Walk Across Tennessee Contest to Kick-Off March 24

Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health, yet nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting the activity they need. Consider taking up walking with friends or your family by participating in Walk Across Tennessee, which is an eight-week program that will spark some friendly competitions in DeKalb County. Teams of eight will compete to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging or even biking in their community. The miles walked are not literally across the state, but on a map posted at the UT Extension Office and Greenbrook Park. Since everyone participates in a variety of sports, the Walk Across Tennessee program also has an exercise conversion chart so that participants can count aerobics, swimming, weight lifting, etc. For example, 16 minutes of high intensity aerobics would equal one mile.
The Walk Across Tennessee kickoff for DeKalb County is Saturday, March 24 at Greenbrook Park. “Teams will keep track of their miles, which will be posted in the Extension office and other places around the community. Teams can be composed of coworkers, teachers, students, neighbors, etc. This is an excellent team competition for the workplace and schools” said April Martin, DeKalb County Extension Agent.
Many people are unaware of the positive benefits of exercise. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 problem in the United States. The risk of heart disease could be significantly reduced by regular exercise. According to the Center for Disease Control, the positive effects of physical activity are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease. Not only does regular exercise help relieve stress and anxiety,”physically active people outlive inactive people. Participating in Walk Across Tennessee DeKalb County is not only a great way to get involved with our community, it’s a healthy habit,” Martin stated.
To participate in Walk Across Tennessee, first get a team together. Biking and jogging teams are limited to four people. Choose a team captain and name your team. Team captains need to pick up a captain’s packet, available at the DeKalb County Extension Office, 115 West Market St. Smithville, located right beside Fuston’s Antiques. Each team member will need to complete a registration form which is included in the team captain’s packet or at the Walk Across Tennessee website. Individual as well as team forms should be returned to the Extension office.
Awards and prizes will be given to the individual who walk the most miles as well as the team who walks the most miles.
“Competition kicks off at 9:30 A.M. at Greenbrook Park under pavilion one,” Martin said. “Come out and plan to have lots of fun.” For more information, call the Extension office at 597-4945 or visit http://eteamz.active.com/WalkAcrossTennesseeDeKalbCounty/

County Firefighters Snuff Out New Year’s Day Chimney Fire

DeKalb County Volunteer Firefighters were summoned to the home of Royce and Alicia Curtis at 1472 Lower Helton Road on New Year’s Day.
Chief Donny Green says the Curtis’ called for help after noticing smoke from the fireplace coming back down the chimney into the house. The area around the chimney was also very hot.
By the time firefighters arrived, the house had filled with smoke and fire could be seen around the chimney where it emerges from the roof.
Green says firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and all the fire damage was confined to the immediate area around the chimney. However, he says the entire home received significant smoke damage.
No one was injured.
Members of the Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Short Mountain Highway Stations responded along with a tanker truck.
DeKalb EMS and officers of the Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.

Sheriff’s Department Makes Two Drug Arrests On New Year’s Eve

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department arrested two people on drug charges on New Year’s Eve following an undercover investigation.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says county officers went to the home of 52 year old Eddie Lattimore at 3785 Pea Ridge Road to execute a search warrant following an extensive investigation of Lattimore and surveillance of his home on suspicion of drug dealing.
Both Lattimore and 35 year old Tonya Silcox of West Main Street, Liberty were arrested at the scene. Officers found some dilaudid, oxycontin, syringes, and seized more than $7,400 in cash
Lattimore, described by Sheriff Ray as a well known drug dealer in the Pea Ridge community, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (syringes), sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid), sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (oxycontin), and unlawful possession of a weapon. Authorities found a 9 millimeter pistol in an outbuilding on Lattimore’s property.
Sheriff Ray says Lattimore, already a convicted felon, is currently on parole on similar drug convictions.
Silcox is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid) and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is currently on probation on similar drug convictions.
Sheriff Ray says officers found an uncapped bloody needle with drug residue in Silcox’s pants along with some dilaudid.
Lattimore’s bond is set at $525,000 and Silcox is under a $28,500 bond.
Both will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on January 11th.
Sheriff Ray says he plans to notify the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Department of Alcohol- Tobacco and Firearms, and the Tennessee Department of Parole about the arrest of Lattimore. Silcox will also likely be charged with violation of probation.

Fire Destroys Vacant Trailer Home

A vacant trailer home, belonging to Brad Johnson, was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning on Yulanda Hills Road in the Holmes Creek area.
County Fire Chief Donny Green says fire fighters were summoned to the scene around 1:00 a.m. but the structure had already been burning for quite some time before it was discovered and it could not be saved.
Green says no one lived at the trailer and no utilities were connected to it.
The cause of the fire is undetermined.
Members of the Cookeville Highway and Short Mountain Highway stations and the tanker truck responded. No one was injured.

Ninety Vote Early This Week In City Election

A total of 90 people have voted early to date in the Smithville Municipal Election.
The DeKalb County Election Commission reports that 27 people voted in person on Wednesday, 24 cast ballots in person on Thursday, and 39 voted in person on Friday.
These totals do not count ballots arriving by mail.
Early voting for the city election began Wednesday, May 31st.
Voting hours will be from 9:00 a.m. until noon Monday through Saturday, through June 15th on the first floor of the courthouse at the Election Commission Office.
Election Day voting will be from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the same location.
A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on Tuesday, June 20. The positions are currently held by Mayor Cecil Burger and Aldermen Steve White and Jackie Rigsby.
Rigsby is currently serving out an unexpired term and will be seeking his first elected term; and Burger is running for alderman instead of mayor.
Other candidates for aldermen are Alford Webber and Incumbent Steve White
Taft Hendrixson and Jerry Hutchins’ Sr. are running for mayor.
Each of the terms is for two years.
Call 597-4146 for more information.

Jennings Named Assistant DCHS Lady Tiger Coach

If you attended Wednesday night’s Lady Tiger basketball game in the Christmas Tournament at Red Boiling Springs, you may have noticed a new coach courtside.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says Randy Jennings has been named an assistant to head coach Amy Tobitt for the remainder of this basketball season, upon the recommendation of DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix.
Willoughby says Jennings was approached by Hendrix to take the assistant coaching position after Coach Tobitt requested some help with the program.
Jennings is a former DeKalb West School basketball player and coach, and a DCHS basketball standout. He played baseball in college and is a former basketball coach at Watertown High School. He is currently Principal of DeKalb Middle School and is former Principal at Smithville Elementary School.
Willoughby says Jennings’ new assignment will in no way interfere with his responsibilities as Principal of DeKalb Middle School.

County Commission Reluctantly Votes To Pay Comp Time To 32 People

The County Commission, by a vote of 9 to 5 Monday night, reluctantly voted to pay more than $100,000 in accrued comp time to a total of 31 employees who worked for former Sheriff Lloyd Emmons and one employee of former Trustee Bobbie Young.
The measure was approved on the second roll call vote. It failed 10 to 4 on the first roll call.
County Mayor Mike Foster told the commission that the money had to be paid by Friday, or the county could risk having to pay penalties. ” We have been meeting with the Federal Fair Labor and Wage people for the last three or four weeks. He told us we should pay these amounts by this Friday or we will be under a penalty.”
Foster says in most cases, the employees are clearly due the money because they have the proper documentation. “Some of them are very clear cut and we absolutely owe them. Some of them we may need to question further. Many of these people have good time sheets and need to be paid, but there are some we need to have an attorney look at.”
Foster says three cents of the 39 cent tax increase or $115,000 has been included in the new budget to pay the comp time, yet he still wanted the commission to give him approval.
On the first roll call, ten commissioners voted against making the payment including Willie Thomas, Larry Summers, Marshall Ferrell, Jeff Barnes, Jeff Barrett, Wayne Cantrell, Randy Caplinger, Bobby Joines, Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Mason Carter.
Those voting in favor were John Green, Chris Smithson, Jerry Scott, and Jack Barton.
After the vote failed, Foster told the commission while he agreed with their decision, they must face facts that the money must be paid.” Friday morning, if we don’t pay this, we will incur a 10% penalty that will incur on a regular basis. If we go to court, they told us it would cost probably $200,000 and if we should not prevail, these people would be paid three times what this amount is for.”
County Attorney Hilton Conger agreed saying, ” The problem is the auditor has come in and he has verified it and he says you owe it. If you go to court, it’s a losing proposition.”
Realizing they had no other alternative, the commission voted 9 to 5 on the second roll call vote, to make the payments.
Those voting in favor were John Green, Jack Barton, Marshall Ferrell, Jeff Barrett, Chris Smithson, Jerry Scott, Bobby Joines, Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Mason Carter.
Commissioners voting against were Willie Thomas, Larry Summers, Jeff Barnes, Wayne Cantrell, and Randy Caplinger.
The names of the persons and the amounts owed are as follows:
Boyd Atnip- $2,947.84
Gayle Bowling- $2,840.32
Milton Bowling- $1,141. 28
Patrick Britton- $5,117.51
McClure Cantrell- $994.56
Kyra Clouse- $201.60
Mark Collins- $2,664.64
Darla Emberton- $331.52
Charles Griffith- $1,116. 94
David Hedge- $207.08
Jimmy Hendrix- $1,258.88
Bobby Johnson- $340.48
Mac Judkins- $216.10
Dana Lafever- $5,586.75
Shane Martin- $1,811.06
Chris McMillen- $1,909.55
Howard “Butch” Morris- $19,065.96
Jackie Ray- $560.00
Kenneth Ray- $1,052.80
Patty Rottero-$236.84
Jon Slager- $3,236.10
Ricky Smith-$1,216.32
Andy Snow-$2,064.32
Thomas Southworth- $978.88
Joyce Spurlock- $2,246.72
Susan Teachout- $860.16
Angela Tisdale- $1,357.44
David Ward- $3,818.38
Roger Whitehead- $1,403.03
Samantha Young- $654.08
Debra Stanley- $705.60
Talmage Young- $33,380
The total including fringe benefits comes to around $114,000.
Foster says new policies and procedures will soon be implemented to try to keep this from re-occurring. ” We’re going to be using one time sheet from now on and under no circumstances will anybody be paid in the future without a time sheet except department heads that the law exempts. We’ll have one time sheet that everybody signs. It will keep a running balance of comp times used and accrued and all other leaves and it will be on file in the office as required, and if someone leaves his or her employment, that position won’t be filled until his or her normal salary pays for that comp time to equal it out.”

Tennessee To Launch First Annual Sales Tax Holiday August 4-6 On Back To School Clothing And Supplies

Tennessee?s first annual sales tax holiday is this weekend and Governor Phil Bredesen is reminding Tennesseans about this long weekend of savings for families doing back-to-school shopping for supplies and clothing. The state?s first annual sales tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 4 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 6.
All the details about the state?s new sales tax holiday are available at a dedicated Web site, www.tntaxholiday.com.
During this designated three-day weekend, consumers may purchase selected clothing, school supplies and computers without paying Tennessee?s state and local sales tax on the items. This holiday also includes purchases of qualified items sold via mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.
?Creating this sales tax holiday was one of my goals from the beginning of my administration,? Bredesen said. ?The sales tax holiday positively impacts education, our number one priority. The Aug. 4-6 sales tax holiday will provide tax savings for Tennessee?s working families as they prepare for the school year.?
The Department of Revenue offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the sales tax holiday:
What is a sales tax holiday?
A sales tax holiday is designed to provide relief to taxpayers by instituting a temporary sales tax exemption on certain items for a specific period of time. Tennessee is among 13 other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted sales tax holidays.
What items qualify for the sales tax holiday?
During the holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:
Clothing with a price of $100 or less per item
School supplies with a price of $100 or less per item
Computers with a price of $1,500 or less per item
Does the $100 exemption apply to the first $100 of a school supply or an item of clothing being purchased? In other words, if the selling price of a book or a clothing item is $105, is the first $100 exempt from sales tax?
No. The exemption applies to items selling for $100 or less. If an item sells for more than $100 ($105 in this example), tax is due on the entire selling price.
Is there a limit to the number of items that may be purchased?
There is no limit to the quantity of items that may be purchased as long as the purchase price of each of those items is below the threshold provided in the law.
Is an exemption certificate required to take advantage of the sales tax holiday?
No exemption certificate is required to take advantage of the holiday.
Does computer software qualify for the holiday?
No. While computers with a price of $1,500 or less may be purchased exempt from tax during the holiday, purchases of computer software made separately from the computer are excluded from the holiday and are subject to tax.
If I place an order for a computer on Aug. 1 and pay for it with my credit card, but it is delivered during the holiday, will it be exempt?
No. Qualified items sold to purchasers by mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet shall qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the holiday period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period. Therefore, if the computer was ordered and the credit card was charged during the holiday period, and delivery was scheduled to take place after the holiday, the sale would qualify for the exemption.
Can I buy items out of town or out of state and still qualify for the holiday?
Purchases can be made from Tennessee retailers, including retailers that sell through the Internet or catalog if those items are to be delivered into Tennessee.
Will items purchased for my business be eligible for the tax exemption during the sales tax holiday?
No. The exemption does not apply to items used in a trade or business or to items that are rented. If you make a purchase for an item that is to be used in a trade or business and the retailer does not collect sales tax from you, you are obligated to report this purchase and pay use tax on the item. You may report and pay this on your regularly filed return, or if you do not have a sales tax account, you may report and pay this on a consumer use tax return available on the department’s Web site.