Local News Articles

Relay for Life set for Friday

May 2, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb Countians will rally in the fight against cancer during the 12th annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life Friday, May 8th at Greenbrook Park.

More than 30 Relay for Life teams will be set up offering food and lots of fun filled activities. A large silent auction will also be held.

Over $100,000 was raised last year.

In this overnight family-oriented event, participants walk relay-style around the track and take part in fun activities off the track. Cancer survivors will take center stage around 6:00 p.m.during the opening ceremony to receive medallions and to give a personal testimony as to just how long they've been a survivor.

The walking track will also be lined with luminaria in honor or remembrance of those who have battled cancer. This ceremony of light symbolizes the hope and courage with which we all continue to fight cancer

Chris Summers, Community Representative with the American Cancer Society says "Relay For Life is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we've lost, and fight back against the disease. Many of the participants are cancer survivors."

Funds raised at Relay For Life will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families. Funds also support critical cancer research and community education programs designed to teach people how to reduce their risk of developing cancer.

For more information, please contact Ivadell Randolph at 597-5296

DeKalb and Cannon Awarded $830K for Water Extension Projects

May 1, 2009

The current economic downturn has forced many counties across Tennessee to put much needed infrastructure improvement projects on hold. However, Congressman Bart Gordon announced today that DeKalb County and Cannon County will together receive $830,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for several water extension projects.

“There are too many residents in DeKalb and Cannon who do not have access to clean public water services and have to rely on wells and springs,” said Congressman Gordon. “While this money will allow the counties to extend water services to more households, I am committed to obtaining the additional money needed so that every household has access to public water services.”

The USDA’s Rural Development (USDA-RD) agency awarded DeKalb and Cannon $625,000 in federal loans and $205,000 in grant money – together, this totals $830,000 for the water projects. In DeKalb, the money will be used to extend more than 10 miles of water lines. The extensions will occur along Dry Creek Road and Alexandria to Dismal Road. In Cannon, more than 6 miles of water lines will be constructed along Hurricane Creek Road and Bryson Hollow Road.

DeKalb and Cannon received the funds from the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program at the USDA-RD. The mission of this program is finance the construction, extension, or improvement of water and waste disposal systems in rural areas and towns.

Liberty Man Dies in Four Wheeler Crash

April 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 26 year old man died in an all terrain vehicle accident around 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon in Liberty.

Dead is Jamie Carl Hale of 148 Hale Road, Liberty.

Trooper Darrell Knowles of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Hale was operating a 1996 Yamaha Banshee westbound on West Main Street in Liberty when he crossed Highway 53 and struck a guardrail. Hale was thrown some 37 feet. He was not wearing a safety helmet.

Members of the Liberty and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with DeKalb EMS, and the Sheriff's Department. A Life Force helicopter ambulance was summoned and landed near the scene, but Hale died before he could be airlifted.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Knowles and THP Sergeant Billy Prater.

Hale's death marks the third fatality on DeKalb County roads this year.

Courthouse to Get Security Cameras

April 29, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster at County Commission Meeting

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night authorized the purchase of security cameras for the courthouse.

County Mayor Mike Foster says a system can be purchased for around five thousand dollars."
It's a sixteen camera/DVR camera kit, web ready. It's got all the wires, security lock box, mounting bracket, 32 inch flat screen TV, wall mount for TV, power strips, connectors, conduit, and networking on-line viewing, which means you can be at home and if you know the code you can check in and see if anything is going on at the courthouse. The screen has sixteen squares and you can see wherever you want to look."

" We just bid for eight cameras but as the need arises we can put more on. The cameras would be placed at each of the three exterior entrances, two would be installed in each of the courtrooms, and then there would be another one in the archives."

" It (recording) will recycle every seven days. It will keep a record for seven days and erase it a week later. So if you had some kind of a problem (in the courthouse) you would know what happened up to a week."

Foster said he would try to get some courtroom security money to help pay for the system.

Persons becoming sick or injured and needing an ambulance while actively doing volunteer work for the county would get a break on their bill under a measure adopted by the county commission Monday night.

County Mayor Foster raised the proposal which will " waive ambulance service fees of anyone doing volunteer service for the county after their insurance has paid whatever it will pay. The rest of that fee will be waived for ambulance service. It will be for somebody who is volunteering their time, like a volunteer fireman, or whoever, but they would have to be actively engaged in volunteering for something at that time."

Another ambulance service related issue was tabled until next month. County Mayor Foster says under this proposal, the county would pay approximately $4,000 for the training if an EMT wishes to go to paramedic school. "Then they (EMT) would sign a contract guaranteeing to work for DeKalb County for a period of three years. If they do not (work for three years), they would be responsible for paying back a pro rated amount to the county. If they were fired for cause, they would have to pay back the entire $4,000."

Again, no action was taken.

The state is considering establishing statewide residential building codes

County Mayor Foster addressed the issue Monday night."Governor has introduced legislation that would make Tennessee a leader in energy efficiency, residential building codes, and clean technology."

"As a part of this proposal, the state would enact statewide residential building codes for the first time. These codes are proposed to reduce our high per capita energy consumption, reduce the state's high rate of fire fatalities, and protect residents from shodding building construction."

"County associations representatives have demanded that counties not bear any new costs related to this change. So far, the legislation as written, does not put any additional costs on the counties. Those counties that have building code programs may continue to enforce them if they choose, or if they do not have the codes, the state will enforce these codes much like they already do with the state's Fire Marshal office for electrical inspections"

"We would rather the county enforce this (building codes) rather than the state come in here and do it. We would have some local person that would use some oversight and common sense when enforcing these regulations if you (county commission) chose to do that. We already have the books on file and we just need your (county commissioners) input as to what all you require a permit for if you decide to do that."

No action was taken

Alexandria Aldermen Adopt Ordinance to Regulate Parking on City Streets

April 28, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alexandria Mayor Ria Baker and City Attorney Vester Parsley
Alexandria Aldermen Maureen Tubbs, Shelia Clayborn, and Derrick Baker
Alexandria Aldermen Eddie Tubbs and Tony Tarpley

The Alexandria City Council Tuesday night adopted on second and final 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."

The ordinance will take effect upon installation of posted street signs.

In other business, the aldermen granted Police Chief Mark Collins' request to purchase some new digital radios and traffic cones for the department. Chief Collins says the city has applied for a grant to help fund the purchase of the radios.

The aldermen awarded a bid to Roof Fix Incorporated for $6,200 to re-roof the city sewer plant.

Monica Thompson was hired by the aldermen to do some part time work in the office at city hall on Mondays and Thursdays. She will also be offered the city recorder position.

The city is looking to hire someone to pick up garbage, replacing Phillip Golden, who has quit. The position will be advertised.

Two Men Arrested in Break-In on Adcock Cemetery Road

April 27, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jerry D. Cantrell
Cody L. Murphy

Two men were arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Thursday after a burglary and theft on Adcock Cemetery Road.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 19 year old Jerry D. Cantrell of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville and 19 year old Cody L. Murphy of Sparta Highway, Smithville are charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property under $500.

According to Sheriff Ray, officers received a complaint call on Adcock Cemetery Road of a break in at a home where thieves made off with the owner's TV and DVD player. Through an investigation, deputes discovered that Cantrell and Murphy went to the residence and used a credit card to gain entry to the home. They removed the TV and DVD player and then went back to Cantrell's residence where they hid the items underneath the home. The stolen items have been recovered. Bond for both men was set at $15,000 each and they will appear in court on April 30th.

Meanwhile, 31 year old Samuel McClure Jr. of Harrison Avenue, Murfreesboro and 29 year old Joshua Edward Dennis were arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of theft of property under $500 and one count of burglary. McClure's bond was set at $5,000. Bond for Dennis was set at $12,000. Both men will appear in court on April 30th.

Sheriff Ray says these two men were allegedly with 30 year old James Ricky Ashford of Burnwood Trailer Court, Murfreesboro when deputies made a traffic stop on Sunday, April 12th on Highway 96 in Liberty and found stolen goods in Ashford's truck.

According to Sheriff Ray "County deputies were on patrol in the Snows Hill and Dowelltown area when they made the traffic stop and noticed a leaf blower and a tool box in the back of the vehicle that Ashford was driving. After an in-depth investigation, officers discovered that Ashford and two other persons (McClure and Dennis) had been riding around looking for items to steal here in DeKalb County. They even went to a store in Smithville and purchased a pry bar to use as a tool to gain entry into locked buildings, vehicles, and trailers. Officers learned that the three men went to a residence on Dry Creek Road in Smithville and broke the lock off an enclosed trailer and stole a leaf blower valued less than $500. The men then went to a location on West Main Street, Smithville and removed from the owner's vehicle, a tool box containing various tools.

Deputies made the owners aware of the thefts after making this discovery.

Ashford was arrested first. He was charged last week with two counts of theft of property under $500 and one count of burglary. His bond is set at $7,000 and his court date is April 30th.

In another case, deputies stopped 31 year old Billy Keith Watts of Lebanon Highway, Carthage for driving offenses on Wednesday, April 22nd. Upon speaking with Watts, officers noticed that he had slurred speech and was confused. Watts submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. He was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and issued a written citation for violation of implied consent for refusing to submit to a blood/alcohol test. Watts' bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on May 7th.

Also on Wednesday, deputies arrested 24 year old Joshua Ryan Cripps of Hodges Road, Smithville for public intoxication, simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cripps came into the DeKalb County Jail in an intoxicated state. Cripps had slurred speech and at times would pass out. After placing Cripps under arrest, deputies found a plastic bag containing marijuana in his front pants pocket. Cripps also had in his possession rolling papers and a cut straw containing a white residue. Bond for Cripps was set at $3,000 and he will appear in court on May 21st.

Deputies arrested 25 year old Bradley Wayne Ferrell of Tubbs Street, Liberty on Saturday after he was stopped for running off the roadway on Highway 70. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol on Ferrell's person and he had slurred speech. Ferrell submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Ferrell was charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and his bond was set at $3,000.. He will appear in court on May 28th.

On Sunday, officers arrested 50 year old Karen Louise Moffitt of Baker Mountain Road, Spencer after she was stopped on Highway 56 for erratic driving. Moffitt submitted to field sobriety tasks which she failed. She was very unsteady on her feet and her speech was very impaired. Moffitt did admit to deputies that she was mixing beer with her prescriptions. Moffitt was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and her bond was set at $1,500. She will appear in court on May 7th.

A look at the Tennessee Legislature

April 27, 2009
by: 
Terri Lynn Weaver
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

Immigration measures see passage

Legislation has been supported by members for several years, dating back to the “Tennessee Trust” initiative House lawmakers proposed in 2006 as a “contract” with voters. As a candidate then, I remember standing with House members during that press conference on the Hill back in 2006. Now as the Representative of the 40th district, illegal immigration remains a high priority with me and the people of whom I work for in Macon, DeKalb and Smith Counties.

English in the Workplace, House Bill 480, was overwhelmingly approved this week by the Employee Affairs Subcommittee. The bill closely mirrors legislation brought to the U.S. Senate in 2008 by Senator Lamar Alexander, who said that the legislation was necessary to prevent frivolous lawsuits targeting businesses that felt English should be spoken on the job due to safety concerns. “Protecting English in the Workplace” now faces the House Consumer and Employee Affairs Committee.

Sanctuary Cities, House Bill 1354, cleared the Criminal Practice and Procedure Subcommittee and will now face the full House Judiciary Committee. A “sanctuary city” is a term given to a city in the United States that follows certain practices to protect illegal aliens. This bill would cut off economic and community grant money to any Tennessee city that might declare itself a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens.

Though House Bill 841, which I presented last week in subcommittee, was placed off notice, by no means does that mean my bill is mute. It will come back to subcommittee in 2010 where I intend to prove the fiscal note wrong. A bill that is already law and could save the state of Tennessee millions must be enforced. I am honored to stand in the ranks of others in the General Assembly who are working towards this same goal, deal with the drain on local revenues due to illegal immigration.

House passes legislation to honor fallen Tennessee National Guardsmen
House Bill 1346 passed on the House floor Thursday, with an overwhelming number of House members applauding the measure, and signing onto the legislation as co-sponsors. The bill requires the Adjutant General to notify the Governor in the event of the death of any Tennessee National Guard member that is called into active military service and who is stationed outside the United States. In any month in which one or more notifications of death are given to the Governor, the Governor will be required to proclaim a day of mourning and order the state flag to be flown at half mast to honor the deceased National Guard member or members.

Common-sense legislation dies in Elections Subcommittee
House Bill 639 presented in the Elections Subcommittee that would require photo ID to vote did not pass in subcommittee. This bill is needed to combat voter fraud and ensure that every vote counts. This bill is the third common sense voter legislation to protect the integrity of elections. As a member who supports this legislation many of us have vowed to revive it in another form.

All in a weeks work…
House Bill 107 that would prohibit sending or reading text messages while driving cleared subcommittee and will now move to the house floor. In my opinion, texting falls under the “distraction driving” statue. So my question is how will anyone determine if one is answering or texting on the phone? Common sense says DO not Text!!! Ummmm… what do you think?

House Bill 431 was passed by the K-12 Education Subcommittee this week, and seeks to expand the recognition of homeschoolers’ diplomas. The bill requires that diplomas issued by home schools be recognized by all state and local governmental entities as having the same rights and privileges of diplomas issued by public school systems.

This past week I presented House Bill 842 that would allow homeschoolers to participate in after school academic activities such as band, theatre, and the arts. Another fellow Representative is carrying the athletic side of the bill. Working on setting up a pilot program to showcase a win win scenario for public schools and the homeschooler, let it be known I support wholeheartedly the teachers and the schools in my district. Myself a teacher who taught my son from third to twelve grade as a homeschool mom, I take very seriously the education process of our children. With that said serving on education Committee and K-12 subcommittee is an honor indeed!

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”Mark Twain

Ventriloquist David Turner Entertains at Spring Festival in the Park

April 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
David Turner and Todd Entertain at Spring Festival in the Park

David Turner and Friends entertained young and old alike during Saturday's first annual Spring in the Park, sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

Turner has been a performing ventriloquist for over 38 years. He has performed for churches, church groups, civic clubs, conventions, and corporations.

Since 1999, David was chosen by the Armed Forces Entertainment to entertain our military troops and their families overseas. He's had the opportunity to entertain our troops and their families in over 13 countries. In 2004 he was seen on "60 Minutes" performing at a convention.

David performed on the Saturday Night All-Star Show at 2008 Vent Haven Ventriloquist Convention . Terry Fator, winner of "America Got Talent" in it's 2nd season, performed on Thursday night at the convention.

Turner and his wife Roenia reside in Alexandria.

To learn more about David Turner and Friends visit http://www.davidturnerandfriends.com/

In addition to Turner, Spring Festival in the Park featured several gospel singing groups, crafts, food booths, and fun for children.

Angie Meadows, President of the Club, says funds raised through the Spring Festival will be used to support projects like Operation Head to Toe, and to help fund high school scholarship awards, and the Spirit Award during the Smithville Christmas Parade,among others. The club's major endeavor is to help upkeep Greenbrook Park.

GOP Controlled Election Commission Names Stanley Administrator

April 24, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley and Election Commission Chairman Walteen Parker
DeKalb County Election Commission

On a 3 to 2 party line vote, the GOP controlled DeKalb County Election Commission met Friday afternoon at the courthouse and named a Republican, Dennis Stanley as the new Administrator of Elections. He is expected to assume the duties around the first of May.

Lisa Peterson, a certified administrator who held the position for more than ten years, did not receive enough votes to keep her job.

Nolan Turner, a Democrat, made a motion to place Peterson's name in nomination for the position. Democrat Kenneth Moore seconded the motion. But two votes is all Peterson could get. Republican members Barbara Vanatta and Jim Dean voted against Peterson and Republican Chairman Walteen Parker chose not to vote.

In nominating Peterson, Turner praised her for the job she has done and said few if any are more qualified for this position. "I don't think anyone could have done a better job than Lisa Peterson. We employed her, not as a Democrat or Republican. We employed her to do the job. And I don't think we could find anyone in DeKalb County or very few anyway that would say that she hasn't been kind and courteous and very effective and efficient in her daily life, as far as running the operation of the election office. As a matter of fact, she is a certified administrator. She is one of the top administrators in the state and I do not see any reason why we should change at this particular point in time."

"Turner later added "Very few times as Chairman have I had to come down to work out things with her because of problems we've had because she had already worked them out. I appreciate her very much."

A few members of the public who attended the meeting applauded Turner's remarks.

Moore also expressed his support for Peterson. "We did hire her bipartisan. We didn't even ask her whether she was a Republican or Democrat, and as of today I still don't know. I've never asked her. She has done an outstanding job and is one of the best we've ever had. I will not say the best because I might hurt somebody else's feelings but she has done an outstanding job."

After Peterson failed to get the three votes she needed, Dean then placed Stanley's name in nomination for administrator. Vanatta seconded the motion. Chairman Parker joined them in voting for Stanley while Turner and Moore voted no.

After the vote, Turner addressed the commission again " A lot of DeKalb Countians are upset because of this decision. Let me say I love all of you (election commissioners). I think the world of you and I assure you that we're going to work together regardless of what transpires here today. We've got to think of what's best for DeKalb County and carry on the work of the election commission. I've been on the commission 30 years and never had this come up before. We've all worked together, Republicans and Democrats alike, without any opposition. Not one dissenting vote in my 30 years have we had on the election commission. Everything has been unanimous and that's the way it should be. Because if we're not, we're going to be like a lot of counties where they're at each other's throats constantly and I don't want that in DeKalb County. I want all of you to know I think this is wrong but the best way to right the wrong people is in the next election. If the State House and State Senate in the next election goes back to the Democrats then we (election commission) will switch to another 3-2 Democrat control. So I challenge each Democrat here tonight to think about that in the next election because that is something we need to study and think about what's best for DeKalb County."

Chairman Parker explained that since the administrator position was "open" with a new election commission, Peterson was not being fired, just not re-hired. She added that the administrator serves at the pleasure of the election commission. " I don't look at this as a dismissal, but simply as not a re-hire. The position is open with the new commission and therefore the commission has spoken for Mr. Stanley."

Parker added "I do want to welcome Mr. Stanley aboard. I've read his articles in the newspaper for years and they're always non-partisan and non biased, and I want to thank him for his service in keeping our small town newspaper here. I know he's been responsible for keeping that rather than having it somewhere else, especially the way times are now. I know it's been a great deal of responsibility and sometimes probably not with a lot of appreciation because a kids picture was not in the paper often enough but I do know that looking at it from the standpoint of education, he's been extremely fair in reporting any kind of news story."

Moore later added "I have nothing against Dennis Stanley. I've always liked him but I just think we're doing the county a grave injustice by replacing Lisa because she is well trained and there's going to have to be some money spent to train Dennis. It's just got to be politics."

Chairman Parker responded, "Mr. Stanley is qualified I think in his managerial and all the duties he had to perform at the newspaper."

Moore answered, "We'll see".

Chairman Parker also denied assertions that the Republican majority violated the open meetings law. "I would like to go on record as saying there have not been any secret meetings among anybody about what is going on."

"I also want to reiterate what Mr. Turner said in that we will all work together. It's what is best for DeKalb County, for the voters of DeKalb County."

Turner read a letter by local attorney Sarah Cripps, in support of Peterson. In it, Cripps wrote, "The purpose of this letter is to express my strong and wholehearted support for Lisa Peterson and to condemn the single-minded partisanship which has led to the decision of the Election Commission to terminate Ms. Peterson from the position which she has held for more than a decade."

"For more than ten years, Ms. Peterson has devoted herself to a faithful and impartial execution and application of the federal and state laws governing elections. Ms. Peterson is a knowledgeable and an experienced administrator."

"Unfortunately, certain members of our Election Commission have decided that knowledge and experience are of no consequence. These members have, instead, proved that the 'spoils system' is alive and well in DeKalb County. Additionally, even more disturbing, these members have, in my opinion, blatantly violated Tennessee's Open Meetings Law by secretly determining to terminate Ms. Peterson and by selecting Ms. Peterson's apparent replacement in secret. This conduct makes a mockery of Tennessee's Open Meetings Law and of our democratic process. Finally, I am compelled to observe that each member of this election commission swore an oath to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of your office. In my opinion, those who vote to terminate Ms. Peterson have abrogated this solemn oath and have elevated party poltics to a dizzying height."

"In closing, I appeal to each member of this election commission to vote according to the dictates of his or her conscience and not to the demands of a party line. I appeal to each of you to afford to Ms. Peterson the same fairness, impartiality, and blind justice that you would wish to have meted out to you were you standing in her shoes."

After the meeting, Stanley said he is looking forward to serving the people of DeKalb County. "I am elated and even though there was some opposition today, I do feel like all five election commissioners want an honest and fair election process. That's what I want so as a result, at the end of the day, we're on the same team."

Prior to the vote on Stanley, the election commission re-organized.

Former Chairman Turner called the meeting to order and accepted nominations for Chairman. Parker was nominated and elected by acclamation 5-0.

Turner was nominated as Secretary and he was also elected unanimously by acclamation. The position of secretary goes to a member of the minority party

(Top Picture- Dennis Stanley and Walteen Parker)
(Bottom Picture- Front left to right- Nolan Turner and Walteen Parker- Back left to right- Kenneth Moore, Jim Dean, and Barbara Vanatta)

Lawsuit over Leaking Water Line Set for Trial

April 24, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The towns of Dowelltown and Liberty have a lawsuit pending against contractors and engineers responsible for a water line relocation project which allegedly was not done properly resulting in multiple leaks in the Dowelltown-Liberty Water System.

The original complaint was filed two years ago and the case is tentatively set for a jury trial in DeKalb County Circuit Court this July.

The water line relocation was required due to the state's widening and improvement of Highway 70.

According to the lawsuit, Highways Incorporated of Brentwood entered into a contract with the state on February 1st, 2002 to provide certain construction work in DeKalb County. As part of it's contract in providing a water line relocation for the Dowelltown-Liberty Water System, Highways Incorporated entered into a subcontract with Civil Constructors, Incorporated of Franklin for the purposes of carrying out the construction work on the water line system. The price for doing this subcontract work on the water lines was $1-million 206-thousand 786."

"Incorporated in the contract were the bid proposal and specification documents for construction of the line relocation which were approved by Robert Neal Westerman, registered engineer for James C. Hailey & Company, Incorporated of Nashville.

Frank Buck, attorney for the towns of Dowelltown and Liberty, says after the project was completed the system sprung several leaks during the fall of 2005. "The original complaint is against Civil Constructors, Incorporated and Highways, Inc. Highways had the original road contract and Civil subbed out the moving of the water line. The Hailey Engineering Company was supposed to do the inspection and when you read the original complaint filed at the courthouse it essentially alleges that the specifications for the contract were set out in a book. There was a book that's attached to the back of the complaint, which basically has all the specifications of how you are supposed to put the water line in the ground. It is the allegation of Dowelltown-Liberty that after seven leaks, the State of Tennessee supervised an inspection, digging up three different spots, and it was discovered that the water line did not meet the specifications of the contract anywhere except in one case. For all the rest, it is alleged that the water line was not laid pursuant to the contract."

"The utility district is asking for the replacement costs taking into account inflation. Keep in mind that the water line is a plastic product and an oil product so as the price of petroleum goes up or down on the International market for a barrel of oil, then the price of that water line also goes up or down. They are asking for the replacement costs of the entire line."

The leaks caused disruptions of service to customers of the Dowelltown-Liberty Water System on several occasions and subsequent "No Drinking Water" bans were issued. Customers were requested to boil their drinking water until it was checked to make sure there was no contamination.

Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are the North American Pipe Corporation of Houston, Texas, the Zurich American Insurance Company of Schaumburg, Illinois and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The original complaint seeks a judgment against all defendants except the state of Tennessee for compensatory damages in the amount of $1-million, 206-thousand, 786. A judgment is also sought against James C. Hailey & Company, Inc. and Civic Constructors, Inc. for punitive damages in the amount of $5-million dollars.

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