Local News Articles


November 27, 2011
Dwayne Page
Santa at 2010 Alexandria Christmas Parade

The Alexandria Christmas Parade has been rescheduled for Sunday, December 4 due to rain. The line-up begins at 3:00 p.m. and the parade will get underway at 4:00 p.m. Entries of floats, old vehicles, tractors, 4-Wheelers, horses, etc are all welcome. Anyone under the age of 16 must have an adult to accompany them in the parade. Prizes will be given away on the Alexandria public square after the parade.Crafts and food booths are welcome to set up on or around the square. For more information or entry forms contact Deb McCoy at 615-948-6486, Denise Barrett at 615-948-4829, or the Alexandria City Hall at 529-2171.

DMS Fast Pitch Softball Field Becoming a Reality

November 27, 2011
Suzette Barnes
DMS Fast pitch Softball  Field Under Construction (Photo By Suzette Barnes)
DMS Fast pitch Softball Field Becoming a Reality (Photo By Suzette Barnes)
Fence Posts Erected at DMS Softball Field (Photo by Suzette Barnes)

What was once a dream is almost a reality! The DeKalb Middle School Fast pitch Softball team began its program during the 2000-2001 school year. Since that time the team has never had a field to call their own. Parents and coaches would transport players across town for practices and games at the Bill Page Field and as of last year the Coach Pitch fields. Coaches have always had to transport their equipment with them because they did not have a storage area.

In May of 2010 talk began about constructing a field on the campus of DeKalb Middle School. Principal Randy Jennings asked the Director of Schools and the school board for permission to build a field on the school property. The board approved the site and the preparations began. A committee of parent volunteers was formed to oversee the project. Professional Engineering Services in Sparta agreed to come and look at the site. Mr. Kyle Hazel, an architect with the company surveyed the site and drew up blueprints that would best suit the area where the field was to be constructed. After several meetings and discussions the plans were finalized.

August 3, 2011 was the "big day." Road Supervisor Kenny Edge of the DeKalb County Highway Department provided two men who began the process. After approximately 4 ½, weeks the initial dirt work was complete. The next step was to plant grass seed for the outfield. Coach Karen Pelham, players and parents met one Saturday to sow and straw the area. It wasn't long until the grass seed was coming up and the field began to take its shape.

Workers are currently in the process of fencing the field. Jason Walker (Walker Fencing) is doing the fencing and it should be complete within the next week. Once the field is fenced rock will be placed in the outside ditches and the banks sowed around the field. Sometime in early spring the finishing touches will be made by adding some infield dirt and bases. The field should be completely ready for practices and games for the 2012 season.

Plans are to add lights and a field house/ press box with concessions and restrooms in the future. The score board will be donated by Dr. Pepper Bottling Company. The project is being built in stages as money is raised.. This field is being constructed with fundraising by the players and parents, business donations and volunteer labor.

A special thanks goes to the following individuals and businesses: Kyle Hazel and Professional Engineering Services in Sparta, TN for their donation of surveying, design, and the time that you have given to this project, along with Kenny Edge and the DeKalb County Highway Department, City of Smithville, Middle TN Natural Gas, Tenneco, DeKalb Community Bank, Liberty State Bank, DTC, Southern Landscape Supply, Kwik N Ezy, HBC General Contractor, Graham Services, Hurricane Marina, Ace Hardware, Caney Fork Electric, Avant Funeral Home, Johnnie Cripps, Lyndon Ashburn, Jeremy Trapp, Love Cantrell Funeral Home, Dr. Denise Dingle and the many individuals who have participated in our fundraising efforts.

If you would like to make a donation or volunteer your services please call the school at 597-7987. All donations and support will be greatly appreciated.

Family Medical Center Pharmacy Under New Ownership

November 25, 2011
Dwayne Page
Blake and Susannah Cripps Daughtry
Family Medical Center Pharmacy

Family Medical Center Pharmacy is under new ownership.

Blake and Susannah Cripps Daughtry have bought the business from Susannah's parents, Gary and Susan Cripps.

"I'm a Smithville native. I'm living in Dothan, Alabama right now," said Susannah Daughtry. " I'm married to Blake Daughtry and we have four children. I graduated from the Auburn Pharmacy School in 1995. I have been a pharmacist for several years. Pharmacy has been a part of my family my whole life. My dad and my sister are both pharmacists," said Daughtry.

Blake Daughtry, a native of Alabama, said he and Susannah look forward to serving this community. "We're just excited to be back in Smithville and taking over her family's pharmacy which has been here for 38 years. We're looking forward to it, " said Daughtry.

Rumors have surfaced recently that Family Medical Center Pharmacy was going out of business, but Blake said nothing could be further from the truth. He said "we are alive and well and eager to continue serving our customers. Some of the big chain stores in town sent out letters to people in Smithville saying that we were closing our doors. That's not the case. We're happy to be here and proud to be here. We're really looking forward to the future. One of the things we looked at when this opportunity came along was keeping small town businesses in Smithville. Its been a tough economy for everybody. I know in different places businesses have closed down and moved on. You've got your big box stores, your Walmarts and Rite Aids and things coming in. We think its important to keep the community together and have locally owned small town businesses that have been here for years continue to be here and thrive. So we're excited to be able to keep those jobs here and to be able to give a service back to the community as well as have a good thriving business. We're excited about the opportunity," said Daughtry.

The Family Medical Center Pharmacy's history goes back 38 years. "It started as Price-France Pharmacy, "said Susannah Daughtry. "My dad came back from the University of Tennessee. He taught pharmacy school there. When he came back he bought in with Gordon Price and Erby France. The store was known as Price-France Pharmacy at that time. Later on it became Cripps-France Pharmacy when they bought out Gordon Price. Years later Erby retired and it became dad's store. He and mother then ran the store. I've been raised in that store. We used to be over there by the First Methodist Church. That was the old building where the doctor's building was. Then when there was an opportunity to move the practice and the pharmacy with it, they built the new building there (North Congress Boulevard) which is really nice. It gives us a great location in Smithville," said Daughtry

A new pharmacist will soon be joining the staff and some new product lines may be added . A grand opening will be held within a few weeks. "The staff is going to be the same," said Susannah. "We'll have all the same friendly faces that have been there for several years. We will have a new pharmacist come December 14. When she comes on board we'll share with everybody a little bit more about her. The changes we're making, we're working on doing things that are going to position us to take better care of our patients and meet all of their pharmacy needs. Things that will make us more efficient and faster. We just want to make sure we're taking the best care we can of the patients that come into our store. Its really a nice opportunity for me. It just gives me an excuse to come home so much more and be a part of the community that I was raised in. I will be working in the store some too as a pharmacist," said Susannah.

"We're bringing in new products and re-stocking shelves so the transition is going to take a few days but you're going to see some nice new signage and new products in the store," said Blake Daughtry. " We're going to try and freshen things up. Gary and Susan have built a great business there and we just want to continue that going forward. I think over the next couple of weeks everybody will see some big changes. We plan on having a grand opening maybe by the first of the year. We'll let everyone know because we'd love to have everybody come out and see us," said Daughtry.

Consumers Urged to Shop at Home More this Holiday Season

November 24, 2011
Dwayne Page
Phillip (Fluty) Cantrell
Jerry Lee Cantrell

The Christmas shopping season has arrived and local businesses hope you'll give them a chance to serve you more this year.

Phillip (Fluty) Cantrell of Cantrell's the home of Fluty says before you go out of town, try home first. "We know you can't buy everything at home but we would like to encourage people to at least try home first. Merchants have been here for years. We've made our living here and we appreciate everything everybody has done for us to keep us here."

Cantrell says some stores around town will be opening early on Friday morning for early bird shoppers, including downtown. "We started this thing (opening early on the morning after Thanksgiving Day) several years ago. People were shopping out of town and all the big sales were going on. We said let's try it and see what happens here. We tried it and it went over really good. Some downtown merchants will be open at 7:00 a.m. Friday with door buster specials. We encourage people to shop early."

Meanwhile, Jerry Lee Cantrell of Cantrell's Furniture and Appliances says when you buy at home, you're helping support the local tax base which means you're helping fund schools and other local government services. "We really appreciate all the people who trade with us. I think it's a very important thing that we keep our tax dollars in our community. We get the tax dollars back from the state. Of course, we have to send them in. It goes to the state and then comes back to us. This helps our community immensely."

The Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses in Smithville and DeKalb County to display messages on their marquees or changeable signs to encourage shoppers to spend their tax dollars at home this holiday season.

Vickers Wins Beta M.V.P.

November 24, 2011

DWS Junior Beta President Morgan Vickers won the prestigious John W. Harris leadership award at this year's state convention. She was one of 25 students Junior Beta students across the country chosen for this honor based in large part for her service to the school and community. Only three were selected from Tennessee. The 400-student body at DeKalb West School has had a winner for this award four out of the last five years.

8th grade Junior Beta students at DeKalb West were asked to turn in a presentation on why they were eligible for the honor. Then, a committee of parents and teachers selected a candidate, and the club's sponsor wrote a nominating letter to the National Junior Beta office, which made the final choices for the award. Another remarkable candidate for the honor, 8th grader Hailey Walker, was a strong contender for the award.

National Junior Beta Club Sponsor Judy Cummings presented Vickers with the award on stage Monday morning in front of some 7,000 students attending the first session of the convention.

Vickers is the daughter of Joe and Wanda Vickers. In addition to the recognition at the state convention, Vickers will have her photo published on the student Beta website and will have her registration fee paid to attend the Broyhill Leadership Conference in July 2012.

DWS Junior Beta Club Earns First Trophy

November 24, 2011
DWS Junior Beta Club Earns First Trophy for Straw Tower

The DeKalb West School Junior Beta Club won its first-ever club award at the annual Tennessee Junior Beta state convention on Tuesday (Nov. 22) at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center . A team of five 8th grade boys took second place in the Tower of Power event. Under the direction of parent John Cain, Will Cain, Ted Tippin, James Sherwood, Kirkland Smallwood, and Lane Davenport constructed a straw tower more than 10 feet tall within 15 minutes.

Each participating team was given 150 plastic drinking straws and a roll of masking tape. They were charged with the task of building the highest free-standing tower they could in a 15-minute time frame. The team with the highest tower that could support a tennis ball at its pinnacle for a minimum of one minute was the winner.

The club also made a specially designed T-shirt geared towards the convention's theme, "Betas, Start Your Engines." Participating in the Living Literature event were Chasity Garrett, Katie Roehner, Casey Vickers, Caitlin Tyree, Kyleigh White, Cody Hale, Nate Sherwood, and Jacob Frazier. Participating in the Banner event were Alexis Nokes, Madison Hayes, Nick Staley, and Mackenzie Knowles. Also in the Arts and Crafts category were Anna Malone, black and white photography; Katie Hall, color photography; Breanna Gibson and Noelle Driver, painting; and Hanna Evans, sketching. In the poster contest were Ethan Martin, Jasmine Parker, Samantha Street. In Battle of the Books were Bailey Redmon, Caitlyn Lawrence, and Maegan Harris; and in Spelling, Mary Mofield; in the Quiz Bowl: Keely McKay, Hailey Walker, Alex Foutch, and Morgan Vickers. Thirty-three students from the 6th-8th grades and 16 parental chaperones attended the convention Sunday-Tuesday (Nov. 20-22).

DeKalb Jobless Rate Drops to 8.7% in October

November 23, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County October unemployment rate was at 8.7%, down from 9.6% in September but up slightly from 8.6% in October 2010.

The local labor force in October was at 10,070. A total of 9,190 were employed and 880 were without work.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for October was the fifth lowest among the fourteen counties of the Upper Cumberland region as follows:

Pickett County- 13.7%
Jackson- 10.8%
White- 10.7%
Van Buren- 10.6%
Warren- 10.5%
Clay- 10.3%
Fentress- 10%
Cumberland- 9.3%
Overton- 8.8%
Smith- 8.6%
Macon- 8.2%
Cannon- 8%

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for October show that the rate increased in one county, decreased in 92 counties, and two counties remained the same.
Tennessee's unemployment rate for October fell to 9.6 percent, down from the September revised rate of 9.8. The national unemployment rate for October 2011 was 9.0 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the September rate.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 5.8 percent, down from the September rate of 6.6 percent, followed by Williamson County at 6.3 percent, down from 7.0 percent. Scott County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 18.1 percent, down from 19.5 percent in the previous month, followed by Obion County at 15.6, down from 16.9 percent in September.
Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 6.7 percent, down from 7.7 percent the previous month. Hamilton County was 7.8 percent, down from 8.6 percent in September. Davidson County was 7.8 percent, down from 8.7 percent in September, and Shelby County was 10.1 percent, down from the September unemployment rate of 10.8 percent

Cookeville Man Charged with Kidnapping and Aggravated Assault of Two People in Alexandria

November 22, 2011
Dwayne Page
Courtney D. Barrett

A Cookeville man has been charged with kidnapping and assaulting his uncle and a woman at a residence on Avant Circle in Alexandria.

23 year old Courtney D. Barrett has been arrested on two counts of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault. The case was investigated by Sergeant Chris Russell of the Alexandria Police Department.

Alexandria Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE that on Tuesday, November 1 Barrett allegedly kidnapped Glenda Hutchinson at 127 Avant Circle by forcing his way into the residence, holding her at gunpoint and threatening to kill her. He allegedly forced her into the bathroom and told her not to move until he left.

While in the home, Barrett is also accused of kidnapping his uncle Roger Barrett at gunpoint, hitting him with his fist and the gun, causing serious bodily injuries. He was forced into the bathroom where he stayed until Courtney Barrett left. Roger Barrett was later taken to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

A county deputy backed up Sergeant Russell at the scene

Bond for Barrett was set at $150,000. He appeared in DeKalb County General Sessions Court last Thursday, November 17 and had his case bound to the April term of the Grand Jury.

Smithville Police Help Nab Suspect in Silver Point Burglary

November 22, 2011
Dwayne Page
Candice Deshay Daniels
Officers Find Pills, Checks, Tools, and More in Daniels' Car
Jimmy Ray Culwell

Smithville Police helped Putnam County authorities nab a suspect in a Silver Point burglary with the recent arrest of a Lancaster woman.

25 year old Candice Deshay Daniels of Hayes Ridge Road, Lancaster is charged by Smithville Police with public intoxication. She is under a $1,000 bond and will be in court on December 7. In Putnam County, Daniels has been charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property. Her bond is $15,000 in that case and she has a December 5 court date in Putnam County.

According to Chief Randy Caplinger, Corporal Travis Bryant and Officer David Phillips responded to a call at the Discount Tobacco Outlet on West Broad Street on Friday, November 11. They went there to investigate a complaint of disorderly conduct. Upon arrival, they made contact with Daniels who was unsteady on her feet and had slurred speech. She allegedly told the officers that she had taken four pills.

Inside her car, officers found a clothes hamper and pillow cases containing numerous bottles of pills, checks, tools and other items. Arousing their suspicion, the officers checked and found that a burglary had been reported in Putnam County earlier that day in the Silver Point Community at a residence on Buffalo Valley Road. The items found apparently came from that home.

A Putnam County officer was still at the scene of the burglary taking a report when Smithville Police notified Putnam County authorities that a woman had been arrested here and that she was in possession of stolen items.

No one was with Daniels at the time of her arrest in Smithville, but authorities believe she had a companion in the Silver Point burglary who may also be charged in the case.

Meanwhile, 28 year old Jimmy Ray Culwell of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with one count of a schedule II, III, IV, and VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He will appear in court on December 8.

Police report that on Friday, November 18, Detective Brandon Donnell was dispatched to a business at 309 West Broad Street. As he was sitting in his patrol car, Detective Donnell saw Culwell get out of his vehicle and walk over to the passenger side of another vehicle and do an exchange. Detective Donnell approached Culwell and asked what he had in his pocket. Culwell said he had some hydrocodone pills and some marijuana in his pocket. He took the bottle out and Detective Donnell saw two different kinds of pills in the prescription bottle. Detective Donnell then searched Culwell and found two bags of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, a white round pill believed to be Soma, a green crushed up pill believed to be Valium, 14 blue oval pills believed to be hydrocodone that was in the prescription bottle, and there was a small bong in his jacket pocket with marijuana residue still inside.

Three Planning to Run for Assessor of Property

November 22, 2011
Dwayne Page
Timothy Fud Banks
Scott Cantrell
Johnathan Bryan Keith
Incumbent Constables

At least three people may be in the race for Assessor of Property in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary on March 6.

With two weeks left until the qualifying deadline Incumbent Timothy (Fud) Banks, Scott Cantrell, and Jonathan Bryan Keith have submitted their petitions to the DeKalb County Election Commission.

Candidates for Assessor of Property and all seven constable positions have to be qualified to run by noon on Thursday, December 8.

The term of each office is four years.

Incumbent constables Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, Paul Cantrell in the fourth district, Mark Milam in the fifth district, and Johnny King in the seventh district have turned in their qualifying petitions to seek re-election. Richard Bullard in the sixth district has picked up a petition.

While the local Democratic Party will be selecting its nominees through the primary process, the DeKalb County Republican Party will choose any nominees it has by convention.

"Petitions can be picked up for all of the local offices on the March ballot," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. The qualifying deadline is NOON, December 8, 2011. The same
qualifying deadline will apply to the Republican Party nominees (chosen by caucus) and Independent candidates.

Any Republican and Democratic nominees for the offices of Assessor of Property and Constable will face off in the August 2012 DeKalb County General Election.

(Pictured Above: Constables Cantrell Jones in the sixth district, Johnny King in the seventh district, Reed Edge in the second district, Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, Mark Milam in the fifth district, and Paul Cantrell in the fourth district)


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