Local News Articles

Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

July 5, 2010
William Freddy Curtis
Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club conducted a Special Event Station at the 39th Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010. This year marked the eleventh year that a special event station had been set up at the Jamboree.

The station was setup at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library during the early morning hours on Saturday. Antennas were assembled, radios were properly checked, and transmissions were begun at 7:30 AM local time. Operations took place in the 20 meter, 40 meter, 15 meter, and 10 meter Amateur Radio bands, and the station was publicized in Amateur Radio magazines QST, CQ, and the club website.

The station contacted 154 total Amateur Radio Stations in 28 States, and Ontario and Alberta, Canada. One interesting contact included the Ham Station at the Ontario Science Center - Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Amateur Radio Operator Guests included the following: KJ4JMS – Clifford Shelby – Crossville, TN; KI4UUP – Andrew C. Thomas – Monterey, TN; AG4VF – Bruce Newberry – Pegram, TN; K9UT – Jerry Uhte – Richmond, IN; NQ4U – Jimmy O. Floyd – Tullahoma, TN; and KJ4EEW – Lisa Marshall – Fayetteville, TN.

Participants of the station included local Amateur Radio Operators:
KG4BTO - Joe Ferrell; KF4QNT - Kevin Neely; and KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis. This year was the first year the station had CW or Morse code operation. This was done by N4LZY – Jerry Elkins of Woodbury, Tennessee and added greatly to the station operation.

Pictures of the Special Event Station can be viewed at the club’s website at: http://www.dcarc.drivehq.com/.

The local club looks forward to operating another special event station at next year’s Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival. The club would like to offer its thanks to Jamboree Coordinator - Mr. Jack Burton, Justin Potter Librarian - Mrs. Kathy Hendrixson, and Smithville Postmaster Mr. Michael Lynn for their support of this activity.

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, August 26th, 2010 - 6:30 PM at the DeKalb County Emergency Operations Center, 211 South Mountain Street at the E-911 Center. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.

Picture Caption: Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station during the 39th Annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival included: left to Right - KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis KJ4BTO – Joe Ferrell and N4LZY – Jerry Elkins.

Prater Charged with Theft of Purses

July 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
Gwynn Greer Prater
Kimberly Ann Patterson

A 51 year old Smithville man is charged with the theft of three purses, taken from an unattended vehicle parked at Holiday Haven Boat Ramp last month.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Gwynn Greer Prater of Jerry Walker Road, Smithville was arrested on Tuesday, June 29th and charged with theft of property under $500. According to Sheriff Ray, detectives received a report that three purses were stolen on Wednesday, June 23rd. Detectives later identified Prater as a suspect and questioned him. During the questioning, Prater allegedly admitted to committing the crime. Prater's bond is $1,000 and his court date is July 15th.

42 year old Kimberly Ann Patterson of Fisher Avenue, Smithville is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid) for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sheriff Ray says on Wednesday, June 30th, detectives executed a warrant for violation of probation against Patterson. Officers saw Patterson in a vehicle parked at Citgo on Highway 70 east, where they placed her under arrest. Found in the vehicle were 28 Dilaudid pills and a used syringe. Detectives also seized $235.86 believed to be proceeds from drug sales. Patterson's bond on the drug charges is $ 27,500. She is being held without bond on the violation of probation charge until her court date July 15th.

41 year old William Andy Cantrell of Redman Road, Smithville is charged with a fifth offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on July 14th. Sheriff Patrick Ray says a detective was on Short Mountain Highway Tuesday, June 29th when he spotted a vehicle pulling out of Miller Road onto Short Mountain Road. He saw that the driver was Cantrell. Knowing that Cantrell's license were revoked, the detective turned around to stop the vehicle. Cantrell turned onto Adams Street where he was stopped

Birchfield Wins Jamboree's Biggest Award

July 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Bill J. Birchfield Wins Jamboree's Biggest Award
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton Presents Top Fiddling Award to Bill Birchfield

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 39th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is Bill J. Birchfield of Roan Mountain, Tennessee. The two day festival came to a close Saturday night at 11:15 p.m.

Birchfield won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.
Click here to view more photos of Saturday session of the Fiddlers Jamboree

Birchfield made it to the fiddle off by winning the Senior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama, the winner of the Junior Fiddling contest.

Other winners in the Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; Second Place- Matt Kinman of Vilas, North Carolina; and Third Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood Florida. Amundsen was last year's grand champion fiddler, after winning the junior fiddling contest.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Kelsey Jones of Lyles; Second Place- Justin Frazor of Smyrna; and Third Place- Chris Stewart of Lyles
Click here to view video of Kelsey Jones in Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance Competition

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Jeff Yates of Adams; Second Place- Jay Bland of Kennesaw, Georgia; and Third Place- Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville.
Click here to view video of Jeff Yates in Senior Old-Tim Appalachian Flatfoot Dance Finals

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Stanley Reece of Whitleyville; Second Place- Wendell Hodges of Scottsville, Kentucky; and Third Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro.
Click here to view a video of Stanley Reece in the finals of the Senior Buck Dancing Contest

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place- Sherry Guenther of Monterey; and Third Place- Tommy Jackson of Franklin.
Click here to see video of Tammy Scruggs in Senior Clogging Contest

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia; Second Place- Kevin Harris of Tuscumbia, Alabama; and Third Place- Shane Cothran of Franklin.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- A Step Ahead of Greenbrier; Second Place- DeKalb County Bluegrass of Dyersburg; and Third Place- The Rigney Family of Normandy.

Bluegrass Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; Second Place Sarah Twilley of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Chris Brown of Beechgrove. McMeans received his award from Mr. Dudney's daughters, Susan Shaw and Janet England.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Bill J. Birchfield of Roan Mountain; Second Place- Scott Miller of Hanceville, Alabama; and Third Place- Delmer Holland of Waverly.

Square Dancing: First Place-Harpeth River of Franklin; Second Place- Little Texas of Franklin; and Third Place- Tennessee Toe Tappers of Pleasant View.
Click here to view video clip of Harpeth River in Square Dancing Competition at Fiddlers Jamboree

Greenbrier Girl Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler for Beginners

July 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Cara Digiovanni Crowned Grand Champion Beginner Fiddler
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton Presents Awards to Beginners Fiddling Champ
Aaron Clegg Receives Instrumental Entertainer Award from Nolan Turner

A Greenbrier girl took home this year's top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Cara Digiovanni was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

Meanwhile Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia received the "Entertainer of the Year" Award, which is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition. Clegg took home first place in three of those categories and second place in another.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place-Cara Digiovanni of Greenbrier; Second Place- Steven Alonso of Adams, Tennessee; and Third Place- Conner McCracken of Fredericksburg, Indiana..

Buck Dancing: First Place- Katie Huntley of Loretto, Tennessee; Second Place- Raygan Sellers of Ashland City; and Third Place- Keley Tomlin of Springfield.

Clogging: First Place- Shelby Dunn of Fairview; Second Place Kati Huntley of Loretto; and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; Second Place- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; and Third Place- Frannie Digiovanni of Greenbrier.

Mandolin: First Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; Second Place-Frannie Digiovanni of Greenbrier; and Third Place- Ben Hester of Chapmansboro

Five String Banjo: First Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; Second Place- Adam Keckritz of Tullahoma; and Third Place- Grayson Philips of Chapmansboro

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Kati Huntley of Loretto; Second Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; and Third Place- Cole Nichols of Town Creek, Alabama.

Alexandria Woman Accused of Stabbing her Boyfriend

July 3, 2010
Dwayne Page
Emily Fare

29 year old Terry Scott Austin was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville Friday evening after his girlfriend allegedly stabbed him in the abdomen with a kitchen knife at her home in Alexandria.

21 year old Emily Fare of 105 Lavergne Street, Alexandria has been charged with aggravated assault and she is under a $5,000 bond. Fare will appear in General Sessions Court on July 15th.

The warrant against Fare alleges that "On Friday, July 2nd at 105 Lavergne Street in Alexandria, Emily Fare did stab her boyfriend Terry Austin in the abdomen with a knife and he had to be airlifted for emergency treatment."

Central Dispatch received the call at 6:25 p.m.

Alexandria Police Officer Mark Milam says Fare and Austin apparently got into an argument which escalated resulting in the assault. After the attack, Milam says Austin left the residence on foot but later had to be treated. He was airlifted by a helicopter ambulance and flown from Alexandria to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Milam says he was joined in the investigation by fellow Alexandria police officer Terry Cowart, Jr. and DeKalb County Sheriff's deputy Jeremy Taylor.

The case remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, officers of the Smithville Police Department are reporting several arrests in their latest weekly update.

43 year old Todd Odell Hindsley of 830 South Mountain Street was charged Saturday, June 26th with resisting stop, frisk, and halt. According to the warrant, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow and Sergeant Joey Jones responded to 830 South Mountain Street to a possible domestic incident between a male and female who were fighting outside the residence where windows were being busted out of the house. Upon arrival, the officers made contact with Hindsley who was sitting on the back steps of the home. Hindsley could not tell the officers what had happened, nor where his mother was or why two windows of the house had been broken. According to police, Hindsley told Sergeant Jones that he was going to run. Sergeant Jones told him that he didn't want to do that but Hindsley replied "watch me" and made a jump as if he were going to run. Sergeant Jones and Officer Tatrow say they then had to put hands on Hindsley to stop him. Hindsley became very combative and had to be taken to the ground. He kept fighting and eventually had to be chemical sprayed to get him under control. Bond for Hindsley is $2500 and his court date is July 22nd

44 year old Merle William Martin Jr. of 1123 Keltonburg Road was issued a citation by Officer Scott Davis on Monday, June 28th for shoplifting. A Wal-Mart employee allegedly saw Martin cut open some merchandise, place it on his person and try to leave the store without paying for those items. Martin was cited to appear in court on July 15th.

44 year old Michael Dewayne Merritt of 109 Juniper Lane was arrested on Tuesday, June 29th for domestic assault. Officer Bradley Tatrow made the arrest. According to the report, Merritt and the victim were arguing and the confrontation became physical with Merritt allegedly choking her and hitting her in the face with his elbow. Bond for Merritt was set at $2,500 and his court date is July 15th.

27 year old Nathan Joe Trapp of 379 Magness Road was arrested on Tuesday, June 29th for violating an order of protection. Sergeant Randy King had been made aware of a warrant for Trapp earlier Tuesday and later that night he saw Trapp sitting in front of Justin Potter Library Trapp was placed under arrest. Trapp's court date is July 15th.

26 year old Roxanna Landis of 628 Andrews Street was arrested Wednesday, June 30th for public intoxication. Corporal Travis Bryant was called to Restview Avenue to check out a complaint of a fight. Upon arrival Corporal Bryant made contact with Landis who was unsteady on her feet and she had slurred speech. Bond for Landis was set at $1,000 and her court date is July 22nd.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, July 1st Detective Matt Holmes cited 23 year old Tamra Renee Lloyd of 726 Gentry Avenue for shoplifting. A Wal-Mart employee allegedly saw Lloyd taking items from the store. She allegedly admitted to stealing merchandise from Wal-Mart. Her court date is July 22nd.

25 year old Ellissa Sarah Howard of 630 Highland Avenue was arrested on Thursday, July 1st and charged with DUI. Corporal Travis Bryant responded to Wal-Mart to check out a complaint of a disorderly suspect. Upon his arrival, the suspect had already returned to her vehicle. Corporal Bryant spoke with Howard and noticed she had slurred speech and she was unsteady on her feet. Field sobriety tasks were performed but she performed poorly. Her bond was set at $1,000 and her court date was set for July 22nd.

Anyone with information on any criminal offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

All information is confidential.

Flags Presented to Jamboree Visitors from India and Alaska

July 3, 2010
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers Presents U.S. Flag to Alex Shana of India
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Presents State Flag to Alaska Man

A woman from India received a United States flag and an Alaska man was presented a Tennessee State flag during the Fiddler's Jamboree on Friday night

The flags, which have flown over the state capitol, go to the persons who travel the greatest distances, both from inside and outside the country, to get here.

The flags were presented by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

The American flag went to Alex Shana of India and John Thomas Ferrell of Anchorage, Alaska received the Tennessee flag.

The first day of the 39th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival ran non-stop from about 9:00 a.m. Friday morning until close to 11:30 p.m. Friday night.

Click here to view pictures of the Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival on Friday

Preliminaries were held in sixteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following video clip is of Jennifer Campbell from Whitebluff, winner of the Junior Buck Dancing competition

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo/Duet): First Place- Joe Overton of Smithville; Second Place-Scott Miller of Hanceville, Alabama; and Third Place-Sierra Ivie Tomlin of Springfield.

Click here to view video clip of Jackson Hollow of Franklin, winner of the Youth Square Dancing Competiton

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Andrew Rigney of Normandy, Tennessee; Second Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna; and Third Place- Cody Hull of Byrdstown.

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39): First Place-Chris Stewart of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Woody Stephenson of Nashville; and Third Place-Kelly Eicher of Allensville, Kentucky.

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39): First Place- Jennifer Campbell of White Bluff, Tennessee; Second Place- Kelsey Jones of Lyles, and Third Place- Woody Stephenson of Nashville

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Tyler Collins of Allen, Tennessee; Second Place- Jason Sanders of Lancaster; and Third Place- David Currey of Columbia, Missouri.

Mountain Dulcimer: First Place-Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; Second Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna; and Third Place- Eric Vick of Lyles

Hammer Dulcimer: First Place- Scott Miller of Hanceville, Alabama; and Second Place- Chris Brown of Beechgrove, Tennessee

Novelty Event: First Place- Wallin Wood of Nashville; Second Place- Cross Picking of Danville, Virginia; and Third Place- Duelin' Dad & Lad of Crossville.

Youth Square Dancing: First Place- Jackson Hollow of Franklin; and Second Place- The Main Stage Fusion of Springfield.

Old Time Fiddle Band: First Place- DeKalb County Rangers of Smithville; Second Place- Eric Vick and Spring Creek of Lyles; and Third Place- Sowbelly String Band of Murfreesboro

Autoharp: First Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; Second Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia; and Third Place- Billy J. Birchfield of Roan Mountain, Tennessee.

Gospel Singing (Solo): First Place- Graham Sherrill of Nashville; Second Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; and Third Place- Sarah Cripps of Smithville.

Country Harmonica: First Place- Tyler Martelli of Hixson; Second Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville; and Third Place- Ronnie Murphy of Bowling Green, Kentucky

Old Time Banjo: First Place- Daniel Rothwell of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Rebekah Weiler of Marietta, Georgia; and Third Place- Eric Vick of Lyles.

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet): First Place- Kurt & Jeremy of Dyersburg; Second Place- Poplar Grass Band of Cookeville; and Third Place- Jalee Roberts and Lindsey Batts of Murfreesboro.

Mandolin:First Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; Second Place- Andrew Rigney of Normandy; and Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.

Go 4th And Celebrate Safely

July 2, 2010

On July 4th, America will celebrate its birthday. Families across the country will be commemorating this event with parties, parades and fireworks. If you plan to use fireworks this 4th of July, DeKalb Community Hospital encourages you to include fire safety as part of your holiday celebration.

Thousands of people are injured from fireworks each year. More than half of these injuries involve children. “The most common injuries involve bottle rockets, sparklers and firecrackers,” says Eric Phillips, the Chief Nursing Officer for DeKalb Community Hospital. Bottle rockets and firecrackers are unpredictable and can fly in any direction before exploding and sparklers can burn at temperatures hot enough to melt gold.

“Many injuries occur because people often don’t think about how dangerous fireworks can be,” explains Eric. “Too often, they get caught up in the excitement and forget about fire safety.”

DeKalb Community Hospital offers the following safety tips to help ensure a safe 4th of July celebration:

* Always follow directions on the firework label.

* Never let children light fireworks.

* Always have an adult present. Even sparklers can be dangerous if unsupervised.

* Make sure you give yourself enough room. Stay away from buildings, vehicles, flammable materials, dry grass and trees.

* Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.

* Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.

* Have a bucket of water or water hose close by in case of an emergency and to douse used sparklers.

* Always wear eye protection when shooting fireworks.

* Loose clothing can catch fire and should not be worn when handling fireworks.

* Always light fireworks one at a time.

* Never try to re-ignite fireworks that have malfunctioned. Soak them in water and discard them.

* Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.

* Never throw or point fireworks at another person.

* Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

* Never build your own or modify fireworks.

Following these safety measures will help prevent an unfortunate accident. It is important to remember that fire safety is important at all times. Be sure to continue thinking about safety after the celebration has ended.

TDOT Authorizes County to Install Flashing Caution Lights at Dangerous Intersection

July 1, 2010
Dwayne Page
County to Install Flashing Caution Lights at Intersection of Highways 70 & 83
Flashing Caution Lights to be Installed at Intersection of Highways 70 & 83

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has approved the county's request for the installation of flashing beacon lights at the intersection of U.S. 70 and State Highway 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant.

County Mayor Mike Foster says even though the county will have to bear the costs, the lights are needed because this is a dangerous intersection and several serious traffic accidents have occurred there in recent years. "The way it will probably be engineered, it won't be a four way stop but there will be flashing red lights on each side of highway 83 and flashing caution lights on highway 70. We are estimating that by the time we pay the engineer and the other costs, it'll probably be in the neighborhood of $20,000. But it's a dangerous intersection. We tried to get the state to do it (install the lights) but they said they were not in that business."

The lights will be installed overhead above the highways, instead of by the sides of the roads, as the county had preferred. Foster says TDOT indicated that Highway 70 was too wide for the lights to be on the side of the road. State officials were also concerned that the lights would be more prone to being struck by passing motorists if they were by the highway.

The county commission, on Monday night, voted to advertise bids for this project.

Chamber Presents Project Welcome Mat Awards

June 30, 2010
Dwayne Page
Bumpers Drive-In Receives "Most Original" Award
Liberty State Bank Receives "Best Worded" Award
First Free Will Baptist Church Receives "People's Choice" Award

The Smithville- DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce honored the winners Wednesday in "Project Welcome Mat".

"Project Welcome Mat" awards three categories, "Most Original", "Best Worded", and "People's Choice"

Bumpers Drive-In received the " Most Original" award for their sign " There's Banjos, Fiddles, Crafts and Food, That'll Put Ya in a Yee Haw Mood".

Liberty State Bank won the "Best Worded" award for their two-sided sign "Pick up Your Fiddle and Get in Line. Here Comes Jamboree 39" and on the other side, "Enjoy Your Visit, We'll Do the Rest to Make Jamboree 39 the Best."

The "People's Choice" award went to the First Free Will Baptist Church for their sign "If You Love the Jamboree, Then You'll Surely Enjoy Us Too Cause We Like to Pick and Grin and Sing God's Praises Too"

DeKalb Community Bank received honorable mention for their sign "We Hope you have a Grand Ole' Time at Jamboree 39"

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber, says "We appreciate all the businesses that participated in "Project Welcome Mat" to help make sure that our Jamboree visitors feel welcome. "

County Expected to Make Decision on Residential Building Codes by Fall

June 30, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster

DeKalb County currently does not require homebuilders to adhere to any residential building codes, but the county commission will have to make a decision by this fall on whether to change that under the Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act.

This new state law has taken effect which calls for the adoption and enforcement of a residential building code to one-and two-family residences across the state. The State Fire Marshal Office's code enforcement program will begin in October. In the interim, the State will contract with code inspectors, establish a network of issuing agents where the construction permits can be obtained and finalize the process for payments.

Effective October 1st, the State Fire Marshal's Office will issue residential building permits using a system similar to the electrical inspection program that it presently operates. Owners and licensed contractors will obtain a construction permit from the local issuing agents. Inspectors will then inspect residences during construction to ensure code compliance.

Cities and counties that presently enforce a building code that is current within seven years (the 2003 or 2006 edition of the International Residential Code will qualify) can notify the State Fire Marshal's Office and continue local enforcement. Local codes may be more stringent than the state adopted code. Cities and counties may also choose to have no minimum one- and two-family residential building code and no inspections to ensure quality home construction by a two-thirds opt-out vote of their governing bodies (county commissions).

County Mayor Mike Foster says DeKalb County has three options: to adopt the state requirements for enforcement of residential building codes; to adopt a plan of it's own and hire a building codes inspector; or to opt out altogether. But he says, sooner or later, the state will most likely require all local governments to have codes. "Basically we've got three choices, either to do nothing and let the state run it; opt out and have nothing for a short period of time, which it will probably be not more than a year before it's mandatory anyway; or the county can run it themselves and have a local inspector, which certainly would be more convenient for the builders and probably the homeowners. The county commission is looking at that and it will be their decision as to which option to take.'

"What this basically means is that the state has probably had many complaints about some of the quality of the builders and the energy efficiency ratio of the houses being improved. I think what they're (state) thinking is that this would give some standard to go by to where everybody operates under the same set of rules and it ensures, hopefully, that the homeowner is getting what he is paying for, making sure that the insulation and the other energy saving devices are there in the home and that the house is structurally built like it should be. Their (state) thinking is that there are some unscrupulous builders out there who are doing some of this and they're just trying to bring some compliance with the rules and regulations. It probably is a good thing for the homeowner in that they're getting a cheap insurance policy to assure them that their house is being built right and that it's being built within codes and it's built so that it is energy efficient."

"The option for the county is, do we let the state run this or does the county run it and have it's own local inspector? There are pluses and minuses to both. The county commission is still looking at it and waiting until we get all the facts on it before making up their mind which would be the best way to handle it."

"Several counties are facing the same issue. Most of the cities have building codes and it really is a good thing in a lot of ways because it just puts down a set of standards that everybody goes by and it helps protect the local homeowner who is getting his house built and his neighbors. It's probably a good thing to have somebody overseeing the building to make sure that it is built right. Make sure that it is energy efficient. In the long run, that's a much better situation for the homeowner.'

"If the state does it, once it's set up, it (building permits) would probably be where you go and get your electrical permits for electricity. It would be done through them. Some of the contractors and other people here have expressed an opinion that if you're building a house, sometimes weather is a factor and if you have a foundation ready to pour. I think theirs (state regulations) state that you have to let them know within three days. But, you know if you have your foundation ready to pour, you may not want to wait three days because it might rain. You're depending upon the weather. So a lot of them (contractors and others) have expressed an opinion that they would rather have a local person (inspector) doing that. Of course, it's a matter of the county commission looking at everything and seeing what they think is the proper, best solution for the county and the people."

"Enforcing building codes will make new homes safe and more energy-efficient, and will help assure the quality of residential construction meets minimum standards," said State Fire Marshal and Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Leslie A. Newman.

New State Fire Marshal's Office regulations adopt the 2009 International Residential Code and the 2006 International Energy Code. These building codes will only apply to new construction of residential structures. Nonresidential structures, such as out buildings and unattached garages, are not covered. Renovation of existing structures, no matter how extensive, is also not covered. Sprinkler requirements have not been adopted, although a city or county is free to adopt a sprinkler requirement.


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