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DCHS "Tiger Talk" Shows Now Archived on WJLE Website

September 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
John Pryor with Coach Steve Trapp

DCHS Tiger football fans can now listen to “Tiger Talk” online at www.wjle.com.

“Tiger Talk” is aired on WJLE AM 1480/FM 101.7 and streamed LIVE each Friday night at 6:30 p.m. prior to kick-off during the high school football season. The program features comments from Tiger Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger Football players talking about upcoming games and other games already played. John Pryor, the Voice of the Tigers, is the host. The program is sponsored by A Degree Above Heating and Cooling, Kilgore’s Restaurant, and Woodbury Insurance Agency.

WJLE has archived the first five “Tiger Talk” shows of the season at www.wjle.com for fans who want to listen to the show again after it airs on the radio. You can find the “Tiger Talk” link on the upper left side of the wjle website homepage under “Community” where you also find “Church News” “Obituaries”, “Classifieds”, “Community Calendar”, “Old Time Community Radio Show”, “DeKalb County School Board Policies”, and “Tennessee County Clerk”.

Or you may click the link below to hear the shows.
http://www.wjle.com/tigertalk

Tiger Football players appearing on each show are as follows:
August 19: Matthew Poss, Eli Cross, Luke Green, and Steven Jennings.
August 26: Matthew Poss, Tayvian Nokes, and Devin Zaderiko.
September 2: Riley Sexton, Devin Bain, and Tyler Bundy.
September 9: Steven Jennings, Nick May, and Gage Delape.
September 16: Justin Perricone, Bradley Miller, and Omar Aldino.

Catch the program each week on the radio and now on line at www.wjle.com

State Board Seeks Public Review of Revised Social Studies Standards

September 15, 2016

The State Board of Education has launched a public review website, https://apps.tn.gov/tcas/, to gather feedback on Tennessee’s newly revised K-12 social studies standards. This is the first time the social studies standards, recently revised by Tennessee educators, will be available for public review.

All Tennesseans are invited to review each social studies standard by grade level and provide comments, as well as any suggestions for changes, through October 28, 2016.

“The public’s earlier online review of the current standards was very successful and paved the way for our educator advisory teams to make significant changes,” said Dr. Sara Heyburn, Executive Director of the Tennessee State Board of Education. “We hope all Tennesseans, especially teachers and parents, will now review the revised social studies standards and give even more feedback.”

The K-12 social studies standards set grade-specific goals that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course.

The initial social studies standards review website was made available for public comment last winter. The website drew over 63,000 public reviews from more than 1,400 reviewers. The data were shared word-for-word with the educator advisory teams during the summer to directly inform their review and revision work.

Once the public provides a second round of feedback, the Standards Recommendation Committee (SRC), appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, will review and suggest additional changes. The SRC will meet several times this fall and propose new social studies standards to the State Board of Education on first reading in January 2017.

If approved, the new social studies standards will be implemented in the 2019-20 school year. The 2018-19 school year will serve as a transition and training year for educators on the new standards.

In October 2014, Gov. Haslam introduced a similar process, in partnership with the State Board, for review of the Tennessee Academic Standards in English language arts and mathematics. This process was codified by the General Assembly in HB 1035. For more information, please visit http://tn.gov/sbe/topic/standards-review.

Free ACT Retake Registration Deadline is Friday, September 16

September 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Friday, September 16 is the deadline for DeKalb County High school seniors to register for a free retake of the ACT test on October 22.

The statewide "ACT Senior Retake Opportunity" allows seniors at all Tennessee public high schools who took the test as a junior to retake the test regardless of socioeconomic status, according to the Tennessee Department of Education.

The ACT is used across the country as an assessment of college and career readiness. Many colleges require the ACT or the SAT for admission and the tests are often used to determine eligibility for scholarships.

“DCHS seniors received their wavier/vouchers recently with their registration codes and directions to register for the retake test on October 22 at any National test site. Each student will be responsible for their own registration, transportation, and documentation by the registration deadline of September 16th. Many students across the state will be registering, so register now to ensure your first site choice. By retaking the ACT, many students will gain valuable scores that will help in admission or placement into their technical programs, colleges and career choices,” said Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for 7th through 12th grade in DeKalb County.

Historical ACT data for Tennessee shows that students who take the test again typically increase their composite score by one to three points, according to the state department of education.

That could make the difference for students to qualify for the HOPE scholarship by earning a score of 21 out of 36 and also would allow more students to avoid remediation courses when they get to college.

"Allowing students an additional opportunity to show what they know by retaking the ACT can expand the possibilities for our students' futures," said State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen.

The statewide goal is to have an average ACT score of 21 by 2020, according to the department. A score of 21 is the benchmark for college readiness according to the ACT.
As of August 2015, the state average score was 19.8.

The registration deadline for the October 22 test is September 16 and if students register late, they are responsible for paying the late fees. The retake voucher expires on the late registration deadline, Sept. 30, and can't be used for another national test date.

If students were to pay to retake the test, the cost is $39.50 for the test and $56.50 with the writing portion, according to the department.

If you have questions concerning this ACT RETAKE opportunity please contact Lisa Cripps at 615-215-2107. And If any DCHS senior missed taking the ACT last year as a junior they may take it this year with the junior class on April 19, 2017. Just notify your school counselor

You may also visit http://tn.gov/education/topic/act-sat. for more information.

Ready! for Kindergarten Classes to Start Soon

September 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ready! for Kindergarten Classes to Start Soon

Is your child Ready for Kindergarten?

The DeKalb County School System is offering a series of classes for parents and caregivers to learn about age-appropriate targets and tools to use at home to ensure children begin kindergarten prepared.

Through the READY! for Kindergarten early learning program:

•Parents and caregivers are better equipped to help babies and young children develop strong brain connections that determine how they will think, learn and grow.

•Children enter kindergarten prepared and eager for school.

•The achievement gap is dramatically reduced by helping children start and stay at grade level.

•Children experience social-emotional well-being because they keep pace with their peers

The READY! for Kindergarten curriculum is designed around 26 Age Level Targets or measurable skills, that a typical 5-year-old needs to be familiar with by the time he or she starts kindergarten. Parents learn how to guide their child toward the targets that are attainable for their child's level of development.

Class participants receive an early learning tool kit for each class they attend containing age-appropriate learning materials for them to use with their child at home. Tools include such things as floor puzzles, colorful wooden shapes, blocks, magnetic letters and numbers, and audio CDs.

The classes are free for parents of Pre-K children from birth to age five. Space is limited so sign up today. By attending one class every fall, winter, and spring you will receive:

FREE TOYS to make learning fun
FREE TRAINING on how children learn and grow
FREE CHILDCARE for children 36 months or older while you attend classes. Parents with children under 12 months old are allowed to bring their child to class.

The schedule of classes is as follows:

Two and Three Year old Children:
Smithville Elementary School ONLY
Class #1 : Tuesday, September 20
Class #2: November 15
Class #3: January 10, 2017
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Three and Four Year old Children:
Smithville Elementary School
Class #1: Tuesday, September 20
Class #2: November 15
Class #3: January 10, 2017
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Three and Four Year old Children:
DeKalb West School
Class #1 : Tuesday, September 27
Class #2: Class decision
Class #3: Class decision
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Three and Four Year old Children:
DeKalb Board of Education Central Office 3rd Floor
Class #1: Tuesday, September 20
Class#2: November 15
Class#3: January 10, 2017
All classes start at 8:30 a.m. (NO CHILD CARE AVAILABLE)

Four and Five Year Old Children:
Smithville Elementary School
Class #1 : Tuesday, September 20
Class #2: November 15
Class #3: January 10, 2017
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Four and Five Year Old Children:
DeKalb West School
Class #1 : Tuesday, September 27
Class #2: Class decision
Class #3: Class decision
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Four and Five Year Old Children:
DeKalb Board of Education Central Office 3rd Floor
Class #1: Tuesday, September 20
Class#2: November 15
Class#3:January 10, 2017
All classes start at 8:30 a.m.
(NO CHILD CARE AVAILABLE)

Sign up by calling the DeKalb County Board of Education at 615-597-4084, 615-215-2100, or 615-215-2105.

Chancellor Makes Ruling in SES Substation Case

September 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Chancellor Ronald Thurman
Proposed site of New Smithville Electric System Substation on South College Street
Proposed New Smithville Electric System Substation location on South College Street

Smithville Electric System will have to get approval from the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen before it can proceed with plans to build a new substation on South College Street.

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen will meet in special session Monday, September 19 at 5:00 p.m. at city hall to consider the issue.

Following a three hour hearing Wednesday morning in DeKalb County Chancery Court, Chancellor Ronald Thurman issued a declaratory judgment in the case of Joe Rice versus the Smithville Electric System and the City of Smithville. The hearing was covered exclusively by WJLE.

Rice, developer of the Meadowview Subdivision, is seeking to block Smithville Electric System from building the substation or electric supply and service near his property. Attorneys Sarah Cripps and Brandon Cox filed the complaint Friday, September 2 on behalf of Rice asking for a declaratory judgment to construe and apply TCA (the law) to the issue. They also sought a temporary injunction and a permanent injunction to enjoin and prohibit SES from erecting this industrial use facility in an R-1 low density residential district, and for any further relief.

In his ruling Wednesday, Chancellor Thurman sided with Rice in finding that based on his interpretation of state law, Smithville Electric System was created and authorized by the City of Smithville and has the status of a city governmental department. He further found that when the Smithville Planning Commission disapproved the substation project at the proposed location during a meeting on June 14, SES did not have the authority to overrule the planning commission but should have filed an appeal with the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen asking for a simple majority vote to overturn the planning commission’s decision. But Chancellor Thurman denied a request for a temporary injunction finding no proof of immediate or irreparable harm to Rice. Instead, Chancellor Thurman said that other legal remedies are available to Rice in seeking damages against the defendants, Smithville Electric System and the City of Smithville, if he has or should suffer damages because of the substation project.

According to Cripps and Cox, the planning commission disapproved SES’s proposal based on the grounds that the proposed location by SES is inconsistent with the city’s Land Use and Transportation Plan. Rice's attorneys also contended that the SES board was required to appeal the planning commission’s decision to the chief legislative body for the city, the mayor and board of aldermen, which has the power to ratify or overrule the planning commission by a simple majority vote, but that the SES board did not file an appeal and instead voted to proceed with the project. However, City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. said at the June 14 planning commission meeting that the Smithville Electric System Board of Directors had the authority to overrule the decision of the planning commission and proceed with its plans without having to make an appeal to the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

City Attorney Parsley and Nashville lawyer Mark E. McGrady of the Tennessee Municipal League, representing the defendants asserted that Smithville Electric System is an independent entity from the city and that neither the utility nor its improvement projects are funded by city tax dollars, but rather by the SES ratepayers.

Had he ordered a temporary Injunction, Chancellor Thurman said Rice would have had to post a bond, as required by law, to cover any losses to SES pending a final hearing in the case since he (Rice) is the party seeking the injunction. Richie Knowles, Interim Manager for Smithville Electric System testified Wednesday that the utility already has two million dollars in purchase orders and contracted services scheduled with deadlines and that SES would be forced to pay penalties if those deadlines are not met. Cripps and Cox said it wasn’t right to hold Rice responsible for SES’s actions.

Rice testified Wednesday that the proposed substation has kept him from being able to sell property in his 39 lot subdivision. According to Rice, two prospective buyers recently expressed an interest in purchasing lots but when he told them about the electric company's plans they never got back with him. Rice testified that there could also be safety hazards saying he had seen videos on the Internet where substations elsewhere have exploded.

When asked by City Attorney Parsley, Rice said he has owned the subdivision for twenty years and during that time nine lots have been sold and six houses built there. He admitted that TVA high tension lines already run through the subdivision.

While Smithville shares the existing substation on West Main Street with Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, Knowles testified Wednesday that the city needs another substation and that even though other properties might be available, the proposed location on South College Street is ideally situated to feed the entire city with TVA lines close by. He added that having a second substation would keep power on city wide, in the event of repairs or upgrades to the existing substation. Knowles said plans are to erect a decorative concrete wall around the proposed facility with a wrought iron gate and that the grounds will be landscaped to help screen it from public view.

Chancellor Thurman has given SES 30 days to appeal the Planning Commission’s action to the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen. City Attorney Parsley said an appeal is anticipated and a special meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen will be convened to act on it well within the 30 day deadline.

City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson told WJLE Wednesday afternoon that the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen will consider the appeal in a special called meeting set for Monday, September 19 at 5:00 p.m. at city hall.

Representative Weaver Explains Reason for Voting Not to Expel Durham

September 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Terri Lynn Weaver
Gayla Hendrix

After more than an hour debating, members of the Tennessee General Assembly on Tuesday voted 70-2 to expel Representative Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin).

Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and Representative Courtney Rogers (R-Goodlettsville) voted against expelling Durham. More than 20 legislators abstained from voting or were not present.

Durham, accused in an Attorney General's report of sexually harassing at least 22 women, attempted to make a case against his expulsion arguing that the vote was tantamount to an unfair trial. Durham claimed he did not get a chance to present evidence to defend himself.

Representative Weaver told WJLE Wednesday morning that she voted against expelling Durham because he was denied due process. “Yesterday’s vote was a very important one. I believe in procedures. I believe those are paramount. Those procedures of due process, in other words, innocent before guilty, are precious procedures to be afforded by everyone even if some are bad actors. I’m sure there were shenanigans but still there was no due process presented to me. The vote was very difficult for me to make. But I was sent there (state legislature) to be your voice. There was no room to be on the fence on this (abstain from voting). After yesterday’s vote what is concerning to me is that any member of the General Assembly can be expelled based on rumors or hearsay and that puts justice and due process on a very slippery slope. I defended the process of law for all and I would do it again. I want to thank the people of District 40 for your confidence in me. I was sent there (legislature) to be courageous and to vote the right way and I believe I did that,” she said.

Representative Weaver has come under fire from her political opponent in the November Election, Gayla Hendrix for this vote.

In a prepared news release, Hendrix said Weaver abandoned her beliefs on morality in support of a sexual predator and her vote would have allowed him to receive his taxpayer funded pension. “Disturbingly, Representative Weaver was one of two legislators who voted to allow him (Durham) to complete his term and receive his pension, even in light of all the allegations. She voted to excuse his sexual aggression and enable his unacceptable behavior, his mistreatment of others, and his repeated breaches of sworn duty as a Tennessee lawmaker,” said Hendrix.

“Terri Lynn talks a good line about strong morals and family values, but where were those morals and values earlier today when she stood with a sexual predator instead of the overwhelming and bipartisan majority of her peers in the Tennessee House of Representatives and voters across the state?”

“Terri Lynn’s support of Jeremy Durham is detestable, sickening, and a slap in the face of everyone who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Her vote to allow him to remain in the legislature and collect a lifetime pension is evidence of her willingness to be fiscally careless with Tennessee tax dollars. As a former domestic violence prosecutor, I know first-hand the kind of trauma the 22 women in the report experienced. Her insensitivity to these women - the threats and intimidation they experienced - is proof that she has neither the moral conviction nor the strength of character the voters of District 40 deserve from our elected representative,” said Hendrix.

Tuesday marked only the third time a legislator has been kicked out of Tennessee's statehouse. Previous expulsions happened in 1866 and 1980.

Teens Receive Five Year Sentence on Probation for Liberty Burglaries and Thefts

September 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joshua James Boland
Bobby Christopher Maynard
Justin Dwayne Spann

Two teens arrested in recent burglaries and thefts at two homes in Liberty were sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday, September 12.

18 year old Joshua James Boland and 18 year old Bobby Christopher Maynard both of Clear Creek Road, Liberty each entered a plea by information to one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $1,000. Each received a three year sentence for the burglary and two years for the theft to run consecutively for a total sentence of five years each suspended to supervised probation. They are to make restitution to the victims totaling $3,200. Maynard is seeking judicial diversion. He was given jail credit of 32 days. Boland was given 30 days jail credit.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, August 2 Boland and Maynard allegedly broke into a residence on West Main in Liberty. Items taken from this home were several pieces of jewelry, an iPod Touch, a Kindle Fire, a Verizon prepaid phone, an Easton ball bat bag, $750 in cash and $300 in assorted change.

Five days later on Sunday, August 7 Boland and Maynard allegedly burglarized a different home on West Main Street in Liberty. Items taken from this home included a Winchester 45 caliber revolver, a 25 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and $350 in assorted change.

According to Sheriff Ray, some of the stolen items have been recovered. The cases were investigated by Sheriff’s Department Detectives.

Meanwhile, 29 year old Justin Dwayne Spann entered a plea by information to theft over $500 and received a two year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. He is to make restitution of $600 to the victim. Spann was given jail credit from January 24 to September 12, 2016. Sheriff Ray said that on November 24, 2015 Spann allegedly took a Cotter Utility Trailer from a location on Sparta Highway. The trailer was valued at $1,500.

McKinley Gets Probation for Vehicular Assault

September 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
McKinley Gets Probation for Vehicular Assault
1997 Ford F150 driven by Michael Quinton McKinley in March 2015 wreck
1977 Ford pickup driven by 43 year old Timmy Hendrixson in March 2015 accident

A 23 year old McMinnville man involved in a two vehicle crash last year was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

Michael McKinley entered a plea by information to one count of vehicular assault and received a four year sentence all suspended to time served. The term is to run consecutive to a sentence against him in Warren County. McKinley was given jail credit from March 9 to September 12, 2016.

McKinley was among three people who were involved in that crash on Saturday, March 14, 2015 on Highway 56 south near Evins Mill Nursery.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that McKinley was traveling north in a 1997 Ford F150 when the truck went off the right side of the highway. McKinley overcorrected and his truck then crossed the center line and made an angle impact with a southbound 1977 Ford pickup , driven by 44 year old Timmy Hendrixson of Smithville.

Hendrixson was ejected from his truck. McKinley was trapped in his pickup. Both were seriously hurt along with a 17 year old McMinnville boy who was a passenger with McKinley.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department's Extrication Team were summoned to help free McKinley from the wreckage.

According to Trooper Johnson, McKinley was transported by DeKalb EMS to Vanderbilt Hospital. The 17 year old boy was taken by EMS to the Smithville Municipal Airport where he was airlifted by a helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. DeKalb EMS took Hendrixson to Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

Sergeants Eric McCormick and Jimmy Jones assisted Trooper Johnson with the crash investigation.

Downtown Street Paving Postponed Until Next Week

September 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The paving of downtown city streets, which was expected to have begun today (Tuesday), has been postponed until next week.

City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson said officials of Tinsley Asphalt Company, the contractor for the project, informed him today (Tuesday) that they have another project elsewhere to finish before they start this one.

Tentative plans were to begin paving today (Tuesday) but as Robinson noted those plans were subject to change.

All milling work has been completed and no paving is planned for this week. Anyone having business downtown will find the public square and all the streets in the downtown area open for traveling and parking.

In addition to the public square around the courthouse, streets to paved are Don Cantrell Street by City Hall, West Walnut Street, East Main Street, West Main Street, and West Market Street. The work will be done in sections and only the sections being worked on will be closed.

The courthouse and all businesses in the area will also remain open during this period

Couch Charged with Aggravated Assault of his Girlfriend

September 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mika Shane Couch
Rosendo Garcia Martinez
Madison Hope Hayes

A Smithville man was arrested last week for assaulting his girlfriend and later for violating bond conditions to stay away from her.

31 year old Mika Shane Couch of Smithville, Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault and violation of bond conditions. His bond totals $17,500 and his court date is September 29. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, September 8 a deputy was called to the emergency room of the hospital where he spoke to a woman being examined for chest pains. The woman said that on Monday, September 5, she and her boyfriend, Couch began arguing when he grabbed her by the arms and slammed her down on their bed. She further stated that on Tuesday, September 6 Couch assaulted her again by twisting her leg causing major swelling to the knee. During her examination on Thursday, September 8 the woman was found to have suffered a broken sternum and she had numerous bruises all over her body.

Couch was arrested again on Sunday, September 11 after allegedly violating his bond conditions to stay away from this woman. A deputy responded to a residence on Cookeville Highway due to a 911 open line. Upon arrival he found Couch with the victim. A computer check revealed that Couch is under bond conditions in reference to the aggravated assault that occurred on Thursday, September 8.

45 year old Rosendo Garcia Martinez of McMinnville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for driving on a suspended license, violation of the open container law, and driving on roadways laned for travel. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is September 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, September 4 a deputy was dispatched to the area of McMinnville Highway due to a complaint of a possible intoxicated driver in a white Ford pickup. The officer spotted the truck traveling in the middle of the roadway. He made a traffic stop of the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Martinez. His eyes were glossy and bloodshot and his speech was slurred. Martinez was also unsteady on his feet. He submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Martinez was placed under arrest.

18 year old Madison Hope Hayes of Granville Drive, Smithville is charged with underage driving while impaired. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is September 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, September 10 a deputy received a call of a suspicious vehicle at a residence. Upon arrival the officer found Hayes passed out in a GMC Sierra in the driveway. The engine was still running and the headlights were on. He awoke Hayes and found her to be unsteady on her feet. Her eyes were bloodshot and she had a strong odor of alcohol on her person. Hayes performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She also submitted to a blood alcohol test.

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