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Article Calendar

April 2020

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Man in Possession of Meth and Heroin Arrested While With Female Fugitive From Georgia

Ralph Edward Overstreet

(Smith County Insider Press) – On March 10, 2020, Sergeant Junior Fields located Ralph Overstreet, Jr. in the parking lot of the Housing Authority on Hazel Drive after receiving information that a female identified as Jennifer Hopkins having active warrants out of Georgia was with him. Sergeant Fields had also been advised that Overstreet was in possession of methamphetamine. 

According to the police report, Sergeant Fields had Overstreet step out of the vehicle and asked him if he had any weapons on his person. Overstreet stated he had a pocket knife. Sergeant Fields told Overstreet to turn around in order to retrieve the knife, at which time Sergeant Fields observed part of a small plastic baggie sticking out of Overstreet’s pocket. Sergeant Fields removed the baggie which contained six pills later identified as 5 oxycodone pills and 1 legend drug pill. Overstreet was placed in handcuffs. 

According to the police report, Overstreet began to push against Sergeant Fields and was pushed onto the hood of the car in order to be controlled. Sergeant Fields requested additional units and escorted Overstreet to the passenger side of the patrol unit, at which time he struck the mirror of the unit and then struck the side of the unit, causing a dent near the back door. Overstreet was secured in the back seat and then began striking his head against the metal cage. Sergeant Fields attempted to place a seatbelt on Overstreet, who pushed away in an attempt to prevent from being secured. While attempting to close the door, Overstreet threw himself against the metal on the door and stated that Sergeant Fields struck him with the door. 

Upon searching the vehicle, a baggie containing 2.3 grams of crystal methamphetamine and two baggies containing a combined .5 grams of heroin were located. Warrants were confirmed on Hopkins with full extradition for violation of probation. Both were transported to the Smith County Jail for processing. At the jail, Overstreet was acting like he was unresponsive. He was removed from the patrol unit and carried inside. Once inside the cell, and stood up, began cursing, and once again struck his head on the glass of the holding cell. 

Overstreet was charged with possession of methamphetamine for resale, possession of schedule I for resale, possession of schedule II for resale, possession of legend drug, and vandalism. Hopkins was charged with Fugitive From Justice. 

Press Release: SBA approves over $5 million in disaster loans after Tennessee tornadoes; deadline to apply is May 4

More than $5 million in disaster loans have been approved by the U. S. Small Business Administration for Tennessee businesses and residents with losses resulting from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding on March 3, 2020. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) encourages businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to apply for a disaster loan before the May 4 deadline.  Anyone in the declared counties in Tennessee with damages caused by the March 3 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding should apply for the disaster recovery loan program. 

The disaster declaration covers Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties in Tennessee which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.  Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Cannon, Cheatham, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White and Williamson in Tennessee.

Currently, 76 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $5,078,200 for affected survivors.  “Our mission is to help businesses and residents rebuild and resume their normal lives as quickly as possible,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 3.75 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years.  The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s circumstances.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at Disasterloan.sba.gov.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362.  Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362. 

For more information,  call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit sba.gov.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is May 4, 2020. The deadline for economic injury applications is Dec. 7, 2020.

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Press Release: UCHRA, UCDD offices remain closed to public


UPPER CUMBERLAND – All UCHRA offices continue to remain closed to the public due to public health concerns related to COVID-19. Our staff will continue to assist clients primarily via phone and email.

Individuals seeking assistance through the Low-Inome Home Energy Asssistance Program (LIHEAP) should contact their local office via phone. Transit services will continue to operate in order to provide individuals with transportation to and from medical appointments, the grocery store, and other needs. All scheduled commodities events during this time will continue as scheduled.

For more information, please contact your local UCHRA office or call (931) 528-1127. To reach UCHRA Transit Services, call 1-833-UC TRIPS (828-7477) or visit www.ucpublictransit.com.  

The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1973 to be the delivery system for human resources in the fourteen counties of the region. The programs operated by UCHRA initially included job training and transportation. During ensuing years, the UCHRA has expanded to supply a wide range of services that use a combination of funds from federal, state and local organizations.

UPPER CUMBERLAND – The Upper Cumberland Development District office continues to remain closed to the public due to public health concerns related to COVID-19. Our staff will continue to assist clients primarily via phone and email. 

Essential services such as nutrition will continue. Individuals seeking assistance through programs and services offered by UCDD are encouraged to contact the office by calling (931) 432-4111.

The Upper Cumberland Development District provides regional planning and assistance to the 14-county Upper Cumberland region to promote economic growth and community enhancement. Find UCDD on the web at www.ucdd.org and at facebook.com/UCDDconnect.

Local McDonald’s to offer free coffee to healthcare professionals, first responders

Local McDonald’s owner-operators want to thank the first responders and healthcare professionals for their unwavering dedication and service to their communities.

All McDonald’s restaurants in the Nashville, Bowling Green, Chattanooga and Huntsville areas are providing a free any size hot or cold coffee for first responders and healthcare professionals through April 17.

Additionally, Tim Funderburk, who owns 22 McDonald’s restaurants across Middle Tennessee, is serving up meals for his own employees and their families. Hourly employees of the Funderburk’s McDonald’s restaurants can bring food home at the end of their shift to feed their families at no cost. Crewmembers, maintenance, office staff, and their loved ones will enjoy free McDonald’s meals through May 3rd. The amount of allotted meals varies depending on hourly shifts.

Thanks to our local McDonald’s owner-operators for giving back our communities!

Below is a list Funderburk Management McDonald’s restaurants.

  • Monteagle – 521 W. Main St.
  • Cookeville – 1001 S. Jefferson Ave., 768 S. Jefferson Ave. and 515 S. Willow Ave.
  • Tullahoma – 1018 N. Jackson St.
  • McMinnville – 1334 New Smithville Hwy. and 915 N Chancery St. Suite 100
  • Shelbyville – 763 Madison St.
  • Fayetteville – 1410 Huntsville Hwy.
  • Manchester – 2211 Hillsboro Blvd.
  • Sparta – 800 Roosevelt Dr.
  • Winchester – 1515 N. Hwy. 41 A
  • Lewisburg – 141 N. Ellington Pky.
  • Livingston – 820 W. Main St.
  • Smithville – 507 S. Congress Blvd.
  • Gordonsville – 481 Gordonsville Hwy.
  • Woodbury – 101 E. Main
  • Murfreesboro – 2900 S. Rutherford Blvd.
  • Carthage – 11 Dixon Springs Hwy.
  • Algood – 300 Big Mac Dr.
  • Christiana – 6137 Epps Mill Rd.
  • Baxter – 110 Fast Lane Dr.

Practicing self-care during the COVID-19 outbreak

The following article was submitted to Smith County Insider by the Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition.

For other resources, contact the Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition at smithcodrugprevention@yahoo.com or smithcodrugprevention.org. For 24-hour Recovery Services please call or text the TN Redline #  1-800-889-9789.

During these trying and uncertain times, taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is just as important as taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated, scared, and hopeless, especially when the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is constantly evolving. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include…

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

Need help? Know someone who does?

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call:

  • Call 911
  • Call Disaster Distress Hotline 1-800-985-5990 and TTY 1-800-846-8517
    • Or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
  • Call or text the National Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA website.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or mediation apps. Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol, and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Plug into a helpful podcast.
  • Practice your faith.
  • Checkout self-care and wellness videos.
  • Take on a crafting or DIY project.
  • When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.

For parents…

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens o Poor school performance or avoiding school o Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

There are many things you can do to support your child…

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and provide facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing. Be sure to take care of yourself, and be nice to yourself. Do something every day that makes you happy.

Smith County Rescue Squad events cancelled

Current conditions and federal, state, and local mandates have made it necessary for the Smith County Rescue Squad to cancel their annual community Easter Egg Hunt for 2020.

Additionally, the annual Smith County Rescue Squad roadblock fundraiser has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Please be assured that the Smith County Rescue Squad continues to provide uninterrupted 24/7 emergency rescue operations to the citizens of Smith County.

Smith County Schools April menu announced, streamlined meal pickup begins today

The Smith County School System has been providing free breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and younger while schools have been closed for COVID-19, and that program will continue through the month of April. 

Last Thursday, the Smith County Board of Education shared the April lunch menu and announced a streamlined meal pickup process. 

Starting April 6, 2020, meals will be available for pickup and delivery on Mondays and Thursdays. On Monday, students will receive three breakfasts, three lunches, and three milks for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday service will be for Thursday and Friday meals.

Meal pickup will now be available at Carthage Elementary, Defeated Elementary, Forks River Elementary, Gordonsville Elementary, Smith County High School, Smith County Middle School, and Union Heights Elementary.

Delivery of meals to families that cannot pick up will continue to be provided.

Teachers across the county have been busy contacting their students and ensuring that they have the resources they need to begin online learning. Teachers will be providing lessons weekly that are accessible digitally or paper-based that will differ slightly depending on a student’s grade. 

During the month of April, the Tennessee Department of Education will also be providing specialized educational programming via Tennessee’s six PBS stations. 

Read more about this educational programming and view a daily schedule here.

Visit https://www.smithcoedu.com to view announcements and updates from the Smith County School System.

Smith County Health Department opens COVID-19 assessment site

The following press release was submitted to Smith County Insider by Megan Kinslow – Smith County Health Department. 

Carthage, Tenn. – The Smith County Health Department has established a COVID-19 assessment site for county residents at: 

Smith County Health Department

251 Joy Alford Way, Carthage

Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm 

Additional information about Tennessee’s assessment sites is available for each county on the Tennessee Department of Health website at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/remote-assessment-sites.html.    

Most people, particularly those with mild or no symptoms, do not need assessment for COVID-19.  

Those in high-risk categories, including contacts of confirmed cases; people in occupations with exposure to large numbers of contacts; health care workers; nursing home residents; severely immunocompromised patients; critically ill patients; pregnant women and people who have COVID-19 symptoms, are prioritized for testing.  

There are many things Smith County residents can do to reduce the impact of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand rub) for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue;
  • Clean and disinfect objects (e.g., cell phone, computer) and high touch surfaces regularly; and,
  • Practice social/physical distancing from others, be safer at home.

All Tennesseans, especially those in high-risk populations, should take the following actions to reduce the possibility of getting sick with COVID-19:  

  • Keep space (at least 6’) between yourself and others;
  • Limit your time in public to essential needs only, such as grocery trips, medical care, pharmacy needs or emergencies; 
  • When you are in public, avoid crowds as much as possible, and keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often;
  • Avoid non-essential travel, especially on airlines and cruise ships; and,
  • Stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk of being exposed.

TDH has additional information available at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated information and guidance available online at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Smith County Insider “Healthcare Heroes”: Dr. Roger Duke

Smith County Insider is proud to announce that we are starting a new series to spotlight and celebrate the incredible healthcare workers who serve Smith County.

We believe that celebrating our brave, knowledgable healthcare workers is more important than ever as we face the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19. 

Welcome to the first edition of Smith County Insider’s “Healthcare Heroes”!

Dr. Roger M. Duke, Smith County “Healthcare Hero”

Our first “Healthcare Hero” is Dr. Roger M. Duke, Smith County Commissioner and Director of the Smith County Coronavirus Task Force.

Dr. Duke has lived and worked in Smith County all of his life, except for the times when he was away for school or military service. 

Dr. Duke is semi-retired but continues to serve as the Chief Medical Officer and lead consultant for The Fairmont Group, LLC. Dr. Duke also serves as a District 6 Smith County Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the Town of Carthage. 

Smith County Insider interviewed Dr. Duke about his experiences working in healthcare, and this is what he had to say. 

SCI: How long have you worked in the healthcare field? 

RD: I began working in the laboratory as a helper in the evenings, after school, when I was a sophomore in High School. I was 15 years old at that time. I have worked in healthcare in some capacity since that time. 

SCI: When did you realize that you wanted to work in healthcare? 

RD: I was always interested in science and biology since I can first remember. When I was in the 4th or 5th grade, I had some medical issues and was treated by Dr. Hugh Green and Dr. Gordon Petty. After I saw how they were able to treat illnesses and what they and the other local doctors did for the people of our community, I decided, “I want to be one of them one day.” 

SCI: What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

RD: Using my education and training to help the citizens of wonderful community in which I grew up. Although I am semi-retired now, I still try to find ways to use my medical degree and training to help my community and to give back to the community that has given me so much over my many years of medical practice. 

SCI: What is the most challenging part of your job? 

RD: Healthcare is a highly regulated and continually changing industry. Regulations are necessary for the safety of patients; however, increasingly often, the regulations seem to get in the way of actually caring for the patients. Also, the ability to provide adequate care for individuals that are either uninsured or underinsured is a challenge, not only for me as a healthcare provider but a challenge our society must meet. 

SCI: What is something people might not know about you or about the healthcare field in general? 

RD: I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about ten years ago, which was a factor in my decision to semi-retire. It only affects my motor movements, and occasionally, I may have slurred or stammering speech. I am thankful that my current treatment allows me to continue serving the community in some fashion. 

SCI: What do you like to do in your free time? 

RD: I love having time with my children, and I love music. Although I am not the best at it, I love playing the guitar. I also enjoy staying current on medical research as it relates to family medical care. 

SCI: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of Smith County Insider? 

RD: I want to thank the citizens of the community for allowing me to be a part of their lives over many years. I feel honored to have been even a small part of their lives. 

Thanks for all you do for Smith County, Dr. Duke!

Email rachel@smithcountyinsider.com to nominate a healthcare worker to be featured as one of Smith County Insider’s Healthcare Heroes!

Residents at The Pavilion in Carthage send messages of love to their families

Since March 13, 2020, The Pavilion Senior Living at Carthage has been operating under a limited visitation policy that only allows pre-approved visits under very specific circumstances in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This week, residents at The Pavilion took to Facebook to share messages with their loved ones who aren’t able to visit them in person.

The messages range from “I love you!” to “All is well.” to “Looking forward to seeing you.” and even one request for a big cheeseburger!

We are so glad to see the smiling faces of these residents!

If you want to send an encouraging message to someone currently living at The Pavilion, you may do so by filling out this form. 

Learn more about The Pavilion by visiting https://www.thepavilionseniorliving.com, and be sure to follow The Pavilion Senior Living at Carthage on Facebook. 

Smith County Schools announces educational plan and resources for students and families during COVID-19 school closure

You can view this announcement on the Smith County School System website here. 

The Smith County Board of Education understands the value of continuing to provide educational services and support to our students and families. Our District and school staff have developed an educational plan with the goal of providing services to our students during this difficult and challenging time. While the concerns for the physical and emotional well-being of our students, their families, and educators remains our top priority, strategies to support continued learning and academic growth to provide our students with the security of a familiar routine and sense of community.

Over the next few days schools and teachers will be reaching out to all students and families to determine their internet access, device access, and preferred method of communication. Beginning the week of April 6th, teachers will be providing lessons weekly that are accessible digitally or paper-based that will differ slightly depending on a student’s grade. All teachers will communicate to students and parents their “office hours” that they will be available for questions. A sample PK-8th grade schedule and 9-12 grade schedule are available for parents.

Smith County Schools Nutrition Department has been providing meals since the beginning of the school closure due to the COVID-19. Starting April 6th, we will have meals available for pickup and delivery on Mondays and Thursdays. On Monday, students will receive three breakfasts, three lunches, and three milks for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday service will be for Thursday and Friday meals. Only one milk will be provided to each child per day due to a decrease in production. Delivery of meals to families that cannot pick up will continue to be provided.

During this challenging and difficult time, please feel free to reach out to our school or district staff for any needs that may arise.

Press Release: Gov. Lee Requires Tennesseans to Remain at Home as Data Shows Increased Activity Among Citizens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Tennessee Governor Bill Lee will sign Executive Order 23 requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities as data shows an increase in citizen movement across the state.

“Over the last few weeks, we have seen decreases in movement around the state as Tennesseans socially distance and stay at home,” said Gov. Lee. “However, in recent days we have seen data indicating that movement may be increasing and we must get these numbers trending back down. I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”

Data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation analyzed traffic patterns for March 2020. While safer at home measures and further restrictions on businesses showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement from March 13-29, data beginning on March 30 indicates travel is trending upwards, again.

The Administration also analyzed data from Unacast to understand cell phone mobility and determine movement trends among people. Unacast indicates the movement of Tennesseans is trending toward pre-COVID-19 levels.

“The month of April stands to be an extremely tough time for our state as we face the potential for a surge in COVID-19 cases,” said Lee. “Every Tennessean must take this seriously, remain at home and ensure we save lives.”

The executive order remains in effect until April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. View Executive Order 23 in its entirety here.

You can view all the executive orders Governor Lee has issued here.

For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.

Smith County Insider wants you to tell us something good!

Dear Smith County Insider Supporters, 

When the clock struck midnight to begin this new year and new decade, no one had any idea that so much of our time in 2020 would be devoted to figuring out how to navigate day-to-day life in the midst of a global pandemic.

The coronavirus has changed so much about our daily routines, but what hasn’t changed is the heart of Smith County and the willingness of our incredible community to come together in times of need, even as we stay physically apart.

In the coming weeks and months, we promise to continue to provide the free, up-to-date, quality content that you’ve come to expect from Smith County Insider  … but with an extra dose of positivity!

To do this, we need your help! 

Do you know of any good news happening in the community? Is someone going above and beyond to help their neighbors in need? Have you or someone you love celebrated a birthday, milestone, or any other event that you want to shout from the rooftops? Do you have something to share that is sure to make someone else smile? Let us know!

This week, we’ve reached out to educators, first responders, and healthcare workers all across the county and asked them to answer some questions so that we can feature them in weekly spotlights on our website. You can email rachel@smithcountyinsider.com to nominate someone for any of our spotlights.

If you love what we do, you can support us by becoming a monthly Patreon supporter at https://www.patreon.com/SmithCountyInsider.

Friends, even in the face of so much uncertainty, may we all remember that it’s often darkest before the dawn. We will make it through this together.


Smith County Insider

Smith County Kindergarten and Pre-K registrations to be rescheduled

Due to the extended closure of Smith County Schools, all Kindergarten and Voluntary Pre-K registrations will be rescheduled at a later date. 

New registration dates and times will be shared when more information becomes available.

“We do look forward to meeting prospective students and parents,” said Gina Morris from the Smith County Board of Education.

View this announcement on the Smith County School System’s website here.

Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability puts out call for volunteers

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability has a variety of volunteer opportunities among several different programs all across the state. 

Choose a program to learn more about volunteer opportunities in your area, and complete the Volunteer Interest Form to be connected to your local program.

Opportunities include meal delivery, food box packaging, and telephone reassurance.

Sign up today to help older Tennesseans near you!

If you’re interested in volunteering, click here to fill out the form.

If you have any questions about volunteer opportunities, please contact Sidney Schuttrow at sidney.schuttrow@tn.gov.

If you’re able, check on an elderly neighbor today! We will all get through this together.


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