Local News Articles

DeKalb EMS Gets New Respiratory Equipment With Grant Funds (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

May 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb EMS Gets New Ventilators and IntuBrite Video Laryngoscopes. Pictured Jason Rice, Trent Hillis, Cody Johnson, Stephanie Brown, Matthew Adcock, Hoyte Hale, and Joey Criddle

The DeKalb County Ambulance Service is now better equipped to enhance the respiratory care of patients with the recent acquisition of three new ventilators and IntuBrite video laryngoscopes.

An Operations and Safety Grant, the amount of $24,000, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program was awarded over a year ago to help purchase the equipment.

Hoyte Hale, local EMS Director, and Bradley Mullinax of the Emergency Communications District (911) applied for the grant two years ago. Hale explained that it took time to obtain and make use of the equipment after the grant was awarded because of the bidding process in making the purchase and due to the training that was required of the EMS staff.

“In 2016 I applied for an AFG grant with the help of Bradley Mullinax for ventilators and IntuBrite Video Laryngoscopes. We were awarded the grant in 2017 and then got bids on the equipment to purchase. We got a really good deal and were able to buy three ventilators instead of two. We even had money left over to buy the video Laryngoscopes. I am very proud that we got this grant awarded to us. It will help out the citizens of DeKalb County. When we take vent patients to Nashville it will help us provide a better quality of care for them,” said Hale.

Cody Johnson, a Critical Care Paramedic, explained how this upgrade in respiratory equipment will be a benefit to the ambulance service and to its patients.

“Ventilators allow paramedics to ventilate the patient with a more custom approach. Three year old pediatrics have different breathing needs than full grown adults and with that (ventilator) each patient is able to get a better rate of oxygen delivery. Once we get a patient stabilized and take them to the nearest hospital, if their breathing ability is compromised and we have to breathe for the patients we are able to place them on a ventilator and after they are stabilized at a local hospital, we are able to transfer them to a higher level of care. With the ventilator, it allows paramedics more time to better calculate medicines and to reassess the patients all without having to worry so much about making sure the patient is getting the proper amount of oxygen and proper ventilation rate,” said Johnson.

“We also now have video laryngoscopes. With a normal classis laryngoscope, a paramedic is able to place the device into the patient’s mouth and it lifts up their tongue and epiglottis so that when he inserts an intubation tube to get perfect access to the patient’s lungs he can get a direct visual on the vocal chords. With a video laryngoscope, the paramedic is able to see around the tongue a lot easier and a lot better for patients that may have a bigger tongue or who is really hard to intubate for any number of reasons. With this we’re able to see around the tongue and intubate a lot easier better confirming that we have a good airway when transporting a patient,” added Johnson.

Local Pilot Receives Prestigious "Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award"

May 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Local Pilot Lee Bridges Receives Prestigious "Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award"
Gennie and Lee Bridges

A local pilot has earned the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for more than 50 years of safe flying.

Lee Bridges of Smithville was presented the award at a dinner in his honor Wednesday evening at the Smithville airport.

The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is presented to pilots who have flown for more than 50 years with no accidents, incidents, violations or civil penalties. It is the most prestigious award the Federal Aviation Administration issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61.

The award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as “Master Pilots”.

Bridges met all the prerequisites for this award including zero accidents, incidents or deviations in his 50 years of flying with over 30,000 flying hours. His career over these 50 years includes Flight Instructor, Corporate Pilot, and Airline Captain flying for both United Airlines and US Airways.

Bridges retired from US Airways in 2012 with over 32 years of service. He is an aircraft owner and also a certificated Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic and he holds an Inspection Authorization. His love of flying was passed down from his father who was a World War II pilot and Airline Captain as well.

Lee’s wife Ginnie is also a certified pilot as are his two children, Bo and Heather. His wife, his two children, his four grandchildren, and many other well-wishers were all present at the dinner when Lee received this award.

DCHS Seniors Visit Elementary Schools for "Senior Walk" (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

May 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page

Donned in their caps and gowns, DeKalb County High School seniors walked through their old stomping grounds – Smithville Elementary School and DeKalb West School – during the Annual Senior Walk held today (Thursday, May 17).

(VIEW DCHS SENIOR WALK AT SMITHVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BELOW)

School administrators and staff, some showing emotion, joined in and congratulated each of the soon to be graduates upon their arrival by school bus. Many of the elementary students, lined down the halls, greeted the seniors with waves, high fives, confetti, and cheers as they passed by. Some seniors also got hugs from proud parents and former teachers. Cheerleaders at DeKalb West School led cheers to welcome the graduates there.

(VIEW DCHS SENIOR WALK AT DEKALB WEST SCHOOL BELOW)

The Senior Walk is an opportunity for students to return to their elementary campuses and parade through the hallways in their caps and gowns while the Graduation Pomp and Circumstance (song) is played over the P.A. While we hope this will inspire our future graduates, we are excited about our seniors being able to see their elementary school teachers one last time before they graduate,” said DCHS Principal Randy Jennings.

Proposed New School Budget Includes Pay Raises for Teachers and Other Staff

May 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools and Board of Education Members
School Board Members

The Board of Education wants to give teachers and other certified personnel a $3,000 pay raise and is asking the county commission for sufficient funding to help make it happen.

During a brief special called meeting Wednesday evening, the Board approved a proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year which includes pay raises for teachers and support staff.

If approved, the actual local increase for the 228 teachers would be $2,400 each since the state is funding a $600 raise per teacher. Non-certified staff would get a $1,500 pay raise, all funded by local dollars.

The county commission’s budget committee will get its first look at the proposed spending plan for schools when it meets Monday night, May 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the courthouse.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps said giving teachers a significant pay raise is needed and would help their retirement. “When you look at retirement and what is going to help the teachers long range, it’s their salary because their retirement is based on their high five years,” he said.

As for teacher concerns about rising out of pocket health care costs, Cripps added “We will try to cover the costs with the increase that the state sends. They (state) are looking at probably 3% (increase) so we’ll try to cover that within our budget so that the teachers won’t incur another increase on their insurance,” he said.

In addition to asking for pay raises for personnel, the Board of Education wants more money to purchase Chrome Books for the 3rd through 5th grades. Students from the 6th grade through high school already have Chrome Books. Extra funds would be included to repair and replace existing Chrome Books; to purchase new text books; and to implement a Dyslexia Program to help children at the elementary school grade level in reading. Due to the increasing demands of technology, the board wants to create a new full time computer tech position which would give the school system three techs. One new bus is usually purchased each year. The board wants to buy two new school buses this year.

The proposed new spending for schools in this budget comes to more than $1.7 million dollars over expenditures budgeted this past year. Unless cuts are made or more money is taken from the school system’s fund balance/reserves to balance the budget, a significant property tax hike might be needed to fund the school board’s request.

The overall county property tax rate is $1.8335 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
The rate is distributed as follows:
County General: 0.9635 cents
General Purpose Schools: 0.6100 cents
Debt Service: 0.1200 cents
Highways/Public Works: 0.0300 cents
General Capital Projects: 0.1100 cents

Revenue from the current property tax assessments for the 2018-19 fiscal year based upon estimated assessed valuations of $497 million dollars is $49,700 per one cent of the property tax rate. However the county is actually expected to receive $46,658 per cent of the tax rate based on a 94% collection rate or a 6% delinquency.

State Lawmakers Honor DCHS Valedictorian and Salutatorian (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 16, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Clark Boyd, DCHS Principal Randy Jennings, Class Valedictorian Allison Maynard, Class Salutatorian Marshal Evins, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, and State Senator Mark Pody

NHC Smithville hosted a breakfast today (Wednesday) as state lawmakers honored the DCHS Class of 2018 Valedictorian Allison Maynard and Salutatorian Marshal Evins.

Both Maynard and Evins were formally presented copies of resolutions paying tribute to them as adopted in the State House of Representatives and State Senate and signed by the Governor. The presentations were made by State Senator Mark Pody and State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Clark Boyd.

Principal Randy Jennings and Director of Schools Patrick Cripps also attended the breakfast.

After the breakfast, WJLE interviewed both Maynard and Evins. (Play Video Below)

The Resolution honoring and recognizing Maynard states as follows:

“WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should pause to pay tribute to those students who, through their natural talents and unflagging commitment to academic excellence, have distinguished themselves in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, Allison Maynard is one such exceptional student, who was recently named Valedictorian of the 2018 graduating class at DeKalb County High School; and

WHEREAS, through diligent study, steady composure during examinations, and steadfast commitment of time and talent, Ms. Maynard has achieved outstanding academic success and joined the ranks of the best and brightest students in Tennessee and our country; and

WHEREAS, in her remarkable high school career, Allison Maynard earned an exemplary grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Science Club, Literature Club, and Spanish Club; and

WHEREAS, excelling in the athletic arena, Ms. Maynard played on the softball team and was a member of the football cheerleading team, which she served as captain; and

WHEREAS, her display of intellectual aptitude and ambition surely bodes well for her future success; and

WHEREAS, Allison Maynard's noteworthy achievement is a tremendous source of pride for her parents, Stacey Smith and Alan Maynard, her school, and her community; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Maynard's dedication to excellence is clearly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of the members of this General Assembly; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED TENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SJR0772 015598 -2-

CONCURRING, that we commend and honor the 2018 DeKalb County High School Valedictorian, Allison Maynard, on her impressive academic achievement and extend to her our best wishes for a happy, successful future”.

Meanwhile the resolution honoring Evins states as follows:

“WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should pause to pay tribute to those students who, through their natural talents and unflagging commitment to academic excellence, have distinguished themselves in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, Marshal Evins is one such exceptional student, who was recently named Salutatorian of the 2018 graduating class at DeKalb County High School; and

WHEREAS, through diligent study, steady composure during examinations, and steadfast commitment of time and talent, Mr. Evins has achieved outstanding academic success and joined the ranks of the best and brightest students in Tennessee and our country; and

WHEREAS, in his remarkable high school career, Marshal Evins has earned an exemplary grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America; and

WHEREAS, excelling in the athletic arena, Mr. Evins has served as a member of the varsity basketball and golf teams throughout his entire high school tenure; and

WHEREAS, his display of intellectual aptitude and ambition surely bodes well for his future success; and

WHEREAS, Marshal Evins's noteworthy achievement is a tremendous source of pride for his parents, Dub and Edie Beth Evins, his school, and his community; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Evins's dedication to excellence is clearly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of the members of this General Assembly; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED TENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING, that we commend and honor the 2018 DeKalb County High School Salutatorian, Marshal Evins, on his impressive academic achievement and extend to him our best wishes for a happy, successful future”.

DCHS Graduation Friday Night (VIEW CLASS OF 2018 SENIOR PHOTOS HERE)

May 16, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Valedictorian Allison Maynard
Class President Tyree Cripps
Salutatorian Marshal Evins

Graduation for the Class of 2018 at DeKalb County High School will be Friday night at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

The commencement program will feature the presentation of the White Rose and Citizenship Awards to members of the Class, a performance by the DCHS Chorus, and remarks by the Class Valedictorian Allison Maynard and Class President Tyree Cripps.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW SENIOR FORMALS)

http://wjle.com/graduation/2018/page1

The program includes an Invocation, music by the DCHS Chorus, address to the Class by Valedictorian Allison Maynard, Recognition of Honors and Distinction students, Recognition of Top Rank and Service, Presentation of White Rose and Citizenship Awards, Presentation of diplomas by Principal Randy Jennings and Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, Benediction, and Recessional by DCHS Band.

Members of the Class of 2018 are as follows:

Maria Acuna, Omar Aldino, Jaimie Alexander, Ana Leonor Amaya, Courtney Ambrose, Jordan Anderson, Jaynee Angaran, Eleonore Atnip, Myrie Atnip, Zachary Atnip,

Kristena Bain, MaKayla Bain, James Barrientos, Mark Baugus, Savannah Belcher, Kayla Belk, Aaron Gage Bowman, Bryson Braswell, Dailen Brown, Hannah Brown, Seth Brown, Veronica Karlene Brown, Daniel Bryant, Emily Burklow, Faedra Burns, William Burrage, Paxton Butler.

Austin Cantrell, Ethan Cantrell, Hayle Cantrell, Isaac Cantrell, Kaitlyn Cantrell, Tyler Cantrell, Catherine Caplinger, William Carpenter, Anthony Cole Cathey, Carrigan Chapman, Travis Checchi, Samuel Claiborne, Lindsey Cooper, Cesar Coronilla, Alexander Cowan, Madison Cripps, Tyree Cripps, Ean Cryer

William Deaver, Gage Delape, Ethan Dies, Damion Alexandria Dishman, William Dowling, Dustin Drennan, Noelle Driver, Thomas Driver, Brittney Duggin,

Zackary Elmore, Dylan Kayne Easterwood, Destiny Ervin, Abby Evans, Hannah Evans, Marshal Evins,

Christian Ferrell, Justin Lynn Ferrell, Santanna Ferrell, Sierra Nichole Ferrell, Derek Fish, Cristobal Flores, Jacob Frazier, Olivia Fuson,

Carlos Gustavo Garcia Gallegos, Jhoany Gaspar, Eric Gaw, Ashlyn Gay, Breanna Gibson, Carrington Gifford, Davis Gillespie, Emily Glass, Mia Godinez, Grace Godowns, Griffin Goldstein, Jacob Gora, Morgan Green, Zachary Gunter, Viel-Danicsa Guzman,

Cody Hale, Jarad Henry, Shea Hicks, Preston Huggins, Bradey Hughes, Junior Ingram,

Ethan Jennings, Hunter Jennings, Austin Johnson, Trey Jones, Pablo Juarez, Will McKinlee Judkins, Kyle Justice,

Ethan Keck, Madison Kemper, Makayla Brooke Kirby, Hannah Knowles,

Emily Lasser, Hunter Layne, Braxton Linder, Adrian Lucci,

Mark Mace, Tanner Malone, Jared Marlar, Ethan Martin, Laiza Martinez, Eaven Matchett, Nicholas Edward May, Allison Maynard, John Maynard, Brianna Meadows, Kelsie Merriman, Julianna Milio, Brayden Miller, Brenden Miller, Bradley Miller, AJ Mofield, Bryan Mooneyham, Thomas Moore, Noah Morris, Daniel Aldino-Munoz, Rogelio-Ramirez Munoz, Gage Myers,

Caitlynn Nickell, Dalton Norrod,

Glendaliz Rodriguez Ortiz, Mason Overbey, Christian Owen,

David Pack, Kirstyn Pack, Logan Painter, Jada Palmer, Jasmine Parker, Mackenzie Partridge, Ami Patel, Amelia Patterson, Christopher Patterson, Alex Pollard, Paola Ponce,

Nolia Ramos, Savanna Randall, Lee Randolph, Hailey Redmon, Joseph Redmon, Paul Reed, Taylor Reeder, Nicole Rivera, Kelly Roberts, Maggie Robinson,

Roberto Serrano Sanchez, Colton Seifort, Sandra Berenice Serna, Riley C. Sexton, Jesse Smith, Nathaniel Snell, Hunter Speaks, Summer Spivey, Taitum Stacy, Nicklaus Staley, Justin Stanick, Vanessa Stepp, Kaden Stone, Zachary Stover, Lesley Suarez, Dusten Sutherland,

Christina Taylor, Kendal Taylor, Peyton Taylor, Gabriel Terry, Christopher Austin Tomlin, Joses Torres,

Alexis Utley,

Devin Vanatta,

Claire Waggoner, Savannah West, Seth Whaley, Kayli White, Savanah White, Kaylee Whitefield, Kellie Ann Williams, Olivia Mae Winter, and Kyleigh Turbeville White.

Chamber Presents Community Improvement Award to The Retreat at Center Hill Lake

May 16, 2018
The Retreat at Center Hill Lake Staff - Kyle Thompson, Britt Russo, Jordan Campbell; Founders of the Timothy Hill organization - Jerry Hill & Fern Hill; Chamber Director Suzanne Williams; Retreat at CHL Staff Jamie Campbell and Madison Maryfield.

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce presented a well-deserved Community Improvement Award to The Retreat at Center Hill Lake, 358 Relax Drive, Smithville. The staff at The Retreat at Center Hill Lake recently completed a major renovation to the lodge. All 26 rooms have new flooring, new beds and bedding, painted walls, newly stained cabinets, new TVs, new furniture, and some fresh, new artwork. The large conference room also got a new paint job and new carpet.

The Retreat is for individuals, families, and groups who want to spend time being adventurous, growing together, or simply relaxing. The campus combines a Lodge with beautiful suites, and cabins that are perfect for families. The Retreat also hosts corporate groups and churches, serving as a regional retreat center location of choice for both churches through family camps, marriage weekends and spiritual formation retreats, and organizations who want to hold retreats or leadership development conferences. Making these improvements is just one more way the staff at the retreat center hope to make their guests feel welcome.

For more information about the Timothy Hill organization and The Retreat at Center Hill Lake, go to: www.timothyhill.org, check out their Facebook Page, or for reservations, call (615)597-4298.

Pictured (L-R)

The Retreat at Center Hill Lake Staff - Kyle Thompson, Britt Russo, Jordan Campbell; Founders of the Timothy Hill organization - Jerry Hill & Fern Hill; Chamber Director Suzanne Williams; Retreat at CHL Staff Jamie Campbell and Madison Maryfield.

DCHS Forms Bass Fishing Club

May 15, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jim Beshearse

DCHS has its own fishing team.

The DeKalb County Board of Education is excited to offer this new opportunity for high school students.

According to Jim Beshearse, 3rd District School Board member, the new club will give students who have a passion for bass fishing a venue to practice and display their bass fishing skills.

“DeKalb County, along with other area high schools, will participate in Bass Tournaments held on lakes across Tennessee,” said Beshearse who will serve as fishing coach. His wife Marla Beshearse, a local educator, will be the club sponsor.

The fishing activities for students in the club will be from spring to fall and mostly on weekends. Parents will have to give permission for their teens to participate and provide transportation and fishing equipment for them.

For more information contact Jim Beshearse at 615-587-0053

Neighbors Want Unsightly Property Cleaned Up

May 15, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville has a property maintenance ordinance but at least a couple of residents are frustrated with the lack of enforcement in their neighborhoods.

During last Monday’s monthly meeting, a city resident and business owner appeared before the Mayor and Aldermen asking for help.

The woman, who resides on West Main Street, showed pictures of her next door neighbor’s rental property which she says has been largely unkept for a long time.

“I’ve been here for nine years and this has been on-going for seven years. I have contacted the mayor and he has done the best he could do to get this place cleaned up. I have gone as far as putting up a wooden picket fence because the property is so bad. There is a lot of overgrowth and the house and barn on the property are in rough shape,” she said.

Meanwhile a city resident in another part of town was also at the meeting complaining of unkept property in his neighborhood. He too said the problem has been lingering for several years.

Although the existing property maintenance ordinance calls for the building codes inspector to serve notice upon violators, the city has recently been placing that responsibility with the police department.

“What we have been doing lately is having an officer deliver a letter to the property owner once we receive a complaint and then they have ten days to clean up their property. If that doesn’t happen then the city can go in and clean it and charge the property owner by adding it to their tax card. The city also has the option of taking a lien against that property if need be,” said City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson.

City officials assured these concerned property owners that their issues would be addressed.

“I’m proud you came up here tonight. We need more people to speak out,” said Alderman Danny Washer, who has long advocated getting tougher on those in violation of the city’s property maintenance ordinance.

Since the police department has taken on the duty of serving notices to violators, Chief Mark Collins said so far no citations have been necessary. “Once a complaint is filed and we get the papers, we assign it to an officer and he goes to see them (violators). The officer serves the notice and gives them ten days to clean up their property and it’s up to that officer to go back after ten days and check it out. We have served three notices so far but we have not had to write any citations. Whatever was in the ordinance has been taken care of and they did not have to be cited into city court,” said Chief Collins.

Under the city's existing property maintenance ordinance, "It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector of the City of Smithville to serve notice upon the property owner of record in violation. The property owner shall be notified in writing specifying the nature of the violation, specifying the corrective measures to be taken, and require compliance within not more than 30 days. The notice may be served upon the owners of the premises where the violation is located by:

Posting notice in plain view on the property in violation, or sending notice by mail.

The date the notice is posted or received by the offender shall serve as the beginning of the specified time period allowing for corrective action."

The ordinance further states that "Failure by the property owner to take corrective action to bring the property within compliance shall constitute a violation and be a civil offense."

"Any person violating this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of $50 for each separate violation of this chapter. Each day the violation of this chapter continues shall be considered a separate violation," according to the ordinance.

Tigerettes Advance to Region Tournament Title Game

May 15, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tigerettes Advance to Region Tournament Title Game

The DCHS Tigerettes will be competing for a Region Tournament Crown Wednesday after beating Marion County 15 to 5 in Smithville Monday evening.

The Tigerettes will travel to Sequatchie County for the title game starting at 6 p.m.

In the game Monday night, DeKalb County scored 15 runs on 13 hits and made 3 errors. Marion County scored 5 runs on 6 hits and made 1 error.

DeKalb County scored 3 runs in the 1st inning, 8 runs in the 4th inning, and 4 runs in the 6th inning. Marion County scored 3 runs in the 1st inning and 2 runs in the 5th inning.

Kenzie France was the winning pitcher.

Kenzie France belted 2 homeruns in the game. Allison Maynard had one homerun. Emme Colwell and Kelly Roberts doubled and singled. Jonie Robinson and Kristena Bain singled and Megan Walker and Braya Murphy each had 2 singles.

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