Local News Articles

Lighthouse Christian Camp Breaks Ground For New Widows Home

August 18, 2011
Dwayne Page
Sing for Joy Widows Home at Lighthouse Christian Camp
Groundbreaking for new Widows Home

Lighthouse Christian Camp is expanding its "Sing for Joy" Widows Home ministry.

Groundbreaking was held Wednesday for a second widows home. The first one was opened in 2006

Ben Chapman, President of Lighthouse Christian Camp, told WJLE Wednesday that he felt impressed to begin this ministry several years ago based upon the scriptural mandate of caring for widows. He said the goal and mission of "Sing for Joy" is to offer widows safe, independent retirement living with unlimited opportunities to serve in ministry. ‘God impressed on my heart some seven or eight years ago to do this under scriptural mandate to care for widows. The widows home here is called the Sing for Joy Widows Home. Its independent living for the widows that are in residence. It gives the widows the opportunity to continue to minister to others. Many widows today are so financially strapped, we wanted to relieve that financial burden and give them the opportunity to live in a place where they can be here full time. The children who come to camp here, they are all needy kids and the children are ministered to by these widows in our after school clubs, weekend retreats, and summer camps. The widows serve in many capacities. When we're serving meals in the dining hall, they're working there. They work in the office. They contribute in so many ways, giving them the opportunity to continue to feel fulfilled in their lives by ministering to others. God revealed to me that there's no greater compatibility than between an elderly lady and these children that are very needy. The widows can receive the blessing of children as well as the children receiving the blessing of these ladies that are there. We built the first widows home in 2006. The home has been full for over a year now. We have four apartments, a common area in the home, and the widows are independent in their own living. They take care of themselves. I've been asked often about when we would build a second widows home and my reply has been, when we have a waiting list. So we now have that waiting list. We started construction Monday and had a groundbreaking on Wednesday to build another similar home, almost identical to the one we have now, to house poor widows," said Chapman

Widows may continue to reside in the home as long as they can care for themselves, according to Chapman " They can be here until such time that they would not be able to care for themselves. We're not licensed like the Webb House to where we can provide any kind of physical care or medical care. So as long as they can care for themselves and can administer their own medications the widows home is available to them. We will provide transportation as needed. But all of our widows in the widows home now are able to drive and they take care of themselves. If they come to the place where they would not be able to do that (care for themselves) then we would assist them in finding other accommodations," said Chapman.

The widows in residence pay rent, but Chapman said the cost is kept to a minimum. "The rent is very minimal, about $100 per month is the rent. That's for most of the widows who are here now. Each apartment is metered and they pay for their own power bill, which is very inexpensive, usually no more than fifty to seventy five dollars per month. The widows have their own kitchen. They're able to take their meals in our dining hall when we're having camp or weekend retreats, they can eat with all the children. So their meals are furnished. But during the off season, during weekends, etc, they have their own kitchen. They're totally self contained to where they can prepare their own meals. The widows home also has a common area where the widows can come out of their apartments into a common area. There's a kitchen there. They can receive visitors and guests. The whole vision is that they can come out and take meals together if they so desire in the common area," said Chapman.

Each apartment is spacious, according to Chapman, with storage space underneath"The building itself is 80 feet x 40 feet deep and each apartment is very spacious. Some independent living areas that we have been in are not as spacious as ours are. Our apartments have a living area and kitchen combination, a private bathroom, and a private bedroom. It's a good size. Underneath the home, if they have other items that they wouldn't be able to get in their apartment, we have storage underneath the homes. So each of the homes has a full basement underneath with compartments for storage underneath," said Chapman.

If you would like to make a donation to help support this ministry, Chapman said it would be welcomed. "As always, we've had some donations that have just recently been made and that's the way things are always done here at camp. We always believe God and when He says it's time to move, we trust that the Lord will provide the funding necessary. So we're believing in God and as the funding comes, we'll be able to complete this home, hopefully by next March. We're hoping to get it under roof before Christmas and then through the winter we would finish it up inside and have it open by March 1. We already have a waiting list. We have a couple of widows who are already waiting to come. But we have two apartments right now that we don't have commitments on so if someone is interested we'd be glad to hear from you. Call here to get more information or if you would like to mail a check to support the ministry, our address is 205 Serenity Place, Smithville. We do have a matching gift offer available right now. Anybody who makes a gift to the Sing for Joy Widows Home, it will be doubled. If they give $100, $500, or $1,000, it'll mean double that amount coming to us because we have a matching gift. If you know of a widow in need, who is scripturally qualified, we'd be glad to talk to that person. You can call here, our number is 615-597-1264 if you need more information about possibly being a resident," said Chapman.

Pictured above left to right: Carol Ann O’clare, JoAnn Manning,Troy Kocher , Ermeda Chapman, Bro. Ben Chapman, Jerry Brown, Becky Buckley, Flora Currie and Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

Tennessee Highway Patrol Accepting Applications for Troopers

August 17, 2011

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) announced today it is aggressively seeking men and women who are interested in careers in law enforcement for a new Trooper Cadet Class slated to begin January 22, 2012. Applications will only be accepted from Monday, August 15 through Friday, August 26, 2011.

Individuals interested in applying for the position of State Trooper must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. Citizen and have a high school diploma or equivalent. No applicants with felony convictions will be considered. If hired, individuals must obtain a valid Tennessee Driver License, and are required to successfully complete a Level II background investigation, which includes a credit check and polygraph test. Recruits must also pass a physical agility test, as well as psychological and medical examinations, including a drug screening.

Those interested in and qualified for the position of State Trooper should submit an employment application to the Tennessee Department of Human Resources for approval to take the civil service examination. All applicants must apply online at http://tn.gov/dohr/employment/career.html beginning Monday, August 15, 2011. Applications will not be accepted after August 26, 2011. Once approved by the Department of Human Resources, applicants will be contacted to take the Trooper examination on one of three dates: August 30, August 31, and September 1. All examinations will take place in Nashville only.

There are currently 903 authorized commissioned officer positions within the THP. Trooper recruits will be assigned to vacant positions across the state upon graduation. The starting salary for a Cadet during Trooper School is $2,500.00 per month. Upon graduation and commissioning as a Tennessee State Trooper, the salary will increase to $2,767.00 per month and includes other benefits such as a paid pension plan, low cost health insurance and paid holidays. Uniform, equipment and patrol vehicles are also provided by the THP. With regular pay increases, a Trooper can earn $49,344.00 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure. Recruits are paid while in training. The Trooper Class will last 18 weeks.

For additional information on becoming a State Trooper, visit the Department of Safety website at

http://www.tn.gov/safety/thp/school.shtml. For more information about applications and testing, interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Applicant Services Division at (615) 741-4841.

Willoughby Hires New Assistant Principals

August 16, 2011
Dwayne Page
Julie Vincent
Karen Knowles
Kathy Bryant
Sabrina Farler

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has hired the new assistant principals.

Willoughby, who made the announcement Tuesday morning on WJLE, said that Julie Vincent has been hired as assistant principal at Northside Elementary School and Karen Knowles at Smithville Elementary School. Sabrina Farler, who has been at DeKalb Middle School asked for a transfer to become the assistant principal at DeKalb West School. Kathy Bryant will be moving from Northside Elementary to take Farler's place as assistant principal at DeKalb Middle School.

These assistant principals are needed, according to Willoughby, and they will help to ease the burden of increased teacher evaluations mandated by the state. "This is being done primarily due to the new evaluation system but really this is something that should have been done years ago. These are great people going into some needed positions and this will enhance the education of students in DeKalb county," said Willoughby.

Although a total of $225,000 was budgeted to fund those positions from the school system's BEP reserves, Willoughby said their salaries are not in the $70 thousand dollar range as some have speculated. The salaries actually range from $44,623 to $54,466. Contracts for the new assistant principals are for 10 months and two weeks.

Chuck Cagle of the Tennessee School Boards Association, who represents the DeKalb County Board of Education as legal counsel, talked about the new teacher evaluation requirements last week during a special county commission meeting. "We are now facing in education things that we've never had to face before and things about which we have very little control. Every school principal in your district has just watched the evaluations that he or she must perform increase by ten times. Prior to this evaluation system we evaluated tenured teachers twice in ten years and we evaluated probationary teachers for the first three years until they were eligible for tenure. Now, every teacher in DeKalb County schools will be evaluated annually, tenured teachers four times a year and probationary teachers six times a year," said Cagle

Eight Sentenced in Criminal Court

August 16, 2011
Dwayne Page
Stephanie J. Perry
Amanda Kay Farless Lattimore
Terry Daniels
Rickey Hendrixson
Sandra L. Clark
Julie Moore

Criminal Court Judge David Patterson handed down sentences against eight people Monday under negotiated settlements.

26 year old Stephanie J. Perry, charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, was granted judicial diversion for a period of two years. During her probation, she must stay out of trouble, complete fifty hours of community service, complete an alcohol and drug assessment and follow any recommended treatments and pay a fine of $2,000.

26 year old Amanda Lattimore, also charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, was granted judicial diversion for a period of two years. She too must stay out of trouble during her probation, perform fifty hours of community service, and complete an alcohol and drug assessment and follow any recommended treatment.

36 year old Terry Daniels pleaded guilty to initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine and received an eight year suspended sentence. He was given credit for time served. The case is to run concurrent with a Wilson County Circuit Court case pending against him.

24 year old Rickey Hendrixson pleaded guilty to initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine and received an eight year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000.

39 year old Sandra L. Clark pleaded guilty to manufacture of a schedule II controlled substance, methamphetamine. She received a six year sentence, suspended to probation with community corrections and then state probation. Clark was fined $2,000 and given credit for time served.

56 year old Jerry Anthony Bogle pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 48 hours in jail. He was given credit for four hours served. He must pay a fine of $350. Bogle will be eligible for a restricted drivers license

30 year old Julie Moore pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery and received a two year sentence in each case to run concurrently with each other and with a violation of probation against her in Overton County.

28 year old Agustine Muniz pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on supervised probation. He must complete an alcohol and drug assessment and follow any recommended treatment.

Four County Officials to Relocate Monday, August 22

August 16, 2011
Dwayne Page
New Home for Four County Officials

Construction on the new DeKalb County Administrative Office Complex, formerly known as the Town and Country Shopping Center, is progressing and work on the offices of the four county officials who plan to move out there should be finished by this weekend.

Moving day from the courthouse to the new building for Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Assessor of Property Timothy "Fud" Banks, Trustee Sean Driver, and County Clerk Mike Clayborn is now set for Monday, August 22. It had originally been scheduled for Thursday, August 18 but has been delayed until the first of the week.

The address of the new office complex is 732 South Congress Boulevard, room 101 for Jeff McMillen, 102 for Mike Clayborn, 103 for Sean Driver, and 104 for Timothy (Fud) Banks.

Other than the UCHRA Office which is already open, the remainder of the building remains under construction.

Alexandria Man Charged with Stealing Batteries from Same Location Three Times

August 15, 2011
Dwayne Page
Shane Nerod Miller
Terry Rayborn Collins
Monty Lee Slatten, Jr
Sarah Rachelle Bumbalough

A 29 year old Alexandria man has been arrested for allegedly stealing batteries from the same residence on three different occasions and selling them at a local recycling center.

Shane Nerod Miller of Lower Helton Road is charged with three counts of theft of property under $500. His bond totals $3,000 and he will be in court on October 13.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Miller went to the same residence on Hales Lane on three different occasions, August 2, 4, and 8 and allegedly stole several batteries valued at less than $500 on each trip. Miller then allegedly took the batteries to a local recycling center where he sold them. The total weight of the batteries taken to the recycling center were 816 pounds on the first trip, 503 pounds on the second visit, and 405 pounds on the last occasion. Miller was arrested after an investigation by a Sheriff's Department detective assigned to the case.

Meanwhile, in a separate investigation, 29 year old Terry Rayborn Collins is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on August 18.

According to Sheriff Ray, Collins allegedly took a 1990 Dodge pickup valued at over $1,000 from a location on Holmes Creek Road and sold it to a local recycling center. He was arrested on Monday, August 8 after an investigation by a Sheriff's Department detective assigned to the case.

24 year old Monty Lee Slatten, Jr. and 22 year old Sarah Rachelle Bumbalough are each charged with vandalism under $500 and burglary. Bumbalough's bond is $6,000 while bond for Slatten totals $12,500 and they will be in court on August 18.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Monday, August 8 Slatten and Bumbalough allegedly entered a vehicle in the Sligo parking lot on Highway 70 east, took a cd player out of the dashboard, and dropped it causing less than $500 in damage to the cd player. They were arrested after an investigation by a Sheriff's department detective assigned to the case.

49 year old Lisa Gail Caldwell was charged with driving on a revoked license on Tuesday, August 9. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court October 5.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Tuesday, August 9, Caldwell was stopped by a deputy who had prior knowledge that her drivers license were revoked. A computer check confirmed that her license were revoked for failure to satisfy insurance after an accident on June 7, 2010 in Warren County. She already had a pending citation for driving on a revoked license on July 20, 2011.

Five days later, on Sunday August 14, Caldwell was stopped by an officer on Dry Creek Road for failure to maintain proper lane of travel. She was again charged with driving on a revoked license and issued a citation for failure to maintain lane of travel and for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). Her bond in that case is $5,000 and she will be in court on August 25.

50 year old Tammy Elizabeth Burton is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on August 25.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday, August 10, a deputy responded to a domestic argument on Eagle Creek Road. While there, Burton came up to the officer. She had slurred speech and she was unsteady on her feet. Burton was arrested for her own safety.

28 year old Tommy Lynn Parsley of Mount Juliet is charged with a sixth offense of driving on a suspended license, reckless endangerment, and evading arrest by a motor vehicle. His bond totals $15,000 and he will be in court on August 18.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Saturday, August 6, a deputy was behind a vehicle on Highway 56 north traveling south when he noticed the right tail light out. The officer initiated a traffic stop after crossing Hurricane bridge. The vehicle in front of the officer slowed down and started to pull over but then began to speed up, refusing to stop. The deputy activated his emergency lights and sirens and began a pursuit with speeds exceeding 75 miles an hour. After traveling some six to seven miles, the officer terminated the pursuit due to public safety. Upon further investigation, it was learned that Parsley was the driver of the fleeing vehicle.

In addition to evading arrest, Parsley was charged with reckless endangerment because his actions placed the public in danger of serious bodily injury due his high rates of speed and meeting on-coming traffic on the roadway.

A computer check of his license later confirmed that they were suspended for failure to satisfy citations in Wilson County.

Four days later on August 10 at around 5:00 a.m., an officer was called to check out a suspicious person on Lonnie Cantrell Road. When the man, Parsley, saw the officer he started running. The deputy ordered him several times to halt but he never slowed down. He was later arrested.

Parsley was charged with evading arrest in that incident and his bond was set at $2,500. Other charges are pending against him.

51 year old Glenis Vickers Brown of Crossville is charged with driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was further issued a citation for failure to maintain proper lane of travel. Her bond totals $3,000 and she will be in court on August 18.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, August 12 Brown was stopped on Highway 70 for failing to drive in her lane of travel. Her speech was very rapid and she was unsteady on her feet. Brown submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. She also submitted to a blood test. During the investigation, Brown gave the officer consent to search and he found four hypodermic needles, a spoon with a powdery residue, half pill, and a tourniquet.

20 year old Travis Arron Joiner of Lebanon is charged with evading arrest and issued citations for failing to maintain proper lane of travel, underage consumption, and driving on a suspended license. His bond totals $1,500 and he will be in court on August 25. A 17 year old juvenile was also arrested in the case.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Sunday, August 14. Joiner was stopped at a residence on New Home Road for failing to maintain proper lane of travel and speeding. The officer told the driver to stay in the vehicle while he chased down a passenger who had fled. When the officer returned to the vehicle, Joiner was not there. The officer knocked on the door of the residence where the vehicle was parked but no one answered. A couple of hours later, the officer returned to the home and found Joiner there. Joiner was taken into custody.

Two Local Bridge Projects Soon to be Completed

August 15, 2011
Dwayne Page
Bridge on Pea Ridge Road over Dry Creek
Bridge on Tramel Branch Road over Helton Creek

Work on bridge projects at Dry Creek and Tramel Branch Road will soon be completed.

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge told WJLE Monday that "the Dry Creek Bridge is basically built. All the sub-structure. All of the deck has been built and the rebar is all in place. It's ready for the concrete and that should be poured one day this week," said Edge.

"The Tramel Branch Bridge is already complete, except for the guardrails on the ends and some minor work. Some of them (motorists) have been moving the (Road Closed) sign and crossing it (the bridge). But really, it hasn't been completed and opened to the public yet," said Edge

"None of the roads (at either location) are blocked. Really everybody can get through there," concluded Edge

In February, the Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded a bid to Mountain States Contractors, LLC of Mount Juliet in the amount of $505,991 to build a new concrete box beam bridge on Tramel Branch Road over Helton Creek near Alexandria. The project includes grading, drainage, and paving.

TDOT also awarded a bid to Roads, LLC of Brentwood in the amount of $623, 963 to build a concrete I-Beam bridge on Pea Ridge Road over Dry Creek. The project includes grading, drainage, and paving. Once the new bridge is completed at Dry Creek, the old one next to it will be removed.

Both projects are being funded with 80% federal funds and 20% local matching money, including 14% from the DeKalb County Highway Department budget (state aid) and 6% from the county general fund.

Nashville Woman Dies from Injuries in Saturday Morning Car Crash

August 13, 2011
Dwayne Page
Scene of Fatal Traffic Accident (Photo by Callie Matthews)
Nashville Woman Dies After Car Crashes into Pole on Highway 70 East
Tow trucks used to stabilize car during extrication and investigation
Another view of car after extrication and investigation

An elderly Nashville woman died from injuries in a one car crash Saturday morning on Highway 70 east near the Gentleman's Club location.

Dead is 75 year old Gale Link of Nashville.

Link was a passenger of a 1997 Mazda Miata convertible, driven by 56 year old Eddie Doss also of Nashville. The top was down on the car at the time of the crash.

Central dispatch received the call at 10:31 a.m.

Sergeant Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Doss was traveling east on Highway 70 and lost control while negotiating a curve. The car skidded off the north side of the highway and rolled over crashing top first into a utility pole. Morning rains had made the pavement wet which could have contributed to the crash.

In addition to DeKalb EMS, members of the Midway, Short Mountain Highway, and the Extrication and Rescue Team of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to the scene along with wrecker services from DeKalb Tire and Service, JR Motors, and Tim's Truck Service and Towing. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was also on the scene to help with traffic control.

Doss did not have to be extricated from the vehicle but Link was pinned in between the car and the pole. Tow trucks from all three local wrecker services were used to stabilize the car and then to pull it away from the pole so members of the extrication team could get to her. Link was removed from the car and taken by DeKalb EMS to the Midway fire station where a Life Force helicopter ambulance had landed to pick her up. However because her injuries were so serious, Link was instead taken on to DeKalb Community Hospital by ground ambulance. After being stabilized, Link was then airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital, where she later died. Doss was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital by DeKalb EMS but he wasn't believed to have been seriously hurt.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department wish to thank DeKalb Tire and Service, JR Motors, and Tim's Truck Service and Towing for their valuable assistance in the extrication of Ms Link from the car.

Although the investigation continues, Sergeant Dial reports no evidence of drugs or alcohol. Link's death marks the second traffic fatality of the year on DeKalb County roads.

School Board Adopts Consolidated Budget

August 11, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night adopted the 2011-12 consolidated budget for schools as approved by the county commission Monday night.

The budget includes a 3.2% pay raise for support staff or non-certified personnel and a 1.6% local increase to match the state's 1.6% pay hike for certified personnel (teachers).

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby asked for the school board's input on which new positions should be funded in this budget.

The board voted in favor of funding three assistant principals, including one each at DeKalb West, Northside Elementary, and Smithville Elementary School; a new fifth grade teaching position at Northside Elementary School; a special education teacher at DCHS; and a support staff site coordinator at DCHS.

Proposed new positions which will not be funded for now include an additional math teacher at DeKalb County High School, an assistant band teacher, and assistant soccer coaches.

Director Willoughby explained that these new positions would have to be funded from the school system's state basic education (BEP) reserve account, " When we approve this consolidated budget we will be doing basically the same thing that we have done in the past. Last year we used $640,000 of our BEP reserve funds (to balance the budget). We ended the year $780,000 (to the good). This year, if we did employ everyone we had on the list that we sent to the county commission on the second go around (revised budget), we would be using $990,521 out of BEP reserves. It is our hope that we do not use all of our reserves," said Willoughby

The board voted to authorize funding for the three assistant principal positions, one each at DeKalb West, Smithville Elementary, and at Northside Elementary, on a ten month, two week contract each. The new assistant principals will help perform teacher evaluations, as required by the state. A total of $225,000 is figured into the budget to fund those positions which Director Willoughby said are needed. " It is my thoughts that we cannot complete the requirements that are made on us by the state department of education without having these three assistant principals. These assistant principals will be at DeKalb West, Smithville Elementary, and Northside Elementary. One person has expressed an interest, who is already an assistant principal at one of our secondary schools, of applying at one of our elementary schools. So if that goes through, that may be sort of a flip flop and we would be filling that secondary position. It wouldn't be any more money. We're still just talking about three new positions at $225,000. What we did to come up with that $225,000 figure, we took the assistant principals that we have. We took the highest paid assistant principal and the number of years that this person has and multiplied that times three. We're going to save some money though because more than likely when we hire a teacher to be an assistant principal, the person that we're hiring will not be getting paid to teach. What I want to do with the three assistant principals, all of our present assistant principals are paid on eleven months. Our new assistant principals would be at ten months and two weeks. So therefore, we would be saving two weeks pay there also, " said Willoughby.

Fifth district board member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III added that based on the state requirements increasing the number of teacher evaluations each year, the school system has little choice but to add these new assistant principal positions. "In regards to the budget, my major concern is, when it comes to a point where the state hands down a mandate that the county commission has to add another cell to the landfill, they have to do it. When the state tells the board of education that we have three buses we have to retire and put three new buses on the road, we have to do it. The unfortunate part about these assistant principals is, the state says we have to go from evaluating teachers two times in ten years to four times each year which is forty times in ten years, unless you're tenured and then its six times a year in five years so you're going to be evaluated thirty times. The state has said we have to do this but the state didn't say we have to hire assistant principals. They just want us to get the job done. They lay out these guidelines and then drop the ball in our lap. For those reasons, I would like for the board to consider looking into our reserve account to fund these positions. If it comes about next year, that they're (state) not going to fund it and we can't afford to fund it, the county commission can't afford to look into it for us, then we may have to re-think the issue and back up. But we need those assistant principals," said Evins

Seventh district member Johnny Lattimore added " We're not trying to avert the county commission but this is something this board feels we must do because if we don't do the evaluations, we stand in danger of losing $13 million in funding from the state so we don't have any other option in my opinion," said Lattimore.

The school board voted unanimously to adopt the consolidated budget, as approved by the county commission, and to authorize funding from BEP reserves for the three new assistant principal positions. All members were present except for First district member John David Foutch.

Although third district member Kenny Rhody made a motion to add an assistant band teacher position, the motion failed to receive a second as the board has chosen not to provide the monies right now. The board, however, is expected to revisit the issue again next month.

Board member Lattimore said although all new positions sought by the board of education in this budget are needed, including a new assistant band teacher, he fears the school board cannot to afford to fund them all this year. "There's no way that I can see that we can fund all these things. If we fund everything that we've discussed in the workshop before this meeting and then next year we have to go back to the county commission and ask them to pay for these three assistant principal positions, and then we have to go back (to county commission) and ask for $667,000 to replace the job's grant funds (which will not be available next year), and then ask (county commission) for whatever other needs that arise, then that's going to be a big tax increase," said Lattimore.

Rhody responded "I was a band student. I've watched the band. There's twenty six new members this year. The numbers are up. There's no band program at the west school. I feel like we've got to get our younger students a feeder program built back that we've lost. We dropped the ball a few years ago when we (cut funding) for an assistant band director we had. Our band really suffered on account of it. The band got down to twenty members. I feel this is very important," said Rhody.

Sixth district member Bruce Parsley inquired about whether adding a part-time assistant band position is an option. Director Willoughby said he had not considered it. Board members suggested that a part-time position might not have to be a new hire, but a supplement for someone already in the school system.

The board voted 5 to 1 to authorize $24,000 in funding for a site coordinator who will be employed on a 200 day contract. Board member Lattimore said he wanted to vote yes but he cast a no vote based on funding concerns next year. Director Willoughby said by adding this new position, the school system will be saving money in the long run. "We have had an increase in the number of students wanting to take the on-line, distance learning, dual credit type courses and the number of courses that are offered has also increased. This, in a way, is saving us money rather than hiring teachers to teach these extra courses. For the program to be as successful as it needs to be, we need a site coordinator who could be there with the students and monitor what is going on and make phone calls at home if needed," said Willoughby

Meanwhile, Director Willoughby said a new teaching position at Northside Elementary school has already been filled based on the need due to the state mandated pupil/teacher ratio. "Numbers (of students) came in and we did not have a choice. I might add if we get very many more students at DeKalb West, the numbers will force us to hire another teacher there," he said.

Willougby added that the new special education teacher at the high school has also been hired. That too, he said, was not an option for the school system based on state and federal law requirements for meeting needs of special education students.

Fourth district member Billy Miller asked that the issue of funding assistant soccer coaches be re-visited possibly at the next meeting. "I don't think right now is the time, but I do think we need to look into it to see what we can do to resolve the situation. I've had several individuals to come to me personally and want us to look into this and see if there is any kind of way to get them (soccer program) some help or relief. There may not be anything that we can do but I don't think we should turn a deaf ear and act like we're not doing anything about it," said Miller.

Attendance Supervisor Clay Farler gave a report on student enrollment as of the eighth day of school, Thursday August 11. Farler said a total of 3,062 students are currently enrolled system-wide from pre-K to high school students including the adult high school. That's up from 2,994 students enrolled as of the eighth day of school last year. Current student enrollment at each school is as follows: DCHS 850, DeKalb Middle School 535, Northside Elementary 623, Smithville Elementary 605, and DeKalb West 449.

In other business, Director of Schools Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the Board of Education.

Those employed since last month include the following:

Carl Ray Cantrell, custodian at Smithville Elementary School
January Agee, teacher at Northside Elementary School (new)
Jamie Trebing, teacher at DCHS (replaces Michelle Fontanez)
Sherree Macemon, teacher at DCHS (new special education teacher)
Nallely Ortega-Prater, teacher at DCHS (replaces Brittany Willoughby)
Jennifer Lewis, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Northside Elementary (federal funds)
Lindsey Barrett, teacher at Smithville Elementary School (replaces Jane Parsley)
Amanda Vaughn, teacher at Smithville Elementary School (replaces Fay Turner)
Joshua Gulley, teacher at DCHS (replaces Rebecca Purdue)
Jared West, teacher at DeKalb Middle School (replaces Ben Johnson in special education)
Justin Nokes, teacher at DeKalb Middle School (replaces Lisa Cripps)

Rebecca Hawkins, transferred from substitute to full time bus assistant
Lisa Cripps, transferred from teacher at DeKalb Middle School to Secondary Instructional Supervisor

Leave of Absence
Margaret Nichols, teacher at Smithville Elementary School, leave as requested

Heather Blankenship, special education assistant at Northside Elementary
Jean Neal, bus assistant
Michelle Hoyle, Pre-K educational assistant at Smithville Elementary
Frederick Sanders, special education teacher at DCHS
Clay Bumbalough, custodian at Smithville Elementary School.

Teen Challenge of Upper Cumberland Offers Hope to Those Suffering from Addiction

August 11, 2011
Dwayne Page
Tim McLauchlin

If you know of a teenager or adult battling drug or alcohol addiction, Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland could be the answer for that person.

Teen Challenge is a 12 to 15 month faith-based program which helps those with addictions by ministering to them.

In order to help support the program, the Buckner's Chapel United Methodist Church in Smithville is hosting a benefit yard sale on Saturday, August 13 from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and you're invited to participate.

Tim McLauchlin, Executive Director of Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, said Teen Challenge has been helping change lives since 1958. "Teen Challenge is a fifty four year old ministry. It was started by David Wilkerson in Brooklyn New York in 1958 to help those who were struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. After about five or six years, they realized that if this program has this much success with teenagers then why can't it help adults? So now there are over 230 Teen Challenge Centers in the United States. Most of those centers also help adults and that's what we do. We help adults in the Upper Cumberland area who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. We are a long term faith based program that ministers to these individuals and helps them to learn to live a life free from drugs and alcohol and a life that is pleasing to God," said McLauchlin.

"We get a lot of people who come to us right off the street who have heard about us. They want help. They understand that its only through Christ that they can get true deliverance. We also get a lot of referrals through the courts and legal system. I visit a lot of individuals in jail who have written us letters saying they need long term help from more than just a thirty or sixty day program", according to McLauchlin.

"Teen Challenge is a discipleship program. It's a ministry. It's not outpatient. It's long term residential. Most Teen Challenge programs are twelve to fifteen months long. The people actually live there and go through a Bible school process where they learn to transform their minds to the things of God instead of the things of this world", said McLauchlin

"Teen Challenge is not a medication treatment program. For those who are looking for medication to get off medication, Teen Challenge is not for them. Teen Challenge is strictly faith based. We teach them that if you will rely on God and trust in him, He will deliver you from your addictions. As a former addict myself several years ago, there were several ways I tried to get off (substances) but it was only through Christ that I truly got deliverance," he added.

"Teen Challenge has an 87% success rate for those who are willing to commit to it. A lot of the courts work with us. They can order people to go to Teen Challenge but really you have to be willing to do it for twelve to fifteen months and if you do, 87% of those who go through the program never go back to a life of drugs and alcohol," said McLauchlin

"You live at the Teen Challenge program. They take care of your food and your clothing. Your whole day is filled with Bible studies and chapel worship time. There are chores you have to do during the day but your whole time is filled with studying the word in some form or fashion," he said.

"Because it is a faith based program, insurance companies will not cover it so we do try to get grants but most people do have to pay for it. But if you look at some of the standard programs out there, they run from $8,000 to $15,000 for a 90 to a 120 day program. Most Teen Challenge Centers can help people for less than $1,500 for a full twelve month program," according to McLauchlin.

"We have a lot of churches that support us monthly. We also do a lot of fund raising. This Saturday, August 13 we're going to be having a fund raiser yard sale at the Buckner's Chapel United Methodist Church on Highway 56 in Smithville from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and all proceeds from this yard sale will go directly to helping us fund the Teen Challenge Program in this area," said Mclauchlin.

If you have any questions about Teen Challenge you can find us on the web at www.teenchallengeuc.org or you can call toll free at 1-888-688-0470.


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