Local News Articles

DeKalb Health Department to Administer Flu Shots at Two Upcoming Events

October 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Health Department to Administer Flu Shots at Two Upcoming Events

The DeKalb County Health Department will be giving flu shots during the LBJ & C Smithville Head Start Open House on Friday, October 27 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and during the Prescription Drug Take Back Day at Smithville City Hall on Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

If you have insurance, please bring your insurance card.

Fees are based on a sliding scale of income in your household.

DCHS Tiger Boutique to be held Thursday

October 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tiger Boutique to be held Thursday
Clothing to be given away to needy DCHS Students Thursday during Tiger Boutique

Students in need of clothing at DCHS will be treated Thursday, October 26 during the third “Tiger Boutique” organized by the Climate Crew.

Members of the Climate Crew have been collecting donations of name brand clothes and will be setting up shop for one day only in the DCHS library for other students to take advantage of for free.

Hundreds of clothing items were given away at the second Tiger Boutique held in the spring.

The DCHS Climate Crew is made up of students who have a desire to change the school culture at DCHS.

DCHS Building Trades Program to Begin Construction on First "Tiny House"

October 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
The DCHS Construction Technology (building trades) program  will start building “Tiny Houses”  soon  similiar to the one shown here
Brad Leach and Gary Caplinger standing next to modified trailer on which the first Tiny House will soon be built

The DCHS Construction Technology (building trades) program will start building “Tiny Houses” soon hoping the concept will be a big hit with the public.

Brad Leach, Career and Technical Education Director, said the first “Tiny House” should be completed by March with plans for it to be shown in Cookeville during an Expo at the Hyder-Burks Pavilion. “This is a new project for us that we’re experimenting with just to see how the market is for them,” he said.

The 8’ x 20’ “Tiny House” will be built on a modified trailer that can be anchored or moved from place to place. “It will have a sleeping loft, a bathroom with probably a compost toilet, vanity, small shower, sitting room, and a kitchenette. It’s just the bare essentials,” said Gary Caplinger, Construction Teacher at DCHS.

“Of course it’s not for a family of four or six people. It is a very small home. It’s 8’ x 20’ and the height of it from ground to roof cannot be over 13’ 6 inches unless it’s permitted. The trailer is specifically designed and modified for a Tiny House. You can’t just use any old trailer. You have to have a modified version. The trailer we have is capable of handling the weight of the Tiny House as well as the floor joist that are already built into the trailer where you can put the house right over the top of it,” said Leach.

Because it is small, Caplinger said much of the early construction can be done indoors. “ The first stages of it will be built inside the shop so we won’t have to take the trailer out until we get to the roof system. That’s when we’ll have to bring it outside. But the majority of it can be done in the shop. We’ll start roughing in the plumbing. That stage will have to be completed before we put down the subfloor and that will be permanently attached to the trailer with metal screws and anchors,” he said.

Caplinger said a Tiny House is handy and can be used in different ways. “You can use it like an RV. You can move it from place to place. You can anchor it permanently or you can travel with it and use it like a travel trailer. A lot of people are doing that. We had one family who actually talked to us about it. They were interested in having something to put in their back yard so when they had company, relatives could stay in it while they were there,” Caplinger said.

In recent years, the program has primarily built mini-barns for the public and they remain popular. Caplinger said plans are to continue building those along with the Tiny Houses.

“We’ll probably do a mixture of both because we have a big demand for those utility buildings. A lot of people want those. In fact we have a couple more of those to do this year. I would really like to have the “Tiny House” finished by March. They have a show in Cookeville. We plan to take it over there to market and show it off at the Hyder Burks Expo Center. Maybe we can get some interest from people who want to buy it,” said Caplinger.

The first Tiny House project will begin once a design has been selected and work is finished on the latest mini-barn under construction. “We haven’t settled on the design yet but we’re just going to build the first one in a way we think most people would like and then try to sell it. Later, if someone is interested, we could possibly customize a Tiny House to their liking. We do the utility buildings that way on a percentage basis. We build them upon request and the customer pays 10% above our costs,” added Caplinger.

“We would probably sell these like our utility or mini-barns. If someone comes to us and says they want us to build a Tiny House for them, then we will work with that customer. As for this first one, it’s up to the Board of Education how it will be sold. They may want to do sealed bids or sell it straight out,” said Leach.

For years the DCHS building trades classes constructed homes on lots purchased by the school board for this purpose. This meant that students in the class and their teacher would have to load up on a bus and travel back and forth between the school and the construction site each school day until the project was completed. The homes were then sold by sealed bids with the money put back into the program.

The on-site construction ended in 2011 in favor of an on-campus program, in which students began building 1,400 square foot homes at DCHS. When they were ready to be moved, the homes were sold with the owner also paying for costs of moving them to their own lot. Since the homes had to be moved, some finishing work was required by the owners after relocation. The program later started building primarily mini-barns.

Eleven Teams Seek Bragging Rights for "Best Chili" in Friday's Habitat Cook-Off

October 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tecia Pryor shows the new Habitat Chili Cook-Off ceramic mug with the event’s logo which will be available Friday for $20.00 at the 14th annual event downtown

Who makes the best chili in DeKalb County? Find out on Friday, October 27th when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 14th annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the DeKalb Courthouse Lawn. In case of bad weather, the event will be moved to the DeKalb County Complex. For a cash donation, eat all the chili you want and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Ceramic mugs with the event’s logo are available for $20.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches will also be for sale. Take out is also available.

Eleven teams will be competing in the Chili Cook-off:

* “Cheese Wagon Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education Transportation Department
*”Volunteers for Justice” from the DeKalb County Bar Association
*"The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Courthouse
*"Hot Momma’s” from Federal Mogul Motorparts
*"The Bean Counters” from Janney & Associates, CPA’s
*"Liberty and Chili for All” from Liberty State Bank
*"Team MTNG-Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas
* “Bobby Ray Detachment 1377 - Marine Corps League” from the Marine Corps League
*"Burning Down the House” from Smithville Storage
*"Evins Mill Chefs” from The Inn at Evins Mill
*"Hot Checks Chili” from Wilson Bank & Trust

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.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Pryor at 615-597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 615-215-8181 or find them on Facebook @HFHDeKalbTN.

Dining with Diabetes Classes Scheduled

October 24, 2017
Dr. April Martin

The UT Extension Office in DeKalb County and Southern TN Regional Health Systems will be offering Dining with Diabetes classes on November 6, 13, and 20. The three consecutive classes will be held in the kitchen of the DeKalb County Complex building from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. UT Extension Agent Dr. April Martin will conduct the program. Dining with Diabetes is open to anyone with diabetes, family members of diabetics or anyone at risk for diabetes.

You will learn how to prepare quick and healthy meals that taste good. Recipes will be demonstrated and participants will have the opportunity to taste each one. There is a charge of $5 that covers the entire course for the food which will be demonstrated. Participants will be able to have a small meal as well.

Participants will gain knowledge on analyzing nutritional value of foods; how to identify and monitor the amount of carbohydrates, sodium and fat eaten; how to modify favorite recipes to reduce refined carbohydrates, sodium and saturated fat; how to identify sources of “healthy” fats in food such as, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat including food sources of omega 3 fatty acids; how to identify hidden sources of trans fat in food and how to use artificial sweeteners, plus the importance of physical activity. Recipes and handouts will be given to each participant.

Diabetes is a very serious and costly disease. Research has shown that those who learn to manage their blood sugar levels; eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly can lower their risk of complications. Diabetics can lead a healthy and productive life when they manage their disease.

For registration information contact the UT Extension office 615-597-4945 by November 2. Class size is limited, so reservations are needed. Payment of $5 for the entire course can be made the first night of class.

Home Damaged by Grease Fire, One Suffers Minor Burn

October 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Grease Fire Causes Damage to Kitchen

A grease fire Monday night spread causing damage at the residence of Timothy and Leslie Hale at 217 Highland Drive off Cookeville Highway.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that a relative of the Hale’s was in the kitchen frying hamburgers when grease in the skillet caught fire spreading from the stove to a cabinet and vent pipe. The woman received a minor grease burn to her hand as she grabbed the skillet to take outside. Other members of the family safely evacuated.

Members of the Cookeville Highway and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded. Although they were able to contain the blaze, the kitchen and hallway received some fire damage and intense heat and smoke spread to other parts of the home. DeKalb EMS and the Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.

Taylor Charged with Another Theft

October 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Ryan Davis Taylor
Randy James Wheeler
Justin Keith Tatum
Tamara Michelle Dodson
Matthew Brandon Coffman
Christopher Shaun Tomlin

Another theft charge has been filed against a Smithville man already facing numerous burglary and theft offenses since July.

24 year old Ryan Davis Taylor of Holmes Creek Road, Smithville is charged in this case with theft of property under $1,000. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is November 2. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on August 8, Taylor took a Rough Rider 22 caliber single action revolver valued at $500


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_44.pdf (2.23 MB)

A man accused of assaulting a woman during an argument and then stealing her car will make a court appearance on November 2.

27 year old Randy James Wheeler of Chapman Hollow Drive, Dowelltown is charged with aggravated assault and theft of property over $1,000. He is under a $13,000 bond.

Sheriff Ray said that on September 16 a deputy was dispatched to Jack Hudson Road in reference to a physical domestic which had just occurred. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the victim who said that she and Wheeler had gotten into an argument because she refused to perform a sexual act for him. Wheeler demanded the keys to her car but she refused. He then pulled her from the car and threw her to the ground, kicked her in the back, and stomped her head onto the ground. He then got in the car and sped off leaving her on the ground.

Justin Keith Tatum of Lebanon is charged with a second offense of driving while license revoked. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 2.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, October 16 a deputy was dispatched to Lancaster Road due to a one vehicle accident. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Tatum, the driver who said that he may have struck something in the roadway causing his automobile to slide into the ditch. A computer check revealed that Tatum’s license were revoked on November 2, 2011 for a second offense of driving under the influence. Tatum had also been charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked license in Macon County on May 25, 2015. The revocations remain active.

31 year old Tamara Michelle Dodson of Obie Adcock Road, Smithville is charged with vandalism. Her bond is $5,000 and court date is November 9.
Sheriff Ray said that on September 27 a deputy was dispatched to Obie Adcock Road for a possible domestic incident. While the officer was enroute, central dispatch advised him that according to the complainant, Dodson began beating on the storm door and front door after being locked out of the residence causing damage to the doors as well as to the siding on the house beside the front door. The complainant also reported that Dodson broke windows to the house trying to gain entry and that she caused damage to the front fender and bumper of a car parked at the residence. The total damage was estimated at $1,400.

29 year old Matthew Brandon Coffman of Sparta is charged with public intoxication. He is under a $1,500 bond and will make a court appearance on November 16.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, October 19 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Sligo bridge due to a man being in the roadway and trying to jump onto vehicles passing by. Upon arrival the officer spotted the man, Coffman running toward him, screaming and waving his arms. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on him and his speech was slurred. He was also very unsteady on his feet. Coffman was placed under arrest.

39 year old Christopher Shaun Tomlin of Curtis Avenue, Alexandria is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is November 16.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, October 22 a deputy was called to a residence on Curtis Avenue in Alexandria in reference to a domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Tomlin’s wife and step-son who said that Tomlin forced his way into their home. During an argument, the step-son intervened to keep Tomlin from assaulting his mother (Tomlin’s wife). Tomlin then assaulted his step-son causing him to suffer a bloody nose and mouth.

County to Sell Tax Delinquent Properties

October 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
County to Sell Tax Delinquent Properties

The county will be seeking sealed bids from the public for the sale of tax delinquent properties not sold through previous tax sales.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, the county commission voted to surplus those parcels and publish an advertisement seeking sealed bids to sell them. The county plans to award bids to the highest bidders without collecting from the buyers back taxes owed on those properties.
County Mayor Tim Stribling said there may be as many as 100 parcels available for sale.

“Through the years when people don’t pay their taxes, the Clerk and Master has a delinquent tax sale and what property is not purchased goes back to the county. The last delinquent tax sale the Clerk and Master had was November 4, 2016. The county has to wait a year before we can sell this property. That will be November 4, 2017. There is also property on the books from 2009, 2012, and 2014. There is probably about 75 to 100 parcels of property that the county has received through the delinquent tax sales. We need to surplus this property to be able to sell it. I think the best thing to do is advertise the sale with a description of the property and include that the parcels are on the Tennessee property data website. We can include the property address, control map, group, parcel, and lot number, and let people submit sealed bids. We can then have the purchasing committee open bids at a certain date. This would give people a better opportunity to bid rather than a LIVE auction. Everybody might not be able to make it to a LIVE auction but this way people could mail in their bids or bring them into the office. Once the parcels are sold then the county will be able to collect property taxes on them again,” said County Mayor Stribling.

He said most of the properties are in the Lakeview Mountain Estates, Holiday Haven, Four Star Point areas.

In other business, the commission voted to enter into a Revenue Enhancement Consulting Agreement with the Barrett Group of Murfreesboro.

During a workshop last Thursday, Donna Barrett of the Barrett Group addressed the county commission to explain the proposal.

Under the agreement, the Barrett Group will conduct a review to make sure the county is getting all the revenues it is due from various state taxes that local businesses pay including sales tax, Hall income tax, beer and liquor tax, excise tax, etc.

For example, if a municipality within the county is found from this review to be erroneously receiving any tax revenues from businesses outside of the municipality, then the mistake will be corrected and the tax money will be re-directed to the county.

“If another municipality is receiving those funds and should be going to the county, then that’s where it would be corrected. There would be no loss to the business owner but if a mistake is found then they (business owner) would be sent a report stating where they should properly send that tax,”said County Mayor Stribling.

The Barrett Group is to receive 50% of any extra revenues generated to the county from this review only for the first year. After the first year, no further fees would be paid to Barrett. If the review turns up no mistakes, the county would not owe Barrett anything.

The vote to approve the agreement was 12-1-1. Commissioner Bradley Hendrix voted against it. Commissioner Julie Young “passed”.

DCHS Soccer Program May Get Its Own Field

October 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Soccer Program May Get Its Own Field

The DCHS Soccer program may soon have a playing field to call its own.

The County Commission has cleared the way for the Board of Education to purchase five acres of property adjoining the northside of the high school campus to Allen Ferry Road for the development of a soccer field.

A property owner has offered to sell the five acre site to the Board of Education for $25,000.

Although the school board has the funds in capital outlay to make the purchase, approval of a budget amendment is required to transfer the money for the land purchase from the capital outlay line item in the budget.

The school board asked the county commission to approve the budget amendment. The vote by the commission Monday night was 12-2 in favor. Commissioners Julie Young and Betty Atnip voted against it.

The soccer teams currently use the high school football field to play their regular season games in the spring and fall.

Commissioner Jack Barton said the DCHS Soccer Boosters will be doing their part to help develop the site.

“They are set and prepared to help develop this property. Its not solely a publically funded effort. They are raising money to help develop this field trying to get it lit or at least get access to it. They have been working hard for over two years,” said Barton.

Police Chief Warns Against Teddy Bear Scam

October 23, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins

If you should get a phone call from someone soliciting money for teddy bears in the name of the Smithville Police Department, hang up.

Chief Mark Collins told WJLE Monday afternoon that a few residents have reported receiving such calls but it is a scam and is under investigation by the department.

According to Collins, the police department is not sponsoring or participating in any such fundraising activity


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