Local News Articles

Commission Votes Removal of Gate Across County Road

December 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Commission Votes Removal of Gate Across County Road

A gate across a county road in the Belk community will apparently have to be removed.

The county commission last month went on record to direct the Road Supervisor to take the necessary action to have the gate removed on Sunset Drive off Allen Bend Road.

According to County Mayor Tim Stribling, the Planning Commission discussed the issue on Monday, November 9 and adopted a motion to recommend to the county commission that the existing gate on Sunset Drive be removed.

County Attorney Hilton Conger said that Sunset Drive has been on the county road map since 1998. "There's a plat that was approved by the planning commission in 2004 and the people who owned that property subdivided a 1.8 acre tract off of that and it referred to two roads, Sunset Drive and Hidden Hollow. Those two roads are shown on the DeKalb County Road list and have been since 1998. They certainly don't meet county specifications. One of them is nine feet wide. When this plat was approved there was a notation that was entered on the plat which provided that should the current owners sell that property or that property be otherwise transferred then the remaining acreage would not have its primary access along this 20 foot easement with a nine foot wide gravel driveway. The current owner of that residual property, he and one of the owners I think are in a dispute over this but at any rate the owner of the property put a gate across this road back a few months ago. It came to the attention of the planning commission and its the planning commission's recommendation to the commission that the gate be removed. Of course the Road Supervisor has the authority by law to remove any obstruction on county roads. In fact if a person obstructs a county road and refuses to move it then that's a misdemeanor. I'm not advocating that somebody be arrested because they put a gate across a road but I think the planning commission wanted to suggest to the commission that this ought not be a precedent and that it be removed. I think the Road Supervisor would like to have the county commission's feelings on this. If you say remove it I'll get with him and we'll contact the landowner and take the appropriate steps," said Conger.

The county commission voted unanimously to have the gate removed.

In a letter dated December 3, Conger wrote to the landowner, Robert G. Manning explaining the reasons for the commission's decision and added that Manning had ten days to remove the gate or legal action would be taken.

McPheron Gets Four Years Probation for Prescription Fraud

December 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Brandi Lynn McPheron

A woman indicted by the grand jury for six counts of obtaining a prescription by fraud last month was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 7

Under an agreement, 35 year old Brandi Lynn McPheron entered a guilty plea to two counts of obtaining drugs by fraud. She received a two year sentence in each case all suspended to supervised probation. The terms are to run consecutively with each other for a total sentence of four years.

McPheron is requesting judicial diversion probation and that the case be transferred to Missouri.

According to Smithville Police, McPheron signed for and picked up prescriptions for the schedule IV drug Tramadol on six occasions at Rite Aid Pharmacy from August 11 to October 24, 2014.

Each prescription was for 60, 50 milligrams.

Police said a pharmacy representative reported that on each occasion, someone had called Rite Aid purporting to be from Mercy Clinic Family Medicine in Holister, Missouri on behalf of Dr. William Zeller ordering a prescription for Kari Stevens.

Police were notified and arrested McPheron when she came to pick up the prescription on October 24, 2014.

According to Police, Dr. Zeller was contacted and denied having a patient by the name Kari Stevens and said that the clinic in Missouri had not phoned in any prescriptions

County and City Reach Agreement for Water Line Extension to Solid Waste Transfer Station

December 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
City began digging Monday to install new water line to service county solid waste transfer station
City begins work to install new 12 inch water line

The county's solid waste transfer station and the future home of the DeKalb Animal Coalition's new shelter will soon have access to water.

The City of Smithville began installing a waterline to the site Monday morning.

The aldermen Monday night adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and county to be signed by County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss which specifies terms of the agreement.

County Mayor Stribling asked County Attorney Hilton Conger to prepare the Memorandum which was sent to Mayor Poss. During Monday night's meeting, Mayor Poss asked the aldermen for a vote on the agreement saying City Attorney Vester Parsley had reviewed it.

Under the agreement the city is installing a 12 inch water line from near Tenneco Automotive further into the industrial park along Moog Boulevard, a city street which the county will be extending and paving. The city will also connect a six inch line to the 12 inch line to service the county's transfer station and the new animal shelter.

The county is paying $15,000 while the city is footing the bill for the remainder of the project costs.

The Memorandum of Understanding states as follows:

"Whereas, the County has constructed a transfer station for the collection of household garbage located in the City's Industrial Park and in conjunction therewith the County has extended the city street (Moog Boulevard) to the site of the transfer station and,

Whereas, the City has agreed to extend the City's waterline (the 12 inch main line and 6 inch line to the transfer station) and the County has agreed to pay for a portion of the cost.

"Now, therefore, the City and County do agree that the County will pay and the City will accept the sum of $15,000 as the County's total contribution toward the cost of extending the City's waterlines, both the 12 inch and 6 inch to the County's transfer station and collection site. This will include water taps, meters, and all water line connections to the existing connections provided during construction to all the County's transfer station buildings to provide water necessary for the operation of said transfer station".

In other business, the aldermen Monday night approved the dates and times of all regular meetings of the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen for the year 2016. All meetings will be the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at city hall except for July and September when the meeting dates will be the second Monday at 6 p.m.

Mayo Found with Meth Lab during Traffic Stop

December 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Gregory Allen Mayo

A Smithville man was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department last week after he was found with a meth lab in his car during a routine traffic stop for registration violation.

47 Gregory Allen Mayo of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with initiation of methamphetamine manufacture process, manufacture and possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine), and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was further issued a citation for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) His bond totals $120,000 and he will make a court appearance December 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, November 30 a deputy stopped a white Ford Crown Victoria at West Broad Street and Anthony Avenue in Smithville for a registration violation. The car belonged to Mayo but he was a passenger. During the investigation Mayo admitted that methamphetamine and a firearm would be found inside the car. Upon searching the trunk, the deputy discovered lye, drain opener, propane fuel with a cook head, acid in a liquid gasser, Coleman fuel, plastic tubing, cold packs, electrician tape, coffee filters, and Hydrogen Peroxide. A Mason jar containing a white residue was also found in the side floor board of the car which field tested positive for methamphetamine. Mayo also had in his right front pants pocket, a bag containing 1.3 grams of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine. The deputy further discovered a Smith & Wesson 40 caliber pistol in the back seat and a cigarette pack on the passenger seat where Mayo was seated which contained what was believed to be a marijuana cigarette. Sheriff Ray said Mayo is a convicted felon of a drug offense on May 24, 2013.

City Approves 99 Year Lease with DeKalb Animal Coalition

December 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Mayor and Board of Aldermen

The City of Smithville is entering into a 99 year lease agreement with the DeKalb Coalition for the Humane Treatment of Animals.

The contract was approved by the aldermen during Monday night's monthly meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Under the plan, the Coalition proposes to build a new animal shelter on a four acre site near the solid waste transfer station, behind Tenneco off of Highway 70 east. The property, owned by the Smithville Industrial Development Board, has been deeded to the city, which will enter into a 99 year lease with the Coalition, a 501 (c) 3 charity organization.

The goal of the coalition is for the county to have a permanent and safe location for neglected, abandoned and abused animals; to provide an alternative low-kill policy so these animals receive medical attention, reduce overpopulation, and be cared for until they can be placed in permanent homes.

The City of Smithville and DeKalb County have each pledged to appropriate $75,000 for the erection of a facility. The new shelter will take the place of a smaller one which has been in existence for years on county property but operated by the city behind the DeKalb County Highway Department Headquarters off Smith Road.

The city currently employs one full time person and one other person half time and also provides an animal control vehicle for the purpose of running the existing animal pound. Under the agreement, the city will continue to provide the personnel and vehicle to assist in the day to day operation of the animal shelter to be erected by the Coalition.

The lease/contract between the City of Smithville and the Animal Coalition specifies the following terms and conditions:

* The City is to lease to the Coalition the property for a term of 99 years beginning September 1, 2015 and ending August 31, 2114.

*The City shall pay to the Coalition the sum of $75,000 that has been appropriated for one-half of the anticipated cost for the erection of the animal shelter upon the land leased by the City to the Coalition.

*The Coalition shall be responsible for the erection of the building

*The City agrees to pay all utility bills connected with or which may accumulate directly or indirectly to Coalition's term of occupancy.

*The City agrees that it shall be liable for and make all maintenance and structural repairs for the outside of the building, including roof and the heating and air conditioning units, except if caused by the negligence of the Coalition. The Coalition shall be responsible for maintenance of the inside of the building.

*The City shall not be responsible for any personal property placed on the premises by the Coalition, its agents, servants or employees, and it is understood and agreed that it is the Coalition's responsibility to secure appropriate insurance to cover its personal property from any losses. Any personal property remaining on the premises 30 days after termination of this lease shall be and become the property of the City.

*The City shall insure the building with a reputable insurance company in a sufficient amount to replace the building if destroyed by natural disaster, fire, or other means.

*The City shall continue to provide to the Coalition the full time employee, as well as the part time employee and the animal control vehicle, to assist in the day-to day operation of the animal shelter and will budget funds for this purpose from year to year, subject to approval of the Coalition.

*The Coalition will maintain proper shelter and care for all domestic and wild animals and fowl that come into its custody.

*The Coalition will maintain suitable office hours at the animal shelter for the convenience of the public and for the purpose of transacting business in connection with the duties under this lease and for the purpose of receiving animals or for accepting applications for the redemption of impounded animals.

*The Coalition will, through duly appointed and legally qualified agents and officers, diligently enforce all animal regulation laws and ordinances and will capture and impound animals found running at large in the City in violation of those certain ordinances relating to stray animals and to the restraint of dogs running at large.

*The Coalition will provide proper food, water, shelter, and other humane treatment for such animals and fowl while they are in the Coalition's possession and until placed or otherwise humanely disposed of by the Coalition.

*The Coalition will cooperate with the Health Department by following procedures required by the ordinance concerning persons or animals bitten by an animal in the City.

*The Coalition will investigate all reports of violations of City ordinances relating to animal control and regulation and, when warranted by the facts, shall cause to be prosecuted all persons charged with violation of said ordinances.

*The Coalition will be responsible for scheduling and overseeing all volunteers and staff.

*The Coalition will be responsible for providing foster homes and the adoption of the animals.

*The Coalition agrees to indemnify and keep harmless the City from all losses, damages, liabilities and expenses which may arise or be claimed against the City and be in favor of any person arising from the use or occupancy of said premises by the Coalition or arising from any acts, omissions, neglect or fault of Coalition, Coalition's agent, employees or invitees.

*The Coalition agrees to take out and maintains public liability insurance with a reputable insurance company against property damage, personal injury, or death arising out of the use or occupation of the leased premises. The City shall be named as co-insured on all such policies, and Coalition shall furnish the City with a certificate of said coverage. Such coverage shall not be decreased or canceled without 30 days' written notice to the City. All such policies shall be written as primary policies. This section shall not affect the indemnity or hold harmless provision in Section 17.

*The Coalition will collect all board, adoption, and impoundment fees and shall keep proper financial records to account for same. The Coalition will permit the City, at all reasonable times, to inspect and audit such records and shall make such reports of monies received as shall be required.

*The Coalition shall keep full and accurate records of all animals taken into custody and impounded, showing the date, place, reason, and manner whereby animals were brought into custody with a description of the animal and a record of its final disposition.

*The Coalition shall, in addition to the other duties outlined herein, be subject to call to rescue any injured animal or any animal or creature which is trapped, or is other unnaturally restrained and shall be responsible for providing humane treatment for same.

*The City hereby reserves the right to inspect the premises occupied by Coalition at any reasonable time.

*In the event the property is destroyed by fire or other acts of God or perils, the City is obligated to rebuild the building with the insurance proceeds, and, when rebuilt, this lease shall continue. Upon destruction or condemnation of all or a portion of the demised premises, the Coalition shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to stay at the premises or to cancel this agreement, on 30 days' written notice without any further liability.

*In the event of failure of the Coalition to perform the terms and provisions of this lease, same shall constitute a breach of this lease and shall give the City, at option, the right to declare this lease forfeited, without notice or demand, and to take possession of said property and to recover any damages sustained as a result thereof, and, likewise, a failure on the part of the City to perform the terms and provisions of this lease shall give the Coalition the right to declare this lease forfeited and vacate said property without liability resulting from such breach.

*The property herein leased and the contract herein is not to be subleased, sold, mortgaged, or assigned by the Coalition, except with the written consent of the City. However, the City shall not unreasonably withhold or delay such consent.

*This agreement is to be governed by the laws of the State of Tennessee, and it is mutually understood and agreed to by the parties hereto that the City will defend this contract with all due and proper diligence should it be challenged by any action in law.

*City covenants and agrees with the Coalition that upon Coalition observing and performing all the terms, covenants, and conditions herein that the Coalition may peaceably and quietly enjoy the premises hereby demised.

*All covenants, promises, and agreements herein contained shall be binding upon, apply, and inure to the benefit of the devisees and successors of the parties hereto.

*This agreement contains the entire contract and agreement of the parties hereto and is signed in duplicate by the authorized officials of each party, with each party holding an executed copy hereof.

Convicted Felon Charged After Suffering Self Inflicted Gunshot Wound

December 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Christopher Daniel Gibbs

A Dowelltown man, who suffered a non life threatening self inflicted gunshot wound last week, was arrested after officers learned he is a convicted felon and isn't supposed to have a gun.

38 year old Christopher Daniel Gibbs of Sims Street, Dowelltown is charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on December 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, December 1 a Sheriff's Department Detective responded to a residence on Sims Street in Dowelltown in reference to a self inflicted gunshot wound. The detective spoke with the victim, Gibbs who had a 22 caliber Marlin rifle in his possession. Gibbs had suffered a non life threatening self inflicted gunshot wound to his shoulder. He was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS but refused transport to the hospital. A criminal background check revealed that Gibbs is a felon having been convicted of a schedule II drug offense.

Man Indicted in Local Burglary and Arson Investigation

December 7, 2015
Dwayne Page
Alton Ray Hinsley
Thomas Richard Squires

A 50 year old Nashville man has been indicted by the grand jury for the aggravated burglary and arson of a home in Lakeview Mountain Estates last month.

Alton Ray Hinsley was arrested on Tuesday, December 1 and arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 7. His bond is $50,000.

According to count one of the indictment, Hinsley intentionally, knowingly or recklessly entered the habitation of Marvin Oppenheim on Friday, November 6 with the intent to commit Arson, constituting the offense of Aggravated Burglary. Count two alleges that Hinsley did unlawfully and knowingly damage a structure by means of a fire or explosion.

Meanwhile another person, 57 year old Thomas Richard Squires of Neil Drive, Smithville is charged in a state warrant with filing a false report as a result of the investigation. He was arrested on Wednesday, December 2. His bond is $5,000 and he will make a court appearance on December 17.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, November 30 a sheriff's department detective interviewed Squires in reference to a structure fire on Neil Drive. Squires told the detective that he did not have a key to the victim's house. He also said he knew nothing about the fire at the home on Neil Drive. After further investigation, it was determined that the information given by Squires about the fire was false. He was placed under arrest.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to a double-wide mobile home at 217 Neil Drive in the Lakeview Mountain Estates area Friday afternoon, November 6.
According to County Fire Chief Donny Green no one was at home when the fire was discovered by a neighbor and reported to 911. The listed owner of the home is G.L. Waynick. Marvin Oppenheim is the resident.

The Cookeville Highway, Main Station, and Liberty Stations responded along with the Department's tanker truck.

"Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire and contain it to the area around the range in the kitchen of the home. However, the entire structure did receive extensive smoke damage along with significant heat damage," said Chief Green.

"Firefighters removed four cats found inside the home. Three of the four cats were still alive," he added.

DeKalb EMS and DeKalb County Sheriff Department's deputies were also on the scene and rendered assistance.

Liberty Parade Celebrates the Arrival of Christmas Time (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

December 6, 2015
Dwayne Page
Santa Arrives in Liberty
Oakley Thrift Store Takes First Place for Best Float in Liberty Parade
Gabriel and Jacob Blair win first place in Kids category of Liberty Parade

Main Street in Liberty was lined with enthusiastic Christmas lovers of all ages on Sunday for the town's annual Parade.

Liberty Mayor Dwight Mathis and wife Shirley served as the Grand Marshals.

Oakley Thrift Store of Smithville received first place in the float competition. Their float, which featured the Grinch, also won first place at the Smithville Parade on Saturday. Second place in Liberty went to a float entry from Salem Baptist Church.

First place in the children's category went to Gabriel and Jacob Blair while Hannah and Hailey Brown received second place.

Don Hawkins won first place for best vintage automobile with his 1956 Chevy and John and Jami Driver received second place for their 1972 Ford Gran Torino.

The parade also featured other floats and vintage automobiles, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, horseback riders and horse drawn wagons, the DCHS band, local law enforcement, fire departments, DeKalb EMS, DeKalb Rescue Squad, and of course Santa Claus.

After the parade, drawings were held for prize giveaways.

Smithville Christmas Parade Helps Usher In Holiday Season

December 5, 2015
Dwayne Page
Santa Arrives in Smithville
Oakley Thrift Store Wins First Place in Float Entries

Spectators lined the streets Saturday eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa in the annual Christmas Parade sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department.

Enthusiastic kids and grownups alike enjoyed the sights and sounds of this long awaited annual event which included floats, horseback riders, horse and mule drawn wagons, boy and girl scouts, veterans, vintage automobiles, emergency vehicles, the DCHS band, and of course, Santa Claus.

Winning first place among the float entries was Oakley Thrift Store featuring the Grinch

Second Place went to the Smithville Lions Club

Girl Scout Troop 3094 received third place.

The Spirit Award, presented by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club, went to the DeKalb County Junior Pro Football Players and Cheerleaders.

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 6 starting at 2:00 p.m.

DeKalb GOP Nominates Candidates for Assessor of Property and Constable

December 5, 2015
Dwayne Page
Shannon A. Cantrell
Tom Theriaque and Lee Plummer

The DeKalb County Republican Party caucused this morning (Saturday) to formally nominate candidates for the offices of Assessor of Property and Constable in the August 2016 County General Election.

There were no surprises.

Shannon A. Cantrell of Smithville is the party's nominee for Assessor of Property.

Meanwhile Lee Plummer in the 1st district and Tom Theriaque in the 2nd district are the Republican nominees for constable. There will be no Republican candidates for constable in the other five districts of the county.

These GOP nominees will run in the August 2016 DeKalb County General Election against Democratic nominees and any Independent candidates.

The deadline to get in these races including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents is NOON, Thursday December 10. Independent candidates, like Democrats, must qualify through the petition process.

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary will be held in conjunction with the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary on March 1.

Incumbent DeKalb County Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell has already picked up and returned his petition to seek re-election. He will be running for his party's nomination in the March 1 primary.

Meanwhile, Incumbent Constables Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Mark Milam in the 5th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district have all been issued petitions and have returned them to the election commission. They will be running for their party's nomination in the Democratic Primary on March 1.

Travis Bryant, who was elected constable last year as an Independent to fill an unexpired term in the 3rd district has picked up and returned a petition for the same office but this time he plans to run for nomination as a Democrat in the March Primary.

Chad Curtis, a Democrat in the 1st district and Republican Chris Tramel in the 2nd district were elected constable last year to fill vacant positions.


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