Local News Articles

Local Civic Leader Honored at Fiddler's Jamboree

July 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Local Civic Leader Honored at Fiddler's Jamboree

County Mayor Mike Foster (left) Jimmy Walls (right)

The 37th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree & Crafts Festival is underway. It began around 8:30 a.m. today (Friday) with welcoming remarks by local government and civic leaders.

County Mayor Mike Foster made a special presentation to Jimmy Walls for his service to the community.

The plaque presented to Walls reads " In appreciation for your life long service and dedication to Smithville and DeKalb County. We applaud your leadership, your courage, and your fortitude. Your contributions to this community have been a glowing example for all to see and admire. You have always set standards for excellence. We appreciate you very much. Presented by the DeKalb County Mayor and Commission and on behalf of Smithville"

The DeKalb County Commission, last month, recognized Mr. Walls.

The resolution, in part, reads " Whereas, from time to time, it is appropriate for DeKalb County to recognize people who unselfishly serve our County. It is therefore fitting that the DeKalb County Commission and County Mayor honor Jimmy Walls for the service he has given his Country, his County, and his State."

Two More Businesses Awarded Thursday in "Project Welcome Mat"

July 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Liberty State Bank and Sunbelt Realty were awarded for their participation in "Project Welcome Mat" Thursday.

Liberty State Bank won the "People's Choice" award for their two sided sign. On one side the sign reads "Make your day a Fiddler's Quest, Come join the Music, Fun & Fest." The other side of the sign reads " Wanna feel like you're in Heaven? Come join us at the Fiddler's Jamboree # 37"

The award for "Most Original" went to Sunbelt Realty for their sign " We hear U Fiddler's are Cloggin n Kickin' to git to Smithville to do ur Pickin'."

"Project Welcome Mat" is an effort by the Chamber of Commerce to ensure that our Jamboree visitors feel welcome. The Chamber would like to express gratefulness to the busineses and schools that used their signs to promote tourism and to show hospitality to people visiting DeKalb County.

18 Year Old Dies in ATV Accident

July 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

An 18 year old Sparta man died in an ATV accident on Indian Mound Road Wednesday evening in DeKalb County.

Dead is Jacob Cole.

Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that Cole was traveling east when the ATV left the road to the right and struck a tree, ejecting him. Cole was wearing a helmet.

DeKalb EMS was summoned to the scene and later an Air Evac Helicopter ambulance but Cole apparently died before he could be airlifted.

Central dispatch had received a call at 6:42 p.m. of an ATV driving at a high rate of speed on Indian Mound Road. A county officer, who went to the area, apparently discovered the accident and requested that EMS be dispatched to the scene. Air Evac arrived at 7:47 p.m.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Cookeville Highway Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

Chamber Awards the First of Three Winners In "Project Welcome Mat" Wednesday

July 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Project Welcome Mat

The Smithville- DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce honored the first of three winners Wednesday in "Project Welcome Mat".

"Project Welcome Mat" awards three categories, "Most Original", "Best Worded", and "People's Choice"

DeKalb Community Bank received the "Best Worded" award for their sign " A Knee Slappin' Fiddle Jammin', Mouth Waterin' Good Time Fiddler's Jamboree July 4th & 5th".

"Project Welcome Mat" is an effort by the Chamber to ensure that our Jamboree visitors feel welcome. The Chamber would like to express gratefulness to the busineses and schools that used their signs to promote tourism and to show hospitality to people visiting DeKalb County.

(click on picture to see a larger image)

Smithville Police Charge Two Men with Theft

July 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police charged two men with theft of property after a witness saw them take a woman's pocket book she had left in a shopping cart in the parking lot of Save-A -Lot last Thursday.

James Lee Adcock and John A. Judkins of Jefferson Road will be in court on the charge July 31st.

Officer Matt Farmer, in his report, states that " A woman had purchased groceries and after loading them in her vehicle, she forget to get her purse from the cart. A witness observed Adcock and his passenger, Judkins, take possession of the purse. The witness said Judkins got out of a vehicle and took a black and white purse from a shopping buggy. He took it back to the vehicle, put it in the floor board between his feet, and began going through it. The purse contained $50 in cash, a payroll check in the amount of $439, a debit card, credit cards, checkbooks, driver license, and social security card. One of the cards was used to obtain $62 in gas."

Bond for both men is $3,500.

Meanwhile, in another case, 32 year old Michael O. Bly was charged with criminal impersonation on Friday.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr., in his report, states that Bly, who was wanted for violation of probation, was seen at Greenbrook Park. When Officer Travis Bryant made contact with Bly, he stated his named was Bryan Bly and that his birth date was December, 1986. Officer Bryant identified him by comparing his tattoo's to a previous booking sheet and upon asking him again, Bly gave his correct name.

Bly's bond is $5,000 and his court date is July 17th.

Meanwhile, 25 year old Yesuandy Aramda of Miller Road, Smithville was arrested Saturday for a first offense of driving under the influence.

His bond is $1,500 and his court date is July 3rd.

Sergeant Joey Jones, in his report, states that "I responded to Royal Oak Apartments to a complaint of loud music. Upon arrival, I found the music coming from a blue vehicle in the parking lot and a male subject was behind the wheel. The car was running and he was passed out. Upon getting the subject awake and speaking to him, I noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. The man stated that he had drank only two beers. Inside the vehicle were one- 12 ounce container of beer between the front seats and a 12 pack with only three containers left and another 12 pack with four left. All containers of beer were cold. The man could not stand alone due to his unsteadiness. No field sobriety tasks were performed but he did submit to a blood alcohol test."

37th Annual Fiddler's Jamboree Kicks Off Friday Morning

July 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The 37th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is set for Friday and Saturday, July 4th & 5th.

The musical competition kicks off on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Preliminaries will be held in the following categories:

Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (solos and duets); Flat Top Guitar; Junior Clogging (ages 13-39); Junior Buck Dancing (ages 13-39); Dobro Guitar; Mountain Dulcimer; Hammer Dulcimer; Novelty Event; Old Time Fiddle Band; Autoharp; Gospel Singing (solos); Country Harmonica; Old Time Banjo; Gospel Singing (duets, trios, and quartets); and Mandolin.

The top three acts in each category will be called back for the finals on Friday night and a first, second, and third place will be awarded.

All first place winners get $125, except the Old Time Fiddle Band, which gets $525 for first place.

Second place winners get $100 and third place winners receive $75. The Old Time Fiddle Band second place winner gets $425 and $325 for third place.

On Saturday starting at 9:00 a.m., preliminaries will be held in the following categories:

Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39); Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over); Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over); Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over); Bluegrass Banjo; Bluegrass Band; Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over); and Square Dancing.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back Saturday night to compete for first, second, and third place.

Prize money in most categories is $125 for first place; $100 for second place; and $75 for third place.

Awards for Junior Fiddlers and Senior Fiddlers are $225 for first place; $175 for second place; and $150 for third place.

Prizes for Bluegrass Band are $525 for first place; $425 for second place; and $325 for third place.

Awards for Square Dancing are $400 for first place; $300 for second place; and $200 for third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival. The winner gets $300.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held Saturday afternoon during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

Prizes are $100 for first place, $75 for second place; and $50 for third place. One child will receive the Best Overall Instrumental Entertainer Trophy Award and $125 and the top fiddler will get the James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Trophy and $175.

In addition to the on-stage musical entertainment, the Fiddlers Jamboree will feature hundreds of crafts, plenty of delicious food; and lots of shade tree picking around the public square.

WJLE will broadcast most of the on-stage entertainment LIVE.

New Sex Offender Registry Laws Take Effect

July 1, 2008

The Tennessee Sex Offender Registry will begin collecting new information on July 1, 2008 to be in compliance with the state's legislation that was passed during this year's legislative session.

Overview of Sex Offender Registry law changes:

• Sex offenders will provide electronic email addresses along with instant message, chat or any other internet communication name or identity to their registering agency (this information will NOT be available to the public)

• Sex offenders who fail to provide an address (such as the homeless) will be required to report monthly rather than quarterly or annually

• All aliases, including previous married names, are required to be reported

• Every sex offender on the Registry will provide a DNA sample (current law only requires sex offenders who committed offenses after July 1, 1998)

• There will be tighter restrictions on sex offenders spending time at schools

• Offenders, whose crime was against a minor, will not be allowed to work where the offender is in direct, unsupervised contact with a minor or operate a vehicle for the purpose of attracting minors.

Additional changes to the Sex Offender Registry will take effect January 1, 2009. At that time a physical description of the offender, text of the law describing the criminal offense, and a criminal history of the offender will be added. TBI will also set up a system where the public can register their email addresses and be notified if a sex offender moves into their area.

Fullillove Charged in Aggravated Robbery and Assault

July 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a 20 year old man in connection with the assault and robbery of another man two weeks ago.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings says Phil D. Fullilove of Alexandria is charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft of property under $500, and vandalism under $500.

The report states that "On June 17th at Smithville Electric System on Highway 70, Fullilove confronted Travis Tramel and stated to him that he wanted his money. When he didn't hand over his money, Fullilove started punching and kicking Tramel until he was unconscious. The person with Fullilove displayed an open knife at Tramel. Fullilove is also accused of taking a cell phone out of Tramel's pocket after he knocked him out. Fullilove and the other man also allegedly cut two tires on the pickup truck that Tramel owned."

Tramel, in his statement to police, said "I had been working on the Jamboree stage and had Phil Fullilove helping me. I was at Smithville Electric System getting some supplies from a storage unit behind the building when a green Chevy Lumina pulled up and Fullilove got out. The car had three other people in it. Fullilove came into the building and got a couple of things and put them in the truck. I was getting a sheet of plywood and when I turned my head to look at Fullilove, he hit me in the face. I fell down and when I tried to get up, Fullilove began hitting me again. The man from the back seat of the car got out and ran over and began kicking and hitting me as well. When I could not fight anymore, the man (from the back seat of the car) pulled out a knife and told me to give him everything in my pockets. They beat me again until I was knocked out. They went through my pockets, got my wallet, got $810 out of my front pocket, and got my cell phone that had fallen out when we were fighting. The man (from the back seat of the car) took the knife and punched holes in my rear tires. I got in my truck and went to a house next door and called 911."

Fullilove is under a $67,000 bond and he will be in General Sessions Court on the charges July 24th.

Charges are pending against another person.

The case was investigated by Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr.

Smithville Police have received another report of a counterfeit bill turning up at a local business.

Sergeant Steven Leffew, in his report, states that on Wednesday, June 25th, at 3:14 p.m. I responded to Bumper's Drive-In regarding a counterfeit bill. Upon arrival, an employee stated that a white female of medium build and dark hair gave her a counterfeit $20 bill. The employee noticed that the bill was counterfeit and told the customer that she could not accept it. The woman, who was purchasing a drink, gave the employee a dollar to pay for it and drove away.

The woman was driving a late 90's model small green car.

No arrests have been made.

Mayor and Aldermen-Elect Take Oath of Office

June 30, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mayor and Aldermen-Elect Take Oath of Office

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson and Aldermen Stephen White and Cecil Burger, elected on June 17th, were sworn into office to begin their new two year terms Monday evening during a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at city hall.

City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. administered the oath of office.

After the swearing in ceremony, Mayor Hendrixson appointed each of the alderman to oversee a city department.

The appointments are as follows: Steve White-Vice Mayor and Commissioner of the Police and Fire Departments; Jerry Hutchins, Sr.- Commissioner of Streets and Safety; Cecil Burger- Commissioner of the Water and Sewer Departments; Tonya Sullivan-Commissioner of Sanitation; and Willie Thomas - Commissioner of Finance and Taxation.

(Click on picture to see larger image)

Body of Drowning Victim Recovered from Center Hill Lake

June 30, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The body of a 47 year old Gainesboro man was found by divers Monday afternoon near Cookeville Boat Dock on Center Hill Lake, the victim of an apparent drowning.

Dead is Jerry E. Stewart.

Stewart's body was located around 12:30 p.m. in about 20 feet of water approximately 300 to 400 yards from the no wake zone south of the boat dock.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Stewart was with two friends, 27 year old Doug Foster and 28 year old Jessica Harding, both of Gainesboro on a small boat jug fishing when the incident occurred late Saturday night. He says the man either fell or stepped off the boat and into the lake just before midnight.

Foster jumped in the water but was unable to save Stewart.

Foster and Harding returned to Cookeville Boat Dock to get help. Someone alerted Central dispatch around 11:55 p.m.

Members of the TWRA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DeKalb County Rescue Squad, and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were called to the scene and remained on the lake throughout the day Sunday and into Sunday night.

They returned to the scene Monday morning along with divers from the Putnam County and Jackson County Rescue Squads and the East Clay County Fire Department.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. Sheriff Ray says it appears alcohol may have been a factor.

Sheriff Ray says he wants to thank members of the TWRA, the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their hard work in this effort and to the operators of Cookeville Boat Dock who provided food and drinks to those conducting the search.

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Fiddlers Jamboree