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Derrick Woods and late Roland A. Dykes, Jr. honored

JOHNSON CITY—Two Cocke County men, Derrick Woods of Parrottsville and the late Roland A. Dykes, Jr., were among those honored at the recent DAPS Awards (Distinguished African American Profession and Student) banquet held in Johnson City.

AHERN DAPS Awards recognize distinguished African American pastors, professionals, teachers, and students. Honorees are selected from a list of candidates submitted each month by individuals, AHERN Board of Directors and AHERN magazine staff.

Those honored as pastors, professionals, and teachers must have served in their respective profession for at least three years.

Woods was honored as Professional of the Year.

He currently serves as Chief Deputy to the Cocke County Sheriff. He has served in the law enforcement field for 33 years, beginning in November following his graduation from Cocke County High School in the spring of 1988. He was hired by the late Sheriff Tunney Moore.

Through the years, Woods continued his education, graduating from the Walters State Community College Police Academy and later earned two associate degrees, one in Criminal Justice and the other in Public Safety/Law Enforcement from WSCC.

He then completed his Bachelor degree in Business/Law Enforcement from Liberty University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the UT National Management Forensics Academy.

In addition to his professional work, Woods is extremely active in his community, especially with the Boys & Girls Club, Feed My Sheep, and Parrottsville Ruritan Club. He was recently elected Vice-President of the Tennessee Picnic Association.

He is married to the former Tessa Manuel of Greeneville, and they have two children: daughter Makayla (Ethan) Barrett, who recently joined the ETSU Police Department, and son Jordan, age 15, a sophomore at Lakeway Christian Academy.

He is a member of New Zion AME Zion Church.

The family resides in Parrottsville.

Also honored at the banquet was the late Roland A. Dykes, Jr., who served as Newport’s Mayor, from 1998 until his death. Dykes was inducted into the AHERN American Hall of Legacy.

Dykes, born in 1931, was the youngest of seven children and only boy of Roland and Oray (Dawkins) Dykes. Educated at Tanner School, he continued his studies at Morristown College and was an outstanding athlete, lettering in football, basketball, baseball, and track.

His profession as mason took him to South Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio, before he returned to his native Newport in the mid-1950s. Numerous local buildings, including CCHS, Grassy Fork, Hartford, Parrottsville, Edgemont, and Tanner Schools, the Newport Community Center, First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches, and the local hospital and adjacent nursing home bear his signature.

A longtime member of Woodlawn United Methodist Church, Dykes was a lay speaker. In 1978 and 1979, following Hurricanes David and Allen, he was part of a ten-day mission trip to the West Indies to help rebuild ravaged structures.

He was a leader of the Tennessee Picnic Association, Newport Kiwanis Club, and various lodges.

Dykes and his wife, the former Elizabeth Carol Smith, were the parents of Terry Stewart, Roland A. “Trey” Dykes III, Stephanie (Dykes) Stewart, Gary Dykes, Kathy (Dykes) Sims, Vivian (Dykes) Reed, Dion Dykes, and Scottie Dykes.

Brooks and Powers to lead City School Board

NEWPORT—Jan Brooks and Mickey Powers, longtime members of the Newport City Board of Education, will lead the group for 2020.

Meeting Tuesday night at East Tennessee Coffee Company, the board voted unanimously to elect Brooks to the chairmanship. Powers was named vice-chairman in another unanimous vote.

Following the election, Brooks, who was the current chair and who has served on the board over 16 years, said, “It is indeed an honor to be named to this position and an honor to work with all of you.”

The board held a lengthy discussion regarding the purchase and installation of 27 bollards at the school.

Plans call for the vertical posts to be installed at the main entrance to the primary wing and in the lower parking lot near the gymnasium. Twenty-six of the bollards will be permanent with a moveable post near the gym to provide access for delivery and/or emergency vehicles.

Newport Grammar School Assistant Principal Dustin Morrow said School Safety money will be used to fund the project.

Morrow requested and received board approval to order the bollards from The Park at a cost of $6,400. The figure was the lowest of three submitted to the board.

Three bids for the installation of the bollards were opened during the meeting and, after a long discussion, the board tabled awarding the installation contract because of the wide discrepancy in the bids.

The three bids were Brockwell Construction ($16,120), Burchette Earthworks ($9,100), and Shoemaker’s ($4,500). Although all three companies received the same specs, the submissions varied greatly. On a motion by Powers, seconded by Linda Powell, a decision was tabled until the next meeting.

During their reports, NGS Principal Michael Short announced the school’s basketball teams will be playing in the District Championship and that Roland King, an eighth-grader, had won the school-wide spelling bee earlier in the day.

Morrow also said a recent Snow Ball, a dance given for students exhibiting positive behavior, had been successful, and a Snow Cone Social is planned for March.

Amy Burchette, Federal Programs Supervisor, said NGS had received a state commendation for meeting all requirements on its recent special education assessment survey, and that the Whole Child program has been reactivated with 10 sixth graders enrolled for this semester. Burchette said plans call for 20 students to participate next year, ten each semester.

Dr. Justin Norton, Systems and Assessments Supervisor, announced the ESL assessment testing is underway, and will be followed shortly by Special Education assessment, and the regular TCAP tests.

Norton also said he and NGS guidance counselor Ashley Ball met recently with 10 students having truancy problems. He explained that parents were present at the meetings. If a parent did not attend, a second notice will be sent. After that the matter will be turned over to the truancy court.

Norton said the school’s Tech Homework line is “up and going,” and that training for substitute teachers will be offered on Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. in the NGS primary building.

System Director of Schools Sandra Burchette told the group the state has adopted a more “hands-on” approach to the teaching of reading to students in grades K-2. “We will be receiving more directives from the state,” she said

Brooks announced the board’s next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the NGS primary building. The date was changed from the regular Monday meeting because of the Presidents Day holiday.

Lane closures to begin today in Cosby

NEWPORT—Daily lane closures are set to begin today on the Cosby Highway between its intersection with Indian Creek Road and the Cub Motel.

The closures are in connection with Newport Utilities current Cosby waterline replacement project. Stonebrook Drive will be closed daily at its intersection with Cosby Highway during the lane closures.

Portable traffic signals will be used for traffic control during this time.

The daily closures will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end daily at 3:30 p.m.

During these times, motorists should expect possible delays and are advised to allow for extra travel time or use an alternate route.

Work in the area is estimated to last approximately three to four weeks.