Local News Articles

Grand Jury Returns Indictments

April 8, 2014
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Grand Jury returned indictments against fifty nine people Monday including ten who were named in sealed indictments. The names of those in sealed indictments cannot be revealed until they are arrested.

The defendants will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 14.

The list of persons indicted and their charges are as follows:

Richard S. Adams: driving on a revoked driver's license (2 counts), financial responsibility, and violation of the light law

Scott Richard Adams: theft over $1,000 and introduction of contraband into a penal institution

Amanda Maxwell Bain: theft under $500

Robin Ann Baquedano and Jonathan Nellums: theft over $60,000

Berna Dean Barnes: possession of paraphernalia

Russell Blackwell: aggravated assault and aggravated burglary

Jessica Renee Bogle: evading arrest

Elizabeth Rochelle Bradshaw: child neglect (2 counts)

Robert Brian Callahan, II and Tony J. Starkes, Jr.: aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and theft under $500

Jamie Scott Campbell: assault

Thomas K. Copenhaver: aggravated sexual battery

Brady Gordon Cunningham: theft over $10,000, driving under the influence (4th offense) and possession of a schedule IV drug

Steven Dale Davidson: theft over $1,000

Johnny Lynn Devault: theft under $500 (2 counts)

Rickey Lynn Devault: aggravated assault

Duane Kaimana Edlao: possession of a schedule VI drug for resale

Killian Blake Ellis: domestic assault and driving on a suspended license

Killian Blake Ellis and Martha Shelyane Silcox: vandalism over $1,000 (5 counts) and theft under $500 (5 counts), vandalism over $500

Jennifer Ferrell: theft over $1,000

Timothy Wade Ford: initiation of methamphetamine

Elizabeth Collette Gardenhire: theft under $500

Rodney H. Gora and Steven Dale Davidson: aggravated burglary and theft over $500

Don Dimond Groshon and Lynda Neville: aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Don Dimond Groshon: driving on a suspended license

Lynda Michelle Neville: theft under $500

James Handy: theft under $500, criminal trespass, and theft over $1,000

Tracy Haynes: evading arrest

Robin Lee Lawson, II: burglary, theft over $1,000, and public intoxication

Lori A. Lewis: passing a forged prescription

Mindy Celas Magouirk: driving on a suspended license

Amanda Gail Maxwell and Charles Wayne Reagan: aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and theft over $1,000

Lance R. Miller: theft over $10,000

Christopher S. Mooneyham: aggravated burglary, public intoxication, driving under the influence (2nd offense) and driving on a revoked license

Scott Moore: assault

Skyelor Patrick: aggravated assault (2 counts)

Virginia D. Presnell: false report

Stephen Hunter Pugh: driving under the influence (2nd offense), driving on a revoked license (2 counts), possession of paraphernalia, failure to maintain lane, financial responsibility, and failure to wear a seatbelt

Michael Ray Reeder: possession of a schedule VI drug for resale

Johanna Rojas: driving without a license and financial responsibility

Raymond Austin Simpson: assault and theft over $500

James Frederick Summers: theft under $500, criminal trespass (2 counts), driving on a revoked license (4th offense), financial responsibility, and registration violation

Shannon E. Tayes: driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane, and violation of implied consent

Jeremy Robert Vaughn: driving on a suspended license and financial responsibility

Jeremy Robert Vaughn and Lilliedee Rose Six: auto burglary and theft under $500 (3 counts)

Abigail Vogel: theft under $500

Kristie Renea Waggoner: driving under the influence (2nd offense)

Zack Walker: aggravated burglary and theft under $500

Autumn D. White: Driving on a suspended license, criminal impersonation, violation of the seatbelt law, and financial responsibility

Gary E. Woodard: driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, violation of the seatbelt law, financial responsibility, and open container

Annexation Adopted on First Reading

April 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Map of Annexed Area

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night adopted on first reading a proposed 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.

annexation map_0.pdf (341.79 KB)

The aldermen also approved on first 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 first 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).

The annexation and zoning ordinances will be scheduled for passage on second and final reading at the next city council meeting on Monday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m. at city hall. The ordinances would become effective thirty days following final passage.

If given final approval, the properties Ed Young, Mike Foster, Dr. David Foutch, Pat Walls, John Kilgore, and Jim Beshearse would be annexed. The area includes almost seventeen acres on the south side of Highway 70 from the existing city limits to near the intersection of Highway 83 (New Home Road). It would take in the Kilgore's restaurant property, which belongs to Foster; Dr. Foutch's Eye Care office; and parcels of land belonging to Kilgore and Beshearse. Facing the Old Snow Hill Road, the residential properties of Beshearse, Walls, and Foster would be annexed. On the northside of Highway 70, another fourteen acres of undeveloped land belonging to Ed Young would be annexed along with the old Beshearse grocery store building. Young's property is located across the highway from Kilgore's Restaurant.

Due to a state moratorium on annexation, the city cannot take the initiative on its own without a request. The property owners had to petition the city for annexation.

The Smithville Municipal Planning Commission reviewed the plan and voted last month to send a recommendation to the mayor and aldermen that the proposed annexation and zoning be approved.

State law further requires that all annexations include a Plan of Services (POS). The POS outlines those services, such as sewer, that will be made available to the land being annexed and the timeframe within which services and/or amenities will be provided.

The aldermen Monday night approved a resolution adopting a plan of services for the annexed area.

The (POS) includes the following:

A. Police
(1). Patrolling, radio responses to calls, and other routine police services, using present personnel and equipment, will be provided immediately on the effective date of annexation.

(2) Traffic signals, traffic signs, street markings, and other traffic control devices will be installed as the need is established by appropriate study and traffic standards and in accordance with the policies of the Public Works Department.

B. Fire

(1) Fire protection will be provided immediately upon annexation by the present personnel and equipment of the Smithville Fire Department.

C. Water

(1) Water lines, which are currently provided by DeKalb Utility District, will continue to provide water to these customers after the annexation.

D. Sanitary Sewer System

(1). Sewer service will be provided when future sewer lines are extended within the annexed area either by the City of Smithville or property owners. Extensions of sewer lines are subject to the Smithville Capital Improvements Program.

E. Street Construction and Repair

1. If applicable, routine maintenance on the same basis as in the present City will begin in the annexed area in approximately six months of annexation.

2. If applicable, reconstruction and resurfacing of streets, installation of storm drainage facilities, construction of curbs and gutters, and other such major improvements, as the need therefore is determined by the governing body will be accomplished under established policies of the City.

F. Solid Waste Collection and Disposal

(1). The same regular solid waste collection and disposal services provided within the City of Smithville will be extended to the annexed area immediately upon the effective date of the annexation and subject to practices and policies of the City of Smithville.

G. Recreation and Community Facilities

(1) Residents of the annexed area may use all existing recreational facilities, parks, library, etc, upon the effective date of annexation.

H. Inspection Services

(1). Inspection services ensuring code compliance of new construction in new developments will be consistent with current policies provided by the City of Smithville in the annexed area immediately after the effective date of annexation.

I. Planning and Zoning Services.

(1) The planning and zoning jurisdiction of the City will extend to the annexed area on the effective date of annexation. The City planning jurisdiction will encompass the annexed area.

(2). Enforcement of the subdivision regulations, street design criteria, and the flood damage prevention ordinance shall be extended to the annexed area upon the effective date of the annexation.

J. Building Codes

(1) Building codes will be extended to the annexed area on the effective date of annexation, with the exception of construction already in progress and permitted by DeKalb County.

K. Other Miscellaneous Services

(1). Other services such as general governmental administration, etc. will be in effect immediately upon the effective date of annexation.

City Attorney Calls for Update of Beer Ordinance

April 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Vester Parsley
W.J. (Dub) White
Shawn Jacobs

Questions about enforcement of the city's beer ordinance were raised again Monday night during the monthly meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Former alderman W.J. (Dub) White came before the mayor and aldermen last month complaining that stores licensed to sell beer in the city were being allowed to display beer advertisements within their stores in a manner which can be clearly seen from the streets, apparently a violation of the city's beer ordinance.

City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. said last month that he would have a definite answer to White's concerns by the April meeting but was concerned that this provision in the beer ordinance may be unconstitutional, improperly restricting freedom of speech.

White addressed the mayor and aldermen again Monday night, seeking Parsley's answer. "I'd like to know what has been done about advertising beer?"

The city's beer ordinance states " It shall be unlawful for any beer permit holder to advertise within the business establishment in any manner visible from off the premises of said establishment the price or location of beer on the premises of the establishment".

In response, Parsley said he thought the existing beer ordinance needs to be updated because there are portions of it that may be unenforceable. "It is my recommendation tonight to the city council that the city or beer board go back and have a workshop with MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service) to look at amending or modifying our current ordinance. The ordinance is out of date. It has sections that are not applicable anymore because we have already changed by ordinance the times of operation and the fact that you can serve beer in restaurants. There is also a statute (state law) that we're not in compliance with which would allow people who sell beer to have a generic sign outside of their business that says they sell beer. It is my recommendation that the beer board get together with MTAS to help develop a new ordinance which would be in compliance with the current ordinance that we have changed (amended) and in compliance with state law. Until that is done, I don't think any action should be taken," he said.

Referring to the city's legal battle with the DeKalb Utility District, Parsley said the city has already lost a court fight over an outdated ordinance and he doesn't want the city to possibly have to be in a similar position again if someone were to bring a legal challenge to the validity of the beer ordinance.

Even if the city were to update its beer ordinance, White contended that the city must enforce the ordinance it has now in the meantime. "You have to go by the old ordinance until you get a new ordinance fixed up," said White.

"It's been on the books for several years but in my opinion there are provisions of this beer ordinance that are certainly not enforceable and questionable," Parsley responded.

If the ordinance is changed, Alderman Shawn Jacobs said he wants the city to keep a provision that would continue to require beer permit holders to meet the $25,000 wholesale value grocery stock inventory requirement. Currently stores are responsible for furnishing the city a certified inventory each year. The city, however, never does its own investigation or inventory to make sure the stores are in compliance. "Whether we want to admit it or not there is a giant pink elephant in this room and that is we have one store that has nowhere near $25,000 worth of inventory. It may be certified but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they don't (comply). I think that needs to be left in the statute and I think it needs to be enforced," said Jacobs.

"They bring us a certified copy (each year) that it (their inventory) is $25,000," said Mayor Jimmy Poss

"We can walk in there (store) and know that is not true," answered Alderman Jacobs. "It is our duty. It is our sworn duty as members of this body to enforce the laws of the city. I understand completely what Mr. Parsley is saying and I do agree that we need to clean up the ordinance and to make sure it's constitutional and up to date. But I believe we do need to enforce the stipulations of the ordinance that we wish to keep. One that I personally wish to keep is that they (stores) remain required to have the $25,000 worth of grocery inventory. We have one (store) that obviously doesn't. Another one questionably does. I'll bet one (of the stores) doesn't have $5,000 worth of inventory. I've gotten calls on this not just from Mr. White but from other members of the community as well," said Alderman Jacobs.

Parsley said if the city were to do an independent inventory to ensure compliance, it would have to include all stores that sell beer and that would be costly to the city. "Our ordinance actually says we must take an inventory (from the stores) by April 15th of each year. It's a certified inventory done by someone from outside the city. In the past we've always taken them (accepted inventories from the stores). In order for us (city) to do an inventory, we would have to do all of them and that could get very expensive in time and personnel. But those are things that need to be cleaned up (in the ordinance)," Parsley concluded.

Under the city beer ordinance, "Before a beer permit is issued, the applicant must show proof of ownership of $25,000 (Wholesale Value) in grocery stock, excluding all tobacco products, gasoline, petroleum products, antifreeze, and beer. Further, should a beer permit be granted to an applicant, the beer permit holder must maintain at all times on the premises where beer is sold a minimum grocery stock of $25,000 (Wholesale Value), excluding all tobacco products, gasoline, petroleum products, antifreeze and beer. The holder of a beer permit must provide at least one inventory per year to the Smithville beer board, said inventory to be submitted no later than April 15 of each year. Moreover, the inventory submitted annually to the Smithville beer board by the permit holder shall be performed by a business entity whose principal or predominant business is that of conducting inventories. Further, the accuracy of said inventory shall be sworn to and affirmed before a Notary Public by the agent or employee of the business entity retained to conduct the inventory. Moreover, the Smithville beer board shall have the authority to request additional inventories during the year, and each holder of a beer permit shall be obligated to provide the Smithville beer board with any requested inventory."

Saturday Fire Destroys Home on Yolanda Hills Road

April 7, 2014
County Firefighters Unable to Save Home
Saturday Fire Destroys Home on Yolanda Hills Road

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1221 Yolanda Hills Road Saturday afternoon.

Assistant Chief David Agee said the residence belonged to Cindy Boone. Upon arrival crews found the home to be fully engulfed in flames. It was a total loss. However firefighters were able to save a detached garage and a Honda four wheeler about 10 feet from the home. The local Red Cross chapter was notified and responded to the scene to assist the family with immediate needs.

Responding stations included Short Mountain Highway and Cookeville Highway, along with the Main Station, Tanker 1 and equipment truck. DeKalb EMS staff and Sheriffs Department officers were also on the scene. There were apparently no injuries.

Chevy Blazer Plows into the Tannery Causing Major Damage

April 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
View from inside the Tannery after the Crash
The Tannery Closed Monday after Sunday night Crash

The Tannery on West Broad Street reopened this morning (Tuesday).

The local tanning salon business had to be closed all day Monday after a Sunday night accident in which a man crashed through the front of the building in his Chevy Blazer, causing major damage.

According to Smithville Police, 27 year old Jason Alexander Sturdivant of 487 Page Drive was driving a 1998 Chevy S-10 Blazer when the vehicle entered the parking lot of the Tannery and crashed into the business, which was closed at the time.

Sturdivant was apparently not seriously injured . He has been cited for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance).

Officer Joey Myers said the accident remains under investigation to determine the cause.

Concrete Coatings Employee Charged with Stealing Items from DeKalb Middle School

April 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jason Michael Stockton

An employee of a company doing work at DeKalb Middle School during spring break has been charged with theft for allegedly stealing items from classrooms including laptops, backpacks and other personal belongings of teachers and students.

30 year old Jason Michael Stockton of Cookeville is charged with one count of theft over $1,000 and four counts of theft under $500. His bond totals $48,000 and he will be in court on April 10.

Detective Brandon Donnell of the Smithville Police Department, who investigated the case, said Stockton is an employee of Concrete Coatings of Cookeville. "Over spring break, the school had this company come in and redo some of the floors. When the teachers came back the following Monday, they noticed some things were gone. After looking into it more, they discovered a lot more things were missing including personal things taken from teacher's desks such as cash, a watch, ring, money raised toward Relay for Life, a laser pointer and more. They looked on the (surveillance) cameras and saw workers from this company going into the classrooms, taking stuff and walking out with it," he said.

Other items taken from the school included cases of bottled water and soft drinks, bottles of body lotion, an Ipod, and several bags of food for the backpack program.

The total value of the stolen items was estimated to be $5,770.

Detective Donnell said some of the stolen items were recovered upon Stockton's arrest on Friday, April 4. " We went to Stockton's house in Cookeville and found some of the stuff in his house," he said.

At least one other arrest may be forthcoming as a result of the investigation.

Former McDonalds Employee Charged with Theft

April 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jeri Beckham

A former employee of McDonalds in Smithville has been charged with theft for allegedly cashing paychecks she had already deposited.

34 year old Jeri Beckham is facing three counts of theft under $500. She is under a $4,500 bond and will be in court on April 24.

According to Smithville Police, Beckham allegedly took advantage of a service called Mobile Deposit to deposit three of her paychecks into her bank account, by simply taking a picture of the checks with a mobile phone. Once deposited, Beckham then allegedly took the actual paychecks and cashed them at Food Lion.

The amounts of the checks were for $438.68 on January 2; $388.78 on January 21; and $200.98 on February 15.

The case was investigated by Corporal Travis Bryant.

Drunk Driver Nearly Sideswipes Patrol Car

April 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Johnny Michael Howard

A drunk driver who nearly sideswiped a sheriff's department patrol car last week has been arrested.

51 year old Johnny Michael Howard of Billings Road, Sparta is charged with a third offense of driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel. Howard's bond is $4,500 and he will be in court April 24.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, April 2 at around 10:20 p.m. a deputy was traveling on Highway 70 just past Sligo bridge when a Dodge Caravan, driven by Howard, left its lane of travel and nearly sideswiped the patrol car in a curve. The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Howard, who had a strong odor of alcohol on him. Howard was unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. Howard performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He was placed under arrest for the safety of himself and the public.

39 year old Autumn Danielle White of Page Drive, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving on a suspended license. She was also issued a citation for simple possession (2 Hydrocodone pills), prohibited weapon (Billy Club), drug paraphernalia (set of scales), and violation of the open container law (2 open beers). Her bond is $3,000 and she will be in court April 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, April 6 while on routine patrol, a deputy saw White driving an automobile. Having prior knowledge that she did not have a license, the officer conducted a traffic stop of her vehicle. A computer check revealed that White's license were suspended for failure to satisfy a citation. A search of her vehicle turned up a set of scales, two hydrocodone pills, and a Billy club. She also had two open beers in the front seat.

33 year old Mark Denver Young of Barnes Mill Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on April 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, April 6 a deputy saw Young operating a vehicle on Barnes Mill Road. Having prior knowledge that Young did not have a license, the officer conducted a traffic stop. A computer check revealed that Young's license were revoked for driving under the influence. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Morgan Faith Green Wins Teen Miss Pageant

April 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Morgan Faith Green
Abigail Hope Taylor,Destiny Danielle Franklin, Morgan Faith Green, Addison Grace Oakley, Sarah Anne Colwell
Abigail Hope Taylor, Kaitlyn Bain, Morgan Faith Green

Fourteen year old Morgan Faith Green is the first ever Teen Miss. She won the crown Saturday during the pageant held at DeKalb County High School.

Teen Miss is a new Spring Blossom Pageant started by the Smithville Women's Club. Ten girls ages thirteen to fifteen competed for the title.

Green, daughter of Suzanne and Jon Harrison of Smithville, was also named Miss Photogenic.

Addison Grace Oakley of Liberty was first runner-up in the pageant. She is the 13 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley.

Second runner-up went to Destiny Danielle Franklin, the 14 year old daughter of Charlie and Jennifer Ware of Smithville.

Thirteen year old Sarah Anne Colwell was third runner-up. She is the daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville.

Abigail Hope Taylor was fourth runner-up. She is the 13 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville. Taylor also received the title of Miss Personality.

Thirteen year old Kaitlyn Bain was named Runway Queen, an award presented by Runway Rentals. Bain is the daughter of Wendy Thomas and Larry Bain of Smithville.

Other participants were Abby Marie Evans, the 13 year old daughter of Amanda Mathis of Smithville; Allison Brooke Maynard, the 14 year old daughter of Stacey Smith Maynard of Smithville and Alan Maynard of Cookeville; Brooklyn Storm Estes, the 13 year old daughter of Chris and Shanna Bogle of Smithville; and Shelby Elizabeth Clayborn, the daughter of Brian and Holly Clayborn.

TOP PHOTO: Morgan Faith Green
CENTER PHOTO: Abigail Hope Taylor,Destiny Danielle Franklin, Morgan Faith Green, Addison Grace Oakley, Sarah Anne Colwell
BOTTOM PHOTO:Abigail Hope Taylor, Kaitlyn Bain, Morgan Faith Green

Shaunta Rose Koegler is the New Junior Miss

April 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Shaunta Rose Koegler
Megan Emilee Cantrell, Madison Rae Rackley, Shaunta Rose Koegler,Emma Brooke Jennings, Alexis Grace Atnip
Rebekah Haylee Adams,Megan Emilee Cantrell, Alexis Grace Atnip

Twelve year old Shaunta Rose Koegler of Smithville is the new Junior Miss of the Spring Blossom Pageant, which was held Saturday at the DCHS gym and sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club. The pageant featured eleven girls ages ten to twelve.

Koegler, daughter of Brian and Leticia Koegler, succeeds last year's queen, Sarah Anne Colwell, the 13 year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville.

Emma Brooke Jennings was the first runner-up. She is the 10 year old daughter of Chad and Shelly Jennings of Smithville.

Second runner-up was Madison Rae Rackley, the 10 year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville.

Alexis Grace Atnip was named third runner-up. She is the 11 year old daughter of Veronica Atnip of Smithville. Atnip also received the title of Miss Photogenic.

Fourth runner-up went to Megan Emilee Cantrell, the 10 year old daughter of Todd and Jenny Cantrell of Smithville. Cantrell is also the Runway Queen, an award presented by Runway Rentals.

Ten year old Rebekah Haylee Adams was selected as Miss Personality. She is the daughter of Brian and Carolyn Adams of Smithville.

Other participants were Malia Stanley, the 12 year old daughter of Larry and Phyllis Stanley of Smithville.; Kaitlyn George, the 12 year old daughter of Ashley and Frankie Bryant and Jeff and Kim Walls of Smithville; Katherine Grace Colwell, the 10 year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville; Shelby Maylee Sprague, the 12 year old daughter of Jimmy and Johnna Sprague of Smithville; and Destinee Ritchey, the 11 year old daughter of Joe and Tammy Ritchey of Dowelltown.

TOP PHOTO: Shaunta Rose Koegler
CENTER PHOTO: Megan Emilee Cantrell, Madison Rae Rackley, Shaunta Rose Koegler,Emma Brooke Jennings, Alexis Grace Atnip
BOTTOM PHOTO:Rebekah Haylee Adams,Megan Emilee Cantrell, Alexis Grace Atnip


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