School board discusses band program with music teacher at work session

Amanda Hill Bond

 The Pickett County School Board met on Monday, March 13th, with all board members present.
 The work session began at 6:39 p.m., and discussions were made about what is on the agenda for the regular meeting scheduled immediately after. The first item was involving policy 6.411 for Student Wellness and the second was textbook adoptions for Agriculture. Since it was the second reading for policy 6.411, there wasn't much discussion. Instruction and Curriculum Supervisor Randy Garrett presented the board in detail the specifics for the textbook adoptions for Agriculture, what was recommended for the board to approve.
It was also during the work session when Director Diane Elder asked Pickett County Music Teacher and Band Director Ryan Aldridge if he wanted to go ahead and speak to the board for questions the board would like to ask. At that time, the PRESS requested that the discussion also be done during the meeting so it could be official, since this was just a work session. While work sessions are subject to open records laws, if there is no vote taken, there isn't a requirement by law for the board to record discussions. However, according to the Pickett County School Board Policy 1.406 regarding minutes, it should be recorded in the minutes of the names of those addressing the board and the purpose of their remarks  and include a brief account of those items discussed, and whether or not any motions were made regarding those items.
 Board member Jr. Beaty asked Mr. Aldridge what the board could do to help improve the band program or encourage more participation. Mr. Aldridge said that one problem was trying to keep the turnover each year and keeping students involved past 8th grade. There are currently 17 students in band, with one senior Neil Storie who is auditioning soon for a music scholarship at Tennessee Tech. It was suggested by Director Elder and board member Jr. Beaty that Mr. Aldridge present some more information to the board at the next meeting.
 There was discussion regarding the timing of the next meeting with the budget needing to be submitted 45 days prior to being passed by the county commission, the date was changed by the Director to Monday, April 24th.
 The regularly scheduled meeting began at 7:00, and Chairman John Reagan asked if anyone in attendance who isn't on the present agenda and would like to be placed on it. The addition of the band discussion and decision to have it brought back to the board was not included on the agenda.
 Motion by Nathan Anderson and seconded by Jr. Beaty to adopt the agenda and minutes from the February 13th, 2017, meeting was carried with all ayes. The second reading of the Student Wellness policy 6.411 was approved with all ayes. Motion to approve textbook adoptions for Agriculture was made by Nathan Anderson and John Reagan, with all ayes.
 PCHS Principal Jane Winningham reported that the senior trip will be kicking is off next week and there are around 36-38 students who will be attending. Due to one of the teachers not being able to help chaperone the trip, Principal Winningham asked a parent of one of the
students to fill in. The TN Promise meeting was rescheduled due to school being out, parents don't have to attend. The information is on the website. There will be prom dresses and accessories set up for those students who would need help with cost of dresses at the Ag building on April 8th. There are around 35 dresses that have been provided by a few members of the community. Report cards will be coming out Monday, April 20th.
 PCK8 Principal Kenny Tompkins reported that report cards will now be distributed on Wednesday, March 22nd and Parent/Teacher Conference is Thursday, March 23rd. Teachers are getting the students ready for testing in April.
 Technology Supervisor Debbie Elder said that, both schools are
getting a virtual headset and computer, through a program. There will be a permanent set-up for this equipment at each school.
School Nutrition Supervisor Lisa Cummings informed the board of a meeting they could attend that will discuss a new Smart Snacks
program that will be implemented next school year.
 The meeting was adjourned at 7:11 with the next meeting rescheduled to Monday, April 24th, work session at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Pickett County Schools close due to illness

Amanda Hill Bond

 Once again, Pickett County Schools are having to close because of sickness. There was an announcement Monday, March 13th that school would be closed for the remainder of the week, with a high amount of students and staff being absent. The flu seems to have made a comeback since the last time school was out for sickness in February. 
 The symptoms most are reporting fatigue, nausea, and high fevers.
 To help keep the spread of the flu and other germs, stay at home if you are feeling sick or have a fever. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Vitamin C is the biggest immune booster, so daily intake is vital because our bodies don't make it. Other vitamins to help with immune system are Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.

 If you are sick, get plenty of rest and drink as much water or non-
caffeinated drinks to keep hydrated. Caffeine is a diuretic so you 
might want to stay way from it.
 There's also nothing like some hot chicken noodle soup to help get you on the path to recovery.

Robert Reagan takes first place in BLF bass tournament

<strong>Robert Reagan takes first place in BLF bass tournament</strong>
Robert Reagan has his third career win on DHL. PHOTO: STAR POINT MARINA

Local angler Robert Reagan of Byrdstown weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 7 ounces, last Saturday to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division event of 2017 on Dale Hollow Lake presented by Navionics. Forhis win, Reagan was awarded $7,298.
 “I started off the day throwing a green-pumpkin-colored custom jig,” said Reagan, who earned his third career-win on Dale Hollow Lake in  BFL competition. “I focused on mid-lake transition banks that had chunk rock. I caught a smallmouth and two largemouth bass before the wind really picked up.”
 Reagan said that around 9:30 a.m. he switched to a ½-ounce Strike King spinnerbait. He said he continued running chunk rock banks and was up able to catch three more largemouth.
  “I was sitting in 25 to 30 feet of water, but the bass were up
shallower,” said Reagan. “They were stationed where the bluff walls turned into flats. I worked the lures to about 4 to 8 feet, which seemed to be the magic depth.”
 Reagan said his heaviest catches came toward the end of the day.
“I finished off my day with the jig in more stained water,” said
Reagan. “I put my two biggest bass in the boat by 1 p.m., which was a great way to wrap things up.”
 One of Reagan’s bass – a 5-pound, 14-ouncer – was the heaviest
weighed in at the event. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $680.

  Jo Lesak wins 17th Annual Pig Tournament at Forbus

 Mr. Eddie Anderson, owner of Forbus General Store, presented Jo Lesak of Byrdstown with the 17th Annual Championship Pig Tournament plaque after her win on Feb. 25th. Jo and Pat Sells were tied after five hours of competition between some 60+ players.
 In the final playoff, Jo came out victorious. Lessons for teenagers are planned for later this year with a teen tournament to follow.
 For rules of the game, stop by the store or go to the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce website.


Funeral services held for Neal

 Chancellor Vernon Neal died Friday evening March 3, 2017 at
Cookeville Regional Medical Center.
Funeral services were held for retired Chancellor Vernon Neal, 85, of Cookeville at First Baptist Church March 7 at 11 a.m.
 In 1962, Judge Neal ran his first political race as Direct
Representative of Putnam County, now known as state House of
Representatives. During two terms as representative, he sponsored legislation permitting counties to elect school board members and road supervisor, strengthened laws that made it more difficult for public figures to mishandle public funds and supported area training for the mentally and physically disabled.
 In 1966, Representative Neal became State Senator, representing the 14th State Senate District. During his final term, Senator Neal was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to the State Calendar Committee, which mandates resolutions allowed to move forward to the senate floor, he served as secretary of the state education committee, member of the judiciary committee and general welfare and environment committee. Senator Neal sponsored
legislation requiring all newborns to be screened for PKU for
prevention of mental disability and with his colleague Representative Tommy Burks, acquired state funding for Burgess Falls State Park and expansion of Tennessee Technological University including Tucker Stadium, Hooper Eblen Center and Bryant Fine Arts. At the conclusion of this state service, Senator Neal was honored by the “Friends of Education” and during the dinner, TTU President Roaden stated “Senator Neal’s leadership can be described as being a committed states man with faith in our future.” Dr. Roaden further stated, “One of the mountains in the Upper Cumberland should be named Mt. Vernon.”
 In 1980, retired State Senator Neal was elected as Chancellor of the 13th Judicial District and served in this capacity for 25 years. He quoted, “I’d like to think I made a difference in people’s lives.”
During Chancellor Neal’s tenure, he was estimated to have heard over 35,000 cases. In an interview at the time of his retirement,
Chancellor Neal stated, “We are blessed with outstanding lawyers in the 13th Judicial District, and I believe they compare with lawyers anywhere in the state; good lawyers make a judge’s job so much easier.”

Fatality on Billy Zachary Road

Amanda Hill Bond

 After several years of no fatalities in Pickett County, a Pall Mall
man died in an accident last Saturday night.
 At around 9:40 p.m., authorities were notified of an accident on
Billy Zachary Road off of Highway 325 (Moodyville Road).
 The accident report indicates that a 2007 Chevy car driven by Phillip Upchurch, 55, of Pall Mall, was traveling north when it left the roadway and struck a tree.
 Upchurch was not wearing his seatbelt and died at the scene from the injuries he sustained.
 The accident is being investigated by Tennessee Highway Patrol
Trooper Neil Matthews.

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