Local News Articles

Detective Matt Holmes Receives Five Year Certificate of Achievement

September 21, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Detective Matt Holmes Receives Five Year Certificate of Achievement

Detective Matt Holmes has been presented a certificate of achievement in recognition of five years of dedicated service with the Smithville Police Department.

Holmes received the award from Chief Randy Caplinger on Friday at city hall

Others on hand for the observance were Mayor Jimmy Poss and Alderman/Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs along with members of the police department

After graduating from DeKalb County High School, Detective Holmes furthered his education at the Tennessee Technology Center. He graduated from Walter State Community College and began his career with the Smithville Police Department in 2007. Holmes was later promoted to the rank of Detective.

He is a graduate of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation School and is certified by the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force in drug diversion and the Tennessee Meth Task Force. Holmes is certified in Child Passenger Safety, the United States Department of Justice Amber Alert training and technical assistance program and Pharmaceutical Overdose Death Investigations. During Detective Holmes' five years of employment, he has been awarded three departmental commendations for criminal investigations and narcotics arrests

Chief Caplinger said the department plans to make it a practice of honoring other members of the department for specific years of service.

(Pictured left to right: Chief Randy Caplinger, Detective Matt Homes, Alderman/ Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs, and Mayor Jimmy Poss)

Youngest DeKalb Fair Board Member Welcomed

September 21, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Fair Board Welcomes Newest and Youngest Member

The DeKalb County Fair Board voted in the newest and youngest fair board member, 18 year old, Matt Boss, during their recent meeting. Matt has been a part of the Youth Fair Board and will now take on the responsibility of managing the youth board as an official fair board member. Matt is a DeKalb County High School Senior, DCHS football player, a member of First Baptist Church in Alexandria, and is an eager community volunteer.

"We are glad that someone as young as Matt is taking an interest in volunteering to be on the board. I think that it needs to be acknowledged and I think a lot of him for wanting to do it. I hope there are more where he came from," said fair board member, Mike Williams.

Matt will begin his official duties with the board in November 2012.

Pictured from left to right: Mike Williams, Jeff McMillen, Jack Underhill, Ricky Baker, Newest Member - Matt Boss, Pat Parkerson, Judy Sandlin, Shan Burklow (not pictured)

Cannon County Man Allegedly Responsible for $30,000 Forgery

September 21, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Cannon County man is facing charges by Smithville Police after passing a forged check in the amount of $30,000 at a local bank in June.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Thursday that Joey Mooneyham is currently being held in the Cannon County jail for violation of community corrections. A hold has been placed on him there for Smithville Police and Rutherford County where he is also apparently wanted on forgery charges.

According to Chief Caplinger, Mooneyham entered a local bank on June 26th with a check, which was stolen from a Smithville resident. Mooneyham had the check made out to him bearing a forged signature of the victim. He passed the check at the bank and got the money.

Chief Caplinger said bank employees became suspicious days later when another person came in and tried to pass a check for $30,000 on the same victim. When the teller questioned the man, he took the check and left the bank. Smithville Police were notified and began an investigation.

After Mooneyham was identified as a suspect, he was later spotted and arrested in Cannon County. Chief Caplinger said two other people may be charged in the case, including the suspect who tried to pass a forged check at the bank just days after Mooneyham was there; and the person who is believed to have stolen the checks from the victim.

Meanwhile, in other city crime news, 32 year old Carlos Lynn Godsey, Jr. and 26 year old Lois Nicole Godsey were arrested for theft on Saturday, September 15. He was also charged with felony possession of a firearm. According to the warrants, The Godseys were at the victim's house and when they left, the victim noticed his 9 millimeter handgun was missing. He reported it to police. An officer spotted Godsey's truck and pulled it over. He found the stolen handgun under the driver's seat of the truck. In addition to the theft charge, Police charged Godsey with illegal possession of a firearm after he was found to be a felon on parole. The Godsey's will be in court on October 11.

20 year old Terry Lee Jones, III is charged with aggravated assault. According to the warrant, Officer Chip Avera responded to a fight at the Joe L. Evins ballpark on Saturday, September 15. The two involved in the fight were identified as Terry Lee Jones, III and Coty Griffin. According to police, Jones was aggressive and stated that if the officers left, "it wouldn't be over with". At that point, Officer Avera placed Jones in his patrol car. Griffin told the officer that while at the ball park, Jones pulled a pocket knife and that the two of them began scuffling. No one was injured. Jones will be in court on October 25.

Meanwhile, anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Crime 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.

Early Voting Begins October 17 (VIEW SAMPLE BALLOT BELOW)

September 20, 2012
Dennis Stanley

Early voting hours for the November Presidential Election have been set by the DeKalb County Election Commission.
As was the case for the August balloting, the commission voted to have two afternoons of early voting in an effort to accommodate more voters.

Hours for early voting, which begins October 17, are Mondays from Noon until 5 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Wednesdays 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. until Noon.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW SAMPLE BALLOT)
Sample Ballot

During the early voting period, which ends Nov. 1, there are 2 Mondays, 3 Thursdays and 2 Saturdays, giving voters who work late or work out of town ample opportunity to vote early.

“With the interest we’ve seen in the upcoming election, we really hope people will take advantage of early voting,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “We strongly believe the turnout overall will be much heavier than the other two county-wide elections this year, so it makes sense to take advantage of early voting and try to avoid a long line at your precinct on election day.”

A day-by-day breakdown of early voting hours are:

WED. OCT. 17—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
THURS. OCT. 18—2 P.M. TO 6 P.M.
FRI. OCT. 19—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
SAT. OCT. 20—9 A.M. TO NOON
MON. OCT. 22—NOON TO 5 P.M.
TUES. OCT. 23—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
WED. OCT. 24—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
THURS. OCT. 25—2 P.M. TO 6 P.M.
FRI. OCT. 26—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
SAT. OCT. 27—9 A.M. TO NOON
MON. OCT. 29—NOON TO 5 P.M.
TUES. OCT. 30—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
WED. OCT. 31—9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
THURS. NOV. 1—2 P.M. TO 6 P.M.

Smithville Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

September 20, 2012
Smithville Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

The Smithville Police Department, DeKalb Prevention Coalition (DPC) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Saturday, September 29 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to Smithville Police Department parking lot at 104 East Main Street. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Smithville Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

Sparta Man Airlifted after Motorcycle Wreck

September 20, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Motorcycle Rear Ended Pickup Truck Shown Here
Truck  Rear Ended by Motorcycle

A 28 year old Sparta man was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital Thursday morning after he rear ended a pickup truck while riding a motorcycle on Highway 70 at Laurel Hill.

Central dispatch received the call at 8:30 a.m.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that John Bumbalough was on a 1998 Harley Davidson traveling east when he ran into the rear of a 1995 GMC Sonoma pickup driven by 40 year old Linda Gail Oliver, who had stopped for a flagger as a TDOT road crew was doing some work there. Oliver was not injured.

Bumbalough was wearing a helmet but may have suffered a broken leg. He was airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance.

Maynard Gets Four Years Probation in Burglary of Local Business

September 19, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Johnna M. Maynard
Nathan Trapp

A 27 year old woman, who allegedly served as a lookout while another person broke into Smithville Rental Center on East Broad Street earlier this year, received a sentence of four years on probation in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, September 17.

Johnna M. Maynard pleaded guilty under a negotiated settlement to theft over $1,000 and burglary. Judge Leon Burns, Jr. sentenced her to four years in each case suspended to probation. The cases are to run concurrently as one four year sentence. Maynard must make restitution to Smithville Rental Center in the amount of $1,275, jointly and severally with a co-defendant in the case, Willie Ray Murphy. Maynard was arrested on Tuesday, April 3. Maynard was given jail credit of 114 days.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that on or about March 17, Maynard served as a lookout while another person (Willie Ray Murphy) broke into a business on East Broad Street (Smithville Rental Center), taking several items. She was accused of helping in the commission of the theft.

During her arrest, Maynard told a drug detective that she had two needles in her bra and a bottle of xanax in her body cavity. A female correctional officer removed those items from Maynard. Found were eight and a half lorazopam pills (2 milligrams) and five lorazapam (1 milligram) pills along with the needles.

Murphy was charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. He was arrested on Friday, March 23.

According to Sheriff Ray, "Murphy went around to the side of the building and busted out a glass door. He then entered the business. While Murphy was in there, he took out some power tools for concrete work.

On July 31st, Maynard was indicted by the grand jury for possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, and theft under $500. Murphy and Maynard were co-indicted on charges of burglary and theft over $1,000. The drug charges against Maynard were dropped as part of her plea deal.

Murphy's case has not yet been settled.

A 29 year old man, who allegedly stole metal racks from Smithville Rental Center earlier this year, pleaded guilty to the crime Monday, September 17 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Nathan Trapp, originally charged with theft over $1,000, pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of theft under $500 and received a sentence of 11 months of 29 days to serve at least 75%. Trapp must make restitution of $1,000 to Smithville Rental Center jointly and severally with a co-defendant in the case, 34 year old Sam Walker. The sentence is to run concurrently with other cases against him in General Sessions Court.

According to Sheriff Ray, Trapp and Walker went to Smithville Rental Center on East Broad Street on Tuesday, February 2 and allegedly stole 940 pounds of metal racks valued at more than $1,000, taking them to a local recycling center where they sold them.

Walker's case has apparently not yet been settled.

45 year old Timmy George pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence on probation. He must pay a $2,000 fine and make $40 restitution to the Smithville Police Department. He was given jail credit of forty eight days.

George was arrested by Smithville Police on a sealed indictment returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury on July 31.

The indictment against George stated that on or about January 9, George and a co-defendant knowingly sold and delivered a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid). The delivery charge against him was dropped as part of the plea deal.

27 year old Robin Woodard pleaded guilty to a third offense of driving under the influence. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to supervised probation, except for 120 days to serve. Woodard was fined $3,010 and she will lose her license for five years. She was given 62 days jail credit.

Belmont Women's Golf Places Third at Murray State; Sullivan Finishes Third Individually

September 19, 2012
Shay Sullivan

The Belmont women's golf team finished in third place at this week's Drake Creek Invitational hosted by Murray State at the Drake Creek Golf Club in Murray, Kentucky.

The Bruins posted a team score of 318 in Tuesday's final round to finish in third place with a 54-hole score of 919. Central Arkansas won the team title with a score of 906, while Arkansas State placed second at 911.

Belmont had three players finish among the top-20. Junior Shay Sullivan, who led the tournament after day one, finished in third place. She posted a 79 on Tuesday to finish with a three-round score of 223. Her third place finish tied a career-best for the Smithville, Tennessee native. Senior Janet Steen tied for 13th place at 229, after carding an 80 in the final round. Sophomore Sydney Hudson shot a 81 on Tuesday to finished tied for 19th place at 232.

Other Belmont finishers from the tournament included: sophomore Evin Edens (T-26th, 236) and senior Patricia Masick (T-50th, 255)).

Junior Morgan McQuary competed as an individual to finish tied for 50th at 255.

The women's golf team will take almost a month off before returning to action on October 15-16 when they compete at the Austin Peay Intercollegiate.

DeKalb Reigns Supreme at State Fair

September 19, 2012
Crowns for a Cause
Taneah Cantrell
Tyra Graham and Shan Burklow

DeKalb County was represented by an impressive number of contestants at the Tennessee State Fair Pageants earlier this month. Due to the massive turn out, DeKalb County Fair will be awarded a plaque and a $500 Cash Prize for showing the most overall county support at the state fair pageants in Nashville. The award ceremony will take place at the Tennessee State Fair Convention in January 2013. Several crowns and titles were awarded to contestants that currently reside in DeKalb County. The State Fair Pageants also hosted a crown ceremony so that beauty queens across Tennessee could donate their crowns to children of Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital so that they, too, can be 'Queen for a Day. In a heartwarming swell of emotion, queens from ages 4 to 70 gave away 65 crowns as well as raising $1,740.00 to purchase additional crowns for the children. The crowns will be delivered in late September.

"We were amazed at the number of queens that came out to support the two day event," Pageant Director Shan Burklow remarked, "Crowns for a Cause received enough money to not only allow every sick little girl to be 'Queen for a Day', but they are also purchasing fire hats for all the little boys along with a visit from the Nashville Firefighters to salute them as 'Hero for a Day'. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude to all of the beauty queens as well as their friends and family for making this small idea such a huge success! I wish I could thank each one of them in person."

Having been born severly premature, blind, and weighing only 2 pounds 6 ounces, Burklow has experienced Vanderbilt Hospital firsthand. When asked what she plans to do next, Burklow smiled, "I was very happy to support a cause that is very dear to me. I am thankful for the support of my family, and especially my hard working sister (Beth Chandler). I want to continue to pay it forward in any way that God sends me the ability. If we all try and do one small good deed a day...well, that would really be something!"

Contestants placing from DeKalb County include: TN State Queen Supreme Overall - Tyra Graham, the 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville, TN / Tennessee Top Model Queen - Taneah Cantrell, the 16 year old daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville, TN / Miss Sweetheart Queen - Addison Grace Oakley, the 11 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley of Liberty, TN / Little Miss Princess First Runner-Up Arlene Kirby, the 8 year old daughter of Jesse and Shauna Kirby of Smithville, TN / Fourth Runner-Up Addison Jean Puckett, the 8 year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett of Smithville, TN / Little Miss Third Runner-Up Isabella Faith Rackley, the 4 year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville, TN / Junior Fair Princess Second Runner-Up - Tyra Graham, the 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville, TN / Third Runner-Up - Taneah Cantrell , the 16 year old daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville, TN / Fourth Runner-Up - Liz Abigail Qualls, the 14 year old daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp of Smithville, TN. Other optional awards were given to various other DeKalb contestants including Madison Brooke Dawson, Ashley Medlin, Addison Jean Puckett, Maeloree Kirby, Sophia Angeletti, Alexis Atnip, Makayla Shea Funk, and Sydney Jayann Robinson. (see photos)

(Captions in blue - pictured from left to right)

Photo 1: Queens across TN donate their crowns during a ceremony at the TN State Fair Pageants.
Photo 2: Tennessee Top Model Winner - Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, TN
Photo 3: TN State Queen Supreme Winner Overall - Tyra Graham of Smithville, TN with Pageant Director Shan Burklow of Dowelltown, TN
Photo 4: Crowns for a Cause Queen Emily Burklow of Dowelltown, TN donates her crown
Photo 5: Tyra Graham of Smithville, Hope Stephens, Avalon Huddleston, Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, and Liz Qualls of Smithville, TN
Photo 6: Madison Little, Dorothy Montanye, Ryleigh Street, Ava Lowe, and Isabella Faith Rackley of Smithville, TN
Photo 8: Abby Sholar, Danielle Dildine, Queen Addison Oakley of Liberty, TN, Lexi Caldwell, and Christina Sisco
Photo 9: A group of donating queens celebrating after the crown ceremony including: Ashley Medlin and Taneah Cantrell of Smithville.

DeKalb Trustee's Office to Accept Partial Tax Payments

September 19, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sean Driver

DeKalb County property taxpayers may make partial tax payments for the 2012 tax year

According to Trustee Sean Driver, the total bills of county taxpayers may be divided into monthly payments over two to five months or the office will accept any amount the taxpayer wants to pay toward their balance as long as the total tax bill is paid by February 28, 2013.

Driver said partial payments relieves the stress of taxpayers having to come up with the entire tax payment in one lump sum. It is especially helpful to elderly people and those on fixed incomes.

The plan, approved by the state Comptroller of the Treasury, does not include provisions for partial payment on any 2011 payment delinquencies. If any partial payments have been made, penalties will be assessed only against the unpaid balances.

According to Driver, if the total base tax is not paid on or before February 28, penalties and interest will be applied on the remaining balance on March 1.

He added that partial payments may still be made after the March 1 delinquent deadline and taxpayers may continue to make partial payments until the taxes are turned over to the Chancery court the following year.

Taxpayers who take advantage of the partial payment option will be issued a receipt showing the amount paid and the balance owed. However, no notification of partial balances owed will be issued before the February 28 deadline.

Driver reminds taxpayers that they may still pay their taxes in the trustee's office in person, by mail, online at tennessetrustee.com or through the State of Tennessee Tax Relief Program.

For more information, call the Trustee's Office at 597-5176 or stop by the office at 732 Congress Boulevard Smithville, room 103.

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