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DWS Bulldogs Win Best of the West Tournament

November 3, 2016
Bill Conger
DWS Boys placed first in the Best of the West tournament (Bill Conger Photo)

The DeKalb West School Bulldogs took first place at the annual Best of the West tournament while the Lady Bulldogs captured a third place finish.

Under the direction of Coach Kelly Pyburn, the boys’ team beat New Middleton in the first round, Short Mountain in the second round and then Tuckers Crossroads to take the top spot.

“We did okay,” Pyburn said modestly. “We looked a little lost on defense, but they picked it up and they hustled. Hustling made up for them not knowing where they were supposed to be. We did a good job scoring. I saw some good things from people and saw some things that we need to work on.”

Brayden Antoniak, Lucas Hale, and Levi Driver were named to the All-Tournament team.

“The team is working hard,” Pyburn said. “We are going to have to play smart basketball this year. We are very small compared to other teams. They are a really smart group, so if we use our head and play smart basketball we should be able to stay in the game. We do have several players that have a few years under their belts! We return two starters, and most of the others have gotten quite a bit of playing time in the previous years.”

The DWS boys lost six 8th grade players last year (Two of them—Cody Antoniak and Dallas Cook—are on the high school team). “Their leadership and height will really be missed. It is hard to compare the teams because this year’s team is much younger and shorter.”

For the Lady Bulldogs, Gracie Griffin, Summer Crook, and Lydia Davenport were selected for the All-Tournament team. The girls’ team beat New Middleton, Gordonsville, and Short Mountain.

“They did well,” said Lady Bulldogs Coach Cindy Pulley. “There was one game that we played really close competition, and the girls pulled it out. They were able to play smart. I saw lots of good things, but still lots of things we can improve on.”

Losing only one player from 8th grade last year, the girls’ team brings more experience into this season.

“Several of the girls have played now since they were in 6th grade,” adds Pulley. “I have very few girls who have never played before, so they do bring several years of experience. Several of the younger girls are real scrappy. They can be tough when they choose to be.”

“We’re still playing a little inconsistent. Some days we perform really well and then, other days--- not so much. One night we were 100% from the free throw line. The very next day we were 28% from the free throw line.”

Sean Antoniak is the Assistant Coach for both teams for the first year.

“He has done a lot for the program already,” says Pulley. “He did some open gyms over fall break for us, giving the girls and boys opportunities to come in and practice. He’s already brought a lot to the program, and he brings a lot of knowledge and physical ability himself to the program.”

DWS is playing in the Forks River Tournament this week. Both teams will tip off the regular season with a game at home against Woodbury on Nov. 8.

Smithville Police Officers to Participate in "No Shave November"

November 3, 2016
Dwayne Page
Chelsea Lauryn Clark

Members of the Smithville Police Department are participating in "No Shave November" to raise funds for Saint Jude Cancer research.

No-Shave November is a nationwide fundraiser for cancer awareness.

The money raised locally will be donated in memory of Chelsea Lauryn Clark, daughter of Tom & Vickie Clark. Chelsea gained her wings, at 15 years old in August 2016 after a four year battle with Osteosarcoma. Chelsea was a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Police officers have stopped shaving for the month of November and this year’s winner will receive a free shave from Master Barber Shana Key of A1 Hair Salon. As the participants let their beards grow, family and friends are encouraged to join the campaign and become more educated about cancer prevention, saving lives, and helping those fighting cancer.

"You will soon see some Smithville police officers that could use a shave, but it's for a good cause,” said Captain Steven Leffew of the Smithville Police Department. “Many of our officers are very enthusiastic to take part in the fundraiser, so we decided to participate as a group. I'm very proud to work beside such caring people."

If you would like to help the department to raise money for cancer research, you can go to the Smithville Police Departments face book page and click on this link http://fundraising.stjude.org/spdnoshavenovember and make a donation.

DeKalb Fire Department Receives Elite Award for Training Achievements

November 2, 2016
County Fire Chief Donny Green

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, for the eighth consecutive year, has been recognized as one of Tennessee’s elite fire departments for outstanding training achievement.

Of the 732 fire departments in Tennessee, both volunteer and paid, the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department ranks # 31 for 2015-16 training achievement by the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy. Considering the ranking among departments that operate with 100% volunteer staff in the state, the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department ranks # 4.

Last year, the department was the 3rd ranked volunteer fire department in Tennessee for training hours. This year, the department logged 2,012 training hours at the state fire academy and was recognized as a Gold Level fire department in Tennessee for 2015-16. Jeff Elliot, Fire Service Program Director of the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy, presented the department with a Certificate of Training Achievement.

DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling commended the department’s members and leaders for continuing to make the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s training program such a huge success. “Our county takes great pride in the level of commitment and service that we continue to see year after year from our volunteer firefighters who work hard and train hard to make sure our citizens have good fire protection here in DeKalb County. Getting this kind of statewide recognition for the eighth consecutive year makes it very clear that we have an excellent group of committed men and women who sacrifice many hours to be prepared to respond to the emergency needs of our citizens,” said Mayor Stribling.

Chief Donny Green said he wants to personally commend Assistant Chief David Agee, the department's Training Officer, for his leadership in planning and coordinating the department's training activities in a manner that spotlights the training program as one of the best in the state; volunteer or career. In addition to the 2,012 hours at the Academy, Assistant Chief Agee coordinated just over 3,000 hours of "in-house" training.

Chief Green said that without the support of County Mayor Tim Stribling, the County Commission, the families of the volunteer firefighters, and the citizens of DeKalb County, the department could not have achieved such prestigious recognition. “Properly trained firefighters are the best tools available to any fire department. Without proper training, the best and most expensive equipment is useless. However, good training coupled with good equipment is priceless,” said Chief Green. Training performance and documentation are core elements in the Insurance Services Office's (ISO) property protection that determine how much property owners have to pay in homeowners insurance premiums. The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's proven success has resulted in a dramatic improvement to DeKalb County’s Public Protection Classification Rating of Class 6 for all areas of DeKalb County located within 5 road miles of one of the department’s 11 stations.

If you are interested in learning more about the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, or would like information on how to be a member of the team, you can visit the Department’s website at: www.dekalbfire.com, or call 615-464-7176. You can also visit the Department’s FaceBook group page

Corps Unveils New Warning System at Dams When Spilling Operations are Underway

November 2, 2016
Center Hill Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District has new systems in place below several Nashville District dams including Center Hill Dam to warn visitors when hazardous waters exist due to spilling operations.

The warning systems have been installed in the tailwater areas below eight dams in the Cumberland River System. The eight dams are Barkley, Cheatham, Old Hickory, J. Percy Priest, Center Hill, Cordell Hull, Dale Hollow, and Wolf Creek.

The warning systems became operational Monday Oct. 31.

The system at each lake consists of a sign with a flashing light and flashing light(s) located on the spillway section of the structure. The lights will flash during times of spilling operations. Spilling operations include events where water is being released through the dam spillway gates at the eight dams and during water releases through the sluice gates at Center Hill, Dale Hollow, and Wolf Creek.

“The implementation of these spillway warning systems is the final piece of the public safety plan that the Nashville District began putting in place after the passage of the Freedom to Fish Act by Congress in 2013,” said Andreas Patterson, Chief of Natural Resources Management Branch.

Additional pieces of the safety plan include lights and signs at the discharge areas downstream of the hydropower plant and the navigation lock. In addition, boaters are notified by signage that life jackets must be worn by all boat occupants while boating in these hazardous tailwater areas.

“These warning systems do not prohibit boaters from entering the tailwater areas,” said Patterson. “Instead boaters are notified by signage, horns, sirens, and flashing lights that the areas are hazardous and that limited, event-oriented restrictions apply when operating watercraft in these areas.”

Mentors Needed in DeKalb County for the Tennessee Promise Program

November 1, 2016
Dwayne Page

Community volunteers are needed in DeKalb County to mentor students taking part in the Tennessee Promise program.

Tennessee Promise allows any Tennessee high school graduate the opportunity to attend a community college, Tennessee College of Applied Technology or to get an applicable associate’s degree from a four-year institution, tuition free. Mentors are assigned to students within their county and help students eliminate the barriers of accessing post-secondary education.

In DeKalb County 20 mentors are needed for the 2017 school year, and only nine have applied so far. The deadline to apply as a mentor is November 20.

Mentors must be 21 years or older and willing to invest 10-15 hours annually assisting five to ten high school seniors with post secondary success. Mentors are not asked to assist with school work, only to help students meet program deadlines and requirements through email and text communication.

All mentors are subject to a minimum background check. Mentors must apply online at www.tnachieves.org by November 20, 2016. Mentors will not be paired with students until spring 2017.

For more information on Tennessee Promise, visit www.tnpromise.gov.

New Early Voting Record Set

November 1, 2016
Dwayne Page

A new early voting record has been set in DeKalb County.

As of Wednesday, a total of 3,520 have cast ballots for the November 8th elections. That eclipses the previous record set in 2012 when 3,217 voted early for the November balloting.

A total of 203 cast ballots on Wednesday, including 191 in person and 12 by absentee.

If you are registered and haven’t voted early, you have one more day to do so.

Early voting ends Thursday, November 3. Hours are 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the first floor of the courthouse at the election commission office.

Election day is Tuesday, November 8 from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. at all precincts in the county.

WJLE will have LIVE Election return coverage starting Tuesday night when the polls close at 7:00 p.m. Listen to WJLE AM 1480/ WJLE FM 101.7 or LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com

4-H’ers Succeed at Regional Poultry Contest

November 1, 2016
Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
 DeKalb County 4-H Jr. Teams placed 4th and 8th at the Regional Poultry Judging Contest in Lebanon. Macey Cox was 4th high Individual. Front Row: Westin Wright, Kolton Slager, Kyra Baker, and Ella Pack. Back Row: Macey Cox, Caleb Taylor, Luke Magness, and Colby Barnes.
2nd Place: The Dekalb County Senior High Poulty Judging Team placed 2nd in the Regional Contest: PJ Ray, Caitlyn Lawrence, and Caleb Taylor. Caitlyn Lawrence was high individual.
Luke Magness gets ready to evaluate a hen at the Central Region Poulty Judging Contest

The Poultry Project is quickly becoming one of DeKalb County’s most popular 4-H activities. In addition to the Chick-Chain project where youth raise chickens, anyone can be involved in poultry judging even if they can’t raise the birds at home. DeKalb County was recently represented by 11 members at the Central Region contest held in Lebanon. There were a total of 122 participants from across middle Tennessee.

The junior team of Colby Barnes, Macey Cox, Luke Magness, and Westin Wright placed 4th overall. The junior team of Kyra Baker, Ella Pack, and Kolton Slager placed 8th. Macey Cox was 4th high individual. Caleb Taylor competed as an individual in the Jr. High division. The senior high division placed 2nd in the contest and consisted of Caitlyn Lawrence, PJ Ray, and Caleb Taylor. Caitlyn was 1st high individual.

During the contest, there are three classes where eggs are graded on quality: candling, broken out, and exterior. Contestants must know the parts of an egg and how it deteriorates over time when candling. A light is held to the eggs in order to see the interior. The shell is then graded in the exterior quality class, and contestants look for defects and abnormalities. Egg whites and yolks are graded in the broken out class. A class of four, live White Leghorn hens is judged on their egg laying ability. This is determined by the pigment of their skin and abdominal capacity. Senior High members must give oral reasons on this class to defend their decision. Finally, meat parts are identified and carcasses are graded in the ready-to-cook poultry classes.

Many of our poultry judgers have chickens of their own, and the knowledge gained through this contest will help them better care for their birds and market their eggs. Congratulations to these young people on a job well done!

If you are interested in poultry judging or any other 4-H activity, please call 615-597-4945. 4-H is a proud part of UT Extension, the UT Institute of Agriculture, and TSU Cooperative Extension. UT/TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments.

Photo Captions:

Team: DeKalb County 4-H Jr. Teams placed 4th and 8th at the Regional Poultry Judging Contest in Lebanon. Macey Cox was 4th high Individual. Front Row: Westin Wright, Kolton Slager, Kyra Baker, and Ella Pack. Back Row: Macey Cox, Caleb Taylor, Luke Magness, and Colby Barnes.

2nd Place: The Dekalb County Senior High Poulty Judging Team placed 2nd in the Regional Contest: PJ Ray, Caitlyn Lawrence, and Caleb Taylor. Caitlyn Lawrence was high individual.

Luke Magness gets ready to evaluate a hen at the Central Region Poulty Judging Contest.

Hatfield Charged with 15 Counts of Fradulent Use of Credit Cards

November 1, 2016
Dwayne Page
Jeff Mark Hatfield

A DeKalb County man has been charged with fifteen counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.

26 year old Jeff Mark Hatfield of Adcock Cemetery Road is under a $37,500 bond and his court date is November 17.

The cases were investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that Hatfield allegedly stole credit/debit cards and used them to withdraw money from his victim’s account fifteen times at four different ATMs in Smithville.

Amounts were withdrawn on the following dates:

Friday, September 30: $122.95 and $202.95

Saturday, October 1: $102.95, $162.50, and $202.50

Sunday, October 2: $82.50, $182.50, and $162.50

Monday, October 3: $142.50 and $182.50

Tuesday, October 4: $102.50

Wednesday, October 5: $100, $23.50, and $102.

Thursday, October 6: $130.

Local Soldier Wanted by U.S. Marine Corps for Military Desertion

November 1, 2016
Dwayne Page
Daniel Lynn Johnson
Joshua Lee Underwood
Matthew Dewayne Griffith

A local soldier, wanted by the U.S. Marine Corps for military desertion, has been arrested by the Sheriff’s Department.

20 year old Daniel Lynn Johnson of Meridian Drive, Smithville is charged with military desertion from the U.S. Marine Corps. Johnson was arrested Tuesday, October 25 after officers were called to his residence due to an unrelated incident. After conducting a background check, they learned Johnson is wanted by the U.S. Marine Corps. He is to be picked up at the Sheriff’s Department by the Marines. He is being held without bond with no court date scheduled.

25 year old Joshua Lee Underwood of Murfreesboro is charged with criminal impersonation. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is November 17. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, October 24 a deputy was called to a residence on Big Hurricane Road where a brother and sister were arguing. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the woman who said that her brother had Cannon County warrants against him. The man identified himself to the deputy as Joshua Spurlock, born in 1994. An ID found in his wallet confirmed his identity as Underwood and his sister and a friend verified it. Underwood was placed under arrest.

31 year old Matthew Dewayne Griffith of Short Mountain Road Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000 and he will make a court appearance November 10. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, October 25 a deputy responded to a residence on Adcock Cemetery Road in reference to a tip about a stolen vehicle. The officer spoke with Griffith, who admitted to having possession of a 1993 Ford Ranger, which had been entered into the National Crime Information Center database as stolen out of Cannon County. Griffith was placed under arrest.

DeKalb Fire Dept Reminds You to Change Your Clock and Change Your Battery

October 31, 2016
Lieutenant Brian Williams

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, Nov. 6, and while you are changing your clocks, the DeKalb County Fire Department wants to remind you to change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms also. Our message is simple and it’s easy to do! Please take a few minutes to make sure life-saving alarms have fresh batteries so you, your family, and your home are protected.

Lieutenant Brian Williams, DeKalb County Fire Department’s Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, reminds DeKalb County residents that after batteries are changed in alarms, take a few extra minutes to test your alarms and remind family, friends, and neighbors to do the same. Not all smoke alarms have batteries that have to be replaced each year. Some newer model alarms have batteries that last up to 10 years. However, it is still very important to test and clean your alarms. You can clean and maintain them simply by using compressed air to remove dust residue that accumulates on alarms that can cause the alarm’s sensor to not operate properly.

If your home is not furnished with smoke alarms, or if your alarms are older than 10 years old, DeKalb County Fire Department will install new smoke alarms in your home free of charge. There’s simply no reason anyone should lay down to sleep at night without having a working smoke alarm in their home! All you have to do is contact Lt. Brian Williams at (615) 330-4066 and provide your name, address, and phone number to get your free alarms installed.

Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that can be prevented. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. “The vast majority of our house fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” said Lt. Williams. “Smoke alarm installation and maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”

A working smoke detector doubles your chance of surviving a home fire. So, why would you not want you and your family to have this protection? For more information about fire safety, visit the DeKalb County Fire Department’s FaceBook Group page or the department’s website at www.dekalbfire.com.


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