Local News Articles

Bredesen Appoints York District Attorney General

September 24, 2008
Dwayne Page
District Attorney General Randy York

Governor Phil Bredesen has appointed Randall A. York of Crossville, Tenn., as the District Attorney General in the 13th Judicial District. The vacancy was created by the resignation of William E. Gibson, which became effective in July. The 13th Judicial District is composed of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White Counties.

“Randy York has practiced general civil and criminal law in the state and federal courts, with a concentration in all seven counties of the 13th Judicial District,” said Bredesen. “I am pleased to make this appointment and believe Randy will serve the State of Tennessee with distinction and provide the leadership the people of the district expect and deserve.

“I also want to thank Tony Craighead for his service as District Attorney General Pro Tempore during the last two years,” said Bredesen. “General Craighead has served the 13th District with integrity and honor during a difficult transitional period.”

York , who spoke with WJLE by telephone late Wednesday afternoon, says he is ready to go to work for the people of the 13th Judicial District as their new District Attorney General. "I'm ready to get my feet wet, roll up my sleeves, and to do some work. I have been practicing law since 1982, primarily here in Crossville. I've had an occasion to practice in all of the seven counties that compose and comprise the 13th Judicial District so I've tried all different types of cases including just about every kind of criminal case you can imagine."

"My wife is from Smithville, the former Judy Dodd. Her mother is Genelle Dodd from Liberty. I have two children, John and Anna."

York says he will keep offices in Livingston, Cookeville, and Crossville. "There are three counties (in the district) with an office of the Attorney General including Livingston, Cookeville, and Crossville and all of those will stay as they are. The D.A's staff has a group of seasoned prosecutors that are really good and I'm looking forward to working with them."

York has been a member of the firm Colvard, York & Ramsey since May 1990. Previously, he was a member of the firms Bean, Colvard & York from 1985 to 1990 and York and York from 1982 to 1985. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1978, York received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Nashville School of Law in 1982.

“This is a great honor, and I want to thank Governor Bredesen for the opportunity to serve the state in this new capacity,” said York. “I look forward to working with the dedicated employees of the district attorney’s office to ensure justice is achieved for the citizens of Tennessee.”

York is a member of Cumberland Homestead Baptist Church and serves as president of the Bread of Life Rescue Mission board of directors. He is a past president of the Cumberland County Bar and a member of the Tennessee Association for Justice. He is married to Judith York, a teacher at Cumberland County High School, and has two children, Jonathan and Anna.

Two Smithville Police Officers Receive Commendations

September 24, 2008
Dwayne Page
(Left to Right) Brad Tatrow and Matt Holmes

Smithville Police Officers Matt Holmes and Brad C. Tatrow and have been presented commendations signed by Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Police Commissioner Stephen White, Police Chief Richard Jennings, and Lieutenant Steven Leffew, for their recent actions.

The commendations states that "On August 31st, 2008, while working drug interdiction, K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow conducted a traffic stop and Officer Matt Holmes provided backup. During the investigation, K-9 Astro was deployed and indicated on the vehicle. During a pat down of one of the suspects, the driver assaulted Officer Tatrow and fled on foot. Both Officers Tatrow and Holmes gave chase and apprehended the subject approximately 500 yards from the traffic stop."

‘An estimated $6,000 of cocaine and marijuana was taken off the streets of Smithville and the police department was able to seize a 2001 Mercedes Benz."

"Due to your continuing efforts and dedicated service, know that you are making a difference for the citizens of Smithville that you swore to protect and serve. You have served with distinction and are a credit to the Smithville Police Department."

" For your outstanding service, you are hereby formally recognized and commended with a copy of this commendation becoming a part of your permanent personnel record."

"Congratulations and keep up the great work!"

Chapman Pleads Guilty In Counterfeit Cash Case- Gets Two Years Probation

September 23, 2008
Dwayne Page
Jason Ryan Chapman

A 24 year old man, charged in a cash counterfeiting operation earlier this year, pleaded guilty to forgery by passing Monday in DeKalb County Criminal Court

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. sentenced Jason Ryan Chapman to two years, all suspended to time served. He must perform 100 hours of community service on probation and make restitution of $40 to Wal-mart. He was given credit for eight days of jail time served.

Chapman, a former employee of Walmart in Smithville, could be seen on a videotape from the store's surveillance camera , making purchases at Walmart with some of the counterfeit money.

Smithville Police Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. said at the time of the arrest that "On March 21st a patrol officer responded to Walmart in reference to counterfeit money showing up. The case was assigned to me and I received the videotape from the manager of Walmart that shows an employee, Jason Chapman basically passing $40 in counterfeit currency to purchase items there. I developed a lead in the city and he (Sheriff) had some tips in the county he had come up with and we put our information together and was able to resolve the case."

Two other people in the case, 24 year old Megan Ann Lann and her boyfriend, 27 year old Somer Walid Abdalla were indicted in August on charges of criminal simulation and passing counterfeit bills as currency.

Abdalla pleaded guilty on August 18th to criminal simulation over $1,000 and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised TDOC probation. The case is to run consecutive with a violation of probation sentence against him in the General Sessions Court in another case. Under terms of the plea agreement, Abdalla cannot associate with his girlfriend Lann except for court authorized contact with their child. All jail credit of 143 days from March 28th, 2008 to August 18th, 2008 shall be applied to the violation of probation sentence in the General Sessions court case.

Lann pleaded guilty to forgery (passing) and received a two year sentence, all suspended to TDOC supervised probation. She must make restitution toWal-mart in the amount of $240 and perform 100 hours of community service work. She must not associate with her boyfriend Abdalla under terms of the plea agreement.

Abdalla, Lann, and Chapman were arrested as the result of a joint investigation by the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Lann and Abdalla were accused of producing at least $800 to $1,000 in counterfeit $10 and $20 bills on a desktop and laptop computer and printer in their home and then passing some of those bills at local and area businesses.

Detective Sergeant Hutchins says the Smithville Police Department also charged Lann and Chapman with passing counterfeit bank bills as currency.

Sheriff Ray and Detective Sergeant Hutchins say counterfeit bills showed up at several businesses during the winter and spring. The bills had no water marks or bar codes and some were not cut squarely. The bills also had some of the same serial numbers.

According to Sheriff Ray, both Abdalla and Lann were involved in manufacturing the counterfeit bills.

In other court cases Monday, 35 year old Lisa Dillon pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000 and received a four year sentence with six years of DOC probation. Dillon must make restitution of $12,841 to the victim in the case and perform 100 hours of community service work.

22 year old Christopher P. Mulford pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule VI controlled substance and received a two year sentence with 30 days to serve. He must perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution of $100 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. Mulford must also pay a fine of $2,000.

23 year old Edward Lee Judkins, Jr. pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000. He received a three year sentence to serve 150 days. The sentence is to run consecutive to a violation of probation in General Sessions Court. He must perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution. Judkins was given jail credit for time served since February 26th.

30 year old Amy Renee Ford pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and was sentenced to two and a half years, suspended to and given credit for time served since March 29th. She will be on DOC supervised probation, must perform 100 hours of community service work, and must make restitution of $500.

24 year old Leonardo Rodriguez pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, but he was given credit for time served since March 22nd and will be on supervised probation. He is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim in the case.

20 year old Steven Cantrell pleaded guilty to casual exchange and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days. He will be on supervised probation by PSI and must pay a $500 fine. Cantrell must also perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution of $100 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. The case is to run consecutive to a General Sessions Court case against him.

DeKalb West Junior Beta Club Inducts 25 Members

September 23, 2008
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West School Junior Beta Club members

Twenty-five new students were inducted into the DeKalb West School chapter of the Junior Beta Club on Monday night, September 8. The local club invites students in 5th-8th grades who excel academically with an A/B average. Receiving certificates honoring their accomplishment were the following: William Cain, Cayla Cantrell, Kayna Caplinger, Ty Curtis, Lane Davenport, Dakoda Eaton, Sarah Edwards, Taylor Ellis, Austin Frazier, Chasity Garrett, Katie Hall, Austin Hicks, Hanna Leach, Anna Malone, Keely McKay, Mary Belle Mofield, Megan Nichols, Alexis Nokes, Damian Payne, James Sherwood, Megan Strayn, Nathaniel Theriaque, Teddy Tippin, Morgan Vickers, and Hailey Walker.

DeKalb West School students got their groove on for charity September 12th for the Junior Beta Club’s second annual fundraising dance. The club brought in over 300-dollars for Relay for Life. Crystal Vickers, McKenzie Poteete, Sarah Edwards, Paige Lohorn, and Cassie Cain were the club’s leaders for the benefit dance. Payton Graves handled the music for the night.
The academic club will be raising money for its own cause over the next couple of weeks. Students will be selling Sonic cards) for 5-dollars each to help offset the costs of attending the Tennessee Junior Beta Club convention in Nashville in November. Club members will participate in a variety of academic, talent and arts and crafts events. Call Club sponsor Bill Conger at the school at 536-5332 to find out more about buying tickets.

Weekend Prisoner Caught Trying to Bring Drugs in the Jail

September 23, 2008
Dwayne Page

A weekend prisoner was caught trying to bring drugs into the jail Friday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 43 year old Roxanne Hendrixson of West Green Hill Road ,Smithville was checking into the DeKalb County Jail to serve weekends as the result of a court sentence, when a female correctional officer found in Hendrixson's bra 1 ½ pills believed to be seroquel. Hendrixson was charged with introduction of drugs into a penal institution. Her bond was set at $5,000.00 and she will appear in court on September 24th.

Meanwhile, in other cases, on Sunday, September 14th, officers received a call about a vehicle that was weaving on Highway 56 South. A county deputy spotted the vehicle and ran the tag. The officer then stopped the vehicle for a traffic offense. The driver, 18 year old Lucio Romo of Short Mountain Highway Smithville was found to be driving on a suspended license. Romo's license was suspended for a charge of driving while impaired on June 22nd. Romo was arrested for driving on a suspended license and a state warrant for violation of probation was also served on him. Romo's total bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on October 2nd.

On Saturday, September 20th, deputies went to the home of 29 year old Benjamin Theodore Taylor of Troy Cripps Road, Liberty to serve a warrant on another person there. Taylor advised the officers that the person they were looking for was not there. Officers received consent to search Taylor's residence and found 3 peach colored pills believed to be Xanax lying on a dresser in the bedroom area of the residence. Taylor admitted to the deputies that the pills were not prescribed to him. Taylor was arrested for simple possession and his bond was set at $1,500. He will appear in court on October 9th.

Also on Saturday, deputies were summoned to Highway 56 South for an auto accident. Upon arrival they found 20 year old Amanda Brook Washer of 625 Ike Adcock Road Smithville to be the driver of the vehicle. Washer was driving a 1997 Honda Accord Southbound when she ran off the right side of the road and lost control hitting a utility pole. Washer was uninjured. Washer's driver's license was checked and came up suspended for failure to satisfy a citation on November 12th, 2006 in Wilson County. Washer was arrested for driving on a suspended driver's license and her bond was set at $1,000.00. She will appear in court on October 8th.

Board of Education Denies Request to Establish a New Elementary Basketball Program

September 22, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Board of Education, during a special meeting Monday night, denied a request to start a 4th & 5th grade basketball program for boys and girls at Northside Elementary and DeKalb West School this fall.

The board voted 6 to 1 against the proposal this year because funding for coaching supplements for such a program is not in this year's school budget. The board is expected to revisit the issue next year before the new budget is adopted. All voted no except for Sixth District Board member Bruce Parsley.

Principal Gayle Redmon says other school systems have an elementary basketball program and it would be good for the students and for school spirit. "We are proposing to start a basketball program for 4th and 5th grade students at Northside Elementary School. We've had quite a bit of parent interest in this particular program. We've talked with Mr. Willoughby for several months about the possibility of getting this program started. We've looked at costs. We don't want a real complicated program. We just want a simple program with a few games and maybe playing in tournaments. We've talked with coaches and schools in Putnam County, White County, and Warren County and all of those programs have elementary school basketball programs. We think it would be a good way for our students to learn basketball skills and learn to compete and learn to be good sports as well as promoting school spirit."

Redmon says there probably would have been no more than eight regular season games, four at home and four on the road, plus maybe some tournament games. No bus transportation would have been required since parents would transport the players on the road trips.

The initial request was made for Northside Elementary School, but had the school system given permission, DeKalb West School would have had the same opportunity to start a 4th & 5th grade basketball program there.

School Board Modifies Fuel Reimbursement Policy

September 22, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Monday night met in special session and voted to amend a policy giving some relief to groups who have to reimburse the school system for the cost of bus transportation to and from extracurricular activities.

The school board adopted this policy earlier this year, making it apply to all groups.

Under the policy, sponsors of field trips, athletic programs, the high school band, clubs, and other extra curricular activities are required to pay the bus driver, reimburse the school system for the cost of fuel, and pay for the cost of wear and tear on the bus.

The calculation was originally figured on the cost of fuel per gallon based on the last delivery costs, divided by average bus mileage of 6.5 miles per gallon, rounded to the nearest whole cent, and then doubled for the wear and tear of the bus, multiplied by the number of miles traveled.

Transportation employee Peggy Pursell said Monday night that actual mileage of one bus on a recent trip to and from a football game was checked and it came to eight miles per gallon. "We used a bus with a full tank of gas and when we got back, we filled it up again and we checked our mileage. We got between eight and eight and a half miles per gallon. So we're figuring at eight miles now. I bought fuel Friday from Harris Oil in Cookeville. I got 7,000 gallons and I only needed 5,000. Mr (Kenny) Edge took the overage. We bought the fuel for $3.08 and they delivered it today (Monday)."

Sixth District School Board member Bruce Parsley said Monday night, he believed assessing a cost for wear and tear was unfair. "My thinking is we've already paid for the buses. We shouldn't be charging kids again for wear and tear."

Seventh District Board member Johnny Lattimore responded that other school systems make a charge for wear and tear and that " looking at what other counties are charging, we are well under them."

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby added that the policy is written so that the costs fluctuates as the price of fuel changes."The proposal that we passed made everything sort of on a sliding scale. If things cost more then the fuel per mileage and depreciation was going to cost more. Now it's less. In the beginning, when we were talking about this, it was going to cost over a dollar a mile and now we're down to 77 cents per mile so that part has gone down. Our policy for extracurricular activities for field trips is less expensive than the majority of school systems in our area. I know we're DeKalb County and we make our policies for DeKalb County but we do look at other places too to find out what's in line."

However, Third District member Kenny Rhody said the charge for depreciation of the buses is creating a financial hardship on some groups like the high school band program. "Some parents have talked to me and they have really been bothered by the costs. They said they would be doing good if they could pay for the fuel. Some of the parents expressed the same thing Mr. Parsley said that we bought these buses when they were new for the children and when they wear out we'll buy more new buses, but we bought them for our kids to use. They don't mind paying for the fuel, but the buses, they feel like they've paid for once, and are now being hit with another charge. It's enough on them to have to pay for the fuel. That's a big burden for them. If we just do the surcharge on the fuel and not have the additional fee for the usage and wear and tear, then if it goes over $4.00 a gallon, we could look at this policy again."

Board member Parsley made a motion that these groups pay only for the cost of the fuel and the bus driver on these trips to extracurricular activities, but that the charge for wear and tear be eliminated. Board member Kenny Rhody seconded the motion, but they were the only members voting for it.

Board Chairman Charles Robinson and members W.J. (Dub) Evins III, Johnny Lattimore, Joan Draper, and John David Foutch voted no.

Lattimore then made a motion that the cost for wear and tear be cut in half, which would currently make it 19 cents instead of 38 cents, and that the board take another look at the policy in January.

All voted in favor, except Parsley.

So the new formula will be as follows:
Divide the cost of fuel based on the last delivery, currently $3.08, by 8 miles per gallon and the cost is figured at 38 cents per gallon. Then add another 19 cents for the cost of wear and tear and the total cost per mile is 57 cents.

Rotary Fish Fry Raises Thousands of Dollars for the Community

September 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Lowell Robinson, Alan Webb, Dot Estes, Brenda Cantrell, Stephanie Wyss, Katherine Pack, Dewain Hendrixson and Dr. Cliff Duke at Rotary Fish Fry
Clark Lance, Brenice Wright and Boyd Cantrell cooking at Rotary Fish Fry
Chad and Lynn Colwell and Kenny Wright help with cooking at Rotary Fish Fry

The Smithville Rotary Club raised thousands of dollars during their annual fish fry Saturday at Greenbrook Park and the money generated will go back to the community to help meet various needs.

Many prizes were also awarded to ticket holders including $1,000 in cash which went to Brett and Sherree Curtis of Smithville. Bruce Medley was the winner of $500.

Stephanie Wyss, President of the Smithville Rotary Club, says all available tickets were sold this year and she wishes to thank everyone for their support. "We raised somewhere between five and six thousand dollars this year. That's normally what we do every year. We sold all our tickets. We were just thrilled, especially with all the businesses that came out and supported us this year."

"What we normally do is return the profits to the community. We give away scholarships. For the high school seniors, we're giving three, $750 scholarships. We also put the money to use in various other ways as far as supporting kids sports teams, soccer teams, tee ball teams, and more. We just like to make sure that we give back to the kids. One of the big events that we do every Christmas is that we give food baskets to a lot of the elderly people that receive meals on wheels. We just enjoy those kinds of programs. We look for different ways to make sure those monies go 100% back to the community. We just like to stay available for needs that present themselves".

"One of the things we're going to be spending a lot of energy with this year is starting our Interact Club at the high school. We want to make sure that whatever resources they need, those kids have it. Interact is a high school version of a Rotary Club. It is for the kids and it's completely done by the kids. They choose their own community service projects and fundraisers. We're going to be there to support them to make sure that gets off the ground this year."

Wyss says the Rotary Club is always in search of good, active members. "We have eleven strong and faithful members and we are looking for anyone who has any interest in knowing a little more about Rotary. We meet every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. Feel free to come out and join us. Our location is on Golf Club Drive. We're right next to the tennis courts and across the street from the city pool."

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

Man Charged In Assault of Estranged Wife and Another Person

September 20, 2008
Dwayne Page

A woman visiting friends was assaulted by her estranged husband, who showed up at the residence last Tuesday. The man also attacked the owner of the home, who had come to the woman's aid.

James Edward Pack II of Agee Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault, domestic assault, especially aggravated burglary, simple assault, and unlawful possession of a weapon. His bond totals $27,500.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. of the Smithville Police Department says the man went to 167 Village Place where his estranged wife was visiting friends. He says the man tried to burst through the front door, but the people inside the house kept him from entering. The woman tried to flee through the garage, but her husband went around the house and through an open door to the garage where he caught up with the woman and began assaulting her.

The owner of the residence, who was outside, witnessed the attack and went to the woman's assistance, but he suffered a serious cut to his arm after Pack allegedly attacked him with a razored device.

Though seriously wounded, the man was able to restrain Pack until police officers arrived.

Pack was taken into custody.

Station Camp Defeats Tigers 51 to 27

September 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Station Camp Bison Spoiled Homecoming for the sixth-ranked DeKalb County High School Tiger football team, Friday night. The Tigers scored the first 13 points of the game, but Station Camp answered with 30 unanswered points and rolled to a 51-27 win over the Black and Gold.

DeKalb County struck first on a six yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Travon Johnson. John Curtis added the extra point to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. DC came back on the very next drive and scored on a 26-yard pass from Poteete to Abram Edwards. The extra point attempt failed, but the Tigers had a 13-0 advantage with 3:21 left in the first quarter.

Station Camp took over from there, however, as Corey Alexander took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a score. Christian Reed missed the extra point, but the Bison was on the board with 3:04 left in the opening quarter. Hunter Tope scored on the next Bison possession on a 16-yard touchdown run. Jacob Hamblen added another touchdown on a six-yard run, with 8:09 left in the second quarter, which gave Station Camp a 20-13 lead. Reed booted a 26-yard field goal with 2:14 left in the half, which gave the Bison a 23-13 lead at the half.

Station Camp struck first in the second half, as Tope scored on a 61-yard run with 3:59 left in the third quarter, which gave the Bison a 30-13 lead after Reed's PAT kick. The Tiger offense answered on the next possession, as Poteete found Edwards on a 38-yard scoring pass, which shaved the Bison lead to 30-20, with 3:40 to go in the third. The Bison struck again on the following possession, as Top found the end zone again on a two-yard run, but DeKalb fought back on the ensuing drive, with Poteete and Edwards hooking up on a 63-yard pass play. Station Camp held a 37-27 lead that point, with 9:20 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bison took over from there, as Tope scored his fourth touchdown on a 20-yard run with 2:17 to go in regulation. Brandon Porch finished off the rout, as he picked off a Poteete pass, with 1:36 to go on the clock, and returned it 29 yards for another Bison touchdown. That gave Station Camp the final 51-27 advantage.

DeKalb County loses for the first time this season, and falls to 3-1 overall, while Station Camp improves to 3-2. The Tigers will travel to Woodbury to take on Cannon County, next Friday night, at 7:00 p.m.


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