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Article Calendar

January 2022

Free Animal Supplies Community Giveaway hosted by Smith County Humane

Smith County Humane is excited to announce their first FREE animal supplies community giveaway. The event is set for Saturday January 22, 2022 from 11am – 3pm.

The event will be held at Butlers Auction (old Eads Museum) located at 154 South Main Street South Carthage, TN 37030.

This FREE giveaway made possible by Chewy, The Humane Society of the United States, Butlers Auction, and Smith County Humane.

Items will be given away on a first come first serve basis, some items will be limited to one per household to ensure as many families are helped as possible, NO qualification necessary (no income limits or proof of anything required). Items include food, cat litter, inside crates, litter boxes, cat trees and scratchers, doggie doors, dog ramps and stairs, and much much more! These items are being distributed free to the community at this distribution. Items are returns and overstocks from Chewy.com. There will be a full semi truck of supplies to give away.

Smith County Humane is excited to continue to bring more programs and services to the community and they need your help to spread the word to those who need the help!

Cornerstone Cafe transitions to “To Go” orders only

Cornerstone Cafe in Gordonsville announced that as of Thursday, January 19, 2022 they are transitioning their business to “To Go” or “Take Out” order only. This change comes due to staffing issues and being able to keep an adequate amount of staff to run the restaurant efficiently.

In a Facebook post, owner Keith Sciara expresses to his customers, “We have thought long and hard to try and come up with a solution. We have made the the decision to be Take Out Only. We have always done an incredible amount of to go business (Thanks to you guys!). We feel that we can continue to serve our food without sacrificing the quality by doing To Go Only. If we are going to do something we want to be able to do it the best we can. We have a great business dine in and to go, but with the constant staffing issues we won’t be able to do both well. We are going to focus all our efforts in this direction. We will be working out the kinks over the next week or so and may be able to even allow folks to pick up their orders and sit in the dining room and enjoy it. Tea and ice out front for self service and bottled drinks.

Sciara went on to say, “We will also continue to do our trays, some catering and large orders for our local businesses and Civic Clubs that have continued to support us over the years. We are also planning to have a special to go menu and utilize Uber Eats for delivery options. Nothing is an exact science, so bare with us through this transition“.

Be sure to follow Cornerstone Cafe on Facebook to stay up-to-date as they make this transition. Cornerstone Cafe is located at 4 East Main Street in Gordonsville. Their phone number is 615-683-8211.

Wilson Bank and Trust Southern Home & Garden Expo set for February 11-12, 2022

Join Wilson Bank and Trust for the 2022 Southern Home & Garden Expo and turn your home into your happy place.

This year’s in-person event will be held on Friday, February 11, from 4 – 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 12, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Expo Center, located at 945 East Baddour Parkway in Lebanon. Admission is free!

Take advantage of this opportunity to reconnect with familiar faces, meet our exhibitors and lenders, and have the chance to win prizes and giveaways valued at $13,000.

Whether you’re interested in a minor renovation or a major remodeling project, the Southern Home & Garden Expo is the place to go! Join us at this year’s in-person event to connect with local home improvement vendors and get all the insights and inspiration you need to transform your house into your dream home.

For more info, visit their website at https://www.wbthomegardenexpo.com/

HG Staffing Now Hiring for Shiroki North America in Gordonsville – Multiple Positions Available

HG Staffing is hiring multiple positions at Shiroki North America in Gordonsville TN. They are offering a new pay rate up to $16 per hour and a Sign-On Bonus.

On-site interviews every Monday and Wednesday, 9am – 3pm at 165 Spicer Drive – Gordonsville, TN.

No high school diploma of GED required but must be able to pass a background check and drug screen.

Get a $100 gift card after working 6 weeks.

You can also apply in person at HG Staffing located at 120 Pauline Gore Way – Carthage, TN 37030.

Smith County Weather Report: January 20, 2022

by Steve Norris, Smith County Insider Weather Correspondent

We have at least several more weeks of this winter cold to come I’m afraid. We will just get a brief warm-up for a day or two before the next cold front comes. The weekend is looking partly cloudy with highs in the low 40s by Sunday and we may even see upper 40s on Monday but a chance of rain and snow returns Tuesday and Wednesday.

For folks that were missing winters like we used to have, you are probably really enjoying this season and there are about three more systems between now and early February that could bring snow chances to Middle Tennessee. If you need weather data I am always available at weather1@charter.net

Smith County Chamber Corner Show – January 2022

Check out the January 2022 edition of the Smith County Chamber Corner Show!

This month’s show features updates from events going on in and around Smith County.

If you would like to promote your event or local business on the Smith County Chamber Corner Show, contact the Smith County Chamber of Commerce by calling 615-735-2093 today. 

Watch the full show below, or catch it on DTC3 TV!

Methamphetamine Found During Carthage Traffic Stop

On December 25, 2021 Deputy Dillon Sandlin was called to assist Deputy Dallas Eddie in a traffic stop. The sole occupant of the vehicle, Mr. William Starnes, gave consent to search the vehicle. The search revealed a glass pipe containing residue, a baggie containing 1 gram of a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine, a cut straw with residue inside, and an additional bag of the crystal like substance. Mr. Starnes admitted to the aforementioned items having belonged to him. He was advised of his rights and placed until arrest.

Mr. Starnes is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  

Latest list of candidates for May 3, 2022 primary; Petitions available until February 17

Qualifying petitions were made available beginning December 20, 2021, with a deadline to return them by Noon, February 17, 2022. Candidates must declare whether they will participate in the Republican or Democratic primary in May or qualify as an independent candidate. The winners of the primaries will then appear on the general election ballot on August 4, 2022. Independent candidates will not appear on the May primary ballots and only appear on the general election ballot. All candidates must qualify by Noon on February 17, 2022, regardless of participating in a primary or not.

In addition to the county primaries on May 3, the primaries for the elected offices for the 15th Judicial District will also be held. Municipal and state elections are slated to occur later in 2022.  Be sure to follow Smith County Insider for up-to-date coverage of the 2022 election cycle.

The following is a list of candidates that have picked up petitions as of January 18, 2022:

OfficeCandidatePartyDate IssuedDate Filed
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE – DIVISION IClara ByrdRepublican1/11/22
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE – DIVISION IIMichael CollinsRepublican12/20/2112/20/21
CHANCELLORCK SmithRepublican1/11/22
CRIMINAL COURTBrody KaneRepublican12/27/21
PUBLIC DEFENDERShelley Thompson GardnerRepublican12/28/21
COUNTY MAYORRicky SlackRepublican1/14/22
Chris Nixon
Helen Vose

Greta KirbyDemocratic12/21/211/18/22
(New Middleton)
(Rock City)
James W. SmithIndependent 12/20/21
Linda Nixon
Eddie Stout

Casey ElrodIndependent 12/30/21
(South Carthage)
Tommy Bane
Junior Fields
Connor D. McDonald

Tim BellarIndependent 12/20/21
TRUSTEERonnie Lankford
Julie Wright

GENERAL SESSIONS JUDGEBranden BellarIndependent 12/28/21
SHERIFFSteve Hopper
Scott Moore
SCHOOL BOARD – District 3
(New Middleton)
Marty McCaleb
Stephanie Winfree

SCHOOL BOARD – District 4
(Rock City)
Joe TaylorRepublican1/4/22
SCHOOL BOARD – District 6
Barbara Kannapel
Ricky Shoulders

SCHOOL BOARD – District 8
Scotty LewisRepublican12/28/21

Food for Thought: New Year New Financial Goals

By Mary Parker Draper, Extension Agent – Smith County

The new year is a time that encourages many people to evaluate goals and plans in a myriad of areas, from weight loss and nutrition to education and career management to financial health and spending. While strategic money management may be challenging for many, University of Tennessee Extension Consumer Economics Specialist Christopher T. Sneed has laid out six simple steps that anyone can follow to build wealth and develop lifelong and sustainable spending practices.

Build a Budget
The first thing you need to do is to gain an understanding of how much money you have coming into your household (income) and how much money you have going out of your household (expenses). Building a budget will help you gain this understanding. 

While some people think budgets are boring or only for people that have money, understanding how you spend money can be insightful and a learning experience for all. Everyone – rich, poor and everyone in between – needs a budget.

Ultimately, the goal of building a budget is to have your money work for you. You will be able to clearly see your income versus expenses and create a plan to begin building assets and savings. A variety of budget tools are available to help with this process. Visit https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W1018A.pdf for an example.

Building a spending plan is a process — not a one-time event. Check your plan often and make changes to help it fit your situation. The more you work with it, the better it will work for you!

Live Within Your Means
The next task is the hardest for many of us – living within your means. In order to accumulate wealth, your income must be more than your expenses. If you know or suspect you are spending more than your income each month, you have two options: increase your income or reduce your spending. In reality, a combination of these options may work best as you work out a successful financial plan.

To reduce spending, consider cutting discretionary items to start, like streaming services, subscriptions, takeout coffee and eating out at restaurants.

Build an Emergency Fund
Building and having an emergency fund allows you to take charge of life’s financial curveballs, addressing them with a plan and confidence. Outstanding debt, job security, working patterns, and family status all help determine the right size emergency fund for your family. For most families, 3-6 months of net income is ideal. If you have high-cost credit, such as credit card debt, your emergency fund should be equal to 1-2 months of your net income after taxes until those debts are paid off, when you can continue building your savings up to 3-6 months of your net income. If your job is seasonal or unstable, you’ll need more stashed away in case emergencies occur in leaner months.

UT Extension publication found at https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W1018E.pdf provides further guidance for this step.

Pay off High-Cost Debt
After you have gotten your spending under control and built an emergency fund, it is time to pay off high-cost debt. This is generally the credit card charges carried month to month which are accruing interest. A great way to do this is by using the snowball method. In this approach, you focus on your smallest debt first with the goal of paying it off as quickly as possible. Continue making minimum payments on all your debts but put any extra funds you have toward paying off the smallest debt. This will help you pay it off faster.

Once the smallest debt is paid in full, add the payment you were making to the minimum payment of the next smallest debt. This way, you create a “snowball” of payments as you eliminate each debt.

Consider Homeownership
Home equity is still the number one way most Americans build wealth. Investing in a home can help you build wealth in three ways. First, well-chosen real estate property is expected to increase in value. If you live in a fast-growing urban or suburban area, your home may increase in value at a higher rate. Second, as monthly mortgage payments are made, wealth builds as you own more and more equity in your home. Lastly, mortgage interest can be a deductible expense for income taxes which may help lower your tax burden as well.

Save for Retirement
Figure out how much of your savings you can save for retirement and how much you will need to save for pre-retirement needs. Your company or your spouse’s company may offer salary deferred accounts to set aside income in which you will postpone paying taxes until you withdraw it at retirement. Such accounts could include a 401(k), 403(b), Employee Stock Ownership Plan or other accounts. If you don’t have one of these options, almost everyone qualifies for a regular individual retirement account (IRA) through a bank or investment company. Depending on your tax bracket, you can realize 15 percent or more savings increases by tax-deferring income. Just remember that you’ll pay a hefty penalty in addition to taxes on the amount you withdraw if you must take money out of a tax-sheltered fund before you reach retirement.

Working through the strategies above takes time and discipline – but it’s worth it. With a plan and clear goals, you can face the new year with the resolve and skills you need to reach your financial goals.

Charleston Cheese Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese

2 green onions, finely chopped

Dash of cayenne pepper

8 Ritz crackers, crushed

8 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, onions, and cayenne pepper. Pour into baking dish. Top with cracker crumbs and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and top with bacon. Submitted by Night Owls FCE Club.

UT Extension News: Real Life Solutions

By Chris Hicks, County Director – UT Extension Smith County

A few years back, University of Tennessee Extension started promoting a new tagline, Real.Life.Solutions. While I’m not usually big on taglines, this one has grown on me, and I think it does a pretty good job telling the story of what UT Extension is all about. 

UT Extension has an office in every county in Tennessee, staffed with professionals who are knowledgeable in areas such as agriculture, families and health, and youth development. As an “extension” of the University of Tennessee, we are able to bring research-based information from the University into local communities. 

The goal of Extension is to provide education, with Extension agents in the local office being the link between Tennesseans and university specialists, scientists, and researchers. Extension professionals are able to provide information on a variety of subjects, ranging from landscaping to nutrition, from animal health to family money management. In other words, we provide solutions to real life problems. 

 In a single day, individuals may come into the local Extension office with questions on a variety of topics such as weed control, disease management, or family health. It would be difficult for any one individual to be an expert on all those topics, yet there are specialists in each of them, along with many others, at the University who provide support for agents across the state. 

Extension also has hundreds of publications available free of charge. Topics range from nutrition and food safety, to livestock production, to home gardening and more. Most of our publications are available online at smith.tennessee.edu

Some of UT Extension’s agriculture programs include classes and workshops for farmers and landowners. We also provide education through field days, on-farm demonstrations, and farm visits. Whether it is picking out a new crop variety, soil testing to determine fertility needs, or learning to control a pest infestation, professional and novice farmers alike can trust that information from our office will be based on research that has been proven in Tennessee.

Besides programs in agriculture, the local UT Extension office also provides education for families and youth. Family and Consumer Sciences programs focus on family, food, health, home, and money. Besides offering classes like Tai Chi for Arthritis and Canning College, our Family and Community Education (FCE) Clubs meet all around the county each month and seek to better serve their families and communities through club work.

The 4-H Youth Development program helps “make the best better” by teaching youth public speaking, citizenship, leadership, and many more life lessons while working on projects they enjoy. These youth are able to learn in a variety of formats such as in school meetings, judging teams, after school programs, camps, conferences, and various service projects.

If you’ve never considered all that UT Extension has to offer, I hope you will drop by for a visit. Our office is located at 125 Gordonsville Hwy, Suite 300 in Carthage. You can also find us online at smith.tennessee.edu, on Facebook at UT Extension-Smith County, or give us a call at 615-735-2900. 

The University of Tennessee Extension, Smith County offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or veteran status and is an equal opportunity employer.

Free concert in honor of Joel and Seth Tyree to be held at the Smith County Ag Center on February 6th

The Tyree family will be hosting a free concert at the Smith County Ag center in honor of Joel and Seth Tyree. The concert will consist of The Kody Norris Show featuring Josiah Tyree along with Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny.

Brothers, Seth and Joel Tyree, tragically past away last year at the young ages of 18 and 25. The family is hosting the concert to thank the community for all of the kindness shown to them during their difficult time.

The show will begin at 2PM on Sunday, February 6, 2022.

See a preview of both bands below:

January 2022 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, at 6:00 pm.

Several items were discussed. Watch the full meeting below

Thanks to Smith County Animal Clinic for sponsoring Smith County Insider’s live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Carthage City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Carthage City Hall, located at 314 Spring Street in Carthage, Tennessee – 37030.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.