Local News Articles

Supporters Request Permission to Form a Baseball/Softball Program at DeKalb West School

September 10, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jeff McMillen Reading from Prepared Statement at School Board Meeting-

The Board of Education is being asked to give it's blessing for the formation of a baseball program for boys and a softball program for girls at DeKalb West School, at no cost to the school system

Jeff McMillen, speaking on behalf of a group of interested parents and students at DeKalb West, made the request during Thursday night's school board meeting.

McMillen had also sent a letter to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and to DeKalb West School Principal Danny Parkerson on August 7th.

In the letter, McMillen wrote "The DeKalb West Baseball Team will be made up of students enrolled in DeKalb County grades 6th, 7th, & 8th (including DeKalb Middle students) provided DeKalb Middle does not have a baseball program. The DeKalb West Softball team will be made up of DeKalb West students in grades 6th, 7th, & 8th." (DeKalb Middle has a softball program).

"Students will need to maintain their academic grades as they would if they participated in basketball or cheering at DeKalb West."

"The teams would have a head coach that will be a parent volunteer who will be approved by the principal and or director of schools and will attend any training classes that other coaches in the county are required to attend. Any other volunteer coach that will be present on the field or in the dug-out, may also need to be approved (but may not be required to attend any classes)"

"The baseball team would use the existing field at DeKalb West and the softball team would have access to the softball field located in Alexandria. Practices for softball could be conducted at the West School. Games can start as early as 3:30 p.m. so lighting will not be a problem. Transportation to and from practice and games will be provided by parents or guardians."

"DeKalb West parents will form a Booster Club at the discretion of the principal and director of schools for providing funding for these sports. There will be no cost to the school system for uniforms, or equipment for startup of the league unless volunteered to do so. Any required monies will be deposited with the school at the schools request such as gate receipts and umpire fees, etc."

"A list of Middle School teams with baseball/softball can be provided upon request."

"This is a great opportunity for DeKalb West and the DeKalb County School System to broaden the opportunities given to the children of our system. DeKalb West has only basketball and cheerleading offered. This could allow more children an opportunity to participate in school-organized sports. The facility that DeKalb West has is another great reason for starting basketball/softball at DeKalb West not to mention the support that will be given by parents and businesses in our community. Under hard economic times, it would not be appropriate to ask for tax dollars for funding, but we will get the commitment for funding from parents and businesses in our community before starting."

In his remarks to the school board Thursday night, McMillen said " At this time, we are requesting permission to pursue the possibility of starting these programs. Much work will need to be done to make this happen, and time will be important because schools will be filling their schedules soon and the middle school will be having their tryouts for the girls soon."

"Organized school sports are good for the kids, good for the school, and good for the parents and everyone else involved. Kids who are involved in sports are less likely to be problem students at school or in the classroom. They know to play sports, you are expected to make good grades, not be a problem student in class and outside of class, respect teachers and school personnel, be responsible, and give 100% effort."

"DeKalb County has always been known for its baseball and we would hope these programs would be a stepping stone to the next level of play. If I understand correctly, anytime you offer a boys sport, you are required to offer a girls sport. We approached the parents of girls at the West School and they came up with offering softball. We know that it already exists at DeKalb Middle School, which is a good program, but they feel that this will allow more kids an opportunity to be involved. I would hope this would not create any problems between the schools, students, or parents."

"When I was asked to help organize a baseball team, I tried to think about how it will affect my child, his school, and me as a parent. My thoughts are that if this extra playing helps develop him into a better player, better student, and better individual, it will be good for him. It can have a positive impact on the school by providing more opportunity for kids to participate, teach responsibility, and the importance of good grades, not to mention staying out of trouble. And as a parent, I know if it's good for my child, it's going to be good for other kids too."

"The question of ‘can you be competitive' has been asked and I don't think anybody can truly answer that until you play the games. All programs have rebuilding years and I would consider starting a new program as a building year. I do know a lot of kids I've been around do have a big heart and I also think a good program is about more than just wins and losses."

"Another question asked is ‘what happens when you're gone'? I can assure you none of us are irreplaceable. There will be someone that will take your place. We're not going into this with the attitude that it won't work, but in the event it doesn't, the school system will not be out any money."

"For this to become a reality, the school principal, the school board, and director must support it. Without it, this will not work."

The school board will study the issue in more detail during a workshop set for September 21st and make a final decision on the request at the next school board meeting on October 8th.

Robinson Re-Elected Chairman of School Board

September 10, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Board Officers Joan Draper, Charles Robinson, and Kenny Rhody

Second District School Board member Charles Robinson was re-elected Chairman of the Board of Education Thursday night.

The board re-organizes each September, naming a chairman, vice-chairman, and an assistant secretary.

Third District member Kenny Rhody was named Vice-Chairman and Fourth District member Joan Draper was elected Assistant Secretary for the year.

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the school board.


Those employed since the August meeting are:

Melvin Riley, bus driver replacing Julie Fayette
Billy Curtis, driver
Tiffany VanWinkle, transferred to educational assistant
Cindy Armour, Sheryn Curtis, Libby Foutch, Mary Gay, Jamie Lankford, and Mary Neal as substitute cooks
Tanya Adkison, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Approved Substitute Teachers:
Ellen Ammons, Guylene Atnip, Tracie Baker, Wanda Bradford, Jennifer Braswell, Jennifer Butts, Carolyn Caldwell, Jenny Cantrell, Nancy Cantrell, Matthew Carpenter, Jennifer Cole, Brenda Colwell, Julie Cook, Donna Davis, Tina Evans, Betty Fisk, Debbie France, Leanne Frasier, Ann Frazier, Holly Frazier, Kelly Frazier, Robbie Joan Frazier, Sherrie Giles, Janna Gillard, Johnna Goff, Doris Graham, Natalie Green, Vicki Haggard, Judith Hale, Charlene Hallum, Amber Hawkins, Connie Henry, Darnette Hibdon, Shirely Ingram, Sara Jared, Angela Johnson, Jennifer Judkins, Martha Knowles, Kym Lamson, Milinda League, Stacy Mason, Joel Moore, Eden Nokes, Jamie Nokes, Carol Northcutt, Ronda Northcutt, Angela Osment, Lisa Patterson, Elaine Perricone, Ivadell Randolph, Donna Robinson, Jessica Sims, Jalene Vanatta, Tiffanie VanWinkle, Wanda Vickers, Tom Werling, Helen Wilson, Jean Young, Kim Young, and Nancy Young.

Leave of Absence:
Betsye Walker, teacher at Northside Elementary School, as requested.
Lori Myrick, guidance counselor at DCHS, as requested

Resignations:
Wendy Bowling, educational assistant
Julie Fayette, bus driver

In other business, the school board adopted an amendment to the school calendar, changing the dates for spring break from April 2-9 to March 29th to April 2nd.

TCAP Testing will be April 15-22

The administrative day will be changed from May 24th to Friday, May 21st and the last day of school for students will be Saturday, May 22nd, 2010. Report cards will be sent home on that day.

The board adopted a resolution honoring bus drivers, proclaiming September 17th as Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Director of Schools Willoughby says the tribute is part of the Utrust Make a Difference Program that the system is participating in this year to show school employees how much they are appreciated.

The resolution of appreciation states as follows:

"Whereas, the safety of our children rests in the hands of trained school bus drivers for up to three hours each school day, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers spend considerable time and energy in on-going training to maintain skills and keep current knowledge of school bus laws and safety procedures through continuing education classes, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers face both natural and unnatural hazards in the performance of their duties, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers consistently demonstrate patience, and kindness toward students, parents, and school staff in the performance of their duties, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers have collectively built a remarkable record of safety by driving for thousands and thousands of accident free miles, year after year, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers consistently put the safety of our children first and they maintain an awareness of student needs, school bus routes, mechanical issues, and weather conditions, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers frequently assist students in developing appropriate behavior and in dealing with issues confronting them daily through counseling and/or disciplinary techniques, and,

Therefore, Be it hereby Resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education officially recognizes all its school bus drivers for their continued and excellent services to the youth of DeKalb County.

Be it further resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby declares September 17th, 2009 as school bus driver appreciation day in DeKalb County; and

Be it further resolved that each school principal is hereby encouraged to plan and implement a program of appreciation for school bus drivers who serve students in his or her respective school."

Kiwanis Club of DeKalb County Receives Honors

September 9, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Kiwanis Club of DeKalb County recently received honors from the Division 2 Kentucky and Tennessee District.

Jim Westmoreland, Governor of Division 2 presented the club with banner patches for their involvement in the 2009-2010 Kiwanis Blood Drives through Kentucky and Tennessee.

Kiwanis of DeKalb County, who participated with 162 other clubs, received a patch for their highest percentage of blood units collected and a patch for the overall winner of the Kentucky and Tennessee District.

The Kiwanis Club thanks all of those who made this honor possible. Kiwanis meets at noon every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Neo's Cafe. For more information regarding Kiwanis, please call Judy Forrester at 597-2621.

Smithville Airport Honored for Quality Service

September 9, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is recognizing numerous airports across the state including the Smithville Municipal Airport with "Front Door Awards" for providing facilities and services that reflect community pride and commitment to quality. The awards were handed out at the 24TH Annual Tennessee Airports Conference on August 20, 2009.

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression and our airports are often the front doors to our communities for visitors and business representatives," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "I'm pleased to honor these airports for their commitment to quality."

Front Door Awards are presented by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.

The criteria for the Front Door Award include: general appearance of the airfield, buildings and grounds; quality of services offered to passengers, aircraft and crews; availability and quality of information about the airport and the surrounding community; cleanliness and level of maintenance of areas used by the passengers, aircrew and airport visitors; courtesy and professionalism displayed by airport personnel; and, an overall impression of community pride and commitment to quality.

The goal is for every airport in Tennessee to receive this award in recognition of their commitment to quality and community pride.

Safely dispose of old cell phones to protect private information

September 8, 2009

If you own a cell phone, at some point you are likely to upgrade to a newer model. The Division of Consumer Affairs urges you to safely dispose of your old phone.

“It is important to properly dispose of your old cell phones to prevent your personal information from being stolen,” said Mary Clement, Director of Consumer Affairs. Cell phones are like laptop computers, they are often repositories of personal and sometimes sensitive information, including addresses, phone numbers, passwords, e-mail and account numbers. You wouldn’t dispose of your old laptop computer without wiping the hard drive clean; mobile devices deserve the same level of attention before you discard them. Encrypting passwords and other sensitive data stored on your cell phone can help prevent unauthorized access even after your cell phone is no longer in service. However, certain data on your phone, including contacts, photos and web search items may be recoverable with simple and inexpensive software programs.

Before you dispose of your old phone:
• Remove all personal information. Always remove the subscriber identity module (SIM) card from the phone.
• Remove all stored contacts in your phone book.
• Delete any lists of calls (received and made).
• Delete all voice mails, and sent and received e-mail and text messages.
• Delete photos and all web search history.

Your owner’s manual or your wireless provider will likely provide information on how to permanently delete information from your mobile device. Once you have deleted all personal information from your old phone, you can recycle or donate the phone. Cell phone manufacturers, service providers and nonprofit groups often have programs to refurbish mobile devices or recycle their components. Many organizations also collect old mobile devices for charitable purposes. For example, the Genesis House accepts donated phones the Sheriff's Department collects from residents here.

These donated phones are refurbished and then given to clients as a way to contact Law Enforcement in case of an emergency. The cell phones only will call 911.

Consumer Affairs is a division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests

September 7, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Flint Wilson Gilley II

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has made four arrests on various charges since last Wednesday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 24 year old Flint Wilson Gilley II of Bethel Road Smithville was arrested September 2nd after deputies responded to a call of a vehicle sitting in the roadway on Short Mountain Highway. Upon arrival officers found Gilley passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle, which was still in drive, with the engine running. After securing the automobile, officers awoke Gilley and noticed him to be under the influence. Gilley submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Also found were two pill bottles. One bottle contained eight yellow Xanax and the other bottle contained 8 pills and two half pills of Suboxone. Gilley had no prescription for these drugs. Gilley was charged with driving under the influence, possession of a schedule III drug (Suboxone), and possession of a schedule IV drug (Xanax). Gilley's bond was set at $4,500 and his court date is October 1st.

On September 3rd, a county deputy spotted 20 year old Anthony W. Tramel of Oakley Road, Liberty driving a motor vehicle. The officer had prior knowledge of Tramel's driver's license being revoked. Upon stopping Tramel, the deputy noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Tramel's person, his eyes were glossy, and Tramel was stumbling when trying to walk. Tramel was asked to perform field sobriety tasks, but he refused. Tramel did admit to drinking beer. Tramel was arrested for a second offense of driving under the influence and a third offence of driving on a revoked driver's license. Tramel's bond was set at $5,000 and his court date is September 17th. Tramel was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law.

23 year old Brandon Scott Kidd of Four Seasons Road Smithville was charged September 5th with a second offense of driving under the influence after he was involved in an auto accident on Four Seasons Road. Kidd was found to be under the influence. He was unsteady on his feet and he had an odor of alcohol on his person. Kidd submitted to and failed field sobriety tasks. He also admitted to drinking beer and taking Xanax. Kidd's bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on September 17th.

31 year old Tommy J. Eldridge of Rose Wood Lane Smithville was charged September 6th with public intoxication after officers checked out a report of someone lying in the ditch on Highway 56 North. Upon arrival deputies found Eldridge to be in an intoxicated state. She had an odor of alcohol on her person and she was very unsteady on her feet. Eldridge admitted to taking Xanax and drinking beer. Bond for Eldridge was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on October 1st.

Chief Jennings Releases Weekly Update on Criminal Activity

September 6, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings has released his weekly update on criminal activity in the city.

Smithville Police Officer Randy King was dispatched to DeKalb Community Hospital on Wednesday, September 2nd on a disturbance call. Upon arrival, Officer King made contact with
17 year old Cody Garrett Smith of 136 Bybee Drive, McMinnville, 34 year old Shane Colin Orlando of 678 Kendra Drive, Smithville and 40 year old Hope Lee Sims of 321 West Wood Drive, McMinnville. The three were yelling at each other. The verbal argument escalated to the point that Officer King arrested all three individuals. Orlando and Sims were cited for disorderly conduct. Their court date is set for September 17th in General Sessions Court. Meanwhile Cody Smith is charged with assault and his court date is September 16th in Juvenile Court.

Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis arrested 37 year old Larry Wayne Bain of 246 Hayes Court, Smithville on August 31st on an attachment warrant from Smith County.

Meanwhile, Chief Jennings says someone took two tailgates from two pickup trucks at Florence & White Ford on Broad Street in Smithville on or about August 27th. One tailgate was taken from a 2010 F-150 Ford truck and the other tailgate was taken from a 2008 F-250 Ford truck.

Some time after 10:30 p.m. on August 29th, someone entered the vehicle of Jerry L. Rackley at 605 Estes Street in Smithville. The following articles were taken from the vehicle, a Stanley wrench set, a Stanley socket set, gas from the vehicles gas tank, and $170 in cash.

In another case, Chief Jennings says someone, using the name Jeff White went to U.S. Equipment Sales and Rental in McMinnville on August 26th and rented a 2000 New Holland Skid Loader. White paid $250 in cash for a two day rental. An employee of the U.S. Equipment Company delivered the skid loader to 115 Wilson Street, Smithville. White stated he needed the loader to tear down an old house at that location. White was driving an older model blue Chevy S-10 truck. On the rental agreement, White gave an address of 111 Wilson Street, Smithville and a phone number. On August 28th, White called U.S. Equipment Company and talked to Davis asking if they had picked up the skid loader. Davis replied no. White said that someone had stolen the skid loader. Davis attempted to contact White and found out the suspect had given his company a false name, address, and telephone number. Davis has been unable to locate White or the New Holland Skid loader which is valued at $16,000.

Chief Jennings says if anyone has information about these or other offenses then please contact the Smithville Police Department. All information received will be confidential.

Tigers Hold on to Beat Cannon County 35-26

September 5, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers were leading 35 to 0 early in the third quarter but had to hold on to win 35 to 26 over their border rivals from Cannon County Friday night in Smithville.

The 9 point win gives the Tigers a 2-1 record and a 1-0 start in District 8AA.

DeKalb County Quarterback Hunter Poteete got the Tigers on the board first on a six yard touchdown run with 3:52 to go in the first period. The P.A.T. by Zack Taylor was good and the black and gold led 7-0.

In the second quarter with 11:12 to go, Travon Johnson caught a seven yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Poteete and with the P.A.T by Zack Taylor, the Tigers led 14-0.

With 10:04 left in the second period, Poteete found Matt Giles on a pass play that covered 42 yards for a touchdown and the P.A.T. by Zack Taylor put the Tigers on top 21-0

Frank Morris caught a one yard touchdown pass from Poteete with 4:37 left in the second quarter. The P.A.T. by Taylor was good and DeKalb County led 28-0.

The Tigers last touchdown of the night came from the defense. With 10:57 left in the third period, Abram Edwards picked off a pass from Cannon County Quarterback Andrew Wooden and returned it 49 yards for the score. The P.A.T. by Taylor was good and the Tigers held a commanding 35 to 0 lead.

DeKalb County later attempted but failed to connect on a 37 yard field goal by Taylor.

Cannon County started their comeback with 9:14 left in the third period on a 13 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Andrew Wooden to Daniel Wooden. The two point conversion try failed and the Tiger lead was trimmed to 35 to 6.

In the fourth quarter with 11:32 to go, Lions Quarterback Andrew Wooden hooked up with Daniel Wooden again, this time on an 80 yard touchdown pass play. Heath Simons then caught a pass from Wooden for the two point conversion and the Tiger lead was cut to 35 to 14.

Cannon County struck again with 11:10 left in the game, as Quarterback Wooden found Heath Simons on a 40 yard touchdown pass play. The try for the two point conversion failed but the Tiger lead had shrunk to 35 to 20.

The Lions put their last touchdown on the board with 6:27 left in the game as Thomas Agee caught a six yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Wooden. The two point conversion try failed and DeKalb County's lead was down to nine points at 35 to 26.

Cannon County failed to convert a fourth down late in the game to keep their final drive alive and the Tigers got the ball back and ran out the clock to preserve their lead and notch the win.

Next week, DeKalb County will host the White County Warriors for Homecoming. Kick off will be at 7:00 p.m. Friday night, September 11th. WJLE will have LIVE coverage

Two Women Remain Hospitalized in Critical Condition after Wednesday Night Crash

September 3, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kym Denise Curtis
Emergency Personnel at Crash Scene Wednesday Night(Photo provided by Brad Mullinax)
One of the Vehicles in Wednesday Night Crash(Photo Provided by Brad Mullinax)

Two women remain hospitalized in critical condition after being involved in a crash Wednesday night on the Keltonburg Road (Highway 288)

Sergeant Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 29 year old Kym Curtis of McMinnville is in Chattanooga's Erlanger Hospital while 19 year old Allison Ann Marie Vance of Smithville is at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

According to Sergeant Dial, Curtis was driving a 1993 Chevy Caprice traveling east on Keltonburg Road when she went off the highway while negotiating a curve to the left. "The passenger side wheels traveled off the pavement. She over steered to bring the vehicle back onto the pavement, resulting in her going into the west bound lane" where she sideswiped a westbound 2001 Hyundai, driven by 26 year old Joseph Edge of Smithville. Sergeant Dial says the Curtis car continued east in the westbound lane and made an angle impact with the front of a westbound 2009 Toyota Yaris, driven by Vance, who was following behind Edge. According to Sergeant Dial, Vance is Edge's fiance.

After Curtis was extricated from her car, both she and her 18 year old sister, Laura Curtis, who was a passenger in the Caprice, were airlifted from the scene and flown to Erlanger Hospital. Laura Curtis was treated and released.

Vance was removed from her vehicle and transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where she was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Joseph Edge was apparently uninjured in the crash and his eleven month old daughter, Makya Edge also escaped injury. She was in a child restraint device in the back seat of Edge's car at the time of the accident.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department's Blue Springs Station and Extrication Team responded along with the Sheriff's Department and EMS.

Sergeant Dial says the investigation continues and charges are pending.

Beer Board Delays Revocation Hearing Again

September 3, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Attorney Frank Buck
County Attorney Hilton Conger

The DeKalb County Beer Board has again delayed a hearing on the revocation of the off premises permit of Nicoles Market at 7024 Short Mountain Highway.

The board met Thursday night at the courthouse to take up the issue but decided to wait until the next meeting in October after questions were raised concerning another store in the area with a beer permit, One-Stop Market, at 3794 Short Mountain Highway.

In November 2008, the beer board granted an off premises permit to Areceli Soto Godinez, the owner of Nicole's Market, apparently not knowing the store is less than 2,000 feet from the Mount Pisgah Free Will Baptist Church, a violation of the county's distance regulations

DeKalb County has a rule forbidding the sale, storage and manufacture of beer and like beverages within 2,000 feet (or some lesser distance) of schools, churches, and other places of public gathering.

Frank Buck, attorney for the owners of Nicole's Market, told the beer board Thursday night that One-Stop Market may also be within 2,000 feet of a church, the New Home Baptist Church, which would also be a violation of the county's distance requirement "I know a speedometer is not a very good way to be measuring but I went out there and it is without question, very, very close. It's either within 2,000 feet or just outside (2,000 feet). It's between three and four tenths of a mile. The case law very clearly says it's building to building. You've got to measure from the nearest corner of the (store) building to the nearest corner of the building of the church. You must have a uniform method of measuring. And if that thing (One Stop Market) is within the 2,000 feet then my view is that you all have got a very serious problem with revoking this man's license (Nicole's Market)."

Buck also wants to see the resolution where the county commission has ever established the 2,000 foot distance requirement. Both he and Sarah Cripps say they have researched years of county records and cannot locate any such resolution. Cripps is the attorney for the owners of D& D Market of 7166 Short Mountain Highway, who were denied a beer permit in July because that store is also within 2,000 feet of the Mount Pisgah Free Will Baptist Church.

County Attorney Hilton Conger says the beer board has been relying on the 2,000 foot distance requirement for many years. "When the beer laws were first enacted, the county commission actually served as the beer board and then they formed an independent beer board and Chairman (Mack) Harney was on that original beer board and has served on it ever since."

As for any stores in violation of the distance requirement, Conger still insists that the beer board has the right to revoke their permits if they were inadvertently granted in error. "I believe the law is clear that we can revoke any permit that is within the prohibited area. We want to get it right."

However Buck suggested that if the beer board has granted more than one permit in error, that might not be considered inadvertent.

Conger advised the beer board to postpone the hearing until October 1st . In the meantime, a survey will be conducted to determine the exact distance between One-Stop Market and the New Home Baptist Church, and more research will be done in hopes of locating a county commission resolution establishing the distance requirement.

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