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Local News Articles

Students Return to School after Thanksgiving Break

November 28, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jonathan Fontanez speaking at recent school board meeting

DeKalb County students will be heading back to school Monday after taking three days off for Thanksgiving last week.

Students will soon be out of school again. The winter break will be December 20th through December 31st. Friday, December 17th will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Tuesday, January 4th to begin the third nine week session.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Fontanez, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, reminds students and parents about the upcoming state assessments. "We have our high school state assessments coming up for the first semester. We want to make sure students are prepared and that parents are ready to help their students get prepared for these state assessments."

"We have our AYP end of course assessments which are mandated by the state that go toward adequate yearly progress on December 7th, 8th, and 9th in the subjects of algebra I, English II, and biology I. These assessments help us to measure our student's growth and how well they are mastering material."

"In addition to those AYP end of courses, we have another set of state mandated end of course assessments which will be on the following week in December, in U.S. History and English IX. Additionally, we have finals coming up as the semester closes out prior to Christmas. Those final exams are scheduled to be on December 15th & 16th with the last day of school before the Christmas break on December 17th."

"We just want to remind everyone to make the necessary preparations for these assessments. Be sure that your student gets enough rest the day prior to these assessments and has adequate preparation."

"Our annual writing assessments will be held in February in grades 5, 8, & 11."

"School has been going very well this year. Our students are working hard and our teachers are doing a diligent job and we are so thankful for the community's support. You send your students prepared each day and we're so thankful for that."

The rest of the school calendar is as follows:

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17th and for President's Day, Monday, February 21st.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 21st-25th and for Good Friday, April 22nd.

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 25th. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held Tuesday, March 15th at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 17th at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Thursday, January 6th, and Monday, March 14th.

AYP-EOC/Gateway Testing at DCHS will be Tuesday through Thursday, December 7th-9th and May 3rd-5th at DCHS and a make-up AYP-EOC/Gateway Test will be Friday, December 10th and May 6th.

ACT Test for the 11th grade will be Tuesday, March 8th

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 1st. Writing Assessment make-up will be February 2nd..

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 13th-20th

(Stockpile Days) Professional Development/Instructional Days will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Monday, January 3rd, and Friday, March 18th. Students will not attend on those days.

"Kingsmen" and 'Right on Time" to sing for Toys

November 26, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kingsmen Quartet

A "Singing for Toys "will be held Thursday, December 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb West School Gym in Liberty featuring the Kingsmen and Right on Time.

Sean Driver, a member of the group "Right on Time" said your admission is a donation of a small toy per person or a large toy per family.

All toys donated will be given to needy children. All children served will also receive a Bible. A love offering will be accepted for the Kingsmen to further their ministry. All churches are urged to participate in the donation effort and provide a list of children who are in need.

For more information, call Chad at 615-563-2423

Smithville Police Make Arrests

November 26, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police arrested a local man for public intoxication and drug offenses on Saturday, November 20th after checking out a disturbance complaint at Food Lion.

47 year old James Alton Barrett of East Main Street will be in court December 2nd on charges of public intoxication, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $3,500. Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to Food Lion in answer to a disturbance call and found Barrett leaning against the counter at the cash register trying to buy beer. Barrett had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. During a search incident to arrest, police found rolling papers and a schedule VI drug on his person.

23 year old Gilberto Acuna of Foster Road was arrested on Friday, November 19th for driving on a suspended license. Acuna was operating a motor vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation. A computer check revealed his license were suspended. Officer James Cornelius made the arrest. Bond for Acuna is $1,500 and his court date is December 9th

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

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

DeKalb Jobless Rate Drops to 8.8% in October

November 24, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's jobless rate dropped to 8.8% in October, down from 9.1% in September and nearly two percentage points below the 10.7% rate in October, 2009.

The local labor force for October was 9,880. A total of 9,000 were employed and 870 were without work.

DeKalb County's jobless rate for the month was third lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region. Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:

Pickett County-13%
Clay- 11.4%
White-11.4%
Fentress- 10.5%
Warren- 10.5%
Jackson- 10.4%
Van Buren 10.3%
Cannon- 9.7%
Macon- 9.7%
Cumberland-9.3%
Overton- 9.3%
DeKalb- 8.8%
Putnam- 8.4%
Smith- 7.9%

Tennessee's unemployment rate for October was 9.4 percent, unchanged from the September rate. The national unemployment rate for October 2010 was 9.6 percent, unchanged from the September rate.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for October 2010, show that the rate decreased in 43 counties, increased in 38 counties and remained the same in 14 counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, up from the September rate of 6.0 percent. Scott County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 19.0 percent, down from 19.8 percent in the previous month, followed by Marshall County at 15.5 percent, down from the September rate of 15.6 percent.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.0 percent, down from 7.1 percent in September. Hamilton County was 7.8 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Davidson County was 8.7 percent, down from 9.1 percent, and Shelby County was 9.8 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from September.

Veterans Urged to Ride in Alexandria Christmas Parade Sunday

November 24, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Santa and Mrs Claus at 2009 Alexandria Christmas Parade

Alexandria will host the first Christmas parade of the season in DeKalb County this Sunday, November 28th.

As always, the parade is expected to feature a variety of creative floats, farm tractors, vintage automobiles, all terrain vehicles, horseback riders, and Santa Claus. Caleb Brown will be the honorary Grand Marshal and his family and friends will represent him in the parade.

Alexandria Mayor Ria Baker said this year's parade will also pay tribute to veterans. "The city has borrowed the Watertown trolley to use in the parade to honor the veterans. Please encourage everyone you know who is a veteran to ride. We will load everyone (veterans) at city hall on this Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., then drive out to the lineup from there. Dwayne Cantrell has agreed to drive the trolley. This is for all veterans of any age who have served our country."

The parade will line-up at 2:00 p.m. and get underway at 3:00 p.m.

All entries are welcome and anyone under age 16 must have an adult to accompany them in the parade. Prizes will be given away on the square after the parade. Crafts and food booths are welcome to set up on or around the square.

For more information, contact Deb McCoy at 615-948-6486, Denise Barrett at 615-948-4829, or the Alexandria City Hall at 529-2171.

Meanwhile the Smithville Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 4th, sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department. The parade will line-up at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School and depart at 1:00 p.m. The deadline to enter the parade is Thursday, December 2nd . For more information call Jeff Wright at 597-6750 or John Poss at 597-1135

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 5th. Line up begins at 1:00 p.m in front of Salem Baptist Church and the parade will get underway at 2:00 p.m. For more information call (615) 536-5101.

Fire Causes Extensive Damage to Thomason Residence on Forrest Avenue

November 23, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the home of Doyle Thomason on Forrest Avenue this morning (Tuesday).

Central dispatch received the call at 7:19 a.m.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker said the occupants of the home were awakened by the smoke and escaped.

The fire apparently started in the utility room and spread to the kitchen. Chief Parker said the blaze was contained to those two rooms, but intense heat and heavy smoke caused extensive damage throughout the home.

The cause of the fire has not officially been determined but may have been electrical in nature.

The Smithville Police Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene. Chief Parker said Mr. Thomason suffered some smoke inhalation but did not have to be transported to the hospital.

White Charged DUI and Possession of Drugs

November 22, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Autumn Danielle White

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested a 36 year old Dowelltown woman Saturday after doing a welfare check of a vehicle at a business location in Smithville and finding her intoxicated and in possession of pills.

Autumn Danielle White of Old Mill Hill Road is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a schedule II and III controlled substance for resale. White is under a $26,500 bond and she will be in court on December 2nd.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said on Saturday, November 20th at a place of business on Highway 70 west in DeKalb County, a deputy was doing a welfare check on a vehicle beside the building. The engine was running and the lights were on. White was the only occupant of the vehicle. She had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. White performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and refused to submit to a blood test. She was placed under arrest.

When the officer arrived with her at the jail, she handed over her purse and a bottle containing seven and a half hydrocodone pills and one roxycodone pill. There was also another bottle with two and a half oxycodone pills and three hydrocodone pills. White also had $596 in cash which was seized.

Meanwhile, 28 year old Lori Ann Lewis of Johnson's Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on December 1st.

Sheriff Ray said on Wednesday, November 17th, an officer responded to a complaint of a woman getting into her neighbor's cars on Johnson's Chapel Road. A description was given and upon arrival, the deputy saw a woman fitting the description standing in the roadway. After speaking with her, the officer determined that she was intoxicated and appeared to be a danger to herself and or others so she was placed under arrest.

22 year old Raymond Howard Rollins of Jackson Hollow Road, Lancaster is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is December 1st. He is being held without bond for violation of probation. He will be in court on the VOP on November 29th.

A deputy was on Highway 70 when he spotted Rollins. The officer knew that Rollins had a violation of probation warrant against him so he made a traffic stop and ran a computer check of his drivers license and found they were suspended for failure to satisfy a citation against him in Putnam County.

Three Injured in Traffic Accident on Braswell Lane

November 20, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Three Injured in Wreck on Braswell Lane (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)
Car Hits Tree on Braswell Lane (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)

Three people were injured Saturday afternoon after their car went off the road on Braswell Lane and struck a tree.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:28 p.m.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said 20 year Brittany Leanna Mingle of Liberty was driving west in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo when she lost control, left the roadway to the right, and struck a large tree nearly head-on.

Mingle and passengers of the car, 21 year old Jonathan Travis Wann of Liberty and his brother, 25 year old Joseph Travis Wann of Smithville were transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Mingle told Trooper Jennings that she had been having brake problems and was enroute to have some repairs made to the car.

In addition to Trooper Jennings, others on the scene were members of the county volunteer fire department, Smithville Police Department, Constable Johnny King, and the Sheriff's Department.

Judge Hands Down Sentences in Several Burglary, Theft, and Drug Cases

November 20, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Several people appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court for sentencing on burglary, theft, and drug charges Wednesday after entering pleas under negotiated settlements.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

42 year old Ronald D. Stewart pleaded guilty to facilitation to sell a schedule II controlled substance. He received eight years but was given credit for time served from September 1st, 2009 to November 17th, 2010. The balance of his sentence will be on probation to run concurrently with a Davidson County case against him.

22 year old Julie Marie Prater pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule IV controlled substance. She was granted judicial diversion for a period of two years. She will be on supervised probation by the Tennessee Department of Corrections or TDOC. Prater must submit to an alcohol and drug assessment and follow all recommendations. She must pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,000 and reimburse the drug buy money of twenty dollars.

31 year old Amanda Gayle Cains pleaded guilty to facilitation of a conspiracy to sell 50 grams or more of a schedule II controlled substance. She received an eight year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. She must submit to an alcohol and drug assessment. After five years of successful supervised probation, she can be placed on unsupervised probation.

38 year old Rachel Mabe pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a three year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. Mabe was fined $2,000. She was given jail credit for two days.

40 year old Tim Lawson pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III controlled substance and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000

23 year old Jeffery Hendrix pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and escape. He received a three year sentence on the burglary charge and one year for escape. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a sentence he is now serving. Hendrix will then be on TDOC probation.

61 year old Harold G. Blackwell pleaded guilty to attempting to facilitate the sale of a schedule III controlled substance. He received a one year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to another sentence against him. He was fined $2,000

37 year old Teddy Joe Hooten pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell a schedule II controlled substance. He was granted judicial diversion for a period of three years. He will be on supervised probation by TDOC. He was given jail credit of seven months. The three year term is to run concurrently with any other sentence against him. Hooten must perform 100 hours of community service work and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and follow the treatment plan.

45 year old Riley Anthony Bullard pleaded guilty by information to attempted sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a two year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. He was given jail credit of 76 days. Bullard was fined $2,000.

31 year old Scottie Wayne Knowles pleaded guilty by information to criminal responsibility for facilitation of delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Knowles received a two year sentence for criminal responsibility and 11 months and 29 days on the drug paraphernalia offense, all suspended to supervised probation. The two sentences are to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with a violation of probation against him in General Sessions Court.

32 year old Heather Irvine pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule II controlled substance and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to supervised probation. She was fined $750.

20 year old Christopher Garrett pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation.

32 year old Steve A. Stanley pleaded guilty to burglary and received a two year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. He was given jail credit for 176 days. The two year term is to run concurrently with a General Sessions sentence against him.

25 year old Amy Knowles pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She was fined $2,000. Knowles has requested that she receive judicial diversion probation and a hearing is set for January 24th. She was given jail credit of ten days.

62 year old Helen Faye Self, charged with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of two years. She must make restitution of 120 dollars.

31 year old John Alsup, charged with two counts of theft over $500, was granted pre-trial diversion for one year. He must perform 50 hours of community service work.

26 year old Shannon R. Herman pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a six year suspended sentence. He was fined $2,000.

Smithville Police Make Arrests for Public Intoxication, Theft, and Drug Offenses

November 19, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department has made arrests for a drug offense, theft, and public intoxication within the last week.

25 year old Matthew Dewayne Griffith of Short Mountain Highway was arrested on Saturday, November 13th and charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow and Sergeant Joey Jones responded to a complaint of a possible intoxicated person at the Sonic Drive-In. Upon arrival, the officers saw Griffith, who was a passenger of a vehicle. Sergeant Jones received consent from the driver to search and Officer Tatrow asked Griffith to step out of the automobile. While assisting Sergeant Jones in the search, Officer Tatrow noticed Griffith stuffing something in his shoe. Police say Griffith became confrontational and acted like he might run or fight the officers. Griffith was handcuffed for the safety of the officers. Officer Tatrow retrieved a cigarette lighter holder from Griffith's right shoe and inside was a schedule II drug. Bond for Griffith is $1,500 and his court date is December 2nd.

31 year old Chad Alan Hendrixson of Big Hickory Court was arrested on Thursday, November 18th for theft under $500. On September 7th, a citizen reported that some jewelry had been taken from her home. Upon investigation, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow discovered that Hendrixson had allegedly taken the jewelry without consent of the owner. Bond for Hendrixson is $1,000 and his court date is December 2nd.

24 year old Nikita D Clark of Patterson Road was arrested on Friday, November 19th for public intoxication. Lieutenant Steven Leffew responded to the parking lot of Liberty State Bank in reference to a person passed out in a vehicle. Upon arrival, he found Clark slumped over the steering wheel. Upon speaking to Ms. Clark, he found her speech to be slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Bond for Clark is $1,000 and her court date is December 2nd

Meanwhile, anyone having information on criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

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

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