Local News Articles

Smithville Man Victim of Robbery at his Home

December 4, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Smithville man was the victim of a robbery Friday morning at his home at 826 Anthony Avenue. Central dispatch received the call at 4:49 a.m.

Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis, in his report, states "I was dispatched to 826 Anthony Avenue in reference to a robbery. Upon my arrival, I made contact with the complainant, W.J. Page who stated that he was going to his garage when an unknown male with a mask and a camouflage coat came out from behind his truck and pointed something at him and stated "give me your money, wallet, watch" or words to that affect. Mr. Page stated that he threw his watch toward him and started running toward his house. Mr. Page stated that the suspect ran toward J.E. Evins Avenue. A search of the area by Sergeant Joey Jones and Deputy Barrett and myself (Davis) could not locate the suspect."

The suspect was described as a male, 5' 9 to 5' 10 inches tall, average build, wearing a mask, a camo jacket, and possibly armed with an unknown type of gun/knife.

Items taken were a Pulsar watch with a silver band. Total value $70.00

Anyone having any information on this or other offenses is urged to contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Meanwhile in other city crime news, Patrolman Travis K Bryant responded to the court room on Thursday morning regarding an intoxicated person. Upon arrival, Officer Bryant saw Jackie Sanders sitting on the front row. He fell asleep several times. The officer made contact Sanders and asked him to step out of the court room. As he was walking out, Sanders appeared to be unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Sanders stated that he took some medication about 9:30 a.m. His bond was set at $1,000 and his court date is December 17th.

On Sunday, November 29th, Officer Matt Holmes responded to 416 Whaley Street where he met with Brad Johnson who reported a trailer missing. Johnson said he had been working on the house late Saturday night and was sure the trailer had been there as late as midnight. But Johnson said when he returned to the house approximately seven hours later at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning, he discovered that the trailer was missing. The trailer is black, approximately twelve feet, mesh, with fold up gate and wooden floor. Johnson said the pins in the gate do not match and one of them is longer than the other. He added that when he left, the trailer was full of scrap sheet rock. Witnesses say a maroon dually truck drove by the residence on the day the trailer went missing, arousing suspicion. Johnson said he did not have a serial number belonging to the trailer but would contact police if he found it.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

Smithville Police Department Supporting HELP Program with Holiday Food Drive

December 4, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Steven Leffew and Wanda Poss

The Smithville Police Department is joining the DeKalb County HELP program in a holiday food drive for needy elderly and physically challenged persons in our community.

If you would like to donate food or make cash donations toward this effort, contact Wanda Poss, HELP program coordinator at 597-7575 or Lieutenant Steven Leffew of the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210,

Lieutenant Leffew says officers of the police department will help distribute the food to eligible recipients before Christmas.

The HELP program serves the entire county, but the Smithville Police Department will be providing assistance in the city.

Fire Damages Home on R. Arnold Road

December 4, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were called to a mobile home at 529 R. Arnold Road Thursday morning.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says the woman who lives there had left home around 7:15 a.m. to take her daughter to school and discovered the fire when she returned about a half hour later. She said flames and smoke were coming out of a back bedroom window. The woman yelled for the neighbors to call for help.

The Keltonburg, Blue Springs, and Short Mountain Highway stations responded along with DeKalb EMS and the Sheriff's Department.

Chief Green says the cause of the fire is undetermined but it apparently started in a back bedroom, which was destroyed. Firefighters were able to save the rest of the home, although there was heat and smoke damage throughout.

UCHRA Serves 10,100 Individuals In DeKalb County

December 3, 2009
UCHRA Officials, County Mayor, and Smithville Mayor

“The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, DeKalb County Office has provided services to 10,100 individuals with $2.4 million being spent in the County. The UCHRA programs address the needs of all ages and have a positive impact on the residents in DeKalb County,” stated County Executive Mike Foster.

The UCHRA provides services to the residents in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland area through more than 68 programs supported by federal, state, and local dollars. The mission of the Agency is to assist individuals in moving from “dependence to independence.”

“The Agency ‘delivers hope’ to approximately 175,000 individuals, annually, and continuously strives to make each of the Upper Cumberland counties the best place possible to work, live, and retire,” said Phyllis Bennett, Executive Director, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.

Examples of services provided during the past year to DeKalb County residents include the following: 15,098 nutritional meals were provided through the nutrition program for older persons and other adults with disabilities; and the commodities food program distributed food to 536 eligible individuals to be used to prepare meals at home. Five UCHRA transportation vehicles provided 12,239 trips to over 531 households enabling these individuals to go to the doctor, medical facilities, grocery and drug stores, and other business locations in the County. The fourteen county UCHRA transportation program runs approximately 2,907,645 miles in a given program year with numerous miles traveled transporting DeKalb County residents to and from locations in the county.

“These services are important to the residents of the City of Smithville, especially in the difficult economic situation that we have faced during the past year. The City is fortunate to have a committed, dependable Agency like the UCHRA to provide quality services,” stated Taft Hendrixson, Mayor, City of Smithville.

“The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency appreciates the work of the City and County officials in DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Advisory Committee for the UCHRA, and the UCHRA DeKalb County office staff. This team of local leaders, interested businesses and citizens makes it possible to provide quality services to the residents of DeKalb County,” stated Phyllis Bennett.

For further information about services available through the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency please contact UCHRA’s DeKalb County office located at 527 West Main Street in Smithville.

CUTLINE: Pictured from left to right are Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director; Mike Foster, DeKalb County Executive, Chairman of the UCHRA Child & Youth Development Committee, UCHRA DeKalb County Advisory Board Chairman & Former Chairman of the UCHRA Board of Directors; Taft Hendrixson, Mayor of Smithville & Member of the UCHRA Board of Directors; and Mitzi Bradford, UCHRA DeKalb County Coordinator.

Two Indicted by Grand Jury for Aggravated Robbery of Dollar General Store

December 3, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jacob Gadberry
Nina Sullivan

A man and a woman, charged in an armed robbery at the Dollar General Store on South Congress Boulevard on September 15th have been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

28 year old Jacob Gadberry and 24 year old Nina Sullivan both of Toad Road, Dowelltown, arrested by Smithville Police, are each indicted on one count of aggravated robbery and criminal impersonation. They will appear for arraignment in criminal court on December 14th at 9:00 a.m.

According to Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis' report, Sullivan entered the store around 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15th and asked to use the restroom. After she left, Gadberry came in the store, opened an office door where the manager was counting money, and ordered her at knife point to open the safe where he took more than three thousand dollars and left the store. No one was injured.

Shortly after the robbery, county deputies Chris McMillen and Steven Barrett stopped a 1991 Nissan at Walnut and North Mountain Street, where the two suspects were taken into custody.

Officer Davis' actual report states as follows:" I was dispatched to 513 South Congress (Dollar General Store) in reference to a robbery. Upon my arrival, I made contact with the witness who advised that the suspects were a white male wearing an orange Tennessee shirt, and a white female who was driving an older model red Nissan."

The defendant (Sullivan) opened the door where management was counting money and asked if she could use the bathroom. The witness, Dawn Allen, stated "yes" and the defendant (Sullivan) went to the bathroom. Ms. Allen stated that a few minutes later the male suspect (Gadberry) yanked open the door and had an open utility tool knife and stated " open the safe, don't hit the alarm or be stupid, get back into the chair". The suspect then took a blue and red money bag from the safe and fled the store."

County deputies McMillen and Barrett, who were apparently at the jail at the time, heard the radio traffic and saw a vehicle fitting the description driving around the public square the wrong way. They pulled the car over at the intersection of Walnut and North Mountain Street

Officer Davis' report states that "the suspects vehicle had money thrown inside the floor board and some of it was stuffed under the passengers seat. Once both suspects were removed from the vehicle, Sullivan was placed into Sergeant Joey Jones' patrol car where she attempted to hide money taken from the robbery. The amount of the money taken in the robbery is estimated at $3,011. The money was recovered in the suspects' vehicle and placed into the evidence room. At 11:59 p.m., I was attempting to locate the money bags that were taken during the robbery. I located the money bags at 201 South Third Street. These items were placed into evidence. "

Jamie Winkler Announces Candidacy for State Representative

December 3, 2009
Jamie Winkler

Calling for action to create jobs, improve education and strengthen the economy, Jamie Winkler, a Carthage native, today announced he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the State House of Representatives District 40 serving Dekalb, Macon, and Smith Counties.

"It's time our representatives paid attention to what the people of our District need and that means it's time we had stronger leadership and better representation in Nashville. I'll take on the real problems facing our families and find solutions to create jobs, improve education, and grow our economy, starting with improvements to the critical lifeline that serves our economy, our roads and bridges," said Winkler. "The state budget is tightening and it must be managed without placing more burdens on already struggling working families." The District 40 seat is presently held by Terri Lynn Weaver.

"Issues critical to our families are not getting the attention or action they need. Jobs are leaving our communities at a pace we've never seen before. Bankruptcies are rising dramatically, hurting lenders and ruining personal credit. Job losses are splitting families apart. Students and teachers, who are key to our future, need our utmost support. Bridges providing essential links between our communities are closed or on the verge of closing," said Winkler, who was born and raised in Smith County, where he and his wife, Amber, are raising their son, Jack. Winkler worked on his family's cattle and tobacco farm, graduated from Smith County High School, The University of Tennessee and The University of Tennessee College of Law.

"These are problems we see and we struggle with every day but there's no sign our leaders see these problems or understand the struggle. Solutions are ignored for pure politics or unrealistic ideals," Winkler said. "The hard-working people of this District deserve better. I'm committed to the families and businesses who are the strength of our communities. We need a common sense approach to the complex problems we face. During this campaign, I look forward to talking with you and hearing more from you as we work together to make a difference and deal with these challenges."

Winkler is an attorney with Bellar & Winkler in Carthage engaging in a general civil and business legal practice and represents various governmental entities. Mr. Winkler serves as Sunday school superintendent and teaches the adult Sunday school class at Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in Pleasant Shade, Tenn., where he has been a member for twenty-two (22) years. He sits on the board of the Smith County Help Center and is a Rotary member.

DeKalb County Health Department To Offer H1N1 Vaccine

December 2, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Health Department will offer H1N1 flu vaccine to anyone who would like to receive it. A clinic will be held on Thursday, December 3rd from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the basement of the DeKalb County Courthouse. Another clinic is scheduled Saturday, December 5th from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Smithville First United Methodist Church. In both clinics, vaccine will be available for all age groups. The vaccine and administration of it is FREE of charge. To get more information, call 615-597-7599. The H1N1 flu vaccine will be provided at no charge.

The Family Medical Center also has H1N1 vaccine available for all ages.

There are two types of influenza vaccines that protect against H1N1 flu. Flu Mist® is a live vaccine containing a significantly weakened version of virus that is administered in the nose and can be provided to healthy, non-pregnant persons age 2 to 49 years. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine containing killed virus that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use among people 6 months of age or older, including healthy people and those with chronic medical conditions.

The same manufacturers who produce seasonal flu vaccines are producing 2009 H1N1 vaccines for use in the United States, and the vaccines are being made in the same way that the seasonal vaccines are made.

The DeKalb Health Department also urges residents to receive the seasonal flu vaccination to prevent illness. The seasonal flu vaccine is particularly recommended for the elderly, young children and people with certain health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease since they are at high risk for complications from seasonal flu.

For more information about the H1N1 flu vaccines, call the DeKalb County Health Department at 615-597-7599 or contact the Tennessee Flu Information Line at 1-877-252-3432. Information is also available on the Web at www.tn.gov/health or www.flu.gov.

Grand Jury Tours DeKalb County Jail

December 2, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Members of the Grand Jury took a tour of the DeKalb County Jail this week and issued a report.

According to the report, signed by all members of the Grand Jury, "We felt that the facilities were very clean and sanitary and they seem to be very well organized. The inmates seem to be receiving fair treatment and are very well cared for. Sheriff Patrick Ray seems to keep communication lines open to all and we feel he and his staff are operating the jail efficiently and consistently under budget."

Vernon Indicted on First Degree Murder Charge

December 1, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
 James P Vernon

38 year old James P. Vernon of Green Hill Road, Rock Island has been indicted on a first degree murder charge by the DeKalb County Grand Jury in connection with the death of 24 year old David Joseph Clark.

Clark was severely beaten during an attack on a houseboat at Center Hill Lake July 7th. He later died from his injuries at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

The arrest warrant states that "On July 7th, law enforcement began an investigation regarding serious injuries to Clark, who had been discovered unconscious in a vehicle parked at Horseshoe Bend Marina. A subsequent investigation by Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement officers has determined that Clark had been severely beaten on the eve of July 7th on a houseboat on Center Hill Lake."

" Eye witnesses have provided information concerning the beating of Clark by Vernon on the houseboat. The beating was accomplished by hitting the victim repeatedly in the face and head with his fist and concluded with kicks to the victim's body. Witnesses describe the continued beating of the victim even after he was unconscious."

" A subsequent investigation also determined the location on Center Hill Lake where the houseboat was anchored at the time of this beating to be located just inside the DeKalb County line. The victim was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga and remained there in the intensive care unit in a comatose state with massive head injuries" until his death

Vernon is among a total of eighty three people who were indicted by the December term of the Grand Jury this week, including two named in sealed indictments. All those indicted will be arraigned in criminal court on Monday, December 14th at 9:00 a.m.

The names of all those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Orlando Ovalle Acuna- evading arrest, criminal impersonation, and speeding

Jack C. Adams- driving on a revoked license and driving on a revoked license enhanced 9th.

Ashley M. Anderson- theft of property under $500

Kenneth A. Applegate- driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

Matthew Allen Baker- aggravated assault
Matthew A. Baker- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 2nd, violation of the implied consent law, and violation of the financial responsibility law

Thomas A. Bagnall- vandalism over $500
Thomas A. Bagnall- burglary and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance

Michaela L. Bilbrey- theft under $500 (2 counts)
Michaela L. Bilbrey- theft under $500

Donna S. Blankenship- simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance; simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Brian Allen Bly- domestic assault

Bret Kenneth Boring- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 2nd, and driving on a suspended license

Willard Darrell Brown- domestic assault

William Eugene Burgess- boating under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

Christopher E. Bush- aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Jason K. Cline- driving under the influence and DUI enhanced 2nd

Joshua Rhyan Cripps- attempted aggravated burglary, unlawful possession of a weapon, and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance

Brandy M. Egerton- assault

Donna S. Estes-worthless check under $500

Jimmy L. Estes- public intoxication

Ricky Estes- driving under the influence. DUI enhanced 5th, driving on a revoked license, and driving on a revoked license 4th
Ricky Estes- habitual traffic offender

Billy D. Ferrell-no drivers license, prohibited weapon, and disorderly conduct

Donald E. Foster- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 3rd, and driving on a suspended license

Jacob Gadberry and Nina Natasha Sullivan- aggravated robbery and criminal impersonation

Lazaro R. Garcia- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 3rd, driving on a revoked license, and driving on a revoked license 2nd

Christopher J. Garrett- theft of property over $1,000

James Edward Gilles- domestic assault

Sharon J. Groshon- theft under $500

Leland Todd Hasty- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 4th, failure to maintain lane

Joel Thomas Hayes- possession of drug paraphernalia

Michael Chad Hayes- driving on a revoked license and driving on a revoked licensed enhanced 2nd

Craig A. Hill- forgery (3 counts) and passing a forged instrument (3 counts)
Craig A. Hill- forgery and passing a forged instrument
Craig A. Hill- theft over $500
Craig A. Hill- forgery and passing a forged instrument
Craig A. Hill- theft under $500 ( 2 counts)

William G. Howell- theft over $10,000

Denise A. Jaurequi- theft of property over $1,000

Brandon M. Jennings- driving under the influence

Brad E. Johnson- possession of drug paraphernalia

Pamela Jo Kelley- driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, and violation of the open container law.

Stephen C. Killion- public intoxication
Stephen C. Killion- accessory to violation of boating under the influence (BUI), and violation of the vessel registration law

Molly S. Lawrence- theft of property under $500

Amy Jeanette Lawson- simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance; simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance
Amy Jeanette Lawson- driving on a suspended license, driving on a suspended license enhanced 2nd, and violation of the financial responsibility law
Amy Jeanette Lawson-theft of property under $500

James Steven Leduc- aggravated burglary and theft over $500
James S. Leduc- burglary and theft under $500

James David Linder- driving on a revoked license and driving on a revoked license enhanced to 10th

William Travis Malone- theft under $500

Joseph L. Merriman- driving under the influence

James B. Metcalf- driving under the influence

Billy Paul Mooneyham- vandalism over $500
Billy Paul Mooneyham- aggravated burglary and theft over $500

Cody Murphy and Ricky Murphy-aggravated assault
Cody Murphy and Ricky Murphy- retaliation for past action

Gregory E. Neal- driving under the influence

Scotty W. Neisz-theft under $500

Jefry V. Overall- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 6th, and violation of the implied consent law

Courtney A. Paris- driving under the influence, no drivers license, violation of the financial responsibility law, and violation of the implied consent law.

Timothy W. Patrick- driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license
Timothy W. Patrick-driving on a revoked license

John Bryan Pedigo- simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia

Marco A. Perez-driving on a revoked license and driving on a revoked license enhanced 2nd

Rhonda Perez- worthless check over $1,000

David R. Petty- criminal impersonation

Aron D. Ponder- driving on a suspended license

Lisa Porterfield- driving on a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia
Lisa Porterfield- theft of property over $1,000

Wallace M. Rackley-domestic assault
Wallace M. Rackley-assault
Wallace M. Rackley- aggravated burglary and vandalism over $1,000

Luis M. Ramirez- driving on a revoked license, evading arrest, and resisting arrest

Jo Ann Rutland- theft over $1,000
Jo Ann Rutland, Sharon Barnwell, and Brandon E. Smith- aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Jose Eugenio Sagahon- driving on a revoked license

Mike J. Sartain, Sr.- worthless check under $500 (2 counts)
Mike J. Sartain, Sr.- worthless check under $500

Jeremy S. Shelton- aggravated assault and vandalism under $500

Sharon K. Skinner- forgery
Sharon K. Skinner- theft over $500

Jeffery Smithson- aggravated burglary and theft under $500

Steve A. Stanley- sale of a schedule II controlled substance, delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended license

Matthew R. Sullivan- driving under the influence

Jeffrey L. Taylor- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced 3rd, and violation of the implied consent law

Michael F. Teachout- driving on a revoked license

Jonathon D. Thomas- aggravated burglary and theft under $500
Jonathon D. Thomas- evading arrest
Jonathon D. Thomas- evading arrest, criminal impersonation, and possession of drug paraphernalia
Jonathon D. Thomas- evading arrest

Michael G. Thomas and Nancy Brown- promotion of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia

Crystal L. Thompson- simple possession of a schedule II, simple possession of a schedule III, and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance

Joel Trobaugh- driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal impersonation.
Joel Trobaugh-domestic assault

Stephanie Lee Vanatta- forgery (2 counts) and passing a forged instrument

James P. Vernon- first degree murder

Timmothy Walker- worthless check over $1,000

Toby Lynn Young- aggravated assault with a weapon

New Roses Store to Open in Smithville

November 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Future home of Roses in Smithville-

Roses is coming to Smithville.

According to a prepared news release on the company's website, Henderson based Variety Stores, a subsidiary of Variety Wholesalers, Inc. a discount retailer, has announced it will open a 30,000 – square-foot Roses store, a unit of the company’s retail division, in Smithville. The store is scheduled to open in early Spring 2010 at 750 South Congress Boulevard formerly Pamida.

In a statement to WJLE, Tony Luna says the Luna Realty Group co-brokered the deal to get Roses here. "About a month to six weeks ago, we were contacted by a group, I believe from Missouri, that we had the old Pamida building co-brokered with and they said the Roses group had contacted them about coming into this area. They were looking at several buildings in middle Tennessee."

"I met them at the airport and brought them in and they fell in love with the community. After a couple of weeks, I was contacted again. They said they were definitely going to come into the area. They signed a long term lease with the Pamida group to move in at the old Pamida building."

"We're as excited as they are about them coming into this community, especially since the county is buying the old Food Center building. With Roses there, that's going to be a hopping end of town again."

According to the company news release, Roses operates several other stores in McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Memphis and Bowling Green, Kentucky. The new Roses store will offer a combination of “Value-Priced” merchandise that includes Clothing & Shoes for the entire family, Home Furnishings, Housewares, Toys, Food, Health & Beauty products, and Seasonal products such as, Lawn & Garden, BTS, and Christmas Decor, all at “Value Driven Prices”!

Variety Stores concept and mission is simple—provide great value, convenience, and a pleasant shopping experience for our customers. The new store will create 30 to 40 new jobs in the Smithville area. Plans are to begin hiring for this location mid December 2009. Interested parties can contact Carl Wright, Senior Manager of Human Resources at HYPERLINK "mailto:cwright@vwstores.com" cwright@vwstores.com

Variety Wholesalers, Inc. is a family owned business that has been operating since 1922, and has been listed in Fortune 500 magazine as one of the largest, privately owned companies in the United States.

The retail stores operated by the Company are grouped into three main divisions – Roses, Maxway and Super 10. The corporation operates over 425 stores across the Southeastern States. For more information on Variety Wholesalers, Inc, visit our website at HYPERLINK "http://www.vwstores.com" www.vwstores.com.

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