Local News Articles

Joey Agee Named Assistant DWS Principal

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joey Agee

Longtime DeKalb Middle School Physical Education Teacher Joey Agee has been named Assistant Principal at DeKalb West School.

DWS Principal Sabrina Farler made the announcement Tuesday.

Agee succeeds Farler as Assistant DWS Principal.

Until his promotion to this new position, Agee has spent his entire teaching career at DeKalb Middle School. He is starting his twelfth year as an educator. He has also served as the DMS boys basketball coach and assistant DWS baseball coach.

Joey is married to the former Casey Bogle and they have two daughters.

Meanwhile, Farler will be starting her first full day as Principal of DeKalb West School Wednesday, taking over from Danny Parkerson, who has retired as Principal but has been elected to the school board from the first district.

Water Line Extension Grant Denied

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's latest application for a CDBG grant has been denied that would have largely funded an extension of water lines to areas of the county in need.

In a letter to County Mayor Tim Stribling Wednesday, September 3, Brooxie Carlton, Director of federal programs for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development wrote that "I regret to inform you that your application for the 2014 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) did not score high enough to be awarded a grant. Please consider revising your application and resubmitting it next year. ECD will be happy to discuss your application and the scoring process with you," she wrote.

In February, the DeKalb Utility District Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution seeking a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for DUD to run water line extensions to areas of the county in need. The County Commission approved the same resolution at the January meeting to make application for the grant on behalf of the DUD.

During the January County Commission meeting Amanda Mainord of Grassroots Planning & Consulting, grant administrator, said the project would have served thirty eight households on Tramel Branch, Oakley Road, Carter Lane, Old Givens Hollow, and the Alexandria to Dismal Road.

The DUD would have been responsible for paying the grant's local 20% matching requirement or $96,000 plus any additional funds required to complete the project.

Jon Foutch, DUD Manager, said he is disappointed that the grant wasn't approved but is hopeful another application can be submitted later. "We want to be able to look at our scores and see how we can improve on them for the next application", he said

Deborah Goodwin Named Director of Smithville Senior Citizens Center

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Deborah Goodwin Named Director of Smithville Senior Citizens Center
Deborah Goodwin with Group at Senior Citizens Center Tuesday

Deborah Goodwin has been named as the new Director for the Smithville Senior Citizens Center. The Advisory Board for the Center announced Friday that she will assume the position on September 15.

Goodwin is a life-long resident of DeKalb County. She is a 1973 graduate of DeKalb County High School and attended Motlow Community College for a time, where she studied Computer Science.

Deborah is the wife of Ronnie Goodwin and they have two sons, Scott Goodwin of Smithville and Matt Goodwin of Murfreesboro.

Goodwin has worked at SW Manufacturing where she held many positions before moving on to become her own boss as owner and operator of "The Flower Box" in downtown Smithville. From there Deborah became a pharmacy Tech where she has served clients at Caldwell's Drug Store and F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy.

Goodwin stated "I am excited to get to work with our Senior Community. I have several new ideas that I hope will generate more interest for the Seniors to come into the Center. I love to work and be around the Seniors within our Community and I look forward to assuming these new responsibilities and making new friends."

Deborah succeeds Wanda Poss who is retiring after serving seventeen years as Director of the Center.

In addition to the Smithville Senior Citizens Center, Liberty and Alexandria also have centers. Nancy Goad is the Director of the Liberty Senior Citizens Center and Barbara Anders is Director of the Alexandria Center.

Early Voting Dates and Times Set for November 4 Election

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dates and Times set for Early Voting

The DeKalb County Election Commission has announced dates and times for Early Voting for the November 4 Tennessee General Election and the Smithville Municipal Liquor Referendums.

Early voting will begin October 15 and run through October 30.

In order to make it as convenient as possible for all voters, the election commission voted to set the following hours:
Mondays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to Noon.

All Early Voting will be in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse.

Tennessee voters will elect a Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressmen, State Representatives, and State Senators.

The General Election Ballot also includes four proposed Tennessee Constitutional amendments.

Amendment #1 inserts constitutional language empowering the legislature to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion.

Amendment #2 empowers the Governor to appoint judges subject to confirmation by the General Assembly

Amendment # 3 prohibits the legislature from levying or permitting any tax upon payroll or earned personal income

Amendment #4 empowers the legislature to permit lotteries for events that benefit 501 (c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organizations.

The City of Smithville has two referendums on the ballot on November 4.

The Retail Package Store Referendum asks city voters to either vote "To permit retail package stores to sell beverages in Smithville" or "not to permit retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages in Smithville".

The Consumption on the Premises Referendum asks city voters to either vote "for legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in Smithville" or "against legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in Smithville."

Candidates on the Tennessee General Election Ballot are as follows:

Governor:
Bill Haslam-Republican
Charles V. "Charlie" Brown-Democratic
Shaun Crowell-Constitution
Isa Infante-Green
Steven Damon Coburn-Independent
John Jay Hooker-Independent
Daniel T. Lewis-Independent (pending)

United States Senate:
Lamar Alexander-Republican
Gordon Ball-Democratic
Joe Wilmoth-Constitution
Martin Pleasant-Green
Tom Emerson, Jr.-Independent
Edmund L. Gauthier-Independent
Joshua James-Independent
Danny Page-Independent
Bartholomew J. Phillips-Independent
C. Salekin-Independent
Eric Schechter-Independent
Rick Tyler-Independent

U.S. House of Representatives (District 6)
Diane Black-Republican
Amos Scott Powers-Democratic
Mike Winton-Independent

Tennessee Senate (District 17)
Mae Beavers- Republican

Tennessee House of Representatives (District 40)
Terri Lynn Weaver- Republican
Sarah Marie Smith-Democratic

Tennessee House of Representatives (District 46)
Mark A. Pody-Republican
Candace Reed-Democratic

The actual wording on the ballot concerning the proposed constitutional amendments is as follows:

Constitutional Amendment 1
Shall Article I, of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:
Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.
□Yes
□No

Constitutional Amendment 2
Shall Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by deleting the first and second sentences and by substituting instead the following:

Judges of the Supreme Court or any intermediate appellate court shall be appointed for a full term or to fill a vacancy by and at the discretion of the governor; shall be confirmed by the Legislature; and thereafter, shall be elected in a retention election by the qualified voters of the state. Confirmation by default occurs if the Legislature fails to reject an appointee within sixty calendar days of either the date of appointment, if made during the annual legislative session, or the convening date of the next annual legislative session, if made out of session. The Legislature is authorized to prescribe such provisions as may be necessary to carry out Sections two and three of this article.
□Yes
□No

Constitutional Amendment 3
Shall Article II, Section 28 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following sentence at the end of the final substantive paragraph within the section:
Notwithstanding the authority to tax privileges or any other authority set forth in this Constitution, the Legislature shall not levy, authorize or otherwise permit any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income; however, nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting any tax in effect on January 1, 2011, or adjustment of the rate of such tax.
□Yes
□No

Constitutional Amendment 4
Shall Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by deleting the following language:
All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) organization located in this state, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code or as may be amended from time to time.
and by substituting instead the following language:

All other forms of lottery not authorized herein are expressly prohibited unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house of the general assembly for an annual event operated for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(19) organization, as defined by the 2000 United States Tax Code, located in this state.
□Yes
□No

Woodmen of the World Dedicate Flagpole in Liberty

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Wanda Poss with members of Liberty Station of DC Fire Dept (Photo by Ronda Johnson)
Regina Wilhite, Field Representative for Woodmen of the World and local chapter President Wanda Poss make presentation (Photo by Ronda Johnson)
Liberty Firefighters Raise the Flag (Photo by Ronda Johnson)
Woodmen of the World Dedicate Flagpole (Photo by Ronda Johnson)
Plaque to be mounted at base of flagpole (Photo by Ronda Johnson)

The local Woodmen of the World Family Fraternity held a flag pole dedication ceremony Monday at the Liberty Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

Regina Wilhite, Field Representative for Woodmen of the World and local chapter President Wanda Poss made the presentation in honor and remembrance of the heroes and victims in the fight against terrorism and to celebrate the enduring spirit of all Americans.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO BY DONNIE JOHNSON)

Watch this video by Donnie Johnson

"Since 2002 Woodmen of the World has been dedicating flagpoles across the country and presenting flags not only to honor the heroes and victims but to remember the men and women of our armed forces serving in combat and in addition to these ceremonies pay tribute to our men and women right here in this community who serve and protect us every day. They all deserve our thanks and admiration. It is to them and to those victims that we dedicate this flagpole today. At the base of the pole is a plaque to be mounted that says "In honor and remembrance of the heroes and victims in the fight against terrorism and to celebrate the enduring spirit of all Americans, presented by Woodmen of the World," said Wilhite.

Woodmen of the World members celebrate patriotism in many ways, including the presentation of United States flags and flagpole dedications.

Woodmen of the World is one of the largest distributors of U.S. flags. More than 2 million American flags have been presented to worthy non-profit and community organizations. Woodmen of the World celebrates and honors the American flag throughout the year.

Out of the ashes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001, Woodmen of the World members rise each year to organize In Honor and Remembrance ceremonies which honor the heroes and victims of those attacks, as well as local community heroes and volunteers.

Among those in attendance for Monday's ceremony in Liberty were members of the DeKalb County Fire Department Liberty Station; Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Mayor Dwight Mathis, Liberty Aldermen, and citizens of Liberty.

DeKalb Suicide Rate Drops

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss Sign Proclamations

Smithville Municipal Judge Hilton Conger will serve for another two years.

The aldermen Monday night approved Conger's reappointment during the city council meeting. City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. administered the oath of office to Conger during the meeting.

The City Judge, who was once elected by city voters to an eight year term, now serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, appointed to a two year term. His salary is $1,000 per month.

Conger was last elected as City Judge in 1998. He was named to his first appointed term in 2006 and he was re-appointed in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

After changes were made in the City Charter a few years ago, the City Court's jurisdiction was reduced to mostly minor traffic offenses and city ordinance violations. The court now convenes usually once per month.

Conger's new term runs through August 31, 2016.

In other business, Mayor Jimmy Poss made the following appointments to city boards and commissions which were approved by the aldermen:

Glen Nichols to the Smithville Planning Commission (6 year term) and to the Board of Zoning Appeals (3 year term)

Janie Knowles to the Board of Zoning Appeals (3 year term)

Wayne Hubbs to the Smithville Airport Advisory Board

Beecher Taylor to the Smithville Planning Commission (6 year term)

Mayor Poss then appointed the aldermen as commissioners over city departments:

Shawn Jacobs- Water and Sewer

Gayla Hendrix- Sanitation

Jason Murphy-Police and Fire

Josh Miller-Streets and Safety

Danny Washer-Finance and Taxation

Mayor Poss also named Alderman Jacobs as Vice Mayor. The aldermen approved the appointment.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker asked the aldermen to approve the addition of three new volunteer firefighters to the department. Chief Parker said Cody Fults, Bradley Johnson, and Dalton Roberts have all met the requirements to become members including successfully completing their 90 day probationary period. The aldermen approved the request.

Meanwhile bid opening for adding sewer to the recently annexed properties in the city is set for September 26 at 11:00 a.m. at city hall.

Mayor Poss announced that the new fuel farm project at the airport will most likely have to be rebid since all bids recently received were too high.

Alderman Danny Washer also praised city workers for the job they have done in cleaning up storm debris across town from downed trees and brush.

Conger Reappointed Smithville Municipal Judge (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 8, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hilton Conger

Smithville Municipal Judge Hilton Conger will serve for another two years.

The aldermen Monday night approved Conger's reappointment during the city council meeting. City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. administered the oath of office to Conger during the meeting.

The City Judge, who was once elected by city voters to an eight year term, now serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, appointed to a two year term. His salary is $1,000 per month.

Conger was last elected as City Judge in 1998. He was named to his first appointed term in 2006 and he was re-appointed in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

After changes were made in the City Charter a few years ago, the City Court's jurisdiction was reduced to mostly minor traffic offenses and city ordinance violations. The court now convenes usually once per month.

Conger's new term runs through August 31, 2016.

In other business, Mayor Jimmy Poss made the following appointments to city boards and commissions which were approved by the aldermen:

Glen Nichols to the Smithville Planning Commission (6 year term) and to the Board of Zoning Appeals (3 year term)

Janie Knowles to the Board of Zoning Appeals (3 year term)

Wayne Hubbs to the Smithville Airport Advisory Board

Beecher Taylor to the Smithville Planning Commission (6 year term)

Mayor Poss then appointed the aldermen as commissioners over city departments:

Shawn Jacobs- Water and Sewer

Gayla Hendrix- Sanitation

Jason Murphy-Police and Fire

Josh Miller-Streets and Safety

Danny Washer-Finance and Taxation

Mayor Poss also named Alderman Jacobs as Vice Mayor. The aldermen approved the appointment.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker asked the aldermen to approve the addition of three new volunteer firefighters to the department. Chief Parker said Cody Fults, Bradley Johnson, and Dalton Roberts have all met the requirements to become members including successfully completing their 90 day probationary period. The aldermen approved the request.

Meanwhile bid opening for adding sewer to the recently annexed properties in the city is set for September 26 at 11:00 a.m. at city hall.

Mayor Poss announced that the new fuel farm project at the airport will most likely have to be rebid since all bids recently received were too high.

Alderman Danny Washer also praised city workers for the job they have done in cleaning up storm debris across town from downed trees and brush.

Man Arrested After Making Phone Threats to Hospital

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Keith Nations
Marijuana Plants Confiscated by Smithville Police Department

A Rutherford County man who allegedly phoned in verbal threats to staff at DeKalb Community Hospital last month has been charged with making false reports.

46 year old Keith Nations is under a $50,000 bond and is currently undergoing an evaluation.

According to Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger, Nations phoned the hospital several times on Saturday, August 30, making verbal threats. At one point, Nations said he would come to the hospital and blow it up. Chief Caplinger said police were notified and the hospital was placed on lock down during the investigation. Police discovered that Nations was responsible and that he used his cell phone to make the calls. Rutherford County authorities were contacted and they located and arrested Nations.

Chief Caplinger said its unknown why Nations phoned in threats at the hospital here since he is unknown to the staff and they have no record of him.

Meanwhile, Smithville Police, acting on an anonymous tip, found several potted marijuana plants in a wooded area near the Smithville Housing Projects last Wednesday, September 3. The marijuana was confiscated. No arrests have been made.

37 year old Wesley Chandler is charged with driving under the influence and cited for violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $4,000. Chief Caplinger said that on Thursday, September 4 police responded to Mapco Express to investigate a wreck. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the victim who said Chandler had backed into his vehicle. Chandler got out of his automobile and was found to be unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and he had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. He kept trying to fall asleep while standing. Chandler performed poorly on field sobriety tasks but he refused to submit to a blood test.

24 year old Brittany Lee is charged with theft over $500 and theft over $1,000. Her bond is $7,500 and she will be in court on September 11. According to Chief Caplinger a member of Lee's family reported that some jewelry went missing from her residence on West Broad Street. During the investigation, police learned that Lee had taken the jewelry and sold some of it to a business in town. The rest of the jewelry was found hidden at Lee's grandparents home where she had been living. Total value of the stolen jewelry was $1,695.

35 year old Jason Jones is charged with theft over $1,000. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court October 2. Chief Caplinger said that Jones allegedly took a Gibson electric guitar from his father's home on Holmes Creek Road and pawned it at a McMinnville Pawn Shop. The value of the guitar is $1,500.

49 year old Wendy Goodman is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court September 11. According to Chief Caplinger, an officer was called to Restview Avenue on Saturday, August 30 where Goodman had come out of her residence and began yelling profanity at another person who was sitting on the sidewalk across the street. As Goodman aggressively advanced toward that person, she was placed under arrest.

67 year old Virginia Ervin is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court September 11. Chief Caplinger said that on Friday, August 29 police received complaints about a woman on Restview Avenue who was coming out of her home and yelling at neighbors, making threats. Police had been there only minutes earlier on a similar complaint and warned the woman (Ervin) at that time not to be causing a disturbance. After police were called back a second time, Ervin was placed under arrest.

20 year old Alex Murphy is charged with domestic assault and violation of his bond conditions. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court September 25. Chief Caplinger said that on Thursday, August 28 police responded to a residence on Foster Road in reference to a possible domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Murphy who said he and a woman had been arguing. Murphy said he grabbed the woman to keep her from leaving. The victim said as she attempted to leave, Murphy grabbed her arm and slammed her left hand into the door leaving her hand swollen and red. She also had marks on her right arm. Murphy was determined to have been the primary aggressor and he was arrested.

23 year old Eden Petriz is charged with driving under the influence and resisting arrest. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court September 11. Chief Caplinger said that on Monday, August 25 police were dispatched to the corner of Juniper Lane and Bell Street to investigate an accident. Upon arrival, the officer saw a man stumbling in the middle of the street. The man, Petriz told police that he had been driving a vehicle (involved in the accident). He had a strong odor of alcohol on him and he was very uncooperative. Sobriety tasks could not be administered. As Petriz was being placed under arrest, he began fighting with the officer and a deputy who were trying to put him in the patrol car. He was taken into custody and charged.

23 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court September 11. Chief Caplinger said that on Sunday, August 24 police were called to a residence on Hayes Street in reference to a possible domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officer heard yelling and crying from persons inside the house. He opened the door and found a woman lying on a couch with a baby in her arms. Hamilton was standing over her with a clinched fist. The officer was told by the victim that Hamilton showed up at this residence and told her to leave. Hamilton was placed under arrest. He has been arrested several times before for domestic assault of the same woman.

42 year old Tonya Silcox is charged with driving under the influence and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court September 11. According to Chief Caplinger, police were dispatched to McDonald's Restaurant on Wednesday, August 27 to investigate a wreck. Upon arrival, the officer was told by a deputy that he saw Silcox's automobile hit another vehicle in the drive through and then pull out onto the highway in front of traffic, almost causing another accident. Silcox was pulled over and she was asked to step out of her vehicle. Silcox performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was very unsteady on her feet. During a search incident to arrest, police found a diabetic testing kit containing several syringes and crushed straws. The syringes contained a yellow residue consistent with drug use. One straw was found in her purse. Silcox was placed under arrest.

42 year old Marina Cornet is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court September 11. According to Chief Caplinger, police responded Saturday, August 23 to a residence on Miller Road in reference to a woman with a knife. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the parties who said an argument began between Cornet and another person over a beer. Cornet's daughter, who was present, warned the other person that Cornet had a knife. Cornet allegedly began making threats and gave the impression that she had a knife. Cornet continued yelling and acting disorderly with the officer present. Due to her level of intoxication and disruptive behavior, Cornet was placed under arrest.

Wallace Rackley is charged with evading arrest, tampering with evidence, and aggravated assault. He is further cited for simple possession of schedule II and IV drugs (diazapem and oxycodone) His bond is $28,500 and he will be in court on September 11. Chief Caplinger said that on Tuesday, August 19 police were called to a residence on Braswell Lane in reference to a 911 hangup call. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Rackley who was found covered in blood. Rackley said he did not call 911 but another person (victim) at the residence told the officer that he needed help. The man's face was very bloody and swollen. The man (victim) said he was beaten with a steel pipe but he would not reveal who had assaulted him. DeKalb EMS arrived and transported the man to the emergency room of the hospital. He was later transported to a Nashville hospital for further treatment. Police learned that Rackley had committed the assault on the victim. The next day, Wednesday, August 20 police observed Rackley in the yard at his home on North Congress Boulevard. Having prior knowledge of warrants against Rackley for offenses in DeKalb and Putnam Counties, the officer pulled into Rackley's driveway. When the officer got out of his patrol car and ordered Rackley to put up his hands, Rackley took off running toward the back of his residence and into the woods. He was apprehended and handcuffed. During a search, the contents of Rackley's pockets were placed on the trunk of the patrol car including some pills. As police were emptying his pockets, Rackley learned over the patrol car and ate some of the pills.

53 year old Larry Lattimore is charged with assault. Chief Caplinger said that on Thursday, August 14 police were called to a residence on Jackson Street in reference to a fight. Upon arrival the officer spoke with several persons who reported that Lattimore had been in the area and that he began yelling at the victim and then attacked him causing bruises to his neck. Lattimore left the scene before police arrived but he was arrested later.

36 year old Jason Cripps is cited for simple possession of schedule II and IV drugs (Opana, Dilaudid, and Xanax). He will be in court September 11.
Chief Caplinger said that on Sunday, August 17 police were investigating an accident at DeKalb Auto Wash when they received information that someone involved in the accident (Cripps) had hidden something in the rocks near the dumpster. Upon a search, police found a vial containing the pills. When confronted, Cripps allegedly admitted that the pills belonged to him.

19 year old Bradley Mullican is cited for unlawful consumption of alcohol. Chief Caplinger said that on Monday, August 11 police responded to a residence on Hayes Street to a call of an unresponsive person. The man (Mullican) had been found lying outside on the sidewalk. Upon arrival the officer found that Mullican had been taken inside the residence and was on the couch. Mullican's speech was slurred and he appeared to be very lethargic. Mullican told the officer he had consumed a lot of moonshine.

Celebrate National Voter Registration Month in September!

September 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, about three out of 10 adults across our country who are eligible to vote aren't registered.

The good news is that there's an easy remedy for that problem.

That's why Secretary of State Tre Hargett is calling on people across Tennessee to celebrate National Voter Registration Month by registering to vote themselves - if they haven't already - and encouraging friends and neighbors to register.

"Voting is a fundamental right that many of our ancestors, friends and neighbors have fought and died to preserve," Secretary Hargett said. "We should never take that right for granted. It is free and easy to register to vote, and I encourage Tennesseans to be active participants in our electoral process. For people who are already registered to vote, National Voter Registration Month serves as a reminder to make sure their registration information is up to date so there are no issues on Election Day."

As part of the month-long celebration, Secretary Hargett is asking registered voters to join a nationwide social media campaign.

People can participate by logging onto www.GoVoteTN.com, then clicking on the "I’m Registered to Vote. Are You?" sign icon. There, they can get information about how to register to vote and also get access to a printable version of the sign. Registered voters are asked to pose for photos holding the signs, then post them on Twitter using #GoVoteTN as a hashtag. Many of the photos will also be shared on the Secretary of State's social media sites and participants are encouraged to post the photos through their other social media accounts as well.

The initial campaign last year in Tennessee generated more than 15 million impressions on social media.

"When we launched the campaign last year, we had great participation from many celebrities, singers, athletes, political leaders and people from all walks of life," Secretary Hargett said. "We expect Tennesseans will respond in a similar way to this year's campaign."

Also, Secretary Hargett and other secretaries of state across the country have declared Sept. 23 as National Voter Registration Day - a day intended to highlight the importance of registering to vote.

Eligible Tennessee residents have until Oct. 6 to register if they wish to vote in the Nov. 4 election. To get more information about how to register to vote or update registration information, visit www.GoVoteTN.com or contact your county election commission.

4-H Members Grill It at Outdoor Cookery Contest

September 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
4-H Members Grill It at Outdoor Cookery Contest

Working with barbecue grills, charcoal, and fresh cuts of meat, DeKalb County 4-H members recently competed in the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest held in Lebanon. Each team member had to construct a charcoal fire and, using their best recipes, grill their choice of beef, lamb, pork, or poultry for some hungry judges to sample. Contestants receive individual scores based on fire preparation, safety, meat preparation skills, palatability and overall appearance of the final product. The junior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 7th – 9th grades. DeKalb County junior high team participants were Kayla Belk and Shelby Sprague. Kayla placed 6th in the beef division and Shelby placed 9th in the poultry division. The senior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 10th – 12th grades, had more than 50 participants in the division. DeKalb County senior high team members included Wyatt Martin, James Mathis, and Nathaniel Theriaque. James placed 2nd in the poultry division, Nathaniel placed 3rd in lamb, and Wyatt placed 14th in the beef division.

Picture caption.

4-H senior high outdoor meat cookery team members include (left to right): James Mathis, Wyatt Martin, and Nathaniel Theriaque.

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