Local News Articles

Man Airlifted after Car Crash Near Alexandria

October 14, 2010
Dwayne Page

An 18 year old man was seriously injured in a one car crash Wednesday night on Highway 70 near the stock barn in Alexandria.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says Kyle Thomas of Alexandria was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier when he lost control and wrecked. According to reports, the car flipped over on it's top and Thomas, who was partially ejected and pinned underneath the vehicle, had to be extricated.

Thomas was removed from the car and taken by ground ambulance to the Lebanon airport where he was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

A woman called 911 just before 10:00 p.m. to report that a reckless driver on Highway 70 had almost run her and her husband off the road. The woman and her husband were traveling in separate vehicles. Moments later, the caller reported that the reckless driver had run off the road himself near Dry Creek Road at Dowelltown, but then got back on the road heading west toward Alexandria.

The motorist apparently continued to follow the car and witnessed the wreck. The accident was reported to 911 at 10:08 p.m.

In addition to the Tennessee Highway Patrol and DeKalb EMS, members of the Alexandria Police Department and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department responded along with the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's rescue and extrication team and the Liberty Fire Station.

Firefighters Invite you to DeKalb County Engine 59 Auction and Fish Fry

October 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Bradley Johnson

A DeKalb County Engine 59 Auction and Fish Fry will be Saturday, October 16th at 782 King Ridge Road. The fish fry and auction preview will be at 5:00 p.m. The auction starts at 7:00 p.m. Items to be auctioned include handmade quilts, homemade pies and cakes, and numerous goods donated from local businesses.

Bradley Johnson, a member of the fire station, invites you to come and enjoy the food and fellowship and get to know your firefighters and what they do for this community. "We're excited. We're having a fish fry and an auction on Saturday. We'll be starting at five o'clock. We'll have a LIVE band from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Jubal's Cry will be coming out and playing for us."

"We are very fortunate to have a county that provides for us and we've also been very fortunate to have received some grants but we do try to supplement a few things we need through fundraising. Last year we purchased a generator with some of the funds we got and a few other things we needed."

"A little history about engine 59, we began in 2007. That was when a fire engine was first placed in that community. Right now we have six members including Jimmy Martin. He's our Station Commander. He's been on the fire department for seven years and last year he got "Firefighter of the Year."

"Other members are Kyle Casper. He's been on for four years. Billy Crymes has been on the county fire department for nine years."

"I (Bradley Johnson) received the "Rookie of the Year" award last year and I have been on for a little over two years."

"Bradley Taylor has been on for a little over a year and Jake Bond is a Rookie this year. We're always looking for new recruits."

"Out of our station, we run one engine, a tanker and service truck for the entire county, a rescue/extrication truck, a brush truck, and a boat, which all run out of the main station. We stay pretty busy."

Prices for the fish fry are $10 for adults and $5 for those age ten and younger. Directions: Take Highway 70 west and turn beside Kilgore's on Highway 83 (King Ridge Road). Then turn on the third road on the right. The fire station is on the right. Look for the signs. Donations for the auction are still being accepted. Call 615-418-6067.

October is National Chiropractic Health Month.

October 13, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson and County Mayor Mike Foster have signed resolutions recognizing October as National Chiropractic Health Month.

The resolution states that "Whereas, a healthy weight is an essential part of a healthy and active lifestyle;

Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States over the past 20 years;

Whereas, statistics show that more than 60% of adult Americans are either overweight or obese and that nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are either overweight or obese;

Whereas, being overweight or obese is associated not only with heart disease and diabetes but also with increased risks for certain types of cancer;

Whereas, excess weight puts added stress on the low back and forces the spine to work harder to hold the body upright, which in turn causes stress and tension in the muscles and often leads to pain;

Whereas, Doctors of Chiropractic are preventive care providers who focus on the health of the whole person and have particular expertise in the prevention and care of neuromusculoskeletal injuries;

Whereas, Doctors of Chiropractic are trained in proper nutrition and often provide their patients with dietary advice and exercise recommendations;

Whereas, National Chiropractic Health Month serves as a reminder to all of our Smithville and DeKalb County citizens about the importance of making good health decisions, including eating nutritious foods and getting adequate amounts of exercise;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Mayor of Smithville and County Mayor of DeKalb County join with the American Chiropractic Association and Dr. R. Atnip of Atnip Chiropractic Clinic in proclaiming the month of October as National Chiropractic Health Month.

Outdoor Burning Permit Season Begins October 15th

October 13, 2010

It's again fire season in Tennessee, and the Division of Forestry is reminding everyone in DeKalb County that if they intend to do any outdoor burning, they are required by state law to obtain a burning permit. The free permits are required October 15th through May 15th and can be obtained by telephone.

Even though the fire season doesn't officially start until October 15th, because of the lack of rain recently and the low humidity, several people in the county have already had trouble controlling their debris fires. A poorly prepared or unattended burning debris pile can, under these extremely dry conditions, escape control and become a destructive wildfire. The Tennessee Division of Forestry asks everyone to be cautious when doing any outdoor burning.

Before doing any outdoor burning:

First call the Division of Forestry for a burning permit at 597-4015 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (call on Friday for the weekend). If weather conditions permit, they will issue you a burning permit. They will also advise you of any weather conditions such as predicted wind, low humidity or other factors which might call for extra precaution.

Establish wide control lines down to the bare mineral soil around brush piles or other piled debris to be burned. The larger the debris pile, the wider the control line needs to be to ensure that burning materials won't be blown or roll off the pile into vegetation outside the line.

Keep water, tools, and plenty of help ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.

Stay with all outdoor fires until they are completely out.

Be aware of where your smoke is going. Avoid burning when your smoke will be bothersome to neighbors or when near sensitive locations such as highways.

Remember, you as a homeowner have control over the most basic things that will make your house safer from wildfires and allow the local fire department and the Division of Forestry to protect your home. This includes:

Clear away flammable brush and other materials at least 30 feet from your house.

Don't pile firewood or other flammable materials near your house or on your porch or deck.

Keep your yard, roof, and gutters free of leaves, pine needles, and other debris.

Keep leaves, pine needles, and other debris off of or from under decks.

The only materials for which a permit can be issued are brush, leaves, grass, or plant materials that are grown on the property or untreated and unpainted lumber. Anything else such as automobile tires, roofing shingles, household garbage, feed sacks, or anything not grown on the property cannot be legally burned. Failure to obtain a permit or the burning of illegal materials could result in a citation to court and a fine.

For more information on this or any other forestry related matter, call the Division of Forestry or visit the Division of Forestry's Wildfire safety website at www.burnsafetn.org. And remember, ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES!

State Fire Marshal offers tips for Fire Prevention Month

October 13, 2010

October is Fire Prevention Month, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding Tennesseans to regularly check their homes for hazards that could lead to fires.

“Tennessee occupies an undesirable ranking in the country for fire deaths. Falling asleep while smoking in bed or in a comfortable chair remains a significant cause of fire deaths in Tennessee,” says Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman. “If you smoke, make sure your home’s smoke detectors are functioning properly.”

Tennessee residents should avoid other practices in the home that quickly become hazardous:

•keeping space heaters too close to bedding or drapes,
•burning candles or incense near flammable materials,
•using frayed cables, extension cords or holiday lighting sets, overloading wall outlets and surge protectors, and
•improperly storing or disposing of chemicals.

Newman urges Tennessee families to practice their home escape plan this month. “Having an established escape route is one of the most important things Tennessee families can do. We encourage them to rehearse it routinely – not just in October but all year.” Residents also should replace smoke alarms’ batteries when adjusting clocks for daylight saving time. They can do that on November 7, when clocks are set back an hour this year.

For further information, contact 615-741-2981 or visit www.tn.gov/commerce/sfm. The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/

TN Dept. of Safety Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer

October 13, 2010

Autumn marks the start of deer mating season. As a result, the Tennessee Department of Safety cautions that an increase in deer-related crashes is likely during the months of October through December. Motorists are encouraged to be watchful of deer on the move during these months.

“Motorists should always be aware of the likelihood of deer traveling on or around the roadways, no matter what time of year,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “However, it is particularly important to pay attention and stay alert, especially on roads less traveled, during hunting and mating season.”

Motorists should exercise extra caution when not traveling on a major thoroughfare. Between 2005 and 2009, less than 10 percent of deer-related crashes occurred on interstate highways. November – the start of deer-hunting season – is the worst month for deer-related crashes.

In 2009, there were 5,247 deer-related crashes, including 268 that involved injuries and one that was fatal. That was up by almost two percent from 5,157 the previous year. However, since 2005, deer-related crashes in Tennessee have risen over 8.5 percent.

Additionally, State Farm®, the nation's leading auto insurer, estimates 2.3 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010. That's 21.1 percent more than five years earlier.

The Department of Safety and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has the following tips to help prevent deer-related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons:

·Remember that mating season puts deer on the move and deer teen to move at dawn and dusk.

·Whenever you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow. Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.

·Be attentive; drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at daybreak and dusk.

·When you spot a deer, slow down immediately. Proceed slowly until you pass that point.

·If you do collide with a deer, never approach the injured animal. They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human. Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.

·Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the nearest TWRA regional office to report the accident within 48 hours.

UCHRA Elderly Nutrition Nut Sale Fundraiser

October 12, 2010
Randy Wilder, Community Outreach and Resource Development Manager
Holly Montooth and Linda Tramel

Although no offerings of chestnuts for roasting on an open fire, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s (UCHRA) Nutrition Program for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities is offering a variety of nuts for sale as a fundraising effort. Available in one pound bags and ranging in price from $6.50-8.00, these delicious delicacies’ will brighten any table or holiday festivity one has in mind. The bags of pecans and walnuts are also good for holiday recipes or right out of the bag. With the list of thirteen different choices, one should be able to find their favorite nut and will know the purchase helped someone receive a nutritious meal.

The Nutrition Program for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities serve congregate meals in Senior Citizens Centers in all 14 Upper Cumberland counties to person 60 years of age and over. They also serve home delivered meals to client’s places of residence 5 to 7 times a week depending on the client’s plan of care.

“This is an extremely heart-warming program for UCHRA,” said Phyllis Bennett, Executive Director for the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, “the looks on our client’s faces are all we need to see to know the program is a success.”

Available for purchase are: Mammoth pecan halves, Large pecan pieces, Walnut halves and pieces, Whole jumbo cashews (roasted and salted), Natural pistachios in-the-shell, Praline pecan halves, deluxe mixed nuts, Gourmet chocolate covered raisins, Chocolate Amaretto pecans, Chocolate almond, Chocolate peanuts, white chocolate pecans, and dark chocolate pecans.

To place an order, call your local UCHRA county office. Orders need to be in by October 25th to ensure delivery before the holidays. For more information call the UCHRA central office at 931-528-1127.

Cutline: UCHRA’s Nutrition Program Specialist Holly Montooth and Field Services/Elderly Nutrition Director Linda Tramel show off the brochure for the Elderly Nutrition Fundraiser. A variety of plain and chocolate covered nuts are available for purchase. To place an order, call your local UCHRA county office. Orders are due by October 25th.

Four Involved in Head-On Crash

October 12, 2010
Dwayne Page
Four Involved in Head-On Crash (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)

Four people were involved in a head-on collision around 1:00 p.m. Monday afternoon on Man Hill Road. Two of them were injured and taken to the hospital.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 19 year old Jessica LeAnne Johnson of 1137 Man Hill Road, Dowelltown was traveling west in a 1995 Toyota Corolla as 21 year old Adam Lee Tramel of 642 Possum Hollow Road, Dowelltown was going east in a 1989 Jeep Cherokee.

According to Trooper Jennings, the vehicles hit head-on in a curve on the narrow road while trying to negotiate a curve.

Johnson was transported by a private vehicle to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital. Her passenger, 18 year old Tylor Alexander Ahumada of Miller Road, Smithville was not injured.

Tramel was also uninjured but his wife, 19 year old Marissa Ashley Tramel, a passenger of the Jeep Cherokee, was taken by DeKalb EMS to the hospital.

The Tramels and Ahumada were issued citations for not wearing their seatbelts and Johnson was cited for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance).

Sheriff's Department Makes Two Arrests in "Shake and Bake" Meth Lab Operation

October 11, 2010
Dwayne Page
Robert Ernest Rochefort
Sandra Lee Clark
Jimmy Allen Atnip, II
Johnna Maynard
Antonio Cezar Wilford
Jeffrey Edward Dawes
Christopher John Saye
Carlos Gonzalez
Rachel Lynn Mabe
John Lewis Wilson
Marie Biddle

Two people allegedly conducting a shake and bake meth lab were arrested during a traffic stop
on Coconut Ridge Road last Thursday, October 7th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 43 year old Robert Ernest Rochefort of Doe Lane, Smithville and 39 year old Sandra Lee Clark of Backbone Ridge Road, are each charged with initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Clark is also charged with tampering with evidence, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful carrying or possession of a prohibited weapon.

Rochefort is under a $25,000 bond. The bond for Clark is $32,500. Both will appear in General Sessions Court on November 4th.

Sheriff Ray says a deputy was on routine patrol on Coconut Ridge Road when he saw a vehicle stopped in the road. When the officer stopped, the vehicle began to leave. The deputy then activated his lights signaling the vehicle to stop. After making the traffic stop the officer spoke with the driver, Clark and the passenger, Rochefort and they appeared to be nervous. The deputy received consent to search but when Rochefort, the passenger, got out of the automobile, the officer saw him place something on the ground. There, the deputy found a two liter bottle with a three layered substance which is normally used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Rochefort emptied his pockets and produced a two liter Pepsi label. A plastic bag was found inside the vehicle. The bag contained 30 pseudoephedrine pills and four lithium batteries, which are also normally used in the manufacture of meth. Several other items used to make meth were also in the vehicle, including turkey basters, Ph test strips, coffee filters with residue, salt, water, and more.

According to Sheriff Ray, as a background check for warrants against Rochefort and Clark was being conducted, the deputy saw Clark pick up a mason jar from the back seat of the car and empty the contents on the ground. The contents were found to be lighter fluid, which is commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine.

During the search, the officer found in her purse a switchblade knife and a container which held rolling papers and a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana A glass pipe with residue was confiscated from her makeup bag which was in the floor board on the driver side.

34 year old Jimmy Allen Atnip, II of Gene Vaughn Road, Smithville was charged on Wednesday, October 6th with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court November 4th.

Sheriff Ray says a deputy, while on routine patrol, stopped to check a vehicle he saw parked on the side of the road on Students Home Road, Two people were inside. As he approached the automobile, the officer noticed an odor of alcohol coming from inside. Both persons admitted to drinking beer and the passenger was in the process of drinking a tall boy.

The deputy conducted a pat down search of Atnip and felt an object with the texture of marijuana in his front right pocket. When the deputy asked to see what it was, Atnip pulled out two plastic bags that contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Also found in Atnip's left pocket was a pipe containing marijuana residue.

25 year old Johnna Maynard of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville was charged on Wednesday, October 6th with possession of a schedule III controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $2,500 and she will appear in court on November 4th.

According to Sheriff Ray, probation officers spoke with Maynard while conducting a home visit in the parking lot of City Walk Apartments. They found in her pants pocket, a cellophane cigarette wrapper with 20 white pills believed to be Hydrocodone and a hypodermic needle containing residue.

24 year old Antonio Cezar Wilford of Bell Street, Smithville is charged with unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon by a felon and alteration of items, permanent distinguishing number, and possession of such items.

Sheriff Ray says a deputy accompanied a probation officer on a Bell Street home visit to check on a woman and during a search of the bedroom, the officers found a gun in a dresser drawer, which Wilford said belonged to him. The gun, which was actually stolen, had been defaced. The serial number had been scratched off. Wilford, a felon, was convicted of aggravated assault by a jury on January 12th, 2005.

26 year old Jeffrey Edward Dawes of Miller Road was charged on Thursday, October 7th with unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine). His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

A deputy saw Dawes in the parking lot of Royal Oak Apartments and having knowledge of a warrant against him, the officer stopped and placed Dawes under arrest. The deputy checked Dawes' jacket pocket and found a small plastic bag containing a yellowish powder substance believed to be methamphetamine.

30 year old Christopher John Saye of Payton Lane, Smithville was charged on Friday October 8th with a second offense of driving under the influence, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, a first offense of driving on a revoked license, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), violation of probation, and he was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. His bond totals $7,000.

Sheriff Ray says a deputy was called to check out a possible intoxicated driver turning onto Highway 70 west from New Home Road. The deputy saw the vehicle turn into the parking lot of DeKalb Market and stop at the gas pumps. When the driver, Saye, got out the vehicle, the officer noticed that he was very unsteady on his feet. Saye had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He submitted to several field sobriety tasks and performed poorly. He refused to submit to a blood alcohol test.

When the deputy asked to see his drivers license, Saye produced only an identification card. A computer check revealed that his license were revoked for driving under the influence. Saye was arrested for his first DUI offense on November 15th, 2006 in Smith County and he was convicted on February 1st, 2007.

During the investigation, the officer saw a marijuana roach in the ashtray of the vehicle and during a search incident to arrest, he also found in the left front pocket of Saye's pants, a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. The search also yielded a pack of rolling papers.

In addition, Saye had a warrant against him for a violation of probation.

Meanwhile a front seat passenger in the vehicle with Saye, 34 year old Carlos Gonzalez of Hartsville is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. He is under a $3,000 bond and his court date is October 28th.

During a search of Saye's vehicle, the deputy found a plastic bag in the glove compartment containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. And on the passenger side floor board where Gonzalez was sitting, the officer found a pack of rolling papers.

38 year old Rachel Lynn Mabe of Huddleston Loop, Smithville was charged on Saturday, October 9th with possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax). She is under a $2,500 bond and her court date is October 21st.

Sheriff Ray says a deputy was called to check out a complaint of a reckless driver on Big Woods Road and he got behind the vehicle on Highway 70 east. The deputy made a traffic stop for having the wrong plates on the vehicle.

The driver, Mabe, gave the officer consent to search and he found in her pocketbook, nine pills wrapped in cellophane, believed to be Xanax. She did not have a prescription for the pills.

24 year old John Lewis Wilson of Hutchings College Road, Sparta is charged with theft of property.

On July 18th at Cookeville Boat Dock, Wilson allegedly took two pairs of sunglasses and a black ball hat, all valued at less than $500 without the owners consent.

Sheriff Ray says "we received a report on July 18th from Cookeville Boat Dock of sunglasses and a ball hat being stolen by a boater. The boater was with some other people and took off. After an investigation, Wilson was arrested on Monday, October 11th.

Wilson is under a $1,500 bond and his court date is October 28th.

29 year old Marie Biddle of Bethel Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated burglary, theft of property over $500, violation of probation, and failure to appear. She is under a $15,000 bond on the burglary and theft charges and she is being held without bond on the violation of probation and failure to appear. Her court date is set for October 21st.

Sheriff Ray says Biddle allegedly entered a residence on Jefferson Road July 27th with intent to commit a felony and took from the home, a heater, double tree, chainsaw, weedeater, and an ax all valued at over $500.

Early Voting Begins Wednesday

October 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
James Hale
Terri Lynn Weaver
Mae Beavers
George McDonald

DeKalb County voters will begin casting their ballots for State Representative, State Senator, Governor, and Congressman on Wednesday.

Early voting will be held Wednesday, October 13th through Thursday, October 28th on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Early voting hours are 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

Election day is Tuesday, November 2nd. All sixteen precincts across the county will be open that day from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. including Alexandria, Edgar Evins State Park, Temperance Hall, Liberty, Dowelltown, Snow Hill, Middle School, Courthouse, Cherry Hill, Rock Castle, Elementary School, Johnson's Chapel, Blue Springs, Keltonburg, Belk, and the Church of Christ Annex.

WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage starting at 7:00 p.m.

Candidates for Governor are:

Republican Bill Haslam
Democrat Mike McWherter

Bayron Binkley
Brandon Dodds
Samuel David Duck
David Gatchell
June Griffin
Toni K. Hall
Mike Knois
Boyce T. McCall
Donald Ray McFolin
Linda Kay Perry
James Reesor
Thomas Smith, II
Howard M. Switzer
Carl Twofeathers Whitaker

Candidates for the U.S House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District are:

Republican Diane Black
Democrat Brett Carter
Jim Boyd
Brandon E. Gore
Tommy N. Hay
David Purcell
Stephen R. Sprague

Candidates for the Tennessee Senate 17th Senatorial District are:

Republican Mae Beavers
Democrat George McDonald

Candidates for the Tennessee House of Representatives 40th Representative District are:

Republican Terri Lynn Weaver
Democrat James C. Hale
Independent Pleas Ford

A constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to hunt and fish in Tennessee will also go before voters in November's general election.

Voters will see the Constitutional Amendment question on the ballot right after the Governor candidates.

You will be asked to vote either "yes" or "no" to the following question: "Shall Article XI, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee be amended by adding the following sentences at the end of the section:"

"The citizens of this state shall have the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law. The recognition of this right does not abrogate any private or public property rights, nor does it limit the state's power to regulate commercial activity. Traditional manners and means may be used to take non-threatened species."


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