Local News Articles

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests in Rash of Burglaries & Thefts

October 22, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has apparently solved a rash of recent burglaries and thefts with the arrest of several people.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 19 year old Ricky Workman of Woodland Trail, Hillsboro, Ohio and 19 year old Robert Lydell of South Elm Street, Wallingford, Connecticut are each charged with aggravated burglary after allegedly being caught breaking into a house boat at Center Hill Marina.

Sheriff Ray says on the evening of Sunday, October 14th, one of the boat owners at the marina saw the defendants in a houseboat that didn't belong to them and approached. He was able to detain Lydell until help arrived and an officer caught Workman.

Bond for each is $10,000 and they will be in court November 1st.

29 year old Nicholas Robinson of Village Place, Smithville was charged with theft of property over $5,000 on Saturday, October 20th.

Sheriff Ray says his department received a report on September 26th that three 4 wheelers and a handgun had been stolen from a home on Barnes Mill Road. As the result of the investigation, officers learned that Robinson had possession of two of the 4-wheelers, and that he had stripped them down. According to Sheriff Ray, when Robinson learned he was a suspect, he allegedly took the two stripped down four wheelers and abandoned them in a wooded area on Banks Pisgah Road in an attempt to hide them. Those two 4 wheelers have been recovered.

Robinson's bond was set at $10,000 and he will be in court on the charge November 15th.

20 year old Eric Dickens of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville and 19 year old Brandon Belcher of Miller Road, Smithville have each been charged with three counts of burglary and theft.

Sheriff Ray says the two men allegedly broke into two houseboats at Hidden Harbour Marina and one boat on Casey's Cove Road, where more than $5,000 in goods were stolen including stereos, gas tanks, fishing poles, speakers, tools, etc. Some of the property has been recovered.

Bond for them is set at $80,000 each and they will be in court on the charges November 15th.

26 year old Shaun Hill of Cordell Love Road is charged with one count of theft and two counts of forgery.

Sheriff Ray says Hill allegedly stole checks from the victim, who lives on Bell Street, and passed a forged check, each in the amount of $500, on August 15th and September 26th at a local bank. Hill also allegedly stole an ATM card from the same victim on October 8th and used it to withdraw some money from the victim's account.

Hill's bond is set at $7,500 and he will be in General Sessions Court on the charges November 1st.

Meanwhile, 25 year old Joshua Flatt of North Hampton Circle, Cookeville was pulled over by a county deputy in the early morning hours of October 13th. The deputy, while on patrol, noticed Flatt's vehicle weaving on Highway 70 east, stopped it, and then had Flatt perform field sobriety tasks. The officer determined that Flatt was intoxicated and charged him with driving under the influence. His bond was set at $1,500.

Others with Flatt were also charged including 27 year old Joshua Thompson of Lake Valley Drive, Cookeville; 25 year old William Holley of West 7th Street, Cookeville, and 26 year old William Overstreet of Epperson Avenue, Algood. All three were charged with public intoxication, but Thompson was also charged with driving under the influence by allowance. Thompson, who owns the vehicle, told the deputy that he let Flatt drive because Flatt was not as intoxicated as he was at the time. Bond for Overstreet and Holley is $1,000 each and $2,000 for Thompson.

They will be in court on the charges November 1st.

68 year old James Frazier of Highway 70 Liberty was arrested for driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law during the early morning hours of Friday, October 19th..

Sheriff Ray says a deputy noticed Frazier's vehicle weaving on Highway 70 near Dowelltown and pulled him over. The officer had Frazier perform field sobriety tasks and determined that he was intoxicated.

Frazier's bond is set at $1,500 and he will be in court on the charges November 8th.

Another Successful Weekend for the DCHS Band.

October 22, 2007

The DeKalb County High School Band wrapped up Fall Break with another successful weekend at South Doyle High School in Knoxville. After taking the week off, the band met at the High School on Friday for a few of hours of rehearsal to prepare for the trip. Then early Saturday morning, the band gathered at the High School for one more practice, and then got on the road to Knoxville around 8:00am.

“The week off seemed to do us some good,” Field Commander, Dustin Estes said. And he was not wrong. The band placed second in the class against 6 other bands. Estes continued his three year winning streak by beating out all the other field commanders in class, and in the small division. Dustin outscored all but one field commander in the entire contest. (Large and small divisions).

What’s next? The band now goes into intense rehearsals to prepare for the Division II State competition on November 3rd, their biggest challenge of the year. This year the contest is at Independence High School in Thompson’s Station TN and will include some of the best bands in the state. The band is set to perform in preliminary competition at 11:15am in hopes to perform again later in the night for the finals. The band would like to bring as big of an audience as possible to this show.

“We’d like to publicly invite all Football players, Basketball players, Cheerleaders and any other athletes, coaches, teachers or students to attend this contest with us” Band Booster President Teresa Sullivan said. “Busses will be provided as needed, we just want people to go with us”.

The final two football games of the season are also on the band’s schedule. Oct 26th will be the “Halloween show”. They will perform their normal 2007, “A Night on Broadway” show with a little twist. The band members will dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. This really changes the feel of the show. It’s a lot of fun to perform and watch.

November 2nd will be Senior Night where the school recognizes the Senior, Football Players, Cheerleaders and Band members. This is a special night for not only the seniors but the whole band. The band gets to salute their student leaders for the year. The show that night will be dedicated to them.

The band boosters would like to encourage you to attend at least one of the next few performances. For a complete schedule of upcoming events log onto www.DekalbBand.com.

Smithville Police Receive Reports of Burglary, Theft, and Vandalism

October 19, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department this week received reports of burglary, theft, and vandalism.

Chief Richard Jennings says around 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 18th, officers Matt Holmes and Craig Capps received a call concerning the burglary of an automobile and were dispatched to the Webb House Retirement Center on Jennings Lane where an employee, Phyllis Cantrell, advised the officers that she found a man inside her vehicle as she was preparing to leave work.

According to Officer Holmes' report, " I met with Phyllis Cantrell, who advised me, as she left the building from work and approached the driver side door of her car, she hit the unlock button on her key. When she did so, the back door flew open and a white male, wearing a white shirt exited and ran northbound across the parking lot through the field toward Dearman Street. Ms. Cantrell immediately ran back to the front of the building and called 911. There was no damage determined by myself or the owner. There was a white powdery foot print on the inside bottom door sill of the passenger side rear door indicating the suspect entered the vehicle through the rear passenger door."

The report states that "Officers Holmes, Capps, and County Deputy Jody Johnson followed on foot in the last seen direction of the suspect but were unable to locate him or any clues."

Chief Jennings later went to the scene where photographs were taken of the foot prints and four fingerprints were lifted from inside the vehicle, but the fingerprints were of poor quality and may not be identifiable.

Officers also took a report of a theft of two bicycles at 261 Hayes Street on Wednesday morning, October 17th.

According to Officer Travis Bryant's report, " I met with John Mason and Thomas Harper in reference to some stolen bicycles. They advised that the bikes were discovered missing from their yard at 8:30 a.m. on October 17th. The bikes are valued at $109 and $100.

The bikes were recovered on Thursday, October 18th by the Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Patrick Ray says they were stolen by two of the jail escapees, Jeffrey Hendrix and Larry George, after they left the jail Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, two vehicles belonging to the UCHRA and one owned by Premiere Care were burglarized and vandalized this week at the UCHRA office on West Main Street.

According to Officer Matt Holmes' report, "I met with Mike Baines on Wednesday, October 17th at the UCHRA building on West Main Street who advised me that three vehicles had been broken into. They were parked behind the building. He could not find anything taken from the vehicles.

A 2001 Dodge 35B van, belonging to UCHRA, showed that the medical box had been opened and contents displaced throughout the vehicle.

A 2005 Dodge Caravan, owned by UCHRA, showed the ignition was tampered with and evidence was found in that vehicle.

The third vehicle, a 2000 Ford E350, belonging to Premiere Care, was found to have been tampered with. Information and documents had been displaced throughout the vehicle.

All Four Jail Escapees Now In Custody

October 19, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

All four prisoners who escaped from the DeKalb County Jail early Wednesday morning are now back behind bars.

19 year old Jeffrey Hendrix and 34 year old Larry George were arrested Thursday night in Anderson County.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE early Friday morning that after interviewing witnesses, officers learned that the two prisoners had gone to east Tennessee. Authorities notified the Anderson County Sheriff's Department of their whereabouts. He says George has relatives in that area. "When Anderson County officers arrived, they noticed a camp fire burning in a wooded area where the deputies were asked to check. When approached by the officers, the two men fled on foot but were quickly apprehended without incident. Hendrix and George were transported back to the DeKalb County Jail around midnight Thursday."

They are charged with escape and aggravated burglary and two counts of theft over $1,000.

Sheriff Ray says through the investigation, detectives found that after their escape, Hendrix and George allegedly stole two bicycles and rode them to Toad Road where they broke into a home and allegedly stole some money, jewelry, and then made their getaway in a Jeep Cherokee at the residence. The two bicycles have been recovered but the Jeep Cherokee has not yet been found, although officers believe it could still be in the Anderson County area.

Total bond for each is $180,000 and their court date is November 8th.

21 year old Brandon Bias and 30 year old Ernest Hill were arrested on Wednesday. Bias was picked up at a residence on Allen Bend Road, Smithville while Hill was found near his home in Watertown. Both men were charged with escape.

Four others, 20 year old Randi Renee Atnip, 20 year old Julie Diane Ray, 22 year old Nicky Eudene Reece, Jr., and 20 year old Gary Christopher Ponder, were charged with aiding and abetting the escape of Bias by helping him hide from authorities.

The four prisoners made their escape early Wednesday morning by going through a skylight in the roof of the jail.

Sheriff Ray says he wants to thank Special Agent Billy Miller of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, surrounding county sheriff and police departments, local news media, and all citizens who called in information to the Sheriff's Department.

Evins Foundation Developing Natural Park Downtown

October 18, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Evins Foundation, in association with the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, is developing a natural park on the vacant lot behind city hall and across from the Smithville Post Office downtown.

The foundation is working with William Kooienga and OBP artists to create the park.

Kooienga told WJLE Thursday that the park is a dream come true for the daughters of the late Congressman Joe L. Evins, Jane Evins Leonard, Mary Evins Overton, and Joanna Evins Carnahan, members of the foundation. "Joe L. Evins left that lot, which was part of his homestead, to the foundation more than twenty years ago on which to build a park. They have been trying to get a park there for many years. Different groups have tried to help and city officials were consulted about it several times."

Kooienga says artists of the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, who host the fall event, were looking for a place to do a summer activity and thought this lot would be the perfect location." I liked that space. It's open, close to town, and near the highway. The more I looked at it, I thought, boy, wouldn't it be nice if the city had a park there. I later met with Mr. Evins' daughters and they asked me to design the park. I did that and we decided to go ahead and build it. We started working on it this week."

"It's going to be very natural, kind of a nature space. It'll have curvy paths through the park. There'll be huge boulders, earth berms, and a lot of trees planted around the perimeter. "It'll have an open space in the middle so that campers can still put up tents. They won't be able to pull in motor homes, but they'll be able to put tents in there for the Jamboree and that space could also be used for picnics or for kids to play frisbee or football. There'll be a small stage in one corner so that during the Jamboree, if they want an alternate stage for small performances they will have one. There'll be benches so people can come from downtown to have their lunch. Hopefully, it will be a real peaceful natural space close to town."

Kooienga says donations and volunteer help is desired and appreciated. I've designed it and will oversee the construction. There's not a lot of money for the park so we're trying to get volunteers to donate as much as we can. I'm donating my time and others have come forward to help out. The foundation will own the park and take responsibility for it. Hopefully, the city will keep on mowing the grass like they have been in the past."

He adds that the park should be finished by next spring. "We're going to take a few days off for the tour but right after that we will get back to work on it. Hopefully by late spring it will be finished. That's the plan. We're going to see if some of the nurseries will donate and plant the trees. The fire department is under construction next door and they have agreed to let us take those trees that were planted around the parking lot and move those over to be transplanted in the park."

Sex Offenders Put on Notice: No Halloween Activities

October 18, 2007

The Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole has sent letters to sex offenders it supervises, advising them that they are prohibited from participating in Halloween activities. Board Executive Director Bo Irvin said, “Protecting the safety and welfare of the public, especially children, is our primary goal. We put these restrictions in writing so there can be no misunderstanding about what is and is not an appropriate activity for a sex offender under our supervision.”

The letters advise sex offenders that:

Neither they, nor anyone in their home can answer the door to trick or treaters on Halloween;
They cannot pass out candy;
Their homes cannot be decorated for Halloween, either inside or outside;
They cannot host Halloween parties at their homes;
They cannot go to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides or any other seasonal activity;
They cannot be at any function where children are gathered, including private residences;
They cannot give any Halloween treats to children;
They cannot wear costumes and
They cannot take any child trick or treating.

Curfews are another tool probation and parole officers can use in supervising sex offenders. During the rest of the Halloween season, officers will also be making extended visits, both announced and unannounced, to verify compliance.

The Board of Probation and Parole (http://www2.state.tn.us/bopp/home.htm) is an independent seven-member board whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Board is charged with the responsibility of deciding which eligible felony offenders will be granted parole and released from incarceration to community-based supervision. Along with the supervision of those granted parole, the Board is also responsible for supervising felony offenders who are placed on probation by criminal courts.

Two Jail Escapees Caught

October 18, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two of the four prisoners who escaped from the DeKalb County Jail early Wednesday morning are now back in custody.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE early Thursday morning that 21 year old Brandon Bias of High Street, Alexandria was arrested Wednesday at a residence on Allen Bend Road, Smithville. Four others have been charged with aiding and abetting Bias by helping him hide from authorities.

30 year old Ernest Hill was picked up at a residence Wednesday evening on Chumbly Hollow Road in Watertown where he is from.

The other two prisoners, 19 year old Jeffrey Hendrix of East 10th Street, Cookeville and 34 year old Larry George of Georgia Street, Romulus, Michigan are still at large.

According to Sheriff Ray, these four men escaped from the DeKalb County Jail Annex between 2:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Wednesday by going through a skylight.

After their escape, Sheriff Ray says at least two of the prisoners, Hendrix and possibly George broke into a home on Toad Road, through a window, where some cash and jewelry were stolen along with a 1991 2-door Jeep Wrangler bearing a DeKalb County license tag number of 635-PTR.. No one was at home at the time of the break-in. Sheriff Ray says authorities know Hendrix had been there because he made some telephone calls from the residence before he left.

Clothing worn by one of the prisoners was also found behind a barn at the Toad Road residence, including parts of the orange and white striped pants, and a white thermal shirt. Sheriff Ray says it appears that the prisoner may have made shorts out of the pants by cutting off the lower part of the pant legs and discarding the cut off material behind the barn.

Whether on foot or by someone giving them a ride, authorities don't yet know how the prisoners got to the Toad Road residence, and why they went there, but officers got a break in the case Wednesday afternoon.

Sheriff Ray says " After receiving a tip about Brandon Bias' whereabouts, DeKalb County Officers picked Bias up at a residence on Allen Bend Road, Smithville. Bias tried to outrun the officers, but was caught without incident. Bias was charged with escape and his bond set at $100,000."

Four others were helping Bias hide from authorities. 20 year old Randi Renee Atnip of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville was charged with aiding and abetting. Her bond is $5,000 and her court date is November 8th.

According to Sheriff Ray, " Early in the morning of the escape, Atnip, a friend of Bias', was contacted by Bias. Atnip met Bias and gave him a ride to the Allen Bend address.

20 year old Julie Diane Ray of Allen Bend Road, Smithville was charged with aiding and abetting and her bond was set at $5,000. Ray's court date is also November 8th. Sheriff Ray says she was charged because she had knowledge of Bias' escape and gave him a place to hide out.

22 year old Nicky Eudene Reece Jr. of Miller Road, Smithville and 20 year old Gary Christopher Ponder of Old Man Hill Road, Dowelltown were charged with aiding and abetting. According to Sheriff Ray, these two men were at the residence on Allen Bend Road and had knowledge of Bias' escape, but failed to report it to law enforcement officers. Bond for both is set at $1,000 each and their court dates are November 8th. Bias was returned to the DeKalb County Jail at approximately 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Wednesday evening, Wilson County Dispatch received a tip that Ernest Hill was at a residence on Chumbly Hollow Road Watertown. Sheriff Ray says when Wilson County officers arrived they found Hill at the residence. Hill was then arrested and transported back to the DeKalb County Jail at approximately 8:30 p.m. He is charged with escape and his bond is set at $100,000. Hill's court date is November 8th.

Hill is in jail on burglary and theft charges and Bias is incarcerated for violation of probation.

Hendrix is charged with burglary and theft. He is a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and weighs 130 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes.

George is charged with evading arrest. He is a white male, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and weighs 170 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Sheriff Ray says if you have any information as to the whereabouts of Hendrix and George, please call the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department at 597-4935. Please do not send e-mails.

Mayor says Portable Pump May Be Needed to Support Water Supply

October 17, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson is concerned about the falling level of Center Hill Lake, due to the drought, and how that could affect the city's water supply.

During Monday night's council meeting, Hendrixson told the aldermen that if the lake level continues to fall, the city may need to purchase and install a portable pump to help support the water supply intake at the lake. "As you know, we are in an extreme drought. We've had very little rain in the last year. Center Hill Dam is leaking. They're (Corps of Engineers) going to spend $240-million dollars to repair the dam and one of the hillsides before you get to the dam, that the water is going through. They're pulling the lake down drastically. They've been operating what they call the sluice gates under the dam, 24 hours a day. They have now stopped that (24 hours) and are now doing it seven hours a day. There is no water going into Center Hill Lake from any run off anywhere because there is no rain."

"I went to a meeting two weeks ago. The Corps of Engineers was fairly confident that they weren't going to pull the lake any lower than a 623 level elevation above sea level, and we're fine at that level. I went to another meeting Friday at the dam, and they are now saying there's a great possibility of pulling it to 618 and that is the absolute lowest we can pump water. The pumps that run 2,900 gallons a minute create a swirl and at 618 they're probably going to get air which will cavitate the pumps, or stop them from working until they can get the air out of them."

"We certainly hope it doesn't get to that point, but if it does, we will have to take immediate action before it gets there, or the City of Smithville and 90% of the households in DeKalb County will be without water."

Mayor Hendrixson says he will check with the city's engineers to see if any grants are available to help fund a portable pump. The council took no action Monday night.

DeKalb County Could Receive $30.6 in State Appropriations

October 17, 2007

State Senator Mae Beavers (R – Mt. Juliet) announced that during fiscal year 2007-2008 DeKalb County will receive approximately $30.6 million of state appropriations. Also, DeKalb County will receive a portion of the $9.5 billion of federal funds included in Tennessee's $27.8 billion budget as adopted by the 105th General Assembly.

Senator Beavers listed budgeted state appropriations benefiting DeKalb County in the following general categories: $12.3 million for education (kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education); $2.6 million in state shared tax collections; $10.4 million for health and social services; $2.1 million for justice and public safety; $1.2 million for recreation and resources development; and $1.1 million for state highway projects. The remaining $540,230 is for miscellaneous items.

"The Legislature provided $290 million in new funding to address a significant portion of the amended funding formula called the Basic Education Program. The Basic Education Program formula was redesigned to better address funding for at-risk students, enrollment growth, English language learners, teacher salaries and state contribution levels. The plan will also redesign the way Tennessee allocates money to school systems by replacing the current formula with a new calculation that is simple, fair and transparent. The county's share of the Basic Education Program is estimated to be $11.6 million in the current fiscal year," Senator Beavers said.

Senator Beavers further stated that health and social services' appropriations benefiting DeKalb County residents include: $4.7 million for Human Services' programs; $131,746 for Community Mental Retardation; $248,200 for Children's Services; and $9.5 million for Health services, with $9 million of the Health funds for TennCare.

Senator Beavers said, "I think DeKalb County fared well in this budget considering the available resources. These figures represent the best estimates at this time and will materialize if state revenues are collected as estimated."

Golf Course to Get Irrigation System

October 15, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Board of Aldermen Monday night voted 3 to 2 to award a bid on the installation of an irrigation system for the fairways at the Smithville Golf Course to Oasis Irrigation for $213,716, the lowest of the four bids submitted.

Aldermen Tonya Sullivan, Willie Thomas, and Jerry Hutchins' Sr. voted in favor but Aldermen Cecil Burger and Steve White voted against it.

Burger says "I'm not against golf. It's necessary for the community, but are we going to do something for the rest of the community for recreation? Are we going to spend that much money for our people that don't play golf? We've got people all over the city and county that begs for recreation of other kinds."

White said he felt like the city was breaking the terms of it's own lease agreement with the tenant of the golf course, Jimmy Lewis, by funding this project. " I feel like this would be a breach of the contract on the city's part because we entered into a contract with Jimmy and he's supposed to be installing it (irrigation system) himself"

Alderman Sullivan said "I think he's provided enough information that shows that he has spent the amount of money that was agreed upon in his contract."

Last month, the city voted 4 to 1 to accept bids on the irrigation system and take half of Lewis' rent to pay for it over time. Lewis will continue to pay his monthly rent of $2,500 per month with half going to the general fund and half going to the city to pay the debt of the irrigation system. Alderman White voted against it, saying he felt like the city should stick to the terms of the current agreement with Lewis.

Lewis, with his former partner Darryl Counts, was granted a five year extension of his lease agreement along with a five year renewal option several months ago as a consideration for his commitment " to expend the sum of one hundred thousand dollars in order to dig a second well, to install a sprinkler system for the fairways, and to purchase golf carts". Lewis has completed two of the three projects he agreed to under the lease.

Under the previous agreement with the city, Lewis had the golf course and swimming pool leased until 2012 at a rate of $2,500 per month. Under the amended agreement, Lewis was granted an extension of his lease through 2017 at the same rate of $2,500 per month, with a five year renewal option. The monthly rate can be renegotiated in 2017.

Lewis says he has already spent more than $92,000 on the golf course and swimming pool. Lewis made a similar request to the city council last year but was denied.

After the vote to award the bid Monday night, Mayor Taft Hendrixson asked the council how the city was going to pay for it. "This project is not in our budget. I need to know where the money is going to come from to pay for this."

Sullivan responded, "I don't think we've spent anything on parks and recreation in a while. There's lots of areas it can be taken from. I believe there's some money in the golf course fund. I suggest we get with our auditors and figure that out."

Later in the meeting, one man, apparently an irrigation product distributor, took issue with the city's bid specs on this project and said he wanted to file a formal protest. The man was apparently concerned that the specs called for a certain brand product and should have included others of equal value. City attorney John Pryor is expected to be made aware of the man's concern.

The city's 2007-2008 budget shows that the municipality receives $30,000 per year from Lewis for his rental of the golf course and swimming pool.

The spending plan includes unspecified capital outlay expenditures in the parks department of $15,000 for the year ending, June 30th, 2008.. Total city park expenses comes to $97,876 broken down as follows:

Park Salaries- $40,239
Payroll Taxes- $3,622
Employee Insurance- $7,400
Retirement Expense- $365
Utilities- $4,000
Repairs & Maintenance- $8,000
Miscellaneous- $500
Supplies- $6,500
Uniforms- $250
Vehicle Operations- $4,000
Insurance- $8,000
Capital Outlay- $15,000

Under Recreation Centers, the budget shows total expenditures of $14,100 including $2,500 for repairs and maintenance to the pool, $1,600 for insurance, and $10,000 for capital outlay.

Alderman Willie Thomas asked who was over the city's parks. Mayor Hendrixson says unlike other city departments, there is no alderman/commissioner over parks and recreation, but for many years the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club has overseen Greenbrook Park, booking events, etc. The city also has security officers in the park. Thomas agreed with Burger that the city should do more in providing recreation opportunities. Hendrixson says he has spoken with County Mayor Mike Foster who is interested in having a committee look into the possibilities for the city and county.

In other business, the board failed to act on local businessman Jewel Redmon's request to allow sales of fireworks in the city limits.

At the last meeting, Redmon, owner and operator of Jewel's Market, requested that people be allowed to have the same opportunity to sell fireworks inside the city, as those have outside the city, especially around the Fourth of July.

Since December 13th, 1982, the city has had an ordinance that prohibits the sale of fireworks in the city, but allows them to be ignited, except in the downtown central business district.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker, without taking sides on the issue, stated during the last meeting that if the council were to allow the sale of fireworks in the city, some regulations would have to be adopted.

City attorney John Pryor was to look into the matter further, but he was not at the meeting Monday night to comment on it.

Alderman Sullivan stated that she believes the existing ordinance should remain in place, " I think the ordinance that we have should stand. Chief Parker indicated that were some safety issues that we might not want to get into at this time."

Redmon responded that "Chief Parker told me that there would be no problem with the sale of fireworks as long as we abide by the rules."

No vote was taken on Redmon's request.

The city board approved an ordinance on first reading making the new Secretary/Treasurer, Hunter Hendrixson the purchasing agent for the city. Second reading action is expected during a special meeting on October 29th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

First reading action was postponed on a proposed ordinance to rezone 1.2 acres of James E. Cantrell's property on South College Street from B-1 to B-2 commercial.

Cantrell's request came before the planning commission on October 4th, but the rezoning application was not completed until October 5th, and according to city regulations, the application must be turned in at least fifteen days before the planning commission meets and votes on it. Therefore, City Attorney Pryor has advised that the planning commission take up the request again on November 1st and that letters be sent to adjoining property owners making them aware of the proposed rezoning, as per city requirements. If approved by the planning commission, the proposed ordinance can be brought up for passage on first reading by the city council on November 5th and second and final reading following a public hearing on November 19th.

Alderman Sullivan expressed her concern about the recent transfer of a sewer treatment plant employee, Roger Schaffnit, to the water treatment plant, without board approval.

According to Sullivan, the city administration advertised a job opening for a full time water treatment plant trainee on August 1st and that the job description specified technical certification as a pre-requisite for the appointment. Twenty five persons applied for the position.

Sullivan says the board was never presented with the job applications nor told the position had been filled and that the city code requires formal action by the full board of aldermen to transfer an employee to another department. She says the transferred employee was not certified.

Alderman White says the city currently has two certified operators at the water treatment plant, and Mayor Hendrixson added that this trainee (Shaffnit) is working toward his certification. Hendrixson also explained that when there is an opening within a department, a city employee desiring to transfer has usually been given preference in filling the position.

Sullivan says she wants to know for certain when this trainee will become certified. Mayor Hendrixson says he will have a follow up report at the next meeting.

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