Local News Articles

Former Alexandria Mayor Turns Author

October 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Ria Mayor (photo by Dave Turner)
New Book by Ria Baker

Have you realized yet that you are unique and that you have an amazing talent to offer ? Have you made an attempt to discover that gift and allow it to emerge for all to see?

Former Alexandria Mayor turned author Ria Baker has penned a new book which she hopes will inspire readers to find their talents and make the best of them.

"You Don't Have to be an Eagle to Fly" by Ria Baker from Westbow Press is now available in paperback or eBook at www.amazon.com.

"It's a Christian motivational book," said Baker in a recent interview with WJLE. "It's about how you should use whatever talent God has given you to use and to be proud of it," she said.

"God didn't make us all eagles, but he did make us all so we can fly. We don't have to feel like we are not doing everything we should because we aren't rich or famous. That's not God's way for very many of us at all. If you have ever wondered if you were doing everything you could and should be doing with your life or if you feel bad that you aren't as successful as others you see around you, this quick, easy, and humorous book is just what you need," said Baker.

Although she has been involved with others in researching and compiling information and photos for previous local historical related books, this is Baker's first literary project on her own.

Baker also previously collaborated with author Karlen Evins on several projects including two cook books. "It's actually her cook books but I did the illustrations. We collaborated together but the cover, and all the little what knots and do dads, I drew all those. The first one we did is called "Southern to the Core" and the second book is "Put a Lid on It". They are sold in Cracker Barrel. Once a year we go to Gatlinburg to the craftsman show and sell them there. She (Evins) also has two other books called "I Didn't Know That" about unusual origins of things we say and I illustrated those," said Baker.

In the late 1990's, Baker began writing a humor column for the Watertown Gazette and the former Middle Tennessee Times newspaper locally and won the Tennessee Press Association Humor Column Award in the year 2000. "I really enjoyed doing that humor column. People really seemed to find it funny and I like to make people smile. It makes me feel good," said Baker.

The daughter of Jimmy and Daris Mullinax, Baker has lived all but six months of her entire life in Alexandria. "My daddy was in the service and I was born in Germany. We came back when I was six months old because my grandfather was killed. He was working on the dam with a road grader and it tipped over and killed him," said Baker.

She is the granddaughter of the late Charles "Chop" and Beulah "Shorty" Jennings of Alexandria, and Pauline Mullinax of Liberty. Baker has two sisters, Stacey who lives in Alexandria, and Beki who resides near Huntsville, Alabama.

After graduating from DeKalb County High School in 1977, Baker married Ricky Baker and started a family. The couple has two children, Derrick and Tori Baker. Today, Derrick and his wife Stacey have two children of their own, Jonathan and Sadie and they reside in Alexandria. Tori now lives in Lebanon and works as a school psychologist for the Metro-Nashville school system.

In addition to her flair for writing, Baker is an accomplished artist. She discovered her creative talents as a child working with her late grandmother who was also a gifted artist. "My grandmother (Beulah "Shorty" Jennings) was a school art teacher. When other grandmothers were doing cookies, we were painting. I can remember being in her kitchen and she would set up two easels. I had my little easel and she had her easel. She would paint and I would paint. That's just what we did. Now my grandkids paint at my house. When they come to my house we paint," said Baker.

"I like to do realism which is art that shows things exactly as they appear in life. I like for things to look like they are supposed to look when I get through with them. I don't do a lot of abstract. I've done portraits. I like doing something that means something to somebody. Sometimes I'll make a still life (work of art) out of people's grandparent's stuff, like an old pair of glasses and a vase. I enjoy doing that. I also enjoy making costumes. My sister Stacey and I are currently doing a puppet show ministry. It's a black light and I made the puppets for that," said Baker.

In the mid 1980's Ricky and Ria bought a grocery store in Alexandria which they operated for twenty years. " Ricky had worked for a place now called Service America then we bought the Cee Bee store on the square and ran it for 20 years. We got out in 2005," said Baker. Ricky is now branch manager of Liberty State Bank in Alexandria.

In her spare time, Baker has always enjoyed doing volunteer work , whether it be for the DeKalb County Fair or other organizations and causes. She and Ricky were also the first husband and wife to serve together as members of Leadership DeKalb, a 10-month program designed to bring together individuals who desire increased leadership responsibility in improving the quality of life in DeKalb County.

About the time she graduated from Leadership DeKalb, Baker decided to try her hand at politics and became mayor of Alexandria, an office she held for seven years. "I didn't do it for the money. But it can be a full time job if you do it correctly. There's a lot of meetings you have to go to. A lot of people knock on your door at night and call you all the time but I enjoyed being able to help people if they needed it. That was very rewarding," said Baker. Asked why she decided not to seek another term, Baker replied " I felt like it was time for me to move on and let somebody else do it."

While she is through with politics for now, Baker said she could see herself running for public office again. "There may be a time I would do it again. It wasn't all bad. Some of it was good," she said.

Baker was not the first member of her family to be involved in city politics. Her father, Jimmy Mullinax served as alderman for several years. Her husband Ricky Baker was an alderman and mayor and Baker's son Derrick and mother-in-law Tony Baker also had stints as members of the town council.

Having accomplished so many other goals in her life, Baker said she now has a desire to become a motivational speaker. "I really want to get into public speaking. I want to go to churches or women's groups. I've not been to college and I've never had a class in motivational speaking so It makes me a little afraid but if somebody gives me a chance, I'll try it," she said.

Habitat Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale Friday!

October 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
“Chili Flappers” from DeKalb County Board of Education

For the 10th year in a row, it’s your turn to support a great cause and decide who makes the best chili in DeKalb County! Come out and cast your vote this Friday, October 11th on the Courthouse Square when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 10th Annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the north side of the Courthouse on the Smithville Town Square. You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches and the DCHS Tiger Pride Bakery will also be for sale.

“We’re so excited about the 10th Annual Chili Cook-off,” said Tecia Puckett Pryor, a member of the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Development Committee. “We are looking forward to being outside again on the Courthouse lawn and hope everyone will come out to enjoy the fun and fellowship. This year, we completed our Fourth Habitat home in DeKalb County and are making plans for our fifth house to be built in 2014,” said Pryor. “The proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will be used towards building our next house, so we hope everyone will come out and eat lots of chili for a great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “Storybook Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “We’re the Quack Pack, Jack” from the City of Smithville; “Pipeline Pirates” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “The Bean Counters” from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates; “Indian Summer Chili” from Indian Creek Baptist Church; “Chili With Electability” from The Inn at Evins Mill; and “No Liability Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association.

Last year, the “Chili Flappers” from DeKalb County Board of Education won the “Best Chili” award, and “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials followed in second place. In the decorating contest, “‘Lei’ Me Out Chili” from Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District won first place honors. The 2012 event raised approximately $3,400 for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Pryor at 597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 215-8181.

DeKalb County Sweeps Tourism Across Upper Cumberland

October 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Chamber Director Suzanne Williams and Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Department of

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has released the most current tourism numbers, and DeKalb County has the highest percentage increase in every tourism category for the 14-county Upper Cumberland region. The most current numbers show DeKalb County is up 8.3% from the previous year for a total of $39.34 million. That equals a $4.63 million increase over the previous year. These figures place DeKalb County third in total travel-related expenditures in the Upper Cumberland behind the much larger Putnam and Cumberland counties.

Travel-related employment was up 4.6% for a total of 270 jobs. Travel-related payroll increased 6.5% totaling $7.064 million. DeKalb County tourism dollars generated $2.180 million (8.4% increase over previous year) in state tax receipts. And an additional $5.1 million (9.5% increase) was collected for local tax receipts.

Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Williams was thrilled when she received the report. Upon hearing the news, Williams said, “The economic impact of tourism on DeKalb County is huge. We are so blessed to have Center Hill Lake, Edgar Evins State Park, and the Appalachian Center for Craft, as well as great events such as the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival, Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, and other local music and art events. The small town charm, friendly people, and scenic beauty that you find from Smithville, Dowelltown, Liberty, and Alexandria keep people coming back and make it a desirable place to live, work, play, and raise a family.”

In Tennessee, only 44 of the 95 counties had an increase in all travel-related categories including domestic travel expenditures, employment, payroll income, and local and state tax receipts. DeKalb County was not only one of those counties but had the highest percentage growth in the Upper Cumberland region in every category.

This study was conducted by the Research Department of the U.S. Travel Association for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. For more information on tourism opportunities in DeKalb County, go to www.dekalbtn.com.

Father and Son Charged with Aggravated Assault

October 7, 2013
Dwayne Page
Clinton Lane Cope
Timothy Cope
Jeffery Allan Matthews
Mark Owen Alvis

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has charged a father and son with aggravated assault after a disturbance last week.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said 24 year old Clinton Lane Cope of Midway Road and his father 52 year old Timothy Lane Cope of Smith Road will be in court October 10.

Both Clinton and Timothy Cope are charged with aggravated assault. Timothy Cope is also charged with disorderly conduct. Bond for Clinton Cope is $2,500. Timothy Cope's bond is $4,000.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy was called to the home of Clinton Cope on Wednesday, October 2 in answer to a disturbance call. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with two other persons in the home who said that both Timothy and Clinton Cope had awaken them from sleep. Timothy Cope was said to be swinging a ball bat at one of the persons in the home while Clinton Cope was swinging his fist at him (same victim).

After hearing from the two persons in the home and observing the behavior of both Timothy and Clinton Cope, the officer placed both father and son under arrest.

Timothy Cope was further charged with disorderly conduct after failing to heed the officer's orders to go outside the residence and wait. Sheriff Ray said Cope initially did go outside but he came back in the home and began yelling. The officer sent Cope outside a second time, but he came back in yet again.

47 year old Jeffery Allan Matthews of Sparta Highway is charged with being a fugitive from justice. He is being held without bond and his court date is October 10. Sheriff Ray said Matthews was recently checked locally to determine if he had a valid drivers' license. A computer check revealed that Matthews had an active arrest warrant against him in Martinsville (Morgan County) Indiana for failure to appear . Officials of the Morgan County, Indiana Sheriff's Department have said they plan to seek extradition of Matthews back there.

47 year old Mark Owen Alvis of Sparta Highway is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court October 10. Sheriff Ray said that on or about Thursday, October 3 a deputy responded to a call of someone driving through the complainant's yard. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with Alvis who had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. According to Sheriff Ray, Alvis admitted to drinking and taking five hydros. He also allegedly admitted to driving through the complainant's yard and going across Brent Taylor Road. Alvis submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He was placed under arrest and transported to the jail for booking.

28 year old Frank Andy Checchi of Hooper Street, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on October 10. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, October 7, Checchi was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 when he was stopped by an officer who had prior knowledge of Checchi having a suspended drivers license. A computer check confirmed his license were suspended for failing to satisfy a citation in DeKalb County.

Head-On Crash Claims Life of Brush Creek Woman

October 7, 2013
Dwayne Page
Doras and Wanda Williams were in this Mercury Marquis
Jeramie Reed was in this Ford Fusion
Head-On Crash Claims Life of Brush Creek Woman

A head-on crash this morning (Monday) on Highway 53 near the DeKalb line in Smith County claimed the life of a 68 year old woman and injured two other persons.

Dead is Wanda Williams of Brush Creek

Trooper Terry Seay of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Williams was a passenger of a 2008 Mercury Marquis, driven by her husband, 71 year old Doras Williams. A family member said the crash occurred only a short distance from the Williams' Brush Creek area home.

According to Trooper Seay, the Williams' were traveling south on Highway 53 when their car was hit head-on by a northbound 2008 Ford Fusion, driven by 26 year old Jeramie Reed of Dowelltown, who had pulled into the southbound lane to pass a van. It was reportedly foggy at the time.

Mrs. Williams died at the scene. Mr. Williams was taken to Riverview Regional Medical Center-North in Carthage. Reed was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and later taken to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Trooper Seay said the injuries to Mr. Williams and Reed were not believed to be life threatening.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale and members of the THP Critical Incident Response Team assisted Trooper Seay in the crash investigation. Charges are pending.

Members of the Smith County Sheriff's Department, Fire Department, and EMS responded along with DeKalb EMS, Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Rescue, and the DeKalb Sheriff's Department.

Rep. Weaver Supports U.S. House Republicans in Standoff with Senate Democrats over Obama Care

October 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Terri Lynn Weaver

State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver says she supports U.S. House Republicans in their efforts to get Senate Democrats and the Obama administration to make changes in or delay full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Weaver was in Smithville Friday for her monthly "Coffee and Conversations" town hall meeting.

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since last Tuesday, October 1 as neither House Republicans or Senate Democrats have been willing to compromise on the budget to fully fund the government.

"As far as what the shutdown is doing, I say stand strong," said Representative Weaver. "This really makes us look at our priorities. The American people do not want Obama Care. I just encourage them (House Republicans) to stand strong. They have taken a look at every department. They are starting to whittle away things that are a waste. The taxpayers are frankly tired of toting the note. Will it affect Tennessee? We are okay right now. I have not heard any complaints from any departments yet," she said.

However, Representative Weaver became concerned when she learned from constituents and business owners in the area that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was closing boat ramps below the dam due to the government shut down.

Corps officials told WJLE Friday that while all day-use areas on the lake are officially closed, they are not gated and no barriers will be erected to prohibit public access. Campgrounds, however are gated and now closed to the public. Typically campgrounds close for the season by the end of October each year anyway.

On the issue of education, Representative Weaver said she recently toured schools in her district to get a first hand account of how the new standards are affected them. "After touring the schools in district 40 last month, it afforded me quality time with teachers, students, administrators, principals, and coaches. The new standards that have been put in place in our public schools have created a benchmark as to what is expected for our students to know by a certain grade level, so as to prepare them to be productive citizens in the workforce that awaits them," said Representative Weaver. " Schools in the 40th are hard-working. Proof? Three schools last month, two in Smith County and one in Trousdale, were awarded with having the most progress and performance. “Reward” schools is how the Tennessee Department of Education refers to them. These teachers and students have rolled up their sleeves and made significant improvements. It was such an honor to present these schools with state banners at last month's school board meetings," she said.

"Certainly the setting of higher goals in achievement is a good thing; however, my concern is the content of what is being taught in our public schools. Vladimir Lenin, the Russian Communist who understood the power of controlling schools, is quoted as saying, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Seed is being sown into the hearts and minds of our children and we as parents, teachers, and yes, even legislators, in my humble opinion, should have a say in the choice of textbooks that infiltrate our schools. No Child Left Behind opened the floodgates and removed our local control, which birthed Common Core; in all its dangerous data-gathering, continuous testing, and the never-ending funding, these standards will cost our local schools. Tennessee got the one-time federal funding that Race to the Top provided, alright, and what comes with the package deal continues to unravel, more federal footprints. It grieves me that education has turned into some assembly line of car parts all manufactured in the same procedure, ignoring that each child is uniquely created by their Creator to fulfill His purposes. When I see the children in the district, I can only pray that their parents and grandparents will be watchmen on the wall when it comes to what is being taught to their very impressionable hearts and minds," said Representative Weaver.

Another issue Representative Weaver said she is concerned about is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, otherwise known as women harming their unborn babies with prescription drugs. "Medical professionals are outraged that there is no law to cover this," said Weaver. " With Tennessee being number one in the nation overmedicated with prescriptions, is it any wonder there is such a growing number of babies being born addicted? East Tennessee Childrens Hospital hosted a very informative conference which I attended, meeting numerous others who work hands-on in this heartbreaking episode of prescription drugs. Awareness is turning the lights on. It is my hope that we as a state put something in place that would decrease the number of babies being born addicted and get mothers on their way back to total wholeness," she said.

On highways and bridges, Representative Weaver said she is pleased with the progress being made in this district and throughout the state. "A ribbon-cutting occurred on Hurricane Bridge in DeKalb County in August, the Cordell Hull Bridge is moving along nicely, as is the 109 Bridge in Sumner County." said Weaver. "I was asked about the 109 HWY and what can be done to expedite the four lanes from Interstate 40 to Gallatin. Traveling that stretch of road almost daily, it could not be soon enough. Attending Region 2 and Region 3 Summit meetings that provide TDOT's mission statement, we can be proud that we are spending less per capita than any other state in the nation; Tennessee is second, Texas being first, for best infrastructure in the nation; and we are one out of five states with no debt. We are fiscally conservative indeed; however, there are some serious transportation revenue issues looming and we can no longer keep our head in the sand concerning how we fund our roads and bridges going forward. Gas tax no longer meets the needs, and federal funding is even iffy. Visit the 25-Year Long-Range Transportation Plan website, take the survey, and share your thoughts on transportation needs and how we can keep Tennessee moving, www.tdot.state.tn.us/transportationplan," Representative Weaver admonished.

Working to make Tennessee friendly for new businesses is also priority, according to Weave. "Forbes magazine released its 2013 “Best States For Business” ranking this week, and we moved up the list to number 15, nine spots better than last year. To be employed and able to provide for one's family is a blessing, indeed. To have businesses relocate because they can thrive and grow in our state, thus being able to hire more individuals, is a testimony that we are on the right track. It is with a grateful heart that we thank the folks of Zwirner Equipment Company for opening their new facility in Trousdale. Investing $750,000 that will create 24 new jobs is an answer to prayer for many here in the 40th district. I pray blessings of prosperity and success on all Zwirner's endeavors. Any one interested in applying with Zwirner can email to this address: eric@zwirnerequipment.com," said Representative Weaver.

Cantrell Injured in Rollover Accident

October 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
THP Lieutenant Randy Maynard

A 62 year old man was airlifted after a one car rollover accident Saturday night on Highway 56 south near Webb Lane.

Lieutenant Randy Maynard of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Donald Wayne Cantrell of 1212 Ferrell Road was driving south on Highway 56 in a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle when the car went off the right side of the road, struck a culvert and overturned, The car hit another culvert and came to rest upside down on the edge of the highway. The accident occurred around 11:38 p.m.

Cantrell was treated by DeKalb EMS. He was later airlifted by helicopter ambulance from near the scene and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Lieutenant Maynard said a medical condition may have contributed to the accident.

Members of the Blue Springs and Keltonburg Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene along with officers of the Sheriff's Department.

Local Emergency Reponders Test Readiness During Mock School Shooting

October 5, 2013
Dwayne Page
Police Lieutenant Matt Holmes with wounded school shooter in mock disaster
Wounded Shooter being Loaded onto Ambulance after Simulated School Shooting

Local emergency responders tested their readiness during a mock disaster Friday afternoon at DeKalb County High School.

Charlie Parker, DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator, told WJLE that the exercise involved a simulated school shooting, in which an intruder entered the high school building and wounded ten victims. While some teachers were still present, the drill was conducted after school hours when students had already gone home. Participating volunteers played the role of the shooter and victims.

"We simulated having an intruder in the high school with a weapon who was shooting victims," said Parker. "The shooter ended up being wounded and he was a victim too. The school went into a lock down mode. We did want some interaction with teachers so they were there to simulate the lock down procedures. But because of the sensitivity of it with other recent (actual) school shootings, we really didn't want students there. It's hard to notify all parents ahead of time and we didn't want any upset parents. We had the SRO officers, police department, and sheriff's department to come. We didn't run a full scale exercise where they would have gone in and took down a perpetrator. We may do that at another time. We did simulate the shooting and victims in the school and how the emergency responders would get to them, triage them and then transport them to the hospital for treatment," he continued.

Parker said DeKalb Community Hospital staff also participated in the exercise. "Part of this drill is for the hospital for part of their accreditation. They have to simulate disaster situations. An influx of several patients could put them into an emergency situation so we did this (drill) partly for them to practice their procedures in the event of an actual emergency," said Parker.

Overall, Parker said he thought the drill was helpful. "It seemed to go very well. We set out to practice several things. I think we learned several things along the way. Everybody learned a little something and learned a few things we can improve on. I think it was a great success," said Parker.

The exercise was organized by members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee. The purpose of the committee is to analyze, plan, prepare, and mitigate for disasters both natural and manmade that could potentially occur in DeKalb County.

The Local LEPC is comprised of the combined efforts of city and county elected officials, law enforcement, emergency management, fire departments, EMS, Rescue Squad, hospital, nursing home, utilities, business, industry, media, Red Cross, school system, churches, and civic organizations. This committee meets on a regular basis to work on plans, share information and conduct exercises to make a safer and stronger community.

Center Hill Lake Campgrounds and Day-Use Areas Closed During Government Shutdown

October 4, 2013
Dwayne Page

Due to the government shutdown, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District closed all of its campgrounds and day-use parks including those on Center Hill Lake as of noon on Friday, October 4 . The district previously announced it intended to keep these areas open as originally scheduled. However, officials say support to recreation areas can no longer be sustained as the district progresses through its orderly shutdown.

Center Hill Lake campgrounds are located at Floating Mill, Ragland Bottom and Long Branch. Day-use areas are at Floating Mill, Ragland Bottom, Hurricane Bridge, Holmes Creek, Long Branch, Buffalo Valley, and Johnson Chapel.

Campgrounds, primarily for use by reservations only, are for those who want to spend a night or longer on the lake. Many campgrounds offer boat ramps, shower houses, bathrooms, washers & dryers, dump stations, and typically have grills, fire rings, picnic tables as well as other amenities. Campgrounds are gated and during the government shutdown, public access to them will be denied. Typically campgrounds close for the season by the end of October each year anyway.

For persons who wish to spend the day or maybe an hour or two at the lake, the Corps provides day-use areas. Many day use areas have amenities such as swim beaches, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and launching ramps. Camping is not permitted in day use areas. Day-use areas are not gated and while they are officially closed during the government shutdown, no barriers will be erected to prevent public access to them.

The Corps sincerely regrets the inconvenience and impact this decision may have on customers who have been looking forward to visiting the district’s parks and campgrounds.

"We know that this is a time of year when many vacationing families are using or planning to use Corps recreation facilities, and we will reopen them for public use and enjoyment as quickly as possible," said Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander.

Corps parks leased to partner agencies and concessionaires will remain open, but cannot be supported by the Corps while the shutdown is in place.

Customers on site prior to the closure going into effect were to be required to vacate campgrounds and parks not later than noon on Friday, October 4. Customers required to vacate campsites early are to receive a partial refund for any unused portion of their reservations. Customers may elect to leave reservations open for possible use after the shutdown is lifted. To request a refund please contact the reservation customer service at 1-888-448-1474 (TDD 1-877-833-6777). If the customer chooses to do nothing, the reservation service will automatically cancel reservations after their departure date during the shutdown period.

Mallory Sullivan Ties for Fifth Place at State Golf Tournament

October 4, 2013
Dwayne Page
Mallory Sullivan Ties for Fifth Place at State Golf Tournament

DeKalb County High School senior Mallory Sullivan finished tied for fifth at the Class A/AA state golf tournament Wednesday at the Willowbrook Golf Club.

Sullivan, the only female from DCHS to compete in the state golf tournament all four years, carded a 3-over 75 to tie for a fifth place finish at 82-75—157, just a stroke away from a medal. She had the second lowest score of the day on Wednesday.

"The first day she struck the ball so well but her putting kind of let her down," said DCHS golf coach Joe Pat Cope. "She had a bunch of three-putts that day. She came back the second day and shot even par on the toughest side and hit the ball as good as anybody there. I was tickled to death with her performance," he said.

Sullivan placed 11th in the state tournament as a freshman, second as a sophomore and tied for 14th as a junior. "It's been a blessing for me to coach an athlete of that caliber," continued Coach Cope.

"She has signed to play at Belmont where her sister, Shay went. Her work ethic is so good. She is going to be a success at the college level because every day, if she is not playing, she is hitting balls, chipping, or working on her putting and that's what it takes. She is willing to put in three or four hours every day and it shows in her game," said Coach Cope.

Middle Tennessee State junior Payne Denman is the only DCHS male golfer to compete at the state tournament all four years.

Although he did not advance to the state tournament, Coach Cope also praised Ethan Roller for his performance this season. "I want to give a shout out to Ethan. He is a senior this year and came up a little bit short in the region. We had such a tough region with Notre Dame, Signal Mountain, and Macon County. The score he shot would have been good enough to go to the state in the triple-A that was played the other day at Riverwatch with Warren County, Cookeville, and White County. He would have qualified there and he would have qualified in every other region in the state except for the one he was in. He is a heck of a golfer too and we're about to get him signed to a scholarship as well," said Coach Cope.

Christian Academy of Knoxville senior Sophia Schubert won the individual girl's title at the state tournament, carding a 4-under 68 Wednesday for a two-day total of 141. She topped runner-up Allyson Dunn of Sullivan South (75-77—152) by 11 strokes.

Macon County’s Kaitlin Cartwright (79-76—155) was third, followed by Clarksville Academy’s Anna Michelle Moore (78-78—156).

Sullivan tied with Christ Presbyterian Academy’s Siarra Stout (74-83—157).

Sullivan South won the girls title with a 315, followed by Macon County (323), CAK (327), Milan (327), Clarksville Academy (336), Boyd-Buchanan (340), CPA (351) and Trinity Christian (390).

On the boys side, Alcoa (591) won, beating Sullivan South (608) by 17 strokes. CPA (612) placed third, followed by Lipscomb Academy (614), Notre Dame (627), Boyd-Buchanan (667), Milan (683) and Jackson Christian (736).

CPA sophomore Grayson Davis claimed the boys individual title with a 70-69—139, beating Lipscomb senior Dawson Armstrong (70-69—139) on the first hole of a playoff.


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