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Local News Articles

DCHS Senior Awards Night Set for May 16 (VIEW SENIOR PHOTOS HERE)

May 6, 2016
Dwayne Page
DCHS Senior Awards Night Set for May 16

Scholarships and other awards will be presented to members of the Class of 2016 at DeKalb County High School during the annual Senior Awards program Monday night, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the DCHS gymnasium.

Representatives of colleges, universities, branches of the armed services, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations will make the presentations.

Meanwhile, graduation for the DCHS Class of 2016 will be Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.


Cope Out as Coach at DCHS

May 5, 2016
Dwayne Page
Coach Joe Pat Cope

After seven years as head coach of the DCHS Lady Tiger basketball program, Joe Pat Cope will not be back for another season next year. He is also not expected to return as teacher.

School administrators have decided to make a change. Cope is also out as the DCHS golf and tennis coach next year.

Cope teaches World History/Geography at DCHS

In his seven seasons as the Lady Tiger Coach, Cope compiled an overall record of 126-102. His district record was 18-68 and his post-season mark was 4-10.

The job opening has been posted on the TSSAA website:

“DeKalb County High School is seeking Head Girls Basketball coach. Current teaching positions available: Secondary Math and World History/Geography. If you are interested, contact Kathy Bryant: (615) 597-4094 or”

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration Friday at SES

May 5, 2016
Dwayne Page

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration will be held Friday, May 6 at Smithville Elementary School and Monday, May 9 at DeKalb West School.

Pre-K registration will be from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at both schools

Kindergarten registration will be from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at both schools

Parents should bring the following items for their child:

*Original Certificate of Birth (certified copy with the state seal, not the hospital copy or mother's copy)

*Current Physical Examination

*Current Certification of Immunization(These must be on a Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization, which can be obtained from your doctor's office or the Health Department)

*Proof of Income for All Household Members

*Proof of Residency (i.e. gas/electric bill)

*Your child (they will be tested on kindergarten registration day)

Parents are encouraged to register all students for pre-K who will be four (4) years old on or before August 15.

Children who plan to attend kindergarten must turn five years old on or before August 15, 2016 in order to enroll for the 2016-17 school year.

For information call:
Michelle Burklow

Portion of Holmes Creek Road to be Closed for Paving

May 5, 2016
Dwayne Page
Butch Agee

DeKalb County Road Supervisor Butch Agee has announced that a portion of Holmes Creek Road will be closed Tuesday, May 10 for a paving project between V.L. Wilson Road and Shady Place.

Meanwhile, Agee said construction is completed on the replacement of the Underhill Road bridge over Sink Creek in the Blue Springs community. Concrete Structures, Incorporated of Charlotte, Tennessee was the contractor for the project. The cost was $310,729. The project was funded under the state's 1990 Bridge Grant Program. The Tennessee Department of Transportation paid for 98% of the costs .

City Firefighters and Police Attend Homeland Security Training in New Mexico

May 5, 2016
Dwayne Page
City Firefighters and Police Attend Homeland Security Training in New Mexico

Smithville Firefighters and Police Officers recently attended a week long Homeland Security training at New Mexico Tech in Socorro New Mexico.

Pictured Left to right: Deputy Chief Hoyte Hale, Lieutenant Danny Poss, Chief Charles Parker, Firefighter Glen Lattimore, Firefighter Robin
Summers, Detective Brandon Donnell, Captain Steven Lefew.

Celebration of Life for Guitar Legend Lonnie Mack to be held Saturday

May 4, 2016
Tom Duggin
Celebration of Life for Guitar Legend Lonnie Mack to be held Saturday

A celebration of life for guitar legend – and DeKalb County resident – Lonnie Mack will be held on Saturday, May 7, at 6:00 p.m., at the DeKalb County Community Center theatre. The celebration will include music tributes, stories about the music legend and much more. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted at the event for the James Burton Foundation, which awards scholarships and guitars to enable young musicians to get their start, in memory of Lonnie.

Lonnie Mack was born Lonnie McIntosh on July 18, 1941, in Dearborn County, Indiana. He grew up influenced by a wide variety of music, ranging from the Stanley Brothers, Hank Williams, Les Paul, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker and Chuck Berry, among many others.

In the early 1960s, Mack was playing recording sessions for the Fraternity label in Cincinnati, backing the likes of James Brown, Freddie King and Hank Ballard, among others. At the end of a 1963 session for the Charmaines, a 20-minute block of studio time remained. The label offered to record Mack’s band, so they played an instrumental version of the Chuck Berry hit, “Memphis, Tennessee.” Fate struck, as by late June, 1963, that recording was No. 4 on Billboard’s R&B chart and No. 5 on the pop chart. Mack followed up “Memphis” with another instrumental hit, “Wham!” and soon afterwards, recorded a string of successful soul ballads.

In addition to being a legendary guitarist, Mack was also considered one of the finer “blue-eyed soul” singers of his era. His famous 1958 Flying V guitar – Old No. 7, as it became known, has been judged among the world’s 150 “most elite guitars,” even named among the Top 20 most recognized guitars in the world recently by Rolling Stone magazine. In 1993, the Gibson Guitar Corporation issued a limited-run “Lonnie Mack Signature Edition” of the iconic guitar.

In addition to numerous recording sessions and solo album projects, Mack also produced and played bass with The Doors on their Roadhouse Blues album.

In the mid-1980’s, Mack enjoyed a musical resurgence when he teamed up with legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who played on and produced Mack’s well-received album, “Strike Like Lightning.” The success of the album led to a return to the road for the legendary blues man, which culminated in a performance at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall with fellow guitar legends, Roy Buchanan and Albert Collins. Lonnie Mack played his last professional show in 2007, in Cleveland, Ohio, for Les Paul’s 92nd birthday party, which was sponsored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and featured several of the world greatest guitarists.

His guitar recordings were a significant influence on many prominent rock guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Duane Allman, Dickie Betts, Ted Nugent and especially Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Mack died on Thursday, April 21. He was a resident of DeKalb County for roughly a quarter century. His funeral and burial were held near his childhood home in Aurora, Indiana. He is survived by five children and numerous grandchildren.

Saturday night’s celebration of life will give Mack’s many local friends an opportunity to come out, enjoy some great music, and hear stories from his life from some of his closest friends and relatives.

"Paint Your World Purple" with Relay for Life Friday

May 4, 2016
Dwayne Page
"Paint Your World Purple" with Relay for Life Friday

The 19th annual Relay for Life to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society will be Friday, May 6 at Green Brook Park in Smithville

This year’s theme is “Paint Your World Purple”

The entertainment begins at 5:15 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. featuring personal testimonies from cancer survivors and then a Survivors' Lap, during which those who have survived the struggle circle the track together to help everyone celebrate what has been achieved against cancer.

A Luminaria Ceremony begins at 9:00 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.

The schedule of events for the evening is as follows:

5:15 p.m.- Terry Hodges and Kevin Myers
5:35 p.m.- Kathy Goodwin
5:55 p.m.- Presentation of the colors by Boy Scout Troop #347

The National Anthem sung by Suzanne Slager

Invocation by Bill Robertson

Welcome by Renea Cantrell

Introduction of cancer survivors

Prayer for cancer survivors by Alex Woodward, preacher of the Gassaway Church of Christ

Song honoring cancer survivors by Bonnie Rigsby and Shelly Cross

6:35 p.m.-Vonda and Wanda

6:45 p.m.-Suzanne Slager

7:00 p.m.- David Turner & Friends

7:30 p.m.- Fluty and the Flutones

7:45 p.m.- Tina Boston

8:00 p.m.- Elvis (Kevin Roberts)

8:15 p.m.- Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church Singers

8:30 p.m.- New Life Pentecostal Church Choir

9:00 p.m.- Luminaria Ceremony

Prayer by Dwayne Cornelius, pastor of the New Life Pentecostal Church

9:15 p.m.- Tom Duggin

9:45 p.m. Zone Status

11:30 p.m.- Closing Ceremony

Midnight-Relay Ends

Smithville Questions Corps Fees for Repairs to Center Hill Dam

May 4, 2016
Dwayne Page
Center Hill Dam

The City of Smithville is joining Cookeville in trying to avoid or reduce payment of fees to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers associated with the cost of repairs being made at Center Hill Dam.

Under federal law, utilities permitted by the Corps to draw water from lakes, including Center Hill are required to share in the costs for making repairs. The City of Smithville, the City of Cookeville, and the DeKalb Utility District are permitted to draw water from the lake. Smithville’s allocation is approximately two million gallons a day.

In March, the City of Smithville received a letter from a Corps official and a bill for $89,818. According to the letter, from James R. Waddle, Chief Engineering-Construction Division, “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is continuing with the major rehabilitation work at Center Hill Dam and this work consists of two phases, main dam rehabilitation and the saddle dam rehabilitation. The main dam work is complete, placed in service, and the City of Smithville is being billed for that work as per the terms of your water storage agreement. In addition, a table of our best estimate of what your future billing will look like through 2020 is included for the remaining work”.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen, City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson said the City of Cookeville, which has also been billed a certain amount by the Corps, is challenging the fees. The issue is whether the dam repairs are considered a “safety” or “rehabilitation” project. The distinction would make a difference in costs to the utilities.

Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton recently sent letters to Congressman Diane Black and to U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker asking them to intervene in persuading the Corps to delay its initial demands for full reimbursement costs for the dam repairs until a final determination is made.

In a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) in Washington, D.C. on March 16, the Congressman and Senators wrote that “on behalf of communities in Tennessee that are being required by the Corps of Engineers to pay additional costs for safety repairs at Center Hill Dam, we urge you to delay cost recoupment from these communities until the Corps implements the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recommendations to improve cost-sharing for dam safety repairs”.

“The problem is that the Corps has unilaterally decided that safety repairs to Center Hill Dam are not covered by the Dam Safety Act. Instead of classifying repairs at Center Hill Dam as Dam Safety Assurance, the Corps has decided to classify the repairs as Major Rehabilitation. This decision significantly impacts the cost share borne by communities in Tennessee.”

“In December, 2015, the GAO issued a report that found the Corps has not applied the so-called “state of art provision” of its Dam Safety Assurance authority. The GAO also found that the Corps did not communicate or effectively engage with all project sponsors at the nine dam projects it studied, including Center Hill Dam.”

“In your letter to the GAO on November 12, 2015, you agreed with the GAO’s recommendation to clarify policy guidance on the use of the “state of the art provision” within 18 months. You also committed to engaging with the Center Hill Dam projects sponsors to establish a path forward for recouping Federal investment within 18 months.”

“We appreciate your commitment to resolving this issue, but instead of engaging with project sponsors to establish a path forward, we understand that the Corps is currently seeking full reimbursement under the Major Rehabilitation and asking communities to pay by March 31. We urge you to delay recoupment until the Corps clarifies its policy regarding the “state of art provision” and also more effectively engages with the project sponsors. It would also be helpful to know when the Corps plans to clarify its policy regarding the “state of the art provision” and whether any additional legislative changes are necessary,” the letter concluded.

According to City Administrator Hendrixson, Smithville will be getting more bills from the Corps over the next few years. “The US Army Corps of Engineers sent us a letter in March and the City of Smithville’s portion now is $89, 817. 97 based on what we draw out of Center Hill Lake. Our allocation charge for the 2016-17 budget year will be $3,000. For the year 2017-18 budget it will be $130 and for the year 2018-19 our costs will be $270. In the 2019-20 year, our final estimated cost will be $40,000,” said Hendrixson.

The fees assessed by the Corps to the DeKalb Utility District and the City of Cookeville were unavailable.

In addition to the costs for dam repairs, utilities must also pay a regular schedule of “water storage” fees to the Corps based on their permitted allocation agreements.

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night voted to follow Cookeville’s lead in challenging the fees assessed for dam repairs.

Two Charged in Alexandria Armed Robbery

May 4, 2016
Dwayne Page
Tyvarious Turner
Davon Hicks

Charges have been filed against two men believed responsible for an armed robbery at a residence in Alexandria and then leading officers on a high speed pursuit before being apprehended in Lebanon early Wednesday morning.

Chief Chris Russell said the Alexandria Police Department has charged 19 year old Tyvarious Turner of Burdock Street, Lebanon and 28 year old Davon Hicks of Oak Leaf Drive, Old Hickory with aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. Sheriff Patrick Ray said Turner has also been charged by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department with two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of evading arrest, and a first offense of driving on a suspended license. Both Turner and Hicks are each charged by the sheriff’s department with resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search.

According to Sheriff Ray, Turner and Hicks entered the home on New Hope Road in the City of Alexandria after 3:00 a.m. and held residents there at gunpoint demanding money. They displayed a black handgun and took $1,200 from a man and woman in the home. They also hit another man in the head with the butt of the gun while committing the robbery. During the incident someone called 911 to alert authorities.

Deputies arrived minutes later and spotted a white Saturn in the driveway at the scene. After refusing the officers commands to stop, the driver of the car (Turner) pulled out and took off. Hicks was a passenger. The deputies initiated a pursuit which continued on Highway 53 to Interstate 40 and then to Lebanon, where Turner and Hicks bailed out of the car at an apartment complex on Sycamore Street and tried to flee on foot. The deputies apprehended Turner and Hicks and placed them in custody. The officers were assisted at the scene of the arrest by members of the Lebanon Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff's Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The two counts of reckless endangerment against Turner are for his having led two deputies in a pursuit that covered twenty five miles through three counties at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. He was also found to have been driving on a license which was suspended due to a previous accident with property damage in Wilson County.

Bond for Turner and Hicks on the Alexandria Police Department charges is $40,000 each. Turner’s bond on the sheriff’s department charges totals $28,500 and $4,500 for Hicks.

They will appear in General Sessions Court in DeKalb County on May 19.

The case remains under investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and Alexandria Police Department and more arrests may be made.

According to Lebanon Police, Turner is wanted for the March shooting of a 33 year old man multiple times at his home near Cumberland University in Lebanon.

Lebanon Police said they believe the shooting occurred during a robbery due to a large amount of drugs found at the victim's residence.

In April, Turner crashed a car in Wilson County after a vehicle pursuit, striking two cars and a pole on Hartsville Pike near Hillcrest Baptist Church before taking off on foot.

Officials say they found a weapon on the floorboard of the vehicle Turner was in after the crash.

Drive Thru Mobile Food Pantry Set for Saturday

May 3, 2016
Dwayne Page
Drive Thru Mobile Food Pantry Set for Saturday

As part of its community outreach ministry, the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church is again sponsoring a drive thru mobile food pantry Saturday morning, May 7 rain or shine.

In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, the church plans to prepare enough food boxes to serve up to 300 families regardless of their income status, on a first come, first served basis. Families will receive enough food to last them for a full week. The church held its first mobile food pantry in April 2015 and again in October, 2015 and both were a great success.

Second Harvest will bring in pallets of food on trucks. The food will then be off loaded and organized in preparation for the distribution.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the food will be delivered from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Unlike most food distributions, those being served by the mobile pantry will not have to get out of their automobiles. They will drive thru in a pickup line and volunteers will deliver the food directly to their vehicles, placing the food boxes either in the back seat or trunk. Cars will line up facing north on College Street across from the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

"It's a mobile food pantry but it's also a drive thru. The recipients will stay in their cars. They will line up starting at 8:00 a.m. on College Street and when we have everything prepared and organized we'll start the line moving, hopefully around 9:00 a.m. Recipients will drive through. As they enter in we'll have a team there to put a box of food in their cars, either in their back seat or trunk," said spokesperson Teresa Trapp Brown.

"We will line up right across from the church (Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church) on College Street. We'll start registration at 8:00 a.m. We'll need the name of the recipients and how many families are being served. We're limited to two families per vehicle to make sure we have enough food," added Isaac Gray, Minister of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Others who wish to volunteer may show up Saturday or call for more information at 615-464-7896


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