celebrated the last day of Spirit Week with a Homecoming Day parade Friday afternoon.

The Tiger football team's homecoming opponent Friday night is the Sequatchie County Indians and the floats in the parade had a Tiger versus Sequatchie County theme.

The parade featured Homecoming Queen Kaitlyn Roller and Attendants Susan Webb, Bailey Redmon, Emme Colwell, Nalia Ramos, and Madison Judkins; class and club floats, lots of decorated cars and trucks, county and city law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and other emergency vehicles, among others.

The event concluded with a pep rally led by DCHS Football cheerleaders and a performance by the DCHS band on the square.

Winners of the float competition were as follows:

First Place: Sophomore Class-"Tigers Roast the Indians"
Second Place: Junior Class-"Tigers Smoke Out Sequatchie"
Third Place: Freshman Class-"DeKalb Will Reign Over Sequatchie"

Best Decorated Automobiles:
First Place: Cynthia May
Second Place: Alexis Roller
Third Place: Kristena Bain

DCHS Field Competitions:
First Place-Sophomore Class
Second Place-Senior Class
Third Place-Junior Class
Fourth Place-Freshmen Class

DeKalb West Junior Beta Club Leads Student Body in “See You at the Pole" Assembly

September 30, 2016
Bill Conger
Music Teacher Emily Phillips leads the first grade classes in a performance of the National Anthem.
 Junior Beta President Garrett Hayes reads scripture during the annual "See You at the Pole" event at DWS.

The DeKalb West School Junior Beta Club led the student body in the voluntary assembly, “See You at the Pole” on Wednesday, September 28. Students across the globe gather around the flagpole on the last Wednesday in September each year to pray for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities.

Hannah VanDyne opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Music Teacher Emily Phillips and the first grade classes leading the National Anthem. Grace Griffith read the First Amendment while Levi Driver opened in prayer. Garrett Hayes and T.J. Alexander read scriptures, and SRO Lewis Carrick delivered a rousing inspirational message on religious liberties. Jaden Johnson closed the event in prayer.

Cookeville Woman Arrested After High Speed Pursuit

September 29, 2016
Dwayne Page
Cassandra Dianna Viamonte

A 27 year old Cookeville woman is facing charges after leading a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department Detective on a high speed pursuit from Dowelltown to Watertown early (today) Thursday morning.

Cassandra Dianna Viamonte of East Tenth Street, Cookeville is charged with driving under the influence and evading arrest. Her bond is $11,500 and the court date is October 27.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that a Sheriff’s Department Detective was traveling east on Highway 70 early this morning (Thursday) when he spotted a vehicle traveling west crossing into oncoming traffic. He attempted to conduct a traffic stop at the intersection of West Main Street, Dowelltown and Highway 70 but the automobile took off heading westbound on Highway 70 at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The vehicle continued on Highway 70 to Watertown where it turned onto south Statesville Road and then to north Statesville Road before coming to a stop on east College Street in Watertown. According to Sheriff Ray, Viamonte pulled onto a dead end street and drove around a house, before running into the side of the officer's patrol car causing minor damage to the car. No one was injured.

Once the vehicle was stopped, the officer spoke with the driver, Viamonte. She had a strong odor of alcohol on her person. Her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. She performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. After being placed under arrest, Viamonte was then taken to the hospital for a blood withdrawal and then to the sheriff’s office for booking.

Family Health Night Huge Success

September 29, 2016
Dwayne Page
Family Health Night Huge Success

DeKalb County Coordinated School Health and the School Nutrition Department held their first Family Health Night on September 27, 2016. There were physical activity sessions, nutrition sessions, and various agency exhibits.

Elise Driver, Coordinated School Health, and Amy Lattimore, School Nutrition Supervisor, would like to extend their gratitude to the principal and the great staff of volunteers at Northside Elementary, the agencies, the students and their parents, who made our first Family Health Night a huge success! They hope that everyone who came to participate had a fun and informative time. They look forward to serving our students, their families, and the community with many more fun filled educational events in the future.

“Get out the Vote" Program to be Aired Monday on WJLE

September 28, 2016
Shawn Jacobs and Dennis Stanley

“Get out the Vote,” a special program sponsored by the DeKalb County Election Commission is coming up Monday on WJLE.

Designed to be both informative and entertaining, the program will air from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday October 3rd. Dennis Stanley and Shawn Jacobs, both former WJLE announcers, will host the one-hour special event.

“This program will be used to remind voters about the importance of keeping their address up to date with the election office, the voter registration deadline, and about the dates of early voting,” said Stanley, who is also the local Administrator of Elections. “We will also be playing popular music from the 60s and 70s to keep the listeners entertained.”

“We thought this would be a unique, fun, but effective way to get important information out to the voters,” Stanley and Jacobs said. “So many times people put things off and then realize by election day they are not registered or can’t make it to the polls and missed taking advantage of early voting. This program will constantly remind the listeners of the registration deadline, the early voting dates, and the importance of keeping your address up-to-date with the election office.”

Again, the program will air Monday, October 3 from 5 to 6 p.m. on WJLE.

DeKalb County Approved for CDBG Grant to Extend Water Lines

September 28, 2016
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling

DeKalb County has been approved for a grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help fund extension of water lines to a portion of the county.

The Community Development Block Grant is in the amount of $500,000 with a local match of $120,000 to be funded by the DeKalb Utility District.

County Mayor Tim Stribling told WJLE Wednesday that the project is to serve around 40 households on Tramel Branch, Oakley Road, Carter Lane, Old Givens Hollow, and the Dismal to Alexandria Road. Many of these residents have poor quality water or little or no water. “When we applied for it there were about 43 houses that it would serve including 135 to 140 people,” he said.

“Tuesday morning I received a phone call from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver saying that our application for a Community Development Block Grant for the water line extension project had been funded. On Wednesday morning, I received a letter from Commissioner Randy Boyd of the Department of Economic and Community Development saying that Governor Haslam has approved our 2016 CDBG application in the amount of $500,000 for this water line extension project,” said County Mayor Stribling.

The county mayor has sent a letter to each affected household informing them of the grant and also letting them know that it will be next spring at least before any work is done. “As you are aware, this is a long and tedious grant process, and we must follow the State and Federal guidelines to be successful. It will be late spring before construction will begin so please be patient with us as we work through the grant process. I will be working with the DeKalb Utility District to send out information regarding water taps in the spring,” wrote County Mayor Stribling.

The DeKalb County Commission adopted a resolution in January authorizing the filing of the grant application.

The county had applied for and been denied the grant twice within the previous two years. But this time in order to improve its chances, the county asked for a little less grant money while the DeKalb Utility District committed to ante up more in its local match commitment. The total project cost is the same.

Amanda Mainord of Grassroots Planning & Consulting, is the grant administrator for the project.

Stribling Re-elected Chairman of County Commission

September 28, 2016
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling
Seventh District Commissioner Larry Summers

County Mayor Tim Stribling was re-elected Chairman of the county commission Monday night.

All fourteen members voted in favor.

Seventh District member Larry Summers was returned as Chairman Pro Tempore.

The county commission must annually elect a chairman and a chairman pro tempore. The commission may elect the county mayor or a member of the body to be the chairman, although the county mayor may refuse to serve. If the county mayor is chairman, he or she may vote only to break a tie vote. If a member is chairman, the member votes as a member, but cannot vote again to break a tie. If the county mayor is not chairman, he or she may veto most resolutions of the county legislative body, but this veto may be overridden by a majority vote. The majority vote that is required for this and the passage of resolutions or other measures is a majority of the entire actual membership of the county legislative body, and not a majority of the quorum, nor a majority of the authorized membership.

The county commission consists of fourteen members, two from each of the seven districts in the county.

The make-up of the county commission is as follows:

Julie Williams Young and Mason Carter from the first district; Jimmy Midgett and Joe Johnson from the second district; Jack Barton and Bradley Hendrix from the third district; Wayne Cantrell and Jonathon Norris from the fourth district; Jerry Adcock and Anita Puckett from the fifth district; Jeff Barnes and Betty Atnip from the sixth district; and Larry Summers and Kevin Robinson from the seventh district. Their terms are for four years and will expire August 31, 2018.

Monthly "Depreciation" Fee Added to Alexandria Water Customers

September 28, 2016
Dwayne Page

The Alexandria Mayor and Board of Aldermen met in regular monthly session Tuesday night and adopted the 2016-17 budget on second and final reading following a public hearing.

While the city is not increasing its property tax rate nor its actual water and sewer rates this year, a monthly $6.00 fee will be assessed per customer on their water bills to meet a state requirement to fund depreciation in the city’s water and sewer fund. The new fee is expected to generate approximately $70,000 a year for depreciation.

Under state law, if a utility is not shown to be financially self supporting at least every other year, the state could establish rates for the utility.

Middle School "Blue" Added to Property Tax Notices

September 27, 2016
Dwayne Page
Trustee Sean Driver with New Middle School "Blue" Property Tax Notice

DeKalb County property owners will soon be receiving their tax notices for the year 2016 and while the format will be the same as last year, the color will be DeKalb Middle School Blue instead of DCHS Black and Gold.

“You will see a new color this year as we go from black and gold in 2015 to Middle School ‘Blue’ in 2016. I will change to a different color each tax year using a color from a different school. So, as you receive 2016 bill, which again will be on an 8-1/2” X 11” sheet of paper front and back, you will see the blue color representing our DeKalb County Middle School,” said Trustee Sean Driver.

The 2016 property tax bills will have basically the same information as 2015, but this year they will show some number changes in appraisals values and an added option for payment.

Taxes are due and payable on October 3, 2016 through February 28, 2017 without penalties. The Trustee’s office offers several options to pay your property tax bill for 2016 including a new alternative.

*You may come into the office to pay.

*You may mail in your payment.

*You may pay online by visiting www.tennesseetrustee.com and selecting “DeKalb”. Remember, the vendor accepts Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express and the vendor convenience fee is 2.75% applied on the total tax bill. Fees are subject to change for using credit/debit cards.

*You may pay by e-check in any amount but a $2.75 fee will be assessed.

* New for 2016 is a QR Code (Quick Response Code) that will be accessible to use which will link to www.tennesseetrustee.com

“Remember we do have a dropbox located on the outside of the building at the County Complex (County Offices Section) for your convenience after hours or on weekends and we also offer and accept partial payments in which you, the taxpayer, sets the amount to pay," said Trustee Driver.

Eligible taxpayers may also qualify for the Tennessee State Tax Relief Program.

This program was implemented in 1973 and changes somewhat every year. For the 2016 tax year, you may qualify for Tax Relief if:

*Your DeKalb County home is your primary residence

*You are 65 years old (or older) as of December 31, 2016

*You are totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or another qualifying agency.

*Your 2015 annual income of all persons on the deed and their spouses did not exceed $29,180.00. If the State of Tennessee qualifies you for Tax Relief, then you can receive a rebate up to $108.00.

“Also, new for the 2016 Tax Relief is the requirements for Disabled Veterans and the surviving spouses of a disabled veteran. In 2015, the state required new applicants as a disabled veteran to report his or her annual income. In 2016, new disabled veteran applicants will no longer have to report his or her annual income. You must have proof from the Veteran’s Administration that you have a 100% service-connected disability. If the State of Tennessee qualifies you as a disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, then you can receive a rebate up to $458.00. The office will start accepting applications for the Tax Relief Program on October 3, 2016 through April 5, 2017. If you would like to inquire more about a possible tax relief, come by the County Complex in the Trustee’s office at 732 S. Congress Blvd-Room 103, Smithville, TN 37166 or call us at 615-597-5176,” said Trustee Driver.

Site Prep Soon to Begin for Proposed Four Seasons Community Fire Hall

September 27, 2016
Dwayne Page

The county is taking the next step toward the eventual development of a fire hall in the Four Seasons Community.

During Monday night’s meeting, the county commission voted to begin site preparation. “We have some site work that needs to be done. There’s a building or barn on the property and a small pond. I think its time to start doing some work in clearing the property,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

Fifth District Commissioner Anita Puckett said she would like to have a community meeting to get the public’s input on the plans. “ County Fire Chief Donny Green and I are going to try to set up a community meeting, maybe at the Bright Hill Methodist Church, and see what the community wants, whether it be strictly a fire hall or a community center/fire hall and to see if people in the community would want to help build this to be more invested in it,” said Puckett.

“There are some people in the community who have expressed an interest in doing some sweat equity in helping out with what needs to be done,” said County Mayor Stribling.

Two years ago the county commission voted to acquire property, a little more than an acre in size, near the intersection of Four Seasons Road and Young Green Road for the future home of the fire station. Last year the county commission set aside $25,000 as seed money and $50,000 was included in this year’s budget for a total of $75,000 toward the project.


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