Local News Articles

City Resident Makes Complaint about Speeding-Asks for Speed Bumps on her Street

September 22, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

A concerned citizen came before the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen Monday night asking for speed bumps to be placed in the Morgan Drive/Gentry Avenue area.

Mary Smith of 428 Morgan Drive says speeding is a problem in the neighborhood and that she and others are concerned that someone could get hurt unless it is addressed. "Residents of Morgan Drive and Gentry Drive are concerned about our safety and our kids safety, being in the yards and on the sidewalks, because of the speeding cars. We would like for you all to talk it over and see if we can get some speed bumps on Gentry and Morgan Drive. There was even a city truck come through there the other day and he was flying. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour."

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said that the police department could step up patrols in the area but that speed bumps probably could not be put in because these are thru streets." We will step up the patrols over there and if anyone is caught speeding, they will get a ticket. I hope I don't have another report of a city truck going through there speeding."

"The board made a decision probably two or three years ago that on thru streets where EMS units and fire trucks go, we don't put the speed bumps on any thru streets. If it's a dead end street, it might be a different story, we might do one. I think there are maybe a couple (speed bumps) on one dead end street here in town. But on thru streets, it is just a hazard to EMS units and different people who have to come through there. I will guarantee that we will have extra patrols through there and you will see more city policemen patrolling that area."

City to Step up Enforcement of Ordinance Regulating Charitable Roadblocks

September 22, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville has an ordinance regulating charitable roadblocks which are often conducted at major intersections to raise money for various causes or needs.

However, Alderman Shawn Jacobs says he is concerned that the practice is being abused and wants the city to have stricter enforcement.

During Monday night's city council meeting, Jacobs cited a passage of the ordinance, which requires groups wanting to conduct a fund raising roadblock to show proof in writing to the Chief of Police that their organization meets non-profit, tax exempt status. "I'd like to call the board's attention to ordinance #329, it was passed on November 4th, 2002. It's an ordinance regulating the obstruction of highways and other passages where charitable organizations and others must provide proof of exemption from the IRS under 26 US Code 501-C3 or 4 in writing to the Chief of Police, it's proposed specific time and place of obstruction ,and the precautions to be implemented by the organization. This is in regard to setting up charitable roadblocks, such as at Highways 70 & 56. The reason I bring this up is I have had a number of citizens bring this to my attention that for a while it seemed like every Saturday there was somebody at that intersection collecting contributions. Sometimes it's people we know. Sometimes we have no idea who they are and I just wondered, is this ordinance being enforced and if not can we start getting it enforced because this is truly a hazard. I know a young person was actually struck by a car several months ago."

One of the concerns is that some groups may be setting up road blocks without contacting the city.

Police Chief Richard Jennings explained how his department handles charitable roadblocks. "If somebody is going to do a road block down there, they have to send me proof that they are a tax exempt organization. It has to be in writing and they have to schedule a day with my secretary and we keep a schedule of that and we keep those on file. My secretary posts it on the board that on this date, this group will be down there collecting money and if they (police) see somebody down there, they're supposed to come in and make sure their name is on the list. If not, they go down there and ask them to leave, and we have done that."

"They (groups collecting money) are required to wear the orange vests but sometimes they don't always do that and they are not supposed to stand out in the roadway. They are to stand over on the sidewalk. I have my officers check on it and if they're standing out there (in the road) they (officers) are to come down there and tell them to step over to the side of the road."

"I would like for the people who actually collect the money to be at least eighteen years old . I don't have a rule like that but that would be nice because there are children out there sometimes. It's very dangerous and if the board wants to address the problem, we could have more strict guidelines. I think we do need that but it's not in the ordinance. It doesn't address where they can stand, the age, or a time limit if we want to set one. It might be something the board would want to take a look at and tighten it up a little."

The aldermen seemed to agree that written permits should be issued to eligible groups seeking permission to conduct charitable roadblocks, a practice which is currently not being followed. Chief Jennings said he was unaware that written permits were required but that he would comply and begin issuing them.

County to Consider Purchase of Vacant Shopping Center

September 21, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Town and Country Shopping Center
Town and Country Shopping Center2-

It was once an active and vibrant shopping plaza, but today the Town and Country Shopping Center on South Congress Boulevard, Smithville is no more and the buildings are vacant and for sale.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the 62,000 square foot complex could be just what the local government needs to help relieve overcrowding at the courthouse and to provide space for other community events and activities.

Foster says the county has been in negotiations with the owner of the property and has a chance to purchase it for around $750,000. The final decision will rest with the county commission. "We have been having some problems in the courthouse with space. We're running out of space to store things and some of the offices are extremely tight (needing space). We've been talking for two or three years about trying to build a building to take up some of that slack. We bought a lot on Highway 56 for that purpose when it was in a bankruptcy sale. We thought that was a really good situation and in a good location. But just lately, we started talking and negotiating with the guy who owns what was known as the Smithville Food Center shopping center. We've been talking with him for several weeks about that track of land which is about 5.2 acres located on Highway 56. The property goes over toward Bryant Street and down by the BP station and it backs up to Smithville Elementary School. It's about seven hundred feet on the back line and it's got 62,000 square feet of buildings there where several businesses used to be located. Of course, they're vacant now and have been for some time. It's actually appraised at $1.2 million which is what the current owner paid for it in 2002. The county budget committee authorized me to talk with him (owner) to see what we could come up with. He started out wanting $1.2 million and came down until he has finally priced it in the neighborhood of $750,000. We have signed a contract with him to give us thirty days to get engineers, etc to look at it and see if we could buy part or all of the shopping center and the land."

A lack of adequate courthouse space has been a problem for several years but if the county makes this purchase, Foster says some of the public officials on the second floor of the courthouse could relocate their offices to the shopping center, creating more room at the courthouse for record storage and more space for the Circuit, Juvenile, and Chancery Courts. Foster says the shopping center would still have plenty of space for rooms or buildings that the county could lease to non-profit organizations or have available for civic functions. "Of course there's more space in there than we would need for the courthouse. One of those buildings would do for that (courthouse annex). We think one building, we could divide into probably at least five good, large office spaces and have a conference room in there too and then move some of the court offices ( from the third floor of the courthouse) down to the second floor (of the courthouse) and relieve a lot of that space shortage. Most of our records, we have to keep forever, some of them we have to keep for seven years. We absolutely have no where do to that properly right now."

"Some of the other buildings (shopping center), we could only lease to non-profit organizations or state agencies. We have looked at maybe being able to rent to a couple of state agencies and if we could do that, we think we could at least pay the interest on that (debt) by renting. Plus we would still have some extra space that maybe we could have, for the lack of a better term, a civic center. But when I say civic center, I mean a place where people could have public meetings or events. One of the things we were thinking about is talking to Motlow State Community College or Tennessee Tech and maybe get them to have some college classes there for people who are working, but would like to take some college courses or work force development training to try and improve their employment opportunities. Those are the types of things that benefit the entire county."

"It's a good fix for a lot of our problems. I know for those people who talk about wanting a civic center like McMinnville, this doesn't meet that need, but it's way better than what we've got. We don't want to buy something to just sink money into but if the buildings pan out and the engineer says that everything looks good, I think this would certainly relieve the overcrowding at the courthouse. There would be plenty of open parking for people needing to do business with the county and it would certainly give us room for something in the way of community rooms where we could have meetings, maybe performing arts, exercise rooms, and things that kids, senior citizens, and everybody could use, and we could get into it for not much money."

The county commission may discuss the issue at their next meeting on Monday night, September 28th at the courthouse.

In March, 2008 the county commission voted to purchase a small lot near the public square as a possible future location for a courthouse annex.

The property, which belonged to Doug Hodges, became available as a result of a bankruptcy finalization stemming from the B. Don James case.

The county bought that property, about eight tenths of an acre, for $125,000 on a three year note.

That site, which the county still owns, is about 200 feet x 150 feet and is located between North Congress Boulevard, East Church Street, First Street, and East Walnut Street.

Thomas and Leduc Charged in local Burglary and Theft Investigation

September 21, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jonathon David Thomas
James Steven Leduc

Two men have been charged in a recent burglary and theft investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 24 year old Jonathon David Thomas of Nashville Highway, Liberty was charged on Thursday, September 17th with aggravated burglary and theft of property after an investigation into a break in on Tramel Branch Road. Another person, 34 year old James Steven Leduc of Gin Alley, Alexandria, who had previously been charged with theft of property, has now been charged with aggravated burglary. The two men went to a home on Tramel Branch Road, kicked in the back door and took several items including a black stove and ceiling fans from the home. The stove and fans were then sold to a business in Alexandria. The items have since been recovered. Bond for Thomas was set at $35,000 and Leduc's bond was set at $25,000 on the new charge. Both will appear in court on October 1st.

Meanwhile in other cases, on Monday, September 14th, deputies responded to a call on Highway 56 South where a "be on the look out" was issued for a wanted man, 48 year old David Petty of Houston Hollow Road, Alexandria. The described vehicle was stopped but the man in the automobile, Petty, tried to pass himself off as someone else. When Petty was asked for his name, he said it was Michael Petty and he gave the officer a fake date of birth and social security number. Petty, who was identified by prior bookings into the DeKalb County Jail, was charged with criminal impersonation. His bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on October 1st.

On Tuesday, September 15th, deputies spotted a possible drunk driver on Highway 56 North. The vehicle could be seen weaving in the roadway. After the traffic stop, officers found 44 year old Richard Arthur Schilt of Allen Chapel Road Smithville to be under the influence. Schilt had an odor of alcohol on his person, slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. Schilt submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Schilt was charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. Schilt will appear in court on October 1st. Schilt's vehicle, a 1998 Chrysler car was also seized. Meanwhile, a passenger in the vehicle, 40 year old Elsie Mae Judkins of Allen Chapel Road Smithville was also arrested. After a search of her person, deputies found a hypodermic needle hidden in her sock. Judkins was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and her bond was set at $1,000. She will appear in court on October 1st.

Judkins was also charged Tuesday after she tried to throw a pill under a deputy's patrol car after the officer made a traffic stop of her vehicle in the Big Rock Road /Vaughn Lane area. The deputy saw Judkins throw something under his car while he was talking to a passenger of vehicle and discovered that it was a perecot pill. Also found on Judkins were two hypodermic needles and a dilaudid pill. Judkins was charged with simple possession of a schedule II dug dilaudid, simple possession of a schedule II pill (perecot), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $6,000 and she will appear in court on October 1st.

On Saturday, September 19th, deputies worked a one-car accident on Vaughn Lane in Smithville and arrested 44 year old David Lopez Reyes of Vinewood Road, McMinnville for a first offense of driving under the influence. Officers noticed Reyes to be under the influence. He had slurred speech, was unsteady on his feet, and he had an odor of alcohol on his person. Reyes submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Reyes was also issued citations for no driver's license and violation of the implied consent law. His bond was set at $1,500.

On Sunday, September 20th, deputies arrested 33 year old Jeremy Nelson Moulder of Old Smithville Highway, McMinnville for driving on a suspended license. Moulder was stopped for a traffic offense and he told the officers that he did not have a driver's license. Upon running a computer check, the deputy learned that Moulder's license was suspended for a failure to file insurance after an accident. Moulder's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on October 1st.

SES Students Participate in Wildcat Fun Run

September 20, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Students from pre-K to the second grade helped raise money for their school during the 18th annual Wildcat Fun Run held Friday at Smithville Elementary School.

The event was held in the gym due to the inclement weather.

The Fun Run is a project of the PTO, held each year in an effort to raise money for the school. Students are asked to accept pledges or donations prior to the day of the run. During the Fun Run, students walk or jog around a track with each lap being recorded for each student. After the event, the students then collect money from their pledges.

Cripps Arrested in Attempted Burglary

September 19, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a 24 year old man accused of trying to break into an apartment on Friday, September 18th

Chief Richard Jennings says Joshua Rhyan Cripps of 118 Steeple Chase Drive was arrested for simple possession, unlawful possession of a weapon and attempted aggravated burglary.

According to the police report, Officer Travis K. Bryant responded to 320 West Broad Street Apartments in regard to a burglary in progress, Upon arrival, Officer Bryant made contact with Cripps, who was walking down the sidewalk. Bryant asked Cripps what he was doing and he responded that he was looking for a friend who lives in the apartment. Officer Bryant then asked Cripps if he had any weapons and he replied that he had a knife. Officer Bryant asked fellow Officer Matt Holmes to pat down Cripps and the search turned up a large knife. A subsequent search incident to arrest also uncovered a pill bottle containing sixteen white bar shaped pills. The investigation further revealed that Cripps had attempted to break into the apartment by sliding his drivers license card between the door frame and door and he was attempting to pry open the window in an effort to gain entry. The victim told police that she feared for her life.

Meanwhile, 48 year old Danny Ray Ponder of 7851 Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow reports that on September 11th he received a call of a non personal injury traffic accident in the parking lot of City Walk Apartments. Upon arrival, Officer Tatrow made contact with the two drivers involved, one of whom was Ponder. According to Officer Tatrow, Ponder appeared to be intoxicated but was not in physical control of the vehicle. Ponder said that he is on parole for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. He gave Officer Tatrow consent to search both his person and his vehicle and a small blue container was recovered from Ponder's right pocket. There was one small yellow pill inside the container believed to be K-4 Dilaudid, which is a schedule II controlled substance. Ponder was placed under arrest.

22 year old Hunter Wayne Patterson of 728 Short Mountain Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence, felony evasion and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Officer Nathan Estes reports that on September 13th he observed a vehicle squeal tires causing excessive noise at the intersection of Highway 56 and 70. Upon activating emergency equipment to signal the vehicle to stop at the entrance to Mapco Express, the automobile sped up going westbound on Highway 70. It continued to evade by turning left and going southbound on South Mountain Street. Officer Estes alerted dispatch. The automobile kept going south until it stopped at the intersection of South Mountain Street and Gentry Avenue where Officer Bradley Tatrow and a county deputy were standing by to assist Officer Estes in the apprehension of the suspect. Patterson was taken into custody and charged with felony evasion. Upon further investigation, probable cause was found to charge him with contributing to the delinquency of minors because he allegedly purchased alcohol for persons under the age of 21. Patterson had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person, his speech was slurred, and he was unsteady on his feet. Patterson submitted to field sobriety tasks and performed poorly. Patterson submitted to a test to determine the alcohol and or drug content of his blood.

40 year old Thomas Lane Smith of 857 Luttrell Avenue, Smithville was arrested on September 14th for driving on a revoked license due to a second offense of driving under the influence. Officer Matt Holmes reports that he was at Regions Bank on Short Mountain Highway when he observed a vehicle traveling north and noticed that the driver, Smith, was not wearing his seatbelt. The vehicle was stopped at Pennzoil on East Broad Street. When Officer Holmes asked Smith for his drivers license, he replied that it was revoked due to a DUI. A computer check through central dispatch revealed that the license was revoked for a DUI in 1989 and that Smith had multiple offenses for driving on a revoked license since then. Smith was arrested and taken to the police department. He was also cited for not wearing a seatbelt and for not having insurance.

26 year old Randall Keith Crutcher, Jr. of 1870 Coconut Ridge, Smithville was arrested on September 14th for a first offense of driving on a suspended license. Officer Travis Bryant reports that he observed a vehicle traveling 41 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Officer Bryant stopped the automobile and made contact with the driver, identified as Crutcher. A check of his drivers license revealed that it was suspended in Smith County on June 1st for failure to satisfy a citation. He was placed under arrest and transported to the police department.

42 year old Anthony George Franklin, Jr. of 844 College Street, Jackson Tennessee was arrested on September 15th for a second offense of driving on a suspended license. According to the police report, Officer Matt Holmes responded to the scene of an accident at the intersection of West Broad Street and Short Mountain Highway. Upon investigation of the accident, Officer Holmes made contact with Franklin who was in a Chevy Blazer. A computer check of his drivers license revealed that it was suspended in Hardeman County on January 17th, 1996 and on January 28th, 2007. Franklin was arrested for driving on a suspended license and cited for traffic offenses after being involved in an accident with injuries.

21 year old Silvia Nicole Hawkins of 390 Cecil Hale Road, Smithville was arrested on September 16th for driving under the influence and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. According to the report, K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow, while running stationary radar at South Mountain Street and Miller Road, observed a small silver SUV fail to maintain the lane of travel going northbound on Mountain Street. The vehicle made a sharp erratic turn left onto Miller Road. Upon getting behind the SUV north on Anthony Avenue, Officer Tatrow observed the vehicle weaving within the lane of travel and fail to maintain the lane of travel to the right side of the roadway. He also paced the SUV at 53 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Officer Tatrow activated his emergency equipment but the vehicle continued traveling for about a quarter of a mile before coming to a stop. He asked Hawkins to exit her vehicle, and while she complied, Hawkins reacted slowly and was unsteady. After asking her if she had any weapons, narcotics, or alcohol, she produced an allergy medicine bottle containing eight green speckled pills believed to be Hydrocodone. She submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Hawkins was placed under arrest for a first offense of DUI as well as simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. She was transported to the Smithville Police Department by Officer Nathan Estes. Hawkins refused a chemical test to determine the alcohol/drug content of her blood. She was charged with violation of the implied consent law.

Shoreline Cleanup Planned at Center Hill Lake

September 19, 2009

The chance to have fun while helping to preserve the natural beauty of Center Hill Lake is coming. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is once again sponsoring the annual Fall Shoreline Cleanup at Center Hill Lake and seeking volunteers for the effort.

This year's cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. - noon, rain or shine. Sign-in and garbage pick-up sites will be located at the Floating Mill and Ragland Bottom Recreation Areas. Participants will be provided gloves and garbage bags and assigned a section of shoreline to work. A free lunch for all participants, complete with door prizes, will be provided. Volunteers should wear work clothes and sturdy footwear and, depending on the weather forecast, pack rain gear . . . just in case.

All participants should pre-register for the cleanup by calling the Center Hill Lake Resource Manager's Office at (931) 858-3125 or (615) 548-4521. Pre-registration will help planners prepare the proper number of lunches and select desired lakeshore cleanup areas. On the day of the cleanup, individuals and groups not pre-registered may still take part by signing in at Ragland Bottom or Floating Mill Recreation Area.

Organizers predict one of the best ever such events and invite all to help keep one of Tennessee's lakes one of the most beautiful in the country.

Tigers Fall to Smith County 28-21

September 19, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers fell to the Smith County Owls 28 to 21 at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville Friday night.

It was the second loss of the season for DeKalb County and their first in District 8AA.

The Owls scored first on a nine yard touchdown run by Jose Silva with 2:40 left in the first period. The P.A.T. kick by Blake Richmond was good and the score was 7-0. The scoring drive covered 65 yards in seven plays

The Tigers got on the board with 1:01 left in the second quarter as Quarterback Hunter Poteete tossed a six yard touchdown pass to Tyler Weatherby. The P.A.T. by Zach Taylor was good and the game was tied at 7-7. The drive went for 89 yards in thirteen plays.

Smith County took the lead with 8:27 left in the third period on a 13 yard touchdown run by Jose Silva. The P.A.T. by Blake Richmond was good and the score was 14-7. It was a 50 yard, four play drive.

The Owls extended their lead with 9:55 left in the fourth period on a 49 yard pass play from Quarterback Brandon Johnston to Shawn Pinson for a touchdown. The P.A.T. by Blake Richmond was good and Smith County was on top 21-7. The drive covered 80 yards in seven plays.

The Tigers struck quickly in the next drive on a 56 yard pass play from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Sonni Young for a touchdown with 8:56 left in the game. The P.A.T by Zach Taylor was good and DeKalb County cut the Smith County lead to 21 to 14. That drive went for 56 yards in just two plays.

Smith County stretched their advantage again with 3:41 to go in the fourth period on a 17 yard touchdown run by Jose Silva. Blake Richmond's kick for the P.A.T. was good and the Owls led 28 to 14. The drive covered 68 yards in nine plays.

DeKalb County's last touchdown of the night came with 3:11 left in the game on a 59 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Derick Ward. Zach Taylor's kick for the P.A.T. was good and the Tigers trailed 28 to 21. The drive went for 72 yards in two plays.

DeKalb County travels to Hixson next Friday night. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Riley Brothers Charged in Area Burglaries and Thefts

September 18, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Martin Riley
Timothy Riley

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested two men believed to be responsible for several recent burglaries and thefts in DeKalb and other counties.

43 year old Martin Riley is charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of theft of property over $1,000. His brother, 49 year old Timothy Riley is charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Both are residents of Poss Road, Smithville.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says the Riley brothers didn't just allegedly steal small things, they also allegedly took large expensive household appliances. "We've recovered all kinds of stainless steel refrigerators, stainless steel stoves, stainless steel freezers, radios, cd players, microwaves, toaster ovens, anything they could go into a house and get."

According to Sheriff Ray, the Riley's favorite targets were lake homes although they allegedly burglarized other residences as well "They would make entry into the houses, mostly lake homes, where people are not there everyday, push all these appliances up next to the door or on the front porch, and then they would go, get a vehicle, come back and load it all up, and sell it right then."

A couple of the break-ins, for which the Rileys are believed to have been responsible, were on Shady Drive and Ponder Road. "On September 9th, detectives investigated a break-in at a residence on Shady Drive where someone had stolen a lawn mower, a six foot trailer, and a generator. Another was on Ponder Road where they had broken into a cabin and stolen refrigerators and other appliances."

Sheriff Ray says the Rileys also allegedly burglarized homes in the City of Smithville. "There have also been some cases in the City of Smithville with which we were able to help the Smithville Police Department. They (Rileys) took some of the same things they were taking out in the county such as lawn mowers. In one case they took lots of health and beauty aids that an individual had bought by the boxes, things like shampoo and toothpaste, and they (Rileys) sold that to an individual."

The investigation also implicated the Rileys in a scheme to steal a bobcat. "A couple of weeks ago, there was a bobcat that was rented in Warren County. It was delivered here in the City of Smithville. These two individuals were involved with that. Martin Riley went up there (McMinnville) and gave the people at the rental center some fake information and when they brought the bobcat down here he and his brother Tim loaded the bobcat on a trailer and sold it to a man in Indiana. We've been working closely with the Warren County Sheriff's Department on that case. The detective was also able to find the guy who still had the bobcat and they're returning that to the Warren County Sheriff's Department."

After stealing the goods, Sheriff Ray says the Rileys then tried to sell them as quickly as possible. "We believe they went around the county, asking people if they wanted to buy a lawnmower or refrigerator or whatever, but the people who bought the items didn't realize they were stolen. At one of the places where they sold some of the items, the guy (buyer) had a vehicle tag that was laying over on the ground, which was still in date. They (Rileys) took the tag, stole it from him, and put it on their vehicle."

According to Sheriff Ray the Rileys didn't just peddle the stolen goods locally. " In one case, they took a lawnmower from one of the break-ins and sold it to a guy on the street in Nashville."

He says in some cases, the Riley's were so anxious to make a sale that it aroused the suspicion of the buyers. " At two places in the county where they had made a sale, the people noticed something strange about the refrigerators because they were still cold. Some of them actually had ice still in the ice box."

Sheriff Ray is asking for your help in this investigation. If you believe you may have made a purchase from the Rileys, please contact the Sheriff's Department . "We're posting their pictures at www.wjle.com. Look at them because even though you might not know who you bought it from, you might remember their faces. If you have bought any type of appliances, radios, lawn mowers, flat bed trailers or anything, contact us. We would like to look at it. We're asking the community to help us get these items back to the victims."

Sheriff Ray says you might also recognize the truck the Riley brothers were driving. "It was an early 90's model S-10 pick up truck, long wheel base. It was gray at one time but they spray painted it a little darker color. It would look like a black truck now. We were able to find the truck and retrieve the stolen license plate and give it back to the owner."

Smithville Police to begin Directing Traffic in School Zone at Northside Elementary

September 16, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Police Chief Richard Jennings

A Smithville Police Officer will again be directing traffic in the school zone at Northside Elementary beginning Thursday morning (September 17th)

Police Chief Richard Jennings phoned WJLE Wednesday afternoon to say that an on-duty road officer will be assigned to direct traffic each morning and afternoon in the Northside Elementary School zone in the interest of public safety. Jennings says he is making this decision himself, in his authority as Chief of Police.

The issue surfaced last month at a city council meeting and it was discussed again during a workshop Monday night.

A plan has been proposed between officials of the city and school system to address the problem without someone directing traffic, but Alderman Shawn Jacobs says many parents are not pleased with that.

The mayor and aldermen are expected to discuss it again Monday night during the regular city council meeting, but Chief Jennings says he will go ahead and start the service now.

Chief Jennings says that the police department will continue to have an officer at Northside directing traffic even after the proposal is implemented to extend the school zone, to prohibit parking on the shoulder of Highway 56 north, and to route buses entering and exiting the school via Smith Road.

He added that only when all available officers are tied up on other calls, would the service not be provided.

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