Local News Articles

DeKalb Farmers Coop Employee Injured in Loader Accident

July 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
David Driver being transferred from ambulance to helicopter

An employee of DeKalb Farmers Coop was seriously injured in a loader accident this morning (Wednesday) at the coop.

911 received the call at 9:56 a.m.

David Driver was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was airlifted by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Voluntary Pre-K Registration Scheduled for August 2nd

July 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
Clay Farler

Registration for the voluntary pre-kindergarten program in the DeKalb County School system will be conducted on Monday, August 2nd at Smithville Elementary School and DeKalb West School.

Children may be registered that day from 7:45 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Clay Farler, Director of the Pre-K program and Attendance Supervisor, says state funding provides for a total of four pre-k classes at Smithville Elementary School and one class at DeKalb West School.

Farler says eligible children must be four years of age by September 30th and their parents must meet the federal income guidelines. "Parents should bring their four year old child to registration along with the youngster's birth certificate, record of a physical examination within the last year, and the child's immunization record. The law, as of July 1st, has changed regarding immunizations as far as what's required so parents should check with the health department or their doctors. I'm not sure if they have the forms ready for that yet but if they are able to get that by August 2nd, they need to bring that. If not, the state has given us a short amount of time as a grace period in order for parents to be able to get those in."

"I also want to address some of the requirements for kindergarten. Of course, we have a pre-kindergarten program at Smithville Elementary and at DeKalb West School. We have four classrooms at Smithville Elementary and one classroom at DeKalb West. We must first enroll students who are four years old on or before September 30th of this current school year. So any boy or girl who would be four years of age on or before September 30th might qualify for the program. We're also to enroll children who qualify for the free or reduced price lunch program. They are the first ones who have to be enrolled. Then after that, if we still have vacancies we are to enroll children with disabilities or children identified as English language learners or those at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect. The program is mainly for at-risk students and as I mentioned they have to be four years old on or before September 30th."

"There is one classroom at both schools that we're able to enroll three year old students who will be three years old on or before September 30th, if we do not fill the classroom with four year olds. We usually have quite a few more three year old children that apply than we are able to get into the program. So I would encourage parents to enroll their children. It is a great program. We've been running it for about ten years. We started out with two pilot classrooms, one at each school and then about five or six years ago we were able to start adding additional classes and now we're up to four classes at the elementary school and one at the west school."

"We can have up to twenty students per class of four year olds. If we do enroll any three years olds we must have a smaller number in that classroom. Each class has a teacher and an educational assistant who works with the teacher. Since we have four classrooms at the elementary school we even have another educational assistant who works there to help out with all the classes."

For more information, contact Farler at 597-4084.

First Day of School Education Celebration set for August 2nd

July 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow
2009 First Day of School Education Celebration

The Fifth Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Monday, August 2nd from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-Kindergarten to 6th Grade, says the event is free and all parents and students are urged to attend to help kick off the new school year. "Our goal is to provide an evening of activities, education, and enjoyment for the residents of DeKalb County. We will be having information booths, passing out school supplies, refreshments, and various activities for the students to participate in while promoting education."

"This will also provide a time for our teachers and parents to come together to build a foundation for new and positive relationships, right from day one."

"Our First Day of School Celebration is an opportunity for our schools to take a leadership role in re-enforcing and improving relationships among parents, teachers, students, and the community. This is the one day each year when it is both easiest and most important to enlist families as partners in our children's education. This is a great time for us to engage our families and make them feel welcome into our schools."

"So come out and join us. Everything is free that evening. We'll have free school supplies, free food, snacks and lots of community people coming together to make this event possible."

"I want to thank the many volunteers who put in hours and hours getting this event ready for our children. Jennifer Mitchell, Jamie Vickers, Pamela Poss, Angela Johnson, Suzette Barnes, Melissa Pirtle, Gina Denman, Lisa Norton, Danielle Collins, and Kelly Garrett are on the Education Celebration committee."

"There are many volunteers, churches, and organizations that come together to make this event possible for our children so they are able to start school with new supplies and a great positive attitude."

If you would like to help with this event please call Michelle Burklow at 597-4084.

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to join the fun downtown Smithville on Monday, August 2nd.

County Seeks Federal and State Assistance to Repair Flood Damaged Roads

July 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
Flood washed away hot mix from road at Lower Helton Bridge over Smith Fork Creek
Road washed away from flood waters at bridge on Dry Creek

DeKalb County is seeking federal and state funds to help pay for costs of repairing local roads, including those around bridges, and for debris clean-up from the flooding that occurred May 1st and 2nd.

But in order for the county to receive Hazard Mitigation grant funds, it must be enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program. Last week, the county commission authorized participation in the program, as recommended by the DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission.

County Mayor Mike Foster says by being enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program, county residents living in the floodplain will have an opportunity to purchase flood insurance and the county will be eligible to apply for flood relief funds. "First of all it means we have to be enrolled in it to get this hazard mitigation money. We have applied to get the county benefits from the flood. In the past, you didn't have to be a member of it or be enrolled in it (flood insurance program). The cities of the county are already enrolled in it and most of the flood areas are in Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown and a few in Smithville. All this does (enrolling in the program) is bring the rest of the county in so that if a person has property, they can get flood insurance on it, even if it's in a flood plain. Right now you can't (get flood insurance). You can get insurance if you're not in a flood plain, but if you live in a flood plain, you can't (get flood insurance) unless we (county) are enrolled and that's what this is about."

"A person can still build in the flood plain, but he has to build his foundation above the 100 year flood plain. I think they (foundations) have to be at least three feet above the 100 year flood plain, so they (owners) can build up their lot in that spot and still build on it. The only areas we're really talking about would be somewhere along Smith Fork Creek and probably below the dam. There's probably seven or eight houses down through there that are in the flood plain. A few are in the flood plain along Smith Fork and a few of the other creeks."

"In reality, we may not have but one a year that would build in that flood plain. If they do (build), what they have to do is have a surveyor shoot the elevation of the 100 year plain according to the maps we have and tell him (owner) where he can build his house and then we (county) have to go out and inspect it to see that he does that. Then, everybody who lives within the flood plain could purchase flood insurance if they want to. But, like I said there are very few flood plain areas in the county (outside the cities of Smithville, Dowelltown, Liberty, and Alexandria). Technically, a lot of the land around the lake is in the flood plain but it's owned by the Corps so there's not going to be any building in it."

Foster says if approved for grant funding, FEMA would pay 75% and the state would fund 12.5% to reimburse the county for the repairs. The local matching obligation would be 12.5%, which could be met with in-kind work. "There's probably six or seven bridge locations where the roads around them have some to a lot of damage. The roads to the bridges on Smith Fork have a lot of damage. There is some serious damage to the one at Dismal and another down stream on Lower Helton and they're both fairly new bridges. One of them is very new but the flood waters actually went over the top of it and washed out part of the roads coming to the bridges. So far we don't think there's any damage to the bridges temselves but to the ramps on each end. We've also got some debris that's washed in under two or three bridges that needs to be corrected. There's also some minor damage to roads around bridges on Dry Creek and Sink Creek that need to be repaired."

"We also have miles of roads that have been damaged where either the ditchlines were disturbed or washed out, or in some cases the blacktop washed off some of the roads. This grant money would help repair those areas. A lot of them are under the hill, as far as the roads washing away, but even some roads around the lake on some of the steeper roads had some damage. I know of four or five areas in particular, and some of them are also on top of the hill, where there was damage to ditchlines as rip rap washed out or they just need to be repaired. Kenny (Edge) has a list of those that we is working on."

England Threepeats at Fiddler 5K

July 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
Christopher England with son and Sara Terashima

36 year old Christopher England of Atlanta, Georgia was the overall winner of the 12th annual Fiddler 5K held Saturday morning in Smithville.

England, who has now won the race for three years in a row, completed the course in 17:54. He also holds the course record, 16:30 in 2008.

Meanwhile, 19 year old Sara Terashima of Richmond, Indiana was the overall winner in the women's race. She completed the course in 20:53.

A new category was created this year for the male and female masters. 53 year old Lee Piccirillo of Murfreesboro was the overall winner in the male masters. His time was 19:23.

In the female masters, 42 year old Lisanne McLaurine of Liberty was the overall winner. Her time was 24:07

Eleven year old Tate Chumley of Murfreesboro was the overall winner of the One Mile Fun Run. His time was 7:15

Nine Year old Macy Hedge of Smithville completed the One Mile Fun Run course in 7:38, the best among females.

The Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run is a fundraiser to benefit Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

July 5, 2010
William Freddy Curtis
Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club conducted a Special Event Station at the 39th Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010. This year marked the eleventh year that a special event station had been set up at the Jamboree.

The station was setup at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library during the early morning hours on Saturday. Antennas were assembled, radios were properly checked, and transmissions were begun at 7:30 AM local time. Operations took place in the 20 meter, 40 meter, 15 meter, and 10 meter Amateur Radio bands, and the station was publicized in Amateur Radio magazines QST, CQ, and the club website.

The station contacted 154 total Amateur Radio Stations in 28 States, and Ontario and Alberta, Canada. One interesting contact included the Ham Station at the Ontario Science Center - Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Amateur Radio Operator Guests included the following: KJ4JMS – Clifford Shelby – Crossville, TN; KI4UUP – Andrew C. Thomas – Monterey, TN; AG4VF – Bruce Newberry – Pegram, TN; K9UT – Jerry Uhte – Richmond, IN; NQ4U – Jimmy O. Floyd – Tullahoma, TN; and KJ4EEW – Lisa Marshall – Fayetteville, TN.

Participants of the station included local Amateur Radio Operators:
KG4BTO - Joe Ferrell; KF4QNT - Kevin Neely; and KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis. This year was the first year the station had CW or Morse code operation. This was done by N4LZY – Jerry Elkins of Woodbury, Tennessee and added greatly to the station operation.

Pictures of the Special Event Station can be viewed at the club’s website at: http://www.dcarc.drivehq.com/.

The local club looks forward to operating another special event station at next year’s Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival. The club would like to offer its thanks to Jamboree Coordinator - Mr. Jack Burton, Justin Potter Librarian - Mrs. Kathy Hendrixson, and Smithville Postmaster Mr. Michael Lynn for their support of this activity.

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, August 26th, 2010 - 6:30 PM at the DeKalb County Emergency Operations Center, 211 South Mountain Street at the E-911 Center. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.

Picture Caption: Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station during the 39th Annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival included: left to Right - KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis KJ4BTO – Joe Ferrell and N4LZY – Jerry Elkins.

Prater Charged with Theft of Purses

July 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
Gwynn Greer Prater
Kimberly Ann Patterson

A 51 year old Smithville man is charged with the theft of three purses, taken from an unattended vehicle parked at Holiday Haven Boat Ramp last month.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Gwynn Greer Prater of Jerry Walker Road, Smithville was arrested on Tuesday, June 29th and charged with theft of property under $500. According to Sheriff Ray, detectives received a report that three purses were stolen on Wednesday, June 23rd. Detectives later identified Prater as a suspect and questioned him. During the questioning, Prater allegedly admitted to committing the crime. Prater's bond is $1,000 and his court date is July 15th.

42 year old Kimberly Ann Patterson of Fisher Avenue, Smithville is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid) for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sheriff Ray says on Wednesday, June 30th, detectives executed a warrant for violation of probation against Patterson. Officers saw Patterson in a vehicle parked at Citgo on Highway 70 east, where they placed her under arrest. Found in the vehicle were 28 Dilaudid pills and a used syringe. Detectives also seized $235.86 believed to be proceeds from drug sales. Patterson's bond on the drug charges is $ 27,500. She is being held without bond on the violation of probation charge until her court date July 15th.

41 year old William Andy Cantrell of Redman Road, Smithville is charged with a fifth offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on July 14th. Sheriff Patrick Ray says a detective was on Short Mountain Highway Tuesday, June 29th when he spotted a vehicle pulling out of Miller Road onto Short Mountain Road. He saw that the driver was Cantrell. Knowing that Cantrell's license were revoked, the detective turned around to stop the vehicle. Cantrell turned onto Adams Street where he was stopped

Birchfield Wins Jamboree's Biggest Award

July 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Bill J. Birchfield Wins Jamboree's Biggest Award
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton Presents Top Fiddling Award to Bill Birchfield

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 39th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is Bill J. Birchfield of Roan Mountain, Tennessee. The two day festival came to a close Saturday night at 11:15 p.m.

Birchfield won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.
Click here to view more photos of Saturday session of the Fiddlers Jamboree

Birchfield made it to the fiddle off by winning the Senior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama, the winner of the Junior Fiddling contest.

Other winners in the Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; Second Place- Matt Kinman of Vilas, North Carolina; and Third Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood Florida. Amundsen was last year's grand champion fiddler, after winning the junior fiddling contest.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Kelsey Jones of Lyles; Second Place- Justin Frazor of Smyrna; and Third Place- Chris Stewart of Lyles
Click here to view video of Kelsey Jones in Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance Competition

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Jeff Yates of Adams; Second Place- Jay Bland of Kennesaw, Georgia; and Third Place- Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville.
Click here to view video of Jeff Yates in Senior Old-Tim Appalachian Flatfoot Dance Finals

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Stanley Reece of Whitleyville; Second Place- Wendell Hodges of Scottsville, Kentucky; and Third Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro.
Click here to view a video of Stanley Reece in the finals of the Senior Buck Dancing Contest

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place- Sherry Guenther of Monterey; and Third Place- Tommy Jackson of Franklin.
Click here to see video of Tammy Scruggs in Senior Clogging Contest

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia; Second Place- Kevin Harris of Tuscumbia, Alabama; and Third Place- Shane Cothran of Franklin.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- A Step Ahead of Greenbrier; Second Place- DeKalb County Bluegrass of Dyersburg; and Third Place- The Rigney Family of Normandy.

Bluegrass Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; Second Place Sarah Twilley of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Chris Brown of Beechgrove. McMeans received his award from Mr. Dudney's daughters, Susan Shaw and Janet England.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Bill J. Birchfield of Roan Mountain; Second Place- Scott Miller of Hanceville, Alabama; and Third Place- Delmer Holland of Waverly.

Square Dancing: First Place-Harpeth River of Franklin; Second Place- Little Texas of Franklin; and Third Place- Tennessee Toe Tappers of Pleasant View.
Click here to view video clip of Harpeth River in Square Dancing Competition at Fiddlers Jamboree

Greenbrier Girl Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler for Beginners

July 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Cara Digiovanni Crowned Grand Champion Beginner Fiddler
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton Presents Awards to Beginners Fiddling Champ
Aaron Clegg Receives Instrumental Entertainer Award from Nolan Turner

A Greenbrier girl took home this year's top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Cara Digiovanni was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

Meanwhile Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia received the "Entertainer of the Year" Award, which is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition. Clegg took home first place in three of those categories and second place in another.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place-Cara Digiovanni of Greenbrier; Second Place- Steven Alonso of Adams, Tennessee; and Third Place- Conner McCracken of Fredericksburg, Indiana..

Buck Dancing: First Place- Katie Huntley of Loretto, Tennessee; Second Place- Raygan Sellers of Ashland City; and Third Place- Keley Tomlin of Springfield.

Clogging: First Place- Shelby Dunn of Fairview; Second Place Kati Huntley of Loretto; and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; Second Place- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; and Third Place- Frannie Digiovanni of Greenbrier.

Mandolin: First Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; Second Place-Frannie Digiovanni of Greenbrier; and Third Place- Ben Hester of Chapmansboro

Five String Banjo: First Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; Second Place- Adam Keckritz of Tullahoma; and Third Place- Grayson Philips of Chapmansboro

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Kati Huntley of Loretto; Second Place- Aaron Clegg of Social Circle, Georgia; and Third Place- Cole Nichols of Town Creek, Alabama.

Alexandria Woman Accused of Stabbing her Boyfriend

July 3, 2010
Dwayne Page
Emily Fare

29 year old Terry Scott Austin was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville Friday evening after his girlfriend allegedly stabbed him in the abdomen with a kitchen knife at her home in Alexandria.

21 year old Emily Fare of 105 Lavergne Street, Alexandria has been charged with aggravated assault and she is under a $5,000 bond. Fare will appear in General Sessions Court on July 15th.

The warrant against Fare alleges that "On Friday, July 2nd at 105 Lavergne Street in Alexandria, Emily Fare did stab her boyfriend Terry Austin in the abdomen with a knife and he had to be airlifted for emergency treatment."

Central Dispatch received the call at 6:25 p.m.

Alexandria Police Officer Mark Milam says Fare and Austin apparently got into an argument which escalated resulting in the assault. After the attack, Milam says Austin left the residence on foot but later had to be treated. He was airlifted by a helicopter ambulance and flown from Alexandria to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Milam says he was joined in the investigation by fellow Alexandria police officer Terry Cowart, Jr. and DeKalb County Sheriff's deputy Jeremy Taylor.

The case remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, officers of the Smithville Police Department are reporting several arrests in their latest weekly update.

43 year old Todd Odell Hindsley of 830 South Mountain Street was charged Saturday, June 26th with resisting stop, frisk, and halt. According to the warrant, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow and Sergeant Joey Jones responded to 830 South Mountain Street to a possible domestic incident between a male and female who were fighting outside the residence where windows were being busted out of the house. Upon arrival, the officers made contact with Hindsley who was sitting on the back steps of the home. Hindsley could not tell the officers what had happened, nor where his mother was or why two windows of the house had been broken. According to police, Hindsley told Sergeant Jones that he was going to run. Sergeant Jones told him that he didn't want to do that but Hindsley replied "watch me" and made a jump as if he were going to run. Sergeant Jones and Officer Tatrow say they then had to put hands on Hindsley to stop him. Hindsley became very combative and had to be taken to the ground. He kept fighting and eventually had to be chemical sprayed to get him under control. Bond for Hindsley is $2500 and his court date is July 22nd

44 year old Merle William Martin Jr. of 1123 Keltonburg Road was issued a citation by Officer Scott Davis on Monday, June 28th for shoplifting. A Wal-Mart employee allegedly saw Martin cut open some merchandise, place it on his person and try to leave the store without paying for those items. Martin was cited to appear in court on July 15th.

44 year old Michael Dewayne Merritt of 109 Juniper Lane was arrested on Tuesday, June 29th for domestic assault. Officer Bradley Tatrow made the arrest. According to the report, Merritt and the victim were arguing and the confrontation became physical with Merritt allegedly choking her and hitting her in the face with his elbow. Bond for Merritt was set at $2,500 and his court date is July 15th.

27 year old Nathan Joe Trapp of 379 Magness Road was arrested on Tuesday, June 29th for violating an order of protection. Sergeant Randy King had been made aware of a warrant for Trapp earlier Tuesday and later that night he saw Trapp sitting in front of Justin Potter Library Trapp was placed under arrest. Trapp's court date is July 15th.

26 year old Roxanna Landis of 628 Andrews Street was arrested Wednesday, June 30th for public intoxication. Corporal Travis Bryant was called to Restview Avenue to check out a complaint of a fight. Upon arrival Corporal Bryant made contact with Landis who was unsteady on her feet and she had slurred speech. Bond for Landis was set at $1,000 and her court date is July 22nd.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, July 1st Detective Matt Holmes cited 23 year old Tamra Renee Lloyd of 726 Gentry Avenue for shoplifting. A Wal-Mart employee allegedly saw Lloyd taking items from the store. She allegedly admitted to stealing merchandise from Wal-Mart. Her court date is July 22nd.

25 year old Ellissa Sarah Howard of 630 Highland Avenue was arrested on Thursday, July 1st and charged with DUI. Corporal Travis Bryant responded to Wal-Mart to check out a complaint of a disorderly suspect. Upon his arrival, the suspect had already returned to her vehicle. Corporal Bryant spoke with Howard and noticed she had slurred speech and she was unsteady on her feet. Field sobriety tasks were performed but she performed poorly. Her bond was set at $1,000 and her court date was set for July 22nd.

Anyone with information on any criminal offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

All information is confidential.


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