Local News Articles

DeKalb Jobless Rate for February Climbs to 11.5%

March 26, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate rose to 11.5% in February, up from 10.9% in January and significantly higher than 5.5% in February, 2008.

The local labor force for February was 9,800. A total of 8,670 were employed and 1,130 were unemployed.

Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February is at 9.1 percent, 0.5 percentage point higher than the January rate of 8.6 percent. The United States unemployment rate for the month of February was 8.1 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for February show that the rate increased in 63 counties, decreased in 29 counties and remained the same in three counties.

Williamson County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.2 percent, down from 6.8 percent in January. Perry County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 24.1 percent, down from 27.3 in January, followed by Scott County at 18.1 percent, up from 17.7 percent in January.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.2 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the January rate. Davidson County was 7.5 percent, up 0.6 from the previous month. Hamilton County was at 7.9 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the January rate, and Shelby County was 8.6 percent, up from the January rate of 8.5 percent.

New Show to Spotlight Local Artistic Community

March 26, 2009

Starting in April, WJLE will begin airing a new program, the first dedicated to the arts community that thrives, often out of site, within DeKalb County and the surrounding area.

Off The Beaten Path will air the first Thursday of each month at 8:30 am.

The show is named for the area’s affiliation of professional artists who sponsor the popular Off The Beaten Path studio tour each fall. Group members have received national and international recognition for the outstanding quality of their creations in a range of media.

Each episode will be hosted by writer Mike Antoniak and feature interviews and profiles of these artists and their work, with other items of interest. “Earlier this year the Off The Beaten Path members asked me to work with them to promote this year’s 10th anniversary tour,” says Antoniak.

“I approached Dwayne Page about the possibility of doing a radio show celebrating the creative community here, and want to thank WJLE for generously making this time slot available.”
In addition to airing on WJLE, episodes of Off the Beaten Path, and extended interviews, will eventually be available online as podcasts. Details to come.

For more information on the group, its activities and fall tour, visit www.offthebeatenpathtour.com.

UCHRA to Receive $2.4 Million in Summer Youth and Adult Training Dollars

March 26, 2009
UCHRA Officials

“The Economic Stimulus Package will provide approximately $2.4 million to the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency for the purpose of providing services to youth, adults, and dislocated workers. According to the analysis of unemployment numbers across the nation, youth and young adults are among the hardest hit. Youth needing work will be receiving pay checks, works sites for these youth such as units of local government, school systems and other local entities will get much needed help. The Agency welcomes the opportunity to help the residents of the Upper Cumberland as they are faced with and work through a most difficult economic time, a win/win for the area”, stated Phyllis Bennett, Executive Director, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.

The Human Resource Agency’s $1.2 million summer youth program will serve approximately 710 individuals, ages 14 through 24, with the activities beginning in late May and going through July. The Agency is projecting that approximately 280 of the participants will be involved in classroom activities such as science and technology. “The summer youth program will provide an opportunity to make money to buy clothes and school supplies and/or receive training. Becoming a part of the workforce will allow the participants to learn good work ethics. Our communities will benefit from the youth having spending monies which will stimulate the local economy,” Bennett stated.

The Human Resource Agency is working with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development to develop the implementation plans for the workforce programs in the Economic Stimulus Package. In addition to the $1.2 million Summer Youth Program, the Agency will be getting approximately $480,000 for additional services for adults in job training programs, and $684,000 for services for dislocated workers. Monies for adult and dislocated workers will be used to provide training, targeting unemployed and individuals that have lost their jobs due to plant closures or lay offs.

“In the past, funding was available for the Summer Youth Employment Program which was a successful and popular program in all of the counties. The Human Resource Agency is fortunate that funding has been restored to offer these programs and to have experienced staff that has been involved in planning and administering the program. Based on past experience in youth programs, it is apparent that programs of this nature make a difference in the lives of participants,” stated Pat Callahan, Employment and Training Director, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.

At a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, Board Chairman Mike Foster stated, “the Economic Stimulus Package will give the counties immediate assistance as well as make a difference for years to come. Youth, adults, and dislocated workers will receive services that will improve their chances for employment and financial assistance.”

Applications for the Summer Youth Program in the 12 county areas will begin April 16th. “Services made available through the Economic Stimulus Package will bring relief to the current economic crunch for the residents of our cities and county. We encourage interested individuals to contact their DeKalb County UCHRA office located at 527 West Main Street in Smithville - (615) 597-4504 or the Upper Cumberland Career Center located at 3300 Williams Enterprise Drive in Cookeville – (931)-520-8733,” stated Mike Foster, DeKalb County Executive, and Taft Hendrixson, Mayor of Smithville.

(Pictured in photo-UCHRA officials review the Summer Youth and Adult Employment and Training opportunities. Pictured seated, from left to right: Brock Hill, Cumberland County Mayor and UCHRA Finance Committee Chairman; Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director; Mike Foster, DeKalb County Executive and UCHRA Chairman of the Board of Directors; Kenneth Copeland, Overton County Mayor and UCHRA Manpower Committee Chairman – standing, from left to right: Taft Hendrixson, Mayor of Smithville and UCHRA Manpower Committee Member; and Pat Callahan, UCHRA Employment and Training Director.)

Three Vehicles involved in Rear End Collision

March 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
1999 Toyota Corolla Driven by Sylvia Jean Young Rear-Ended
 1993 Ford F150 driven by William Travis Malone Rear-Ended
2003 Chevy Blazer driven by James Willard Stamps involved in Rear-End collision

Three vehicles were involved in a traffic accident around 4:10 p.m.Wednesday afternoon on Highway 70 east near Lake Motel.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 27 year old William Travis Malone of Liberty, driving east on Highway 70 in a 1993 Ford F150, had stopped in his lane of travel to make a left turn into a private drive. Malone's wife, 34 year old Sharon Malone was a passenger.

Behind the Malone's, was an eastbound 1999 Toyota Corolla, driven by 48 year old Sylvia Jean Young of Sparta.

Following behind Young was an eastbound 2003 Chevy Blazer, driven by 58 year old James Willard Stamps of Sparta.

According to Trooper Jennings, both Malone and Young had stopped in their lane of travel but Stamps failed to slow to a stop and rear-ended Young's car, and the impact forced her vehicle into the rear of Malone's truck. Young's car went off the roadway to the right.

Stamps was cited for failure to exercise due care and violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance) He was not injured.

Malone was not injured but he was cited for failure to carry or exhibit a driver's license. Mrs. Malone refused transport by ambulance to the hospital, but was later taken by private vehicle to UMC Medical Center in Lebanon for treatment.

Young was transported by DeKalb EMS to the White County Hospital.

Alexandria Aldermen Take Action to Regulate Parking on City Streets

March 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Alexandria City Council Tuesday night adopted on first reading regulations regarding parking on city streets.

The ordinance reads as follows" Whereas, the Town of Alexandria regulates the parking within the city limits; and

Whereas, there is no current code or ordinance regarding parking in the middle of the street.

Now, therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Alexandria that the Alexandria Municipal Codes is hereby added to as follows:

Section 1. Section 15-613: Stopping, standing, or parking on roadway. Upon any street or highway no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the roadway or street, but in every event an unobstructed width of the highway opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles and a clear view of such stopped vehicle shall be available from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon such highway.

Section 15-614. Obstructing traffic. No person shall park any vehicle upon a street in such a manner or under such conditions as to leave available less than ten feet of the width of the roadway for free movement of vehicular traffic.

Section 15-615. Parking on narrow streets.

(a). The city manager or his designee is hereby authorized to erect signs indicating no parking upon any street when the width of the roadway does not exceed 20 feet, or upon one side of a street when the width of the roadway does not exceed 30 feet.

(b) When official signs prohibiting parking are erected upon narrow streets as authorized in this section, no person shall park a vehicle upon any such street in violation of any such sign."

Second and final reading action will be held at the April meeting.

GED Classes Available in DeKalb County

March 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Betty Hickey

Interested in obtaining a GED?

A GED program is offered free in DeKalb County to anyone age eighteen or older. The classes meet at Northside Elementary School and are taught by Betty Hickey and volunteers Tom Werling, Tina Evans and her daughter Kim.

Hickey says the GED classes meet on Monday and Wednesday at Northside Elementary School starting at 4:00 p.m. "I'd like to thank Mrs Gayle Redman for giving us a home because we actually don't have a home in DeKalb County or a phone number. We get a lot of phone calls to our central office and to my home phone, but she has given us a home there and we appreciate that."

"We have open enrollment. That means we accept people all year long from August when we start until the end of June. We shut down during the month of July. All of our classes are free because we are considered public education but the testing center charges a fee of $55.00 and you have to go to McMinnville or Cookeville to take your test. The Smithville Rotary Club and DeKalb Community Bank helps with this fee and right now the state pays $35.00 on this fee."

"When you come, the first thing we do is give a test. That test gives us a grade level in reading, math, and English. From there, we can work with you, one on one, because our classes are usually pretty small. After we get your grade levels, then we can help you one on one with the areas you are low in until you are ready to go take your exam. The areas that you are tested in are science, social studies, reading, math, and English, which includes an essay. One good thing about the test is that you can go take your exam and you don't have to pass all subjects at once. You can pass what you can, come back to us, and we'll help you through the areas that you may be having more difficulty in."

"I love to call them (students) my second chancers because they are given a second chance. They realize their mistake and they are so thankful and appreciative for classes that give them an opportunity to start over again. We have a lot of students who come back and thank us after getting their GED. It's just a rewarding thing to teach. This year, I guess because of the economy, we have doubled in size. We have about 20 students per night now in our program. They are afraid that if they lose their job at the factory that they can't get another one unless they have a diploma, so our classes have just about doubled in size this year."

Hickey says persons younger and older have taken advantage of this program. "We get a lot of people who have just turned 18. Our oldest student was 65. We have students of all ages."

"I also want to thank my three volunteers, Mr. Tom Werling, who is the 2008 Volunteer of the Year in the GED program, Mrs. Tina Evans and her daughter Kim."

For more information call 597-5404.

Bennett, Denman, Curtis claim DCHS Basketball MVP awards

March 24, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
(Front) Victoria Bennett, Payne Denman, Alison Curtis (Back) Shelia and Chad Kirby
(Front) J.J. Herriott, Jeff Miller, Hunter Stewart (Back) Hunter Poteete, Abram Edwards, Seth Willoughby, Payne Denman
(Front) Katy England, Elicia Cantrell, Victoria Bennett, Morgan Page (Back) Cynthia Woodward, Martha Webb, Alex Meadows, Mackenzi Gibson
(Front) Ashlee Whitehead, Jessica Cook, Amanda Ours (Back) Alison Curtis, Kendra Foutch, Rosemary Apple
Jathan Willoughby Best Fan Award Winner with Coach Lynus Martin

Victoria Bennett and Payne Denman were named 2009 DCHS basketball Most Valuable Players, Tuesday night, at the annual team banquet, while Alison Curtis was selected as Most Valuable Cheerleaders. The awards were presented by Chad Kirby of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, in memory of his late grandfather, Allen D. Hooper, whom the MVP and MVC awards are named after.

Bennett was the lone senior member of the Lady Tiger basketball team this past season, while Denman was a junior guard for the Tigers and also a member of the All-District 7-AA Second Team. Curtis, meanwhile, was one of three seniors on the DCHS Basketball Cheerleading squad, all of which were members of three State Cheerleading Championships in the last four years.

Curtis also received the Captain Award, along with fellow seniors, Jessica Cook and Rosemary Apple. Apple was also the recipient of the Scholar Athlete award, while Cook received the award for Best Jumps. Other individual cheerleading awards went to Ashlee Whitehead (Most Improved), Kendra Foutch (Gymnastics) and Amanda Ours (The Tiger Spirit Award).

Other Lady Tiger basketball awards were as follows:

Best Offensive Player/Best Ball Handler/Best Free Throw Shooter - Cynthia Woodward

Best Defensive Player - Morgan Page

Best Sixth Man - Nikki Bass

Best Rebounder/Most Improved - Martha Webb

Best Passer - Kristina Stephens

Best Attitude - Elicia Cantrell

Best Practice Player - Mackenzi Gibson

Hardest Worker/Most Coachable - Katy England

Best Newcomer - Alex Meadows

For the Tigers, Denman was also the recipient of the Best Offensive Player, Best Ball Handler, Best Free Throw Shooter and Smartest Player honors. Other Tiger awards were as follows:

Best Defensive Player/Hustle Award - Hunter Poteete

Best Passer/Most Improved - Abram Edwards

Best Athlete - Seth Willoughby

Best Rebounder - J.J. Herriott

Best Sixth Man - Hunter Stewart

Best Attitude - Cody Atnip

Best Practice Player - Jeff Miller

Seth Willoughby, J.J. Herriott and Jeff Miller were also recognized for being named All-District Honorable Mention, while Poteete was honored for making the All-Region team.

Players for both the Tigers and Lady Tigers, respectively, voted on the team awards. The awards were presented by each team's coach.

Meanwhile, Jathan Willoughby was named the Tiger basketball Fan of the Year, and received a plaque in recognition of his dedication to the program. He was presented the award by Tiger junior, Hunter Poteete.

The annual DCHS basketball banquet was held, Tuesday night, at the Smithville First United Methodist Church Christian Fellowship Center.

Robinson Gets Judicial Diversion in Drug Case

March 24, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mark (Truck) Robinson
Sari Bailey

41 year old Mark Randall (Truck) Robinson pleaded guilty in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday to possession of a schedule IV controlled substance for resale, sale of a schedule IV, and conspiracy to sell a schedule IV controlled substance.

David Patterson was the presiding judge.

Robinson, facing a four year sentence in the possession and sale cases and a two year sentence in the conspiracy case, was granted judicial diversion for a period of four years. All the sentences are to run concurrently with each other and be suspended, if he meets all conditions of his probation. The case is also to run concurrently with the sentence against him in Cannon County.

Robinson must make restitution of $40 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, restitution to the TBI in an amount to be determined, and he must make a $2,000 contribution to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department drug fund. The restitution is to be paid jointly and severally with the co-defendant in the case, Kyra Robinson, his ex-wife.

Mark Robinson was indicted in April, 2008 for sale and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax), and conspiracy to sell a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax) following an undercover investigation by the Sheriff's Department. Ms. Robinson was also indicted last April for conspiracy to sell a Schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax).

In December, 2007, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant at the home of Mark Robinson. Sheriff Patrick Ray said at the time that officers made at least one drug buy from the residence and during the search, they found 193 Xanax pills, 203 empty prescription bottles with numerous individuals' names on them, hemostats, rolling papers, roach clips, syringes, and a pill grinder.

The Robinson's were later charged in a Cannon County drug case, stemming from the local investigation.

Meanwhile, a former loan officer of 3-D Financial in Smithville appeared in criminal court Monday.

54 year old Sari S. Bailey, charged with eighteen counts of forgery and one count of theft over $1,000, was granted pre-trial diversion under a memorandum of understanding for a period of one year. She must pay restitution in the amount of $2,893 to 3D Financial; make a $250 payment to the economic crime fund, to be paid through the Circuit Court Clerk's Office by August 25th; and perform 40 hours of community service work.

Bailey was accused of issuing $4,100 in loans, using the names and personal information of previous 3-D Financial customers without their knowledge, and keeping the money for herself. She also allegedly forged a company check and passed it at a local bank for $1,500 and kept the money.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, who investigated the case, says with each fraudulent loan issued, Bailey would apparently use the funds from it to either pay off or make a payment on the previous loan.

Bailey allegedly forged loan agreements using the names of six different persons in amounts of $100, $200, and $300 on seventeen occasions from April 27th, 2007 to October 30th, 2007.

The investigation began during the fall of 2007 after the office manager of 3-D Financial reported to police that three company checks were missing and that one of them had been cashed for $1,500 but the money was not returned. Chief Jennings says the fraudulent loan scheme was uncovered as a result of that investigation.

The indictment alleged that on and between April, 2007 and October, 2007, Bailey did forge and pass one check and seventeen loan agreements with a total net loss of approximately $2,893 on accounts with the intent to deprive 3-D Financial of said property, constituting the offense of theft over $1,000.

In other cases, 32 year old Toni Jo Cummings pleaded guilty to burglary and received a three year sentence, all suspended to DOC probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to a case against her in Cannon County. She must pay $150 to the economic crime fund.

28 year old Amanda Bain Hicks pleaded guilty to casual exchange and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to supervised probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to sentences in two other cases against her. Her probation will be supervised by CPS. Hicks must pay a $50 fine, make $75 restitution to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, perform 100 hours of community service work; and she must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and comply with any recommendations.

51 year old Marty Paul Neal pleaded guilty to a first offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended except for ten days to serve on weekends. Neal will be on supervised probation with CPS. He will lose his license for one year, pay a fine of $365, complete an alcohol safety education program, and complete an alcohol and drug assessment and follow any treatment recommendations.

24 year old Donald Richard Atnip, Jr. pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and received a four year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Corrections as a range II offender. The sentence is to run consecutive to a Warren County case against him and he must pay restitution in the amount of $500 to the victim.

39 year old Royce Avon Foster pleaded guilty to burglary and theft over $1,000 and received a three year sentence in each case in the Tennessee Department of Corrections as a range I offender. The sentences will run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a parole violation sentence against him. He must pay $75 restitution to the victim. There will be no fine or community service.

21 year old Ryan Herron pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to hinder a secured creditor. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended. He will be on probation and must pay $150 to the economic crime fund and make restitution of $2,698.

45 year old Monty Slatten pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and received a three year sentence, all suspended to community corrections. The sentence is to run consecutive to a White County case against him. He must make a $150 contribution to the economic crime fund and pay restitution of $7,500 to the victim.

42 year old Lisa M. Pyles pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and simple possession. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run concurrently with each other and all suspended to CPS probation on Judicial Diversion. Pyles must pay $75 to the economic crime fund and perform 25 hours of community service work..

36 year old Kenneth T. Bond, charged with promotion of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, was granted pre-trial diversion under a memorandum of understanding for a period of two years. He must pay a fine of $2,000 to the DeKalb County Drug Fund; make a $100 payment to the economic crime fund, to be paid through the Circuit Court Clerk's Office by March 22nd, 2011; perform 40 hours of community service work; and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and successfully complete all recommendations.

Smithville Police Investigating Theft at School Bus Garage

March 23, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department is investigating the theft last week of a truck, trailer, and lawn mower from the DeKalb County School Bus Garage at 234 Allen's Ferry Road.

According to a report filed by Officer Nathan Estes, Peggy Pursell advised that when she arrived at the garage last Thursday morning, March 19th, she noticed that the gates to the lot were open. The gate lock did not appear to have been tampered with. When the truck, trailer, and lawn mower were found to be missing, everyone who had a key was contacted to see if they had come and gotten them, but they (truck, trailer, and lawn mower) could not be found. A bus driver was the last one at the garage the night before but the driver could not remember if he had shut and locked the gate.

Police Chief Richard Jennings says the truck and trailer have been recovered in Rutherford County but the lawn mower remains missing.

Meanwhile, in other cases, Smithville Police have charged 42 year old Herbert Edward Ashford, Jr. with possession of a schedule IV and II controlled substance. His bond totals $3,000 and he will be in court April 16th.

Officer Brad Tatrow reports that "on Wednesday, March 18th, I was aiding Deputy Johnson on a traffic stop at Easterly Motors. Upon consent to search the vehicle, I recovered a round white pill from between the seats on the passenger side of the vehicle. Upon placing the passenger, Ashford under arrest for simple possession, he produced another pill of some kind from his right sock. The pills are round in shape and believed to be xanax. Ashford was charged with simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. While at the police department, Ashford advised me that he had a half of a percocet in his cigarette pack. Upon recovering a half of a yellow pill, believed to be percocet, Ashford was charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

27 year old Harold L. Spears of Saint Paul, Virginia was arrested Saturday and charged with being a fugitive from justice. He is being held without bond and will be in court March 25th.

In his report, Officer Travis Bryant states that "While conducting a traffic stop, I made contact with Spears at the parking lot of Mapco Express, who was a passenger of a vehicle. I asked for his identification, and he complied. I checked via dispatch for local warrants through NCIC and TCIC and was advised that Spears was wanted in Virginia for failure to return leased property valued at $200 or more." Virginia has agreed to extradite him.

26 year old Anthony Charles Skaroupka was charged March 22nd with unlawful possession of a weapon. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is April 16th.

Officer Travis Bryant, in his report, states that Skaroupka admitted that he is the owner of a weapon (handgun) that was at his brother's home at 500 South College Street. Skaroupka is a convicted felon, having been previously charged with domestic assault and aggravated assault.

21 year old Thomas E. Pendergrast of Woodbury was issued a citation by Officer Brad Tatrow March 21st for simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance after Pendergrast admitted to having a bag of marijuana and a marijuana cigarette in his pocket as well as a bag of marijuana in his clothes bag.

Officer Tatrow also issued a citation on March 21st to Thomas Alvand Neal for possession of a schedule VI controlled substance after he admitted to having a blue Union Bank money bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

29 year old Scotty Wayne Knowles is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court April 2nd.

Officer Scott Davis reports that Knowles took some clothes from Walmart without paying for them on March 20th. He was observed placing the items, valued at $59, inside his jacket. Knowles also had outstanding warrants against him for violation of probation and failure to appear in DeKalb County and a warrant in Warren County.

24 year old Scarlette Lawrence is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court April 16th,

Officer Matt Holmes reports that he responded to 500 South College Street on March 22nd to assist Officer Bryant when Lawrence came out of the residence yelling and cursing at another female. She was advised to stop yelling and disturbing the neighbors and to go back into the house. She was asked numerous times to go back inside or she would be arrested. She did go inside but came out again yelling and cursing. Lawrence was placed under arrest and became very belligerent while being handcuffed jumping up and down.

36 year old David Russell Morris is charged with a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is April 8th.

Officer Travis Bryant reports that on March 21st he observed a vehicle at the parking lot of Mapco Express matching the description of a vehicle that police had been looking for in another case. The tag came back (computer check) to a van but the vehicle in question was a town car. The vehicle began to leave driven by a male, but the vehicle pulled back into the parking lot and the driver got out to let a female get behind the wheel. The vehicle drove off. Upon stopping the car and asking for the male passenger for his license, he stated that he did not have one. A computer check revealed the license was revoked for a DUI and a first offense of driving on a revoked license on August 21st, 2000 in Rutherford County.

Lancaster Man Charged with Burglaries of Boats at Cove Hollow Marina

March 23, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christopher Edward Young
Heather Marie Griffith

A suspicious person complaint last week led to the arrest of a 32 year old man believed to be responsible for several burglaries of boats at Cove Hollow Marina.

Arrested was Christopher Edward Young of Lancaster Circle, Lancaster.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says on Thursday, March 19th, officers received a call about a suspicious person at the Cove Hollow Marina on Dale Ridge Road. The complainant was able to give a description of the vehicle, but the suspect left the scene before officers arrived. A call was dispatched to deputies a short time later concerning an automobile accident on Long Branch Road. Upon arrival, officers discovered that it was the same suspicious vehicle which had been reported earlier at the marina and that Young was determined to be the driver.

According to Sheriff Ray, deputies detected a strong odor of alcohol on Young's person, he was unsteady on his feet, and he was very belligerent. Young, who refused to submit to field sobriety tasks, was placed under arrest for a second offense of driving under the influence.

Officers performed a pat down search of Young and found in his pocket, some marijuana inside a cellophane wrapper. A computer check revealed that Young's license was revoked for a DUI in Smith County on March 5th, 2008.

Young's vehicle was also inventoried and officers found a pair of hemostats and a marijuana pipe. Other items including a barbeque grill, 2 boat seats, a ski tube, and a Coleman cooler were also in the vehicle. Upon this discovery, deputies immediately contacted detectives of the sheriff's department and through their investigation, learned that Young had burglarized at least 10 boats at the Cove Hollow Marina.

Sheriff Ray says Young admitted to his involvement into the crimes and has been charged with two counts of burglary, one count of theft under $500, one count of theft over $500, a second offense of driving under the influence, driving on a revoked driver's license, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Young's total bond was set at $79,000 and his court date is set for April 9th. Young will be charged with more offenses later.

Meanwhile in other cases, 28 year old Leyder Guerra Desirena of West Broad Street, Smithville was charged Sunday, March 22nd with a first offense of driving under the influence and no driver's license after deputies spotted him driving down the wrong side of the roadway on Highway 56 South. Officers also detected a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. A computer check revealed that Desirena had no driver's license. Desirena's bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on April 2nd..

Last Monday, March 16th officers answered a call on Bethel Road concerning someone who was intoxicated and walking in the complainant's front yard without his pants on. 56 year old Jackie E. Trapp of Riley Avenue, Smithville was arrested for public intoxication. According to Sheriff Ray, Trapp did have an odor of alcohol on his person, he was unsteady on his feet, and he did not know how he got to the residence or where his pants were. His bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on April 2nd.

Also last Monday, deputies stopped a vehicle on West Main Street in Dowelltown for a traffic offense. After obtaining consent to search, officers arrested 21 year old Heather Marie Griffith of Simms Street, Dowelltown after they found in her purse 20 pills believed to be hydrocodone, 7 pills believed to be roxycodone, marijuana, a cigarette roller, rolling papers, scissors, and other items. Griffith was charged with simple possession of a schedule six drug (marijuana), possession of a schedule three drug (hydrocodone), possession of a schedule two drug (roxycodone), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Griffith's bond was set at $5,500 and she will appear in court on March 26th.

On Wednesday, March 18th, deputies arrested 21 year Jonathon Carl Davis of Peyton Lane, Smithville for criminal littering after he allegedly dumped several bags of trash on Big Wood Road in the Blue Springs area. Davis told officers that he was hauling a neighbor's trash for profit and had gone to a DeKalb County dumpster site but was turned away because he was a Cannon County resident. Davis then went to Big Wood Road and dumped the trash on the side of the road. Davis' bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on April 9th.

Also on Wednesday, deputies responded to a reckless driver complaint on Highway 70 and arrested 47 year old Chip Allen Smith of Woodbury Pike, Murfreesboro for a first offense of driving under the influence. After stopping Smith, officers administered field sobriety tasks on Smith and found that he was under the influence of intoxicants. Smith admitted that he was wearing Fentanyl pain patches and was also taking pain medication. Smith's bond was set at $1,500 and will appear in court on April 9th.

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