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September 2018
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SCI Spotlight: Tennessee Kayak & Outdoor Company

Tennessee Kayak and Outdoor Company offers van & trailer shuttle service for up to 14 per van and up to 28 per group for daily float trips on the Caney Fork and Cumberland Rivers. They offer kayak and canoe rentals for half and full days, as well as specialty trips in the area. Transport service is available if you own your own gear and just need shuttle service. Special rates for group outings such as church, civic and employee groups. A full line outdoor store, you will find camping, fishing and hiking gear such as backpacks, tents and camp stoves. They have all the snacks, food and drinks you might need for anything outdoors.  They offer several styles of t-shirts and logo hats that are produced here in Smith County.  They carry Xero brand outdoor footwear for men and women. Xero specializes in outdoor footwear, everything from sandals, hiking shoes and boots, running shoes and even men’s dress shoes. They are great for anyone who may be suffering from back, leg or foot pain. Tennessee Kayak & Outdoor Co. offers water shoes, coolers and so much more.

SCI Reporter JR Smith recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to owner Brad Smith about the store.


Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation sends crews to North Carolina

Cookeville, TN. – Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (UCEMC) will be packing up early Friday morning, September 14 – preparing to send line workers and equipment to North Carolina in advance of Hurricane Florence.

The massive hurricane is expected to leave widespread damage across much of the Atlantic seaboard, and UCEMC crews will be in place to assist Four County Electric in Burgaw, NC, as soon as it is safe to work.

“We’ll be sending two construction crews; ten line workers, two digger trucks, bucket trucks and other equipment to help restore power in the difficult days ahead,” says Jimmy Gregory, General Manager of UCEMC. ”They’ll be working long days in difficult conditions, but our crew didn’t hesitate to respond to the call for help. As the crews pack up to leave, we’ll be reviewing the additional layers of safety precautions that are unique to the situation they’ll be facing out there. These workers are going in to a dangerous area. We ask that everyone keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.”

Crews will be ready to leave immediately from the UCEMC Cookeville District facility for the more than eight-hour journey. It is unclear how long they will be in North Carolina.

“Any time you have a major storm like this, people are going to need help,” says Jason Moss, a Working Line Foreman with UCEMC. “One day, we might be in this situation here in the Upper Cumberland and we’ll need someone to help us get the lights on. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Moss joins some 80 other line workers from electric co-ops across Tennessee who will be assisting with hurricane recovery efforts. The Tennessee Electric

Cooperative Association in Nashville is coordinating requests for mutual aid and makes travel and lodging arrangements for crews who respond.

“Our crews have a reputation for responding quickly, working safely and showing compassion to those who have been impacted by storms like this one,” says David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We appreciate our employees’ desire to serve and wish them well in the days to come.”

UCEMC is owned by those it serves and provides safe, reliable and affordable energy to more than 50,000 members in Smith, Putnam, Jackson, Overton, and fringe areas of Macon, DeKalb, Wilson, White, Clay, Fentress and Pickett counties.

Citizens Bank receives 5-star rating from Best of Bauer for more than 25 consecutive years

BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm, proudly affirms that Citizens Bank in Carthage, Tennessee, has once again earned its highest (5-star) rating for financial strength and stability. 

Earning a 5-star rating indicates that this bank excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality, and much more. Earning and maintaining this top rating for 119 consecutive quarters means Citizens Bank has done so for more than 25 straight years. That’s quite an achievement! 

In fact, reaching this milestone gives Citizens Bank an even higher designation as a “Best of Bauer Bank.” The “Best of Bauer” designation is reserved specifically for banks that have earned Bauer’s highest rating for 100 consecutive quarters or longer. 

“This achievement requires tremendous resilience and fortitude,” observes Karen Dorway, president of BaureFinancial. “We saw a lot of banks that were lacking those qualities that are, unfortunately, no longer around. But community banks like Citizens Bank have some definite advantages. Its smaller size allows its team to know each customer more intimately, which not only makes every customer a priority, it also improves loan underwriting.” 

Citizens Bank has been making its neighbors its number one priority since 1929. Today, after 89 years, it is creating a better banking experience for customers through eight conveniently located offices in Carthage, Cookeville, Gordonsville, and Sparta and online at www.citzcar.com.

BauerFinancial, Inc. in Coral Gables, Florida, is the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm. It has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Star-ratings are all available for free at bauerfinancial.com.

Carthage Wastewater Treatment Plant participates in Energy Management Initiative

The Carthage Wastewater Treatment Plant was recently invited to participate in an Energy Management Initiative of the Tennessee Water and Wastewater Energy Efficiency Partnership, a joint technical assistance program through the U.S. EPA Southeast Regional Office, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

A case study about the Carthage Wastewater Treatment Plant was published. An overall reduction of energy usage of 19.4% has been realized.

Look below to read about the insights gleaned from their participation in the Energy Management Initiative.

Smith County Owls Football lose region game to York

The Smith County Owls dropped their third game in a row on Friday night, losing 38-12 to the York Dragons to put the Owls at 1-3 on the season and 0-2 in the region.

The Owls fell to an early deficit against York, and was never able to gain any momentum to mount a comeback after going down 14-0 in the first quarter. The Dragons scored again in the second quarter to extend the lead to 21-0 before the Owls were able to get their first touchdown of the game to narrow the gap to 21-6 going into halftime.

The Owls were able to strike first after halftime to bring the score to 21-12, but York was able to score 17 unanswered points to ruin the Owls comeback and extend their losing streak to three.

What’s Next?

The Owls will make their first road trip of the season next week, traveling to play Livingston Academy in a non-region game.


Gordonsville Tigers win Homecoming matchup against RePublic

Gordonsville hosted region opponents RePublic Trailblazers for their homecoming game. In a game that saw both teams fail to convert a number of opportunities, the Tigers were able to find a way to beat the Trailblazers in the second half.

The first quarter of the game saw both teams make big plays to get in scoring position, but neither offense could get on the scoreboard.

RePublic looked like they were in position to score early in the 2nd quarter, but a deep pass on 4th and 13 was intercepted by Skyshn Washer at the 4 yard line. The Tigers were held to a three and out, with the punt being returned to the Trailblazers 24 yard line. A pass interference against the Tigers on the second play moved the ball forward to the 11 yard line. The Tigers were able to force a turnover on downs to get the ball back at the 11 yard line.

The Tigers were held to a three and out on the first drive of  the game, giving up a 47 yard run to RePublic on their first offensive snap, but the Tigers defense was able to bounce back getting an 18 yard loss two plays later allowed Gordonsville to force a turnover on downs. Gordonsville wasn’t able to do anything with the opportunity, giving up a safety on second down to put RePublic up 2-0 with a little over five minutes left in the second half.

Gordonsville was able to intercept the ball with under 10 seconds left in the half during the Trailblazers following drive, but didn’t have enough time to get any offense going.

The second half started with RePublic’s running game driving down to the 17 yard line, but a fumble gave the Tigers their first drive of the second half. Gordonsville was able to take advantage and drive the ball 83 yards to score their first points of the game and take a 7-2 lead halfway through the 3rd quarter on a Braxton Givens 2 yard run. Gordonsville was able to force another fumble on the following drive, allowing the Tigers to take the ball down and score off of a 27 yard Taylor Thaxton to Skyshn Washer touchdown pass to go up 14-2.

RePublic looked to bounce back and score, driving the ball downfield to get in the red zone. The Trailblazers couldn’t convert a 4th and 4, and gave the Tigers the ball back on the 20 yard line.

Neither team was able to get any offense going on the next two drives, with each team punting on their drives. With Gordonsville’s next drive, the Tigers had the ball stripped leading to the Trailblazers driving the ball down the field and scoring to narrow the Tigers lead to 14-8 with just under 5 minutes in the game. 

The Tigers were able to drive the ball down the field to run the clock down before giving the Trailblazers the ball back with 8 seconds left in the game. RePublic was only able to get one play off as they were downed to run the clock out.

What’s Next?

The Tigers will have a bye week next week, followed by a road trip to play Monterey on September 28th.

History Hayride at Edgar Evins State Park: History, Mystery, and Theater on October 13, 2018

Well known around Putnam and DeKalb counties during Prohibition, Luke Denny hauled illicit whiskey for decades without being caught. He is artfully and sometimes humorously portrayed by Gerald Melton, Woodbury.

It’s time to make online reservations for the 13th Annual History Hayride at Edgar Evins State Park on Saturday, October 13th, 2018, at scheduled times throughout the afternoon and evening.

The cost is $15 per person. It offers history, mystery and theater. This is not a Halloween themed event and is not for young children or others who have trouble sitting quietly for about 2 ½ hours. It usually sells out fast!

The easiest access to the link for making reservations is on the Friends of Edgar Evins State Park website at www.foeesp.com/history-hayride.

If you need help making online reservations, you may call the park office for contact information for Fount Bertram, President of Friends of Edgar Evins State Park, for assistance. The park office phone numbers are (931) 858-2114 or toll free at 1-800-250-8619.

Ten wagons will leave at approximately 30-minute intervals from the park office and return approximately 2 1/2 hours later. Each wagon will make about 9 stops where costumed characters will portray historic characters and tell about long ago events in and around the park. The audience will remain on the wagons during the entire circuit. A tour guide will add narration between stops during the ride. Reservations will be for specific report times from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Friends of Edgar Evins State Park will provide complimentary hot beverages and sell individual sized servings of home baked cookies and brownies in the park office.  As in the past, there will also be complimentary marshmallows to roast over the campfire in front of the office.

Lori Christensen, known around Warren County as “Ms. California”, plays the much maligned six-times widowed Elizabeth Dale, daughter of the founder of Liberty, TN.

Friends of Edgar Evins State Park is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with the purpose of helping the park. The History Hayride is a fundraiser by the Friends in cooperation with park staff. More information about the group and how to join may be found on the website at www.foeesp.com or the Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/friendsofeesp. 

For those who wish to make this an overnight or weekend outing you may make reservations for lodging at www.tnstateparks.com/EdgarEvins or call the park office.

The park is located at 1630 Edgar Evins Park Road in Silver Point, TN. It is approximately 20 miles north of Smithville, 20 miles west of Cookeville, and 60 miles east of Nashville. From I-40 take exit 268 at State Highway 96 and Center Hill Lake.

4-H News: 4-H Poultry Show & Sale – September 25, 2018

Submitted by Katie Martin – Smith County Extension Agent: 

How long has it been since you’ve had a fresh egg? No, I don’t mean an egg in a carton with an expiration date that hasn’t been reached yet. I mean an egg that was laid in, say, the past two or three days. If you taste such an egg, you’ll readily distinguish the difference between it and what you can buy at the grocery stores.

One of the most enjoyable reasons to have chickens is the regular supply of delicious farm fresh eggs. Attend the Smith County 4-H Poultry Show and Sale that will take place on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, at the Smith County Ag Center and you will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh eggs every morning!

Each spring, 4-H members of Smith County have the opportunity to become involved in the 4-H Chick Chain. This activity allows 4-H’ers to receive one-day-old baby chicks in late March.  The 4-H’er is responsible for feeding and caring for the chicks.  Then, on September 25th, the 4-H’er will select their three best pullets and bring them to the County 4-H Poultry Show and Sale.  This year we will have pens of Barred Rock, Red Star, and Black Star hens for sale.  

The judging of the pullets will begin at 6:00 p.m..  The auction will follow shortly after.  All proceeds from the sale will go directly to the 4-H member to help with their expenses in raising the chicks.

We hope to see you at the Smith County Poultry Show and Sale on September 25th at 6:00 p.m. at the Smith County Ag Center.  For further information, contact Katie Martin at (615)735-2900.

The 4-H Youth Development Program delivers programs through cooperative efforts of the University of Tennessee, Tennessee State University, and public and private sector volunteers. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades 4-12, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. For further information concerning the many opportunities that 4-H has to offer the youth in Smith County call (615)735-2900.

Sarah Marie Smith announces candidacy for Carthage Mayor

I, Sarah Marie Smith, am pleased to announce my candidacy for Mayor of Carthage, Tennessee. Carthage is my hometown, the place where I was born and raised. I care about its people, its history, and its future and would be honored to serve the people of Carthage as your Mayor.

My Roots

I feel blessed that several generations of my family have lived in Smith County, three generations right here in Carthage. My father, Ervin Smith, was a lifelong educator, serving for many years as principal of Smith County High School. My mother, Mary Etta Smith, worked as a secretary in the County Extension Office, helping 4-H members with their projects and record books and assisting FCE clubs. Their years of service to others made a deep and lasting impression on me as a young person.

My brother, Sam Smith, is retired as an Historical Archeologist with the Tennessee Division of Archeology. Throughout his career, he has shared the history of our state and region with others.

I graduated from Smith County High School and received my undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where I was elected Vice- President of Student Government. After graduating from college, I worked as a flight attendant with Delta Airlines, serving hundreds of people each month on flights across the United States. Later, I moved to Los Angeles, where I worked as an actress as well as teaching in a public high school.

Several years ago, I returned to Carthage and decided to go back to college for a graduate degree. I received a Master of Arts in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University and began my work as a Mediator listed with the Tennessee Supreme Court. As such, I have worked with cases that included the Davidson County Juvenile Court, the Victim-Offender Program, and other civil and family disputes.

In addition to the mediations, I teach organizations how to manage conflict and help them plan strategies for the future.

My current and past affiliations include Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators – Board of Directors, Leadership Opportunity Smith County, Rotary Club, Smith Co. Historical and Genealogical Society – Vice President, Smith County Fair volunteer, Women in Film and Television Nashville – Board of Directors, Tennessee Screenwriters Association, Tennessee Women in Green, CASA Wilson/Smith Counties Board of Directors, candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives, member of Carthage United Methodist Church.

Why I’m Running

Two requirements for a city government to function well are transparency and citizen involvement.

If elected Mayor, I will ensure transparency in our city government. You will be informed about city meetings well in advance so you can attend and share your thoughts about the issues at hand. I will make readily available at City Hall a copy of the yearly budget for citizens to see how our tax dollars are being spent.

I will hold monthly meetings for residents of Carthage to talk about what is working well in the community and things that might be improved… and to share ideas for how this might be accomplished.

Each week, I will meet with department supervisors to hear how things are going throughout the town. There will also be an open door for employees to talk about ways to make our city services even better.

Our businesses are a vital part of the community. The tax base they contribute is essential to our economy. Their owners will be given a seat at the table and a say in how the city can help make them stronger.

Our town has a limited amount of land space. Development needs to be done in a smart manner. If variances to zoning codes are requested, people will be invited to speak to the impact of this change to their neighborhoods.

Open communication is imperative if we are to have a city government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

What’s At Stake

There’s so much to offer in our hometown .. a river front .. recreation on the Caney Fork and Cumberland Rivers .. historic sites .. a lovely Courthouse .. a downtown square with businesses housed in amazing historic architecture.

But the most important part of Carthage is our PEOPLE. Working together, we can make our wonderful town an even better place to live, work, and play. If elected, I promised to do everything in my power to lead the way.

If you’re on board to help make our wonderful town even better, I would greatly appreciate your vote for Mayor of Carthage!

Election Day: November 6, 2018 Early Voting: Sept. 17 – Nov. 1, 2018

(For more about Sarah Marie Smith ~ www.time2mediate.com)

Cole Ebel announces candidacy for Carthage City Council

Cole Ebel

My name is Cole Ebel and I am officially announcing my candidacy for Carthage City Council. My objective is to bring transparency into government, especially local government.

When our form of government was founded, many understood the reasons for divisions of government; divisions that kept power in check. These divisions being the Executive, Legislative and Judicial side. These divisions many times are forgotten at the local level. Too many times, I watch all of these branches work as one, not challenging thoughts, but going along to get along.

We need to work more as a community and rely less on the government. We shouldn’t have to ask permission to exercise individual rights. We shouldn’t have to pay extortion fees to trade freely.

As a representative of not only the citizens of Carthage, but the businesses of Carthage, I will promise to question everything brought before me. I will always raise a motion or second a motion, this way a vote is called upon and citizens can see where their representatives stand on issues, instead of hiding behind a question failing to call.

We do not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem. Because of this, I will never advocate raising taxes, we already pay too much.

I will encourage small business growth and find ways to get government out of the way so businesses can open and operate without the oversight of big brother.

I will work to find solutions to the opioid crisis through medical help instead of continually criminalizing a medical problem.

I will work to find fiscally sound solutions to problems instead of throwing money at the problem. There are always more than two paths forward.

I will work to have the community more involved in decisions that affect their every day lives, with less secretive projects popping up and more canvasing on what is best for the community.

I will work to find ways to give our local businesses a vote in politics. It is a shame that we founded this country on the basis of “No Taxation Without Representation” yet so many businesses in Carthage have zero representation. I will represent those businesses.

Last, I will always stand on principle above all. This is not a position I am running for to elevate myself, but a position I am seeking to represent the citizen. I cannot do this alone nor would I seek to. We must do this together.

I humbly ask for your vote on November 6th. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to know more about my positions, you may contact me at ColeEbel.com. Thank you.

An Ounce of Prevention: September 2018

Check out the September 2018 edition of “An Ounce of Prevention,” the monthly newsletter from the Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition, and remember that September is National Recovery Month!

J.M. Insurance Agency promotes Kerri Beth Clemons to Vice President


Kerri Beth Clemons

LEBANON, TN – J.M. Insurance Agency, a leading independent agency, is pleased to announce that Kerri Beth Clemons has been promoted to Vice President of Service. In this new role, Clemons will oversee the agency’s service standards along with the personal lines marketing to the agency’s carriers.

“Kerri Beth is an asset to our agency,” said Beau F. Massengille, President.  “She has been a key part of our success, and our agency is thrilled to promote her to this important position.”

Kerri Beth joined the agency in 2016 as Personal Lines Account Executive and quickly proved to a be a leader.  She has a strong understanding of the agency’s standards of service, and the agency’s mission to build trusted relationships.

Founded in 2012, J.M. Insurance Agency is a leading independent agency who has made strong carrier partnerships to provide the very best protection and security to our clients.  Learn more at jminsuranceagency.com or call (615) 547-6161.

UT Extension News: “Why do Grass Plantings Fail? Farming is a Gamble, But Science Improves the Odds”

Submitted by Chris Hicks – UT Extension: 

It has been said the best time to sow grass is September, and the second best time is next September.

I’m not sure that’s true in all cases, but if you’re looking to seed cool season grasses like fescue or Kentucky bluegrass in a yard, or orchardgrass or tall fescue in a pasture or hayfield, September is certainly a great time to do it. 

Unfortunately, not every planting adventure is a home run. Weather is a big factor and if it turns off scorching hot and exceptionally dry, your planting probably won’t go too well. That’s a factor we obviously can’t control, but let’s look at some other reasons new plantings sometimes fail that we do have some control over. 

  1. Poor Soil Fertility. New seedlings need a good balance of N, P, & K, as well as micronutrients to get a good start. A shortage of these nutrients will lead to lower germination rates, decreased root development, and poor plant health. Soil that is too acidic will tie up nutrients so correcting pH problems before planting is a must. Soil test boxes are available at the UT Extension office, and for only $15 you can have your soil tested to find out what nutrients are lacking before you plant.
  1. Poor Seedbed Preparation. If you are planting using conventional tillage, a firm seedbed is one that leaves no deeper than a ¼ inch deep boot print when you walk on it. If using a no-till drill, make sure it is calibrated and adjusted properly. 
  1. Planting the Wrong Amount of Seed. The “Forage & Field Crop Seeding Guide for Tennessee” is our go to resource for seeding rates on forages. We also have a number of free publications with recommendations on seeding rates for lawns. Again, making sure your equipment is adjusted correctly so that you are putting out the correct rate of seed is time well spent. 
  1. Planting at the Wrong Depth. Cool season grasses should be planted at about ¼ to no more than ½ inch deep. Be careful if you are using a drill to plant in wet ground as the coulters can easily cut the ground too deeply. Planting too deep is a major cause of establishment failure. 
  1. Failure to control weeds. Drilling into a sod that has been terminated will relieve competition from grassy weeds that compete with new seedlings. Many times it will pay off to apply a broadleaf herbicide to control cool-season weeds such as buttercup which, if left uncontrolled, will outcompete young grasses. 

While there are some factors like the weather that we can’t control, there are a number of others which we can. Hopefully you avoid these pitfalls and have a successful grass planting experience!

J.M. Insurance Agency presents High School Football’s Beast of the Week 2018 – Week 4

Here are J.M. Insurance Agency’s picks for High School Football’s “Beast of the Week” for Week 4:

Smith County had a bye week, so no “Beast of the Week” was chosen from the team.


Scott Clemons, Lucas Carter, and Seth Dillehey

Lucas Carter

#44/ DT

Lucas accumulated 10 tackles, 2 for loss yards, during their hard fought loss to Trousdale County.

Congratulations to the J.M. Insurance “Beast of the Week”!


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