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Local News Articles

Smithville Man Airlifted after Motorcycle Crash

September 6, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Man Injured in Motorcycle Crash (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)

A 25 year old Smithville man was injured in a motorcycle accident on State Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road) Monday afternoon.

Central Dispatch received the call at 3:02 p.m.,

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Christopher Edward Williams of 722 Sparta Highway, Smithville was traveling north on a 2005 Suzuki GSX when he failed to properly negotiate a curve to the left, exited the roadway to the right, entered a ditchline and struck a tree.

Williams, who was wearing a helmet and a protective jacket, was thrown from the motorcycle.

Trooper Jennings says Williams was riding behind two other guys on motorcycles who initially were unaware of the accident. After discovering that Williams was no longer riding behind them, the two motorcycle riders turned back and found where Williams had crashed. By then other motorists had also stopped at the scene.

Williams was transported by DeKalb EMS to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital where he was later airlifted by Life Flight helicopter ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Trooper Jennings has issued citations against Williams for having no motorcycle license, failure to maintain lane of travel, and violation of the financial responsibility law.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Dedicates New Home

September 5, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kim McCowan and Grandchildren Carrie, Katelyn, and Haley
Kim McCowan cuts ribbon to her new home

A dedication ceremony was held Sunday afternoon by members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County to commemorate the recent completion of the third partner family home at 110 Hayes Street in Smithville.

Kimberly McCowan and her grandchildren, 11 year old Carrie Carroll, 14 year old Katelyn Walz, and 9 year old Haley Carroll are expected to move into the home on Tuesday. Ms McCowan says the family loves their new home and are thankful to everyone who helped them. "I have many, many folks to thank. I want to thank everyone who has volunteered on the house, everyone who fixed food and brought it over to us, and everyone who has donated to us. God bless all of them and everyone in DeKalb County. Thank you all very much."

Sharon Evans, Vice President of the Habitat Board said Sunday was an exciting day for the McCowan family and for members of the Habitat committee and volunteers who helped build this new home. "We're thrilled to see Kim McCowan and her granddaughters move into their home. They have worked very hard and we've had so many wonderful people here and even from other places come and help make this happen so we're thrilled. You know we started our family selection process last August and here we are dedicating the home in September so we're down to a year. We'd like to continue building once a year. That's our goal."

"This home is located on Hayes Street here in Smithville between College and Short Mountain Streets. It is a three bedroom, one and a half bath home and it's about 1,050 square feet. It has a crawl space and front and back porches, and it's going to have a yard. We'll have some finishing touches, yard work in the fall when the weather cools so if anyone is interested in helping with that we still need some landscape and yard work done", said Evans

The dedication ceremony featured opening remarks by Habitat Board Vice President Sharon Evans and scripture reading and prayer by Larry Steffee, pastor of the Center Hill Brethren in Christ Church. Nancy Lewis, Board Secretary, also read scripture and Mark Estes, a native of Smithville and former executive director for Habitat for Humanity in Mozambique and Vietnam also spoke briefly. Glenda Davis, Board Treasurer led the Responsive Reading: Litany of Life, as all Habitat members and guests laid hands on the home:

"As a symbol of cooperative goodwill, work, and sharing"

"We dedicate this home"

For family living, a place of love and respect between all members of this family"

"We dedicate this home"

"As a place where this family may grow, play, and learn"

"We dedicate this home"

"That this house may serve as a place for rest, shelter and laughter"

"We dedicate this home"

"In thanks to you, Lord, for guidance and wisdom in this project and in our lives"

"We dedicate this home"

Larry Green, Board member and pastor of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, presented McCowan a Bible and Gary Johnson, Construction Committee Chairperson, formally presented McCowan with the keys to the home and she then cut the ribbon.

The program ended with the group reciting in unison the Lord's Prayer.

The Habitat board would like to thank the host of professionals, churches, businesses and individuals who contributed in so many ways to the completion of the home. May God bless you!

The 2010 Board of Directors include President Tom Janney, Vice President Sharon Evans, Secretary Nancy Lewis, Treasurers Glenda Davis and Kim Wheeler, and members Michael Antoniak, Michael Carpenter, Robin Driver, Lisa Garrison, Larry Green, Gayla Hendrix, Adela McGeehin, Hearon Puckett, Pam Restrepo, and Laura Stone.

Temperance Hall Man Airlifted after ATV Accident

September 4, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb EMS Preparing Nathaniel Kyle to be Airlifted (Photo by Trooper Jennings)

A 35 year old man from the Temperance Hall community was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital Friday evening after being involved in an ATV accident.

Central dispatch received the call at 6:16 p.m.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Nathaniel Josiah Kyle was operating a four wheeler on Jackson Hollow Road when he failed to negotiate a curve to the right. The ATV went off the left side of the roadway and into a ravine. Kyle was thrown from the four wheeler. But after the accident he got back on the ATV and returned to his home about four miles away.

Two others with Kyle, who were also riding four wheelers, joined Kyle at his home and called 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance. DeKalb EMS picked up Kyle at his home and took him to the fire hall at Temperance Hall, where a landing zone was set up for a Life Force helicopter ambulance which was summoned to the scene.

According to Trooper Jennings, Kyle was not wearing any kind of safety equipment and he had been drinking. He and both of his friends will be cited for operating an off road vehicle on a public roadway. Other charges are also pending against Kyle.

Parole Hearing Set for Man Serving Life Sentence in 1981 DeKalb Murder Case

September 4, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Gerald (J.B.) Bounds (Photo provide to WJLE courtesy of Smithville Review

63 year Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds of McMinnville, who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a DeKalb County man in 1981, is scheduled to have another parole hearing October 21st at the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville where he is incarcerated.

Bounds is serving a life sentence for the first degree premeditated killing of 27 year old Sherman Wright, who was shot once in the face just outside the Odyssey Arcade on West Broad Street, across from the Dairy Queen. The incident occurred on the afternoon of February 2nd, 1981. The game room no longer exists. The building now serves as the location for the Discount Tobacco Outlet.

Bounds has been before members of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Parole at least twice in recent years trying to gain an early release, but so far to no avail. Members of the Wright family and state prosecutors have always opposed it.

During an October 2002 parole hearing at Pikeville, Bounds claimed he came to Smithville that day (February 2nd, 1981) to pay $100 on a gambling debt he owed a friend when he spotted the vehicle of another acquaintance at the game room. While in the game room, he happened upon Wright, who allegedly owed Bounds money on a gambling debt for betting on football games.

Bounds told members of the parole board that he and Wright got into an argument. "I swung at him. He (Wright) stuck his hands into his pocket. I pulled my gun." Bounds later admitted that Wright did not have a weapon when he pulled his hands from his pocket.

According to Bounds, the fatal shot that struck Wright below one of his eyes, wasn't intentional. Bounds said "I didn't mean to do it."

Witnesses during the trial testified that once Bounds and Wright stepped outside the building, they (witnesses) heard the shot fire before the front door closed behind them. After the shooting, Bounds got in his car and returned to McMinnville, where he later reportedly turned himself in.

During the parole hearing eight years ago, Bounds said at that time, he was a teacher's aide in the wood plant at the Pikeville facility and had completed training in heat and air conditioning repair. Bounds said if released, he would return to McMinnville where he had a job lined up.

In making his unsuccessful appeal for release eight years ago, Bounds said "It's something that can't be taken back. I know (Wright family) they have suffered as well as my family. I've always thought I was a pretty decent person. I've done wrong."

One parole board member, at that hearing eight years ago, said he had a problem letting anyone convicted of first degree premeditated murder be released with less than thirty years of time served.

Woman Found Passed out in her Vehicle Faces Drug Charges

September 3, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

A woman found passed out in her vehicle Thursday was arrested on drug charges after Smithville Police found drug paraphernalia in the automobile and pills in her purse.

48 year old Darcie E Cantrell of West Main Street is charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II drug, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lieutenant Steven Leffew was dispatched to Regions Bank on the public square to check out a complaint about a woman who was passed out in a vehicle in front of the bank. Lieutenant Leffew knocked on the window and awoke Cantrell. She told the officer that she had been to the bank to withdraw money to pay her bills. Ms. Cantrell was asked if she had taken any medication. She replied "yes" and gave the officer consent to search her vehicle and purse. Found in the vehicle were a square plate and a glass pipe. A total of thirteen various types of pills were found in her purse and she had no prescription for them. Bond for Cantrell is $4,000 and her court date is September 16th.

Meanwhile, 27 year old Courtney Anne Paris of West Broad Street was arrested by Detective Matt Holmes on Friday, September 3rd for three counts of possession of a schedule II drug for resale, two counts of possession of a schedule III drug for resale, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, simple possession of a schedule III drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Thursday, August 26th, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow arrested Paris for possession of drug paraphernalia. The Smithville Police Department was assisting probation officers on a home visit at a local motel where Ms. Paris gave them consent to search. In a bathroom drawer, police recovered two used hypodermic needles and four cut straws containing residue. Warrants were taken Friday, September 3rd against Paris for the drugs found in the room. Upon serving the warrants, Detective Matt Holmes, Corporal Travis Bryant and Officer David Phillips searched Ms. Paris' apartment and recovered drug paraphernalia and a schedule III drug. Bond for Paris is $154,000 and her court date is September 16th.

50 year old Rhonda Lyndale Adams of Nashville was arrested on Saturday, August 28th for driving on a suspended license. Adams was operating a motor vehicle and was stopped for speeding by Officer David Phillips. A computer check revealed her license was suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Davidson County. Bond for Adams is
$1,000 and her court date is September 29th.

30 year old Nieka Daniell Barrett of Fisher Avenue was cited for theft of merchandise on Sunday, August 29th. Officer David Phillips was dispatched to Rite Aid Pharmacy where he spoke with Ms. Barrett. She allegedly admitted to taking four packs of razor blades and putting them in her purse. Her court date is October 7th.

38 year old Robbie Lee Newlin of Luttrell Avenue was arrested on Saturday, August 28th for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and vandalism. Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to 817 Luttrell Avenue to investigate a complaint of a man and woman who were fighting. Upon arrival Officer Farmer saw Newlin walking toward him. According to Officer Farmer, Newlin had a "busted mouth" and several marks on his torso. Newlin said that the woman had struck him in the mouth and had hit him several other times. The woman claims that Newlin had assaulted her. By this time, Lieutenant Steven Leffew and Officer David Phillips had arrived on the scene to assist. While Officer Farmer was speaking with Newlin, he allegedly became very belligerent and began cursing the officer. Newlin then moved toward Officer Farmer. He was told to step back but replied that he was not going to move. After being told several times to step back, Newlin allegedly continued to refuse and he became more belligerent. The three officers attempted to restrain him but he aggressively resisted being cuffed and had to be taken to the ground. As Newlin continued resisting, Lieutenant Leffew sprayed him with his OC (chemical) spray. Newlin was then cuffed and placed into Officer Farmer's patrol car. Newlin allegedly continued to threaten the officers and he began kicking the right rear window of the patrol car, knocking it off track. Officer Phillips was able to fix the window but while being transported to the police department, Newlin kicked out the same window again causing it to shatter. Bond for Newlin is $5,000 and his court date is September 16th.

23 year old Robert Grady Cox of Miller Road was arrested for criminal impersonation on Thursday, September 2nd. Officer James Cornelius was called to City Walk Apartments to check out a complaint about a drunk driver when a vehicle matching the description he was given pulled into the parking lot. When Officer Cornelius asked for identification, Cox stated he did not have one and gave a fake name. Other personal information he gave was also false. Bond for Cox is $1,500 and his court date is October 7th.

26 year old Gregory Mark Guidry of Puckett Point Road was arrested on Thursday, September 2nd for driving on a suspended license. Guidry was operating a motor vehicle and was stopped by Officer James Cornelius for a light violation. A computer check of his license revealed them to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation. Bond for Guidry is $1,000 and his court date is October 7th.

27 year old Ashley Leann Lich of Kendra Drive was cited for theft on Friday, September 3rd. Lich was in the Dollar Store where she allegedly put some hair products and nail polish in her purse. She was checking out when Officer David Phillips arrived. After checking out, she went back in the store apparently in an attempt to dispose of the items in her purse. Her court date is October 14th.

Anyone having any information on any criminal offense 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 the Smithville Police Department solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

City, County, and School System to Consider Proposal to Share Cost of Directing Traffic at Northside Elementary

September 2, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alderman Steve White, Mayor Taft Hendrixson, County Mayor Mike Foster
Police Chief Randy Caplinger, Alderman Aaron Meeks

Parents and others who want someone to direct traffic in the busy school zone at Northside Elementary School may get their wish.

A plan is being proposed for the County, the City of Smithville, and the Board of Education to share in the cost of funding the position of one crossing guard or officer to direct traffic in the mornings and afternoons for a total of approximately four hours a day, Monday through Friday, in the school zone at Northside Elementary School. County Mayor Mike Foster says the cost is estimated to be eight to nine thousand dollars per year, which could be split equally between the county, city, and school system. In addition, Foster says the school board will be asked to employ the person to do the job, preferably someone who is trained and already knows how to direct traffic.

City and county officials met Thursday evening at the courthouse to discuss the issue, including County Mayor Mike Foster, Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Smithville Alderman Steve White, Smithville Alderman/Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks, and Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger. Others attending were Sheriff Patrick Ray, County Commissioner/School Bus Driver Jimmy Poss, and School Transportation Manager Peggy Pursell.

Neither of the school board members nor Director of Schools Mark Willoughby were present because they were already scheduled to attend another meeting.

Mayor Hendrixson said he would place this issue on the agenda for discussion during Tuesday night's special meeting of the city council. Mayor Hendrixson and Aldermen White and Meeks seemed to indicate that they could support this proposal.

County Mayor Foster said he also thinks it's a good idea and he will present it to the county commission to get their blessing. "I think it's what we should do. I think we should join together and solve the problem that is a dangerous situation. We've got factories out there where vehicles are coming and going about the same time as the kids are. You've got a lot of traffic on that road. The other schools primarily are on five lanes of traffic and vehicles can get in and out easier. This one (Northside) is the one we get the most complaints about as the most dangerous so I think it's a good situation for everybody involved to have somebody there who can direct traffic and get them in and out quicker and more safely."

Police Chief Caplinger admits that while traffic concerns are perhaps greater at Northside Elementary than the other schools, the department has chosen to have officers run stationary radar there instead of directing traffic. " When you see a (patrol) car setting down there (Northside), the officer is running stationary radar. They are catching speeders coming into the zone and cars going out of the zone. It depends on where we're at, if we're at the high school, we sometimes do moving radar trying to slow the traffic down prior to the school zone. If the traffic is going slow when it comes into the zone, it's not as much of a problem. A lot of cars (motorists) wait until they get right at the zone until they let up and then the traffic starts backing up and some of them don't let up."

Caplinger adds that another problem the department faces is that if city police officers were assigned to direct traffic, there would most likely be times when they would be summoned to answer an emergency call or work a wreck, leaving the school zone unattended.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, when contacted by WJLE late Thursday night seemed less than enthusiastic about the funding proposal as it relates to the school system, and said he'd rather not make a comment at this time, but that he would make a statement later.

The sheriff's department monitors traffic in the school zone at DeKalb West School and Sheriff Ray says that will continue."We take care of the West School with the school traffic in the mornings and we try to do it most every afternoon. Until the school board or the county decides to hire a school crossing guard down there, then we'll continue to offer that service to them."

There are currently no plans to fund a crossing guard at DeKalb West.

School Board Members Sworn Into Office

September 2, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
New School Board Member Billy Miller

Five members of the school board were sworn into office to begin their new terms Wednesday afternoon at the Board of Education building.

Judge Bratten Cook, II administered the oath of office to first district member John David Foutch, second district member Charles Robinson, third district member Kenny Rhody, fourth district member Billy Miller, and seventh district member Johnny Lattimore.

Miller is the new kid on the block, succeeding Joan Draper who did not seek re-election. The other four board members were re-elected.

Each term is for four years, effective September 1st.

The other two school board members, W.J. (Dub) Evins from the fifth district and Bruce Parsley from the sixth district, are in mid-term. Their terms of office expire in two years.

The next meeting of the school board is Thursday, September 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the board of education building.

Voters to Decide Constitutional Amendment on Right to Hunt and Fish in November Election

September 1, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

A constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to hunt and fish in Tennessee will go before voters in November's general election.

Voters will see the Constitutional Amendment question on the ballot right after the Governor candidates.

You will be asked to vote either "yes" or "no" to the following question: "Shall Article XI, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee be amended by adding the following sentences at the end of the section:"

"The citizens of this state shall have the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law. The recognition of this right does not abrogate any private or public property rights, nor does it limit the state's power to regulate commercial activity. Traditional manners and means may be used to take non-threatened species."

Voters will also be electing a new governor, a new representative for the U.S. House of Representatives from the sixth district. Voters in the 40th legislative district will be choosing a state representative and in the 17th senatorial district, voters will elect a state senator.

The election will be Tuesday, November 2nd. Early voting is set for October 13th-28th.

Candidates for Governor are:

Republican Bill Haslam
Democrat Mike McWherter

Independents:
Bayron Binkley
Brandon Dodds
Samuel David Duck
David Gatchell
June Griffin
Toni K. Hall
Mike Knois
Boyce T. McCall
Donald Ray McFolin
Linda Kay Perry
James Reesor
Thomas Smith, II
Howard M. Switzer
Carl Twofeathers Whitaker

Candidates for the U.S House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District are:

Republican Diane Black
Democrat Brett Carter
Independents:
Jim Boyd
Brandon E. Gore
Tommy N. Hay
David Purcell
Stephen R. Sprague

Candidates for the Tennessee Senate 17th Senatorial District are:

Republican Mae Beavers
Democrat George McDonald

Candidates for the Tennessee House of Representatives 40th Representative District are:

Republican Terri Lynn Weaver
Democrat James C. Hale
Independent Pleas Ford

City Still Without New Budget- Aldermen Trying to Resolve Pay Scale Issue

August 31, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Taft Hendrixson
Aaron Meeks
Shawn Jacobs
Stephen White

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen are in a race against time to get a new budget passed before the property tax collection season gets underway in October.

The city council, again Monday night, failed to adopt a new budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The hang up is over a wage chart for new city employees hired after July 1st, 2010. Should the city adopt a new one or stick to the old one which Mayor Taft Hendrixson says is riddled with pay inequities? Until the aldermen answer those questions, they can't pass a budget and time is of the essence because Trustee Sean Driver has informed city officials that the state wants a budget and tax rate approved before city tax cards are printed.

Mayor Hendrixson Monday night presented a proposed new wage scale ordinance, which he says would address the problem and only affect new employees hired after July 1st, 2010. This new ordinance would replace three other current ordinances which deal with city wage issues.

Under the current wage scale, city employees with less than four years of service receive a regular step increase in pay until they top out on the wage scale plus a traditional yearly cost of living raise. After four years, these employees usually receive an annual cost of living increase, but nothing more.

Mayor Hendrixson said with the proposed new wage scale, city employees hired after July 1st, 2010 would receive starting hourly pay, comparable to the old wage scale, but they would get a fifty cent per hour step increase each year up to four years, effective on the anniversary date of employment, in lieu of cost of living raises. After four years, these same employees may only get a yearly cost of living increase, if the city aldermen choose to give a COLA raise each year. The pay of salaried employees, secretary-treasurer, police chief, city judge, building inspector, and airport manager would be established and approved by the city council each year. In setting wages for employees, the proposed new wage scale ordinance states that "the mayor and board of aldermen may consider the prior work experience or extraordinary ability of such employee. Any employee hired by the city that requires a certification will be given eighteen months to become certified or they will be subject to dismissal."

Alderman Aaron Meeks said he wanted to make it "crystal clear" that this proposed new wage scale would only apply to "new hires". "It does not apply to any present city employee that's working for the city."

Alderman Shawn Jacobs then asked "So a person that would be supposed to get their step increase this year, (will they get it)?"

Mayor Hendrixson answered, "They will get it".

Alderman Jacobs asked, "Will they get their COLA as well"?

Mayor Hendrixson replied, "Well, not under this (new) ordinance, unless you all (aldermen) want to do it."

Mayor Hendrixson continued, "The old wage chart is a little bit inequitable, some people (employees) are going to get 34 cents (increase) and some people are going to get a $1.70 or $1.80 cents (increase). You've got to remember that every dollar you get is over a $2,000 a year increase. If you're making ten dollars per hour, which we don't have many employees making that low but there are some who maybe have just started, fifty cents (per hour) per year at ten dollars per hour is a five percent increase; eleven dollars is a four and a half percent increase; twelve dollars is a 4.2%; thirteen dollars is 3.8%; fourteen dollars is 3.6% and if you're making fifteen dollars it's a 3.3% increase."

Alderman Meeks also pointed out that city employees receive close to eight thousand dollars in benefits which is not reflected in their hourly wage.

Mayor Hendrixson agreed, "Every employee in the City of Smithville that's been here for more than sixty or ninety days is getting over seven thousand dollars worth of free, paid (health, life, and dental) insurance. And whatever they've made from December 1st last year to November 30th this year, they will get a one percent bonus during the first week in December. If they've made $25,000, they'll get a $250 bonus. So with the perks and the health insurance, to my knowledge no where else does that. We pay the total of it and it's going to push $8,000 and it's probably going up in January."

Alderman Jacobs said some city employees have expressed concerns about this proposal. "Well I've had employees call me, concerned. They think that the rug is sort of being pulled out from under them because they've not had any notice that this is changing. But I've also had people tell me, ‘well you all are crazy for giving fifty cent raises to begin with.'"

Jacobs added "My only concern is I think that some of the employees (with less than four years of service) feel like they have been depending on the step raises and the cost of living they've been getting, now here we are later than normal and they're finding out they're not getting it and I certainly understand that."

In response, Mayor Hendrixson said some of these increases have been quite substantial. "For instance, take someone making twelve dollars per hour. The step raise is 4.2% and the COLA is 3.4%. That's almost an eight percent increase."

Alderman Steve White said he believes the new wage scale might discourage some people who want to make working for the city a career. "One of my concerns is the fifty cents (a year) for the four years. Say for example, you had someone start out at ten dollars an hour, twelve bucks an hour is where you're going to be (after four years) other than the cost of living increases. I like the old pay scale a lot better in that respect because it does jump you up a lot faster. I'm afraid that these lower rates will cause a bigger turnover of employees."

"I personally still like the old chart. Of course I think we need to do some of these other things that we've talked about like voting on the cost of living each year, setting salaries yearly, and maybe adding the certification", said White.

Mayor Hendrixson again reminded Alderman White of pay inequities under the old or existing wage scale and gave a specific example. " I won't say who it is but two people under two different categories had starting pay the same, and it was supposed to be the same thing. Well in the second or third year, one (employee) jumped to a $1.40 something cents more than the other one. The same amount of time and starting pay the same."

Alderman Jacobs then asked, "What was there in the scale that caused that aberration and what is going to keep it from happening in this (new) scale? Why haven't our auditors caught it? I'm about to blow a gasket over this. Somebody should have spotted this. This should have been on somebody's radar. That's what auditors do."

Mayor Hendrixson replied, "I can't tell you. I don't know why it happened. This is the scale that's been in effect since 1986 the best I can tell. It was just not equitable for every employee. That's what I was trying to fix."

Alderman Steve White said he still believes the proposed new wage scale could be unfair to city employees with less than four years of service who have not yet topped out on the current pay scale. White suggested that the city stick to the old pay scale for another year and look at changing it next year..

The aldermen later took a vote on passing a new budget with the current pay scale and it was defeated 3-2. Aldermen Steve White and W.J. (Dub) White voted for the budget with the old wage scale but Aldermen Shawn Jacobs, Aaron Meeks, and Cecil Burger voted against it, apparently preferring to address the pay inequity problem now.

Mayor Hendrixson suggested that the aldermen re-convene next week to try again to resolve the matter. So another special meeting will be held Tuesday, September 7th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Several city employees and others attended Monday night's meeting but no one was given an opportunity to speak. The city has a resolution which authorizes citizens to make comments at the beginning of each regular or special called meeting of the board.

Smithville Police Charge Store Clerks with Selling Beer to Minors

August 30, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kira G. Clouse
Susana Jasmin Saldivar
Hardik Pravinbhai Patel

The Smithville Police Department made arrests at three businesses Friday after conducting an undercover investigation into the illegal sales of alcohol to minors.

Police Chief Randy Caplinger says 29 year old Kira G. Clouse, a store clerk at Jewel's Market on South Congress Boulevard (Highway 56) and 24 year old Hardik Pravinbhai Patel, a clerk at Village Market on North Congress Boulevard were each charged with sales of alcohol to a minor; while at El Mariachi (BP Station) on West Broad Street, 33 year old Susana Jasmin Saldivar was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allowing a sixteen year old female store clerk to sell beer. The underage clerk was also charged in a juvenile petition with selling alcohol to a minor.

Bond for Clouse, Patel, and Saldivar is $1,000 each and they will appear in General Sessions Court in September.

Chief Caplinger says he and Detective Matt Holmes conducted the undercover operation using a confidential underage informant."This took place on Friday, August 27th here in the city limits of Smithville. We've been receiving complaints from some of the citizens with concerns of underage sales of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products to minors. With a confidential underage informant, we entered eight locations that sell beer in Smithville. He (underage informant) presented his ID at these locations and he was able to purchase alcohol at three of these locations. At one of the locations (El Mariachi), the salesman (female clerk) was actually a minor and she was selling alcohol (in violation of the law) and she did sell to him (underage informant) which is also a violation of the law. The five other locations where the informant presented his ID, the clerks there did an outstanding job. They did exactly what state law requires and he (informant) was turned down and not allowed to purchase alcohol."

In addition to Jewel's Market, El Mariachi, and Village Market, the undercover informant was sent in to all other city establishments that sell beer including Food Lion, Kwik-N-Ezy, Mapco Express, Eastside Citgo, and Wal-mart

Chief Caplinger says police are also concerned about the sale of tobacco products to minors. He adds that while store clerks can't legally sell beer or tobacco to minors, adults who make these purchases for minors can also be charged with a crime. "In addition to the underage purchases of alcohol, we've also had a concern about the underage buying of tobacco products. Those concerns will be addressed and we will be checking those (businesses) periodically. Under state law if an individual (trying to make a purchase of tobacco) appears to be under 27 years of age, they are to be ID'ed. Even the purchase of an alcohol or tobacco product for a person under the age of 21 for alcohol and 18 for tobacco is against the law and those people (making the purchase for a minor) will be cited with a class a misdemeanor."

In the complaint against Clouse, Police say that on Friday, August 27th at 3:27 p.m. Detective Matt Holmes and Chief Randy Caplinger were present at Jewel's Market on Highway 56 with an 18 year old confidential source, who entered the business, purchased beer from the clerk (Clouse), and then exited the store at 3:30 p.m. with a six pack of Natural Ice beer. Clouse was positively identified as being the suspect who sold the beer to the minor. Clouse was later placed under arrest for sale of alcohol to a minor. Her bond is $1,000 and she will appear in General Sessions Court on September 9th.

In the complaint against Saldivar, police claims that on Friday, August 27th at 4:12 p.m. Detective Matt Holmes and Chief Randy Caplinger were present at El Mariachi (BP Station) at 517 West Broad Street with an 18 year old confidential source, who entered the business, purchased beer from the clerk, and then exited the store at 4:17 p.m. with a six pack of Busch beer. The female clerk who sold him the beer was later found to be a sixteen year old minor and she was placed under arrest for juvenile delinquency (selling alcohol to a minor). Saldivar, who was also in the store at the time, later told police that the sixteen year old clerk was helping her run the store. Chief Caplinger says it is illegal for a minor to sell alcohol to anyone. Saldivar is under a $1,000 bond and she will be in General Sessions Court on September 16th.

The complaint against Patel alleges that on Friday, August 27th at 4:32 p.m. Detective Matt Holmes and Chief Randy Caplinger were present at the Marathon gas station on North Congress Boulevard (Village Market) with an 18 year old confidential source, who entered the business, purchased beer from the clerk, (Patel), and then exited the store at 4:38 p.m. with a six pack of Busch beer. Patel was positively identified as being the suspect who sold the beer to the minor. Patel is under a $1,000 bond and he will appear in General Sessions Court on September 16th.

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