Local News Articles

Louise Williams-Owen Receives Award

November 22, 2008
Louise Williams-Owen

Louise Williams-Owen, M. Ed., CCC-SLP, was presented the Tennessee Association of Audiologist's and Speech Pathologist's (TAASLP) Public School Incentive Award. The presentation was made at the TAASLP Annual Convention Awards Breakfast, November 7.

This award was presented "In Recognition of Outstanding Dedication and Exemplary Contributions to the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists".

Mrs. Owen is employed by DeKalb County, TN school system. She is the wife of Mike Owen of Smithville, TN and mother of Holly and Ashley Owen. She is the sister of Deanie and David Yoest of Statesville, TN. Mrs. Owen is a graduate of the Speech Pathology program of University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Chamber Prayer Breakfast set for Tuesday Morning

November 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Suzanne Williams

The annual Chamber of Commerce Prayer Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, November 25th at 7:00 a.m. at the Smithville Church of God Fellowship Center.

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber, says State Representative-elect, Terri Lynn Weaver, will be the keynote speaker. Special music will be performed by Tomomi McDowell, Representative Weaver, and First Baptist Church’s signing group “Signs of Love.”

Prayers for our community, our leaders, and our children will make this a meaningful and memorable experience. A delicious breakfast will be catered by Jason Evans, head chef at The Inn at Evins Mill. Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office or from the Chamber Board of Directors. The Leadership DeKalb Class of 2009 will serve the beverages. Doors open at 6:30 a.m.

Smithville's First Fire Engine to be part of Christmas Parade

November 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Smithville First Fire Engine Returning for Christmas Parade

The City of Smithville's very first fire engine will be returning to town for the Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 6th.

The parade is organized each year by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker says this 1938 Chevrolet fire engine, which was purchased by the city in 1938 remained in service here until it was sold in 1956. "We've got Smithville's very first fire engine that will make an appearance at the parade this year. It's a 1938 Chevrolet, the first fire engine that the City of Smithville purchased. We located it. The truck is in running condition. They're going to bring it back for our parade. The city sold it to some gentlemen in Decatur, Tennessee in 1956. That's when it left Smithville. It's been away from here for a long time. It's either been here or there since 1938. They finally got it in running condition and we're excited to see it come back."

Chief Parker says this year's parade promises to be another exciting event and everyone is urged to participate. "The Smithville Christmas Parade will be Saturday, December 6th. It will leave from Smithville Elementary School at 1:00 p.m. and come down Congress Boulevard, then turn onto Walnut Street, and go around the public square. The line-up will begin at 11:00 a.m.. We'd like to get all the floats there by that time so we can start getting them lined up. All the kings, queens, and princesses from all the county pageants are invited to come. We would like for you to call one of two numbers, either John Poss at 597-1135 or Jeff Wright at 597-6750 so they can get your name and who you're representing in the lineup. We hope you will do that the Thursday night before the Christmas Parade to give us time to get the lineup made. Then just be there at Smithville Elementary School Saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. and we'll get you in the lineup. We're looking forward to another fantastic parade. We still don't have the Grand Marshal yet. We'll be finalizing that in the next week or so. We encourage everybody to come out to see Santa Claus and be a part of the parade. We do encourage all the churches, groups, and businesses to enter. We are awarding a first, second, and third place in the float category. The Smithville Business and Professional Women also sponsor the Spirit Award which goes to the church or civic group that shows the most enthusiasm during the parade"

Meanwhile, the Liberty Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 7th starting at 2:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 1:00 p.m. on the west end of town. There will be four categories for prizes and giveaways after the parade. Santa will be riding into town to greet the public and to visit with the children. Santa will also bring his reindeer plus other animals for everyone to enjoy petting so bring your camera or have Santa's elves take your picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. For more information call 615-536-5101.

The Alexandria Christmas Parade will be Saturday, December 13th at 2:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 1:00 p.m. on the Jim Curtis Highway or West Main Street. Call for more information at 529-2171.

Lebanon Woman Charged with Felony Child Endangerment

November 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Dallas Dorthy Leaf

A 25 year old Lebanon woman is in trouble with the law after leaving two young children unattended in a vehicle.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. of the Smithville Police Department says Dallas Dorthy Leaf of Coles Ferry Pike, Lebanon is charged with two counts of felony child endangerment. Her bond is $10,000 and she will be in court December 4th.

One of the children was Leaf's 3 year old daughter. The other child was a 5 year old boy, the son of Leaf's boyfriend.

According to Officer Hutchins, Leaf left the children unattended in her vehicle downtown Smithville Thursday while she went into the courthouse to check on a pending divorce. The temperature outside at the time was around 43 degrees. The children were in the car for about 20 minutes when they got out of the vehicle and walked to a nearby business, looking to get something to drink. Someone at the business contacted police.

Officer Hutchins says he confronted Leaf after she came out of the courthouse. She was questioned about the incident and subsequently arrested and charged in the case.

He says the children are fine and were released to a family member.

State Fire Marshal Asks Residents to Prepare Home for Cold Weather

November 20, 2008

Tennessee Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman wants to remind Tennesseans to keep safe and warm as winter sets in across the state. But she urges residents to be cautious in the use of alternative heat sources.

"The winter weather means many people will begin to heat their homes with fireplaces, woodstoves and space heaters," said Newman. "Cold weather months typically have a higher number of accidental fire injuries and deaths due to the use of these alternative heat sources.”

Following a few safety tips can greatly reduce the risk of fires:

•Make it a "house rule" to test your home’s smoke alarms before using a space heater or fireplace. All smoke alarms should additionally be tested once a month. Doing so could save your life.

•Space heaters need space. Never put a space heater within three feet of anything combustible, including furniture, bedding or aerosol cans. Make sure your space heater bears the mark of an independent testing lab such as UL or FM. Look for models with automatic shutoff features, when purchasing space heaters. Never use extension cords with space heaters.

•Before you use your fireplace, make sure the chimney has been professionally cleaned to remove the buildup of combustible materials that accumulate inside the flue.

•Be sure any kerosene-fueled heating device is installed with proper ventilation. A portable kerosene heater must be filled only in a well-ventilated area, free of flame and other heat sources, and only when the device has cooled completely. Use only the type of kerosene specified by the manufacturer, and never use gasoline in place of kerosene.

•Never leave a fire, space heater or flame unattended.

Additionally, make sure furniture, clothing and other combustible materials are not placed in front of permanently mounted heaters like those in walls or on baseboards. If they turn on when temperatures go below the thermostat’s set point, there will be no worry of the items catching fire.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

Smithville Man Injured in Alexandria Wreck

November 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 50 year old Smithville man was injured in a pickup truck accident near Alexandria this morning (Wednesday)

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Edwin Dale Evans of 598 Smith Road, Smithville was traveling east on Highway 70 in a 2001 Chevrolet S-10 pickup when the truck ran off the left side of the road, struck a large boulder, overturned, and hit a utility pole. The truck came to rest upright on it's wheels. The accident occurred around 6:20 a.m. about four tenths of a mile from the Wilson County line in DeKalb County.

Evans was taken from the scene by DeKalb EMS to meet a Life Force Helicopter ambulance on Highway 53 in Alexandria. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Tips for Online Shopping this Holiday Season

November 18, 2008

With the holidays quickly approaching, millions of shoppers will go online for hassle-free shopping. If you plan to shop online, you should be aware that you may get more than you bargain for with internet scams and identity thieves targeting holiday shoppers. Taking precautions before you make those purchases can help ensure your online experience is a safe one.

If you’re going online to make your holiday purchases this year, here is some advice to help you make the most of your experience:

1. Know who you’re dealing with. Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. If you get an email or pop-up message while you’re browsing that asks for personal or financial information, don’t reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information via email. When the web page asks for your credit card information, the web address should begin with “https://” instead of “http://.”

2. Know exactly what you’re buying. Read the seller’s description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like “refurbished,” “vintage,” or “close-out” may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint condition.

3. Know what it will cost. Check out websites that offer price comparisons. To get the best consumer protections, pay with a credit card. If there are any problems with your order the bank can be notified and the charge disputed. Factor shipping and handling — along with your needs and budget — into the total cost of the order. Do not send cash under any circumstances.

4. Check out the terms of the deal, like refund policies and delivery dates. Can you return the item for a full refund if you’re not satisfied? If you return it, find out who pays the shipping costs or restocking fees, and when you will receive your order.

5. Keep a paper trail. Print and save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and copies of every email you send or receive from the seller. Don’t email personal or financial information. Read your credit card statements as you receive them and be on the lookout for unauthorized charges.

6. Don’t email your financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting financial information like your credit card, checking account, or Social Security number.

7. Check the privacy policy. It should let you know what personal information the website operators are collecting, why, and how they’re going to use the information.

The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs is here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities, to resolve complaints through the mediation process, to investigate violations of the state Consumer Protection Act, and to clarify consumer protection laws. We are here to help consumers and business owners who have been affected by unfair business practices.

If you need our services, please feel free to call Consumer Affairs toll-free at 1-800-342-8385 or visit www.tennessee.gov/consumer.

State Offers Consumers Tips for Digital TV Transition

November 18, 2008

The U.S. Congress has mandated that all full-power television stations convert their broadcast signals from analog to digital by the end of February 17, 2009. Television channels in Tennessee have been carrying public service announcements alerting the public to the switch to digital broadcasts that will occur. But it is understandable that questions might remain about how Tennesseans can navigate the conversion.

“Consumers need to understand how the digital television (DTV) transition will affect them, in order to avoid purchasing items they don’t need,” said Mary Clement, director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs.

Analog televisions that rely on rooftop or “rabbit ears” antennas to receive analog broadcasts will not work after February 17 without a converter box. These converters generally cost $50-$70 and can be purchased at electronics stores. The federal government is offering two $40 coupons per household (for two boxes – the coupons cannot be combined to get one box for free). These coupons are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last or until March 31, 2009. To receive free coupons, call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY), or visit www.dtv2009.gov.

If a television is digital or is currently receiving its signal through paid cable or satellite service, the conversion should not affect it. Digital televisions that use rooftop or “rabbit ears” antennas should continue to work and will not require a special antenna or converter box.

If a television is more than 10 years old, it probably has an analog receiver and will be affected by the digital transition. Check the owner’s manual or labeling on the back of the television to determine if a set is analog or digital and look for identifying key words:

• Digital sets:
o Integrated Digital Tuner, Digital Tuner or Digital Tuner Built-In,
o Digital Receiver,
o DTV,
o ATSC, or
o HDTV (High Definition)

• Analog sets:
o Analog

If it still is unclear whether a television set is digital or analog, consumers should call the manufacturer or a retail professional for assistance. Callers should be sure to have the make and model number on hand. For further information regarding the conversion, please visit www.dtv.gov or call 1-888-225-5322 (voice) or 1-888-835-5322 (TYY).

Consumers who think they have been deceived by a business and have purchased items they do not need for the DTV conversion should file a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at www.tn.gov/consumer or call 1-800-342-8385 to request a complaint form.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

City of Smithville Required to Pay Water Storage Fee

November 18, 2008

The City of Smithville and other utilities that get their water supply from Center Hill Lake are responsible for paying a portion of the repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of Center Hill Dam, under a water storage agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The city's portion, at $83,164, is figured at 0.032 percent, a cost that is based on the amount of storage area allocated for the city's water supply. The city was given the option to pay the bill in a lump sum at the end of construction or to pay based on a cost schedule through the year 2013. The cost to the city is based upon a total repair cost of $263,000,000

Center Hill Lake supplies all the water for the City of Smithville, and the city also sells to the DeKalb Utility District. The City of Cookeville, which also gets it's water supply from Center Hill Lake, sells to Baxter, Algood and Double Springs, among others meaning those utilities will also incur some of the cost as well. Cookeville's share is $1.4 million. Riverwatch, which uses a small amount of water from Center Hill Lake for the watering of its golf course, will pay $27,400. Riverwatch's share of the cost was tallied at 0.01 percent.

Smithville Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson says the city will likely pay the bill in a lump sum by 2013.

Aldermen Establish Procedures for Public Comments at City Board Meetings

November 17, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen have established procedures for members of the public to speak at city board meetings.

By a vote of 5 to 0, the city council Monday night adopted the following resolution as presented by Alderman Tonya Sullivan:

" Whereas, in our system of representative government, the Mayor and City Board members are charged with the responsibility of informing themselves and making sound decisions that affect the lives of the citizens of Smithville; and

Whereas, it is a commonly accepted practice in Tennessee cities to provide an opportunity for citizens input, as part of the board meetings so long as such comments are not permitted to degenerate into debates between citizens and the Mayor or board members; and

Whereas, it is the desire of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Smithville that citizens be provided the opportunity to make comments at board meetings in accordance with established procedures; and

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Smithville:
Citizens of the City of Smithville are hereby authorized to make comments at the beginning of each regular or special called meeting of the board, in accordance with the following:

The person desiring to speak should rise, address the Chair, and when recognized, state their name and address. Only residents, business owners and property owners of the City of Smithville shall be allowed to speak during the "comments by citizens" part of the board's agenda, unless requested to do so by the board.

After providing the required information, the person shall be allowed to speak for three minutes on any matter of concern to the citizen.

All citizens comments shall be directed to the Mayor. The Mayor may address questions to individual aldermen, but in no event will the citizen be permitted to call names, question the integrity or motive of individual aldermen or the Mayor, or make personal or derogatory comments.

It is the responsibility of the Mayor to maintain order at city board meetings."

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said he supports this resolution.

Concerned citizen Sherry Bush, addressed the board, thanking them for this action. "I just want to say thank you, to all of you, but particularly to Ms. Sullivan who took the time and the effort to draft such a proposal. I appreciate your upholding our rights to speak and let our feelings be known. So thank you very much."

Meanwhile, in other business, the aldermen adopted a resolution authorizing the application for Community Development Block Grant Funds from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to address water system needs.

The resolution reads as follows: "Whereas, the City of Smithville is eligible for grant funds under the Fiscal Year 2009 Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and

Whereas, the City of Smithville is in dire need of improvements to their raw water intake to make it capable of drawing water during periods where the lake water level is drastically lowered and improvements to address the renovation of their existing water treatment facility; and

Whereas, the health and welfare of the community is adversely affected by the system's problems; and

Whereas, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the city believe the correction of the water system problem should be a priority; and

Whereas, the city is eligible for a maximum grant of $500,000 under the Community Development Block Grant Water/Sewer category;

Whereas, the city is eligible for a Community Development Block Grant up to 89% (86% plus the 3% Three Star bonus) of the total project cost.

Now, therefore be is resolved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that;

The Mayor be authorized and directed to:

Execute and submit an application for CDBG funds to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in order to address the water problem for the community.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen hereby authorize an amount to be no less than 11% of the total project cost to serve as matching funds in order to secure the Community Development Grant funds. These matching funds will be acquired from the City of Smithville Water and Sewer Revenue Fund.

The Upper Cumberland Development District shall prepare all necessary documents for the completion of said project at no charge to the City of Smithville. Should said CDBG grant be approved, UCDD shall be engaged to perform all administrative services for said project."


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