The demand for firearms and ammunition has skyrocketed in recent weeks making it hard for stores to keep inventories stocked.
"I've never seen anything like it. Not in my 40 years of being in business," said Phillip Adcock, owner of Belk Grocery and Sporting Goods, who spoke with WJLE Tuesday morning. " They (customers) have overwhelmed us. I thought I was prepared for it. I'm being allocated on basically everything. We don't order now. They (manufacturers) call us and tell us what they've got and when they do you had better buy it," he said.
President Barack Obama last week called for a new and stronger assault weapons ban as well as a 10 round cap on magazines and universal background checks. The move comes in the wake of the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut which has renewed interest by some in seeking a stricter crackdown on weapons that do the most damage.
But many gun owners, fearing that legislation may go too far, are stocking up leaving retailers trying to keep up with the high demand. "We've had a mad dash for the last six or seven weeks," said Adcock. "There are probably three reasons for it. We had an anti-gun President re-elected. We had a shooting (Newtown, Connecticut) and we had Christmas all rolled into a close proximity of time. I think it just overwhelmed the market. Everybody sort of panicked. I guess due to the Christmas break the manufacturers just got overwhelmed. Its going to take a while for them to catch up," he said
Usually, customers are in the hunt for handguns this time of year, according to Adcock. But this year, they're looking for more. "I think because people are a little bit concerned because they might not be able to buy something a little later we're trying to find a lot of long guns right now for people. They are difficult to find as well. Normally in January and February people go back to handguns pretty strong but it seems like this year its just a combination of all of it. Availability of anything right now is really scarce. Even stuff that you would think normally is easy to get is real difficult right now. Its just not out there," he said.
Still, the requests for orders keep coming, even for the so called "assault rifles". "I've got a list right there by the phone. I've actually got so many requests right now we've quit writing down names and phone numbers. Probably for a week there we had one full time person answering the phone for requests for AR-15's simply because they (customers) were afraid they would not be able to get them after the (Connecticut) shooting. That demand is really overwhelming as much as anything else. If you could get a truck load today you could probably have them sold in a week's time," said Adcock.
Although prices have not really increased that much, Adcock fears some gun retailers may be taking advantage of the high demand. "There's always usually a small price increase the first of the year but a lot of the prices people are seeing now are being raised intentionally. We're seeing a lot of exaggerated prices out there. People have even put their own personal guns on the Internet and doubled the prices. They are selling just as fast as they can put them on there. Really people need to settle down because hopefully it will level off in a few weeks and we'll go back to normal," he said.
Adcock is also convinced that the voting public will hold Congress accountable on whatever gun control measures are considered. "Its still up in the air what they're going to do in Washington over this deal. We've got Congressmen and Senators that's got to come back home and be re-elected by the people. If people get the chance to speak they'll show their support for gun rights and the second amendment and what it all means. We may have a little up and down the next four years but we'll get through that and something better will happen," said Adcock.
Tracy Caplinger of L&C Sporting Goods, who is also an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor told WJLE Tuesday that the interest among people wanting to obtain a handgun carry permit has also dramatically increased. "Gun classes are really up right now. People are really wanting to get their gun permits. I'm booked for several weeks in a row right now. Its gone from one to two a month to probably up to seven classes a month. That's as high as it's ever been since I've been teaching," said Caplinger.
And like other retailers, Caplinger said L&C Sporting Goods has found guns and ammo hard to come by recently. "Everything is really hard to get right now. When it comes in its going right out. We've been here twenty years and this is by far the busiest we've ever been. Its just crazy right now. If it has anything to do with a gun they're looking for it. Pistols, long guns, ammunition, you name it. I'm getting several calls a day. You really can't find any of it right now anyway. There's a lot of talk right now (about what the government might do). Everybody is scared and buying anything they can get their hands on. I really think it will slow down before too long. If all these shootings will slow down I think it will level back out," said Caplinger.
A 24 year old man, who was recently charged by the sheriff's department in a rash of burglaries in the Dowelltown and Dry Creek Road area is now in trouble with Smithville Police.
Allen Robert Lester was arrested on Tuesday, January 15 and charged with three counts of burglary and three counts of theft. Chief Randy Caplinger said that on December 4 and January 2 Smithville Police received reports of vehicles having been broken into and items taken from them on Hayes Street, West Main Street, and Spring Street. Upon an investigation, it was determined that Lester had committed the crimes. His bond is $45,000 and he will be in court on January 31.
Smithville Police arrested a 21 year old woman on Tuesday, January 22 who is wanted by Chattanooga authorities for auto theft. Trinity Wildbur is charged by Chattanooga Police with driving on a revoked or suspended license, auto theft (theft of property over $1,000), and another traffic violation.
Chief Caplinger told WJLE that the Smithville Police Department received a tip of a possible stolen vehicle here. Officers checked for the vehicle and found it at Brookview Apartments. A check with the Chattanooga Police Department confirmed that they did have a suspect, Wildbur and that she had active warrants against her. Wildbur was found at an apartment at Brookview. She was taken into custody and is being held at the sheriff's department for the Chattanooga Police Department.
36 year old Lonnie Wheeler is accused of stealing a 1992 Honda Accord from the Walmart parking lot on Monday, January 21. He is charged with theft of property over $1,000 and resisting arrest, Wheeler is under a $15,000 bond and he will be in court on January 31.
Chief Caplinger said Smithville Police received a call of a stolen vehicle taken from the Walmart parking lot. Officers went there to check the video footage, which showed a person, identified as Wheeler, stealing the vehicle. The car, which belonged to a Walmart employee, was later recovered near the Warren County line.
19 year old Cleveland Johnson is charged with evading arrest and carrying a prohibited weapon. His bond is $4,500 and he will be in court on February 7.
Chief Caplinger said that on Saturday, January 19 an officer was called to a location on East Bryant street where five males were seen chasing a vehicle attempting to attack the occupants. Upon arrival, the officer saw several people walking away from the area. He activated his emergency lights to detain them. Johnson attempted to flee on foot. After being caught, Johnson. told the officer that he knew police were trying to stop him. Johnson was arrested for evading arrest. He had on his person a prohibited weapon, brass knuckles in his front left pocket.
32 year old Jared Atnip is charged with public intoxication and simple possession of a schedule II and IV controlled substance. Chief Caplinger said that on Wednesday, January 16, an officer was called to Rite Aid Pharmacy on a complaint of a suspicious person who appeared to be intoxicated. The officer said that man, Atnip, appeared to be leaning awkwardly in an aisle with his eyes closed. Atnip's speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. He could barely keep his eyes open. Atnip was arrested for public intoxication. When he emptied his pockets, Atnip produced a pill bottle which contained schedule II and IV pills for which he had no prescription. His bond is $8,000 and he will be in court on January 31.
44 year old James Lee Adcock is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. He was arrested on Wednesday, January 16. Chief Caplinger said Smithville Police conducted a controlled drug buy where a confidential source allegedly purchased methamphetamine from Adcock . His bond is $25,000 and he will be in court on January 31.
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 will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.
A Manchester man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a truck from a local car lot.
35 year old Brady Gordon Cunningham is charged with theft of property over $10,000. He was arrested on January 17. His bond is $18,500 and he will be in court January 31.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, January 14 Cunningham took a 2006 black Chevrolet pickup truck from Jason's Auto Sales on Nashville Highway. The value of the truck is $11,500. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.
Meanwhile, 30 year old Joshua Kevin Vickers is charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. He was arrested on January 11. His bond totals $10,000. He will be in court on January 31.
Sheriff Ray said that on October 12 , Vickers allegedly broke into an outbuilding on Green Hill Road in Liberty by kicking in the front door.He allegedly took a chainsaw, leaf blower, a cordless screwdriver set, battery charger and various other items including a 1997 Honda four wheeler all valued at over $1,000. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.
21 year old Joshua Samuel Garrett of Coon Branch Road, Alexandria is charged with domestic assault. He was arrested on January 18. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on February 7.
Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 18 a sheriff's department deputy responded to DeKalb County High School to investigate a complaint of a domestic assault which occurred at Garrett's residence. The officer spoke to a 17 year old girl who had a busted lip and bruising on her right hand and arm. She said that her brother, Joshua had assaulted her because she did not feel good and had nothing to wear to school. The deputy went to Garrett's home and spoke to him. He determined that Garrett was the primary aggressor.
20 year old Austin Lee Rudolph of Mount Juliet is charged with public intoxication. He was also issued a citation for underage consumption. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court January 31.
Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, January 19 a sheriff's department deputy responded to a complaint of a loud party on Oak Drive. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to a man, Rudolph who was very belligerent and unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and he had a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Rudolph, while trying to flee on foot, fell down a hill. Due to his level of intoxication and for his own safety, Rudolph was placed under arrest.
A woodland fire off Casey Cove Road Monday evening caused minor damage to a residence in Buckeye Hollow.
Central dispatch received the call at 5:01 p.m.
(PLAY VIDEO BELOW)
Captain Brad Mullinax of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department told WJLE that the fire started in the woods off Casey Cove Road and moved down the hill toward Buckeye Hollow Road covering about three acres. The fire spread to an unoccupied rental home, belonging to James Meyers of Michigan, causing minor damage to the deck, exterior siding, and a portion of the home's interior.
Members of the Liberty Station, Main Station and other manpower of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the Brush Truck, members of the Tennessee Forestry Division, and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.
The fire was brought under control within a couple of hours and no one was injured.
Governor Bill Haslam's embrace of a limited school voucher program is not sitting well with DeKalb County Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.
In an open meeting with State Representatives Mark Pody and Terri Lynn Weaver Friday, Willoughby said he doesn't like the idea of the state taking money from the DeKalb County public school system and giving it in the form of vouchers so parents can send children to other schools. "I'm against vouchers that the governor is wanting," said Willoughby. "From what I've read, vouchers would be $9200 per child. In our county, we get a little over $8,000 per child (state and local funds). I don't see why a child getting a voucher should get more that we get per child," said Willoughby.
(PLAY VIDEO BELOW OF TERRI LYNN WEAVER AND MARK PODY ON SCHOOL VOUCHERS)
A voucher program, which supporters call the "opportunity scholarship program" would divert state and local funding to private schools.
"As near as I can tell, they've (those in support) got the votes to do some sort of vouchers," said Representative Pody. " There's a group that says give us 100% and there's a group that says don't give any (vouchers) because it will gut the public schools. Is there a number in the middle? Is there a compromise? What would happen if there was a voucher available for $3,000 or $3500 or $4,000," asked Pody.
"Lets just say for DeKalb County it's $8,000 (that we get in state and local funding per child) and I think its more than that," said Willoughby. " If you have ten students that go to a charter school, that's $80,000. That's not quite two cents but its close to two cents of the property tax for DeKalb County that we would be losing and $100,000 for DeKalb County to lose in our education budget is a lot of money," said Willoughby. "Lets say if you're in DeKalb County and you're driving to Lebanon to work and you want your children to go to Friendship Christian. You could get a voucher for $9,200 and you can just drop them (children) off there or there could be a private school set up that won't have anything to do with churches or God and they'll take that (voucher) money away from our school system," said Willoughby.
Once the voucher program is in place, Willoughby fears it will expand creating an even heavier financial burden on the public school system. "I think the voucher system would get just like the charter school system where it would be expanded. The state started charter schools and I look at vouchers as a crack in the wall. If there's a crack in the wall I can put my knife in there and get a little bit more out of it. Later on I can put a crowbar in there and pry it open a little more," said Willoughby. Charter schools are for profit but the average charter school is not any better than your regular (public) school. I think data proves that," he said
County Mayor Mike Foster, who was also at the open meeting, agreed with Willoughby. "I agree with Mark. I don't think it's a good idea to fragment the public schools. The people you're going to be taking out of the schools, traditionally are going to be from upper class people. If you remove them from the classroom and put them in private school, you remove their mama's and daddy's support for that school and their involvement in that school. I think that's the wrong message. I think that it is so harmful to the public schools. I think if we have a problem with public schools we need to be addressing them and fixing that problem if there is a problem rather than sending kids to a private school who are probably going to go anyway. When you start doing vouchers, you're probably going to take the wealthiest four or five percent of the people out of the county and their kids out of the school and their parents out of the involvement of the school," said Foster.
Representative Pody said he has not yet made up his mind about vouchers. "There are a lot of people who want the vouchers and they want 100% of that money to go wherever their student goes and they want to be able to take it out of their public schools," said Pody. "There's a lot of people who say that would gut the public schools and their funding. I am not going to take a side here. I've got to find out more information about it. I don't agree that 100% of that money should be taken out of the public schools. I think the public schools have to educate everybody and if we withdraw all that money I think that will have a detrimental affect on those who couldn't leave that system for whatever reason. We need to fix our public schools if they need fixing. Taking the money out isn't going to do it. However, if there is somebody who wants to take their child out and move him to another school and that education dollar that is part of that could follow the child, I would see some reason in doing that. Having it go to a public school and moving to a private school, I think we would have serious concerns about that. If an individual wants to have their child go to a private school and they are willing to pay for that, its fine. I'm all supportive of that. But using public money to support private schools, I would be hesitant about doing something like that," said Representative Pody.
Representative Weaver said she too has some concerns. "I've got quite a few concerns about it (voucher program). I have not made a decision on it. That's the wonderful thing about committees, debates, and discussions. There still has to be a lot to help me make that decision," said Representative Weaver.
Willoughby is also troubled that the state may create a statewide charter authorizer to take authority to establish charter schools away from local school boards. "When the state started (charter schools) there were good regulations on that and there are some good charter schools but then we saw last year where that the Governor and the Commissioner of Education saw "Great Hearts" and they wanted "Great Hearts" (an Arizona-based charter operation) in Nashville Metro schools. But "Great Hearts" did not meet the requirements for charter schools as were set up so after it was voted down (by Metro schools) the commissioner took $3.2 million dollars away from Metro schools, which I think is illegal. I don't think the commissioner has a right to do that. Its like they now want state control over who grants charter schools so that if a local board doesn't grant a charter school and it can be appealed to the state its going to make them (state) rubber stamp it. Its sort of like saying we (state officials) want local control on some things. When we (state officials) run for office we say we want local control but yet when we don't get our way we're going to say that we (state officials) want control. I think that's what's happened with charter schools," said Willoughby.
Representative Pody said he is in agreement with Willoughby and plans to submit a bill to reign in the authority of the commissioner of education who has the power to override statutory law." It cuts the commissioner's authority. Right now he can override statutory law. But we are submitting a bill specifically to stop him from doing something like this, specifically on charter schools. We are in agreement that this has to be reigned in," said Pody.
Governor Haslam said recently that he plans to push a limited education voucher bill in the Legislature this year. The poorest children in Tennessee's worst-performing schools would be eligible, the governor said. He expects to release details in about two weeks.
State Sen. Mae Beavers (R - Mt. Juliet) has congratulated her friend and colleague, Sen. Brian Kelsey (R - Germantown), on his recent appointment to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Beavers also expressed gratitude for the honor of serving as chair of the distinguished committee for the past six years.
"I am very proud of the hard work that was exhibited by the committee members and the committee staff over the past six years," said Sen. Beavers. "I took great pride in efficiently completing our committee work in a timely fashion, and was excited to lead the committee towards becoming the most technologically advanced committee in the legislature. Also, Im appreciative of my colleagues who consistently praised the great work that the committee produced, and I'm proud to have been one of the few women in leadership in the state legislature."
Sen. Beavers was elected to the state house in 1994, and to the state senate in 2002. She was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2007 until last year, being one of the only females and non-attorneys in recent times to do so. Sen. Beavers was consistently recognized by Republicans and Democrats alike for effectively and fairly running the Senate Judiciary Committee - one of the largest committees in the legislature in terms of legislation volume, and one that covers all legislation dealing with civil and criminal laws. Under her leadership, the committee became the only committee in the legislature to operate in a completely "paperless" fashion. Sen. Beavers is particularly grateful for the hard work of her three past research analysts and her executive assistant, some who have served the committee for over six years.
In addition, Sen. Beavers served as the contact person for hundreds of Tennesseans who expressed their frustration with the lack of accountability and transparency amongst Tennessee's judiciary. She conducted numerous hearings on judicial oversight, and was considered by many to be one of the driving forces behind increased transparency and accountability to the board that oversees complaints against judges, the formation of more stringent judicial recusal rules, as well as the online publication of trial judgment statistics brought about after her 'Report Card for Judges' legislation.
"In addition to laws regarding greater judicial accountability, I am proud of all the legislation that we shepherded through the committee, including tort reform, tougher DUI and meth laws, laws increasing our 2nd Amendment rights, important constitutional amendments protecting the rights of the unborn and prohibiting a state income tax, and numerous other laws to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our civil and criminal justice system," said Sen. Beavers. "I am also thankful for all of the senators - Democrats and Republicans - who served on the committee (often late into the evening) and all that they have contributed to the state of Tennessee."
Finally, Sen. Beavers is appreciative of the opportunity to serve as 1st Vice Chair for both the Senate Transportation & Safety Committee and the Energy, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, and welcomes the possibility of bringing better roads and bridges to District 17. In addition, she looks forward to the additional time she will get to spend interacting with the citizens of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties, serving as their senator for the remainder of her term and for what she hopes will be additional terms after that.
"I was honored to have served on the Judiciary Committee and am proud of all that we accomplished," said Sen. Beavers. "However, I know that it is time for me to move on and provide my expertise in other areas of the legislature, and I look forward to spending more time in my district serving the citizens of the six great counties that I represent for what I hope will be many more years."
Recipients of Tennessee unemployment benefits during 2012 will be able to access the information they need for income tax purposes on the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development homepage: https://tdlwd.tn.gov/ui1099/ on Saturday, January 19, 2013. They can also go straight to the log-in page: https://tdlwd.tn.gov/ui1099/login.aspx.
By entering their birth date or the same PIN they used to certify or inquire on their unemployment claim, claimants can view a summary of total unemployment benefits paid to them, view the total amount of federal income tax withheld, and print a summary of this information.
The department also began mailing the IRS Form 1099-G to more than 245,888 benefit recipients on January 14, 2013. The forms will reach claimants no later than January 31, 2013. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward 1099-G forms.
Recipients of unemployment benefits are not required to submit a copy of their 1099-G form with their income tax return. If claimants do not receive their form in the mail and do not have access to the Internet, any Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Career Center allows use of a computer to print the needed form. Claimants unable to visit a Career Center and not having Internet access may send a written request, including their name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and phone number, with signature, to
Senior Quarterback Lucas Phillips was named Most Valuable Player of the 2012 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 MVP trophy was presented to Phillips by Coach Steve Trapp. Phillips helped lead the Tigers to an overall 10-2 record and another appearance in the state play-offs in 2012. The team won its first ever home playoff game but was eliminated the following week in the second round at Livingston Academy. Coach Trapp said Phillips had 5,368 yards passing for his high school career and threw for 71 touchdowns in twenty eight games played. Phillips rushed for 1,307 yards on 263 carries and scored thirteen rushing touchdowns. "He has been an absolute pleasure to coach", said Coach Trapp. "He has one of the highest competitive spirits I have ever had in a player and that's why he was perfect to play quarterback for us. To get a quarterback to play in our system and do what he did is very special. It's a lot of work. Its different from any other position. And what he knew about defenses and offenses I think will help make him be a special player on the next level," said Coach Trapp.
Phillips set the following school records at DCHS:
Most passing touchdowns in a game: (7 TD's against White County in 2012)
Most passing yards in a game: (420 yards against York Institute in his first career start)
Best season completion percentage in 2012 (almost 60%)
Number one in DCHS history with single season passing touchdowns (43)
Number two in DCHS history in touchdown passes for a career (71)
Number two in pass and rush touchdowns in a career (84)
Number one in pass and rush touchdowns in a season (49)
Number two in DCHS history for total offense in a season at 3,434 yards
2010 Team voted Offensive Back of the Year
2011 District 8-AA Most Outstanding Quarterback
2011 Upper Cumberland 1st Team Offense
2011 Team Voted Offensive Player of the Year
2012 Twice voted Upper Cumberland Region Player of the Week
2012 DTC Sports Player of the Week
2012 DTC Player of the Year
2012 District 8-AA Offensive Player of the Year
2012 Upper Cumberland 1st Team Offense
Pre-Season Academic All American
Phillips' state records:
TSSAA- #5 single season passing touchdowns in 2012 (43)
TSSAA-#4 single game passing touchdowns (7)
TSSAA-#6 for touchdown passes in a career (71)
TSSAA-#9 in pass and rush touchdowns in a career (84)
TSSAA-#6 in pass and rush touchdowns in a season (49)
TSSAA- #10 for 3,434 yards of total offense in a season
Meanwhile, Senior Callie Gash was named Most Valuable Cheerleader. The presentation was made by Cheer Coaches Amanda Fuller and Sonya House. "This award is voted on by the girls," said Fuller. " We probably knew this from day one that she was going to be our go to girl. She was the number one at try-outs and had the highest score and for that reason we were going to her as our captain. We worried sometimes that maybe we were putting too much on her but I think she wanted the responsibility . She did an excellent job at everything. We watched her excel so much as a cheerleader and as a captain and we are truly going to miss her," said Fuller.
"When she made the squad her freshman year she really didn't speak that much," said House. "She was quiet, timid and shy. But I saw a spark there that I wanted to bring out. I kinda took her under my wing and by her junior year she became more vocal and demanding. She became a mini me. My child. My heart. She might have taken this year on her shoulders but she carried it with style and I could not be more proud of my angel," said House.
Other individual Football Player Awards are as follows:
Offensive Player-Will Molander
Offensive Lineman-Matt Boss
Offensive Back- Chris Chapman
Defensive Player-Cody Puckett
Defensive Lineman-Eli Gill
Defensive Back-Alex Hayes
Special Teams Player-Devonta Milan
Most Improved-Spencer Stanfield
Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award-Jacob Parsley
Individual Cheer Awards are as follows:
Best Stunts-Chelsea Lewis
Most Spirited-Elizabeth Mason
Best Jumps- Taylor Marshall
Best Dance-Cassi Lester
Most Improved- Carlee White and Hannah Walker
DEAR (Dedication, Enthusiasm, Attitude, and Responsibility)-Grace Webb
(TOP PHOTO: Tiger Football Most Valuable Cheerleader Callie Gash and Most Valuable Player Lucas Phillips)
(SECOND PHOTO FROM TOP: Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award Winner Jacob Parsley (second from left) pictured with wife and children of Clay, Tena , Abram, and Sarah Edwards)
(THIRD PHOTO FROM TOP: Football Awards:(FR) Spencer Stanfield, Alex Hayes, Lucas Phillips, Will Molander, Chris Chapman, Jacob Parsley (BR) Devonta Milan, Cody Puckett, Eli Gill, Sonni Fullilove, Matt Boss, Conner Apple)
(BOTTOM PHOTO: Football Cheerleaders:(FR)- Grace Webb-DEAR; Cassi Lester-Dance, Callie Gash (MVC), Chelsea Lewis-Stunts; (BR)Taylor Marshall-Jumps, Carlee White & Hannah Walker-Improved, Elizabeth Mason-Spirited)