Local News Articles

Three Hundred Fifty Vote Early in Smithville Election, Lightest Turnout in Several Years

June 17, 2011
Dwayne Page
Lydia Holmes and Louise Brown sign in to vote with election worker Dean Estes

Based on the response to early voting, this could be the lightest turnout for a contested Smithville Municipal Election in several years.

After fourteen days of early voting only 350 city voters cast ballots out of 2,877 active registered city voters. That's the lowest turnout for early voting during a contested city election since 2003, when 231 voted early. In 2005, only five people voted early and sixty five on election day in an uncontested city election.

A total of sixty three people voted yesterday (Thursday) on the last day of early voting, which was the largest single day turnout during the fourteen day period.

Here's how the vote breaks down for each day from Wednesday, June 1 through Thursday, June 16:

Wednesday, 7
Thursday, 32
Friday, 15
Saturday, 22 (20 in person, 2 absentees)
Monday, 15
Tuesday, 22
Wednesday, 17
Thursday, 31
Friday, 23
Saturday, 24 (20 in person, 4 absentees)
Monday, 10 (8 in person, 2 absentees)
Tuesday, 32 (31 in person, 1 absentee)
Wednesday, 37 (27 in person by machine, 1 absentee, 9 Nursing Home)
Thursday, 63

Three aldermen are to be elected Tuesday, June 21, each to serve a two year term beginning July 1st. Voting will be conducted in the basement courtroom of the courthouse from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

The candidates are incumbents Shawn Jacobs, Aaron Meeks, and W.J. (Dub) White. The challengers are Gayla Hendrix, Cordell Walker, and Danny Washer.

WJLE will be your only source for LIVE election coverage on the radio and up to the minute Internet updates at www.wjle.com.

Last year, (2010) a mayor and two aldermen were elected in Smithville. During that election, a total of 746 voters turned out, including 476 early voters and 270 on election day.

In 2009 a total of 790 voters responded, including 590 during the early voting period and 200 on election day to select three aldermen.

A total of 963 city voters turned out in 2008 to elect a mayor and two aldermen including 684 early voters and 279 on election day.

In 2007, three aldermen were elected. That campaign drew 738 people to the polls including 555 during the early voting period and 183 on election day.

In 2006, a total of 696 city voters cast ballots to elect a mayor and two aldermen, including 425 early voters and 271 on election day.

Only seventy people voted in 2005, including 65 on election day and five during early voting, but the race was uncontested. Three aldermen were elected.

For the year 2004, a total of 800 city voters cast ballots; 450 voted in 2003; 811 in 2002; 473 in 2001; and 642 in 2000.

Dixon Qualifies for Alexandria City Election

June 16, 2011

Only one person has qualified to run for three seats on the Alexandria Board of Mayor and Alderman.

Darrell Dixon, a current alderman, turned in his qualifying petition by the noon deadline on Thursday, June 16.
But it is not too late for others who may be interested in holding a position on the town's board.

Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections, said persons attempted to be elected by write-in ballots can complete a notice requesting his/her votes be counted no later than NOON July 13. The person requesting to be a
write-in candidate must fill out a particular form that can be obtained at the election commission office in Smithville. If someone does seek to be a write-in candidate, his or her name will not be on the ballot.

The Alexandria election is set for September 1, 2011.

Chamber Seeks Entries for "Shop at Home" Contest

June 15, 2011
Dwayne Page

You could win $100 from the Chamber of Commerce just for giving your best reason for shopping locally.

Tim Hintz, Past President of the Chamber, said you can enter by going to the Chamber Facebook page or emailing the Chamber. You can find links to the facebook page and email address at www.dekalbtn.org. Then submit your reason.

Tim Hintz from dwayne page on Vimeo.
The name of the winner will be drawn on June 24 and will be announced on the next Chamber Chat program Wednesday, July 6 starting at 8:30 a.m. on WJLE.

The prize money has been donated by the Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Meanwhile, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams urges all local businesses to participate in the 10th annual Project Welcome Mat in time for the 40th annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

Suzanne Williams from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Fair to Feature Pageants, Vintage Fashion Show, DeKalb IDOL, and More

June 15, 2011
Dwayne Page
Shan Burklow

The DeKalb County Fair will feature several exciting events at the Lion's Club Pavilion July 18-23 including nightly pageants, the Vintage Fashion Show, and DeKalb IDOL among others.

The Junior Fair Princess Pageant will be held Monday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Fairest of the Fair at the Lion's Club Pavilion. The Little Mister and Little Miss contest will be held Tuesday, July 19 at 6:00 p.m. The Little Miss Princess Pageant will be held Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Contest.

Shan Burklow encourages anyone interested in entering any of these pageants to register on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us or www.studiosixlimited.com. Registration forms are also available at all bank locations in Smithville and Alexandria.

The Vintage Fashion Show is set for Thursday night, July 21 following the Baby Show at the Lions Club Pavilion.

DeKalb Idol will be featured on Friday night following the Toddler Show at the Lions Club Pavilion.

Registration and rehearsal for the Junior Fair Princess Pageant will be Saturday, July 16 anytime from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the fairgrounds. Contestants must be 13 through 16 years of age. Participants must not be over age 16 by the date of the pageant. The Junior Fair Princess Pageant will be held on Monday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion.

Registration and rehearsal for the Fairest of the Fair will be Saturday, July 16 anytime from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m..at the fairgrounds. This pageant is only open to DeKalb County residents. Contestants must be age 17 and not over age 20 by December 31, 2011. Participants must not be, nor have ever been married. The winner must also agree to participate in the State Fairest of the Fair Pageant in January, 2012. The Fairest of the Fair pageant will be Monday, July 18 following the Junior Fair Princess Pageant.

The Little Mister and Little Miss contest will be held Tuesday, July 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion. Registration and rehearsal will be Saturday, July 16 anytime from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the fairgrounds. Contestants in both pageants must be 4 and not over 6 years of age by the pageant date.

The Little Miss Princess Pageant will be held Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Contest at the Lion's Club Pavilion. Registration and rehearsal for the Little Miss Princess Pageant will be Saturday, July 16 anytime from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the fairgrounds. Contestants must be 7 and not over 9 years of age by the pageant date. Meanwhile, registration and rehearsal for the Miss Sweetheart Pageant will be Saturday, July 16 anytime from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Contestants must be 10 and not over 12 years of age by the pageant date.

The entry fee for each of these pageants is $25.00 per contestant, (cash only) payable at the time of registration.. Contestants may be residents of DeKalb, Smith, Putnam, White, Warren, Cannon, or Wilson Counties except the Fairest of the Fair which is only open to DeKalb County girls. .

For more information visit www.dekalbcountyfair.us or www.studiosixlimited.com.

Another Driftwood Fire at Dismal Bridge

June 15, 2011
Dwayne Page
County Firefighters Battle Debris Fire at Dismal Bridge

For the second time since September, someone has set a fire which spread to the debris and driftwood underneath the Dismal bridge on the Alexandria to Dismal Road over Smith Fork Creek

Central dispatch received the call at 5:10 a.m. this morning (Wednesday)

County Fire Chief Donny Green said members of the Main Station and the Liberty and Cookeville Highway stations rushed to the scene upon receiving the call and when they arrived, firefighters found a blaze coming from under the bridge. "We found where three campfires had been set near the bridge and it appeared one of them spread to the debris underneath the bridge. A witness who was at the creek fishing overnight saw a suspicious vehicle in the area. We have a description of that vehicle and the Sheriff's Department is investigating at this time," said Chief Green.

Green said this bridge poses a particular problem with accumulating debris. "As we get heavy rainfall the debris comes up under the bridge and accumulates. A fire like this can then cause a lot of damage to the bridge. It also causes a lot of problems for us (firefighters) because we have trouble getting to it with our equipment. We do have a floating pump that we set up this morning to get water out of the creek to extinguish the fire," said Chief Green.

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge, who was also on the scene, said he will contact the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who may have to inspect the bridge to determine if there is any structural damage.

The bridge remains open.

Woman held at Knifepoint During CarJacking at Silver Point, Suspect Remains at Large

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page
Lisa Mackie (WKRN Photo)
Store Surveillance Photo of Carjacking Victim (WKRN Photo)

A man who held a woman at knifepoint during a carjacking in the Silver Point community Tuesday morning remains at large.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the man, described as being bald, in his 30's, was last seen wearing Levi blue jean shorts and a yellow shirt. The victim, after escaping from the vehicle, was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

According to Sheriff Ray, the suspect walked up to a home in the Silver point community of DeKalb County, where a woman, Lisa Mackie, was outside doing some garden work. The man told her that he had run out of fuel and needed a ride to the gas station. The woman gave him a ride to one of the businesses near Interstate 40 but as she drove in, the man pulled a knife, pointed it at her throat, and ordered her to keep driving. The woman immediately got out of the car and the suspect took control of the vehicle and drove north on Highway 56 a short distance before he wrecked the car. The man then turned the car around and drove back into DeKalb County where he wrecked the vehicle again at Captains Point Road. The man then got out of the car and fled on foot.

Putnam and DeKalb County officers rushed to the scene immediately after the incident and conducted a ground search. They also made contact with some of the residents in the area to alert them.

Sheriff Ray said the suspect's car was found at the intersection of Lafever Ridge Road and Highway 56 north at Silver Point.

If you have information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect call 911 or Central dispatch at 215-3000. If you believe you have seen the suspect, do not confront him.

Michael Mathis Overall Winner of Third Annual Relay for Life 5K

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page
Denise Hackett Photo

Michael Mathis was the overall winner of the third annual "Relay for Life 5K and One Mile Fun Run held Saturday morning in Smithville to benefit the American Cancer Society. He ran the course in 19 minutes and 38 seconds, a new course record.

Doris Graham was the overall winner among females. Her time was 27 minutes and 36 seconds.

In the One Mile Fun Run, Macey Hedge took first place, finishing the course in 8 minutes and 35 seconds.

Fifty seven runners took part in the event, which originated and ended at Greenbrook Park, This year's Relay raised $1,250.

5K winners are as follows:

Youth ages 12-18
1st place- Bryson Greer: 36:12

Women ages 19-29
1st place- Natalie Ivy: 29:12
2nd place- Casey Agee: 29:36
3rd place- Allie Hacket: 29:42

Men ages 19-29
1st place-James Ivy: 20:17
2nd place- Josh Miller: 24:29
3rd place- Matt Stephens: 26:57

Women ages 30-39
1st place- Melissa Ruch: 29:17
2nd place- Deana Ruth Cantrell:29:37
3rd place- Christy Moore: 33:57

Men ages 30-39
1st place- Michael Mathis: 19:38 (new record)
2nd place- Travis Crouch: 20:13
3rd place- Rolando Navarro: 22:31

Women ages 40-49
1st place- Doris Graham: 27:36
2nd place- Beth Stephens: 37:20
3rd place- June Keith: 41:30

Men ages 40-49
No runners in this category

Women ages 50-59
1st place- Joan Barrett: 32:09
2nd place- Judy Adcock: 39:03
3rd place- Barbara Wall:42:19

Men ages 50-59
1st place- Lonnie Swope: 24:41
2nd place- Jerry Adcock: 26:37
3rd place- Joe Hackett: 30:11

Women ages 60 and over
1st place- Judy Tatanis: 37:43
2nd place- Janice Cochran: 44:23
3rd place- Frances Netherton:53:34

One Mile Fun Run
1st place- Macey Hedge: 8:35
2nd place- Cheryl Vance and Angela Miller:16:04 (tie)

UCHRA Announces Program Policy Changes

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page

The State of Tennessee Department of Human Services recently announced a policy change regarding the application process through UCHRA’s county offices for families and individuals applying for energy assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and for emergency assistance through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

For both programs the current contract year, which began July 1, 2010 and would normally end June 30, 2011, will be extended an additional three months to end September 30, 2011. Clients who were served during the July – June period will not be eligible to apply again until October 1, 2011. During the three-month period from July 1 – September 30 applications will be accepted only from eligible households that were not served during the previous 12-month period.

“This is a significant change in policy,” stated Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director. “These programs have operated on a July – June year since UCHRA began administering them in the early ‘80s, and I believe they have always been awarded based upon the State fiscal year.”

According to the Department of Human Services the reason for the change is that the Federal fiscal year is October 1 – September 30, and funds for these programs are appropriated for that period. DHS feels that planning and coordination of both LIHEAP and CSBG will be improved by aligning the LIHEAP and CSBG funding with the Federal fiscal year.

“We are concerned about getting word of this significant change out to the public, and especially to households that are used to being able to apply for LIHEAP and/or CSBG beginning July 1,” said Lee Webb, UCHRA Community Services Director. “UCHRA is doing everything possible to circulate this information to everyone affected.”

Anyone having questions regarding this policy change may contact the DeKalb Countyoffice located at 527 West Main Street, Smithville, TN 37166, or phone (615) 597-4504. For more information on programs available in your county, go to www.uchra.com/dekalbcounty.html.

Qualifying Deadline Approaching for Alexandria City Election

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page

Noon Thursday, June 16 is the qualifying deadline for the Alexandria City Election.

No one has qualified to run so far.

The City of Alexandria will conduct an election September 1, 2011 for the purpose of electing three aldermen.
The seats up for election are currently held by Derrick Baker, Darrell Dixon and one currently vacant seat.

Qualifying Petitions can be picked up at the DeKalb County Election Commission Office in Room 104 of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Smithville.

The last day to register to vote in the Alexandria election is August 2

Local Businesses Urged to Participate in 10th Annual Project Welcome Mat

June 13, 2011
Liberty State Bank participates in Project Welcome Mat
Liberty State Bank Two Sided Sign Welcoming Jamboree Visitors

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all local businesses to help welcome visitors to the 40th annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival by participating in the 10th annual "Project Welcome Mat"

Businesses having changeable signs or marquees are asked to post welcome greetings for our Jamboree visitors. The wording may be only a simple "Welcome to the Jamboree" or as elaborate as you choose. Executive Director of the Chamber, Suzanne Williams, says, “With thousands of visitors coming into town, every effort should be made by the local merchants to show our guests that we appreciate them and welcome their business. The program has been successful over the past years with many businesses participating. Let's keep on showing folks how friendly the DeKalb County / Smithville area can be!”

All businesses may participate in "Project Welcome Mat." There will be recognition awards in 3 categories: "Best Worded," "Most Original" and the "People's Choice Award." Plaques will be presented to winners along with media recognition.

If your business would like to participate in the contest, email the Chamber at dekalbtn@dtccom.net or call 597-4163. Wording should be in place no later than Friday, June 24, 2011.


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