Local News Articles

Community Gathers to Pray for Our Schools

August 5, 2013
Dwayne Page
Prayer for Our Schools
Larry Green serves as Moderator

A large group turned out Sunday afternoon to join in a special "Prayer Service for Schools" observance at DeKalb County High School.

The prayer service has become an annual event conducted by local ministers offering prayers for each school as well as the students, teachers, transportation staff, and other employees. "It started out a long time ago with a group of teachers who got together on the Sunday before school started and prayed. Each year they invited more and more people. Somewhere along the line someone said we need to keep this thing going so we started organizing and getting the ministers involved. We try to get ministers from all across the county from different denominations because it's great when different denominations come together to praise God and pray. I truly believe God blesses those efforts," said Larry Green, Minister of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church who moderated the program Sunday.

Among the local ministers participating were Dan Gulley of the Smithville Church of Christ, Ben Simpson of the Alexandria West Main Baptist Church, Cleo Sanders of the Bible Grace Church in Dowelltown, Donnie Kelly of the First Assembly of God in Smithville, B.J. Thomason of the Calvary Baptist Church in Smithville, Bernard Houk of the Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church, and Bill Robertson of Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby made some remarks. Retired teacher Linda Franklin also spoke about the importance of prayer and how she started each school day with a moment of prayer during the last fifteen years of her teaching career. Franklin further mentioned how that her class once gathered to pray for her during Franklin's absence from school due to the loss of her father.

Woman Killed in Truck Crash Near Dowelltown and Liberty

August 4, 2013
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Fire Rescue Work to Remove Woman from Truck (WJLE PHOTO)
DeKalb Fire Rescue Stabilize Truck During Extrication (WJLE PHOTO)
DeKalb Fire Rescue Work to Extricate Woman from Truck (WJLE PHOTO)

A 53 year old woman lost her life in a pickup truck crash Saturday on Highway 70 between Dowelltown and Liberty.

Dead is Lisa Fineis of Alexandria.

Central dispatch received the call at 5:56 p.m. on Saturday.

Trooper Craig Wilkerson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Fineis was driving west on Highway 70 in a 2011 GMC Sierra when the truck went off the right shoulder of the highway. After hitting a berm near an access road off the highway, the truck went airborne and flipped as it hit the ground, coming to rest on its side. Fineis, trapped inside, was initially reported to be unresponsive. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

DeKalb EMS quickly arrived on the scene along with members of the DeKalb County Fire Department's Rescue Team who were called to perform extrication.

Fineis was removed from the truck and taken by ambulance to meet a Life Force helicopter ambulance which had landed in the grass near the intersection of Highway 70 and East Main Street in Liberty. But instead of airlifting her, the woman was taken by ground ambulance to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital where she died.

Trooper Wilkerson was assisted in the investigation by Troopers Tommy Cooper and Kyle Herron of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Deputies of the Sheriff's Department and Constable Mark Milam were also on the scene along with the Liberty and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

Twelve Indicted in Smithville Police Department Drug Investigation

August 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Donald (D.J.) Perry, Jr.
Vickie Cantrell
Melisha (Buttons) Cantrell
Danny Reeder
Althea Bailey
Kenny Herman
William Cory Dickens

Twelve people have been named in sealed indictments on drug charges following a year long undercover investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Friday that Indictments have been served on seven of the defendants.

The investigation was conducted by Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell. K-9 Officer James Cornelius and Sergeant Brad Tatrow assisted in some of the cases. The actual drug buys were made by confidential sources.

Those arrested and their charges are:

Donald (D.J.) Perry, Jr., indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance (Marijuana) in a drug free zone.

Vickie Cantrell, indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid).

40 year old Melisha (Buttons) Cantrell, indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid)

60 year old Danny Reeder, indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule IV (Lorazepam)

59 year old Althea Bailey, indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone) in a drug free zone.

52 year old Kenny Herman, indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Methadone) (2 counts).

28 year old William Cory Dickens, indicted for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid)

Indictments (now unsealed in each case) state the following:

Donald (D.J.) Perry, Jr.: "On or about February 26th, 2013 Perry did sell and deliver a Schedule VI controlled substance (Marijuana) within 1,000 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, secondary school, preschool, childcare agency, or public library, recreational center, or park." Lieutenant Holmes said Perry sold marijuana to a confidential source from his home.

Vickie Cantrell: "On or about December 5th, 2012, Cantrell did sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid). Lieutenant Holmes said Cantrell sold two Dilaudid pills to a confidential source from the parking lot of a local business.

Melisha (Buttons) Cantrell: "On or about December 6th, 2012, Cantrell did sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid). Lieutenant Holmes said Cantrell sold two Dilaudid pills to a confidential source from a parking lot.

Danny Reeder: "On or about August 6th, 2012, Reeder did sell and deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance (Lorazepam)." Lieutenant Holmes said Reeder sold ten pills to a confidential source from the parking lot of a local business.

Althea Bailey: "On or about July 26th, 2012, Bailey did sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone) within 1,000 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, secondary school, preschool, childcare agency, or public library, recreational center, or park." Lieutenant Holmes said Bailey sold four pills to a confidential source from the parking lot of a local business."

Kenny Herman: "On or about August 6th & 7th, 2012 Herman did sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Methadone)". Lieutenant Holmes said Herman sold from his home to a confidential source four methadone pills on August 6th and three pills on August 7th.

William Cory Dickens: "On or about December 13th, 2012 Dickens did sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid)". Lieutenant Holmes said Dickens sold two Dilaudid pills to a confidential source from the parking lot of a local business.

The names of the other five defendants will be released once they are served with the indictments.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Encourages Back to School Safety

August 3, 2013

Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott is reminding motorists to exercise an abundance of caution in neighborhoods and around school zones during the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. State Troopers will target speeders, distracted drivers and those who disregard stopped school buses that are loading and unloading children.

State Troopers issued 5,247 citations in school zones during the 2012-2013 school year. That’s up from 3,856 citations issued in 2011-12. Last year’s citations included 759 speeding violations and two citations for passing a stopped school bus.

“Our priority is to educate motorists on the importance of safe driving practices around school zones and buses and in high pedestrian traffic areas,” Colonel Trott said. “We are also urging motorists who are transporting children to and from school to ensure they are safely restrained in seat belts, booster seats and child restraint devices. This effort stretches far beyond school zones,” he added.

Between 2008 and 2012, there has been a 7.0 percent decrease in the number of crashes occurring in school zones between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the hours of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There was also a 73.5 percent decline in the total number of school bus-related crashes between those same hours.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that 123 school-age pedestrians (younger than 19) have been killed in school-transportation-related crashes since 2001. Over two-thirds (69%) were struck by school buses and 26 percent by other vehicles involved in the crashes. There were 49 (40 %) school age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes between the ages of five and seven, according to NHTSA.

“We have seen a 31.4 percent increase in the number of overall pedestrian fatalities across the state, compared to this same time period in 2012,” Trott said. “It’s imperative for drivers to share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists, and to comply with pedestrian yield laws. We all have a responsibility to make sure pedestrians are safe.”

In Tennessee, there have been 46 pedestrians killed on state roadways in 2013. That’s 11 more than at this time in 2012. Nationwide, there were a total of 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011 (the latest figure available), the 14-and-younger age group accounted for 230 (5%) of those fatalities.

The Pupil Transportation section of the Tennessee Highway Patrol also oversees all school bus inspections in the state and determines whether public school bus systems are in compliance with the safety requirements by state law. During fiscal year 2012-13, 11,401 school buses were inspected with 1,367 being placed out of service.

Each day, 26 million children in the United States ride school buses, including 600,000 in Tennessee, according to NHTSA.

The speed limit in school zones is 15 miles per hour and the fine for speeding in a school zone is up to $500. It is also against the law to pass a school bus when it is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. The driver can be fined no less than $250 and up to $1,000.



• All school bus drivers in Tennessee must attend an annual training course in order to receive and maintain the school bus endorsement on their Driver Licenses.

• School buses are nearly nine times safer than passenger vehicles. But children must take care when boarding or leaving buses.

• Young children are most likely to be injured around school buses because they:
o Hurry to get on or off the bus
o Act before they think
o Have little experience with traffic
o Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross
o Don’t always stay within the bus driver’s line of sight
o Drop something as they are getting off the bus and run into the path of the bus to pick it up.


o Always remain in direct eyesight of the bus driver;
o Get to the bus stop in plenty of time;
o Take 10 giant steps back from the curb while waiting for the bus and 10 steps when exiting the bus;
o Never try to get anything left on the bus after exiting;
o Never reach underneath the bus;
o Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street;
o Be alert to traffic and look both ways;
o Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe to do so.
o Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
o Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
o Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
o When exiting, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road). Move away from the bus.
o Before crossing the street, take 10 "giant steps" out from the front of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen. Wait for the driver to signal that it's safe to cross.
o Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.
o Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses. However, not all do. Protect yourself and watch out!

o Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time, wait far away from the road and avoid rough play.
o Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he/she drops something near the bus. If a child bends down to pick up something, the driver cannot see him/her and the child may be hit by the bus. Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together.
o Make sure clothing and backpacks have no loose drawstrings or long straps that could get caught in the handrail or bus door.
o Encourage safe school bus loading and unloading.
o If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school office or transportation director about changing the location.

o Yellow flashing lights on the bus indicate that it is preparing to stop and load or unload children. This means cars need to slow down and prepare to stop.
o It is illegal to pass a school bus with its red flashing lights and stop signal arm activated. Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off or when the bus driver motions them through.
o Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop.
o Vehicles moving in the opposite direction as the bus are also required to stop unless they are on a divided highway.
o Never pass on the right side of the bus where children are entering and exiting. This is illegal and can have tragic results!

o You might have heard before that most traffic crashes occur close to home...they do.
o Safety belts are the best form of protection passengers have in the event of a crash. They can lower the risk of injury by 45%.
o You are four times more likely to be seriously injured or killed if ejected from the vehicle in a crash.
o Everyone needs to be buckled up properly. That means older kids in seat belts, younger kids in booster seats and little kids in child safety seats.

o Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard -- never cross the street against a light, even if you don't see any traffic coming.
o Walk your bike through intersections.
o Walk with a buddy.
o Wear reflective material...it makes you more visible to street traffic.

Weight Loss Challenge Champions Revealed

August 2, 2013
Shan Burklow
Weight Loss Challenge Champions Revealed

DeKalb and Cannon County participated in The Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge recently where teams and individuals lost all the weight they could over a three month deadline. Winners were revealed on Friday, July 26th at the DeKalb County Fair where DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster and Cannon County Mayor Mike Gannon showed up to hopefully claim the title of County Champion Overall. The 90 day challenge was sponsored by DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital to encourage both counties to eat wise and exercise their way to better health.

“We are very proud of all of the participants of the challenge. A combined total of 943.2 pounds were lost. To celebrate this success, DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital are donating 943 pounds of food to our local food banks,” said Sue Conley, CEO of DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital, “We appreciate both county mayors supporting the event as well as allowing us to use the DeKalb County Complex. Additional thanks to Manager Pat Ford of Smithville Subway for sponsoring the challenge and providing coupons and gift cards throughout the event.”

Top winners revealed during the Friday evening finale’ included:

•DeKalb County Champion Daniel Seber lost a total of 17.04% total body weight making him the Ultimate Weight Loss Champion receiving a trophy and $500 cash prize as well as awarding DeKalb County the title of County Ultimate Weight Loss Champion Overall for 2013.

•Cannon County Champion Billy Moulder lost a total of 11.07% body weight receiving a trophy and $500 grand cash prize.

• Additional DeKalb County top scores for cash and prizes included second place winner Linda Fowler, Amy Seber, Jimmy Crawford, Kevin Manning, County Mayor Mike Foster, Beth Chandler and The Happy Booker Team from Justin Potter Library / Kathy Hendrixson and Rochelle Turner Captains.

• Additional Cannon County top scores for cash and prizes included second place winner Teresa Bouldin, Mary Duncan, James Bogle, Pam Hoskins and the Junk in the Trunks Team / Faith Bogle Captain

When asked about DeKalb’s victory, County Mayor Mike Foster replied, “I am proud to accept this trophy on behalf of DeKalb County. We are proud of Daniel Seber for a job well done and hope everyone continues to make healthy choices throughout the year.”

Concerning Cannon County’s defeat, County Mayor Mike Gannon smiles, “This was all in good fun and we are proud of both counties for their efforts. Mike Foster and I had a good time during the challenge. I am proud of Cannon County’s hard work and congratulate Billy Moulder for representing us well.”

“I was personally excited over the first year success of the challenge,” said Director Shan Burklow of DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital , “People are already coming up to me and asking if we will start another challenge for this fall. Although there are no immediate plans to start a fall challenge, we are scheduled for April 2014 and plan to make it even more interactive with more classes, workout groups, online recipes and continued support. Now that we know that both counties support the event and have given great feedback, we know what to plan for to make it even better than ever.”

For information on how you can participate in the next Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge, join the Challenge facebook page: WeightLossChallenge.

PICTURED: The two Ultimate Weight Loss County Champions receive their awards presented by both county mayors along with DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital. (from left to right) Cannon County Mayor Mike Gannon, DeKalb / Stones River Hospital CNO Kim Frazier and CEO Sue Conley, DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster, Champion Overall Daniel Seber, Champion Billy Moulder, and Director Shan Burklow of DeKalb / Stones River Hospital.

Dwight Mathis Elected Mayor of Liberty

August 2, 2013
Dwayne Page
Dwight Mathis

Dwight Mathis was elected Mayor of Liberty Thursday.

Mathis received 32 votes in the municipal election. He was unopposed.

Meanwhile Incumbent Alderman Howard Reynolds, Jr. was also re-elected unopposed. He received 30 votes. The terms of office become effective with the next council meeting, Monday August 5.

Since the election was uncontested, voting was done by paper ballot. "The law states any municipality with a population of five thousand (5,000) or less may elect to use paper ballots instead of voting machines for municipal elections when there is no opposition for any of the offices involved (on the ballot)," said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley. "Liberty did choose to use paper ballots, rather than voting machines, which will save the town approximately $1,200," he said.

The city government is now made up of Mayor Dwight Mathis and Aldermen Howard Reynolds, Jr. Paul M. Neal, and Jason H. Ray.

Mathis and Jarrett Pistole have held the other two aldermen seats. Those positions will remain vacant until the remaining aldermen appoint persons to fill them.

Seventh Annual Sales Tax Holiday Friday-Sunday

August 1, 2013
Seventh Annual Sales Tax Holiday Friday-Sunday

The Department of Revenue is reminding Tennesseans that the seventh annual Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled for Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4. During these three days Tennessee shoppers can save nearly 10 percent on tax-free clothing, school and art supplies, and computer purchases.

“I want to encourage Tennessee families to take advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday because it was created with them in mind,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “The weekend provides savings for families, especially as students are starting the new school year, and the holiday can provide relief on clothing, school and art supplies and computer purchases.”

The holiday begins Friday, August 2 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday, August 4 at 11:59 p.m. During the designated three-day weekend, consumers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item, and computers with a price of $1,500 or less.

“As in years past, last year's tax-free weekend was very successful, providing Tennessee taxpayers over $10 million in tax savings” said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. “We are hopeful that Tennessee shoppers will again take advantage of the tax relief provided by the 2013 Sales Tax Holiday.”

Please visit the Sales Tax Holiday Web site at www.tntaxholiday.com to learn more about the items exempt from sales tax. The Tennessee Department of Revenue also assists consumers via e-mail, Salestax.Holiday@TN.gov, and through its toll-free statewide telephone hot line, (800) 342-1003. Staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. (Out-of-state and Nashville-area callers, please dial (615) 253-0600.)

Examples of exempt items include:
•Clothing: Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms whether athletic or non-athletic and scarves

•School Supplies: Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors

•Art Supplies: Clay and glazes; acrylic, tempera and oil paints; paintbrushes for artwork; sketch and drawing pads; and watercolors

•Computers: Central processing unit (CPU), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and preloaded software (Note: While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible.) iPads and other tablet computers are eligible for tax exemption, while smart phones and video game consoles are not.

Smithville Police Make Arrests for DUI, Theft, Drugs, Assault and other Offenses

August 1, 2013
Dwayne Page
Police Chief Randy Caplinger

In his latest report on city crime, Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger reports that 30 year old Jamie Anne South was cited for shoplifting on July 12. K-9 Officer James Cornelius responded to the Dollar General Store where it was discovered that South allegedly put items inside her clothing in an attempt to deprive them of their property. South will be in court August 29.

29 year old Megan Ann Lann was cited for shoplifting on July 15. Officer Chip Avera responded to the Dollar General Store where it was discovered that Lann had concealed an item in her purse in an attempt to deprive the store of its merchandise.

Detective Brandon Donnell cited 25 year old Karie Lynn Padgett for shoplifting at the Dollar General Store on July 16. She allegedly took items belonging to the store without paying for them.

Officer Stephen Barrett arrested 38 year old Kevin Donald Bogle on July 18 for DUI. He was also cited for violation of the implied consent law. Bogle, operating a motor vehicle, was stopped for reckless driving. Bogle had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were glazed over and he performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Bogle's bond is $2,500.

27 year old Nikita Dawn Clark was cited for theft of property on July 19. Corporal Travis Bryant was called to Wal-Mart to check out a reported theft where it was discovered that Clark was in possession of several items she had not paid for.

46 year old William Ray Cantrell was cited for two counts of simple possession on July 21. Officer Joey Myers responded to a motor vehicle crash on Smith Road where the vehicle had turned over. Officer Myers found outside the vehicle a zip lock bag containing pills believed to be Xanax and a small plastic bag with a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

25 year old Brandon Wayne Hutchings and 24 year old Jessica Anne Jenkins were arrested July 21 for promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine. Hutchings was also cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sergeant Bradley Tatrow stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Sergeant Tatrow noticed that the driver, Hutchings, had slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. When Hutchings was asked to empty his pockets, a pill believed to be morphine was discovered. Police asked Jenkins for permission to search her vehicle but she refused. K-9 Officer Cornelius was then called for assistance. Jenkins' vehicle was searched after K-9 LEO was deployed and alerted on the automobile. Several items were found during the search known to be used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine. Bond for Hutchings and Jenkins is $25,000 each and they will be in court September 12.

19 year old Amber C. Barrett was arrested for assault on July 22. Captain Steven Leffew was dispatched to a residence to check out a domestic call. Upon arrival Captain Leffew spoke with the victim who stated that she and a family member (Barrett) got into an argument that turned physical. Barrett's bond is $1,000.

53 year old Debra Ella Hayes was arrested on July 22 for leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a revoked license due to a DUI. Officer Stephen Barrett was dispatched to South Congress Boulevard to investigate a hit and run accident with injuries. It was discovered that Hayes was operating the car involved in the crash. She was found at Jewels Market. A computer check revealed her license were revoked in Oklahoma and Missouri for DUI. Hayes' bond is $7,500 and she will be in court August 8.

35 year old Jeremy Austin Scruggs was arrested July 23 for public intoxication. Officer Stephen Barrett was dispatched to Highland Avenue to a fight call. Upon arrival, Officer Barrett made contact with Scruggs whose arm was bleeding. Scruggs had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He was unsteady on his feet and he wouldn't comply with officer's commands. It was discovered that Scruggs, who had been drinking, hurt his arm in a fall due to his intoxication. Bond for Scruggs is $1,500 and he will be in court August 8.

59 year old Dale A Golden was arrested for DUI and cited for simple possession on July 24. Corporal Travis Bryant received a call of a possible drunk driver on West Broad Street. Corporal Bryant spotted the vehicle in question and stopped it for a light violation. Golden, who had slurred speech, was unsteady on his feet and he performed poorly on sobriety tasks. A search incident to arrest revealed a small blue pill believed to be Diazapam on his person. Bond for Golden is $1,500 and he will be in court August 15.

18 year old Zachary Vincent and a juvenile were cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 26. Vincent was a passenger and owner of a vehicle that Sergeant Bradley Tatrow had stopped for speeding. Upon a search of the vehicle, a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found along with paraphernalia. Vincent's court date is September 26.

37 year old Jody Lee Wright and 40 year old Amanda C. Oaf were arrested on July 30. Wright was charged with DUI and cited for failure to maintain his lane of travel and violation of the implied consent law. Oaf was charged with public intoxication. Officer Chip Avera stopped Wright's vehicle for failure to maintain lane of travel. He noticed that Wright had slurred speech. Wright was unsteady on his feet, uncoordinated and performed poorly on sobriety tasks. Oaf, a passenger in the vehicle, had slurred speech. She was unsteady on her feet and she performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. A search incident to arrest revealed two pills believed to be oxycodone in Oaf's possession. Bond for Wright and Oak is $1,500 each and they will be in court August 15.

DeKalb Schools Open Today, 2013-14 School Calendar Released

August 1, 2013
Dwayne Page
Older Photo

DeKalb County Schools Open Today.

Registration for all students will be Thursday, August 1. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 2 will be an administrative day for teachers only

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 5

The 2013-14 school calendar is as follows:

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 2.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 14-25

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 27, 28, & 29 and for the winter break December 23 through January 3. Wednesday, December 20 will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Monday, January 6.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 20 and for President's Day, Monday, February 17.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 24-28

No school for students on Good Friday, April 18 and Memorial Day, Monday May 26.

The following are designated as Early Release dates: Friday, October 4; Friday, February 14; Friday, March 7, and Friday, March 21

Students will not attend on Tuesday, May 27. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Wednesday, May 28. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 8 and Tuesday, March 11 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. Thursday, October 10 and Thursday, March 13 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

DCHS report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 7 and at all other schools on Tuesday, October 8. Report cards to be sent home from all schools on Tuesday, January 7. DCHS report cards to be sent home Monday, March 10 and at all other schools Tuesday, March 11.

ACT Test for the 11th grade will be Tuesday, March 4

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 3-7.

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 28 through May 9

First Day of School Education Celebration Thursday

July 31, 2013
Dwayne Page
Teacher Karen Jacobs handing out school supplies at last year's celebration

The Eighth Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Thursday, August 1 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

The celebration is held on school registration day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to join the fun downtown Smithville on Thursday, August 1.


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