Local News Articles

Cumberland University President to Speak at Chamber Prayer Breakfast

October 26, 2016
Paul C. Stumb

Cumberland University President Paul C. Stumb will be the keynote speaker for the annual Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber Prayer Breakfast.

The event will be held Tuesday, November 22 from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. at the DeKalb County Complex Theatre, 712 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville. Doors open at 6:30 a.m.

Dr. Stumb officially became the 26th president of Cumberland University on April 29, 2016. Dr. Stumb has served Cumberland University since 2003, when he became an Adjunct Professor, a capacity in which he served for two years before becoming Dean of the Labry School, now the Labry School of Science, Technology and Business.

Also on the program, Suzanne Slager will be singing the National Anthem and the special music. Local Boy Scout Troop #347 will present the flags. Leaders from our community will lead prayers for our Children and Families, Health and Healing of our Communities, and Military and Emergency Response Personnel making this a meaningful and memorable experience. A delicious breakfast will be prepared by Jason Evans, head chef of The Inn at Evins Mill. The menu includes homemade buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, country ham, fruit platter, fresh baked muffins, orange juice, and coffee. Breakfast will be served with the help of the 2016 Chamber Board of Directors.

Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office, from the Chamber Board of Directors, by calling the Chamber office, or emailing swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org. We’ll be glad to hold your tickets at the door.

Chamber Executive Director, Suzanne Williams says, “I would like to invite everyone to join us at this special and inspirational event in giving thanks to God for the abundant blessings He has given us in our county and for His direction as we move forward into the future.”

The Chamber Prayer Breakfast is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season. A BIG THANK YOU to our current Chamber Prayer Breakfast Sponsors: Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital, DTC Communications, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, and Sunbelt Realty. For tickets or additional information, call the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber at 615-597-4163.

Liberty Man Charged After Firing Pistol During Argument with Nephew

October 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Earl J. Knox
Christopher Lloyd Stanford
Nathan Joseph Wilbert
Angelica Michelle Gillean
Jason Bradley Cripps
Dwayne Glass, Jr.
Tyson Lee Pack

A Liberty man was arrested last week after firing a pistol shot in the area of his nephew and others during an argument over a firearm.

70 year old Earl J. Knox of Bratten Street, Liberty is charged with aggravated assault (domestic related) and reckless endangerment. His bond is $6,500 and his court date is November 10. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, October 19 a deputy was summoned to Bratten Street due to shots having been fired at others. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Knox who said that he and his nephew became involved in a verbal argument over a firearm. All parties were on separate properties. Knox said he went inside his home and grabbed a 22 caliber pistol and then came back outside and fired one round in the area of his nephew. Other persons and homes were also in the immediate area. Knox was placed under arrest.

37 year old Christopher Lloyd Stanford of Cedar Street, Liberty is charged with assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is October 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, October 10 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Stone Street in Liberty in response to a verbal argument that had turned physical. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the victim who said that Stanford assaulted him. The deputy also spoke with two others who said they witnessed the assault. The victim was taken to the hospital due to his injuries.

36 year old Nathan Joseph Wilbert of Vandergriff Hollow Road, Dowelltown is charged with vandalism. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is October 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 12 Wilbert, a prisoner at the DeKalb County Jail, hit a surveillance camera while he was in a holding cell causing it to malfunction.

27 year old Angelica Michelle Gillean of Tuttle, Oklahoma is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and her court date is December 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, October 18 a deputy was dispatched to the Dollar General Store on Cookeville Highway due to a woman possibly intoxicated. Upon arrival, the officer found Gillean there. She was unsteady on her feet and she had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Gillean admitted to having taken xanax pills and drinking about a fifth of vodka about two hours before the officer’s encounter with her. For her safety and that of the public, Gillean was arrested for public intoxication.

42 year old Jason Bradley Cripps of Four Seasons Road, Smithville is charged with a fourth offense of driving while suspended or revoked. His bond is $4,000 and he will make a court appearance on October 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 12 a sheriff’s department detective was called to the Dollar General Store on Nashville Highway where a man was observed passed out behind the steering wheel of his vehicle. Upon arrival the detective found the man, Cripps, passed out in the vehicle with his foot on the brake. Keys were in the ignition and the engine was running. A computer check revealed Cripps’ license were suspended for failure to pay fines due to an original violation out of Cumberland County in 2005.

20 year old Dwayne Glass, Jr. of Liberty is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is October 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 19 Glass allegedly assaulted his girlfriend by hitting her in the face with an open hand causing redness to the left side of her face. He allegedly admitted to committing the assault.

29 year old Tyson Lee Pack of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is December 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 19 Pack was observed walking down Sparta Highway in his underwear. He was unsteady on his feet and he had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Pack admitted to having consumed seven beers and two shots within the previous two hours. He was transported to the jail for his safety and that of the public.

Veterans Celebration to be held at Smithville Elementary School

October 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Veterans Celebration to be held at Smithville Elementary School
Veterans honored during last years program at SES

The annual Veterans Appreciation assembly program will be held Friday morning, November 4 starting at 9:30 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School in recognition of Veteran's Day which is November 11.

All veterans are invited and will need to be at the school by 9:15 a.m.

Last year, Kelly Birmingham led students from pre-K to the second grade in singing "God Bless the USA" and other patriotic songs in honor of veterans who have served in each branch of the military. Adrienne McCormick also read the "Veterans Day" poem by Cheryl Dyson.

For more information about this year’s program call 615-597-4415

DMS SADD Club Sponsors "Rock the Belt" Campaign

October 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
DMS SADD Club Sponsors "Rock the Belt" Campaign

Members of the DeKalb Middle School SADD Club (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and other students there are taking the pledge to "Rock the Belt".

"Rock the Belt" is part of a National Teen Driver Safety campaign to help educate teens about the importance of buckling your seat belt in every vehicle, in every seat, every time.

Tennessee has had 753 crashes traffic fatalities this year. That’s already 55 more than last year and 70 of those killed were teens.

To help drive home the “Rock the Belt” message, the Tennessee Highway Patrol will bring in a roll over simulator to the school for a demonstration on Friday and that afternoon, students will be passing out Smarties and Dum-Dum candies to motorists in the pickup line urging them to take the “Rock the Belt” pledge and be a “Smartie” and not a “Dum Dum”.

Vehicular crashes are the number one killer of teens in the US today, more so than suicide and drug overdose combined. SADD is the national leader in teen traffic safety education and awareness. For the last 34 years, SADD’s programs, awareness campaigns, and advocacy efforts have been primarily focused on reducing the number of teens injured and killed behind the wheel. Traffic safety efforts are focused on four main areas: Distracted Driving, Impaired Driving, Seat Belt Usage, and Graduated Driver Licensing.

SADD’s mission is to empower young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them throughout their daily lives. This is accomplished by creating, equipping, and sustaining a network of student-run chapters in schools and communities focused on peer-to-peer education. SADD fosters a sense of belonging and promotes resiliency, leadership, and advocacy skills so that young people make positive life decisions that will carry them throughout life.

Advisors for the DeKalb Middle School SADD Club are School Resource Officer Chris McMillen and English Teacher Jenny Elrod. A special thanks to the law offices of Jeremy Trapp and Hilton Conger for their donations to the SADD Club

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.


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