Local News Articles

DCHS Girls Softball Field to Be Named After Coach Danny Bond

May 9, 2014
Dwayne Page
Coach Danny Bond

In recognition of his success as softball coach, the DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night voted to honor DCHS Tigerette Coach Danny Bond by naming the high school softball field after him.

Coach Bond is the only coach the DCHS girls softball program has had in its twenty nine year history and he reached a milestone this season, having won his 600th game as softball coach. He has added eleven more wins since then and has guided this year's team to a district tournament championship. The Tigerettes will host Bledsoe County in the region tournament Monday, May 12 in Smithville. The team record is 38-5 overall.

School Board member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III said it's time the board recognized Coach Bond. "He is a coach that has the respect of his students and players. He is a positive coach. He leads by example. I would like to read you some statistics. Before he started into softball, he was an assistant basketball coach for five years. He was a head basketball coach for seventeen years. He has been softball coach for twenty nine years. Out of those twenty nine years, he has had twenty nine winning seasons, sixteen district titles, twenty two regional appearances, nine sub-state appearances, and five state appearances. His overall record is 611-241. That's a 72% winning percentage. His district record, which is a tough district, is 265-54 which is an 83% winning percentage. So for twenty two out of the twenty nine years, he went to the region," he said.

In recent conversations with him, Evins said Coach Bond gives credit for his success to the players on his teams. "He told me, he said it's not me, it's the girls. Well, that is a two way street, " said Evins. "They have respect for him and when you have respect for a coach like him, they feed off each other and they need each other. I think that is evident in the fact that there have been twenty one girls on his softball teams in twenty nine years that have signed scholarships to go play softball in college. That means a lot. I would like for this board to consider naming the girls softball field in honor of Coach Bond, even though he is still coaching. In most cases we name something in honor of somebody after they have finished coaching but it's Teacher Appreciation Week. He has set all kinds of records and he is going to continue to do so and if no one has any objections I would like to put that in the form of a motion that we name the girls softball field after Coach Danny Bond," Evins concluded.

The board gave unanimous approval.

Concerned Parent Asks School Board to Change Policy on DCHS Prom

May 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

Should DeKalb County High School students be allowed to bring dates to the prom who are not students at DCHS?

At least one concerned parent believes the policy should be changed.

Catherine O'Neal, who lives on Dale Ridge Road, addressed the Board of Education Thursday night at DCHS, saying her son chose not to attend the recent DCHS prom, which was held in Lebanon, because he was not allowed to bring his girlfriend, who is a student at White County High School. O'Neal said the policy is unfair . " My son is an eleventh grader. He is pretty much a straight-A student and works very hard. He keeps his conduct in check at all times. I've never had a problem with him. This year I asked him about the prom and he said "I'm not going". This is from a young man who has been dating another young lady for over a year now. The young lady has roots in this community that spans decades long, yet her address happens to be in Sparta. He was told that he could not bring what he considers to be his significant other to a school function that did not even occur in this county for three hours. He was told you could go alone or invite a different girl. I would like that to be re-addressed. This is a twenty year old rule but this is the 21st century. I think this is so wrong. It's as if my son is being punished. He is not being allowed to attend something that is a milestone event. But yet, he is welcome at Sparta High for her prom. That does not make any sense to me. It's not fair and I think that it should be changed. He missed this one (prom). He didn't go to this one. The only one he's got left is his senior prom and I'd really like for him to take the person he cares about to that prom instead of having to miss it or go stag," said O'Neal.

The school board did not response to or act on O'Neal's request.

The DeKalb County Board of Education policy states that "attendance (to the prom) is limited only to students of the sponsoring school (DCHS)". According to the policy "events which enhance social development may be conducted by schools but must not interfere with the scholastic program in any school."

"Student organizations may sponsor social events, which are planned under the guidance of club sponsors or school administrators, scheduled well in advance, and serve to complement the curricular program. Minimal admission fees may be charged to defray costs."

"Social events scheduled for out-of-school hours shall be approved and administered by the principal. Activities scheduled outside of the system must be approved by the director of schools and/or the Board."

Social events, all dances including annual school proms have board approval provided that adequate supervision is secured, and attendance is limited only to students of the sponsoring school".

Pre-K Registration Set for Today at Smithville Elementary School

May 9, 2014
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow

Pre-K pre-registration is scheduled today (Friday, May 9) at Smithville Elementary School

"Smithville Elementary will have pre-K pre-registration on Friday, May 9 from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. DeKalb West School will be having a registration day at a later time," said Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K through 6th grade in a recent interview with WJLE.

Julie Vincent, Principal of Smithville Elementary School, also mentioned the registration along with other SES school activities during Thursday night's school board meeting at DCHS.

"Parents interested in applying for the pre-K program should be aware that your child must turn four years old on or before August 15. When you come to register the student for the pre-K program, parents you will need to provide the following information:

*Original certificate of birth. This is the birth certificate with the state seal.

*Paperwork showing an up to date physical examination. You can get this from your doctor or health department. Make sure they are aware that this form will be used for enrollment in school.

*A certification of immunization record or shot record. Again, make the doctor or health department aware that this form will also be used in registering the child for school.

*Proof of income for all household members.

*Proof of residency. An electric bill. Cable bill. Water bill. Any type of documentation that has your name and address on the paperwork.

Parents, you will be notified prior to the start of school if your child qualifies for the pre-K program. Once the committee meets, teachers will be given a list of their classroom names and they will call and let you know if your child has been accepted into the program. Again, this date is only for Smithville Elementary pre-K registration. DeKalb West School will be having a registration day at a later time," said Burklow.

Meanwhile, Smithville Elementary and DeKalb West School will have kindergarten pre-registration on Friday, May 16 from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Children who plan to attend kindergarten must turn five years old on or before August 15, 2014.

Parents, when you come for that registration, you will need to bring with you the following information:

*Original certificate of birth. The birth certificate with the state seal.

*The physical examination record. It must be current and up to date.

*Up to date certification of immunization record (shot record)

*Proof of residency for DeKalb County.

"Parents, please share with your child that he or she will be tested on registration day. This is an opportunity for your child to show the kindergarten teachers what he or she knows," Burklow concluded

"Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive Saturday

May 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Letter Carriers will be collecting food Saturday

You can "Stamp Out Hunger" on Saturday, May 10 by joining with the Letter Carriers (NALC) union in its 22nd annual food drive--the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Letter carriers collected more than 74.4 million pounds of food last year, bringing the 21-year total to 1.3 billion pounds. All you need to do is collect canned goods and dry food, such as tuna, canned meat, soups, pasta, rice and cereal, and leave them in a bag or box by your mailbox. Your letter carriers will pick them up as they deliver your mail.

Letter Carriers will be collecting food for the drive from postal customers in the Smithville area.

Donations are given directly to local food pantries. While most food pantries get the bulk of their donations around Christmas and Thanksgiving, the NALC drive is done during the spring, when many food pantries are struggling. Also, since many school meal programs are suspended during summer months, millions of children are left scrambling to find alternate sources of nutrition and the food banks are a vital resource for families in need.

Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive--the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 20 years.

Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries, and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are involved.

To donate, just place a box or can of non-perishable food next to your mailbox before your letter carrier delivers mail on the second Saturday in May. The carrier will do the rest. The food is sorted and delivered to an area food bank or pantry, where it is available for needy families.

With more than 50 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 17 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help.

McKenzie, Dunaway, and Fickling Win District Races

May 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Gary McKenzie
Bryant Dunaway
Craig Fickling

Gary McKenzie, Bryant Dunaway, and Craig Fickling won their respective races in the seven county 13th Judicial District Republican Primary Tuesday.

McKenzie defeated Wesley Bray for the Republican nomination for Criminal Court Judge, Part I by a final count of 7,819 to 6,883. Bray carried six of the seven counties in the district but lost to McKenzie in Cumberland County 4,597 to 1,988. Bray won Clay County 381 to 63, 114 to 83 in DeKalb County, 590 to 209 in Overton County, 682 to 263 in Pickett County, 2,767 to 2,250 in Putnam County, and 361 to 354 in White County.

McKenzie will face Democratic nominee William Fred Roberson, Jr in the August 7th General Election. Roberson was unopposed for the Democratic nomination Tuesday and received 6,095 votes district-wide. Roberson received 48 votes in Clay County, 591 in Cumberland, 1,019 in DeKalb, 1,582 in Overton, 19 in Pickett, 1,437 in Putnam, and 1,399 in White County.

Meanwhile Dunaway won the Republican nomination for District Attorney General, beating Shawn C. Fry 7,874 to 6,991. Dunaway carried all seven counties of the district winning 256 to 107 in Clay County, 3,298 to 3,199 in Cumberland County, 129 to 77 in DeKalb County, 447 to 343 in Overton County, 501 to 393 in Pickett County, 2,851 to 2,546 in Putnam County, and 392 to 326 in White County. Dunaway will be running against Tony Craighead, the Democratic nominee for District Attorney General in August. Craighead ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday and received 6,376 votes in the district. Craighead received 58 votes in Clay County, 644 in Cumberland County, 1,313 in DeKalb County, 1,561 in Overton County, 21 in Pickett County, 1,457 in Putnam County, and 1,322 in White County.

Craig P. Fickling won the Republican primary for District Public Defender with 4,695 votes. His opponents, John Milton Meadows had 4,634 votes, and Edwin G. Sadler received 4,097 votes. Meadows carried five of the seven counties. Fickling won the other two counties.

The county results are as follows:

Clay: Meadows 114, Sadler 110, and Fickling 91
Cumberland: Meadows 2,239, Fickling 1,794, and Sadler 1,555
DeKalb:Fickling 72, Sadler 69, and Meadows 58
Overton: Meadows 415, Fickling 213, and Sadler 151
Pickett: Meadows 409, Fickling 320, Sadler 132
Putnam: Fickling 2,044, Sadler 1,926, and Meadows 1,004
White: Meadows 395, Fickling 161, and Sadler 154

Fickling's Democratic opponent in August will be the incumbent Public Defender David N. Brady. Unopposed on Tuesday, Brady received 6,133 votes district-wide for the Democratic nomination. Brady received 55 votes in Clay County, 644 votes in Cumberland County, 1,185 in DeKalb County, 1,567 in Overton County, 19 in Pickett, 1,360 in Putnam County, and 1,303 in White County.

Incumbent Circuit Court Judge, Part I Amy Hollars was unopposed for the Democratic nomination Tuesday and she will be unopposed in August. She received a total of 6,730 votes district-wide.

Incumbent Criminal Court Judge, Part II, David A. Patterson was unopposed for the Republican nomination Tuesday and received 11,945 votes district-wide. He will be unopposed in August.

Jonathan Young won the Republican nomination for Circuit Court Judge, Part II in the district with 10,330 votes. He was unopposed Tuesday but will face Randall A. York in August. York was unopposed for the Democratic nomination and received 6,971 district-wide. Young received 184 votes in Clay County, 4,463 in Cumberland, 175 in DeKalb, 602 in Overton, 652 in Pickett, 3,673 in Putnam, and 581 in White County. York's vote was 55 in Clay County, 774 in Cumberland, 1,274 in DeKalb, 1,795 in Overton, 21 in Pickett, 1,450 in Putnam, and 1,605 in White County.

Incumbent Chancellor Ronald Thurman was unopposed for the Democratic nomination Tuesday. He received 6,855 votes district-wide. His Republican opponent in August will be J. Lee Burgess, who received 9,722 district-wide in his uncontested bid for the GOP nomination.

Thurman received 56 votes in Clay County, 653 in Cumberland, 1,209 in DeKalb, 1,875 in Overton, 17 in Pickett, 1,596 in Putnam, and 1,449 in White County. Burgess's vote was 182 in Clay County, 4,517 in Cumberland, 165 in DeKalb, 561 in Overton, 642 in Pickett 3,103 in Putnam, and 552 in White County.

Tigerettes Win District Tournament, All District Selections Announced

May 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Tigerettes Win District Tournament

The DeKalb County Tigerettes claimed the District Tournament Championship Tuesday night with a 6 to 3 victory over Upperman at Baxter.

Meanwhile, members of the All District Team from DeKalb County have been named.

Danielle Tyson is the District's Co-MVP and Best Offensive Player while Tigerette Coach Danny Bond has been named the District Coach of the Year.

Chelsey Brannon, Kayley Caplinger, and Danielle Tyson were named to the All District First Team while Lauren Colwell, Tyra Graham, and Katie Hall made the All District Second Team. Kayley Caplinger was named Freshman of the Year on the District's All Freshman Team.

Members of the All Tournament Team from DeKalb County are Chelsey Brannon, Danielle Tyson, Tyra Graham, and Dani Meadows. Kayley Caplinger was named Most Valuable Player of the District Tournament.

In the District Tournament Championship game Tuesday night, the Tigerettes scored six runs on nine hits and made one error. The Lady Bees scored three runs on eight hits and made an error.

DeKalb County scored four runs in the first inning and two runs in the fifth. Upperman scored one run in the fourth inning and two runs in the fifth

Kayley Caplinger was the winning pitcher.

Danielle Tyson had a single and a double. Katie Hall, Chelsey Brannon, Lauren Colwell, and Dani Meadows each had a single. Tyra Graham had two singles and Kayley Caplinger had a double.

(UPDATED) Stribling and Poss Unseat Three Term Incumbents

May 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Tim Stribling
James L. (Jimmy) Poss
Bratten H. (Butch) Cook, II
Larry Flair
Jimmy Sprague
Katherine Pack
Jeff McMillen

Three term incumbents County Mayor Mike Foster and County Clerk Mike Clayborn lost their bids for a fourth term Tuesday in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary. Three incumbent county commissioners were also defeated including Jerry Scott in the third district, David McDowell in the fourth district, and Marshall Ferrell in the sixth district.

A total of 3,313 persons voted in the primaries including 1,701 election day and 1,612 either during early voting or by absentee. Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack led the ticket with 2,426 complimentary votes.

Smithville Alderman Tim Stribling defeated Foster by a final total of 1,770 (59.92%) to 1,183 (40.05%). Stribling carried every precinct but Edgar Evins State Park. Stribling also had a majority of the early votes and absentees.

Clayborn lost to James L. (Jimmy) Poss by a final count of 1,681 (57.06%) to 1,265 (42.94%).

Eleven precincts went for Poss. Clayborn carried the remaining five precincts. Poss also had a majority of the early votes/absentees.

(Click Link Below to View Election Results from Each Precinct)


Stribling will face Republican Challenger Chris Smithson and Independent candidate Chris Bratcher in the August 7th DeKalb County General Election. Poss will be unopposed.

Foster and Clayborn's terms will end August 31.

Meanwhile, Incumbent General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten H. (Butch) Cook, II defeated challenger Margie Rigsby Miller.

Judge Cook received 1,664 votes (57.94%) to 1,208 votes (42.06%) for Miller. Cook carried nine precincts and he had a majority of the early votes/absentees. Five precincts went for Miller and the two candidates had a tie vote in two precincts.

Judge Cook will face Republican challenger Mingy Colwell Bryant in the August General Election. The term is for eight years.

Larry Flair defeated Michael Agee for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff winning 1,306 (57.11%) to 967 (42.28%)

Flair carried fourteen of the sixteen precincts. Agee carried one precinct and the two candidates had a tie vote at one precinct. Flair also had a majority of the early votes/absentees.

As the Democratic nominee, Flair will face two term Republican incumbent Sheriff Patrick Ray in the August General Election.

James D. (Jimmy) Sprague was unopposed for the Democratic nomination for Road Supervisor. He received 2,176 complimentary votes. Sprague will face Republican nominee Wallace (Butch) Agee in the August General Election.

Three term Incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack was unopposed and led the ticket Tuesday receiving 2,426 complimentary votes. She will also be unopposed in August.

Seven term incumbent Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen received 2,377 complimentary votes. McMillen was unopposed Tuesday and he will also be uncontested in August.

(Click Link Below to View Election Results from Each Precinct)


Democratic nominees for the county commission in the second district are Clarence Trapp with 171 votes and Joe N. Johnson who had 160 votes. They beat out Frank D. Thomas who had 131 votes and Jerry Hutchins, Jr. with 81 votes. Trapp and Johnson will be on the August ballot along with Republican incumbent Bobby Joines and Independent candidate James "Jimmy" E. Midgett. Two will be elected.

In the third district, Incumbent Jerry Scott lost his re-election bid for the county commission. The winners were Incumbent Bradley Scott Hendrix with 253 votes and Jack E. Barton who had 215 votes. Scott received 194 votes. Hendrix and Barton will be on the August ballot with Independent candidate Wesley Nokes. Two will be elected.

Fourth district incumbent county commissioner David McDowell also lost. The winners were Incumbent Wayne Cantrell with 248 votes and Jonathan Norris who had 176 votes. They defeated Anthony (Tony) Poss who had 156 votes, Bobby R. Taylor with 131 votes, and McDowell at 122 votes. Cantrell and Norris will be unopposed in August.

Sixth district voters nominated Betty Jean Atnip and incumbent Jeff Barnes for the county commission. Incumbent Marshall Ferrell was defeated. Atnip received 234 votes. Barnes had 210 votes and Ferrell polled 195 votes. Atnip and Barnes will be on the August ballot with Independent candidate Danny McGinnis. Two will be elected.

In the seventh district, Incumbent Larry A. Summers and Kevin Robinson were winners, beating David Agee. Summers received 189 votes. Robinson had 178 votes and Agee got 169 votes. Summers and Robinson will be unopposed in August.

In the fifth district, Incumbent Rick Cantrell and Anita Puckett were unopposed for the county commission. Puckett had 305 votes to Cantrell's 228. They will be on the ballot in August along with Republican incumbent Jerry Adcock. Two will be elected.

First district county commission candidates Bennett Armstrong and incumbent Elmer Ellis, Jr. were unopposed. Ellis received 146 votes. Armstrong had 95 votes. They will be running in August along with Republican incumbent Mason Carter. Two will be elected.

Chad Curtis received 174 complimentary votes to fill a vacancy for constable in the first district. He will be running in August against Republican nominee Lee Plummer.

In the 13th Judicial District Republican Primary, DeKalb County voters chose Bryant C. Dunaway over Shawn C. Fry for District Attorney General. Locally, Dunaway received 129 votes to 77 for Fry.

(Click Link Below to View Election Results from Each Precinct in the GOP Judicial District Primary)


For Criminal Court Judge, Part I Wesley Bray topped Gary McKenzie in DeKalb County 114 to 83.

In the race for District Public Defender, DeKalb County Republicans gave the nod to Craig P. Fickling with 72 votes compared to 69 votes for Edwin G. Sadler and 58 votes for John Milton Meadows.

Republicans for other Judicial offices who were unopposed are Jonathan Young for Circuit Court Judge, Part II, J. Lee Burgess for Chancellor, and Incumbent Criminal Court Judge, Part II David A. Patterson. In DeKalb County, Young had 175 votes, Burgess received 165, and Patterson garnered 180 votes.

In the Democratic Primary, all the judicial candidates were unopposed including Incumbent Circuit Court Judge, Part I Amy Hollars, Randall A. York for Circuit Court Judge, Part II, Incumbent Chancellor Ronald Thurman, William Fred Roberson, Jr. for Criminal Court Judge, Part I, Tony Craighead for District Attorney General, and Incumbent District Public Defender David N. Brady. In DeKalb County, Judge Hollars received 1,136 votes, York had 1,271, Chancellor Thurman 1,209, Roberson 1,019, Craighead 1,313, and Brady received 1,185 votes.

(Click Link Below to View Election Results from Each Precinct in the Democratic Judicial District Primary)


Winners of the GOP and Democratic primaries in the six county 13th Judicial District will face off in the August General Election. All judicial office terms are for eight years.

Smithville Couple Caught During Burglary and Theft

May 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Stephen Jason Moore
Julie Elaine Moore
John Allen Judkins, Jr.
Autumn Danielle White
Donna Annette Bogle
Lori Denise Bogle
Suzanne Nicole Mitchell
Robert Austin Hale

A Smithville couple was arrested by members of the Sheriff's Department last week during a burglary in progress.

38 year old Stephen Jason Moore and 33 year old Julie Elaine Moore both of Cookeville Highway, Smithville are each charged with burglary and theft of property under $500. Bond for each is $3,000 and they will be in court on May 15.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, April 28, both Stephen and Julie Moore broke into a vacant house on Cookeville Highway. "We received a call of them breaking into the house. Deputies and detectives of the Sheriff's Department got down there and caught both of them in the house," said Sheriff Ray. The Moore's were caught taking a Jesus figurine, metal pots and pans, and electronic devices. Sheriff Ray said they admitted to committing the burglary and thefts.

40 year old John Allen Judkins, Jr. of Jefferson Road, Smithville is charged with the domestic assault of his ex-wife, with whom he was still living. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court June 19.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, April 28, a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Jefferson Road in response to a physical domestic. The officer made contact with Judkins and the victim. She said that Judkins had lunged at her and when she turned her back to him, Judkins hit or slapped her in the back. She had a large red mark and scratches on her back. Judkins was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

39 year old Autumn Danielle White of Page Drive in Smithville is charged with public intoxication and simple possession of a schedule II drug. Her bond is $3,500 and she will be in court on May 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, April 29 a deputy responded to Nashville Highway in Liberty where a woman was reported to be passed out in a vehicle. Upon arrival, the officer found White passed out in the driver's seat of a black Nissan Maxima. In the cup holder next to the driver's seat was an open 40 ounce bottle of Smirnoff Ice Beer half full. On the driver's seat between White's legs was a plastic bag containing three grams of a powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine. When she awoke, White's speech was slurred and she was very unsteady on her feet. She was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and or drugs. To prevent her from operating a motor vehicle for her safety and that of the public, White was arrested for public intoxication and taken to the jail. She was also charged with the drug offense. Sheriff Ray added that White has had two or more prior convictions of possession of a schedule II drug.

39 year old Donna Annette Bogle of Barnes Mill Road, Smithville is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court May 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, April 29 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Barnes Mill Road in response to an unwanted guest call. The officer observed Bogle yelling and screaming at a family member. When the deputy tried to speak with Bogle, she refused to stop talking and would not answer any of the officer's questions. She was asked several times to calm down and stop talking so the deputy could find out what was going on. After several unsuccessful attempts to get her to calm, the deputy placed Bogle under arrest for disorderly conduct.

46 year old Lori Denise Bogle of Walker Drive, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on May 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, May 1 a deputy was dispatched to Marina Drive in response to a non-personal injury auto accident with property damage. Upon arrival, the officer observed a blue Toyota that had struck a tree The deputy spoke with the driver, Bogle who said she was driving home when her car left the roadway and hit the tree. Bogle was very unsteady on her feet and she had trouble keeping her eyes open. Her speech was also slurred. Bogle submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She also submitted to a blood test. For her safety and that of the public, Bogle was arrested and brought to the jail.

44 year old David D. Anderson of Gard Lane, Smithville is cited for simple possession of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). He will be in court on May 15. Sheriff Ray said while talking to Anderson at a place of business in Alexandria, a drug detective of the Sheriff's Department spotted a plastic bag in Anderson's front right pocket. Anderson pulled the bag from his pocket and handed it to the detective. The bag contained one Dilaudid pill for which Anderson had no prescription.

Suzanne Nicole Mitchell of Evins Mill Road, Smithville is charged with simple possession of a schedule IV drug and domestic assault. Her bond is $3,500 and she will be in court on May 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, May 4 a deputy responded to a residence on Evins Mill Road in response to a domestic assault call. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a Mitchell family member who said that Mitchell had become upset and started screaming at her, pushed her, and chased her out of the house. Fearing imminent bodily injury, the victim ran next door to her brother's residence for safety where another family member called 911. Mitchell was determined to be the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest. Upon receiving consent to search Mitchell's belongings, the officer found inside a brown leather clutch purse, a small black container which held eight oval peach colored pills believed to be xanax. She was charged with the drug offense.

18 year old Robert Austin Hale of Lower Helton Road, Alexandria is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on May 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, May 4 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Lower Helton Road for a physical domestic in progress. The officer spoke with Hale and the victim (Hale's wife). The woman said that she had come to the residence to pick up a house key so that she could get her clothes. When she pulled into the driveway, Hale told her to get out and come in. He said no one was there and that she would not get hurt. The woman's three year old son got out of the car and went to get the keys off the tailgate of the truck. Hale took the keys away from the child and placed them back on the tailgate, saying these were not the right keys. The woman then got out of the car and picked up the keys off the tailgate, but Hale took the keys away from her. She got back into her car but as she tried to start it, Hale reached in and forcibly took the car keys from her, put them in his front pocket, and walked inside the house. The woman followed him into the house, asking for him to give her back the keys so that she and the child could leave. As she picked up a phone and tried to call another family member to come and get her, Hale took the phone from her, grabbed her by the throat, and slammed her to the ground. Hale then held the woman to the ground by trying to strangle her. After he stopped trying to strangle her, Hale got up and walked outside. The woman, in fear of her life, called 911. The deputy arrived and saw that the woman had red marks on her chest and hand prints around her neck. After an investigation, Hale was determined to have been the primary aggressor and he was arrested.

Smithvillle Police Department Awarded K9 Ballistic Vest

May 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
K9 Leo of the Smithville Police Department

The Smithville Police Department has been awarded a ballistic vest for K9 "Leo" thanks to a non profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

A total of $16,595.00 has been donated to the charity from the “K9 Kota Campaign” to provide vests for seventeen K9s in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey, California and Indiana.

The “K9 Kota Campaign” held an online event selling over 1,350 tee shirts for the cause.

K9 Kota is a law enforcement dog with the Winchester Police Department in Virginia that sustained a work related injury on January 3, 2014. The dog fell through an attic floor onto a hardwood floor while detaining a suspect. Although the injury was severe to his right front leg, Kota climbed back up the flight of stairs to continue the fight. After months of surgery and physical therapy his return to police work is still unknown.

Locally, K9 Officer James Cornelius and K9 Leo of the Smithville Police Department have been working together for just over three years. Officer Cornelius has been in law enforcement for almost four years. K9 Leo is a five year old Dutch Shepherd that has been working for four years. K9 Leo had one handler prior to Officer Cornelius. K9 Leo and Officer Cornelius were paired in March of 2011 and completed 120 hours of initial training with Dean Hunter of Canine Command. They continue to attend monthly maintenance training with Hunter and recertify yearly with the USPCA.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life saving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 930 law enforcement dogs in 39 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of $880,000.

The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Massachusetts, who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Vests are manufactured by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan.

New K9 graduates as well as K9's with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. was named as a charity partner in March of 2014 in a nation wide Groupon Campaign which raised over $335,000 in 19 days. The non profit will be providing over 350 law enforcement dogs nationwide with the protective body armor in memory of K9 Rocco of the Pittsburgh Police Department who sacrificed his life in the line of duty in January of 2014. All vests will be embroidered with the sentiment, "In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Police Department".

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations are accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website: www.vik9s.org.

K-9 Officer James Cornelius and K-9 Leo have been working together for just over 3 years. Officer Cornelius has been in Law Enforcement for close to four years. K-9 Leo is a 5 year old Dutch Shepherd who has been working for four years. K-9 Leo had one handler prior to Officer Cornelius. K-9 Leo and Officer Cornelius were paired up in March of 2011 at which point they completed 120 hours of initial training with Dean Hunter of Canine Command. They continue to attend monthly maintenance training with Dean and recertify yearly with the USPCA.

City Annexation to Take Effect In 30 Days

May 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Annexation Map

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night adopted on second and final reading an ordinance to annex six parcels of property and a portion of another parcel as well as the right of way of Old Snow Hill Road and part of Nashville Highway (Highway 70) on the west side of the city.

Within thirty days, the properties Ed Young, Mike Foster, Dr. David Foutch, Pat Walls, John Kilgore, and Jim Beshearse will be annexed into the city.

annexation map_0.pdf (341.79 KB)

The aldermen also approved on second and final reading an ordinance to amend the zoning map of the city to include three of these parcels in the R-1 Residential Zone along with a portion of the Right of Way on the Old Snow Hill Road.

A third ordinance was adopted on second and final reading to amend the zoning map to include the remaining parcels in the B-2 General Business District as well as a portion of the right of way of Nashville Highway (Highway 70). These parcels include Kilgore's Restaurant, Dr. Foutch's Eye Care office, the old Beshearse Grocery store building, and Young's undeveloped property.

Public hearings were held on the proposed annexation and zoning ordinances prior to final passage, but no opposition was expressed by anyone in attendance.

In accordance with state law, the aldermen last month adopted a resolution outlining a Plan of Services (POS) including sewer, that will be made available to the land being annexed and the timeframe within which services and/or amenities are to be provided. The city's plans for making sewer services available to the annexed area have been sent to the state for approval.

In other business, the aldermen awarded a bid in the amount of $28,500 to the Putnam County Tree Service to cut and remove trees that are penetrating the approach paths at the airport in violation of FAA regulations. This was the only bid received. The city has already secured a $50,000 grant with a five percent local match for the work to be done.

Airport Manager Wesley Nokes explained last October why the work is needed. "It's been several years since the approaches at the airport have been cleared from obstructions. You are required by the FAA to maintain your approaches. An approach is an imaginary trapazoid that extends off each end of the runway. It's basically like a square ice cream cone and the farther you go out the higher up it gets. It starts at the ground on the runway. Right off the end of the runway, you have to keep that pretty well free and clear of trees and other obstacles. We have some trees that have grown up and according to the FAA survey these trees are penetrating our approaches now. We're going to have to remove them. TDOT advised us to apply for a grant for $50,000 to clear all these obstacles. It is a 95/5% matching grant. A five percent cost to the city, which is $2,500. The FAA can shut down our approaches because of this and they actually have shut down our night time GPS approaches at the airport. This is something we need to get taken care of pretty quickly. You can land at night in VFR which is good weather. When the weather is marginal, that's when your GPS approaches are not valid," said Nokes.

The aldermen will soon start work on the proposed 2014-15 fiscal year city budget. A workshop has been set for Thursday, May 15 at 9:00 a.m. at city hall. City department heads will meet with the mayor and aldermen and city financial advisor Janice Plemmons-Jackson to make their budget requests for the new year.

City building codes inspector Eugene O'Neil resigned his position as of April 30th. The aldermen voted to hire Lionel Williams of Cookeville to replace O'Neil as codes inspector, at least on a temporary basis for now. City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson said Williams is certified and currently does codes inspections for DeKalb and other cities and counties in the area.


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