Local News Articles

Hurricane Bridge to be Closed Tuesday Night, November 8th

November 3, 2011
Hurricane Bridge

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced that Hurricane Bridge will be closed to all traffic on Tuesday night, November 8 between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. CST to pour a portion of the new concrete deck.

TDOT's weekly construction report released Thursday, November 3 states, " While the bridge is closed, all traffic will be redirected to the currently posted truck detour that utilizes I-40 at Exit 254 to SR-53. Message boards will be posted. The bridge will be reopened to normal one-lane signal-controlled traffic the following morning by 6:00 a.m. If the contractor is unable to perform this work, it will be rescheduled to take place on either the evening of Wednesday, November 9 or Thursday, November 10 between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Further temporary lane shifts may be implemented by flaggers on an "as needed" basis to facilitate work as it progresses".

The bridge currently is down to only one lane of traffic, and it is being maintained and controlled by a temporary signal for the safety of the traveling public. The current weight postings of 10 tons for two-axle vehicles and 18 tons for vehicles with three or more axles will remain in effect and will be strictly enforced. This will allow for work adjacent to the north side of the bridge to continue.

Estimated project completion date is October 2013.

Alexandria Alderman Sworn Into Office

November 2, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Darrell Dixon Takes Oath of Office from Vester Parsley
Alexandria Mayor and Aldermen

Alexandria Alderman Darrell Dixon was officially sworn into office Tuesday night to begin his new four year term during a special meeting of the Alexandria Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The meeting was held at the Alexandria Senior Citizens Center.

Dixon was re-elected unopposed in September. He was sworn into office by Alexandria City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr.

Other members of the board are Aldermen Pat Jackson, Tony Tarpley, and Addie Farley. The Mayor is Ria Baker. Two aldermen positions on the council still remain vacant.

Meanwhile, in other business the aldermen adopted a measure giving a refund to a few land owners whose property had been annexed into the city limits two years ago and then later de-annexed. The refund is for property taxes they paid during the time their land had been annexed into the city. It involves about thirty three property owners and totals almost $8,000.

Authors of New Civil War Book Coming to Smithville Saturday

November 2, 2011
Traci Nichols-Belt and Gordon T. Belt
Authors Traci Nichols-Belt and Gordon T. Belt Coming to Smithville Saturday

The Civil War was trying, bloody and hard-fought combat for both sides. What was it, then, that sustained soldiers low on supplies and morale? For the Army of Tennessee, it was religion. Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War explores the significant impact of religion on every rank, from generals to chaplains to common soldiers. It took faith to endure overwhelming adversity. Religion unified troops, informing both why and how they fought and providing the rationale for enduring great hardship for the Confederate cause. Using primary source material such as diaries, letters, journals and sermons of the Army of Tennessee, Traci Nichols-Belt, along with Gordon T. Belt, presents the history of the vital role of the army's religious practices.

Traci and Gordon of Kingston Springs will be selling and signing copies of their new book on Saturday, November 5 from noon until 4:00 p.m. at F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts on the Public Square in Smithville.

CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO HEAR TRACI TALK ABOUT THE BOOK ON WJLE

Traci Nichols-Belt is an ordained and licensed minister and holds a master's degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Anderson University. During her academic career at MTSU, Traci worked for the Tennessee State Museum and wrote two National Register nominations for the Johnsonville Historic District in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, and the Historical AME Church and Cemeteries in Alexandria, Tennessee. Traci has also worked as a historical consultant and grant writer for the Clement Railroad Hotel and Museum in Dickson, Tennessee. Traci's article "Chaplains in the Army of Tennessee, CSA: Warring Disciples Carrying the Gospel" was published in the Winter 2004 issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Additionally, she wrote a review of Sam Davis Elliot's book, Doctor Quintard Chaplain CSA and Second Bishop of Tennessee for the Spring 2004 issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.

Gordon T. Belt is an information professional specializing in local archives, historical research and government and public policy. He currently works as the library manager for the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and has written several articles for the First Amendment Center on legislative issues and history. Gordon holds a master's degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is an active member in the Society of Tennessee Archivists and holds memberships in the Society of American Archivists, Special Libraries Association, National Council on Public History and the Tennessee Historical Society. Gordon is also the founding editor and publisher of The Posterity Project, an award-winning blog devoted to issues related to archives, history, civic responsibility and open access to public records in his home state of Tennessee

City to Determine Costs of Treating Leachate

November 1, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
2009 photo of newest landfill cell site shows leachate (water) amid garbage
Same landfill cell site as shown above (Photo made November 1, 2011)
Leachate pumped from cell sites to this landfill storage facility
Leachate Collected in Landfill Storage Facility
Leachate is pumped from landfill storage facility to tanker truck
This landfill cell site closed in 2010

The City of Smithville's engineering firm will be asked to determine the cost of treating landfill leachate at the waste water treatment plant. Once the board of aldermen has that information it will determine whether or not the city should starting charging the county again for this service.

Although no vote could be taken, Mayor Taft Hendrixson said during a brief workshop Thursday night that city officials would contact the J.R. Wauford Company to conduct the cost study.

The workshop was held between city and county leaders in an effort to come to terms on an agreement on the treatment and disposal of landfill leachate in the city waste water treatment plant. County Mayor Mike Foster said if the county has to pay, it could be a costly venture, and if Smithville were to refuse to accept the leachate, the county could be forced to shut down the landfill until an arrangement could be worked out with another city or county. "The landfill is a nasty place. I'll acknowledge that. But without being able to haul leachate, we would have to close the landfill that minute," said Foster.

The City of Smithville, since August 2008, has not been paying the county for the disposal of city garbage in the landfill and the county, since March 2009, has not been paying for the treatment of landfill leachate being hauled to the city's waste water treatment plant.

County Mayor Foster has said that this non-payment verbal agreement between he and Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson was reached months ago. But according to Mayor Hendrixson, there was no such deal. He said the city's refusal to pay is based on the principle that the county should not be charging Smithville a fee to dump city garbage in the county landfill since city residents are already supporting the operation of the landfill as county taxpayers.

Although some landfill leachate has been hauled to and treated at the city sewer plant for several years, the leachate issue became more of a concern after the county opened a new five acre cell at the landfill in 2009. Heavy rains caused a great amount of leachate (storm water) to run through the new cell and that water, according to Foster had to be removed, treated and disposed of properly according to state and federal environmental regulations.

Mayor Hendrixson said it was during that time that County Mayor Foster contacted him. " Mr. Foster had come to me to discuss the new landfill. He said until it got enough garbage in there to soak up most of the leachate (he wanted to haul the leachate to the sewer plant). I told him to go ahead and put it in our sewer system. We did and it has continued on since then. So that's where we are," said Mayor Hendrixson.

County Mayor Foster said he sent a letter to Mayor Hendrixson during the summer asking that the original two year verbal agreement be renewed in writing, but that so far nothing has been done.

During a city council meeting last month, Alderman Shawn Jacobs asked that a workshop be held with Foster to discuss his request. Alderman Jacobs, during the workshop, said he felt the issue should be brought out in the open. "I think there was some question on the city's part if we truly did have an arrangement. This issue seemed to keep brewing. To keep it from turning into a political football, we ought to bring it out in the open and deal with it publicly the way it should be dealt with," said Jacobs.

Alderman Jacobs also asked city attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. whether it was legal for the city to treat the leachate.

In response, Parsley said the city's current sewer use ordinance does give the city that authority." In looking at the ordinance that we passed in 2002, we have the capability of treating things that are brought in under certain circumstances as long as it is not contaminated with something that would cause problems to our sewer system. Its not an issue about something we couldn't treat," he said

"We can't give water away. Are we legally required to charge?. Can we legally treat leachate without charging for it?," asked Jacobs.

"Under section 7.1 of the (ordinance) surcharges, it says that the city council may adjust or vary the various rates and or formulas at its discretion," said Parsley. "So the city council has the discretion of what charge you make. There is a formula in here about the treatment but the city council can adjust that or say we're not going to charge anything if they chose to," he said.

"My concern is the water and sewer fund has to be self supporting," said Jacobs. " It has nothing to do with city taxes. Any money that the city might pay as a tipping fee at the landfill. That's city tax money. But the water and sewer fund comes out of a different pot. My concern is that we're being fair to our ratepayers. Are we making them subsidize the landfill?," asked Alderman Jacobs.

Sewer plant operator Bobby Pinegar said that the city treats about one million gallons of waste water per day. Foster pointed out that the amount of landfill leachate being hauled to the sewer plant in a year's time is relatively small and has been decreasing compared to what the city treats overall in a year. He said it should not be a significant expense. "Your total amount of chemicals to treat 365 million gallons (for the year's sewer plant operation) is $35,000 budgeted and actual expense. We're (county) hauling 3.88 million gallons," said Foster. "Last year, we probably hauled maybe 25% or 30% of what we hauled the year before. It was much less. Its going down as the landfill gets full. But there's always going to be some leachate. I think we brought you all 3.88 million gallons last year which was roughly 700 truck loads. There's been months when we first opened that when we probably hauled 700 truck loads that month. If we're hauling 2% of what you'll haul (treat) that would be $700 worth of chemicals. If we're hauling 10% it'd be $3,500. But your total amount of chemicals to treat 365 million gallons is $35,000," said Foster

Mayor Hendrixson said according to city records, "In 2009, I think you had 1,667 truck loads. In 2010 you had 798. This year so far through September you've had 795. I think it'll be up this year over last year, but not as much as 2009," said Mayor Hendrixson.

County attorney Hilton Conger inquired about the city's treatment costs at the waste water plant.

Hunter Hendrixson, the city's secretary/treasurer, said while no up to date figures are available, the city's engineering firm provided a formula to go by in 2006." Our engineering company, Wauford gave us a formula on what it costs per thousand gallons. In 2006, it was around 78.8 cents per thousand gallons. If you round it up, for ten million gallons, that would be eight thousand dollars. It may be more now. We may need them to come in and have them re-do that and see what it is today," said Hendrixson.

Mayor Hendrixson said Wauford would be contacted to figure what the city's costs are today. "What our board needs to do is come up with a solution, whether to charge nothing or charge so much, or charge for chemicals or whatever you want to do. It'd be my suggestion to ask our engineering company to determine what is our cost now per one thousand gallons to treat that, and then for the board to make its decision," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Meanwhile, the issue of whether the city should pay the county for the disposal of city garbage in the landfill also remains unresolved.

Up until August 2008, the city paid the fees ($25.00 per ton) but neither city nor county officials have been able to locate a written agreement on the arrangement. County Mayor Foster said the city and county should go about "finding an arrangement about garbage, since its been done (city paying fees to county) since the 1970's".

Mayor Hendrixson disagreed saying "I still have a problem with the city having to pay anything as county residents to put their household garbage in that landfill".

Foster pointed out that the county receives no property tax money for the operation of the landfill. It's an enterprise fund, he said, made up of revenues derived from payment-in-lieu of taxes, local option sales taxes, hotel-motel tax, bank excise tax, and the wholesale beer tax, etc.

Mayor Hendrixson responded that those funds were also county monies.

The new landfill cell, Foster said, is expected to last less than two more years. In the meantime, the county is looking at going to a transfer station in the future, he added.

(NOTE: The top picture shows the newest landfill cell shortly after it opened in 2009. The water seen in the photo is leachate. According to County Mayor Foster, at the base of the cell is five feet of compacted clay with a geo-technical cloth on top, then another foot of clay, pipes which are used to catch the leachate, and at the top is a foot of septic tank gravel. The water that drains into the pipes is pumped to a tank (storage facility) at the top of the hill and from there, tanker trucks are loaded with the water (leachate) and hauled to the Smithville wastewater treatment plant)

Election Commission to Hold Town Hall Meeting Tonight on New Photo ID Law

November 1, 2011

A new law that will require voters to show a valid photo ID at the polls won't go into effect until next year, but in preparation for this new requirement, the DeKalb County Election Commission will hold a town hall meeting to inform the public of the change in the law.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse. The purpose of the meeting is to present information regarding the new law, which goes into effect January 1, 2012. The town hall meeting will include a presentation, followed by a question and answer period.

The major points of the law include:

•A voter is required to produce a federal or state government-issued photo ID before being allowed to vote. Some examples of a valid photo ID, even if expired, are a Tennessee driver license, U.S. passport, Department of Safety photo ID card, state or federal employee photo identification card, or a U.S. military photo ID. Student college IDs will not be accepted for voting purposes.

Free photo IDs may be obtained from any Department of Safety driver license testing station. Registered voters must sign an affidavit stating that the photo ID is for voting purposes, that they are a registered voter, and that they do not have any other valid government-issued photo ID. The Department of Safety will not issue a free photo ID if the person already has a valid government-issued photo ID

•Voters who are unable to produce a valid photo ID will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot, at the polls. Voters casting a provisional ballot will have until two (2) business days after Election Day to return to the election commission office to show a valid photo ID.

•Voters with a religious objection to being photographed, or voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee - for example, the voter cannot pay for a birth certificate for proof of citizenship - may sign an oath affirming to the information and will be allowed to vote on the machines.

•Voters who vote absentee by mail, voters who are hospitalized, and voters who live in licensed nursing homes or assisted living centers and vote at the facilities are not required to show photo IDs. Registered voters over the age of 65 may request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.

“The goal of the town hall meeting is to educate the public and prepare voters for the upcoming 2012 elections,” Dennis Stanley, administrator of elections said. “We want voters to have plenty of time to obtain a valid photo ID if they do not already possess one. We encourage everyone to attend the November 1 meeting.”

Starting November 5 Driver License Stations in 15 counties, including Putnam and Rutherford will be open on the first Saturday in each month to make photo driver licenses or Ids for voting purposes only. No other business will be conducted in the centers on Saturdays. The hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in Cookeville at 4600 South Jefferson Avenue (phone 931-528-5669) or in Murfreesboro at 1035 Samsonite Boulevard (phone 615-898-8036)

The following centers will be open for weekday visits:

McMinnville at 594 Vervilla Road (phone 931-668-9304
Lebanon at 725 Elkins Drive ( phone 615-443-2757

There are a number of safeguards in the law to ensure eligible voters are not disenfranchised. The photo ID requirement does not apply to:

.People who vote absentee by mail
.People who vote in licensed nursing homes or assisted living facilities
.People who are hospitalized
.People who have religious objections to being photographed
.People who are indigent and cannot obtain photo IDs without paying fees

Voters who forget to bring photo identification to the polls may cast provisional ballots and return to their local election offices with proof of their identities within two business days after elections.

For more information about the new voting requirements, contact Mark Goins, coordinator of elections, or Andrew Dodd, elections specialist, in the state Division of Elections at 1-877-850-4959 or your local county election commission at 597-4146, Room 104 of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Smithville.

Bounds Denied Parole, Case to be Reviewed Again in October 2013

October 31, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds

It's official.

64 year old Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds of McMinnville will remain in prison at least two more years.

Three members of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles have voted to concur with the vote of board member Yusuf Hakeem that Bounds be denied parole due to the seriousness of the offense in the 1981 fatal shooting of 27 year old Sherman Wright of DeKalb County.

Following Bounds' latest parole hearing on October 20, Hakeem voted that Bounds be "put off" for two years before his next parole hearing and that, in the meantime, he become involved in cognitive behavior programs including "Thinking for a Change', "Criminal Thinking", and "Victim Impact". These programs, which will be made available to him in prison, are designed to emphasize the role of altering thinking patterns in bringing about change in an offender's life.

In announcing his vote on October 20, Hakeem said. 'You (Bounds) are incarcerated for first degree murder and the manner in which it has been described, I would consider it calculated in the manner in which it happened. The programs that you have been involved in, I think are good. The jobs that you've held are very good. But some of the things I would want to see as far as programs are concerned are programs like criminal thinking, thinking for a change. Programs that deal with the mind. Something that gives me great pause and great concern is your account of what took place, particularly when I compare that to the account that's in the appeals record. To me they're very different. Based on everything I can see and understand at this time Mr Bounds I can't vote today to parole you sir. Some of the things I think you need to do is (get in) the type of programs that deal with the mind. Though you have been here for a number of years, the Wright family has no contact, so to speak, with their loved one. When I asked about the impact on the families, I listened as you made comments but I did not hear any remorse on your part for what took place. But my vote today is to decline you for two years for seriousness of the offense with programming as I suggested dealing with the mind. This will tell me that you are ready to move back into society and not be a threat to society," said Hakeem.

Bounds, convicted of first degree murder, is serving a life prison sentence at the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville. He will be up for parole again in October, 2013.

Smithville Police Charge Two with Initiation of Process to Manufacture Meth

October 31, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lynn J. Jones
Latasha Cantrell
 Elsie Mae Judkins

Smithville Police have charged two people with initiation of a process to manufacture meth and possession of drug paraphernalia after finding meth lab components on Snow Street.

37 year old Lynn J. Jones and 20 year old Latasha Cantrell will be in court on the charges November 3. Bond for Jones is $130,000 and $80,000 for Cantrell.

Chief Randy Caplinger reports that on Wednesda, October 26 officer Steven Barrett responded to a complaint of suspicious activity on Snow Street. Upon arrival, he saw two flashing lights in a field at the end of the street. He made contact with Jones and Cantrell and found them in possession of shovels and a pick. Some eight to ten feet away were some items identified as components commonly used in a meth lab. Sergeant Andy Snow and Officer James Cornelius arrived on the scene to assist and Detective Matt Holmes was called to investigate.

Police found a two liter bottle and a 20 ounce bottle both containing sodium hydroxide and lithium, a 20 ounce bottle half filled with muriatic acid, used hypodermic needles, a glass pill vial, and several empty packs of pseudoephedrine.

The meth lab task force was called to clean up the scene.

Meanwhile, 42 year old Elsie Mae Judkins is charged with theft of property and aggravated burglary.

Chief Caplinger reports that on Friday, September 30 Judkins allegedly broke into a home on Braswell Lane. During the investigation in October, Detective Matt Holmes discovered that a number of compact discs stolen from the home had been sold to Hastings in McMinnville. Police went there and recovered some of the cds. Judkins was identified through store video surveillance as the person who allegedly made the sale of the stolen cds to the store. She was later arrested at a residence on Anthony Avenue.

49 year old David Haug, a homeless man, is charged with criminal trespassing. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on December 8.

Chief Caplinger said Haug showed up at a place of business and wouldn't leave. He was asked to stay off the property. He left but later returned. Haug, originally from Idaho, was arrested on Friday, October 28

25 year old Tamara Renee Lloyd is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Police were called to a disturbance at a residence on Gentry Avenue on Thursday, October 27. While there, the officer found drug paraphernalia containing marijuana residue. She will be in court on November 17.

22 year old Cougar Pursley of Granville is charged with a first offense of driving under the influence. Police were called Thursday, October 27 to investigate a traffic accident on West Broad Street. Pursley, who was involved in the wreck, was found to be unsteady on his feet and he had an odor of alcohol on his person. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. Pursley is under a $1,500 bond and he will be in court on November 17.

32 year old Megan Ashley Cook is charged with theft under $500 in a shoplifting incident at the Dollar General Store on Wednesday, October 26. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on November 17

44 year old Carol Ann Ballinger of Lebanon is cited for theft of property in a shoplifting incident at the Dollar General Store on Tuesday, October 11. She will be in court on November 11.

Newby Charged in Rash of Burglaries and Thefts

October 31, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shannon Lynn Newby
Steven Michael White

A 45 year old Smithville man is charged in a rash of recent burglaries and thefts.

Shannon Lynn Newby of Anthony Avenue is charged with three counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of burglary, three counts of theft of property over $1,000, one count of theft of property over $500, and one count of theft of property under $500.

His bond totals $235,000 and he will be in court on November 3.

Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that on Monday, September 5, Newby allegedly entered an outbuilding on McMinnville Highway and took two chainsaws, two hedge trimmers, and other items all valued at over $1,000.

On Sunday October 9, Newby allegedly entered a residence through the front door on Cordell Love Road . He allegedly took a Browning 300 Magnum, a Mossberg shotgun, a Marlin 30-30, and several other items all valued at over $1,000

Six days later on Saturday, October 15, Newby allegedly entered a residence through a back window on Coconut Ridge Road and took a nine millimeter Ruger pistol, a Savage rifle, two laptop computers, and several other items all valued at over $1,000.

Newby then allegedly entered an outbuilding on New Home Road Monday, October 17 and took two tool boxes with miscellaneous tools valued less than $500.

In the last incident, Sheriff Ray reports that Newby entered a residence on Robinson Road Thursday, October 20 by prying open the back door. He allegedly took a storm door, cedar chest, and coins all valued at over $500.

Meanwhile, in another case 62 year old Steven Michael White of Pea Ridge Road, Liberty is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on November 17.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Monday, October 24 White was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 and was stopped for crossing the center line several times. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage and marijuana on his person. White was unsteady on his feet. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and he submitted to a blood test. White admitted to drinking beer and smoking marijuana while driving down the road.. His other DUI offense was on February 5, 2009 in DeKalb County.

Applications now being accepting for the 16th Annual Angel Tree Project

October 31, 2011

Applications are now being accepting for the 16th Annual Angel Tree Project through Friday, November 4th .

Spokesperson Laura Stone said changes have been made to the application process again this year." Applications can be picked up October 31st through November 4th. You will still pick up your applications at the Department of Human Services, but one of the changes will be that the application must be returned in person the following week to the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center."

"Completed applications will have to be returned to the First Baptist Church LEC Building in downtown Smithville (on the corner across from First Baptist) on one of the following days; Monday, November 7th from noon until 8 or Tuesday, November 8th from noon until 8. Applications not returned to the Church LEC Building on one of these three dates WILL NOT be accepted. There are no exceptions to the requirements of the application process", said Stone.

"Applications can only be picked up at the Department of Human Services on October 31st through November 4th and can only be returned to the Church LEC Building on the dates listed. In addition to bringing the completed application, applicants must provide photo identification of the person applying and social security cards and birth certificates for ALL children listed on the application. We will only be keeping the application; all other documents will be returned to the applicant. If an applicant cannot appear in person, their application can be submitted by a family member as long as all of the required information is presented."

"Eligible children must live in DeKalb County and be no older than age 12 by December 25, 2011. The Department of Human Services will only be passing out the applications. Nothing will be returned to them and any questions should be directed to Laura Stone at 615.597.5060"

Stone adds that "the Angel Tree has been such a tremendous success in the past and with economic times extremely tough for many in our area, we want this years Angel Tree to be no exception. The Angel Tree helps so many families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is sad to think about, but many of these children would not otherwise have a single present for Christmas. With the economy still struggling, we are expecting demand to be high."

Final Weekend for the DCHS Band was Grand

October 31, 2011
by: 
Band Boosters
Band Wins More Awards in Final Competition

The DCHS Band had a fun and rewarding final weekend for their regular marching season. On Friday, members were encouraged to be creative in coming up with their best costume. Band Director Jonathan Wright said, “It has become a tradition for the band to get dressed up on the Friday that falls around Halloween.” One fan of the Fighting Tiger Marching Band told staff members, “My daughter looks forward to the band’s Halloween performance every year.” They marched their regular show; however, the “uniform” was a little different. Mr. Wright says, “They get really creative when it comes to finding a costume.” On the field were the likes of Thing #1 and Thing #2, Larry the Cable Guy, Lady Gaga, Cleopatra, gangsters, tooth fairies, and a whole host of different characters.

Saturday, October 29th was the final competition performance for the DCHS Fighting Tiger Band in Alcoa, Tennessee. They met at the high school and loaded the buses at 7AM. The road trip to Alcoa was around two hours. Performance time was 1:45 eastern time.

The DCHS Fighting Tiger Band represented DeKalb County very well. After a very successful run of the program, Mr. Wright and Assistant Director Joey Wilburn told the students that they should be proud of themselves. They went on to point out the seniors of the band, Renny Mason, Megan Cantrell, Brianna Vidal, and Heather Vidal, had just marched their last competition show. Mr. Wilburn said, “We are very proud of our seniors.”

Mr. Wright said, “It has been another very successful year for the Marching Band. There was some concern that since we had nine seniors graduate last year that the quality of our performance would take a hit. Though we have a young group this year (only four seniors and eight 7th and 8th graders), this has been the hardest working group of students I have had the pleasure to work with. Because of their dedication, we won awards at all of the contests we attended and placed first in our class at two of them.”

During the awards ceremony, it was announced that DCHS Field Commander Hannah Cantrell would be bringing home the 2nd place trophy for class “A.” The Percussion section not only scored higher than any other percussion section in their class, guaranteeing the 1st place trophy, but also scored higher than any other percussion section in the Small Division (Class A and Class AA combined), which made them the “Grand Champion” of the Small Division. “Another highlight this year is our strong percussion section. They won 1st place percussion in their class at every contest we attended and placed first in their division at Alcoa, beating out groups twice their size.” Mr. Wright continued, “This would not be possible without help. I would like to thank my Assistant Band Director Joey Wilburn, staff members Jonathan Turner and Matthew Bimstein, and all of the Band Boosters who support and take care of the students.”

Mr. Wilburn says, “We’re extremely glad to show the community the program is continuing to grow and improve every year and it would not be possible without supportive parents and school board members. The MANY awards received this year is a testimony to how hard the students work.”
The full list of awards this year include:

· Hendersonville Golden Invitational: 1st Place Band, 1st Place Color Guard, 1st Place Hornline, and 1st Place Percussion.

·Blue Devil Invitational: 1st Place Color Guard, 1st Place Percussion, and Superior Percussion.

·Middle Tennessee Small Band Championship: 1st Place Band, 1st Place Percussion, and 2nd Place Field Commander.

·Alcoa Marching Invitational: 1st Place Percussion in division, 1st Place Percussion in class, 2nd Place Field Commander, Superior Color Guard, Field Commander, and Percussion.

The Band and Boosters would like to congratulate the DCHS Tiger Football Team for their success this season. Although the band has completed their marching season for this year, they will continue practicing for the performance at the football team’s playoff games during halftime. Students will also begin preparations for performances at the annual Christmas concert and parades.

To learn more about the DCHS Fighting Tiger Band and their upcoming performance schedule, log onto www.DekalbBand.com or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DekalbBand .

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