Local News Articles

The Smithville F.C.E. Club Begins a New Year

January 5, 2013

A great New Year's Resolution for the ladies of DeKalb County is to be a part of the Smithville Family and Community Education Club which meets the second Thursday of each month at the UT Extension section of the County Complex. Refreshments and fellowship begin at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. The program include speakers that contribute their time to the community through their arts and talents, work expertise, or special interests.

In the year 2012, the FCE club donated time or money for the Lighthouse Children's Camp, Children's advocacy Center, Genesis House, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, the Prison ministries, and the Joe Black Project. Monies for the various projects come from the annual yard sale. The club has developed "Hands-On" books for children with learning disabilities and has done a couple of projects with the Headstart Program.

The club usually takes day trips throughout the year besides the monthly meeting date. The Nashville Lawn and Garden Show and a train ride were enjoyed in 2012. The FCE Club was originally the Home Demonstration Club and the interest in arts and crafts are still a part of the yearly agenda.

One goal for the new year is to compile a cookbook of favorite foods in DeKalb County. Each month the refreshments will consist of samples of a cookbook section; appetizers having been selected for the January meeting. Each entry is expected to be a delight.

The guest speaker for the ucpoming meeting will be Kathy Hendrixson from Justin Potter Library. She began working part-time at the library in 2000 and is now Head Librarian. The library is continually using developing computer technology and offers a variety of services for the community. The January program will be both educational and enjoyable.

School Board Approves Architect Contract for DeKalb West School Building Project

January 4, 2013
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education met in special session Thursday night to approve an architect contract with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet for the DeKalb West School building project.

Under terms of the contract, the architect is to receive a fixed fee of $102,142 including a $12,767 local match for work associated with the Community Safe Room portion of the project, as itemized in the (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Application. For the remainder of the building project, the architect is to receive 5% of construction cost associated with the work unrelated to the Community Safe Room portion of the project plus 5% of any unaccepted alternates.

Plans, once completed, must be approved by all appropriate authorities including the State Fire Marshal, before the project can be let for bids.

The school system recently received final approval for a FEMA grant to fund the classroom addition including eight tornado "safe rooms".

In November, David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects updated the school board on the project "At long last, we got our final approval letters from the state and FEMA and the last of the hoops to jump through were approved for our grant at DeKalb West," said Brown.

"The next thing that will happen is you'll get a contract from the state that documents the 12 1/2% that they are going to put toward this (project) because if you'll remember out of the total grant, FEMA is going to take care of 75% and then the state of Tennessee is going to kick in another 12 1/2% which only leaves 12 ½%. That is what we've been waiting for. Its about eight weeks later than I thought it would be. We submitted (grant application) in March. We had heard from the state that everything looked good and that they were passing you on to Atlanta (FEMA office). Its what we've been waiting for and we can now move ahead with the project," said Brown.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency had earlier approved grant funds of more than $1.5 million for the safe room project at DeKalb West School, pending final approval by FEMA in Atlanta. The spending plan calls for $600,000 in local funding to meet a 12.5% FEMA grant match for building eight tornado "safe rooms" at DeKalb West School. The proposed addition would be constructed in the front of the school, including eight classrooms, restrooms, a new secure entrance, an office, clinic, conference room, guidance and teacher work area.

The county commission, last July, approved funding for the plan in the form of a $3.4 million note to cover the $600,000 grant match for the safe room project along with an $850,000 cafeteria and kitchen renovation project at DeKalb West School as well as roofing projects at DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb West School, and Smithville Elementary School.

Smithville Review Acquires DeKalb County Times

January 4, 2013
Dwayne Page
Smithville Review
DeKalb County Times

Morris Multimedia, the owner of the Smithville Review has announced that it has acquired the DeKalb County Times.

According to the Smithville Review, "The merger with the Review, which began printing in 1892 under the ownership of brothers Frank and P.S. Wallace, will bring both local papers together in an effort to report the news in DeKalb County with an increased determination and the integrity readers have come to expect from both publications over the years."

"We have long respected the work the Times has done, and we look forward to continuing the tradition of community journalism in DeKalb County. Weekly community newspapers provide an invaluable service and we feel that combining the efforts of the two newspapers will enable us to provide better content for the community," said Charles Hill Morris, Jr. regional manager for Morris Multimedia, according to the Smithville Review.

"The entire staff of the DeKalb County Times thanks its readers and advertisers. We wish the Review much success as it serves the community," said Dennis Richardson, the publisher of the Times, according to the Review.

Kitchen Fire Causes Significant Damage to Residence on Students Home Road

January 4, 2013
Dwayne Page
Home of Jeff and Amanda Carter Damaged by Kitchen Fire
County firefighters preparing to attack fire at Carter Home

A kitchen fire Thursday caused significant damage to the home of Jeff and Amanda Carter at 2480 Students Home Road.

Central dispatch received the call at 12:07 p.m.

County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that the fire started while the Carter's were away. When Mr. Carter returned home he saw smoke coming from the vents on the house and called for help.

Members of the Keltonburg, Blue Springs, and Main Stations responded along with manpower from the Short Mountain Highway station of the county fire department.

Firefighters entered the home and found that the blaze had started on a kitchen cabinet. The cause is undetermined. The small blaze was confined to the kitchen although the living room received some water damage. Smoke spread throughout other areas of the home. No one was injured.

Officers of the Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.

Meanwhile, the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a small fire at the laundrymat on West Broad Street Thursday at 11:06 a.m.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker told WJLE that clothes in a dryer caught fire. The blaze also caused some damage to the wall behind the dryer. The fire was quickly snuffed out and no one was injured.

Smithville Police Department Christmas for Kids and Coat Drive a Huge Success

January 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Beth Adcock

The Smithville Police Department is proud to announce the success of the 2012 Christmas For Kids and coat drive.

"We would like to extend a special thanks to the following businesses, churches and individuals for donating time, food and items to help us to make this Christmas Party a success," said Beth Adcock, Records Clerk for the police department.

Donations were made by the following:

Second Harvest Food Bank
DeKalb Market
The White Possum Grille
Food Lion
Save A Lot
Dollar General Store
Brother Kelly of Assembly Of God
Brother Houk and members of Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church
Vivian Johnson

"We would also like to thank the many volunteers that donated their time and services and to the citizens of DeKalb county for the donations of coats and toys," said Adcock.

"We were able to provide coats for all the children but due to the overwhelming response from the public, coats are still available to anyone in need until January 15," she added.

For more information please contact Beth Adcock at 597-8210 ext 1.

Back to School for Students

January 2, 2013
Dwayne Page
Back to School for Students (older photo)

Students are returning to school today now that the holidays are over.

Schools will be closed again for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 21 and for President's Day, Monday, February 18.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 25-29

Students will not attend on Thursday, May 23. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Friday, May 24. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home. DCHS graduation will be Friday, May 24

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards to be sent home from all schools on Tuesday, January 8. DCHS report cards to be sent home Monday, March 11 and at all other schools Tuesday, March 12.

AYP-EOC/Gateway Testing at DCHS will be May 7-9 and a make-up AYP-EOC/Gateway Test will be May 10.

ACT Test for the 11th grade will be Tuesday, March 19

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be Tuesday, February 5. Writing Assessment make-up will be Wednesday, February 6.

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 22 through May 3

Three Municipal Elections to be held in 2013

January 2, 2013
Dwayne Page
Danny Washer, Gayla Hendrix, Shawn Jacobs

2013 will be a light election year in DeKalb County.

Only three city elections will be held starting with the Smithville Municipal Election on Tuesday, June 18. The qualifying deadline is noon March 21.

Three aldermen seats will be up for election. Those positions are currently held by Aldermen Gayla Hendrix, Shawn Jacobs, and Danny Washer.

Petitions can be issued as soon as the election commission receives a letter from the city and then approves the request for the election. The election commission meets again on Tuesday, January 15.

Meanwhile the Liberty Municipal Election will be Thursday, August 1. The qualifying deadline is noon on May 16. A mayor and two aldermen will be up for election. Those positions are currently held by Mayor J. Edward Hale and aldermen Jarrett Pistole and Howard Reynolds, Jr.

Petitions in Liberty can be issued 90 days before the qualifying deadline, provided the election commission receives a letter from the city and then approves a request for the election.

The Alexandria Municipal Election will be September 5. A mayor and three aldermen are to be elected. The qualifying deadline is noon June 20

Petitions can be issued 90 days before the qualifying deadline, provided the election commission receives a letter from the city and then approves a request for the election.

Local Man Injured in New Year's Night Rollover

January 2, 2013
Dwayne Page
One person was injured when he lost control of his car and overturned New Year's

One person was injured when he lost control of his car and overturned New Year's night on Highway 56 south near Whorton Springs Baptist Church.

Central dispatch received the call at 9:01 p.m. Tuesday.

Trooper Jeremy Wilhite of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 26 year old Andrew Tyler Hall of Midway Road, Smithville was traveling north in a 1994 Buick when he went off the left side of the road, hit a culvert, and overturned. The car came to rest upright. Hall was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS and then transported to DeKalb Community Hospital for further treatment.

Trooper Wilhite has charged Hall with a second offense of driving under the influence.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Online Registration Now Required for Tennessee Hunter Education Course

January 2, 2013

Registration for a Tennessee Hunter Education course will be required to be made online beginning Jan. 1, 2013 on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website.

On the TWRA website, those wishing to register for a class will click the “register for a hunter education class” link. Once clicking the link, there will be directions to search for hunter education classes closest to your area.

Registration must be completed prior to the starting date of a class to ensure a spot in a particular class. For those persons without computer access, they are encouraged to visit a local library or call a TWRA regional office for further assistance.

Advance registration provides more time for instructors to devote to students. It also provides a quicker method for the registration process.

Man Airlifted After Suffering Burns from Fire

December 31, 2012
Dwayne Page
Ricky Lawrence airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital

A resident of 639 Crestlawn Avenue received burns to his arm Sunday morning after he fell asleep in a chair that caught fire from a lit cigarette.

Ricky Lawrence was treated by DeKalb EMS and then transported to the DeKalb Middle School parking lot where he was airlifted by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Central dispatch received the call at 7:37 a.m. and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb EMS, and Smithville Police responded.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker told WJLE that the chair was the only thing in the house that was damaged in the fire. The small blaze was quickly extinguished and the chair was removed from the residence and taken outside.

Lawrence apparently had fallen asleep in the chair while holding a lit cigarette. The chair caught fire and he received burns to his arm.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called out again Sunday night to a car fire at the city park on Martin Street. The car was destroyed. The cause remains under investigation.


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