Shannon A Cantrell Assessor of Property
Hart Builders
Josh Miller

Local News Articles

Petition Seeks Another Liquor by the Drink Referendum

February 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Petition Seeks Another Liquor by the Drink Referendum

It has failed at the polls twice before but a local businessman is hoping third time's a charm in trying to get liquor by the drink in Smithville restaurants.

Randy Paris has started another petition drive calling for a public referendum to allow the licensed sales of liquor in restaurants within the City of Smithville.

The petition seeks to authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in the City of Smithville. Only 80 valid signatures are needed to get the referendum on the ballot in conjunction with the Tennessee General and US Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 8.

In 2012 a referendum to get liquor in Smithville restaurants failed by a vote of 402 to 333. Two years later, a similar referendum failed by just 15 votes, 412 to 397. In the same election November 2014, Smithville voters narrowly approved another referendum to allow retail package stores to sell liquor within the city. The vote was 406 to 401.

Smithville now has two liquor stores.

Paris said he believes liquor by the drink would boost the local economy and generate more tax revenue.

Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections said that "State law allows individuals to submit a properly worded petition calling for such a referendum. In this case, the referendum is for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises within the Smithville City Limits."

"Based on TCA 57-3-196(C), the petition must be signed by 10% or more of the registered voters voting for Governor in the last election in the city," Stanley said.

If the petition is returned by the deadline and includes the required number of signatures by registered voters in Smithville, the issue will be placed on the November 8 ballot.

TCA 57-3-101 (A) states that "alcoholic beverage means and includes alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, high alcohol content beer, and every liquid containing alcohol, spirits, wine and high alcohol content beer and capable of being consumed by a human being, other than patent medicine or beer, as defined in 57-5-101 (b).

If approved by the voters, the City of Smithville would have to establish an ordinance regarding city regulations but the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission would have the sole authority over the issuance of liquor licenses to eligible Smithville businesses for consumption on the premises.

Over Two Hundred Vote Early

February 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Over 200 voters have now cast ballots in the Presidential Preference and DeKalb County Democratic Primaries.

Early voting continues through February 23.

Early voting numbers through Wednesday, February 17:

Total Voters--277
In Person---263
Absentee—14

Republican Primary---193
Democratic Primaries--84

Local voters are reminded that February 23 is the last day the election commission office can receive a written request for an absentee ballot. The request may be received by mail, by fax or by e-mail with an attached document that includes a scanned signature. A request which contains the required information serves as an application for ballot.

“Because February 23 is fast approaching, we encourage voters who can and wish to vote by absentee to get their requests in as soon as possible,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “We cannot process an application after that date so we encourage voters to get those requests in well in advance.”

Meanwhile, several petitions have been issued and some returned for the upcoming August County General and Smithville, Dowelltown and Liberty elections.

Petitions have been issued for the following:

School Board District 4—Kate Miller

Scholl Board District 5—W.J. (Dub) Evins and Barry Mabe. (Evins’ petition has been returned and verified)

School Board District 6—Doug Stephens

Smithville Aldermen:

Shawn Jacobs, Josh Miller, Danny Washer and Gary Durham (Miller’s petition has been returned and verified)

Dowelltown Mayor—Pam Redmon

Liberty Aldermen—Eddie Blair, J.D. Bratten and Jason Ray.

The qualifying deadline for the above races is NOON April 7.

DeKalb County Celebrates Tennessee Quit Week

February 16, 2016
L-R: Ashby Woodward, Nursing Supervisor; Tim Stribiling, County Mayor; Hilary Luckett, Health Educator

DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribiling has proclaimed February 22-26 Tennessee Quit Week in DeKalb County. The theme for this new campaign is “It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” to celebrate Tennesseans who have quit using tobacco products and inspire more people to join them.

“We support anyone who lives in, works in, or visits DeKalb County and wants to stop using tobacco as part of our efforts to make this a healthier community,” said Tim Stribling. “We’re also encouraging our local health care providers to talk with patients about tobacco use and share resources for quitting with those who use tobacco.”

Tennessee Quit Week is part of a statewide effort led by the Tennessee Department of Health to raise awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products. These proven, effective services can double a tobacco user’s chances of quitting.

“We are here to encourage, support and assist anyone trying to break the addiction to nicotine and move toward a life free from smoking, dipping and/or using other tobacco products,” said DeKalb County Health Department Director Michael Railling “We know how hard it can be to kick the habit. Call or come see us, call the QuitLine, talk with your health care provider – do whatever it takes to learn about all of the options available that can help you succeed!”

Smokers can call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, use a web-based program or attend in-person counseling services and may receive free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy. Call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to speak with a counselor who will help you assess your addiction and help you create a quit plan. For more information and resources including an online cessation tool, visit www.tnquitline.org.

Why Team Up to Quit?
•Patients who work with their health care professionals are ultimately more successful in attempts to quit tobacco use.
•Tobacco users who receive treatment report higher satisfaction with overall health care received compared to untreated tobacco users, according to the U.S. Public Health Service.
•Smokers who quit can add up to 10 years to their life expectancy.

Visit the Tennessee Department of Health online at http://tn.gov/health.

Connect with TDH on Facebook and Twitter @TNDeptofHealth!

TDOT Lets Bids for Highway 70 Resurfacing Project

February 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation plans to resurface Highway 70 from Dowelltown to Smithville.

A bid letting was held Friday, February 12.

Two bids were received for the project. Hudson Construction Company submitted a bid of $615,420. Strawser Construction Incorporated's bid was for $703,102.

The project calls for the resurfacing (microsurfacing) on U.S. 70 from the Dowelltown City Limits to the City Limits of Smithville.

TDOT has not yet announced when the project will get underway.

Donors Urge to Support Blood Drive March 1

February 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

During Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to join in its lifesaving mission by giving blood.

A Blood Drive will be held in Smithville on Tuesday, March 1 from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 201 South College Street.

Since 1943, every U.S. president has designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the Red Cross helps people down the street, across the country and around the world.
The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Donors of all blood types are needed to help accident and burn victims, patients undergoing organ transplants, those receiving cancer treatments and others who rely on blood products.

Make an appointment to become a hero to patients in need by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Bullard Accused of Stealing from Family

February 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jennifer Lynn Bullard
Richard Leon McDaniel

A woman accused of stealing a scanner and shotgun from relatives has been charged with theft of property.

32 year old Jennifer Lynn Bullard of Midway Road, Smithville is under a $2,500 bond and she will be in court February 25. Bullard was arrested on Tuesday, February 9.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, January 26 Bullard allegedly took a Uniden scanner valued at $80 and a New England 410 shotgun valued at $150 from a residence on Midway Road. The scanner belongs to her father and her brother owns the shotgun. Bullard allegedly admitted to taking the items.

The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

40 year old Richard Leon McDaniel of Hayes Ridge Road, Lancaster is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court February 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, February 11 McDaniel allegedly assaulted his girlfriend by shoving her into the wall which caused an injury to her face. He also allegedly tried choking and pointing a knife at her saying he was going to kill her.

26 year old Jason Kyle Shepherd of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is cited for resisting arrest and simple possession of a schedule III and IV drug. His court date is February 25.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 29 Shepherd was being arrested for an outstanding warrant when he failed to comply with law enforcement demands that resulted in a struggle. Shepherd was in possession of seven alprazolam and two suboxone pills.

30 year old Joshua Lynn McCowan is cited for driving on a suspended license and simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine). He will be in court on March 3.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, February 10 a deputy observed McCowan operating a motor vehicle on Broad Street in Smithville. The officer made a traffic stop knowing that McCowan's license were suspended. A computer check confirmed his license to be suspended for driving on suspended. A pat down search revealed in McCowan's possession a bottle with two green capsules believed to be morphine.

Freeman Urges Democrats to Unite for Upcoming Elections

February 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bill Freeman with DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins
Bill Freeman, Democratic Mass Meeting Guest Speaker, County Mayor Tim Stribling, DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins, Amelia Hipps, Candidate for State Representative, and State Representative John Ray Clemmons of Hillary for America Campaign. Not pictured: Michelle Davis, a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign

Nashville real estate businessman and Democratic fundraiser Bill Freeman Saturday challenged the party faithful to unite for 2016 to elect Democrats to office including the White House.

Freeman, who ran a strong but unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Nashville last year, was the keynote speaker for the DeKalb County Democratic Party Mass Meeting.

Freeman, a supporter of President Obama is now backing Hillary Clinton for President. "I am a lifelong Democrat. I've been involved in dozens of Democratic races around the state. I was an early supporter of President Obama. I started supporting him when he was a State Senator. I helped him in his U.S. Senate race. I helped him in both of his Presidential elections. I have served for five years as a national co-chair of OFA which is his (Obama's) signature organization," said Freeman in an interview with WJLE.

"We have a clear choice of continuing on this path that the President has laid out for us. When he (Obama) took office the unemployment rate was 12%. It has now dropped to 4.9%. The DOW was at 7,000 points. It's now at about 16,000 points. When you have jobs and business growth that helps everyone and that's what we've had. But he (Obama) has also done such a great job socially and engaged so many people in this process," he said.

"One of the things I talked about today is the hundreds of thousands of young people who have gotten engaged in this election as a result of Bernie Sanders. I am a Hillary supporter but I so much appreciate what Senator Sanders is doing in engaging young people and getting them involved in the process. I think that will ultimately help us in November whoever the Democratic nominee is," Freeman continued.

As for state politics, Freeman said even though Republicans hold most offices, Democrats are on their way back to power. "We're behind right now but the Republicans are doing all they can do to help us with some of the issues they are concentrating on and I think we're on the comeback trail,".

Although the race is still two years away, Freeman may make a run for Governor. "I am more concerned about us electing the right Governor and electing a Democrat for Tennessee than I am me being a candidate. I am wide open. I hope the right candidate comes along. Someone that I can get behind who will carry the banner for Democrats for Tennessee. But I am not ruling out taking a look at it. That's probably a year away for me. I am more concerned right now with this election cycle and who we put in the White House," Freeman concluded.

Bill was born and raised in Donelson, TN along with his five sisters where he attended public schools. He attended high school at Peabody Demonstration School (now University School) before going on to the University of Tennessee.

Bill’s career in real estate began as a teenager, when he held a summer job as a maintenance man and grounds keeper at family-owned apartment complexes. At 16, he became the youngest person in the country to graduate from the Realtors’ Institute and receive the GRI designation, and at 17, he acquired his first piece of income producing real estate.

Prior to founding Freeman Webb, Inc., Bill was director of Downtown Urban Development for the Metropolitan Nashville Development and Housing Agency (MDHA). He also spent four years as a real estate securities sales representative with Freeman Brothers Realtors.

Bill serves as Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc., a real estate investment, management and brokerage company he co-founded with partner Jimmy Webb in 1979. Bill and Jimmy met at Nashville’s Junior Chamber of Commerce over 35 years ago and they have grown Freeman Webb into one of the area’s most successful full-service real estate companies.

Today Freeman Webb has about 500 employees and manages over 15,000 apartment units. Their first employee is still with the company and many others have been with Freeman Webb for 15, 20 and even 25 years. Freeman Webb has been recognized for three consecutive years as a “Best Place to Work.”

A strong supporter of charitable and community organizations, Bill currently serves on the board of directors of the Nashville State Community College Foundation and has served on the boards of the Tennessee State University Foundation, the Nashville Area YMCA, the Nashville Public Television Council and Children’s House.

An alumnus of the Leadership Nashville program (1979-1980), he has served as commissioner of the Nashville Convention Center and on the board of The Tennessee Housing Development Agency. He was named Man of the Year by the Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1977.

Bill was chosen as one of Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 Power Leaders in Commercial Real Estate. He was also honored as one of the five American Diabetes Association’s 2014 Fathers of the Year..

Bill enjoys spending time out at his farm and training his two hunting dogs, labs Paddy and Pitch. He is an elder at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, where he and his family have been going for over 30 years.

Bill is a devoted husband to his wife, Babs Tinsley Freeman, father to their three sons, Bob, Harvey and Mike, and grandfather to Bob and Rachel’s two daughters.

Meanwhile Michelle Davis, a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign spoke at the Mass Meeting Saturday along with State Representative John Ray Clemmons for the Hillary for America Presidential Campaign.

Assessor of Property and Constables Speak at Democratic Mass Meeting (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell, Democratic Party Chair Jordan Wilkins, and Constables Mark Milam and Travis Bryant at Mass Meeting Saturday. Other Constable candidates were unable to attend

Although their names are on the March 1 ballot and people are already voting, Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell and Constables Travis Bryant and Mark Milam officially announced their candidacies for re-nomination by the DeKalb County Democratic Party Saturday.

All three spoke briefly during the party's mass meeting held at the DCHS Cafeteria. Milam is Constable in the 5th district and Bryant serves the 3rd district.

Cantrell is seeking his second four year term as Assessor of Property. He is unopposed in the March 1 primary but he will have a Republican opponent, Shannon Cantrell in the DeKalb County General Election on Thursday, August 4.

"I just want to thank everybody that supported me during my first campaign that I went through. I am very humbled to say thank you and I am very appreciative of being unopposed through this first one (primary). But it don't mean I've got my guard down. I want to thank each and everyone who supports me and stands behind me," said Cantrell.

"It's an honor to stand up here today. I've seen many of you around the community for the past 10 years since I've been here. It's been a very good experience for me and being a Constable for DeKalb County has also been a good experience. I'd appreciate all the support I can get. It's my first time running on the Democratic ticket. I hope I can do as good by you as I tried to do for the past couple of years since I was elected as an Independent," said Bryant.

"I count it an honor and privilege to stand here again today for the seventh term. I want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me in the past. I look forward to this election this year. I'm thankful to everyone who has stood behind me and voted for me for the last six terms. I've tried to help everyone in DeKalb County and I look forward to it again. I ask everyone for their vote and support," said Milam.

Other Democratic Constable candidates who were unable to attend Saturday's Mass Meeting are Jason Taylor in the 1st district, Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district. All are unopposed in the March 1 primary. Taylor will have a Republican opponent, Lee Plummer in the August 4 DeKalb County General Election. There is no Democratic Constable candidate in the 2nd district. The Republican nominee, Tom Theriaque will be unopposed in August.

DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins read announcements from Smithville Aldermen Danny Washer and Shawn Jacobs, who plan to seek re-election in the August 4 city election. Neither Washer nor Jacobs were able to attend Saturday's meeting. Although Washer and Jacobs are Democrats, they will not run as Democrats in the Municipal Election. The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen positions are non-partisan.

Lebanon Democrat Announces Plans to Run for Pody's Seat (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins with Amelia Hipps

A Democrat will be in the race for State Representative in the 46th district this year.

Amelia Hipps of Lebanon announced her candidacy during the DeKalb County Democratic Mass Meeting Saturday at the DCHS Cafeteria. She plans to seek the Democratic nomination in August for the seat now held by Republican Incumbent Mark Pody of Lebanon. Pody is also seeking re-nomination by the GOP in August.

The qualifying deadline is April 7.

The race will be decided in the November General Election.

Hipps is currently a part time public information officer for the Wilson County School System and she has been involved in the newspaper business.

"My husband and I moved here 10 years ago when I took over the job as the managing editor of the Lebanon Democrat. I spent a little over 25 years in the newspaper business as editor and reporter at small community newspapers throughout the southeast including Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. I left about four years ago. We started our own business covering the General Assembly for small community papers that couldn't afford to send somebody up there. I also covered the General Assembly for TNReport.com and I have also worked for the other newspaper in Lebanon The Wilson Post covering the General Assembly and county government. I got out of all of it when the opportunity came up to go to work for the school system which is what I do now. I am the Public Information Officer on a part time basis for Wilson County Schools. I also do publicity for a couple of other clients," said Hipps.

After passing up an opportunity to run two years ago, Hipps decided in January to get in the race this year. "In January I decided the time was right. This is the time to go do it. I am here to tell you I am here to win. We need more Democrats in the General Assembly. We need a balance of voices in the General Assembly," she said.

Hipps criticized Republicans in the State Legislature for lack of attention to local issues. "Your tax dollars pay their salaries. When they spend most of their time dealing with issues that don't have to do with the 46th district, simply passing resolutions on national issues to support the national party, do you think that's good use of your tax dollars? I want to change that," she said.

"I want to listen to you. I can't make you a promise that every legislative endeavor I will 100% succeed at. That's unrealistic. But what I can promise you is I will be your voice for the residents of DeKalb County who are in the 46th district. The things you need to move your county forward I will be your voice at the General Assembly if you will elect me. I ask you to come out and work with me. Let's get some more Democrats in the House," Hipps concluded.

The 46th district includes all of Cannon County and a portion of Wilson and DeKalb Counties.

Miller First to Qualify for Smithville Municipal Election

February 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Josh Miller

Incumbent Alderman Josh Miller is the first candidate to qualify for the Smithville Municipal Election in August.

Three Smithville aldermen are to be elected on Thursday, August 4. The terms are for four years.

Three others have been issued petitions for Aldermen including Gary Durham and Incumbents Shawn Jacobs and Danny Washer.

The qualifying deadline for the Smithville Election is Noon April 7.

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