Local News Articles

Some Employees of Star Manufacturing Seeking Union Representation

July 13, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
ome Employees of Star Manufacturing Seeking Union Representation

Issues of working conditions, workplace safety, and unrealistic production expectations are among reasons being given for why some workers at Star Manufacturing want union representation.

According to an organizer for the United Steel Workers Union, a vote is set for Thursday, July 23 at Star Manufacturing locations in Smithville and Cookeville.

"We were contacted by employees of Star Manufacturing asking us how they can be represented by our union. It was a group of over a dozen people that met to discuss why they felt like they needed a union. The group said that they were not being treated fairly in the workplace and concerns they brought to management's attention were not taken seriously or outright ignored. Issues of workplace safety, working conditions, and unrealistic production expectations were common among all that we spoke to," said Duane Prichett, an organizer with the United Steel Workers Union in an interview with WJLE Monday.

According Prichett, the complaints were shared by employees at both the Smithville and Cookeville facilities. "To determine if these concerns are widespread through the facility or if this is just a few people who feel like they're getting a raw deal, we asked them (employees) to get together a larger group of people. We then had several meetings with dozens of Star employees and they all had similar issues. We now have a large majority who have signed cards (seeking union representation)."

"During our meetings, we were informed of some troubling conditions at the plant. Supervisors and managers having outbursts of yelling and belittling workers for not getting production units out that they didn't even have parts to complete; threats of write-ups and terminations; there were safety issues as well; and lighting conditions and environmental control issues like air conditioning and heat stress putting workers at risk," said Pritchett.

"One thing that really drove home the conditions that concerned us all was that many employees complained of a work rule that prevented them from even using the bathroom for thirty minutes before or after breaks or lunch. These issues they have expressed are things that unions have fought against since the founding of unions in this country. It was apparent to us that the basic dignity and respect that men and women in the workplace must be given in this country, they were being denied. Workers deserve to be treated better than this and we'll help them fight to get something that's better for them. They deserve that," added Prichett.

WJLE contacted the Star plant manager in Smithville by telephone Monday but he declined comment at this time.

According to the NLRB website, eligible Star Manufacturing voters include all full-time and regular part-time production employees, maintenance employees, cell leaders, quality control employees, and shipping employees employed by Star Manufacturing International Inc in Smithville and shipping employees at the facility on West Broad Street in Cookeville but excluding all other employees, office clerical employees, professional employees, guards and supervisors.

The union vote in Smithville will be Thursday, July 23 from 5:00 am - 5:30 am , 6:30 am - 8:30 am, and from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Voting in Cookeville will be from 10:15 am - 10:45 am.

Star Manufacturing International, Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri but has companies in several states. Star has been making durable, reliable, quality products since 1921. That year, Star introduced its first product, a popcorn machine. Since then, the company has grown and expanded into one of the world's most respected and valued manufacturers of products in six major categories: Counter Top Gas and Electric Commercial Cooking Appliances, Hot Dog Cooking and Preparation Equipment, Popcorn Machines, Specialty Food Warmers ,Display Merchandisers, Toasters & Waffle Bakers.

Smithville Police Warns Shoppers to Beware of Purse Snatchers

July 13, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Captain Steven Leffew

The Smithville Police Department is warning citizens to be aware of leaving purses unattended while shopping in stores.

" We are having a lot of reports of purses being stolen from carts while customers are shopping. The thefts are occurring as shoppers have their backs to the carts while reaching for items in the stores," said Captain Steven Leffew.

"The purse snatchers wait for the shoppers to turn away then they simply walk by the carts and take the purses or wallets before the shoppers are aware of anything happening," he said.

"I would encourage everyone to be mindful of leaving purses unattended while shopping and after loading items in your vehicle remember to remove purses/wallets from the carts before returning them to the store or to the cart return areas," added Captain Leffew

First Day of School Education Celebration Set for August 3

July 12, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
First Day of School Education Celebration Set for August 3

The Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Monday, August 3 starting at 6:00 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

The celebration is held on school registration day.

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to help with this event please call Michelle Burklow at 615- 597-4084. Volunteers are needed.

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to join the fun downtown Smithville on Monday, August 3 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

School Board Chairman Answers Critics over Decision to Drop Billboard

July 11, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
W.J. (Dub) Evins, III
2013 Billboard

Members of the Board of Education recently came under criticism for a decision to cut $4,100 in funding from the budget by dropping the rental of a billboard sign on Highway 70 near the high school showing a picture of several DCHS graduates with the theme "Education Counts in DeKalb County".

Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, speaking at Thursday night's meeting, said while the board is dropping the billboard, students will be promoted by other means.

"When we passed the budget we took out $4,100 because of the cost of the billboard. I want the public to know that we did cut that money from this category but we are looking at a number of other options for promoting students. We've sold three (out of service) buses for $20,000 so we're planning to take some money from transportation. We want to show our appreciation to students for their accomplishments but we want to be in a position to spread that out among all the schools and not just for a few students at the high school," said Chairman Evins.

According to Evins, the billboard may not have been the most productive means of promoting students. " It is hard to identify (students pictured on the billboard). Anyone in marketing can tell you if you get too much on a billboard you are not going to be able to see anything. We just felt it (billboard) was non productive. We still want to promote those students and we intend to do that very soon," he said.

Changeable signs on school buses may be one option for promoting students. "A lot of school systems are putting advertisements on their buses. We don't want to advertise. We want to promote. By our next workshop or meeting, I'll bring some photos of those. They are not distracting. We can go to a local sign company (to have them made). If you have your student council you want to promote (for example) they can be placed on the side of a bus. There would be a lot of traffic (visibility) with it. Or you could have a first grade student who may be the principal of the day or something like that and have a sign put on there (promoting it). There are a lot of different ways to promote (our students). So we're not cutting it out. We're expanding it. We hope the public understands we're trying to promote more and not just on one billboard," said Chairman Evins.

Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon Is Retiring

July 10, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon Is Retiring

After forty years as an educator, Dr. Gayle Redmon has decided to retire.

She will not be returning as Principal at Northside Elementary School this fall. Assistant Principal Beth Pafford praised Dr. Redmon during Thursday night's school board meeting.

"Dr. Redmon retired as of June 30. She has served DeKalb County Schools for forty years. It has been a big passion of hers to make sure students in this county receive an excellent education. She established a tradition of excellence at Northside. For three years she has been my mentor, my partner, and my friend. She will be greatly missed. I want to let her know that we greatly appreciate her," said Pafford.

A successor to Dr. Redmon at Northside will soon be named by the next Director of Schools.

Meanwhile, Interim Director of Schools Dr. Danielle Collins presented her monthly report on personnel moves to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Resignations/Retirements:

Pauline Braswell, Custodian at DeKalb Middle School

Carrie Lee, Pre-K Teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Amy Lee, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Gayle Redmon, Principal at Northside Elementary School

Shea Wiegle, Special Education Teacher at DCHS

Smithville Police Find Men with Drugs and Paraphernalia

July 10, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Find Men with Drugs and Paraphernalia
Ricky Wayne Murphy
Mindy Celas Magourik
Julie Elaine Moore
Wendy Kay Goodman
Joe Riley Tittle
Kenneth Wayne Davenport

Smithville Police arrested one man and cited another after finding drugs and paraphernalia at their residence on Earl Avenue on Monday, July 6.

35 year old Ricky Wayne Murphy is charged with two counts of schedule II drug possession for resale and one count each of schedule III, schedule IV, and schedule VI drugs for resale, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $95,000.

Meanwhile 36 year old B.J. Lee Brown is cited for simple possession of a schedule IV drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both Murphy and Brown will be in court on August 6.

Acting on complaints, Officers Matt Farmer and Lance Dillard went to the residence and conducted an investigation. After speaking with Murphy, the officers were given consent to search his bedroom where they found 17 1/2 ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, 58 pills thought to be a combination of Suboxone, Phenermine Hydrochloride, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone along with drug paraphernalia.

Brown also gave the officers permission to search his bedroom where they found one pill believed to be Lyrica and drug paraphernalia.

Neither Murphy nor Brown had prescriptions for the pills discovered in the home.

31 year old Mindy Celas Magourik was arrested on Saturday, July 4 for two counts of schedule II drug possession and one count each of simple possession of a schedule VI drug , possession of drug paraphernalia, and a second offense of driving on a suspended license. Captain Steven Leffew said that while on a call for service at Kwik & Ezy, Sergeant Brad Tatrow observed a woman, Magourik, sitting in a vehicle with her head back. She appeared to be passed out. After approaching the automobile and getting her to roll the window down slightly, Sergeant Tatrow asked for identification and received an ID only. He learned that the woman's license were suspended and that she had a previous conviction for driving on a suspended license. Magourik gave verbal consent for the officer to search her vehicle and inside he found approximately nine grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, three pills thought to be oxycodone and approximately two grams of a powdery crystal like substance suspected to be crystal methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia. Magouirk was arrested without incident. Her bond is $8,500 and she will be in court on July 23.

34 year old Julie Elaine Moore was arrested for prescription fraud on Wednesday, July 1. According to the warrant, Officer Lance Dillard responded to Fred's Pharmacy where Moore allegedly tried to get a prescription for Hydrocodone filled for someone other than herself. Upon investigation, it was determined that Moore didn't have permission to get the prescription filled. Her bond is $5,000 and she will make a court appearance on August 6.

49 year old Wendy Kay Goodman was arrested on Thursday, July 2 for domestic assault and resisting arrest. Officers Will Judkins and Joey Myers responded to a physical domestic call on Restview Avenue and spoke with the victim, who appeared to be bleeding from his ear and had scratch marks on his face, neck and leg. Upon investigation, police determined that Goodman and the victim had gotten into a verbal dispute that turned physical. While being placed under arrest, Goodman refused to follow directions and resisted by kicking at the officers. She was subsequently restrained and charged in the case. Her bond is $4,000 and she will be in court on August 13.

28 year old Joe Riley Tittle was arrested for domestic assault on Sunday, June 28. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on July 16. According to the warrant, Tittle and another person became involved in a verbal altercation. After Tittle began cussing and yelling, the victim tried to leave the residence due to Tittle's threatening behavior. Tittle then positioned himself in front of the door preventing the victim from leaving. As the victim tried to move Tittle out of the way, Tittle threw the victim into the wall. Sergeant Travis Bryant made the arrest.

30 year old Kenneth Wayne Davenport was arrested on Tuesday, June 23 for DUI, resisting arrest, and leaving the scene of accident. He was further cited for violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $4,500 and he will be in court on July 16. Captain Leffew said that Sergeant Travis Bryant and Officer Joey Myers were dispatched to the area of West Broad Street in reference to a possible intoxicated driver who had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. After being given a description of the vehicle, Sergeant Bryant spotted it traveling east on West Broad Street. He then initiated a traffic stop and found Davenport to be the driver. Davenport had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. After Davenport performed poorly on field sobriety tasks he was placed under arrest for DUI. But while being escorted to the patrol car, Davenport began pulling away from Sergeant Bryant. Davenport was subsequently taken to the Emergency Room of the hospital for a blood test but he refused to give blood.

20 year old Ian B Johnson was cited for trespassing and vandalism on Thursday, June 25. Johnson was observed riding an ATV on the Smithville Golf Course driving range and causing damage to the property. Corporal Chip Avera issued the citation. Johnson will be in court on July 16.

DeKalb Fire Department Awarded $153,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant

July 10, 2015
by: 
Donny Green
DeKalb Fire Chief Donny Green

The DeKalb County Fire Department has been contacted by Senator Lamar Alexander’s office notifying Chief Donny Green that the department’s grant application in the amount of $153,510 has been awarded. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The funding award will be used to purchase emergency communications equipment that will be assigned to each of the DeKalb County Fire Department’s 11 fires stations across the county. The grant equipment includes portable two-way radios, fire pagers, and mobile computing devices (including software and mounting hardware). The Federal share of this award is $146,200 and the local matching share, to be provided by the DeKalb County Government, is $7,310.

Chief Green says that the communications equipment to be purchased with these grant funds will have a huge impact on the department’s daily operations and will be instrumental in allowing the department to maintain and/or improve the county’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating; a rating that directly influences the amount of insurance premiums charged to property owners in DeKalb County. “We are really fortunate to be able to purchase some new, cutting edge emergency communications equipment for our county. This new communications technology will interface with our 911 Dispatch Center to provide features that include mapping, water supply locations, vehicle tracking with GPS reporting, and many other features that will enhance and improve emergency responses and services. Our grant application aligned perfectly with AFG’s purpose of the grant—‘to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards’—and our county will soon be getting the benefit of $153,510 for cost to our local government of only $7,310,” said Chief Green. Using a competitive process, grants are awarded to applicants whose requests best address the priorities of the AFG Program.

County Mayor Tim Stribling says he and the DeKalb County Commissioners are thankful for this federal funding that allows the fire department to purchase this emergency communications equipment at a cost of only 5% to our county.

The DeKalb County Fire Department wishes to express its sincere thanks to County Mayor Tim Stribling, the DeKalb County Commission, and Senator Lamar Alexander for their loyal support of the department’s application for this grant.

School Board Sets Contract Terms for Next Director

July 10, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Photo from June 30th Work Session
Work Session Photo from June 30th

The next Director of Schools will be offered a two year contract with a starting base salary of $85,000 per year.

Following a ninety minute work session Thursday evening, the DeKalb County Board of Education met in regular monthly session and set the terms of the contract.

"I'd like to make a motion to set the salary at $85,000 a year with a two year contract and the possibility of advancement in pay and extension of contract if expectations are met in the evaluation process of the director," said Sixth District Board member Doug Stephens. Third district member Jim Beshearse offered a second to the motion and all members voted in favor including First district member Danny Parkerson, Second District member Jerry Wayne Johnson, Fourth district member Kate Miller, and Seventh district member Shaun Tubbs along with Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III and members Stephens and Beshearse.

"That evaluation according to law I think will have to be next March so it (contract) will be somewhat less than a year (before yearly evaluation). This first year contract is not going to be a full year anyway (until the evaluation). We'll have an opportunity during the evaluation to possibility grant a pay increase at that time if a majority of goals have been met to the board's satisfaction and extend that contract for an additional year which at that point would still just be a two year contract," said Board Chairman Evins

It appears that either DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps or Supervisor of Special Education Gina Arnold will be the next Director of Schools.

The third finalist Michael James Steele of Spring Hill, Executive Principal for Stratford STEM High School has withdrawn his name from consideration.

The school board will have a workshop on Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m. apparently for the purpose of developing a set of questions to ask Cripps and Arnold during interviews with them on Tuesday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The School Board will then meet in a special session on Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. to name a new director.

City Grants Certificate of Compliance for Second Liquor Store

July 9, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen
James E. Bradshaw
Fire Chief Charlie Parker (left) promotes Firefighter Kevin Adcock (center) to Lieutenant. Pictured with Mayor Jimmy Poss

The city's second applicant for a license to open a retail liquor store in Smithville has passed his first test.

The Smithville Board of Aldermen Thursday night voted to issue James E. Bradshaw of Potts Camp Road, Smithville a certificate of compliance, which signifies that he has met all the city's ordinance requirements to make application to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the agency which has the sole authority to grant a liquor license.

The vote was four in favor. Alderman Shawn Jacobs passed.

Bradshaw plans to open a liquor store 725 South Congress Boulevard at the location of the former Mexican Restaurant in the Food Lion shopping center under the name "Center Hill Wine and Spirits, LLC". James E. Pendergrass of Jefferson Road is to serve as the manager of the business. Bradshaw is a former owner/manager of Pates Ford Marina.

According to City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson, the proposed location for the liquor store meets the minimum distance requirement from the nearest place of public gathering. "Mr. Phillip Gotro (Gotro Surveying Services) conducted a survey on July 7 showing 588.9 feet from the front door of the proposed business to the closest door of the DeKalb County Community Complex so it exceeds the 400 foot (requirement)," he said.

Regulations under the city's liquor ordinance also require the applicant (Bradshaw) to be subject to a criminal background check."We did a TBI background check on Mr. Bradshaw. Northing came back as far as the background check," said Hendrixson.

"As far as the city ordinances, he (Bradshaw) meets all of them. He meets the 1,500 minimum square foot requirement. The building is 2,200 square feet. He has been a resident of DeKalb County for more than two years. He is going to keep a minimum inventory of $175,000, more than the city minimum requirement of $150,000," said Hendrixson.

Bradshaw must now send his approved Certificate of Compliance to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission as part of the state requirements in qualifying for a liquor license.

Meanwhile, the city's first liquor store applicant has apparently been approved for a license by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

During a meeting on June 23 in Nashville, the TABC staff recommended conditional approval for applicant Jimmy Edward Smith, sole proprietor of Smithville Discount Wine & Spirits at 413 East Broad Street, Smithville, subject to a TABC Inspection, Acknowledgement of TABC Rules/Regulations, and a License Fee.

In other business Thursday night, the aldermen approved Fire Chief Charlie Parker's promotion of firefighter Kevin Adcock to the rank of Lieutenant. "I am proud to announce that on June 29 I promoted Kevin Adcock to the officer's position of Lieutenant of the fire department. Lieutenant Adcock met all the requirements set forth by our department. We have changed this year to doing a performance based officer's position. He has met the requirements so pursuant to city rules we need to get approval from the board. I am recommending to the board to approve Lieutenant Adcock to this officer's position," said Chief Parker.

The aldermen also approved the mayor's reappointment of Walter Burton to the Smithville Electric System Board to another four year term expiring in 2019.

It appears the mayor and aldermen will not provide space at city hall for judicial commissioners to write warrants, except for those sought by the Smithville Police Department.

During the regular monthly meeting of the county commission in June, County Mayor Tim Stribling announced that Sheriff Patrick Ray has given notice that he will no longer provide office space or supplies and equipment for the judicial commissioners at the jail as of July 31.

While the county is considering other location options, Fifth district commissioner Anita Puckett made a motion that a letter be sent to the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen asking for them to provide space at city hall for use by judicial commissioners including the supplies and copier they need. The reason for making the request of the city is because the county funds all salaries of judicial commissioners who write warrants for the public and all law enforcement agencies including the Smithville Police Department. The motion was approved on an 11-0-1 vote. Seventh district member Kevin Robinson, who is employed by the city, passed.

Although the issue was not on the agenda for Thursday night's regular monthly meeting of the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen, it was brought up by Alderman Josh Miller. "I didn't know if we have the room (for the judicial commissioners)," said Miller.

"We've got the room for our officers and our warrant writers," answered Mayor Jimmy Poss.

""Our facilities are used for city matters," said City Administrator Hendrixson.

"We've got ours covered here. We want our warrants wrote back here (city hall). We've got a confined place and we take care of city business," said Mayor Poss.

No motion was offered or vote taken on granting or denying the county's request.

State Tourism Commissioner Visits Smithville

July 9, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jack Barton, County Commissioner and Coordinator of the Fiddlers Jamboree & Crafts Festival; Lee Curtis, Director of Program Development and Legislative Liaison; Ruth Dyal, Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association; Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner Kevin Triplett of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development; County Mayor Tim Stribling; State Senator Mae Beavers; State Representative Mark Pody; and Rob Sherrill,

After only ten weeks on the job, Tennessee's new Tourism Commissioner is traveling across the state on a listening tour learning how the department can better serve communities.

Commissioner Kevin Triplett was in Smithville Wednesday afternoon to meet with local government, business, and community leaders at the county complex.

"It's exciting. It's an honor to be in this role. It's been about ten weeks and I've been on the road around the state more than I have been in Nashville but I'm okay with that because we have a tremendous amount of assets here in the State of Tennessee and you get more excited when you see them first hand. The fun thing about it is educating other people and promoting what we have here. It is like mining for gold. We have gold all over the state when it comes to tourism. It's just a matter of exposing people to that," he said.

"Tourism is the second biggest industry in the State of Tennessee at $17 billion a year and it goes hand in hand with economic development. It is a great time in the State of Tennessee. More than two thirds of our counties were up last year in tourism dollars. Our top counties all broke records. It is a phenomenal time. Visitors are coming from all over," said Commissioner Triplett.

To better serve tourists, steps are being taken to upgrade technology at the state's welcome centers. "We've spent a lot of time in my ten weeks doing research on who are our visitors? Where are they coming from? The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development runs the welcome centers around the state. TDOT maintains the outside and we manage the inside. And to a large extent, the very first persons that many of these visitors ever talk to in the State of Tennessee are our workers in the welcome centers. We average between 12 and 13 million people a year coming through those welcome centers and it may be closer to 15 million (considering multiplying factors). But it wasn't until three weeks ago that we were collecting information on those visitors. We now have Wi-Fi at all our welcome centers. We're capturing information from our guests. We have surveys. We're asking them who they are, where they are coming from, where they are going, if we can contact them later, and did they enjoy their trip here?. Not only do we want them to come to Tennessee but we want them to come back and if there is anything that makes them answer the question we don't think we'll come back, we want to know why. We want to fix that," said Commissioner Triplett.

"We're doing things strategically with our website, Facebook, instagram and all these other social media channels now. The technology is so broad. Who are our users? What are they looking for? And what do they want during their time in Tennessee? Two things we try to do in the department is get people to Tennessee and inspire them to enjoy their time here," he said.

"We are a service department. We want to serve you (communities). You are our customers, our partners. You are the people on the ground. The people at our welcome centers are our front lines. When people come to the welcome centers they (employees) are the front line of Tennessee for information and perception is given or taken from those visits to the welcome centers. It's the same thing with our partners out in the field. It's you who are out there dealing with the customers and visitors. Our guests. We want to know how we can serve you," said Commissioner Triplett.

Triplett, 49, is the former vice president of public affairs for Bristol Motor Speedway. Prior to joining BMS in 2005, he worked in various roles for NASCAR, ultimately serving as managing director of business operations, guiding the operation and administration of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series. He has twice been named one of NASCAR’s “25 Most Influential” by The Charlotte Observer.

From 1992 until 1994, Triplett represented General Motors Parts (GM Goodwrench and AC Delco) in NASCAR, specifically Richard Childress Racing and Ken Schrader Racing and their drivers, including Dale Earnhardt. Prior to his NASCAR tenure, he covered sports for the Bristol Herald Courier and The Gaston Gazette in North Carolina.

He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University and has served on the boards of a number of community organizations including Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rotary Club of Bristol, ETSU at Bristol Advisory Council, Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Also a farmer, Triplett is a member of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.

Triplett and his wife, Jill, live in Bristol with their two children, Lucas and Sarah Grace.

(PICTURED ABOVE: Jack Barton, County Commissioner and Coordinator of the Fiddlers Jamboree & Crafts Festival; Lee Curtis, Director of Program Development and Legislative Liaison; Ruth Dyal, Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association; Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner Kevin Triplett of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development; County Mayor Tim Stribling; State Senator Mae Beavers; State Representative Mark Pody; and Rob Sherrill, Special Projects Manager of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.)

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