Local News Articles

Three Involved in Head-On Crash

July 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
 2000 Lincoln Towncar driven by Sunshine Sutton of Crossville
2010 Toyota Yaris driven by Breanna Bilbrey of Smithville

Two adults and a child were involved in a head-on crash Sunday night on Highway 56 north near the intersection of Ponder Road.

Trooper Brandon Jackson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 40 year old Sunshine Sutton of Crossville was traveling south on Highway 56 in a 2000 Lincoln Towncar when she crossed the center line into the path of a northbound 2010 Toyota Yaris, driven by 22 year old Breanna Bilbrey of Smithville.

Bilbrey was transported to DeKalb Community Hospital by DeKalb EMS.

A six year old child passenger of Sutton's car was taken to the hospital by private vehicle. Sutton was treated at the scene.

According to Trooper Jackson, Sutton was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and cited for crossing the center line of the highway.

Trooper Jackson was assisted in the crash investigation by Trooper Terry Seay.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Department and Sheriff's Department were also at the scene.

WJLE to Celebrate 50 Years of Broadcasting July 26th

July 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

WJLE is celebrating 50 years of broadcasting on Saturday, July 26th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend at the radio station.

Light refreshments will be served.

The program will air LIVE throughout the day hosted by WJLE Manager Dwayne Page and former Manager Ralph Vaughn.

"A special thanks to Ralph for helping us organize this event," Page said.

"We would especially like to have former employees of the station and family members of former owners to join us that day along with anyone who has ever had a radio broadcast with us over the five decades. If you can't be here in person, give us a call for a brief interview by phone," said Page.

"Local ministers, sports figures, coaches, newsmakers, advertisers, public officials, and loyal listeners are urged to stop by to share special memories and to help us celebrate," he added.

Remember, that's Saturday, July 26th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at WJLE.

On behalf of station owner Leon Stribling and the current staff, Dwayne Page (Manager), Dale Carroll and Brian Lehan (Announcers), Dora Estes (Accountant), Julie Underhill (Traffic Director), and Jeff Nokes (Engineer), we hope to see you here!

School Board Looks to Contract Custodial Services

July 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Board (Older Photo)
Board of Education (Older Photo)

In an effort to save money and relieve each school of the in-house burden, the DeKalb County Board of Education is considering contracting with a company to provide custodial services at all schools in the county.

Representatives of GCA Services Group addressed the School Board Thursday night and made a proposal to contract with the system for $400,000 for the first year with annual renewal options for at least up to five years. All current custodial staff working for the school system, recommended by the principals would be hired by GCA. All chemicals, equipment, and consumables would also be provided by GCA for maintaining the buildings year round.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said he has contacted several school systems where GCA works and all have given him a good report. "I have not found anybody that had anything negative to say. The quality of work they do that I have heard about and looked at is extremely good," he said.

The school board took no action Thursday night. A special meeting is set for Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m. to make a final decision.

According to its website, GCA Services Group, Inc. is a leading national provider of quality facility services, including janitorial/custodial services, contamination control for cleanroom manufacturing, facilities operations and maintenance, grounds management, in-sourced production staffing and labor management, diversified staffing, and more.

With over 34,000 employees in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, GCA serves a variety of sectors, including K-12 schools, higher education, manufacturing, corporate office buildings, and others. GCA’s management team is recognized as one of the strongest and most experienced in the industry.

Craig Colquitt, Senior Sales Director said GCA would partner with the school system, improve the cleanliness and look of the schools, train the current staff of custodians, provide them health insurance and benefits, and give them an opportunity for promotions. "We are in 35 school districts in the state (Tennessee) and in 250 school districts across the country. We consider ourselves allies, partners. We know your current concerns are for your principals, teachers, and your employees. They are for us too," Colquitt said.

"One thing we do when we come into a district is that we talk to the principals first and foremost. Any of these employees who are doing a good job, we want on our team," said Josh Helton, Senior Regional Manager. "We need your employees. We want to train them. We know how important it is to hire locally and to give these people a chance to move forward," he said.

"We provide upward mobility and promotions. We're in a lot of districts so if there are people here who are capable of doing more, we want to give them that opportunity if they want it to move up into a managerial position and even further," said Adam Miles, Sales Director.

Employees who do a good job on a daily basis would also be rewarded through a regular recognition program. "We have an employee of the month and a building of the month at every location and every school system. We usually present a gift card or offer some form of recognition and a plaque. We also do a building of the month to recognize the entire crew at that school. That usually involves a dinner, lunch or whatever they (employees) like to do. Maybe a sporting event," said Helton.

In addition to the daily chores, GCA would be responsible for cleanup for after school activities. "All school related activities, ball games, PTO events, and board meetings, we'll be there to clean up before and after and take care of things," said Miles.

"In addition to the cleaning inside of the buildings, we will patrol the perimeter within twenty five feet of the school and clean up trash and debris", Miles said.

Although not part of the contracted clean up responsibilities, GCA provides beautification projects as a value added service. " Maybe the outside grounds need a little work too. We're not just about inside strip and wax. We can come in and plant, mulch and do things like that to beautify those areas," said Helton.

While principals would no longer be directly over the custodians, they would still have input with GCA. "If principals are concerned that they will lose control of their building if they are not calling the shots, that's the furthest thing from the truth. They are what makes this thing work. Every day, we'll check in with them, especially the first quarter or so and make sure they have what they need and are happy. We would have a designated account manager, a direct contact for all principals and the day porters and night crews at each school will have a supervisor over them," said Miles. GCA would further maintain an on-call list of employees who could be summoned to work in the event of an absence by a regular custodian due to illness or other reason.

Sixth District Board member Doug Stephens asked how GCA could save the school system money. "What you presented is very impressive but how can we either be so bad or you so good that you can save us $50,000 a year," he asked?

"Purchasing power. All equipment, training and consumables are provided by us and we're getting our equipment and consumables at a much lower rate than you can. All those costs to you, we'll absorb including insurance, benefits, and workman's comp," said Helton. We keep our workman's comp costs down with proper training, equipment, education, and supplies they (custodians) need. If we are stripping and waxing a floor, they're (employees) are going to be in glasses and stripper shoes. We want them to go home the same way they arrived. Anything less than that on our part is unacceptable," added Miles.

Part of the savings on equipment is coming from the fact that we're buying the equipment full price but we're negotiating that. We're getting a better price than you do. You'll buy it at full cash price. We'll depreciate that over five years. If we don't maintain the contract for five years we're out. So it behooves us to keep it for five years because we've bought new equipment and depreciated it over that period of time. That's part of the savings. With 36,000 employees, we can negotiate on any kind of supply with our buying power," said Colquitt.

We can offer you a significant savings from what you're spending in house while inheriting all of your recommended employees. We have the leadership that is ready to go. We've got the turn key service, if you want us in here we can take care of you from start to finish, from unlocking the building to locking the building and everything in between. We're here. If you need us, you call us, even if it's an emergency in the middle of the night. We want to be a partner. We want to take care of the buildings. We want to be proud of it and we want the students and the staff to show up and say this building looks great. It's simple and easy, which is what the principals like the most," said Miles.

With the consumables, such as trash bags and toilet paper provided by GCA, schools would no longer have to bear that expense, which usually runs from two to four thousand dollars a year, and paid for through fundraisers.

First District member John David Foutch asked about GCA's health insurance plan for employees. "I am interested in the employees insurance compared to what ours are paying now. Whether it's comparable. If it's way out of line, it's not being fair to the people who have been loyal to us. I think they have done a good job. A lot of them work for insurance," said Foutch.

"All the insurance they currently have, we offer," said Miles. "Insurance costs will vary based upon packages offered but we have multiple packages including major medical and dental and they (employees) can retrofit it however they see fit. We work with United Healthcare and Humana. United offers a Bronze, Silver, and Gold plan," he said.

Board Chairman Johnny Lattimore asked GCA to provide some numbers in terms of costs for individual , spouse and family health insurance plans during the special meeting Tuesday night.

GCA pledges to be actively involved in the community."We do a lot of things in the community we're really proud of. As far as sponsorships go, as far as sports, we know how hard it is to get funding for coaches. We'd love to chip in on that and sponsor events. Anything local in the community we can put our name on and help you guys with that, we'd like to do that as well," Helton said.

*****(Foot Note)*******
Craig Colquitt of GCA Services Group, Inc. is a retired American football punter who spent eight seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1978–1981, 1983–1984) and Indianapolis Colts (1987). He was a member of two Super Bowl Champions with the Steelers in 1978 and 1979. He is the father of two current NFL punters, Dustin and Britton Colquitt. His brother, Jimmy Colquitt, was a punter for the Seattle Seahawks in 1985. All four played college football at the University of Tennessee.[1] Craig was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Hall of Fame July 16, 2009

Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

July 14, 2014
by: 
William Freddy Curtis
Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club conducted a Special Event Station at the 42nd Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival on Saturday, July 5th, 2014. This year marked the fifteenth year that a special event station had been set up at the Jamboree.

The station was setup at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library during the early morning hours on Saturday. Antennas were assembled, radios were properly checked, and transmissions were begun at 7:30 AM local time. Operations took place in the 20 meter, 40 meter, and 15 meter Amateur Radio bands, and the station was publicized in Amateur Radio magazines QST, CQ, and the club website. This year operations took place on a beautiful sunny day.

The station contacted 213 total Amateur Radio Stations in 37 States, and Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec Canada, as well as stations in Ireland, Finland, and Saudi Arabia. One interesting contact included the Ham Station on-board a World War II vintage B-17G Bomber which is being restored at an airport in Savannah, Georgia, and the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse, New York.

Amateur Radio Operator Guests included the following: K3CWC – Wilson Cowan, Lebanon, TN; ARRL Tennessee Section Manager – N9DGK – Keith Miller, Rockvale, TN; WB4HDM – Lynne Hamrick, McMinnville, TN; KD4TVO – Joe Poole, Wartburg, TN. Very special guests were: KF5QYU - Brandon Turrentine, Winnie, TX; KD5EFM – Debbie Driver, Houston, TX; AK5Q – Mickey A. Driver, Houston, TX, who are members of the KC5WXA Jake McClain Driver Memorial Amateur Radio Club, Houston, TX.

Participants of the station included DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club Members:
NN9J – Steve Kujawski, Sparta, TN; NF9G - Kathy Kujawski, Sparta, TN; KC4GUG – Freddy Curtis, Smithville, TN. This year the station also had CW or Morse code included in the operation. This was done by N4LZY – Jerry Elkins of Woodbury, Tennessee and added greatly to the station operation. Mr. Elkins also called a Navy-Marine Corps MARS (Military Auxillary Radio System) Tennessee Area State-wide Net from the Special Event Station for the first time ever.

The club would like to offer thanks to Jamboree Coordinator - Mr. Jack Burton, Justin Potter Librarian - Mrs. Kathy Hendrixson, DeKalb County EMA Director – Charlie Parker, and Mr. Darryl Counts - Postmaster, Smithville Post Office for their support of this activity.

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb, Cannon, and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - 6:30 PM at the DeKalb County Complex, 722 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville, TN. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend. More information about the club can be found at the club’s website – http://www.dccarc.org.

Picture Caption:

Picture 1 = Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station operate under the tent in the rain during the 42nd Annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival included:
Left to Right - KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis; NN9J - Steve Kujawski; WB4HDM – Lynne Hamrick and N4LZY – Jerry Elkins. Photo Courtesy of NF9G – Kathy Kujawski.

First Day of School Education Celebration July 31

July 12, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow

The Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Thursday, July 31 starting at 6:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

The celebration is held on school registration day.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-Kindergarten to 6th Grade, said the event is free and all parents and students are urged to attend to help kick off the new school year. "Our goal is to provide an evening of activities, education, and enjoyment for the residents of DeKalb County. We will be having information booths, passing out school supplies, refreshments, and various activities for the students to participate in while promoting education."

"This will also provide a time for our teachers and parents to come together to build a foundation for new and positive relationships, right from day one," said Burklow

"Our First Day of School Celebration is an opportunity for our schools to take a leadership role in re-enforcing and improving relationships among parents, teachers, students, and the community. This is the one day each year when it is both easiest and most important to enlist families as partners in our children's education. This is a great time for us to engage our families and make them feel welcome into our schools."

"So come out and join us. Everything is free that evening. We'll have free school supplies, free food, snacks and lots of community people coming together to make this event possible", said Burklow.

"There are many volunteers, churches, and organizations that come together to make this event possible for our children so they are able to start school with new supplies and a great positive attitude."

If you would like to help with this event please call Michelle Burklow at 597-4084. Volunteers are needed.

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to join the fun downtown Smithville on Thursday, July 31

DeKalb West School Addition to Open with Start of School

July 11, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West Addition to Open with Start of School

Except for the kitchen, the DeKalb West School addition is expected to be completed by the time school starts later this month.

David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects and Levi Bouton of J. Cumby Construction updated the Director of Schools and Board of Education on the project Thursday night.

According to Bouton, the kitchen should be finished by August 22nd. Until then, students will be served sack lunches just as they were on the last few days of school before summer break.

"This is the definition of the home stretch. The next couple of weeks are going to be exciting, "said Brown. "We are scheduled to do our punch list of the classroom addition and the cafeteria on the same date as the State Fire Marshal is going to be there to do an inspection. After that, we will have arrived at the stage called substantial completion. That means that you can use the building for the purpose that it was designed for. You can move in. You can start using it as classrooms. In new construction, that's the date when utilities are turned over to your name from the contractor's name. That's the date the one year warranty starts and your clock starts on most of your warranty work. We will do the punch list. Each item on the list will be addressed and then we'll start getting the closeout documents. All of the focus will then shift over to getting the kitchen wrapped up," said Brown.

"We are just a couple of weeks away from the substantial completion," said Bouton. "Immediate hurdles that we have are that the kitchen is not going to be complete at substantial completion. But the new addition and the cafeteria will be able to be turned over at that point. The exterior of the building which includes all the grade work, the site work, and the additional underground drainage that was added to the project, we're anticipating that being done by the second week in August," he said.

Bouton assured Director of Schools Mark Willoughby that the addition would be ready to open with the start of school July 31, except for the kitchen.

"Do you feel really confident that we will be in that building at the beginning of school?," asked Willoughby.

"Yes sir," responded Bouton.

"The cooler and the freezer have been installed but the remainder of all the (kitchen) equipment is in storage. We've just got to say go. I don't want it there just yet. It (kitchen) is not presentable for that yet," said Bouton.

School Nutrition Supervisor Stephanie Dyer said she is glad that the cafeteria will be ready by the start of school and that sack lunches could be served until the kitchen is completed. "As far as feeding the children, we will continue what we were doing prior to school being out with our sack lunches. The kids really did enjoy that. We were able to give them a different variety of sandwiches and that worked fine so for two or three weeks, it should not be a problem. My main concern was making sure the cafeteria was completed so they (students) have a place to eat and for us to serve." said Dyer.

Most of the new construction is at the front of the existing building. The project includes eight new classrooms, seven of which are tornado safe shelters, along storm shelter restrooms. The addition also features a new secure entrance to the school, an office, clinic, conference room, and a teacher work area. A new larger kitchen has been constructed as an extension to the existing building and the cafeteria is enlarged. A re-roofing of the existing school was part of the overall project and most of that has been finished. The school also has a new intercom and fire alarm system. The section featuring the tornado safe rooms was largely funded through a FEMA grant program. The required grant match as well as DWS projects not covered by FEMA were funded locally.

Willoughby Announces Teacher Resignations

July 11, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DCHS Band Director and several teachers have announced their resignations.

In his monthly report on personnel moves, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby informed the school board Thursday night that the following persons have resigned:

Jonathon Wright, DCHS Band Director

Audra Stangenberg, Special Education teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Samantha Murphy, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Brittany Allen, teacher at DCHS

Lindsey Holmes, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Nicole Green, teacher at DCHS

Mary Ann Blair, teacher at Northside Elementary School

Walter Phillips, who has retired as bus driver.

DeKalb Schools to Reopen for Registration July 31

July 11, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will re-open with registration for all students on Thursday, July 31. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 1 will be an administrative day for teachers only.

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 4.

During Thursday night's school board meeting, DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps announced that freshmen orientation will be Monday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at DCHS . New students to the county at DCHS may pre-register from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, July 28-30. That is not for incoming freshmen. Only new students to the county entering DCHS.

Amanda Dakas, Assistant Principal at DeKalb Middle School announced that sixth grade orientation at DeKalb Middle School will be Tuesday, July 29 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for students with a last name beginning with the letters "A" through "K" and from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. for students with a last name beginning with the letters "L" to "Z".

Beth Pafford, Assistant Principal at Northside Elementary School said that a "Meet Your Teacher" night for second and third grade students will be Tuesday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Northside Elementary School. Parents and children may tour the school and meet the teachers.

Meanwhile Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K through 6th Grade announced that the annual first day of school education celebration will be Thursday, July 31 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on the public square.

According to the 2014-15 school calendar, a system wide in-service day will be Monday, July 28

All teachers will report to their individual schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 29 and July 30

(CLICK PDF LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE ACTUAL CALENDAR)

2014 15 Academic Calendar.pdf (139.97 KB)

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 1.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 20-31

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 26, 27, & 28 and for the Christmas break December 22 through January 2. Friday, December 19 will be the last day students attend before Christmas break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Monday, January 5 will be a stockpile day for teachers. Students will return after the holidays on Tuesday, January 6.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19 and for President's Day, Monday, February 16.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 30 through April 3

No school for students Memorial Day, Monday May 25.

The following are designated as Early Release dates: Friday, August 29; Friday, October 3; Friday, February 13; and Friday, March 6

Students will not attend on Friday, May 22. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Tuesday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 7 and Tuesday, March 10 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 9 and Thursday, March 12 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

DCHS report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 6 and Monday, March 9 and at all other schools on Tuesday, October 7 and Tuesday, March 10.

Hospital Hosts Kids Backpack Food Drive

July 10, 2014
by: 
Shan Burklow
Hospital Hosts Kids Backpack Food Drive

DeKalb Community Hospital along with the artists of Off the Beaten Path are sponsoring their annual ‘Hungry Kids Backpack Food Drive’. Last year, in honor of the combined pounds lost during the Weight Loss Challenge, the hospital donated over 943 pounds of food for both DeKalb and Cannon County backpack programs. The donated food - such as crackers, juice boxes, raisins, and microwaveable pasta – will be used for hundreds of hungry kids across both DeKalb and Cannon Counties.

“Last year, after such a tremendous outpouring of community support, some of the backpack program directors were moved to tears of gratitude upon receiving such a tremendous amount of food!” said Shan Burklow – Marketing Director of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “It made us feel so good to see everyone come together and give whatever they could. Donation drop boxes are available at both DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital or can be dropped off in the administration office as well. The artists of Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour will be selling pottery and art at the DeKalb Farmers Market with 100% of the proceeds supporting the program as well.”

“This is an important need that takes everyone’s continued support to conquer. Children should never go home and have nothing to eat, but unfortunately, this happens more than we can imagine,” said Sue Conley- CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “It is our goal to beat last year’s donations and raise over one thousand pounds of food for this worthy cause. Please come out and donate whatever you can spare.”

The program asks that donations be limited to non-perishable items, pop-top pasta, crackers, juice boxes, raisins, pretzels, individually wrapped snacks, granola bars, etc. No candy or sugar items will be distributed. For more information on how to participate, contact Shan Burklow: sburklow@dchtn.com or call (615) 215-5448.

Pictured: Tim Hintz (Off the Beaten Path) accepts food raised by DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital Staff (pictured) along with many community donations. Last year’s Hungry Kids Backpack Food Drive collected over 943 pounds of food to celebrate the pounds lost from the Weight Loss Challenge. This year, the hospitals plan to collect 1,000 pounds of food to help the kids of DeKalb and Cannon Counties.

New Area Code and Ten-Digit Local Dialing Coming Soon

July 10, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Craig Gates

Starting in the spring of 2015, anyone applying for new phone service in DeKalb County or elsewhere in north central middle Tennessee can expect to get a new area code once the availability of (615) area code numbers is exhausted. Ten digit local dialing will also be required to complete a call.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority recently announced plans to implement the new (629) area code. Known as an 'Area Code Overlay,' this change ensures availability of an ongoing supply of telephone numbers. "The state TRA some time ago put out a comments page on their website and asked the people who lived in the 615 area code area if they would like to have another area code split, which is what happened when the 615 and 931 area codes came about, or if they would like to have an overlay. The overwhelming response was an overlay which means that a 629 area code will come into effect in March. They will have to start issuing new numbers under the 629 and 615 area codes," said Craig Gates, Chief Executive Officer of DTC Communications in an interview with WJLE Wednesday.

The reason for the change is because the existing supply of 615 area code numbers is running out. "Across America, ever since cell phones came into being and in 1996 with the advent of the Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC) and later IP or Voice Over Internet Carriers, everybody has been gobbling up the phone number pool that exists and they are running out of numbers with the plan they have," said Gates.

According to rules of the Federal Communications Commission, when two area codes serve the same region, callers are required to change the way they dial local calls. While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they will be required to ten-digit dial all local calls (area code and seven-digit telephone number. " Even though you're going to dial ten digits instead of seven, it's still a local call. But you will have to dial ten digits. Eleven digits will be used for long distance calling ," said Gates.

In addition to landlines, ten digit dialing will also apply to cell phones, fax machines, and other communication systems . "That'll be for cell phones and land lines, your home phone number but some other things people need to think about are automatic dialers, fax machines, alarm systems, security systems, Internet dial up numbers (if you still have dial up Internet), and speed dialers. Phone contact lists will need to be updated. Call forwarding settings will have to be changed. All of those things will have to be done so that people can complete those calls on a mandatory basis in February," said Gates.

Beginning July 26 residents and businesses in the 615 area code can start dialing ten digits - area code + telephone number - when making local calls. Beginning February 28, 2015, everyone in the 615 area code will be required to dial ten digits (area code + telephone number) and starting March 28, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be issued numbers using the 629 area code, if 615 numbers are no longer available.

According to Gates, DTC still has an ample supply of 615 area code numbers. "DTC has plenty of 615 numbers left and we will continue to give out 615 numbers for the foreseeable future but at some point those could become exhausted. Another thing that's been done for the last few years is they can actually claim numbers from us. They can take back numbers. That could happen and if so we would end up with the 629 area code a little quicker than we would otherwise," he said.

DTC customers don't have to wait until July 26 to begin ten digit dialing, according to Gates. " DTC has been allowing permissive dialing for the last few months. Currently you can dial either the seven or ten digits. Once it becomes mandatory, you will have to dial the area code and the seven digits. It becomes mandatory on February 28," he said.

Gates urges DTC customers to become familiar now with the practice of ten digit dialing. "It will be a change. It's going to take some education, especially once that mandatory time hits because people are not going to be ready for it. A lot of people are going to continue to dial seven digits and not think about it. When that day comes, I imagine we're going to start getting some calls from those people who haven't heard or forgotten about it," Gates concluded.

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