Local News Articles

Huge Numbers Turning Out for Early Voting

October 25, 2016
Dwayne Page

Huge numbers continue to turnout for early voting in DeKalb County.

According to the election commission office, 264 voted Wednesday, including 242 in person and 22 by absentee. That brings the seven day total to 2,042.

Early voting hours Thursday will be 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the first floor of the courthouse at the election commission office

McMinnville Man Charged in Stabbing

October 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Eric Dewayne Frazier

A 30 year old McMinnville man was arrested Monday afternoon after he allegedly stabbed another man at a local residence.

30 year old Eric Dewayne Frazier of Thaxton Road, McMinnville is charged with aggravated assault in the case and will make a court appearance on November 10. His bond is $10,000.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. He suffered a stab wound to the left side of his body.

“At 1:42 p.m. Central dispatch received a call of a stabbing on McMinnville Highway. The caller said a man had been stabbed in the side. He said an altercation occurred between two men and one stabbed the other. Officers arrived at 1:51 p.m. and found the victim who had a stab wound to the left side of his body,” said Sheriff Patrick Ray.

According to witnesses, Frazier was told to leave the property by the homeowner. “An altercation ensued between Frazier and another person at the residence. The altercation became physical and Frazier stabbed the victim in the left side of his body with a knife. The victim suffered serious bodily injury causing him to be airlifted to the hospital,” said Sheriff Ray.

Frazier later admitted to detectives during an interview to having stabbed the victim.

Homeowner Holds Burglar at Gunpoint

October 24, 2016
Dwayne Page
Homer Anthony Petty, Sr.
Billy Eugene Cook
Jessica Renee Bogle

A homeowner on Old Givens Hollow Road, Liberty caught two men burglarizing his residence last Thursday and held one of them at gunpoint until officers arrived. The other intruder escaped.

45 year old Homer Anthony Petty, Sr. of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. He is also cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug. His bond is $55,000 and his court date is November 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, October 20 a deputy responded to Old Givens Hollow Road, Liberty due to a burglary.

Upon arrival, the officer learned that the homeowner caught Petty and another person stealing items from his home. “The homeowner witnessed Petty and another person attempting to leave the residence with a Norinco SKS rifle and a head band. The victim (homeowner) recovered the rifle and held Petty at gunpoint until law enforcement officers arrived. The other person with Petty fled the scene. Other items taken in the burglary and theft were an electronic game call, a back pack, multiple turkey calls, and numerous collectible knives. Some of those have been recovered.

During a search, the deputy found a baggie in Petty’s left pocket, containing a small green leafy substance believed to be marijuana which weighed 0.399 ounces.

Sheriff Ray said more arrests are expected.

Meanwhile in a separate case, 47 year old Billy Eugene Cook of Dry Creek Road, Smithville has been charged with aggravated burglary after he too was caught by a homeowner after breaking into a residence on Andrew Jackson Boulevard.

In addition to the aggravated burglary, Cook was also charged with resist stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search. His bond is $8,000 and his court date is October 27.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, October 17 a deputy responded to a residence on Andrew Jackson Boulevard due to a burglary. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the homeowner, who said he found a man inside his home without consent. The intruder left before the officer got there. The homeowner identified Cook as the burglar and confirmed it after viewing a booking photo.

Cook was later found at DeKalb Market and though he resisted, the officer placed him under arrest. “While trying to place him in custody, Cook failed to comply with verbal commands. He physically tried to resist being placed in custody,” said Sheriff Ray.

31 year old Jessica Renee Bogle of Page Drive, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000. Her bond is $2,500 and her court date is October 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, October 10 Bogle allegedly took the keys to an automobile that did not belong to her and drove off in the vehicle. She did not have permission to take the vehicle and refused to return it.

Downtown Welcomes Trick-or-Treaters (VIEW MAP HERE)

October 24, 2016
Dwayne Page
City of Smithville and Police Department participants in "Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" in 2015

Children are encouraged to trick-or-treat downtown Smithville on Halloween day from noon until 5:00 p.m.

The annual “Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown” is sponsored by Smithville City Hall and the Smithville Police Department.

Some offices in the DeKalb County Courthouse, Smithville City Hall, Smithville Police Department, Justin Potter Library, and participating businesses downtown will have candy and special treats for the children. Look for the stores and offices with a picture of an orange pumpkin on their windows. Maps are available at the police department and Justin Potter Library to show parents which businesses will be taking part in the event.


You may also view the map by clicking the link below
Map_2016.pdf (41.65 KB)

For more information call Beth Adcock at the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210 extension 1 or check out the police department's face book page at https://www.facebook.com/SmithvillePoliceDepartment.

Meanwhile, the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a “Best Costume Contest” for downtown businesses and offices. Take a picture and email it to swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org or take a photo with your phone and send it to 615.464.7760 by 1:30 p.m. on October 31. First, second, and third place winners will be presented a “Halloween on the Square Best Costume Award”, media recognition, and bragging rights.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will have special treats for children on Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Stop by for a hot dog, candy, and a tour of the Smithville Fire Hall. Meet with Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker and the Smithville Fire Department Volunteers.

Justin Potter Library will have "Halloween at the Library" on Monday, October 31 at 5:00 p.m. The entertainment will be presented by "Super Science of Tennessee". All little ghosts and goblins are invited to join them at the library for a night of fun. Costumes are optional. They hope to see you for this special event and for the "Downtown Halloween Trick of Treat" from noon until 5:00 p.m. For further information, call the library at 615-597-4359 or check their website at dekalblibraries.net.

Other communities and churches in the county will also be observing Halloween events.

DCHS Students Attend Youth Leadership Retreat

October 24, 2016
Dwayne Page
Pictured: Jesse Smith, Paxton Butler, Madison Butler (in front of Paxton), and Colton Seifert (next to Madison)

Four DCHS students recently attended a Student Drug Prevention Coalition Youth Leadership Retreat at New Frontiers on Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown.

Madison Butler, Paxton Butler, Jesse Smith and Colton Seifert took part in the two day retreat at the invitation of Norene Puckett, President of the DeKalb County Drug Prevention Coalition.

The objectives of the Retreat were for the teens to gain knowledge and understanding of the Tennessee Teens Talk Tobacco curriculum; to increase awareness of substance abuse related risk factors; to increase resiliency factors (factors which help maintain a healthy lifestyle); to develop cultural competence; to develop leadership skills; and to develop and implement a Community Action Plan centered around the T4 curriculum.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club members and Youth Coalition members were trained and equipped to mentor peer groups and develop Action plans to implement prevention projects and programs in their schools and communities.

The Retreat was sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Health.

Habitat Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale Friday!

October 24, 2016
Tecia Puckett Pryor
“Wonderland Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education won the “Best Chili” award in 2015
A new commemorative mug is available this year with the event’s logo for a $20.00 donation

Who makes the best chili in DeKalb County? Find out on Friday, October 28th when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 13th annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the DeKalb Courthouse Lawn. In case of bad weather, the event will be moved to the DeKalb County Complex. For a cash donation, eat all the chili you want and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Ceramic bowls with the event’s logo are available for $20.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches will also be for sale. Take out is also available.

“We are looking forward to another great day of good food and fellowship at the chili cook-off,” said Chad Driver, president of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. “The proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will be used towards building the next house, so we hope everyone will come out and eat lots of chili for a great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are: “Cheese Wagon Chili” from DeKalb Transportation Department; “The Bean Counters” from Janney & Associates; “No Liability Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association; “Hot Checks Chili” from Wilson Bank & Trust; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; and “Savvy Chili” from Savvy Scrubs/Professional Testing Services. Also competing will be teams from DeKalb County Board of Education, H&R Block, and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas.

Last year, “Wonderland Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education won the “Best Chili” award, and “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials followed in second place. In the decorating contest, the DeKalb County Officials won first place honors with their M*A*S*H themed booth, and the DeKalb County Board of Education came in second place with their Wonderland theme. The 2015 event raised $4,500 for Habitat. A “Golden Spoon” award again be given for the team that collects the most extra cash for Habitat at their booth.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Pryor at 615-597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 615-215-8181.

Community Meeting Scheduled to Discuss Plans for New Fire Station

October 23, 2016
Dwayne Page
Anita Puckett

The county is taking the next step toward the eventual development of a fire hall in the Four Seasons Community.

Fifth District County Commissioner Anita Puckett said last month she would like to have a community meeting to get the public’s input on the plans. That meeting has now been set for Saturday, November 5 at 9:00 a.m. at the Bright Hill Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. This informative meeting will be held for all residents of the Four Seasons Community and surrounding neighborhoods. “Please make plans to attend. We have several wonderful ideas for this project and would really like the input from the community. So please join Mr. Donny Green, County Fire Chief, and myself as we begin this process of new construction,” said Puckett.

During last month’s meeting, the county commission voted to begin site preparation. “We have some site work that needs to be done. There’s a building or barn on the property and a small pond. I think its time to start doing some work in clearing the property,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

Two years ago the county commission voted to acquire property, a little more than an acre in size, near the intersection of Four Seasons Road and Young Green Road for the future home of the fire station. Last year the county commission set aside $25,000 as seed money and $50,000 was included in this year’s budget for a total of $75,000 toward the project.

First Young Sportsman Deer Hunt October 29-30

October 23, 2016
First Young Sportman Deer Hunt October 29-30

The first of two Tennessee young sportsman deer hunts for the 2016-17 season will be held the weekend of Oct. 29-30.

Youth ages 6-16 years of age may participate. Participating youth can use gun, muzzleloader, and archery equipment.

Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 or older who must remain in position to take immediate control of the hunting device. The adult must also comply with the fluorescent orange regulations as specified for legal hunters. Multiple youth may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult.

Archery season began in the state on Sept. 24 and the first segment ends Oct. 28, the day prior to the opening of the young sportsman hunt. The second segment of archery only season resumes on Monday, Oct. 31.

The TWRA makes the recommendation that all hunters obtain a 2016-17 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide lists license requirements, the counties and bag limits for each of the different deer management units. The guides are available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org.

In 2015, youth hunters harvested a total of 5,854 deer during the first hunt, similar to the 2014 total of 5,673. All 95 Tennessee counties reported harvests in 2015 with Cumberland County posting the highest two-day total with 160 followed by Giles County with 142, Henry and Montgomery County with 134, and Lawrence County with 129.

1,087 Vote Early as of Saturday

October 21, 2016
Dwayne Page

A total of 1,087 people have cast ballots during the first four days of early voting in DeKalb County.

According to the election office, 280 voted Saturday including 271 in person and 8 by absentee. One provisional ballot was cast.

Early Voting Monday, October 24 will be from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. on the first floor of the courthouse at the election commission office.

Ribbon Cuttings Celebrate 3D Mammos for Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals

October 21, 2016

Saint Thomas Health, a part of Ascension, celebrated the unveiling of 3D Digital Mammography for three regional ministries including Saint Thomas DeKalb, Highlands, and Stones River hospitals. The community, hospital staff, along with local and state government leaders attended the various receptions that featured pink desserts and ribbon cookies in support of breast cancer awareness month.

“This $350,000 investment of state-of-the-art equipment per hospital is part of continued efforts to re-invest in Saint Thomas rural communities. Our mission is to always focus on what is best for our patients.” said Andy Wachtel, CEO and President of Saint Thomas DeKalb, Highlands, and Stones River hospitals. “The addition of 3-D mammography provides our patients with a valuable choice concerning their health.”

“This advanced technology enables us to eliminate overlying breast densities which may hinder detection of small masses or distortions.” said Chris Mick, Radiology Director of Saint Thomas DeKalb and Stones River hospitals. “We must also remember that 3D is not a replacement for 2D mammography, but an additional tool that can be used to help resolve problems such as dense breast tissue that can hinder early detection of breast cancer.”

The new mammography units will provide state-of-the-art 2D traditional mammography, 3D, and stereotactic computer assist biopsy capabilities. 3D mammograms must be requested when scheduling an appointment. Some insurance providers do not yet cover 3D, so check with your insurance for coverage options.

Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united as one healing community. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the healthcare experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes nine hospitals: Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville, Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital in Smithville, Saint Thomas Highlands Hospital in Sparta, Saint Thomas River Park Hospital in McMinnville and Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. A comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities complements the hospital services and covers a 68-county area. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. For more information, visit www.STHealth.com

Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2016, Ascension provided more than $1.8 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 150,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.


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