Local News Articles

Willoughby Urges Motorists to be Extra Cautious Around School Buses

April 2, 2009
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, concerned about two recent traffic accidents involving school buses, is urging motorists to be extra cautious.

Willoughby says about two weeks ago, a motorist ran into the rear of a school bus near the intersection of Broad Street and Congress Boulevard and in the other accident, on Wednesday of this week, another vehicle pulled from a side street and struck a bus near the intersection of Broad Street and LeFever Street in Smithville.

Children were apparently on board the buses at the time of the accidents but no one was injured.

The THP and other local law enforcement officers often monitor school zones and watch for violators of speeding laws, as well as aggressive drivers and anyone who passes a stopped school bus.

Officials say it's important that children learn school bus safety tips. They include:

Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.
Stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.
Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
Check both ways before stepping off the bus. Walk in front of the bus-never behind it.
Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, then left again before exiting the bus or crossing the street.
The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus. Stay out of the danger zone

There are also important safety tips for drivers to remember, including:

Always stop for a stopped school bus.
Never pass a school bus.
Never speed in school zones, or in residential areas where children may be present.
The "Danger Zone" is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by drivers.
Pedestrian fatalities (while loading and unloading school buses) account for approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities when compared to school bus occupant fatalities.
The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.

Chamber Chat Promotes Many April Activities

April 1, 2009
Dwayne Page
 Jen Sherwood Interviews Guests on WJLE Chamber Chat Program

Numerous upcoming events were promoted on WJLE's "Chamber Chat" Wednesday morning. The program is broadcast LIVE on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:30 a.m.

It was also videotaped by DTC TV and will be televised at a later date.

Jen Sherwood of Leadership DeKalb, a regular on the program, was the host this month substituting for Suzanne Williams of the Smithville DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce.

Other featured guests on the program Wednesday were Jane Roberts and Gail Gentry, Angie Meadows, George Oliver, Pat McCracken, Susan Hinton, and Dot Tittsworth

(Pictured Left to Right- Dot Tittsworth, Jane Roberts, Jen Sherwood, Susan Hinton, George Oliver, and Pat McCracken

The following activities and events were mentioned on the program:

Rotary Club Polio Plus Program

April 1st & 2nd - Rural Development Conference, TTU, Cookeville

v 2nd - Justin Potter Library "Teen Writers' Program" (teen 13-18) at 3:30 PM

v 2nd - 5th – Southern Women's Show, Nashville, Nashville Convention Center

v 4th – The 11th Annual Appalachian Center for Craft's Annual Celebration of Craft, 10 AM – 5 PM – Free to public - Live Music, Food, Demonstrations, & Craft Activities for Children – See their web page at: http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/celebration.html.

v 4th – Liberty State Bank's Annual Easter Egg Hunt – 10 to 10:15 AM - Liberty Community Center

v 9th - DCHS Career Fair -- Contact Lori Barnes or Alisa Rice at 597-4094

v 11th - Spring Celebration, Edgar Evins State Park on Center Hill Lake. Free family-oriented day of fun. Take your children's picture with Ranger Rambles the Raccoon & the Easter Bunny himself. Pontoon boat rides for the kids accompanied by an adult. Birding and wildflower hikes for older children and adults. Bring a picnic or eat at the marina restaurant. Website: http://foeesp.ne1.net/ Call the park office for details -- 1-800-250-8619

v 16th – Leadership DeKalb "Community & Communications Day" in Liberty and Alexandria

v 16th - Justin Potter Library's "Teen Writers' Program" (teen 13-18) at 3:30 PM

v 17th – Liberty State Bank's Bean Dinner from 10:30 AM until the food runs out, Liberty Branch

v 18th - DeKalb Community Bank's "Antique Tractor & Engine Show & Family Fun Day" -- Alexandria branch

v. Engine 59 Volunteer Fire Department fundraising dinner and auction at the main station on King Ridge Road at 6:00 p.m.

v 25th - Spring Festival in the Park, Sponsored by Smithville Business & Professional Women's Club - 9 AM - 4 PM, Greenbrook Park

v 25th – DeKalb County Women's Show – 10 AM to 4 PM at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church gym – Proceeds go to Freckles' Friends Pet Shelter, Inc. – For more info, call 464-6104.

v 25th – Justin Potter Library's "Story & Activity time (children 3-10) with FCCLA Club" at 10 AM

v 25th - Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church "Crosswalk Golf Tournament" - Smithville Golf Course

May 2nd- 3rd Annual Storytelling in the Park from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Greenbrook Park.

TSSAA Athletic Academic Awards Presented at DCHS

March 31, 2009
Dwayne Page

Outstanding student-athletes from DeKalb County High School were recognized in a ceremony in front of the entire student body, Tuesday morning, at the school. The TSSAA Athletic Academic awards were handed out to both individual student athletes and their respective programs, which recognized outstanding performance in the classroom, in addition to their participation in high school athletics.

Eleven DCHS athletic programs were honored with the Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Team Award, which recognized teams with a collective grade-point average between 3.25 and 4.0. They included: Lady Tiger Golf (3.58), Tiger Golf (3.62) Lady Tiger Soccer (3.27), Football Cheerleaders (3.50), Basketball Cheerleaders (3.67) Lady Tiger Basketball (3.57), Tiger Basketball (3.36), Lady Tiger Tennis (3.63), Tiger Tennis (3.96), Tigerette Softball (3.54), and Tiger Baseball (3.31)

Two more athletic programs received the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award, for a collective team GPA of 3.0 to 3.24. They included Tiger Football (3.11) and Tiger Soccer (3.02)

Meanwhile, several individual student athletes received the Student-Athlete Award of Merit, for maintaining a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0 while participating in high school athletics.

Those recipients included:

DCHS Lady Tiger Golf - Shay Sullivan and Kalli Mitchell

Tiger Golf - Logan Clark, Austin Garrett, Grant James, and Payne Denman

Lady Tiger Soccer - Victoria Bennett, Nicole Burger, Kayla Hershman, Candace Lester, Megan Merriman, Erica Neely, Katie Nixon, Jessica Richards, Cynthia Woodward, Wesley Burchfield, Turner Hobby, Josh Lester, and Myra Tramel.

Football Cheerleading- Macy Felts, Krysta Ferrell, Avarie Maynard, Quincie Winchester, Lela Ambrose, Taylor Cantrell, Tiffany Cantrell, Erin Colwell, Heather Hughes, and Kidman Puckett

DCHS Football -Matthew Lawrence, Hunter Poteete, Zach Thompson, Russell Ambrose, Anderson Webb, Ryan Leiser, Sebastian Phillips, Thomas West, Shane Hickman, Justin Poteete, Randal Hansard, Nick Lester, Josh Emberton, Jake Odom, Hunter Stewart, Hunter Stanfield, Elicia Cantrell, and Bradley Pack

DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders - Rosemary Apple, Alison Curtis, Caroline Carter, Kendra Foutch, Amanda Ours, Camry White, Tiffini Hendrixson, Sydney Robinson, and Ashlee Whitehead.

Lady Tiger Basketball -Victoria Bennett, Cynthia Woodward, Martha Webb, Jessica Garrison, Brooke Hutchings, Alex Meadows, Olivia Norton, Lindsey Hardin, Grant James, Christian Atnip, Makenzie Gibson, and Chelsea Cantrell

Tiger Basketball - Hunter Poteete, Tyler Kent, Seth Willoughby, Weston Rhody, Jeff Miller, Russell Ambrose, Kara Young, Brooke Pack, Erin Colwell, Wesley Mason, Payne Denman, Shane Shalley, Ethan Hale, Hunter Stewart, Luke Willoughby, and Alyssa Young

Tiger Soccer - Mason Merriman, Wesley Burchfield, Weston Rhody, Josh Lester, Nathan Neal, Ryan Leiser, Turner Hobby, Nicole Burger, and Candace Lester

Lady Tiger Tennis - Megan Osborne, Megan Merriman, Whitney Gann, Rachel Hendrixson, Niokah Johnson, Alyssa Young, and Jessica Garrison

Tiger Tennis -Justin Poteete, Caleb Gash, Riley Young, Reeves Bellar, Tyler Dunaway, Nick Goff, and Seth Willoughby

Tigerette Softball - Victoria Bennett, Kara Young, Cynthia Woodward, Olivia Norton, Martha Webb, Brooke Hutchings, Alex Meadows, Kayla Self, and Makenzie Gibson.

Tiger Baseball - Tyler Caldwell, Tyler Kent, Sebastian Phillips, Wesley Blair, Shane Salley, and Daulton Fish.

TSSAA Team Awards:
Lady Tiger Golf
Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25 -4.0
Team GPA 3.58
Kalli Mitchell, Keeli Bullard, Shay Sullivan
Coach Chris Vance

Tiger Golf
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25- 4.0
Team GPA 3.62
Ian Johnson, Logan Clark, Keith Ferrell, Payne Denman, Austin Garrett, Grant James
Coach Chris Vance

Lady Tiger Soccer
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25-4.0
Team GPA 3.27
Denise Armendariz, Azalia Arroyo, Nikki Bass, Victoria Bennett, Nicole Burger, Alisha Chapman, Samantha Cockrum, Jodi Curtis, Carla Gilbert, Kayla Hershman, Daryl Hobby, Chelsea Holden, Felicia Ingram, Mica Knight, Sasha Knowles, Monse Leon, Candace Lester, Megan Merriman, Erica Neely, Katie Nixon, Jessica Richards, Kara Schneider, Cynthia Woodward, Francisco Rodriguez, Wesley Burchfield, Turner Hobby, Josh Lester, Cameron Lester, Myra Tramel, Kayla Ellis.
Coach Dylan Kleparek

Football Cheerleading
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Team 3.25- 4.0
Team GPA 3.5
Macy Felts, Krysta Ferrell, Avarie Maynard, April Hale, Kristen Smartt, Quincie Winchester, Lela Ambrose, Taylor Cantrell, Tiffany Cantrell, Erin Colwell, Heather Hughes, Johnna Roller, Katelyn Goodwin, Jasmine Dimas, Kidman Puckett
Coach Amanda Fuller

Basketball Cheerleading
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25-4.0
Team GPA 3.67
Rosemary Apple, Jessica Cook, Alison Curtis, Caroline Carter, Kendra Foutch, Amanda Ours, Allyson Judkins, Cora Beth Rhody, Sydney Robinson, Ashlee Whitehead, Perri Carter, Camry White, Tiffini Hendrixson.
Coach Walteen Parker

Lady Tiger Basketball
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25-4.0
Team GPA 3.57
Victoria Bennett, Cynthia Woodward, Elicia Cantrell, Kristina Stephens, Morgan Page, Jaylen Garrett, Mercedes Luna, Martha Webb, Nikki Bass, Makenzi Gibson, Jessica Garrison, Brooke Hutchins, Katie England, Alex Meadows, Chelsea Cantrell, Olivia Norton, Lyndsey Hardin, Christian Atnip, Grant James
Coach Mike Shockley

Tiger Basketball
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25- 4.0
Team GPA 3.36
Hunter Poteete, Tyler Kent, Payne Denman, Shane Salley, Cody Atnip, Seth Willoughby, Jeff Miller, Wesley Mason, Ethan Hale, Abram Edwards, Cody Myrick, Hunter Stewart, Travon Johnson, Nick Underhill, J.J. Herriott, Andrew Atnip, Justin France, Alex Cripps, Weston Rhody, Daniel Stanley, Luke Willoughby, Russell Ambrose, Ryan Dodd, Kara Young, Brooke Pack, Hillary Bowman, Alyssa Young, Erin Colwell
Coach Lynus Martin

Lady Tiger Tennis
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25-4.0
Team GPA 3.63
Megan Osborne, Megan Merriman, Jessica Walden, Whitney Gann, Jenny Hale, Rachel Hendrixson, Niokah Johnson, Alyssa Young, Jessica Garrison, Kelli Bullard, Azalia Arroya
Coach Boyd Cantrell

Tiger Tennis
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25-4.0
Team GPA 3.96
Justin Poteete, Caleb Gash, Riley Young, Reeves Bellar, Tyler Dunaway, Nick Goff, Seth Willoughby.
Coach Boyd Cantrell

Tigerette Softball
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25- 4.0
Team GPA 3.54
Brittney Armour, Kayla Fish, Victoria Bennett, Shay Sullivan, Sara West, Kara Young, Jaylen Garrett, Morgan Page, Kristian Puckett, Kristina Stephens, Cynthia Woodward, Keeli Bullard, Josie Culwell, Makenzie Gibson, Olivia Norton, Martha Webb
Coach Danny Bond

Tiger Baseball
TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award 3.25- 4.0
Team GPA 3.31
Shane Salley, Destry Wiggins, Jesse Sutton, Tyler Caldwell, Cody Atnip, Matt Giles, Daniel Stanley, Travis Neal, Dylan Roller, Garrett Hoke, McCullough Wallace, Daulton Fish, Wesley Blair, Chris Powell, Andrew Atnip, Corey Atnip
Coach Scott Odom

Tiger Football
TSSAA Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award 3.0-3.24
Team GPA 3.11
Abram Edwards, Brandon Atnip, Hunter Stewart, John Curtis, Matthew Lawrence, Travon Johnson, Hunter Poteete, Matthew Giles, Cody Poss, Zach Thompson, Dillion Brown, Russell Ambrose, Matthew Collier, Dane Holeton, Zach Taylor, Anderson Webb, Ryan Leiser, Kevin Kijanski, J.J. Herriott, Justin Moore, Sebastian Phillips, Skyler Songer, Devin Thomas, Thomas West, Shane Hickman, Chris Odom, Justin Poteete, Matt Crowe, Tony Schellinburger, Chris Bolin, Josh Emberton, Justin Vandergriff, Hunter Stanfield, Jakob Craven, Alex Campbell, Randal Hansard, Allan Lack, Jake Odom, Logan Roller, Nick Lester, Sabrina Griffin, Elicia Cantrell, Bradley Pack
Coach Steve Trapp

Tiger Soccer
TSSAA Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award 3.0-3.24
Team GPA 3.02
Dylan Reagan, Ian Johnson, Luis Richards, Mason Merriman, Thomas Beltz, Cameron Lester, Jesus Rivera, Martin Perez, Nathan Turner, Wesley Burchfield, Weston Rhody, Brad Michaels, Cody Myrick, Raul Ramirez, Francisco Rodriguez, John Curtis, Josh Lester, Nathan Neal, Ryan Leiser, Travis Menix, Turner Hobby, Nicole Burger, Candace Lester, Nikki Bass, Daryl Hobby, Sasha Knowles
Coach Dylan Kleparek

Gordonsville Man Charged in Local Burglary and Theft Cases

March 30, 2009
Dwayne Page
Christopher E. Bush
Gary Edward Matthews
Gregory Guidry
Cindy Guidry

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested a Gordonsville man on local burglary and theft charges.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says county detectives, on Friday, March 27th, arrested 34 year old Christopher E. Bush of Meadow Drive, Gordonsville for burglary, two counts of theft of property under $500, two counts of theft of property over $500, and three counts of theft of property over $1,000.

Sheriff Ray says he and members of his department spent much of the day on Thursday March 26th gathering up stolen items from recent thefts in the Dale Ridge Road and Temperance Hall areas. The items were recovered in Smith and Trousdale Counties.

Through an investigation, Sheriff Ray says it was determined that Bush went to many homes and businesses in the northwestern part of DeKalb County and stole items from those places. He says in February, Bush went to a residence on Lancaster Highway in DeKalb County, broke into the home, and stole items such as DVDs, books, fishing equipment, boxes of lures and fly baits, a DVD player, hair dryer, and a curling iron valued at $2,260.

During the month of March, Sheriff Ray says Bush stole items such as hose pipes, 55 gallon GI cans, gas grills, vases, end tables, blowers, planters, wooden benches, rocking chairs, tables and chairs, 2 kayaks, boating equipment, and wooden barrels valued at more then $5,200. These items were taken from at least seven different locations in the Wolf Creek and Temperance Hall Areas.

Bush's bond was set at $325,000 and he will appear in court on April 2nd. The investigation continues and more arrests are pending.

Meanwhile in other cases, deputies responded to an unwanted person call on Dale Ridge Road last Wednesday, March 25th. Upon arrival, officers were told that the (unwanted) person or persons had left but a description of the vehicle was provided. Officers went to Chapman Hollow Road and spotted the vehicle, which was weaving. They pulled the vehicle over. After stopping, the driver immediately exited the vehicle and an officer saw a Canadian Mist whiskey bottle fall out of the automobile and onto the ground. The driver, 22 year old Shauna Faye Stringer of Alexandria Highway, Brush Creek submitted to sobriety tasks which she failed and she refused a blood alcohol test. Stringer also had no valid driver's license. She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, no driver's license and she was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. her bond was set at $2,500 and she will appear in court on April 9th.

Also last Wednesday, 20 year old Marie Julie Pirolo of East Spring Street, Cookeville was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Pirolo was stopped on Highway 70 East for a traffic violation and after deputies checked her driver's license, it was discovered the license was suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Putnam County. Pirolo's bond was set at $1,000 and
she will appear in court on April 8th.

On Thursday, March 26th, deputies were patrolling in Dowelltown when they spotted a vehicle with no license plate and a broken tail light. Officers stopped the vehicle and found that 36 year old Gary Edward Matthews of Four Seasons Road, Smithville was driving on a revoked driver's license. Matthews was placed under arrest and during a pat down search, deputies found two cut
straws and a yellow pill believed to be Hydrocodone in Matthews' pants. Another yellow Hydrocodone pill was lying in the vehicle where Matthews was sitting. Matthews was transported to the DeKalb County Jail where correctional officers found 19 more blue pills believed to be Hydrocodone hidden in Matthews' shoe. Matthews was charged with driving on a revoked driver's license, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule III drug Hydrocodone, and introduction of a schedule III drug Hydrocodone into a penal institution. His total bond was set at $9,000 and he will appear in court on April 9th. Matthews was also issued citations for violation of the registration and light laws.

On Friday, March 27th, deputies were summoned to Puckett's Point Road ,Smithville where a man had barricaded himself in his bathroom with a knife and was stabbing himself. Upon arrival officers found 24 year old Gregory Mark Guidry in a bathroom armed with a knife. He was waving the knife at deputies and begging them to shoot him. While officers were pleading with Guidry to put the knife down, Guidry's mother 51 year old Cindy W. Guidry of Puckett's Point Road, Smithville began screaming and fighting with the deputies. She appeared to be intoxicated. Officers asked the woman to leave the residence so they could talk with Gregory but she refused and grabbed one of the deputies around the arm and attempted to pull him away from the bathroom. Ms. Guidry then grabbed the officer's uniform, pulling the name tag off his shirt. Another deputy grabbed Ms. Guidry and escorted her outside. After a brief stand off, Sheriff Ray and other officers talked Gregory Guidry into throwing the knife down. Meanwhile, outside the residence, Cindy Guidry again started fighting with deputies and trying to start trouble. She was arrested and placed into a patrol car at the scene. Gregory Guidry was treated at the scene by the DeKalb EMS for self inflected wounds to his arm. He was then transported, accompanied by sheriff's department officials, to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated and released. Cindy Guidry was charged with assault on an officer and public intoxication. Her bond was set at $4,500 and she will appear in court on April 2nd.. Gregory Guidry was arrested for reckless endangerment for pointing the knife at several deputies. His bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on April 23rd.

On Sunday, March 29th, deputies arrested 24 year old Jose Estela Quinones of East First Street, Cookeville for driving under the influence and no valid driver's license. While on patrol in the northern part of DeKalb County, deputies saw two males walking on highway 56 north. An officer stopped and talked with the two and noticed that they were very wet and muddy. Through an investigation, the officer learned that the two had been in an automobile accident on highway 56 and had left the scene. Quinones, who admitted that he was the driver of the vehicle, had a smell of alcohol on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. He submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. A check of his license revealed he had none. Quinones' bond was set at $2,500 on the charges and he will appear in court on April 23rd. Quinones was also issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law after he refused a blood test.

Also on Sunday, officers arrested 25 year old Dennis Allan Wright of Pigeon Roost Road, Brush Creek for driving under the influence and simple possession of a schedule IV drug marijuana. Deputies stopped Wright for a traffic violation on highway 70 east and noticed a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Wright submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. After placing Wright into custody, officers found in the vehicle a half smoked marijuana cigarette, an opened can of beer in the driver's side floor board, and a cooler containing beer. Wright admitted to
drinking at least five beers. Wright's bond was set at $3,000. He was also issued a
citation for violation of the implied consent law after he refused a blood test. Another citation was issued for violation of the open container law for the open beer found in his vehicle. Wright will
be in court on April 23rd to face his charges.

On Saturday, March 28th deputies received a call of a hit and run driver from Warren
County and then spotted the vehicle on highway 56 south. The vehicle was stopped for weaving. The driver was found to be 47 year old Alexander Stevens Bosland of Valley View Road, Crossville. Officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Bosland. He submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Bosland was placed under arrest and upon inventorying Bosland's
car, deputies found a loaded .45 caliber semi automatic hand gun beside of the driver's side seat. Bosland was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence. Bosland's bond was set at $5,000 and he will appear in court on April 9th.

Turner Crowned Junior Miss of Spring Blossom Pageant

March 28, 2009
Dwayne Page
2009 Junior Miss Darrian Lanay Turner
Junior Miss Darrian Lanay Turner and Runners-up
Miss Congeniality Crystal Page Vickers and Miss Photogenic Sarah Edwards

Eleven year old Darrian Lanay Turner of Smithville is the new Junior Miss of the Spring Blossom Pageant, which was held Saturday night at the high school and sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club.

Turner, daughter of Regina Turner and Shane Turner, succeeds the retiring Junior Miss, Cora Beth Rhody, the fifteen year old daughter of Kenny and Beth Rhody of Smithville.

First runner-up in the pageant was twelve year old Haley Marie Hale of Smithville, daughter of Melissa Hale and Chad Hale.

Fourteen year old Kelley Walker of Smithville was second runner-up. She is the daughter of Michelle Walker and Shane Walker.

Zoe Elaine Whaley of Smithville, the thirteen year old daughter of Celia Whaley and Scott Whaley, was named third runner-up.

Twelve year old Taneah Brooke Cantrell of Smithville, daughter of Tammy Cantrell and Scott Cantrell was the fourth runner-up.

Others making up the top ten in no particular order were Jayde Nokes of Smithville, the twelve year old daughter of Jamie Nokes and Toby Nokes; Chelsea Lewis of Smithville, the fourteen year old daughter of Gina Lewis and Jimmy Lewis; Kami Bogle of Smithville, the thirteen year old daughter of Amy Scott and Chris Bogle; Katie Haggard of Smithville, the fourteen year old daughter of Vicki Haggard and David Haggard; and Sarah Edwards of Liberty, the thirteen year old daughter of Tena Edwards and the late Clay Edwards.

The title of Miss Congeniality went to Crystal Page Vickers of Liberty, the thirteen year old daughter of Wanda Vickers and Joseph Vickers.

Sarah Edwards of Liberty was named Miss Photogenic. She is the daughter of Tena Edwards and the late Clay Edwards.

A total of twenty one young ladies participated in the pageant.

(Top Photo- Junior Miss Darrian Lanay Turner)
(Middle Photo-Left to Right: Zoe Elaine Whaley, Haley Marie Hale, Junior Miss Darrian Lanay Turner, Kelley Walker, and Taneah Brooke Cantrell)
(Bottom Photo- Left to Right: Miss Congeniality Crystal Page Vickers and Miss Photogenic Sarah Edwards)

2009 Little Miss Title Goes to Christina Howard

March 28, 2009
Dwayne Page
2009 Little Miss Christina Howard-
Miss Photogenic Madison Rae Rackley
Little Miss Christina Howard and Runners up (photo by Studio Six)
Little Miss Manners Alexandria Morris (photo by Studio Six)

Five year old Christina Howard of Smithville is the 2009 Little Miss of the annual spring pageant sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club.

She was crowned Saturday night.

Howard, daughter of Allison Howard and Kevin Howard, succeeds the retiring Little Miss, Emma Brooke Jennings, the five year old daughter of Chad and Shelly Jennings of Smithville.

Five year old Madison Rae Rackley of Smithville, daughter of Jessica Rackley and Gordon Rackley, was named first runner-up. She was also the pageant's Miss Photogenic.

Second runner-up went to Hannah Leigh Lohorn of Alexandria, the five year old daughter of Nikki and Jason Lohorn.

Third runner-up was Monica Arecelia Robinson of Smithville, the six year old daughter of Anna Robinson and Chris Robinson.

Six year old Alexis Grace Atnip of Smithville was fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Veronica Atnip and Barry Atnip.

Rounding out the top eleven in no particular order are Katherine Grace Colwell of Smithville, the five year old daughter of Christie and Trent Colwell; Elizabeth Seber of Smithville, the four year old daughter of Amy Seber and Daniel Seber; Caitlyn Harwell of Smithville, the five year old daughter of Jaya Harwell and Jerry Harwell; Mackenzie Brooke Poss of Smithville, the six year old daughter of Terri Poss and Wallace Rackley; Hannah Elizabeth McBride of Smithville, the six year old daughter of Danielle Carr and Anthony Carr; and Chloe Isbella Trobaugh of Smithville, the four year old daughter of Judith Hale and Kevin Hale.

Alexandria Morris of Liberty was named Miss Manners. She is the daughter of Lana Alverson and Bradley Alverson.

The pageant featured twenty nine contestants.

(Top Photo- Little Miss Christina Howard)
(Second from top photo- Miss Photogenic-Madison Rae Rackley)
(Third from top photo by Studio Six- Left to Right: Alexis Grace Atnip, Hannah Leigh Lohorn, Little Miss Christina Howard, Madison Rae Rackley, and Monica Arecelia Robinson)
(Bottom photo by Studio Six- Little Miss Manners Alexandria Morris)

Emberton Wins Little Mister Pageant

March 28, 2009
Dwayne Page
Kobbe Braden Clary, Dexton Bradley Emberton, Caden Allen Clark

Five year old Dexton Bradley Emberton of Smithville was crowned Little Mister of the annual spring pageant held Saturday at DeKalb County High School sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club.

Emberton is the son of Brandi and Travis Johnson and Steven Emberton.

Emberton was also named Mister Photogenic.

Meanwhile, six year old Caden Allen Clark of Smithville was named first runner-up. He is the son of Cayla Sanders and Bryan Clark

Five year old Kobbe Braden Clary of Smithville was the second runner-up. He is the son of Brooke and David Clary.

Clary was also chosen Mister Manners.

AmVets Riders Donate Time to Roof Home of World War II Veteran

March 28, 2009
Dwayne Page
AmVets Riders Roof Home of WW II Veteran Lloyd Tisdale and Imogene Page
Members of AmVets Riders POST 101

The AmVets Riders Chapter Post #101 recently donated their time and labor to roof the house of World War II veteran Lloyd Tisdale and Imogene Page.

The Confederate Sons Association of Cookeville also came in to assist the riders.

The ladies cooked and brought food to feed the volunteers. Maggies Landing supplied the cole slaw.

The Riders of AmVets are looking forward to helping many more people in the community.

Former District Attorney General Bill Gibson Disbarred

March 27, 2009
Bill Gibson

Former District Attorney General William E. Gibson, a Cookeville attorney, was disbarred by Order of the Tennessee Supreme Court entered March 20, 2009.

He can no longer practice law.

According to a news release on the Tennessee Bar Association's web site, "By Judgment filed January 15, 2009, a three (3) member Hearing Panel found that Gibson, the former District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District, engaged in intentional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that seriously adversely reflected on his fitness to practice law."

Gibson's legal troubles began in September of 2006 when it was discovered that he had improperly counseled Chris Adams, a man that his office was prosecuting in a murder case.

He also improperly helped Tina Sweat, a young woman who had been convicted of meth and assault offenses, by getting her conviction reversed and removed from the record.

As a result of the allegations, Gibson's law license was suspended in the fall of 2006, forcing him to step aside as top prosecutor, and assistant DA Tony Craighead filled the vacancy in Gibson's absence.

Gibson was investigated by the TBI and the case was presented to a Putnam County grand jury but he was not indicted .

Last year, as the state legislature prepared to oust Gibson from office, he resigned. Crossville attorney Randy York was later appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to fill Gibson's position as District Attorney General for the 13th Judicial District, which includes DeKalb County.

The news release states that "The Hearing Panel further found that Gibson, as an elected official holding a governmental position, knowingly misused and abused his position with the intent to obtain a significant benefit for another, and caused serious injury to the integrity of the legal process. The Hearing Panel found that while Gibson was the District Attorney, Gibson improperly communicated with Christopher Adams who was incarcerated and charged with first degree murder and other serious felonies.

Additionally, the Panel found that Gibson as a District Attorney influenced the outcome of the Adams prosecution, while misrepresenting the strength of the State's case to the family of the victim.

The Board of Professional Responsibility also charged Mr. Gibson with engaging in a conflict of interest in improperly assisting Tina Sweat in obtaining post-conviction relief. The Hearing Panel found that Gibson intentionally deceived the Court in the handling of the Tina Sweat Petition for Post-Conviction Relief and submission of an Order granting her request by making misrepresentations, improperly withholding material information, and causing a significant adverse effect on the legal proceeding.

The Hearing Panel found Gibson violated Rule of Professional Conduct 1.3 in Gibson's prosecution of Christopher Adams for first degree murder and by failing to act with reasonable diligence in representing the State of Tennessee in response to Tina Sweat's Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. Gibson violated Rule 1.6 by breaching confidentiality during Gibson's ongoing personal relationship with Adams and by Gibson's actions in Tina Sweat's Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. Gibson violated Rule 1.7 by engaging in a conflict of interest regarding the prosecution and post-conviction petition of Adams and the post-conviction of Sweat.

Gibson violated Rule 3.5 in his ex parte communications with Judge (Lillie Ann) Sells and Judge (John) Turnbull regarding the Sweat Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. Gibson violated Rule 4.1 by making dishonest and deceitful communications with the Court in the Sweat Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. Gibson violated Rule 4.2 by communicating with Christopher Adams and Tina Sweat, both of whom were represented by counsel. Gibson violated Rule 8.1 by misrepresenting the nature of his relationship with Tina Sweat to the Board of Professional Responsibility. Gibson violated Rule 8.4 by engaging in deceitful conduct in the Adams case and engaging in conduct in the Sweat case which was a misrepresentation to the Court and in both cases was prejudicial to the administration of justice.

On September 25, 2006, the Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended Gibson's law license for posing a threat of substantial harm to the public based upon reports by Judge Leon Burns and attorney John Parsons concerning Gibson's actions in the Adams case. Gibson has remained temporarily suspended since the Supreme Court's September 25, 2006 Order.

Neither Gibson nor the Board of Professional Responsibility appealed the Hearing Panel's Judgment and by Order entered March 20, 2009, the Supreme Court accepted and adopted the Hearing Panel's Judgment disbarring Mr. Gibson."

DeKalb Population up by 7.3% since 2000 based on Census Estimates

March 26, 2009
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's population is up by 7.3% since the last official census in 2000.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau calculations show that the 2008 estimated population of DeKalb County is 18,694, up from 17,423 in 2000.

Henry Bowman, analyst of the Upper Cumberland Development District says this rate of growth in DeKalb County is "fairly typical for a small Upper Cumberland County."

Bowman says the Census Bureau will release more estimates later in the year on population by race, Hispanic origin, and age. " I can understand how they determine the age, but I don't see how they can come up with a reasonable estimate in the local area for the Hispanic population, but we suspect it's increasing although there is some evidence that the rate of growth, at least nationwide has slowed down because of the economic slowdown. When they do issue the estimates by age group, they will have a pretty good handle on the age 65 plus population and how it's changed because they use Medicare records to estimate that. And in places like DeKalb County, there's a good bit of seasonal housing I suspect because of the lake development. Some people don't really live there (DeKalb County) year round. They are here parts of the year and not here other parts of the year. We certainly see that in a major way in Cumberland County. So a lot of this depends on the time of year that these population estimates are made or do the census either for that matter."

Although the next official census is not until 2010, Bowman says population estimates are made regularly based on Medicare records and exemptions on personal income tax returns. "They divide it into two population groups, those age 65 and over and those under age 65. For those 65 and over, they use Medicare records and that's practically universal. You should be able to get a good handle on that. For those who are under 65, they look at exemptions claimed on personal income tax returns"

Most counties in the Upper Cumberland realized population gains since 2000, but Bowman said a few of the more rural counties actually showed a decline in population. But, because those counties may have been more affected by the downturn in the economy, the population estimates there may not be totally accurate. " When to the extent that job losses in a given county exceed the national average, it tends to understate the population growth because people aren't required to file income tax returns who may have been in the past because they have lost income and no longer have to file so there's a little downward bias there in counties that have been hard hit by economic slowdown. That seems to be the case with counties in the Upper Cumberland that are showing a population decline, Clay and Jackson in particular, Van Buren to a lesser extent, and Pickett. I know there have been major job losses in those counties so that may be a factor but we don't really have any way of knowing for sure."

Meanwhile, the latest estimates, based on 2008 data, for the other Upper Cumberland counties are as follows:

* Cannon, 13,804, up from 12,826 in 2000; Clay, 7,794, down slightly from the 7,976 counted in 2000; Cumberland, 53,590, up from 46,802. DeKalb, 18,694, up from 17,423 in 2000; Fentress, 17,667, up from 16,625 in 2000; Jackson, 10,847, down slightly from 10,984 in 2000;

* Macon, 21,836, up from 20,386 in 2000; Overton, 20,975, up from 20,118; Pickett, 4,801, down slightly from 4,945 in 2000; Putnam, 71,160, up from 62,315; Smith, 19,107, up from 17,712; Van Buren, 5,481, down slightly from 5,508; Warren, 39,842, up from 38,276; White, 25,129, up from 23,102.

The total population of the Upper Cumberland region as of 2008 was estimated at 330,729, up from the 304,998 recorded at the 2000 census.


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