Local News Articles

Nine Graduate from DeKalb County Drug Court

January 12, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Judge Bratten Cook II and Drug Court Coordinator Corey Pedigo

Nine people working to beat their addiction to substance abuse were honored Friday night for graduating from the DeKalb County Drug Court program.

The ceremony and dinner were held downtown Smithville at the Heartland Café. The names of the graduates cannot be disclosed without their permission according to drug court guidelines.

Corey Pedigo, Drug Court Coordinator, said he is very proud of all the graduates. "I'm in their homes with them. I see their families. I see their kids. I've seen them get their kids back. I've worked with them in DCS and in their halfway houses. I've pushed them through treatment. I've argued with them. I've joked with them. I've laughed with them. I love them. I have a genuine affection for all of my clients. I myself am a recovering meth addict, being five years clean. It's so important to me. I have an attachment beyond belief to my clients. I do truly want them all to be well."

Judge Bratten Cook, II said that the drug court program is helping to change lives. "We have a juvenile and an adult drug court program and they're basically the same. We have six juvenile drug court participants and in our adult drug court we have twenty two. We just graduated nine, which is the largest graduating class we've ever had."

"Drug court is a program that is designed for non-violent offenders who are addicted to either alcohol or drugs and who have a desire to turn their lives around, not just a desire to avoid going to jail. In fact, in the process of admitting people into drug court, we let them know straight up that serving their sentence is a whole lot easier on them than all of the things they have to do in order to graduate from drug court. The various classes they have to do. The different workbooks. They have to come to court once a week. The minimum length of time is one year, although it's extremely rare for someone to graduate in one year. Usually it's closer to fifteen to eighteen months. We do not accept anyone who has a charge of violence against someone, whether it's assault, aggravated assault, kidnaping, rape, or anything like that or if they have a previous conviction for a violent offense, they're not eligible.", said Judge Cook.

"Over the years we've all seen people who go to jail and it's the "revolving door". In and out. In and out. As soon as they get out of jail the first thing they do is try to figure out where they can go to get their next fix . What drug court is all about is educating these people about how to stay drug and alcohol free. After all, for those educated and intelligent people, we all know that drug addiction is a disease. It's not a bad habit that someone just picked up. That's the thinking that some people have, but not many anymore because most people have become educated over the years and science has proven that addiction is a disease and it has to be treated as such.", according to Judge Cook

"Drug courts sprang up as a response to the "revolving door" philosophy of the criminal justice system that obviously wasn't working. So we take people into drug court. Most of them come straight from jail. Several of the requirements are that they must have a job. They must attend at least one meeting per day, whether that's A.A., N.A. or in-group sessions and they have to do that for the entire time they're in drug court,", said Judge Cook

"Many of the participants end up, as a result of their addiction and the trouble that they might get into, losing their children. Of the nine graduates we just had, four of them had lost their children to DCS custody and their children were placed in foster care or relative placement. As a result of their participation in drug court and getting themselves straightened out, they regained custody of their children. We all know that drugs don't just affect the person using them, but it affects their children, their spouses, their moms and dads, siblings, their employers and just everyone around them."

"As far as the economics of it, drug court is an absolute no-brainer. Sheriff Patrick Ray and I have had conversations many times and he has shared with me the podium at several different talks about drug court and has said that it cost somewhere around $16,000 per year, per prisoner to house people at the DeKalb County Jail. Well drug court costs less than $5,000. So it's a no- brainer. Do you want to spend $16,000 a year to house a prisoner and then turn them right back out without educating them or without giving them an opportunity to correct their behavior, or do you want to spend $5,000 a year and make them responsible, respectable citizens? It's a no brainer."

Chamber Announces New Board Members

January 12, 2011

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce has announced new additions to the board of directors.

Those recently elected to three year terms are Lori Manns of Manns Master Mechanics/The Real Estate Team; Tony Luna of Sligo Marina; Bill Little, CEO of DeKalb Community Hospital;Valerie Laprad of Leadership Alumni; and Janna Gillard of the DeKalb County Guide

Retiring Chamber board members, completing three year terms are Robin Driver of Center Hill Realty and Judy Sandlin of the DeKalb Fair Board. Meanwhile Janna Gillard and Valerie Laprad who would normally be retiring since they were filling vacancies for board members who weren't able to finish their terms, were eligible for election to a full three year term. Tim Hintz will serve another year on the board as Past President.

The 2010 Executive Officers were
Tim Hintz, President
Les Greer, V.P.
Valerie Laprad, Chamber Board Secretary
Kathie McGlamery, Treasurer
Robin Driver, Past President

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber, said "I am so grateful to our entire Chamber board and the executive officers. They have served as a great team of advisors for me and have been supportive in every way possible. Thank you so much.

Other members of the Chamber Board of Directors are Tom Miller of Liberty State Bank; Keith Blair, Attorney-at-Law, George Oliver of the Smithville Rotary Club; Jason Ray, Leadership Alumni from the Class of 2009; Mike Williams of the DeKalb County Fair Board and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department; Angie Meadows of the Smithville Review; Rob Willingham of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; Les Greer of DTC Communications; Michelle Burklow of the DeKalb County Board of Education; and Kathie McGlamery of the Appalachian Center for Crafts.

Three Smithville Stores May Soon Be Allowed to Start Selling Beer Again

January 12, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three Smithville businesses may be allowed to start selling beer again within a few days

The owners of Jewel's Market on South Congress Boulevard, Village Market on North Congress Boulevard, and El Mariachi on West Broad Street have been prohibited from selling beer since the Smithville Beer Board suspended their licenses for 90 days on October 14th. All three owners were found in violation of the city's beer ordinance which prohibits the sale of alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger, in presenting his case against the stores to the beer board in October, explained that a confidential underage informant was sent into all locations that sell beer in Smithville on Friday, August 27th. In each case, Chief Caplinger said the informant, who is 18 years of age, presented his ID and tried to buy beer. He was successful only at these three stores, Jewel's Market, El Mariachi, and at Village Market.

If the store owners are caught violating the ordinance again, they could lose their beer licenses permanently. City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. said " The ordinance says upon the finding of any violation by any permit holder, the punishment for the first offense shall be a minimum suspension of the beer permit for a period of ninety days. Upon any permit holder committing a violation a second time, the punishment shall be the revocation of the beer license."

DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club Participates in Emergency Exercise – “End of Year Tornado”

January 11, 2011
by: 
Freddy Curtis

Members of the DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club participated in an emergency exercise on Thursday, December 30th, 2010. The exercise was titled “End of Year Tornado.” The drill was conducted “semi-unannounced” and many stations had very little notice of the drill. The exercise scenario was that there was a F2 Tornado sighted in Northeastern Cannon County moving into Southwestern DeKalb County. Wind damage, power outages and road closings occurred during the exercise as well as other damage reports from residents.

Local Amateur Radio Operators utilized local radio repeaters and then utilized their emergency skills for stations in point-to-point contact. Communications were also sent to the State Emergency Operations Center at TEMA in Nashville, Tennessee via wireless computer-radio access. These messages relayed the latest emergency status in DeKalb County. Emergency amateur radio stations at DeKalb Community Hospital and also at Stones River Hospital in Woodbury were activated and evaluated for effectiveness.

A total of 20 Amateur Radio Operators from throughout Middle Tennessee and one station from Alabama also checked into the emergency radio network. Local amateur repeaters were utilized as well as High Frequency point-to-point contact. Those local DeKalb County Amateur Radio Operators involved in the exercise included W3HKG – Bob Mitchell, KF4QNT – Kevin Neely, and KC4GUG – Freddy Curtis - DeKalb County Amateur Radio Emergency Coordinator. Additional stations checking into the radio network were KG4GTD, KG4UBH, KD4WX – John O’Conner District 6 Emergency Coordinator, KI4UMD, KG4NPF, KR4RS, W4WGM, W4KOC, KE4ZKG, K4QJL, KG4NAZ, K4ING, K1KY, N9DGK, K4NZN, WB8ZGM, AND K3LDS.

Special appreciation is extended to W1ADE – Wade Patton of Woodbury, TN for operating the emergency amateur radio station at Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. The club would also like to thank DeKalb County Emergency Management Director Charlie Parker and Claudine Florence, ER Director of DeKalb Community Hospital for their support of local participation in this annual state-wide exercise.

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 - 6:30 PM at the E-911 Center. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.

Sheriff's Department Finds Meth Lab

January 10, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christopher Eugene Layne
Coty Lynn McCormick
Don Eugene Griffith, Jr.

A Foster Road man was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Friday, January 7th after a meth lab was found in the apartment where he was living.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said 23 year old Christopher Eugene Layne of Foster Road is charged with manufacture of methamphetamine. He is under a $50,000 bond and his court date is Thursday, January 13th. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 7th a deputy received a tip that meth was being made at an apartment complex on Foster Road. The officer obtained consent from the renter of the apartment to search. Upon conducting the search, the deputy found several components to manufacture methamphetamine. Layne allegedly admitted that these items belonged to him. The Haz Mat crew was called to the apartment complex to properly dispose of the chemicals. The apartment room where the meth lab had been located was also quarantined.

23 year old Coty Lynn McCormick of Bessie Gribble Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of violation of probation and one count of vandalism under $500. Sheriff Ray said deputies picked him up at his home on Tuesday, January 4th and he is now being held without bond for the violations. While he was in jail on Wednesday, January 5th, McCormick allegedly placed wet toilet paper over the camera lens so he could not be seen. He then allegedly broke the water sprinkler head, causing parts of the jail annex to be flooded. McCormick is under a $1,500 bond for the vandalism.

32 year old Don Eugene Griffith, Jr. of Circle Drive, Dowelltown was arrested on Wednesday, January 5th and charged with theft of property over $1,000. According to Sheriff Ray, Griffith went to a residence at Preston Vickers Road on Wednesday December 1st where he allegedly took a craftsman drill driver set, power tools, two bags of assorted tools, and a chainsaw, all valued at more than $1,000. Griffith allegedly pawned these items at an area pawn shop. Griffith is under a $5,000 bond.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray is asking for your help in catching the person or persons responsible for throwing eggs in the Cookeville Highway/ Pine Grove Road/ Rolling Acres Road area. "A month and a half ago we had reports of someone throwing eggs in the Pine Grove Road/Cookeville Highway area. We also received a similar report this past weekend in the Highway 56 north/Rolling Acres Road area. They usually drive by and throw eggs, hitting houses and or automobiles. According to a witness, the eggs have been thrown from a black truck. That's the only description we have at this time. We ask the public to keep an eye open for any strange vehicles in the neighborhood and report any suspicious activity to central dispatch at 215-3000."

Anyone caught throwing eggs may be charged with projecting a missile (eggs) and or vandalism if there is damage.

State Releases Report Card on DeKalb County Schools

January 9, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The 2010 Report Card on the DeKalb County School System from the Tennessee Department of Education reveals that three of the five schools are in "Good Standing" for No Child Left Behind AYP (Average Yearly Progress) status but Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary are listed as " School Improvement 1" schools because the sub-group of Hispanic students failed to meet the necessary AYP benchmark for the year in the subjects of reading and language arts.

Schools and districts must meet performance standards in 37 categories at each grade span to be deemed in "good standing" under federally mandated No Child Left Behind.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said efforts are being made to address the issue. "Last year Northside Elementary was a "Target" school along with Smithville Elementary, which was only listed as a "Target" school because it's a feeder school to Northside Elementary. We were targeted last year because a sub-group of students with disabilities failed to meet the AYP benchmark in the reading and language arts category. But this past year, those students did make the average yearly progress that they needed to but during testing in the spring, we had another sub-group that did not make the average yearly progress that we would have hoped. But we did not have the data concerning that. With the TCAP tests, if you do not have at least 45 students in a sub-group, the information is not made available (from the state). The sub-group where we need to make improvement this coming year is the sub-group of Hispanic students in reading and language arts. So that's an area where we will be concentrating on at Smithville Elementary and Northside. Our whole goal with No Child Left Behind is to see that all students succeed and are very successful."

While Director Willoughby acknowledges that system-wide there are "opportunities for academic improvement" in some areas, overall he is pleased with the report card and the work teachers and students are accomplishing in the classrooms.

The report reveals that system-wide, DeKalb County schools, for the year, met or exceeded state grade averages in Academic Achievement in the subjects of math, reading/language, social students, and science in grades 3-8 as well as the fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade writing assessments.

Elementary students from grades 3-8 take the TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) exam, and high school students take the End of Course exam. But Director Willoughby pointed out that the state's standards and assessments have become more challenging and that fair comparisons with last year's DeKalb County report card cannot be made because of it. " In the past ten years, you could compare scores/grades from the year before because everything was a three year average, but 2010 scores do not compare at all with 2009 scores and these 2010 scores cannot be compared to the previous years scores. Basically, everything about the test has become more difficult, much more rigorous. For example, what students were taught in the seventh grade two or three years ago, now students are being required to learn that information in the fifth grade. Our teachers are also being trained even more on strategies for teaching these new standards. But I'm pleased with the academic achievement that has been made during this year. As far as Value Added and average yearly progress, we know we've got some areas that we need to improve on, such as math. Those are some of the things that we're looking at right now and we're still working on strategies to meet the needs where we need improvement."

Willoughby adds that "looking at the standards and how they have changed, yes it's tough knowing that we have students that may be having to learn things that were once taught to students two or three grades ahead of them but when we look back on this, we'll be very happy that this has come about because our children will be achieving more. I believe it's good for the state and the nation. We have an outstanding group of educators in DeKalb County as well as an outstanding group of students. No Child Left Behind is good for kids and we're in the business of doing what's good for children."

At the high school, the graduation rate was at 91.2%, above the state goal of 90%, but ACT scores are down. However, Director Willoughby said that's probably because all eleventh graders are now required to take the ACT, instead of just college bound students. "Our ACT scores did go down some but all eleventh graders have to take the ACT tests now, whereas in the past all eleventh grade students did not take the ACT tests. A few years ago, if you were going to college, you would take the ACT tests, so you would think those students would score higher and we were pleased to see our ACT scores go up. Last year's test scores went down, but I attribute some of that to the fact that it was all eleventh graders taking the ACT scores whether they intended to obtain more education after they left high school or not. Many of them are going to college and we want all of our students to be career or college ready. But it's going to look a whole lot different if you have twenty five percent of your students wanting to go to college taking the ACT versus 100% of students having to take the ACT."

The following is a summary of the DeKalb County School System Report Card for 2010 from the Tennessee Department of Education:

K-8 Non-Academic Indicators:
The school system average attendance for K-8 for 2010 was 94.1% and above the state goal

The promotion rate for 2010 was 99.3% and above the state goal

9-12th grade Non-Academic Indicators:
The attendance rate for grades 9-12 was 94.5% in 2010 better than the state's attendance goal.

The graduation rate for DeKalb County High School was 91.2% in 2010 and above the state graduation goal of 90%.

The 2010 event dropout rate is 1.1%.

2010 Academic Achievement Grades for grades 3-8 are as follows:
Math-B (score 50); (state-C score 49)
Reading/Language-B (score 50); (state-C score 49)
Social Studies-B (score 52); (state-B score 51)
Science-B (score 54); (state-C score 49)

Achievement scores show how well students performed on their standardized achievement tests.

2010 Value Added Academic Growth Grades for K-8 are as follows:
Math-D
Reading/Language-C
Social Studies-C
Science-C

Value Added scores in the elementary grades are designed to show whether teachers were effective in helping students learn. Children are tracked from year to year to determine whether they have learned a full year's worth of material since the last test.

For 2010, DeKalb County earned an "A" in 5th and 8th grade writing with scores of 4.3 in 5th grade writing and 4.5 in 8th grade writing. The eleventh grade writing score was "A" in 2010 (4.1 score)..

DeKalb County High School three year average ACT scores from 2008 to 2010 fell slightly below the state three year averages.

The ACT results in grades 9-12 for 2010 (individual year) show that the composite score was 18.5; 17.8 in English; 17.6 in Math; 19.3 in Reading; and 18.7 in Science/Reasoning. The 2010 state averages (individual year) are 19.6 composite, 19.4 in English, 19.0 in Math, 19.9 in Reading, and 19.6 in Science/Reasoning.

The state set a predicted score of the high school Gateway and End of Course test which compare the school progress with the progress of students across the state.

Math Algebra I: NDD (Not detectably different)
Science Biology: Above Average
English II: NDD
English I: NDD
US History: NDD

60% of all DeKalb County High School students in Math and 71% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 25% in math and 49% in reading/language plus writing. (AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

The following are the results from each elementary school included in the report card:

DeKalb West:
2010 Grades K-8 Non-Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate- 94% (State Goal 93%)
Promotion Rate- 100%

Academic Achievement Grades:
DeKalb West: Math- A (Score 56), State (Score 49)- C
Reading/Language-A (Score 55), State (Score 49)-C
Social Studies-A (Score 58), State (Score 51)-B
Science-A (Score 56), State (Score 49)-C

Academic Growth (Value Added)
DeKalb West:
Math-D
Reading/Language-A
Social Studies-B
Science-C

Writing 5th Grade-A (score 4.4): (state score 4.1)
Writing 8th Grade-A (score 4.4): (state score 4.2)
47% of all DeKalb West School students in Math and 63% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 20% in math and 32% in reading/language plus writing.(AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

Northside Elementary:
2010 Grades K-8 Non-Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate- 94.5% (State Goal 93%)
Promotion Rate- 100%

Academic Achievement Grades:
Northside Elementary:
Math- C (Score 48), State (Score 49)- C
Reading/Language-C (Score 48), State (Score 49)-C
Social Studies-B (Score 51), State (Score 51)-B
Science-B (Score 51), State (Score 49)-C

Academic Growth (Value Added)
Northside Elementary:
Math-D
Reading/Language-A
Social Studies-A
Science-B
Writing 5th Grade-A (score 4.3);(state score 4.1)
34% of all Northside Elementary students in Math and 50% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 20% in math and 32% in reading/language plus writing.(AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

DeKalb Middle:
2010 Grades K-8 Non-Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate- 94% (State Goal 93%)
Promotion Rate- 100%

Academic Achievement Grades:
DeKalb Middle:
Math- C (Score 49), State (Score 49)- C
Reading/Language-C (Score 49), State (Score 49)-C
Social Studies-C (Score 49), State (Score 51)-B
Science-A (Score 55), State (Score 49)-C

Academic Growth (Value Added)
DeKalb Middle:
Math-D
Reading/Language-D
Social Studies-D
Science-D
Writing 8th Grade-A (score 4.5): (state score 4.2)
25% of all DeKalb Middle School students in Math and 51% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 20% in math and 32% in reading/language plus writing.(AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

Smithville Elementary:
Grades K-8 Non Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate 93%
Promotion Rate 97.1%

The Tennessee Education Improvement Act of 1992 established accountability standards for all public schools in the state and required the Department of Education to produce a Report Card for the public to assess each year.

Tennessee state law has since been amended to match regulations in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for meeting required federal benchmarks for all schools, school systems, and the state. Additionally, the State Board of Education has revised its performance standards and requirements to meet performance criteria in the new federal law.

The goal of NCLB is to ensure that all students in all schools are academically proficient in math, reading and language arts by 2014. Until that time, schools, school systems and the state will be measured on their ability to move toward that goal. In other words, schools, school systems, and the state must show that a greater percentage of its students are meeting required proficiency standards.

Schools, school systems and the state must meet proficiency benchmarks in nine subgroups, including five race/ethnicity groups; students with disabilities; limited English proficient students; economically disadvantaged students; and the school as a whole.

The Report Card is organized in the following sections: System/School Profile, NCLB (AYP), Achievement, Value Added (TVAAS data), Attendance and Graduation, Discipline, Teacher Quality, Special Education, and Career and Technical Education. Data required by No Child Left Behind are defined in drop-down boxes containing explanations for each criterion. Grades are assigned to appropriate criteria, and a grade scale is available for explanation of specific scaling.

Schools and school systems that do not meet required federal benchmarks for one year are assigned the status of "Target." Schools and school systems that do not meet the federal benchmark for two or more consecutive years in the same category are assigned the status of "High Priority."

Kijanski Named Tiger Football MVP- Winchester Gets MVC Award

January 8, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tiger Football MVP Kevin Kijanski
Tiger Football MVC Quincie Winchester
Tiger Football Player Award Winners
Tiger Football Cheerleader Award Winners
Tiger Football Cheerleader Award Winners

Senior running back Kevin Kijanski was named Most Valuable Player of the 2010 DeKalb County High School Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held Saturday night at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center building. The awards were sponsored by Liberty State Bank

The award was presented to Kijanski by Coach Steve Trapp, who spoke with WJLE after the banquet. " Kevin has been with us for four years. I've had the luxury of coaching him ever since he was a junior pro player. He's always brought the passion and the fire to the game that you wish every player had and we're just excited that he was a part of our football family for the last four years. He was our leading rusher. As a running back, he was our third leading receiver. He was our leading tackler on defense. He led the team in return yards, kick off returns, punt returns. He could have won almost every award tonight that you wanted to put him in and usually that's the way the MVP is so he just had a tremendous season for us. He played a lot of football. He started as a sophomore and just had a great career for DeKalb County."

Meanwhile, Quincie Winchester, a senior, was named Most Valuable Cheerleader. The presentation was made by Cheer Coach Sonya House, who also spoke with WJLE after the banquet. "Quincie is a wonderful girl and an outstanding cheerleader. She can cheer. She can dance. She can stunt. She can do just about everything and anything that we could ask for and she has one of the best personalities and attitudes of anyone I've ever met. She was really wanting to work on her tumbling and during her sophomore year we noticed that there was a problem. So she went and got checked and by her junior year she had been diagnosed with I believe a fractured back and she had several disks that were out of place. They told her that tumbling was out and it almost kept her out of cheerleading but she was able to really strive, struggle, and push forward. I'm going to miss her dearly. She is my angel. She will truly be missed on this squad. It's going to be hard to replace these seniors."

Other individual Football Player Awards are as follows:

Offensive Player- Shane Salley (absent)
Offensive Lineman- Randall Hansard
Offensive Back- Lucas Phillips
Receiver- Dillion Brown
Defensive Player- Devin Thomas
Defensive Lineman- Gage Brown
Linebacker- Sebastian Phillips
Defensive Back- Matt Giles
Special Teams Player- Rickey Spare
Most Improved- Sam Giles
MVP- Kevin Kijanski
Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award- Devin Thomas, presented by Edwards' son, Abram Edwards.

Individual Cheer Awards are as follows:

Best Stunts-Heather Hughes
Most Spirited-Elizabeth Mason
Best Jumps- Johnna Roller
Best Dance-Taylor Cantrell
Most Improved-McKenzie Poteete
MVC- Quincie Winchester
DEAR (Dedication, Enthusiasm, Attitude, and Responsibility)- Taylor Cantrell

Although the Tigers finished the 2010 season at 3-7 overall and 2-3 in the district, Coach Trapp says his program will have a lot of experienced players returning next season. " To all the seniors, I just appreciate everything they put into this program, helping us to build it and now we're in that mode where we have to sustain it. We want to keep taking steps forward. This past season isn't what anybody wanted but the majority of the guys that were on the field were sophomores and juniors so we've got a lot of experience coming back. Those sophomores are going to be more mature physically and mentally so we're very excited about next season."

Top picture: MVP Kevin Kijanski

Second picture from top: MVC Quincie Winchester

Third picture from top: (seated left to right) Devin Thomas, Randall Hansard, Kevin Kijanski, Matt Giles, Sam Giles; (standing left to right) Rickey Spare, Gage Brown, Dillion Brown, Sebastian Phillips, Lucas Phillips

Fourth picture from top: Left to right- Elizabeth Mason, McKenzie Poteete, and Taylor Cantrell

Bottom picture: Left to right- Quincie Winchester, Johnna Roller, and Heather Hughes

Smithville Police Department Crime News

January 8, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

In the latest crime news by the Smithville Police Department, Chief Randy Caplinger says 37 year old Windy Carol Bain of Luttrell Avenue was arrested by Sergeant Randy King on December 31st for driving on a suspended license. Police say Bain was stopped for a traffic violation at which time a check of her driver's license through central dispatch revealed them to be suspended. Bond for Bain is $1,000 and her court is February 10th.

39 year old Brad Elliott Johnson of Carter Street was cited on Wednesday, January 5th by Officer David Phillips for simple possession and possession of paraphernalia. Officer Phillips stopped Johnson for a traffic violation at which time Johnson gave the officer consent to search. Upon a search of his person, a schedule II drug and paraphernalia were found. Johnson's court date is February 3rd.

26 year old Eroydi G Sanchez of Adcock Cemetery Road was arrested by Officer James Cornelius on Friday, January 7th for criminal impersonation. Officer Cornelius stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The two men inside the vehicle provided Cornelius their names but they could not provide any forms of identification. Officer Cornelius was joined at the scene by Sergeant Randy King who recognized one of the men as Sanchez from a past encounter. Sergeant King informed Cornelius of the fake name he had been given. A computer check revealed there was an active warrant in DeKalb County for Sanchez and he was taken into custody and transported to the DeKalb County jail. Bond for Sanchez is $1500 and his court date is February 7th.

Meanwhile anyone having information on any criminal offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the crime Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential

THP Now Says Watertown Man Still Clinging to Life After Thursday Night Crash

January 7, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Watertown Man Clings to Life After his Car Splits Apart in Three Auto Crash
Watertown ManClings to Life After his Car Splits Apart in Three Auto Crash
Watertown Man Clings to Life After his Car Splits Apart in Three Auto Crash
Four Injured In 1994 Honda Accord
One Injured in 2000 Ford Focus

A 42 year old Watertown man, who was initially reported by the Tennessee Highway Patrol as having died from injuries in a three car crash near Alexandria Thursday night, is apparently still clinging to life in Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported to WJLE around midnight that Vanderbilt hospital staff had told him Timothy Estes had died. Now, Trooper Jennings says he has been informed by Vanderbilt hospital that Estes is still alive but on life support.

Six other people were also injured in the crash which occurred on Highway 70 just east of Alexandria near the stock barn. Central dispatch received the call at 6:31 p.m.

Others injured were 47 year old David Glenn Cole of Watertown, 30 year old Brandyn Lee Wright of Smithville, and 37 year old Shirley Ann Hardy, 30 year old Jeff Bush, 16 year old Dustin Lee Hardy, and 12 year old Devyn Wayne Jones all of Rutledge, Alabama.

According to Trooper Jennings, Ms Hardy was traveling west on U.S. 70 in a blue 1994 Honda Accord when a maroon 1999 Chrysler Sebring, driven by Estes, came up behind her at a high rate of speed. According to Ms. Hardy, the driver seemed anxious to pass her, making more than one attempt to do so. When Estes finally pulled into the eastbound lane to pass Hardy, he found himself in the path of an approaching black 2000 Ford Focus, driven by Wright. The Estes car struck Wright's vehicle, causing Hardy's car to also be involved in the crash.

Estes's car ripped apart in the wreck. The front half of the car came to rest across the westbound lane, while the back section was off to the side of the highway. Both Estes and his passenger, Cole were ejected as neither was wearing a seat belt.

Estes was airlifted from the scene by an Air Evac helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Cole was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital with serious injuries and later taken by ground ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Hardy and her passengers, Bush, Jones, and Dustin Hardy were all taken by private vehicle to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment. Wright was treated and released at the hospital.

According to Trooper Jennings, alcohol was present in the Estes vehicle and charges are pending against Cole, who owned the car being driven by Estes.

Meanwhile, Ms Hardy was issued a citation for failing to carry a drivers license and for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). Ms. Hardy, a former resident of Smithville, was enroute to Carthage to visit a family member, according to Trooper Jennings.

Trooper Jennings was assisted in the investigation by THP Lieutenant Randy Maynard and members of the THP Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). Others on the scene were members of the Main Station, Liberty, and Rescue unit of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, Sheriff Patrick Ray and other members of the DeKalb County sheriff's department, Alexandria police and fire departments, and first responders.

Highway 70 in that area was closed to traffic for several hours during the crash investigation and cleanup, forcing motorists to have to take alternate routes.

January is National Blood Donor Month

January 6, 2011

January is National Blood Donor Month

Blood Assurance is in need of O negative, B negative donations. Blood drives are scheduled for Friday, January 28th at the Family Medical Center from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.; at the Smithville Senior Citizens Center at city hall from noon until 2:00 p.m..; and at DeKalb Community Hospital from 2:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

As part of your new year's resolution, Blood Assurance encourages area residents to consider giving the gift of life in 2011. According to America's Blood Centers, if all blood donors gave blood one additional time each year, blood shortages would be a rare occurrence. The current average is two donations per year.

Blood Assurance is currently experiencing a shortage of type O negative and B negative blood donations.

The holidays and winter weather are just two factors that can affect the blood supply. Illnesses such as the flu can temporarily prevent regular donors from giving blood, while the holidays can cause a decrease in the number of blood drives held at schools and local businesses, particularly during inclement weather.

What remains constant is the need for blood. Blood Assurance is the only source of blood donations for more than 50 hospitals and healthcare facilities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

For a list of area blood drives this month, please visit www.bloodassurance.org/blooddrives.

All donors will receive a complimentary snack and t-shirt. Visitors at any Blood Assurance location or blood drive in January can register to win a $500 grocery gift card to the store of their choice. Three winners will be selected at random.

For more information about donating blood, please visit www.bloodassurance.org.

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