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October 2022
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tnAchieves Needs 4,500 Volunteer Mentors in One Month

With just one month until the October 21, 2022 deadline, tnAchieves needs 4,500 additional volunteer mentors to serve the TN Promise Class of 2023. 14 mentors are still needed in Smith County.

While tnAchieves is more than halfway to its goal of recruiting 9,000 mentors for 2023, there remains a significant need for volunteer mentors. As tnAchieves works to reverse negative college-enrollment trends seen during the pandemic by introducing innovative programs to better serve students, there is no more exciting time to volunteer as a tnAchieves mentor.

Ultimately, tnAchieves mentors help students realize their full potential as a college student. Many TN Promise students will be the first in their family to go to college, and the encouragement a mentor provides can be the push a student needs to achieve college success! “I wouldn’t have gotten this far without a mentor behind me through this journey!” says Shychuria, a tnAchieves college graduate. “They taught me that no matter where you come from, it’s about where you are going! It’s important to chase your dreams!”

tnAchieves mentors not only help students to achieve their college-going goals and contribute to growing their community’s workforce. “Attending college and using TN Promise allowed me to gain a solid academic foundation. It also allowed me to stay home and remain connected with family, friends and my community,” said Sara, a tnAchieves college graduate. “Now that I have graduated, I hope to return back to my hometown to start my career and serve my community!”

tnAchieves mentors help to ensure individual student success, but also the success of their communities long term!

By giving one hour per month, tnAchieves mentors provide critical support and encouragement for high school seniors in their community.  All volunteers are provided training as well as ongoing support from the tnAchieves team. Those interested in applying or learning more can visit https://tnAchieves.org/mentors

tnAchieves is a privately funded scholarship and mentoring program that seeks to provide an opportunity for every Tennessee student to earn a post‐secondary degree. If you have questions about the tnAchieves mentoring program, please contact Tyler Ford at (309) 945-3446 or tyler@tnAchieves.org.

East/West/Middle Tennessee! It’s time to show why we’re the Volunteer State!

Right now–tnAchieves is halfway to its goal of recruiting but they still need 45-hundred volunteer mentors.

With your help—tnAchieves can reverse the negative college enrollment trends from the pandemic.

All it takes is one hour per month!

At last check—14 mentors are still needed in Smith County.

tnAchieves is the partnering organization to the TN Promise which provides an opportunity for every high school senior in our state to go to college tuition-free.

Volunteer mentors support students and can be the push they need to achieve college success.

To apply we have a link on our website (wbir.com, wsmv.com etc.)—or you can go directly to tnAchieves.org.

The deadline is October 21st. Visit www.tnAchieves.org/mentors to learn more and apply.

Izzy Cruz-In Benefit & Scott Allmon Memorial Poker Run October 1st & 2nd 2022

The Justified Riding Club and Caney Fork CMT Abate will be holding their annual 9th Annual Izzy Cruz-In Benefit and 8th Annual Scott Allmon Memorial Poker Run on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday 2, 2022.

The Izzy Cruz-In Benefit on Saturday, October 1, 2022, will be a family friendly day at the Smith County Agricultural Center with live music, corn hole, auctions, venders, bounce houses, and more! Live Music begins at 10 a.m. and will be on both indoor and outdoor stages throughout the day. Several bands will perform throughout the day with local talent Tennessee Outlaw Country will perform at 8 p.m.

Gates open at 10:00 a.m. There is a $10 entry fee. Kids 10 and under are free. Bike Games will begin at 11 a.m. Dessert Auction will be 12-1 p.m. and Live Auction will be 2-4 p.m. in the Ag Center. The Silent Auction and sales for the Honda Gold Wing Bike and Winchester XSP Shotgun Raffle will be day. Silent Auction winners will be announce prior to the evening concert. Raffle winners will be announced at the end of the Scott Allmon Poker Run.

Registration for the Cornhole Tournament is $15 per person or $30 per team. A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the 1st place team and 2nd place will also receive a prize. The tournament will begin at 1 p.m.

The Izzy Cruz-In car and bike show registration is $10 per car or bike. 25 trophies and plaques will be awarded for various categories thanks to O’Reilly’s Auto parts.Registration for the Car and Bike Show begins at 10:30 a.m. and continues until noon. Judging will take place at 2:00 p.m.

Izabella Gates had a 4-wheeler accident on July 12, 2014 in which she sustained a right below the knee amputation on the scene. She had several surgeries and procedures to maintain as much of her limb as possible.  She was able to wear a prosthetic around 6 weeks after that surgery.  She did all of that while in kindergarten. She is now a 8th grader at SCMS. Since that time, she has not had to have more surgeries,’ but she does require new sockets, knees, and feet at least yearly. She is active at her middle school and has played on the volleyball team since the 5th grade. 

The Scott Allmon Memorial Ride will top off the weekend on Sunday, October 2, 2022

There will be a poker run on Sunday, October 2, 2022 to honor Scott Allmon, from Elmwood, who lost his life leaving the first Izzy Event. Registration for the Scott Allmon Poker Run will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Gordonsville Shell Station, 483 Gordonsville Hwy. The run will begin at 11 a.m. with stops at the Docks, AmVets, 12 Degrees and ending at the Justified Club House. The entry for cars and bikes is $20 and includes 1 poker hand. Additional hands can be purchased for $10. There will be additional prizes for best and worst hands and 50/50 drawings.

For more information about these events and their sponsors check out their facebook pages at Justified Riding Club and Caney Fork CMT ABATE. The events and sponsors are supported by various community members and businesses. They contribute personal time volunteering, organizing, participating and providing financial support to charitable events throughout Middle Tennessee all year long . They enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for motorcycles and riding. Even more, they love the opportunity to support Smith County and specific needs of individuals, community groups and organizations.

Joe Hearn Memorial Scholarship Fund Poker Run – Saturday, September 24th 2022

The Alexandria Lion’s Club will host the Joe Hearn Memorial Scholarship Poker Run on Saturday, September 24th 2022. Hot Rods, Bikes, etc. are welcome. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the run will depart from 300 Fairgrounds Road, Alexandria,TN.

Registration is $25 per entry and $10 per passenger (additional hand). A BBQ lunch is included. Prizes will be given for overall highest and lowest scoring hand. In case of inclement weather a rain date of October 1st has been set. Contact Brad or Chris at 615-529-2580 for more information.

In 2018 a memorial scholarship fund was setup by the Alexandria lions Club in memory of Joe. The scholarship is awarded toa high school vocational student each year. Joe was an avid Ford Mustang lover and longtime member of the Alexandria Lions Club. The run is a just one way the Alexandria Lions club continues to show their love to Joe and give back to the community.

Traffic stop leads to arrest for methamphetamine possession and other charges

Jesse Hunter

On August 5, 2022 K9 Sgt. Long observed a truck with a non-working passenger brake light and other improper or non-working lights on the tags leaving a gas station in Gordonsville. While following the vehicle onto I40 the officer observed the vehicle failing to maintain travel in the lane of traffic. He initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Jesse Hunter, 32 of Cookeville, TN.

Hunter was talkative and the officer noticed he seemed to struggle to stay focused on the task of producing appropriate identifying paperwork for the vehicle. He also observed a fresh puncture mark with blood residue on Hunter’s hand. Additionally, while talking with Hunter, Sgt. Long observed that Hunter’s eyes were non-reactive to light and constricted. Hunter and the passenger were asked to exit the vehicle and both consented to a search of their person.

Deputy Robbie Woodard arrived to the scene and deployed K9 Braun for a free-air search of the vehicle. K9 Braun alerted to the presences of drugs on the vehicle. Hunter and the passenger were placed in handcuffs and held in the patrol cars while the vehicle was searched.

On Hunter’s person, officers found 1 gram of white substance Hunter identified as heroin along with $440.00 of U.S. currency. Within the vehicle 4 bags of methamphetamine containing 3.6 ounces, 3.8 grams of marijuana, digital scales and multiple pieces of aluminum foil consistent with distribution were found. Hunter stated that all the items belong to him. He was transported to the Smith County Justice Center for booking. He was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while in possession of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of controlled substances and possession of methamphetamine for resale. He was released on bond and will face future court dates.

Secretary Hargett Encourages Tennesseans to Register to Vote on the 10th Annual National Voter Registration Day

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, Secretary of State Tre Hargett is encouraging Tennesseans to register to vote or make sure their address on file is up to date.

“Registering to vote is the very first step to making your voice heard on Election Day,” said Secretary Hargett. “If you’re not registered, National Voter Registration Day is the perfect time to get ready to cast your ballot. Registering to vote is important because our society is better off when every eligible voter participates in the process.”

It has never been easier to register to vote, cast a ballot or get accurate election information in Tennessee. Registering to vote, updating or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system, GoVoteTN.gov

Using a computer, phone or tablet, any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register in minutes at GoVoteTN.gov. Each submission is checked against the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s database. A paper voter registration application is also available to download at GoVoteTN.gov.

“Making it easier than ever before for Tennesseans to register to vote and cast a ballot while protecting the integrity of our elections is our highest priority,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “We work with legislators and county election administers so that every Tennessean can have confidence in our elections and know that it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in the Volunteer State.”

Tennessee was recently ranked number one in the country for election integrity by The Heritage Foundation. This ranking results from Tennessee’s continual work to incorporate the best practices to protect the integrity of the ballot box.

The Secretary of State’s office and local county election commissions are Tennessee’s trusted sources for accurate election information. For the latest information about upcoming elections and the Secretary of State’s voter registration efforts, follow their social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate

Tennesseans are encouraged to use the Secretary of State’s #GoVoteTN hashtag on social media posts promoting voter registration on National Voter Registration Day and throughout the year. 

National Voter Registration Day and National Voter Registration Month are nonpartisan, nationwide efforts to encourage all eligible voters to register and participate in the electoral process.

For more information about registering to vote in Tennessee, go to GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

Food for Thought: A Matter of Balance

Have you turned down a chance to go out with family or friends because you were concerned about falling? Have you cut down on a favorite activity because you might fall? If so, A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls is a program for you!

Fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Many older adults also experience increased isolation and depression when they limit their interactions with family and friends. A Matter of Balance can help people improve their quality of life and remain independent.

A Matter of Balance is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance.

UT Extension in Smith, DeKalb, and Wilson Counties are offering A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls at the Smith County Senior Center. Classes will be held on September 30, October 6, October 11, October 20, October 27, November 3, November 17, and November 21. Each session will begin at 1:00 p.m. and last about 2 hours. A workbook is provided for each participant.

Please call Mary Parker Draper at the UT Extension office in Smith County at 615-735-2900 or email mparke33@utk.edu for more information or to register.

Butterfinger Cake

½ cup butter, melted

½ cup saltine crackers, crushed

1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs

2 cups milk

2 boxes vanilla pudding mix

1 quart vanilla ice cream

1 8 oz container Cool Whip

4 (approx. 8 oz) Butterfinger candy bars, crushed

For crust, combine melted butter, crushed saltine crackers, and graham cracker crumbs. Mix ingredients together. Reserve 1/3 cup of mixture. Press remaining mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan.

For filling, combine milk, vanilla pudding mix, and ice cream. Mix all ingredients together and pour in crust. Chill for about 1 hour. Spread Cool Whip on top. Mix 1/3 cup crust mixture with crushed butterfingers. Sprinkle on top of Cool Whip. Keep cool until ready to serve. Submitted by Night Owls FCE Club.

UT Extension News: Reseeding the Lawn

A common question I get throughout the year is “When do I need to sow grass in my yard?” It’s a great time to talk about this because as a former Extension Specialist once said, “The best time to plant cool-season grass is September, and the next best time is next September.”

Turf type tall fescue is the primary grass used in home lawns across Tennessee. It tolerates heat, drought, and pests better than other cool-season grasses and looks better during the winter than warm-season alternatives. So for our purpose today, let’s focus on reseeding tall fescue.

Homeowners commonly want to broadcast seed on the existing lawn without removing the existing weeds and turf. However, just because it is common, that doesn’t make it the right choice. For seeds to germinate and grow, they must have good contact with the soil. This is nearly impossible if there is thick thatch and weeds.

Even if the seed does manage to contact the soil surface and germinate, this tender seedling has to compete with mature plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients. It will lose that battle more often than not. Killing the existing sod with either herbicide or tillage will greatly improve your chance of success.

If you have small trouble spots that need reseeding, you can work the ground with a hoe or tiller and then reseed. Small bare spots in lawns can be renovated without destroying existing grass or preparing the seedbed. Broadcast seed on the soil surface and then cover the seed with about an eighth of an inch of topsoil or sand.

A better option for larger areas is to use a dethatching machine that will loosen dead grass, weeds, and thatch and leave slits in the soil surface for seed to fall into. Renting one of these machines and crossing the area to be reseeded several times will increase your chances of success. After dethatching, evenly broadcast seed at a rate of 5-8 pounds per 1,000 square feet for tall fescue. Rake the seed lightly into the seedbed or cross the area again with the dethatching machine.

Another option is to rent a no-till drill. Keep in mind that some of these are designed for pasture and will plant in rows 8 inches apart which is too wide for turf. To combat this, simply cross the turf area two to four times, preferably in different directions.

With a drill, calibrate to apply ½ to 1 pound of seed (tall fescue) per 1,000 square feet per pass, or 20 to 40 pounds of seed per acre per pass. If you cross the area three times, you will be seeding from 60 to 120 pounds of seed per acre. Do not use higher seeding rates for each pass, because all the seed is placed within a narrow slit. If too many seeds germinate within the slit, the seedlings will remain very immature and have poor drought/heat tolerance and often become diseased.

Preparing a seedbed with an aerifier (coring machine) is another great method to thicken a tall fescue turf that you do not want to injure with a non-selective herbicide. An aerifier does much less damage to an existing turf than the dethatching machine. Cross the area multiple times, with the tines on the aerator going about ½ to 1 inch deep in the soil. After this minimal seedbed preparation, broadcast tall fescue seed at 250 pounds per acre. Then drag the area with a section of chain link fence, a piece of carpet, or a steel drag mat.

Mulching new plantings, watering during dry periods, and maintaining proper fertility are also critical components of reseeding. For more information on turf seeding and management, contact the University of Tennessee Extension office at 615-735-2900 or visit turf.tennessee.edu.

Corn Hole Tournament at William Walton Harvest Festival – Saturday, September 24th

A Corn Hole Tournament is a new event expected at the William Walton Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 24th. There will be cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Registration will start at 11 a.m. Participants will draw for partners, boards and order. Play will begin at Noon. Winners will advance to the finals. The entry fee is $10. The tournament is sponsored by the Carthage Barber Shop and will take place on the lawn of the Smith County Historic Courthouse.

The William Walton Harvest Festival will take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with lots of family fun including yard games, bounce houses, live entertainment, food trucks, zip line and much more. Check our the previous SCI article about the William Walton Harvest Festival.

The 1st Annual Biggest Little Duck Race and Harvest Queen Pageant will also be held at the William Walton Harvest Festival see the previous posts for more details. The evening will end with a free concert featuring the band Beautifully Broken from Southern Lights Entertainment.

2nd Annual John Rose’s Family Farm Fish Fry

U.S. Representative John Rose of Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District will host his Second Annual Rose Family Farm Fish Fry on September 17, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rose Family Farm in Lancaster, TN.

Representative Rose said, “I am looking forward to the second annual Rose Family Farm Fish Fry. It was a great success last year, and we are excited to have everyone out to the family farm for some great food, fellowship and family fun.”

Tickets are available now online for $15 or can be purchased the day of the event for $20. Children five years and under can attend at no cost. The event is family friendly with live music plus games and activities for children.

The Rose Family Farm is the oldest farm in Smith County and was settled in 1790 by John and Ann Williams Lancaster. Congressman Rose is the eighth generation owner and operator of the property.

Please find event details and ticket information here.

Best of Bauer Citizens Bank Strength in Numbers

Citizens Bank, Carthage, Tennessee has once again earned a top (5-Star) rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm. Bauer rates every federally-insured U.S. bank with the same strict standards. It’s all about the numbers, and in the case of Citizens Bank, the numbers show strength. To earn Bauer’s Top Rating (5-Stars) Citizens Bank must excel in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, loan quality and more. And it does. In fact, Citizens Bank had earned Bauer’s top rating continuously since June 1989, (135 consecutive quarters), earning it the added distinction of “Best of Bauer Bank”, a designation reserved solely for those banks that have earned this top rating for 100 (or more) consecutive quarters.

“Citizens Bank has capital levels well in excess of what regulators consider to be ‘adequate’. That capital buffer is what will help Citizens Bank weather any downturn that may head our way, just as it has in the past. Capital is King in the banking business,” notes Karen Dorway, president of BauerFinancial. “It’s what enables a bank to continue business as usual even as those around it struggle. What you want is a bank with high capital levels, strong loan underwriting and solid profits, and that’s what you have with Citizens Bank. Neighbors and friends should feel secure in that.”

Established in 1929, Citizens Bank has been a mainstay in this community for 93 years. Community banking is a business based on building relationships. To that end, current and future customers should feel free to contact Citizens Bank in person, by phone or via its website: citzcar.com.

Glow Walk for Recovery on September 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

A GLOW WALK honoring National Recovery Month will be held on Thursday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. There will be a photo booth, prevention education, prizes, and much more!

This event will take place at the the trail head gazebo area of Rails to Trails walking trail in South Carthage. Everyone of all ages and fitness level is encouraged to participate. Come and walk at your own pace and distance.

This is a glow walk, and we will have glow sticks, glow in the dark face paint, and batter operated vigil candles available. Feel free to bring a flashlight to help light your path. T-shirts are available for purchase for $10.00. Please let us know at registration if you would like a T-shirt.

U.S. Rep. John Rose Names Leah Bane Deputy Chief of Staff

Leah Bane, Deputy Chief of Staff

Washington, D.C.—Monday, U.S. Representative John Rose (TN-6) announced the promotion of Smith County native, Leah Bane, to Deputy Chief of Staff. Bane has served as the Director of Operations for Representative Rose since 2019, working in the Washington, D.C. office.

“I am proud to promote Leah Bane to Deputy Chief of Staff because she is a reflection of the best of Tennessee,” said Representative Rose. “She is guided by her faith, works until the job is done and brings a level of intelligence and intuition that enables this office to better serve the people of Tennessee. I look forward to seeing Leah make the most of this opportunity.”

As Deputy Chief of Staff, Bane will serve as an adviser to Representative Rose with an emphasis on the operations in Washington. She will work under the tutelage of former Congressman and longtime Tennessee Republican stalwart, Van Hilleary, who continues his role as Chief of Staff.

Prior to her work with Representative Rose, Bane worked with elected officials, key stakeholders and community leaders from across Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District in both banking and economic development job roles. She previously worked as an Economic Development Planner for the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD).

Upon learning about Bane’s promotion, Executive Director for UCDD Mark Farley said, “Leah will be a great asset to Congressman Rose and the entire district. Having worked in the Upper Cumberland, she is uniquely positioned to understand the needs and values of our region.”

“Having the opportunity to serve the constituents and communities of Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District is truly a blessing,” said Bane. “There is no greater privilege than being able to advocate for your hometown and surrounding communities. Knowing the places and faces of those we are working on behalf of in Washington, D.C. makes the work we do even more rewarding.”

Bane was raised in Carthage and is a graduate of Smith County High School. She is also an alumna of Tennessee Technological University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting. 

U.S. Representative John Rose is currently serving his second term representing Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District and resides in Cookeville with his wife, Chelsea, and their two sons, Guy and Sam. The Sixth District includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson counties as well as portions of Cheatham and Van Buren counties. Representative Rose is an eighth-generation farmer, small business owner, and attorney, and currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee.

Second Harvest Food Truck Wednesday, September 14

The Second Harvest Food Truck will be at the Smith County Agriculture Center on Wednesday, September 14th. The truck generally arrives approximately 10 a.m. Volunteers work to unload the truck and get the food ready for pick-up shortly after. Food is distributed until it is gone. Cars line up around the Ag Center early. Those hoping to receive food at this distribution are encouraged to be in line no later than 11 a.m.

The food trucks are sponsored by the Hunger Relief Fund of Smith County and grants from Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN. Churches, businesses and individuals donate to the hunger relief fund all year. Generally two dates are scheduled each month. For more information feel free to contact the Smith County Chamber of Commerce 615-735-2093.

Smith County Chamber Corner Show- September 2022

Check out the September 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

September 2022 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 6, 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/.