County Commissioner Remembers Mack Harney, Jr.

A former county commissioner who passed away Monday was fondly remembered Thursday night during the regular monthly meeting of the commission.
Mack Harney, Jr. served three terms as 7th district commissioner during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Seventh district commissioner Larry Summers, who served with Harney, paid tribute to him.
“We have lost a great citizen of DeKalb County, Mack Harney. He served on this commission for 12 years. People don’t know how much he loved DeKalb County. He had connections with the state legislature. He could get an appointment with the Governor on matters. He loved to do things behind the scene. I always considered him the most effective commissioner I ever served with. We’ve lost a great citizen and I have lost a friend,” said Summers.
The funeral for Mr. Harney was held Thursday.

Deadline Approaching to Apply for County Complex Director

The county is still accepting applications to fill the position of a full time director at the county complex (Mike Foster Multi-Purpose Center)
Applications and resumes may be submitted to the county mayor’s office through noon Wednesday, December 27th. The county’s parks and recreation committee will review the applications and set up interviews in January. The committee will then make a recommendation to the county commission on whom to hire possibly by the January 22 monthly meeting.
The position is expected to be filled by February 1.
Job responsibilities of the director are as follows:
*Overseeing all daily activities, finance and scheduling
*Preparing yearly budget
*Making daily deposits
*Coordinating activities for the county complex
*Booking & renting rooms
*Planning activities for all ages
*Keeping records for complex (attendance, finance)
*Supervising games, events, activities, etc.
*Being responsible for inventory of property
*Working irregular hours, including nights and weekends
*Being responsible for booking classes and getting volunteers to assist with programs
*Scheduling and overseeing employees and volunteers to assist with programs
*Applicants must possess solid computer and people skills
*Be willing to attend training for First Aid, CPR, and perhaps First Responder Classes.
The pay for the director is expected be on the same scale as clerks in other county offices, starting at $25,436 per year at step one or $12,718 for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Bertha Mae Pascal Curtis

Bertha Mae Pascal Curtis of Palatka, was born January 14, 1932 in Smithville, Tennessee and passed away December 18, 2017, at her home in Palatka.
She was employed by Winn Dixie, the St. Johns River Jr. College and retired from the District School Board of Putnam County in 1993, where she was employed for 25 years.
Bertha was an active member of Tabernacle Baptist Church for 30 years, she was a teacher in Church Training, and was nursery coordinator for years. She has been an active member of Peniel Baptist Church since 1994. She taught a children’s Sunday school class and was also a nursery worker. She was active in missions work. Peniel Baptist Church members were active in starting a new church in Palm Coast, Florida. She and her husband, Joe, committed a year to be one of the workers for the nursery. She was a teacher for 4 and 5 year old girls for two years when a new church was begun in Flagler Estates. She also attended Country Church, which was called Cowboy Church at the time, in Palatka at the Horseman’s Club for five years.
Bertha loved to travel and visit with her many friends in Palatka. She enjoyed quilting and all of her children, grandchildren and many others in Putnam County cherish the blanket hand made for them by “Big Bertha” as she was known! She made and gave as gifts over 100 beautiful hand quilted blankets.
You can tell by all the pictures that her grandchildren and great grandchildren loved her as much as she loved them. The kids loved hearing her stories about growing up and listening to her words of wisdom. She taught them to be humble and kind and stand up for themselves no matter what.
Bertha and her husband Joe could be found every morning reading the paper and drinking their cup of coffee. Bertha always shared her opinion about the daily chronicles if you were lucky enough to be there for the morning read!
Bertha was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Joe Curtis, and her infant son, Gary Alan Curtis; her parents Leonard and Evelyn Pascal; a sister, Alvernia Pascal; her brother Lorenz Newbern Pascal; and her beloved granddaughter, Kristen Curtis of Riviera Beach.
Bertha is survived by her sister in law Rosemary Pascal of Palatka; her sister in law Nora Young (Joe) of Alexandria, Tenn.; her brother in law, Doyle (Margaret) Curtis of Liberty, Tenn.; many more beloved nieces and nephews; her sons, Richard (Ruth) Curtis of Port St. Lucie, Michael (Suzanne) Curtis of Palatka and Jeffery Curtis of Hollister; grandchildren Brian (Alycia) Curtis, and his mother, Annette Bellemore, of Port Orange; Aaron (Marcella) Curtis of Palatka; Ashley (Joe) Massengale of Canton, Ga.; Casey (Sarah) Curtis of Port Saint Lucie; Austin (Rachel) Curtis of Palatka; Tyler (Lehla) Curtis of San Francisco, Jordan Sharp of Palatka; Alyssa Curtis of Valdosta, Ga.; and Jessalyn “Scout” (Vic) of Provo, Utah; and her great-grandchildren , Kylie Curtis, Lauryn Curtis, Logan Curtis, Bailey Curtis, Madison Massengale, Will McKee, Kylie Cameron, Madison Curtis, Hailey Cameron, Sophia Curtis, Bella Curtis, Aiden Curtis, Kinslee Curtis, Maximus Curtis and Icarus Curtis.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Peniel Baptist Church Building Fund, 5227 Silver Lake Dr., Palatka, FL 32177, or Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast, 927 S. State Road 19, Palatka, FL 32177. Memories and Condolences may be expressed to the family at Bertha’s Book of Memories page at
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, December 29 at Peniel Baptist Church with Dr. Benny Reynolds officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Hill West Cemetery in Palatka. The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Thursday, December 28 at Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.

William Warren Hall

William Warren Hall age 81 of Abbeville, AL passed away Wednesday afternoon at the Medical Center Barbour-Emergency Room. He was born April 20, 1936 in Colorado, to his parents, the late Albert and Vera Lucille Martin Hall. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 4 brothers. Mr. Hall was a member of the Buckner’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Smithville, and retired as plant manager from Itel Rail Corporation in Dothan, AL. He lived in Smithville, Dothan, AL, and Kansas City, KS before moving to Henry County, Alabama on Lake Eufaula. Survivors include his wife, Joyce Foster Hall of Abbeville, AL; 1 sister, Micki Hall and a brother, Albert “Tad” (June) Hall all of Grand Junction, CO. Funeral services will be conducted 2 PM Saturday, December 23, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with interment to follow in Burton-Ponder Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 1 PM until the time of the service at 2 PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

DeKalb Fire Department Offers Holiday Season Safety Tips

‘Tis the season to be jolly, as the holiday standard goes. In many homes, this means a log on the fire, a trimmed tree or a menorah glowing brightly. All these signs of the season bring feelings of comfort and joy to families. But what you may not realize is that they also bring an increased risk of fire in the home. That’s why Lt. Brian Williams, DeKalb County Fire Department’s Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, wants everyone to be aware of some simple things we can all do around our homes to prevent fires.
The winter months are the peak times for home heating, candle, decoration and Christmas tree fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Statistics show that two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. Fireplaces or chimneys are involved in almost two out of five home heating fires. Portable or fixed space heaters are involved in four out of five home heating fire deaths. Over the years, DeKalb County has had its share of all these unfortunate and unnecessary fires.
The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s holiday wish is for all DeKalb County residents to have a merry, bright and SAFE holiday season. By recognizing holiday fire hazards and using a little extra caution, you can help keep your home full of comfort and joy while celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Day.
When decking the halls, choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant and keep them away from candles or any other heat source. Not all holiday lights are made equal so be sure that you know whether yours are for indoor or outdoor use and be sure to replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
Lighting candles, whether for decorating or religious rituals, should always be done with caution. Candles should be in a sturdy holder and placed on an uncluttered surface. Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire. Never leave a lit candle unattended. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Additionally, candles placed on or near tables, altars, or shrines must be monitored by an adult.
Lastly, roasting anything on an open fire in the fireplace is not a good idea! Make sure that your fireplace has a sturdy screen and keep kids and pets three feet away. Have your chimney inspected, cleaned regularly and dispose of ashes in a metal container far away from the home.
“We know that the holidays are a hectic time of year for all DeKalb County residents. Please help DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department prevent unnecessary fires in our community by slowing down a little and taking time to pay attention to these few suggestions that we have recommended,” said Lt. Williams.

Dowelltown City lights Contest Winners Announced

Winners of the Dowelltown City lights Contest have been announced.
1st Place: Tee and Nancy Wilson, Hillview Heights
2nd place: Darry and Susan Driver, Highway 70
3rd place: The Walkers, Corley Street
1st place: Darlene Mathis, Happy Valley
2nd place: Kevin Kent, Mill Street
1st place:
Maudie Bass, Happy Valley
2nd Place:
Willie and Debra Cole, West Main Street

Christmas Greetings From Our Community

WJLE and the following participating local and area businesses, public officials, and political candidates wish you and your family a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
*ABTS (Automated Business & Tax Service)
1225 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
*A Degree Above Heating & Cooling, a RUUD dealer
631 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Alexandria Auto Parts, LLC
905 Brush Creek Road, Alexandria
*Arrow Termite & Pest Control
9341 Short Mountain Highway, Smithville
*Atnip Chiropractic Clinic
205 South Fourth Street, Smithville
*Belk Grocery & Sporting Goods
108 Wright Bend Road, Smithville
*Bumpers Drive-In
303 East Broad Street, Smithville
*Caney Fork Electric Cooperative
580 East Broad Street, Smithville
*Cantrell’s Furniture & Appliances
638 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Cash Express
126 East Bryant Street, Smithville
*Center Hill Wine and Spirits
725 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
*DeKalb County Ace Hardware
702 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-4154 or 615-597-6175
*DeKalb Dental Center, the office of Dr. Mitchell S. Tatum, DDS
201 South Third Street, Smithville
*DeKalb Funeral Chapel
863 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-9400. Obituary line 615-597-9600
*DeKalb County Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell
732 S. Congress Boulevard-Room 104, Smithville
*DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss
732 S. Congress Boulevard-Room 102, Smithville
*DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack
DeKalb County Courthouse, 1 Public Square – Room 303, Smithville
*DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling
DeKalb County Courthouse, 1 Public Square – Room 204, Smithville
*DeKalb County Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen
732 S. Congress Boulevard- Room 101, Smithville.
*DeKalb County Road Supervisor Butch Agee
720 Smith Road, Smithville
*DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray
100 Public Square, Smithville
615 597-4935 or 615 597-4043
*DeKalb County Trustee Sean Driver
732 S. Congress Boulevard- Room 103, Smithville.
*Dogwood Plaza
South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
*DTC Communications
Alexandria Office: 111 High Street.
Smithville Office: 200 Walmart Drive.
*Evins Mill ~ A Tennessee Resort Property
1535 Evins Mill Road, Smithville, TN
615.269-3740 (Nashville)
*Family Care Chiropractic, Dr. Kevin Malone DC.
502 West Main Street, Smithville
*Family Medical Center
302 North Congress Boulevard, Smithville
400 East Public Square, Alexandria
*Florence & White Ford
710 West Broad Street, Smithville
*F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy
608 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-5521 Nights & Holidays
615-597-4186 Soda Shop
Alexandria Location: 105 Public Square
*Glynn’s Auto Sales
605 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Good Health Family Clinic
414 East Broad Street, Smithville
*Griffins Fruit Market
316 West Broad Street, Smithville
*HG Staffing, LLC
477D North Chancery Street, McMinnville
*Jamie a. Boutique
112 West Main Street, Smithville
*Jimmy Sprague
Democratic Candidate for DeKalb County Road Supervisor
*Jim’s Tire & Alignment
449 Evins Mill Road, Smithville
*Johnny’s Drugs
516B West Main Street, Smithville
*Lake Homes Realty (Tony Luna)
*Larry’s Discount Grocery
309 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-697-6617 or 615-597-6760
*Love Cantrell Funeral Home
100 East Church Street, Smithville
615-597-5275. Obituary line 615-597-7275
*Liberty State Bank
Smithville Branch: 735 South Congress Boulevard
615-597-2265 or 615-597-2266
Liberty Branch: 311 East Main Street, Liberty
Alexandria Branch: 100 North Public Square, Alexandria
*Middle Tennessee Natural Gas
1036 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4388 or 615-597-4300
*Mark Milam
Democratic Candidate for DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk
*The Miller Team-Josh and Melissa
Sunbelt Real Estate and Appraisals
409 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-464-5882 or 615-464-684-0262
*NHC Healthcare
825 Fisher Avenue, Smithville
*Optimus Pest Solutions
409 South Mountain Street, Smithville.
*Pokey’s TurnKey Bail Bonding (We have the key to set you free)
633 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Pokey’s Fix-A-Flat Tire Shop (new and used tires)
633 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Poppie’s Boutique
660 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Rick’s Auto
255 Arrowhead Drive, Smithville
*Jackie Smith, State Farm Insurance Agent
315 North Public Square, Smithville
*Smithville Discount Wine & Spirits
413 East Broad Street, Smithville
*Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss
Smithville City Hall- 104 East Main Street, Smithville.
*Smithville Storage (Opening in the New Year)
1000 South Mountain Street, Smithville
*Swallows Insurance Agency
308 West Broad Street, Smithville
*Three Star Mall
1410 Sparta Road, McMinnville
*Webb House Retirement Center
115 Jennings Lane, Smithville
*White Possum Grille
1060 West Broad Street, Smithville
Daily Menu-Smithville 615-464-6108
*Wilson Bank & Trust
576 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4663. Telephone Banker 615-597-2222
Alexandria Location: 306 Brush Creek Road
2606 McMinnville Highway, Smithville
*Woodbury Insurance Agency
234 McMinnville Highway, Woodbury
Smithville Branch at 612E South Congress Boulevard

2018 Middle TN Grain Conference Slated for Late January

The Twelve Annual Middle Tennessee Grain Conference is set for Tuesday, January 30th at the Coffee County Fairgrounds in Manchester. The conference will offer farmers insights to a number of emerging corn, soybean, and wheat production concerns.
According to the 2017 conference evaluation survey, 146 farmers from twenty-five Middle and East Tennessee counties and two adjoining states cited the Middle Tennessee Grain Conference as an excellent source of information addressing pertinent crop production topics.
The conference will get underway with registration beginning at 7:30 AM. Registration is twenty dollars at the door or participants can save ten dollars by pre-registering by Noon, Monday, January 25 through the DeKalb County Extension Office at 722 S. Congress Blvd. in the DeKalb County Complex. Registration fees include the program, materials, refreshments, lunch, a copy of the conference proceedings (which will contain copies of all presentations), and cap (given at the end of the Conference). This program, like all UT Extension programs, is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or veteran status.
Once again, the conference will feature one of the largest trade shows in the area. Over 30 vendors will be on-site for the trade show beginning at 8:00 AM. A remarkable slate of speakers addressing current production topics for corn, wheat and soybeans beginning at 9:00 AM. Tennessee Farmers Cooperative will sponsor lunch on site by Christy “Q” Barbeque of Woodbury.
Following lunch, the keynote speaker will be Fred Whitford, Clinical Engagement Professor – Purdue Pesticide Programs. Dr. Whitford will discuss issues concerning “Removing Herbicide Residues from Agricultural Application Equipment & Sprayers on County Roads.”
Following the keynote address, producers will have the opportunity to attend a Dicamba certification program. This new training is required for producers to apply Xtend (Dicamba resistant) and Enlist (2,4-D resistant) soybean products. Cost of the training is twenty-five dollars per person paid at the time of the training. Producers who attend this training will be able to use all forms and brands of the new herbicide chemistries.
Complete details on conference topics and pre-registration may be obtained from Johnny Barnes, Extension Agent & County Director of The University of Tennessee Extension/Tennessee State University Extension Office. Please call 615-597-4945 if you have any questions.

Tractor Trailer Truck Overturns on Cookeville Highway

A 64 year old truck driver received minor injuries Wednesday morning after his rig overturned on Cookeville Highway near the intersection with Floating Mill Road.
Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Robert Huff of Chestnut Mound was traveling south in a 2015 International Tractor Trailer truck when his load shifted and overturned as he was trying to negotiate a curve. The crash damaged a guardrail.
Huff was hauling graphite for Tennessee Contract Carriers enroute to Federal Mogul.
Members of the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb Volunteer Fire Department responded along with DeKalb EMS.

Pody to Resign from State House

State Representative Mark Pody said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of DeKalb County and the 17th District as their new State Senator.
Pody, a Republican, was elected in a close race Tuesday over Democrat Mary Alice Carfi to fill the remaining year of former State Senator Mae Beavers’ unexpired term. She gave up her seat to run full time for Governor next year.
Pody contacted WJLE by phone Tuesday night after the election results came in to thank the voters for their support.
“I am so proud of the district and I am grateful and honored for all the votes we received. Anytime somebody runs and puts their name in the hat to run against anybody it’s a good thing. That way voters have a choice and ideas can be clearly heard. I am grateful for the campaign that we ran and especially grateful for the result,” he said.
Pody now plans to resign his House seat in District 46 as he prepares to move to the State Senate.
“In the morning (Wednesday) I will officially resign from the State House of Representatives in District 46. The Governor will have my resignation on his desk in the morning (Wednesday) and the Speaker of the House will have it on her desk and I’ll officially take office as a Senator. They have to first go through all those official things like certifying the votes and things like that,” said Pody.
Pody, a Wilson County resident, said the Wilson County Commission will appoint someone to fill his unexpired term in the State House. There is still about a year left in the term.
Pody plans to seek a full four year term in the State Senate in 2018. The state primaries will be held in August with the Tennessee General Election to follow in November, 2018.
Meanwhile, Carfi also contacted WJLE Tuesday night after the results came in to thank her supporters.
“I want to thank everyone who voted for me and spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, writing post cards, and really welcoming me into the community. I am so proud of everyone who helped with my campaign and I am so appreciative for all your work that was done on my behalf. We may not have accomplished what we were seeking but that doesn’t mean that we give up our work to improve the lives of people in District 17 and in Tennessee. I am committed to working on your behalf to make sure that everyone has access to affordable health care, better paying jobs, and a quality education for our children regardless of their zip code. Thank you again for your votes and your hard work. We may not have won but I think we ran a very respectable race and we showed that Tennessee and Democrats will be working hard in 2018 to make sure that we have elected officials who are willing to fight for the people regardless of their party affiliation,” she said.