Local News Articles

Celebrate National Voter Registration Month in September!

September 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, about three out of 10 adults across our country who are eligible to vote aren't registered.

The good news is that there's an easy remedy for that problem.

That's why Secretary of State Tre Hargett is calling on people across Tennessee to celebrate National Voter Registration Month by registering to vote themselves - if they haven't already - and encouraging friends and neighbors to register.

"Voting is a fundamental right that many of our ancestors, friends and neighbors have fought and died to preserve," Secretary Hargett said. "We should never take that right for granted. It is free and easy to register to vote, and I encourage Tennesseans to be active participants in our electoral process. For people who are already registered to vote, National Voter Registration Month serves as a reminder to make sure their registration information is up to date so there are no issues on Election Day."

As part of the month-long celebration, Secretary Hargett is asking registered voters to join a nationwide social media campaign.

People can participate by logging onto www.GoVoteTN.com, then clicking on the "I’m Registered to Vote. Are You?" sign icon. There, they can get information about how to register to vote and also get access to a printable version of the sign. Registered voters are asked to pose for photos holding the signs, then post them on Twitter using #GoVoteTN as a hashtag. Many of the photos will also be shared on the Secretary of State's social media sites and participants are encouraged to post the photos through their other social media accounts as well.

The initial campaign last year in Tennessee generated more than 15 million impressions on social media.

"When we launched the campaign last year, we had great participation from many celebrities, singers, athletes, political leaders and people from all walks of life," Secretary Hargett said. "We expect Tennesseans will respond in a similar way to this year's campaign."

Also, Secretary Hargett and other secretaries of state across the country have declared Sept. 23 as National Voter Registration Day - a day intended to highlight the importance of registering to vote.

Eligible Tennessee residents have until Oct. 6 to register if they wish to vote in the Nov. 4 election. To get more information about how to register to vote or update registration information, visit www.GoVoteTN.com or contact your county election commission.

4-H Members Grill It at Outdoor Cookery Contest

September 7, 2014
by: 
Michael Barry
4-H Members Grill It at Outdoor Cookery Contest

Working with barbecue grills, charcoal, and fresh cuts of meat, DeKalb County 4-H members recently competed in the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest held in Lebanon. Each team member had to construct a charcoal fire and, using their best recipes, grill their choice of beef, lamb, pork, or poultry for some hungry judges to sample. Contestants receive individual scores based on fire preparation, safety, meat preparation skills, palatability and overall appearance of the final product. The junior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 7th – 9th grades. DeKalb County junior high team participants were Kayla Belk and Shelby Sprague. Kayla placed 6th in the beef division and Shelby placed 9th in the poultry division. The senior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 10th – 12th grades, had more than 50 participants in the division. DeKalb County senior high team members included Wyatt Martin, James Mathis, and Nathaniel Theriaque. James placed 2nd in the poultry division, Nathaniel placed 3rd in lamb, and Wyatt placed 14th in the beef division.

Picture caption.

4-H senior high outdoor meat cookery team members include (left to right): James Mathis, Wyatt Martin, and Nathaniel Theriaque.

DeKalb West School Hosts Ribbon Cutting and Open House (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 4, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West School

A host of guests joined members of the administration and faculty at DeKalb West Thursday evening to celebrate the opening of the new school addition.

Surrounded by a crowd of educators, parents, students, public officials, and other members of the community retiring Principal Danny Parkerson and his successor Sabrina Farler cut the ribbon just inside the main entrance to mark the milestone.

"The people standing behind us (students) are the people this school building is dedicated to. I look for great things out of them and I know their teachers do," said Parkerson.

The school sports a new look from the front and includes new classrooms, restrooms, and hallway, most of them tornado safe shelters. The facility also features a new secure entrance to the school, an office, clinic, conference room, and a teacher work area. Both the kitchen and cafeteria in the older building have also been expanded.

Parkerson, who will be stepping down as principal next Tuesday, thanked his staff for their support and paid tribute to teachers he has worked with over the years. "I can never say enough about the teachers and the staff at DeKalb West School. When you've been somewhere 37 years, it's a lifetime and I've enjoyed every minute of it. So many people (teachers) have shaped my thoughts and my life and I could never thank them enough. I'll bet that all of you standing here remember that one teacher that did something for you that made a difference in your life. If that teacher is still living tell him or her thank you. These teachers never get the credit they should get. Our teachers love your kids and that's what makes a good teacher", he said.

"I don't know what Tuesday will be like when I walk out of here the last time being a teacher or principal at DeKalb West. It'll be a strange feeling but I know I'm leaving it in good hands. If I summed up what I meant to our schools, I think the number one thing is that kids felt safe with us. We have a lot of different people raising kids nowadays. They want their kids to feel safe at school. Some of the things we've done here allows for more safety," he said.

"I'm extremely proud of all our (public) officials and you (public) as a taxpayer because ultimately we work for you. Taxpayers pay the bills and get things done. I give you credit and I thank you on my behalf for sharing your children with me. They are special and I appreciate it," said Parkerson.

Farler, who will be taking over as Principal at DeKalb West School next Wednesday said no major changes are planned. "I'm very excited about this wonderful school year we're going to have. Everybody keeps asking is there going to be a lot of change. We've got a lot of great things going so why change something great that's already going?"

Foutch Industries to Create Forty New Jobs

September 3, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Foutch Industries
Foutch Industries Operation

Foutch Industries has announced plans to add 40 jobs to its workforce.

"We're looking to add 40 people to the current staff which will put us at around 170," said Tracy Foutch, CEO and President of the Company in an interview with WJLE Wednesday.

"We're looking for assembly line workers, warehouse personnel, truck drivers, maintenance personnel, quality personnel and managers," he said.

Job opportunities are available for first, second, and third shift operations.

"This is good news for DeKalb County," said County Mayor Tim Stribling. "Companies like Foutch Industries are so vital to our community. They can add jobs when business improves and this helps our local economy. We have a good workforce here and I want to see all the industries we already have grow and prosper because that's just as important as our goal of attracting new industries which we hope to do in the months and years ahead," he said.

(Click the link below to download a job application)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/25433486/F-055%20%20%20%20Foutch%20I...

(Check out Foutch Industries website at http://www.foutchindustries.com/)

(VIEW VIDEO BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FOUTCH INDUSTRIES)

Foutch Industries is a full service industrial warehouse, and a custom coating operation for the automotive industry and many other industrial sectors with the capability to perform continuous or batch operations using either wet paint or powder coating media. Custom paint and powder coating capabilities are adaptable to a wide variety of industries. When parts need to be powder coated, wet painted or washed and cleaned, Foutch Industries can handle it. From continuous automated runs to batch manual jobs, Foutch Industries can customize a solution to exactly meet the need.

In 2013 Foutch Industries earned PACCAR quality certification for coating all substrates.

Some of the industries for which Foutch Industries has done work include:
•Agricultural Equipment
•Appliances (large and small)
•Automotive
•Aviation
•ATV/Motorcycle
•Communication Equipment
•Construction & Construction Equipment
•Consumer Products
•Dental Equipment
•Home Furnishing
•Electronic Equipment
•Fencing
•Industrial Equipment
•Industrial Fasteners
•Industrial Piping
•Industrial Storage
•Landscaping Equipment
•Machine Tool
•Marine Equipment (fresh and saltwater)
•Medical Equipment
•Military
•Office Equipment
•Outdoor Storage
•Photographic Equipment
•Small Tools and Accessories
•Railroad Industry
•Transport Industry (truck & bus)
•AND MORE!

The company consists of three individual plants in Smithville where various aspects of the job are performed or completed. The main facility is a 277,000 square foot state of the art painting and warehousing structure where larger jobs and larger items are coated using their modular, and configurable paint lines for wet paint, powder, adhesive, soft touch paint, or any other application needed. Automated and manual paint guns, surface preparation machines, and robotic application are all used to complete various aspects of a project at this location.

The second facility is a 155,000 square foot multi-coating facility where smaller to medium sized items are coated in either one of their manual spray booths, or on one of several automated lines. Small batch runs, or large continuous jobs are performed at both locations.

A full service metal works and fabrication shop supports all of the various racking, component builds, and maintenance work required for the operation. Customized equipment needed for a specific project can be designed and built quickly and economically in-house by their experienced design team, reducing the cost and time required to bring the project to completion.

Applications for employment are also available in the black box located on the front of the guard shack in front of the plant in the Industrial Park on Highway 70 east. Completed applications may be returned there or applicants may email a resume with a cover letter to jgrissom@foutchindustries.com. You may further contact the HR Director Anna Robinson at 615-597-6909 for more information

Benefit for Two Local Firefighters Set for Saturday

September 3, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Lieutenant Anthony Wright
Firefighter Patrick Edge

Firefighters in our community are committed to helping their neighbors when the need arises. On Saturday, September 6 fire fighters need your help.

"Brothers Helping Brothers" is a benefit for Lieutenant Anthony Wright and Firefighter Patrick Edge of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department who have been battling serious illnesses in recent months which has resulted in mounting medical bills.

The benefit, to be held at Evins Park beside the Smithville Fire Hall downtown Smithville, is an effort to raise money in support of those firefighters. "We'll have a gospel singing, a barbeque dinner, and a silent auction. It all starts at 4:00 p.m. and you can buy your dinner tickets at the door or in advance from any Smithville firefighter. They are also available in the offices at the Smithville City Hall. We encourage everybody to come out. We are doing this benefit for two of our own firemen. Both of them have gone through some pretty extensive illnesses this year and have incurred a lot of medical bills so we're doing something to help them. Please come out to help us raise some money to support them," said Fire Chief Charlie Parker.

Food will be by Fireman One Barbeque located inside the Smithville Fire Hall building. The rain date is Sunday, September 7 at 3:00 p.m. Admission to the gospel singing and silent auction are free! Tickets for the barbeque dinner are $7.00 each. Bring your own chair for the LIVE music. The silent auction will feature special donated items. If you wish to donate silent auction items, contact Fire Chief Charlie Parker at 615-597-4141. To make a cash donation, stop by First Bank and make your contribution to the "Brothers Helping Brothers" Fund. Join their facebook at Smithville Fire Department.

Dowelltown Woman Charged with Stealing Jewelry

September 3, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Angel Dawn Ferrell
Cynthia Duggin

A Dowelltown woman has been arrested for stealing jewelry from a residence on Dale Ridge Road.

43 year old Angel Dawn Ferrell of Dale Ridge Road is charged with theft of property over $500. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court on September 11.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, August 18 Ferrell allegedly took several pieces of jewelry from a residence on Dale Ridge Road. The jewelry was valued at $870. She allegedly sold some of it to a local jeweler for $43.00. According to Sheriff Ray, Ferrell has admitted taking the jewelry.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff's Department Detective.

33 year old Cynthia Duggin of Hayes Court Road, Smithville is charged with five counts of forgery. Her bond is $25,000 and she will be in court on September 25.

Sheriff Ray said that Duggin allegedly forged checks in the following amounts on the following dates: $310 on July 12; $160 on July 18; $80 on August 9; $80 on August 14; and $100 on August 19 without the owner's consent.

The case was investigated by a Criminal Detective of the Sheriff's Department.

72 year old Sarah Opal Atnip of Shady Drive, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on September 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 30, Atnip allegedly assaulted her son's girlfriend by slapping her in the face and pulling her hair. According to Sheriff Ray, a large amount of hair was missing from the victim's head and she had redness to her face. Atnip allegedly admitted to slapping the woman.

34 year old Christopher Ray Rachel of Antioch, Tennessee is charged with driving under the influence. He was also cited for driving while his license were suspended, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and failure to drive within his lane. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court September 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 31 a deputy spotted a purple car leave its lane of travel on a four lane highway and strike a guardrail. The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Rachel. He admitted to consuming a couple shots of vodka and five or six beers. Rachel performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was unsteady on his feet. Rachel also submitted to a blood test. A computer check revealed his license to be suspended on May 18, 2014 for failure to pay child support. He could not produce proof of insurance. Rachel was arrested and charged with DUI.

31 year old Brandon Ross Bogle of Page Drive, Smithville is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked or suspended license. He is being held without bond. He will be in court September 4. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, August 25 Bogle appeared in court on a charge of driving on a suspended license. The judge advised Bogle not to be driving. After his court appearance, a deputy observed Bogle get into his truck at the courthouse and attempt to drive away by backing out onto the roadway. The officer arrested Bogle for a third offense and transported him to the jail for booking.

29 year old Carly Chaundra Jones of Coconut Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with evading arrest. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on September 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, August 26 a deputy was called to Coconut Ridge Road to serve an arrest warrant on Jones for violation of probation. But when she saw the officer drive up, she tried to evade arrest by running into the woods. The deputy caught up with Jones and placed her under arrest.

45 year old Victor Glen Gingerich of Jimmy Malone Road in Liberty is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. He was further issued a citation for driving an unregistered vehicle and violation of the open container law. Gingerich further has a violation of probation and a failure to appear warrant against him. He will be in court on September 11. His bond totals $6,500 on the DUI and DRL charges. He is being held without bond on the VOP. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, August 28 Gingerich was found to be operating a motor vehicle on Sparta Highway while under the influence of alcohol and or drugs. Gingerich was observed passing a motorist and then leaving his lane of travel several times. An officer pulled over Gingerich in the parking lot of Hillcrest Market. Gingerich had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. An open 12 ounce can of beer was found in the center console of the vehicle. Gingerich refused to submit to field sobriety tasks and a blood test. The deputy obtained a search warrant for a blood draw on Gingerich due to a prior DUI conviction against him. A computer check revealed his license to be revoked for the prior DUI offense in DeKalb County. He was placed under arrest.

28 year old David Adam Colglazier of South Maple Avenue, Cookeville is cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana). He will be in court September 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, August 29 a deputy made contact with Colglazier at the Austin Bottom Lake access area. A K-9 unit was on the scene and the dog alerted on Colglazier's vehicle. Upon searching the automobile, the officer found Colglazier to be in possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana.

Mayor and Aldermen-Elect Sworn Into Office (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 2, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen-Elect were sworn into office today (Tuesday) to begin their new four year terms.

City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. administered the oath to Mayor Jimmy Poss and Aldermen Jason Murphy and Gayla Hendrix.

Mayor Poss and Alderman Murphy are starting their second terms. They were first elected in 2012 to a two year term. Alderman Hendrix was first elected to a two year term in 2011 but was unsuccessful for re-election in 2013. She ran again last month and was elected unopposed.

DeKalb County Man "Person of Interest" in Statesville Homicide Investigation

September 2, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alan Mooney, Jr.,

A DeKalb County man has been identified as a "person of interest" in a Wilson County arson and homicide investigation at Statesville.

38 year old Alan Mooney, Jr., who resides on Old Snow Hill Road in DeKalb County, is under investigation in connection with the fire which occurred at the home of his father Alan Mooney, Sr. Human remains were found at the scene.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has assisted Wilson County authorities. "We have assisted a little bit in the case as far as doing some searches and things at his residence. That's all that we've done with it," said Sheriff Ray.

Mooney's brother, 36 year old Richard J. Mooney of Watertown stood trial in DeKalb County two years ago for felony murder and theft of property over $1,000 in the October, 2009 death of 63 year old Robert "Bob" Senick, whose remains were found in the rubble of his mobile home near Liberty, which had been burned to the ground. Although Richard Mooney was found not guilty in that case, he is currently serving a ten year prison sentence in a previous Rutherford County car jacking case.

According to the Wilson Post, " Alan Mooney Sr.'s home and an outbuilding located on Armstrong Road in the Statesville area were reported on fire about 1:30 p.m., Friday, August 29

“Unidentifiable human remains” were discovered at the scene, said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan late Saturday afternoon.

“We’re working this as an arson,” Bryan said, adding there were “suspicious circumstances.”

“We are releasing the name of the person (Alan Mooney, Sr.) that resided at the home who we cannot locate,” he said, adding “we have recovered remains at the house.”

The sheriff said his department’s investigators are working along with the state Bomb and Arson, Middle Tennessee State University Anthropology Department and the State Medical Examiner to identify the human remains, according to the Wilson Post report.

Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, along with Watertown and Lascassas Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the fire.

Authorities on Friday afternoon began searching for “a person of interest” who they wanted to talk to but who they were unable to locate. However, that person, identified as Alan Mooney Jr., son of the resident of the burned home in Statesville, was located in a vehicle sometime around midnight, or shortly thereafter, and fled on Highway 96 going into Rutherford County.

Bryan said spike strips were deployed on two occasions in Rutherford County, but the person did not stop.

“It was a low-speed pursuit,” Bryan said, since the tires on the vehicle had been punctured by the spike strips.

Officers from WCSD, Murfreesboro Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol were involved in the pursuit.

Bryan said Mooney Jr. struck another vehicle at an intersection in Murfreesboro where he was taken into custody and charged with Reckless Endangerment and Assault on an Officer. He is being held in the Rutherford County Jail under $90,000 bond.

“We’ve been consulting with the District Attorney’s Office, and we’ll continue consulting. We’ll probably go before the grand jury in the next few weeks and go from there", said Sheriff Bryan according to the Wilson Post report.

County Clerk's Office No Longer Performs Marriages

September 2, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. "Jimmy" Poss

County Clerk James L. "Jimmy" Poss has announced that his office will no longer perform marriage ceremonies.

While state law gives county clerks the authority to marry couples, it is not mandated that they do so. Poss told WJLE he feels weddings should be performed by ministers.

"As I begin my job as your County Clerk, my staff and I are excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve you. I take my service to you very seriously. With that said, I want to ask you to understand an issue that has traditionally been associated with the office of County Clerk. The issue involves performing marriage ceremonies."

"Although state law permits County Clerks, as well as other elected officials, the option to solemnize a marriage, I have a strong personal conviction that marriage involves a covenant between two people and God. My understanding is that God instituted marriage and that it is a holy union. Whether that it your personal belief or not, it is my strong conviction, and I cannot, in good conscious and faith, perform marriage ceremonies or services. I hope you can consider and respect my sincere belief that administering lifetime vows, between two people and God, should be conducted by ministers or others who are trained in counseling couples before making this awesome and binding commitment."

"Again, this is just my personal belief and conviction and I do not fault or judge any other elected official with the authority to solemnize a marriage if they choose to exercise their authority to conduct marriages."

Tennessee Code Annotated 36-3-301 (State Law) specifies officials who may conduct and perform marriage ceremonies.

Who Can Solemnize a Marriage?

The rite of matrimony may be solemnized by any of the persons listed in T.C.A. § 36-3-301:

1. All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders of every religious
belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls.

2. Current and former members of county legislative bodies.

3. County mayors/executives and former county mayors/executives.

4. Current and former judges and chancellors of this state, including federal judges.

5. Current and former judges of general sessions courts.

6. Municipal court judges.

7. The governor.

8. The county clerk of each county, and former county clerks who occupied the office on or after July
1, 2014.

9. Current and former speakers of the senate and speakers of the house of representatives.

10. Mayors of municipalities.

"I am sincerely and humbly asking that each of you respect my decision and conviction as I make this announcement that marriage ceremonies or services will not be offered as a service of the County Clerk’s office effective September 1, 2014. However, the County Clerk’s office will continue to be responsible for issuing state marriage licenses," Poss said.

County Clerk Poss said he plans to maintain a list of ministers in the office who are available to perform weddings and any couple wishing to marry may have access to it. Ministers may add their names to the list by contacting the County Clerk's Office.

DeKalb West School to Host Dedication and Open House

September 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West School Has New Look

DeKalb West School will be hosting a brief dedication ceremony and open house for the new addition to the building on Thursday, September 4th.

The public is invited to attend.

The dedication begins at 6:00 p.m. and tours of the school will follow at 6:30 p.m. For those who can't attend Thursday, the school will be open for tours again on Sunday, September 7 from 2-4 p.m.

The addition is located at the front of the school with a new façade and it includes new classrooms, restrooms, and hallway, most of them tornado safe shelters. The facility also features a new secure entrance to the school, an office, clinic, conference room, and a teacher work area. A new larger kitchen has been constructed as an extension to the existing building and the cafeteria is enlarged.

The school made use of their new storm shelter for the first time only two weeks when severe thunderstorms raked across the county downing trees and power lines.

Students at all schools in the county were kept about an hour longer than usual that day because of the storms as a safety precaution.

At DeKalb West School, students, staff, and parents in the pickup line were directed to the new storm shelter classrooms and hallway. "It happened around 1:30 p.m. when we started moving to the safe rooms. We had lots of space. There are seven classrooms in that area, a bathroom and a very large hallway. Each room was assigned to a grade level and they were very quickly moved to that area and they stayed there. We opened it up to the parents who were in the car line. We had probably about fifteen parents come in the building and stay with us in the hallways. As an administrator it was very comforting having them in there as we were watching over the building. It put you at ease and the parents were very pleased," said Assistant DWS Principal Sabrina Farler, who will be the new DWS principal later this month

"Everybody fit in that area without any problem and we could have had even more people come in," said Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. "

"In the future we're going to have plans made out so that the community can come in there (during a severe storm threat). People might want to come in there for a safe place. Hopefully we can set it up where there will be a remote way that it can be unlocked and people can come into a certain part of the building. That is one of the reasons it was designed. It is not only for the school but for the community," said Willoughby.

Although no one was hurt and the school received no storm damage from the winds, a lightning strike shut down a one thousand amp breaker at DeKalb West that day which caused schools to be dismissed early on the day after the storm and then closed the following day until the breaker could be replaced.

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