Local News Articles

New Animal Shelter Now Under Roof

November 29, 2016
Dwayne Page
New Animal Shelter Now Under Roof

Seven weeks after ground breaking, the future home of the DeKalb Animal Coalition’s shelter is under roof and could be completed within six to eight weeks.

Construction has been underway almost daily on the shelter located behind Tenneco Automotive and near the county’s soon to open solid waste transfer station. Mike Foster, a supporter of the effort, said workers have been taking advantage of the recent dry weather to get as much construction done as possible. “Its going really well and moving right along. All the block work is done and the roof and shingles are on the building. Of course we had not had any rain until last night but I don’t think we’ve missed a day of work on it since we started. As you know when you get on the inside the work will slow down a little but its all ready for us to put the outside runs on. That will be the next thing we’ll do. We’ll put the outside runs on, pour the concrete, and do those outside drains. I think the glass doors, the front doors are supposed to be here in ten days. Of course the frames to all the doors are already set in the concrete but the doors will have to be hung and painted. Inside there will be some cabinet work along with the plumbing and electrical work that will have to be done but its moving along. I would say if everything goes well the building should be completed within six weeks or two months at the most, depending upon the weather because when you get down to painting and some of those things its really weather dependant,” said Foster.

“The main building is 70 feet long and 40 feet wide which includes the hallways where the inside pens are but it will be wider on each side where the outside runs will go. When everything is completed, the facility will be 60 feet by about 70 feet. The outside runs or cages will be ten feet long and five feet wide and they will be attached to the building with openings where they (dogs) can go in and out. The outside pens will be built as soon as we get that concrete poured. The concrete will be poured on about a two inch slope, more than normal so you can wash the runs down into a gutter drain,” said Foster.

Dwayne and Cindy Ward are the contractors for the project and the work is being done on a cost plus basis. Foster said the coalition being a non-profit organization also helps keep costs down. “This way we can get the sales tax savings being that the Coalition is a 501c3 organization. Hopefully, it’s going to save approximately $80,000 doing it this way,” said Foster.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation toward the shelter, contact Marsha Darrah, Sue Puckett Jernigan, or any member of the Coalition. Donations may be made by Pay Pal or at Post Office Box 354.

County Clerk to Host Blood Drive and Organ Donor Awareness Event Today

November 29, 2016
Dwayne Page
County Clerk to Host Blood Drive and Organ Donor Awareness Event Today

As “the Season for Giving” draws near, DeKalb Countians are invited to participate in a special Blood Assurance blood drive and public awareness observance for Tennessee Organ Donor Services.

The event, sponsored by DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, will be held on Tuesday, November 29 at the Smithville Senior Citizens Center in the County Complex. The mobile blood drive, conducted by Blood Assurance, will take place in front of the Senior Center from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. It’s being called the “DeKalb County Neighbors Helping Neighbor’s Program”. Along with the blood drive, information will be shared by representatives of Tennessee Donor Services and Donate Life Tennessee on the importance of organ and tissue donation including personal stories from donor recipients and families of donors.

The holidays seemed the perfect time to schedule such an event, said County Clerk Poss, during a season when people are in the spirit of giving and sharing. “Thinking of the upcoming holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas, I immediately think of joyful memories many make with family and friends. I am also mindful of others during this time and throughout each year who are in need of donation whether it be blood, bone marrow or organ,” he said.

“Most of us consider gifts as personal items we can touch, see, smell, taste or physically use, all purchased with money. For many it’s not until adulthood before we realize our most important gift is life and good health. As we approach the upcoming seasons let us remember through Christ’s gift of his bloodshed, death and resurrection he paid our expense and again offers each another free gift of forgiveness of sins and everlasting life only by accepting him as our Lord and savior,” Poss continued.

“Blood Assurance is the local supplier of blood and blood products in Smithville to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. We also provide blood directly to other area hospitals in McMinnville and Sparta but we are the regional blood center that gives back all of the blood locally. We have blood drives throughout the year across all of our territories. Blood Assurance is in five states including Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina. We have centers and mobile blood drives,” said Mindy Quinn, Marketing Manager of Blood Assurance.

“I have been a blood donor for about 4 years know. I have donated to both American Red Cross and Cookeville Blood Assurance. Either is doing good work for others. However; I prefer donating to Cookeville Blood Assurance when possible. By donating through Cookeville Blood Assurance they provide their collections to several surrounding local hospitals and families in our area,” Poss said.

“The importance now is the time of year. Once the holidays kick in, donations start to slow down. The holidays are also when usage from area hospitals goes up because more people are traveling and on the road and unfortunately there will be more crisis situations from vehicle accidents and things where hospitals need to ensure that the supplies are there. We reach out to our communities, especially around Thanksgiving and then straight on through winter time to make sure that we are able to provide the blood supplies that are needed,” added Quinn.

“Individuals need to be age 18 or older to donate blood or 16 or 17 with parental consent. We do a mini-medical with everyone that comes in so you don’t necessarily have to worry about where you’ve been traveling. But as long as you have parental consent and you weigh at least 110 pounds or more, you are eligible to come in and give. All donors who give blood will be given a long sleeved tee shirt. It’s our “Peace, Love, Blood Donation” tee shirt and everyone will also be entered in a drawing to win a “Family Four Pack” to Rock City. We’re hoping for at least 30 donors on that day,” said Quinn.

While the need for blood donors is great, so is the need for organ and tissue donors. “Right now in the United States there are over 120,000 people waiting for that life saving transplant and in Tennessee there are 2,900. Most of them are waiting for a kidney transplant. The need is great. Nationally 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant. That could be your neighbor, the people who wait on you in the grocery store, or checks you out. It could be a church member. Organ and tissue donation touches all of us at some point in time whether we realize it or not,” said Sharon Pakis, Public Relations Education Manager for Tennessee Donor Services and Donate Life Tennessee.

“County Clerk Poss has invited us to come up and spend the day on Tuesday, November 29. For us it’s to educate people in DeKalb County on the importance of organ and tissue donation and how signing up or saying “yes” to organ and tissue donation allows you to save lives or enhance lives through donation. We will have two individuals with us. One is an organ recipient whose life was changed by the gracious gift of someone who donated an organ. The other one is an individual whose family member was either an organ or tissue donor. They are going to do presentations at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to tell their stories and help people understand the importance of organ and tissue donation,” Pakis continued.

“After attending my first organ donor meeting I was overwhelmed by their services and the gratitude of both recipients and the donors’ families. The stories shared were absolutely amazing. To hear a recipient give thanks to a donor and their family for extending a loved one’s life by donating a heart, lung, kidney, or whatever the organ, bone or tissue may be can only be realized and truly appreciated by seeing, hearing and feeling the love shared from both sides,” said County Clerk Poss.

“Nationally our goal is to have over 50% of Americans signed up as organ and tissue donors because 98% of the people in the United States say they support organ and tissue donation but nationally only 50% have signed up. In the state of Tennessee, we are at about 39%. We are a little below the national average and we would like to be at least with the national average. In DeKalb County 32% of individuals who are over the age of 18 with a driver license or state ID have registered to be an organ and tissue donor,” said Pakis.

“You may sign up to be an organ and tissue donor when you get or renew your driver license or you may go to www.donatelifetn.org and register online. This puts your name into the official Donate Life Tennessee Organ and Tissue Registry. It’s very easy. We invite people to come out on November 29 and learn more about organ and tissue donation and find out how they can save lives. We are excited about the opportunity and we hope to see a lot of folks from DeKalb County,” added Pakis.

"Please support and take part in this event. Every person matters. Come out and give blood or just experience the amazing stories that will be shared from both organ and tissue donor recipients and donor families. We will begin donating blood at 1:00 p.m. ending around 6:00 p.m. The Tennessee Organ Donor Services will have a table set up with educational materials and representatives will be available to answer questions about how their services extends the lives of many in need. We will also have snacks and refreshments available. We look forward to the community’s support,” County Clerk Poss concluded.

Time Running Out to Support Angel Tree Project

November 29, 2016
Dwayne Page

Your support is still needed to make this year's Angel Tree Project successful.

Laura Stone says over one hundred angels need adoption and time is running out.

"The last count was taken on Saturday and we had well over one hundred Angels left. We have plenty to choose from and the deadline for that is Friday, December 2nd. If you have no time to shop but want to help out we will take donations. If you can take an Angel that's the best thing, but if you can't we will be glad to shop. If we don’t get the remaining Angels adopted we will need donations to take care of those that are left and hopefully we will have enough money raised where we can at least buy them something because we want to make sure that everybody gets something."

Please be sure to pick up an Angel or make a donation at any local bank and return a gift for that child by Friday, December 2.

Mother Suffers Broken Ribs After Allegedly being Assaulted by her Son

November 29, 2016
Dwayne Page
John Thomas Bailey
Charles Elmer Burrage, III
Carl Everett Martin
Patsy Lynn Estes
Ramiro Garza, Jr
Cindy Lynn Griffith

A Smithville man has been arrested after allegedly assaulting his mother resulting in her suffering broken ribs.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

46 year old John Thomas Bailey of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $6,000 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 24 a deputy responded to a residence on Short Mountain Highway for a possible domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Bailey and his mother. She told the officer that her son, Bailey had pushed her down several times inside the residence. Bailey’s mother was taken by DeKalb EMS to the emergency room of the hospital where she was found to have a scrape on her knee and broken ribs. Bailey was arrested the following day, Friday November 25.

47 year old Charles Elmer Burrage, III of Redmon Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $4,500 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 25 Burrage admitted to assaulting his son by punching him in the head several times causing swelling and bruising.

54 year old Carl Everett Martin of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 27 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Cookeville Highway in reference to a possible domestic. The officer spotted a woman walking along Cookeville Highway. He stopped and spoke with her. The woman said she and her husband, Martin had gotten into an argument and that he grabbed her by the neck and tried to strangle her. The woman had red marks on her neck and said she had difficulty breathing after the assault.

44 year old Patsy Lynn Estes of Highland Drive, Smithville, a prisoner in the DeKalb County Jail, is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $3,500 and her court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 13 Estes and another female inmate could be seen arguing on the jail’s video surveillance. Estes approached the other inmate and forced her into a corner where they began to fight. It was determined that Estes was the primary aggressor. The victim had red marks on her neck where Estes had tried to choke her.

40 year old Ramiro Garza, Jr. of Capshaw Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 16 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Capshaw Road in answer to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that she and her boyfriend, Garza had gotten into an argument and that he grabbed her by the arms and threw her to the ground. When she got up, Garza again grabbed her by the arms and slammed her into a door. She had red marks on her arms.

46 year old Cindy Lynn Griffith of Hickory Way, Antioch Tennessee is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. She was also issued citations for driving on a revoked license, violation of the open container law, and violation of financial responsibility (no insurance). Her bond is $3,000 and her court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 25 a deputy was dispatched to a possible drunk driver traveling on Highway 70 in a small gray truck. The officer spotted the vehicle and Griffith was found to be the driver. She was unsteady on her feet and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Griffith refused to submit to sobriety tasks but admitted to being intoxicated. She could not provide proof of insurance and found in the vehicle were several open bottles of beer. A computer check revealed her license were revoked for a DUI offense against her on February 27, 2012. She was placed under arrest.

Family left Homeless by Saturday Night Fire

November 28, 2016
Dwayne Page
Fire destroys home of James Michael “Moose” and Becky Nokes at 677 Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown.
Family left Homeless by Saturday Night Fire

A Saturday night fire destroyed the home of James Michael “Moose” and Becky Nokes at 677 Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown.

Central dispatch received the call at around 9:00 p.m.

“The residents called 911 and reported their basement was on fire. Upon our arrival, heavy smoke was observed coming from the basement and the first floor of the home,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“Firefighters entered the basement but the fire, heat, and smoke were too intense to reach the basement area where the fire had already begun to breach the first floor. Firefighters had to resort to a defensive attack to protect nearby exposures, three parked vehicles outside the basement door, and a detached garage,” Chief Green continued.

“The residents were able to safely escape the home, taking only a few personal items with them but the home and remaining contents were destroyed,” he said.

The Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Main Stations responded along with the department’s tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

“The residents say they noticed the power flicker a few times, heard a loud pop, and then the power went completely out. When they went to investigate, the residents discovered the fire in the basement,” said Chief Green.

“Although no official determination of the cause of the fire has been made, it is suspected to have started in the electrical breaker box in the basement,” he concluded.

Three Vehicles Involved in Saturday Wreck

November 27, 2016
Dwayne Page
Three Vehicles Involved in Saturday Crash

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was called to the scene of a rear end crash involving three vehicles Saturday evening on Highway 83 (Allen Ferry Road).

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson, 40 year old Melanie Stansberry of Smithville was traveling west on Highway 83 (Allen Ferry Road) in a 2001 Chevy Tahoe when she was forced to stop due to another vehicle having stopped in front of her. Behind Stansberry was a 2012 Chevy Equinox, driven by 66 year old Betty Davis of Smithville who was also traveling west. Following behind Davis was a westbound 2006 Kia Spectra, driven by 38 year old Joey Redmon of Smithville.

“Ms. Davis was slowing in her travel lane when Mr. Redmon failed to stop, striking Davis’ vehicle in the rear knocking her into the rear of Mrs. Stansberry’s automobile. Mr. Redmon stated his vision was obstructed by the sun which caused him to strike Ms. Davis’s vehicle. Mr. Redmon was transported to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Mr. Redmon was issued citations for failure to exercise due care and financial responsibility,” said Trooper Johnson.

Neither Davis, Stansberry or her passenger, 46 year old William Stansberry were injured.

Joshua Isaac Melton Injured in Rollover Crash

November 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
Joshua I. Melton Injured in Rollover Crash

A 35 year old Smithville man was injured after losing control of his 2003 Ford Explorer on New Home Road (State Highway 83) Saturday afternoon. The vehicle overturned on its top.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Joshua Isaac Melton was traveling east when his vehicle went off the right side of the highway into a ditch, hit a fence and then overturned on a road sign before coming to rest on its top.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s extrication and rescue team were called to the scene to help free Melton who was trapped in the vehicle. He was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was also on the scene.

Melton was later airlifted from the hospital to Vanderbilt Hospital

Midnight Fire Destroys Portion of Mobile Home

November 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green

A midnight fire Friday destroyed a portion of a mobile home at 3620 Cookeville Highway .

The owner and resident, Debra Caldwell, escaped unharmed.

“Just before midnight (Friday) we were called to 3620 Cookeville Highway to a mobile home fire,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“Upon our arrival, we found half of the structure fully involved with other nearby structures threatened. The owner, Debra Caldwell, was at home and her dog awoke her. Caldwell then heard her smoke alarms sounding. The house became filled with smoke but Caldwell managed to escape with her purse and her dog. She went next door to her mother’s house and had her mother call 911,” Chief Green continued.

Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, and Main Stations responded along with the County Fire Department’s tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and Sheriff’s Department.

“Another person rented half of the trailer but he was out of town for the holiday weekend,” added Chief Green.

“Approximately half of the trailer was totally destroyed and the remaining portion received extensive heat and smoke damage. The fire caused no damage to any nearby structures,” he said.

“Mrs. Caldwell and her dog suffered some smoke inhalation but Mrs. Caldwell refused medical treatment and transport by EMS”.

“The fire began in a kitchen area but the exact cause is under investigation,” Chief Green concluded.

"Love Lights A Tree" Fundraising Campaign Underway

November 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
"Love Lights A Tree" Fundraising Campaign Underway

The American Cancer Society invites you to make a special donation in honor or in memory of a loved one during the Christmas holiday season through "Love Lights a Tree". A special memory board will be erected on the south side of the courthouse that will list the names of loved ones being honored and remembered.

The DeKalb County Unit of the American Cancer Society seeks your support in the "Love Lights a Tree" fundraising campaign to raise money for research to find a cure as well as cancer education and patient services. Donations may be made throughout the holiday season. The persons you honor or remember do not necessarily have to have suffered from cancer.

The names are in "honor of" and in "memory of" for a donation of five-dollars per name. Forms may be obtained at the local banks. For more information, contact Ivadell Randolph at 615- 597-5296, Lynda Luna at 615- 597-5837, Renee Cantrell at 615-684-2688, or Gail Taylor 615-597-5936

County to Make a Decision on Cherry Hill Community Center

November 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Cherry Hill Community Center

Since the election commission closed the Cherry Hill precinct some members of the county commission have expressed an interest in selling the property. But in order to do that the county will have to file an application with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to remove a deed restriction and purchase the 0.24 acre lot.

More than three decades ago, the state deeded the lot to the county at no cost but included a provision that requires the county to use the property “ for public purposes for the benefit of DeKalb County citizens”. The county later built a community center on the lot and still owns and maintains the facility although no one uses it anymore.

“At one point, it served its purpose but interest in the community center has declined to the point where no individual or group uses it anymore. The county maintains and upkeeps utilities, mowing, etc of the entire facility at taxpayer dollars with no use by its citizens. The building is also in need of repair. In the summer of 2011 there was an effort from several individuals in the community to revive the center but there was not enough interest. They made a web page when they tried to revive it. They had tee shirts printed up. They had meetings and tried to have a barbeque to raise money but there was no interest. That was the last organized effort by the community dealing with the center. We have had nobody call wanting to rent or use it,” County Mayor Tim Stribling told the county commission during a committee meeting Tuesday night.

“I looked on the property data map and it still shows the (Cherry Hill Community Center lot) on the state right of way. I called the Department of Transportation in Chattanooga and they looked back on the deed. Although the state deeded it to us (county), DeKalb County did not buy the property. Since the land must be used for public purpose for the benefit of citizens of DeKalb County according to the deed, we will have to go through the process of filing an application to the state and go before the excess land committee to ask for the deed restriction to be removed. In order to do that the property will have to be appraised and we will have to purchase the property. Not the building but the lot. While the property belongs to the county, we can’t sell it because of the deed restriction. The state will send somebody out to look at the lot and if it’s valued at under $10,000 they will do an appraisal. If it’s valued at over $10,000 they will get an independent appraiser. They will only appraise the lot, not the building,” said County Mayor Stribling.

The county commission will discuss the issue again during the regular monthly meeting Monday night, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.


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