Local News Articles

Sandy Brown Seeks GOP Nomination for DeKalb County Assessor of Property

November 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

Local business woman Sandy C. Brown will be a candidate for the Republican nomination for Assessor of Property.

Brown made her announcement Saturday morning during the DeKalb County Republican Party Mass meeting, held at the courthouse. "It's been four years, I think folks know me a little bit better now. I'm a member of Webb's Methodist Church. I have my own business. I've been to the classes for Assessor. I still have the contacts out there but I will need your support folks. It's not going to be the same race as last time. Frankly, I don't have the wherewithal to throw that kind of cash into it and I need your input. Get in touch with me and let me know what you'd like to see me do and what you want me to do."

Brown, who ran unsuccessfully for Assessor of Property in August 2004, is the owner and operator of Tennessee Barn Builders/SCB Enterprises on Highway 70 West.

Meanwhile, incumbent Second District Constable Reed Edge announced his intention to seek re-election. "I'm married to Sonya Edge and we've got four little girls. It's been my privilege to serve you for the last eight years as constable and I'd like to keep on representing you. With the help of the Republican Party and everybody else in DeKalb County, I can do that. I'd like to thank Sheriff Patrick Ray for letting the constables have a more active part in helping with the welfare of this county. I sure would appreciate all the help you can give me."

Delegates to the DeKalb County Republican Party Convention were selected from each of the seven districts Saturday morning and those delegates will convene on Saturday, November 17th at 9:00 a.m. at the courthouse to formally nominate GOP candidates to run for Assessor of Property and Constable in the August, 2008 DeKalb County General Election.

The following persons were selected as delegates:
District 1: Mason Carter, Richard Winfree, Jennifer Winfree and Alternate- Sheelie Askew
District 2: Don Adamson, Charles Robinson, Bobby Joines, Jerry Childress, Donny Green and Alternate- Clarence Davenport
District 3: Vester Parsley, Randy Caplinger, Walter Burton, George Lafever, J.C.. Carter, and Jim Dean
District 4: Jama Todd, Pat Witt, Taft Hendrixson, Bertha McBride, Joe Collins, and Joan Draper
District 5: Natalie Green, Barbara Vandergriff, Burnace Vandergriff, William O. Green, Kiki Brown, U.L. Lafever and Alternate- Larry Green
District 6: Dennis Stanley, Roy Ray, Tracy Ray, Grady Ray and Alternates Melvin Ray, Bruce Parsley, and Donna Stanley
District 7: Todd Lassiter, James Cantrell, Misty Lassiter, Johnny Lattimore, and John Parker

DeKalb County voters will be electing an Assessor of Property and a constable from each of the seven districts in the county during the General Election next August.

The Democratic nominees for these offices will be chosen in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary on February 5th.

All persons, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, have until noon December 13th to become qualified to run.

Mayor Vetoes City Board's Action to Award Bid on Sprinkler System at Golf Course

November 1, 2007
Dwayne Page

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

Since then, Mayor Taft Hendrixson has cast a veto of the board's decision based on an opinion of City Attorney John Pryor.

In the letter to Mayor Hendrixson dated October 25th, Pryor wrote that " At the Monday, October 15th, 2007 City Council Meeting, the Board of Aldermen voted to accept a bid on the installation of a sprinkler system at the golf course. This could potentially create two problems that I see."

"First, the Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983 as codified in (state law) requires that all purchases made shall be within the limits of the approved budget for the department which the purchase is made. My review of the budget does not reveal such funds being appropriated for such a purchase. This could be fixed by amending the budget, which should occur before the approval of the purchase."

"Second, as pointed out by Brian Burns with Rainbird, the bid package required specific parts and or equipment and did not include language that would allow equivalent equipment or parts. Again, the Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983 as codified in (state law) requires purchases to be made only after competitive bids. My concern is our bid may have been too exclusive."

"As a result of the potential problems before the City on this matter, my advice to you is to veto said decision of City Council until such time as we can amend the budget for such an expenditure and put out a fair bid package. Furthermore, I believe your veto should come before the meeting Monday, October 29th, 2007 to comply with your veto powers as set out in the Smithville Charter."

"I consulted with Don Darden of MTAS and he agreed with me as to these potential problems."

Aldermen Tonya Sullivan, Willie Thomas, and Jerry Hutchins' Sr. voted in favor of awarding the bid to Oasis irrigation last month but Aldermen Cecil Burger and Steve White voted against it.

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

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

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

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

Tribute to Mike Cantrell

October 31, 2007
Dr. W.E. Vanatta

The following is a tribute to WJLE's Mike Cantrell, written by Dr. W.E. Vanatta, owner of WJLE.

"Mike departed this earthly realm on October 30th, 2007 after a bout with many illnesses with very few complaints and a stubborn determination. He carried on with an optimistic outlook in spite of all odds even needing oxygen to support his breathing. Mike determined to return to his program of gospel music and a listening audience of hundreds he had built up and nurtured for over a period of 10 years. Mike had a rapport with his peolple that few attain. He exuded empathy, love, faith, and hope. His listeners responded with calls of love and concern. Mike is now experiencing another realm that he talked about, sung about, and I am sure prayed about, where there is no heart ache, no pain, or death. Mike will be missed. We will fill Mike's time slot but we cannot replace Mike. We thank you, Mike's family, for sharing this good man with WJLE and his many loyal listeners."

Dr. W.E. Vanatta

Judge Appoints Public Defender to Represent Sosa in Baby Murder Case

October 31, 2007
Dwayne Page

The woman charged with second degree murder in the death of her newborn last week made a brief appearance in DeKalb County General Sessions Court today (Wednesday).

18 year old Lillian Elizebeth Sosa appeared before Judge Bratten Cook II without an attorney.

In determining if she was indigent, Judge Cook, through an interpreter, asked Sosa if she owned any property, assets, or money with which she might could afford to hire an attorney. She indicated "no".

Judge Cook then appointed the District Public Defender to represent Sosa.

Sosa made no request to reduce the bond, which is set at one million dollars. The only mention of bond was by Judge Cook who gave orders that he be made aware of any attempts by Sosa to make bond, so he could approve it, before she is released.

She is due back in General Sessions Court on Thursday, November 8th, unless a bond reduction hearing is held earlier.

Fire Destroys Odom Home on Holmes Creek Road

October 31, 2007
Dwayne Page

A midnight fire destroyed the home of Scott Odom at 8195 Holmes Creek Road Tuesday night.

The fire was reported to 911 at 11:39 p.m.

Officials say Odom was awakened by a smoke alarm and escaped unharmed.

Firefighters from the Short Mountain Highway, Cookeville Highway, Main Station, and tanker truck responded, but they could not save the home.

DeKalb EMS was also on the scene as a precaution along with an officer of the Sheriff's Department.

Officials say the fire may have started from the kitchen area, but the cause is undetermined.

Jamboree Board Adopts New Policy on Use of Stage

October 31, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree Board of Directors has adopted a new policy on the use of the stage during the annual festival.

According to Frank Buck, attorney for the Jamboree board, "The Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival Board met on October 25th and adopted a policy that applies to all persons, clubs, and organizations."

The policy states that " Due to continued growth and time constraints, the Jamboree Board has noted that we cannot offer stage time to any organization or group in the community wishing to perform, other than paid contestants, during the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. This applies to contestants or groups on Thursday night."

WJLE's Mike Cantrell Dies

October 31, 2007
Dwayne Page

Popular WJLE personality Mike Cantrell has died.

He passed away Tuesday at the V.A. Hospital in Nashville after a long bout with illness including lung cancer.

Mike was the night time announcer on Sunday's, Monday's, Wednesday's, and Thursday's hosting a Gospel music call-in request program.

Mike always enjoyed hearing from his listeners and for many he was more than just a radio announcer, he was their personal friend. He had a special bond with them and when he became so sick he couldn't return to work, several of his friends would often call the radio station to try to find out about his condition.

Mike not only loved playing music on the radio, he enjoyed writing and performing. He authored a couple of inspirational books, including one called "His Loving Touch" and he penned several songs and recitations, many of which he recorded and often played on his radio program, like "The Clown" and "The Old Farmer", among others.

Prior to his employment at WJLE, Mike worked as an assistant manager at K-Mart in McMinnville.

Three Alleged Drug Dealers Nabbed by Sheriff's Department

October 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, acting on a tip, has arrested three alleged major drug dealers.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says on Saturday, October 27th, detectives received information that 31 year old
Gregory W. Hallback of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville, 26 year old Kenneth Lee Bain, and 23 year old Amanda Gail Bain of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown were bringing in a load of dilaudid from Nashville.

According to Sheriff Ray, "Detectives located a vehicle which belonged to Hallback and stopped it on Highway 70 at the city limits of Smithville. Detectives found hypodermic needles on Amanda Bain. She told detectives that when Hallback saw them behind his vehicle, he gave her the hypodermic needles and told her to put them in her pants because the police would not search a woman there. Kenneth Bain also had one and one half dilaudid pills inside a small container hidden in his sock."

"After transporting all three back to the Sheriff's Department for further questioning, Officers learned that Amanda Bain had taken a metal container from Hallback when they saw the detectives and she inserted it in her body cavity. When Detectives retrieved the metal container, it contained 102 K-4 dilaudid pills."

All three were charged with possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for sale and delivery and Kenneth Bain was also charged with possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Amanda Bain was further charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and introduction of drugs into a penal institution.

Bond for both Kenneth and Amanda Bain was $55,000 each and Hallback's bond was set at $52,500. The court date for all three is November 15th.

Meanwhile, in another case, 19 year old Jonathon Dewayne Adcock of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown was charged on October 22nd with driving on a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving an unregistered vehicle, and simple possession.

Sheriff Ray says "a county deputy, while on patrol, observed a vehicle on Old Mill Hill Road without a license plate. The deputy turned around and saw the vehicle pulling into a driveway which was at the owner's (Adcock's) residence. The deputy asked Adcock for his driver's license and learned that it was suspended. Adcock told the officer that the title to the vehicle was in his residence and when the deputy entered the home to take a look at it, he smelled marijuana. The officer also noticed a box containing marijuana lying on the living room table. Adcock was then arrested. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 8th.

33 year old Robin Clark Green and 37 year old Julie Anna Bogle were arrested Wednesday, October 24th at their residence at Adamson Branch Road, Liberty.

Sheriff Ray says "On July 17th, deputies and authorities from Children Services went to a residence on Evins Mill Road, Smithville where Green and Bogle were living. Officials found Bogle's 12 year old daughter living there at the home with Green who is a registered sex offender and didn't have permission to be around the 12 year old child."

"A warrant was issued for Green and he has been on the run ever since. Deputies had information that Green and Bogle had moved to Adamson Branch Road in Liberty and they had attempted to locate Green on numerous occasions at that address. Bogle told officers that she had not seen Green and did not know of his whereabouts."

"On October 24th, deputies went back to the residence on Adamson Branch Road and when they approached the front door, Bogle opened up and then quickly shut the door, informing Green that deputies were there to arrest him. Green then fled out a back door of the residence, but the officers stopped him. As they were trying to handcuff Green, he resisted by fighting with the deputies, not allowing them to cuff him. Green also had in his possession marijuana and rolling papers."

"The officers then returned to the residence and attempted to arrest Bogle for harboring Green. Bogle also resisted, but was finally cuffed and transported to the DeKalb County Jail."

Green is charged with violation of the sex offender law, evading arrest, resisting arrest, simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Green's bond is at $18,500 and his court date is November 22nd.

Bogle was charged with criminal responsibility for conduct of another and resisting arrest. Her bond is $5,000 and her court date is November 22nd.

In another case, Sheriff Ray says on October 24th, 23 year old Michael Brandon Redmon of McMinnville Highway was found to have in his possession on Hurricane Ridge Road, a stolen vehicle out of Warren County.

"Deputies recovered the vehicle and brought Redmon to the DeKalb County Jail for questioning. Upon a search of Redmon's socks and shoes at the jail, he was found to have a small amount of marijuana in one of his socks."

Redmon was arrested locally for introduction of drugs into a penal institution. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is November 8th. Other charges are pending locally.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray says working cooperatively with the Smithville Police Department, two people were arrested on theft charges last Wednesday.

"On October 24th, the Sheriff's Department received a call about a theft on Vaughn Lane. After deputies arrived and talked with the victim, they were advised that 22 year old Nickey Eudene Reece Jr. of Miller Road Smithville and 24 year old Warren Brandon Glasby of Poss Road, Smithville stole items out of a vehicle on Vaughn Lane."

"Deputies informed Smithville Police about the suspects and within minutes, city officers found the two in the parking lot of Reece's apartment complex. The stolen items, including stereo equipment and a cell phone, were found in Glasby's vehicle. DeKalb County detectives also found another cell phone that was reported stolen from a local restaurant in Smithville."

Glasby and Reece were charged with two counts of theft of property and one count of burglary. Bond for both is $22,500 each and their court date is November 15th.

Smithville Police Have Busy Week

October 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

In addition to pending charges against 18 year old Lillian Sosa in the death of her newborn Friday night, Smithville Police have filed more reports of thefts, vandalism, assaults, and have made at least one drug arrest within the last week.

Chief Richard Jennings says 21 year old Travis Summers is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law.

Officer Randy King, in his report, states that "On October 24th, at 10:56 p.m., I stopped Summers for failing to signal a turn onto South Mountain Street. He was driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. While I was writing the citations, Officer Craig Capps did a routine sweep of the outside perimeter of the vehicle. K-9 Astro (dog) indicated to possible drug location. K-9 Astro alerted by scratching. Upon a search, Officer Capps found a small amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Summers was then placed under arrest. After returning to the police department, he was advised of his rights and made a statement to myself and Officer Capps that he had smoked about three hours before and did not wish to have blood taken for testing."

Summers is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on the charges December 6th.

Meanwhile, Officer Matt Holmes, in his report regarding a vandalism and theft, states that, I met with an employee of the El Gato car lot at 429 East Broad Street who advised me that he had come into work on the morning of October 22nd and noticed four cars of the car lot had been tampered with."

"Vehicle # 1, a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix was setting on blocks and all four wheels were gone. The right front window was broken out on vehicle # 2, a 1997 Ford Taurus, but nothing was taken. The left side wheels were taken off vehicle #3, a 1999 Mercury Cougar, and the left side of the car was set up on blocks. The right side back window of vehicle #4, a 1996 Dodge Dakota extended cab, was broken out and a radio was missing. The employee advised me that he did not know who might have committed the offense. The total damage was around $890.00"

On October 22nd, Officers Travis Bryant and Matt Holmes responded to 1275 South Mountain Street in regard to a stolen vehicle. Officer Bryant's report states that "I spoke with Richard Teachout who advised that his car, a 1997 Honda Civic, was parked in his driveway at about 10:00 p.m. on October 21st and when he came out, he noticed the car was missing at about 10:00 a.m. on October 22nd." Teachout stated that he did not loan the car to anyone, but added that the vehicle was for sale. The car is valued at $4,890.

In another case, 42 year old Wendy Kay Goodman is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $25,000 and she will be in court on the charge December 6th.

According to the warrant, Goodman assaulted Mark Koch at 624 Restview Avenue on October 22nd by stabbing him in the chest with a knife causing him to have to go to the hospital emergency room for treatment.

Meanwhile, 22 year old Krista D. MaHaney is charged with assault. She and another woman, Diane Hale reportedly got into a fight at the emergency room of the hospital on October 21st. Police say it appeared that MaHaney was the aggressor.

MaHaney's bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on the charge November 15th.

Sosa Charged with Second Degree Murder in the Death of her Newborn Son

October 28, 2007
Dwayne Page

18 year old Lillian Elizebeth Sosa of Talley Road, Smithville is in the DeKalb County Jail, charged with second degree murder in the death of her newborn baby on Friday night.

Sosa's bond is set at one million dollars.

She will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Courton Thursday, November 8th, unless a bond reduction hearing is held earlier.

Sosa was released from the Cookeville Hospital today (Monday) after undergoing emergency surgery Saturday.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings held a press conference with local and Nashville media Sunday afternoon to provide more details about the case and the investigation that led to Sosa's arrest.

Chief Jennings says Sosa, an Hispanic who speaks little or no English, has only been in this country for about a month and lives with relatives at 342 Talley Road, Smithville. She was recently employed as a waitress at the El Rancho Restaurant at 1101 West Broad Street, Smithville and had only worked there one day last week and for an hour and a half Friday, before leaving the restaurant after giving birth to the child and dumping it in a ladies restroom trash can.

According to Chief Jennings, Sosa apparently locked herself in the ladies restroom of the restaurant and gave birth to the child, possibly between 7:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. She then came out of the restroom, told her boss that she needed to leave because she was sick, and called for someone to give her a ride home. Sosa's aunt reportedly came to the restaurant and picked her up.

Jennings says the child was discovered around 9:20 p.m. by a waitress, Karla Leon, who went into the ladies rest room to clean up, as staff were preparing to close the restaurant for the night. Leon then reported her discovery to the manager and they called 911. "The officers arrived and talked to the restaurant manager, Alfredo Villa. He said that the baby was discovered when one of the employees was cleaning up the restroom at the end of the business day. Customers had already left the restaurant when she discovered the body."

"In talking to Mr. Villa, we found out that they were very busy that night. They had probably 40 or 42 people in the restaurant during that period of time. We tried to pinpoint the exact time this might have happened and in talking to Mr. Villa we found out that between 7:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. was when they were really busy. During that period of time, there was a female customer who complained that she couldn't get in the ladies rest room for about 20 minutes because the door was locked. Eventually, whoever was in there left, and she (female customer) went in to use the rest room and saw blood spots on the floor, on the toilet, and in various places. Mr. Villa sent a waitress, Karla Leon in to clean the rest room. She went in and cleaned it up with bleach."

"They closed the restaurant around 9:20 p.m. and Mr Villa told Karla to go back into the rest rooms to clean them again. When she went in to the women's rest room to clean it up, she noticed that the trash can was a lot heavier than normal. She reached into the trash can, which had a flip top lid on it, looked in and saw a baby's foot sticking up through the towels in the trash bag. She told the manager and they immediately called 911."

Agents Billy Miller and Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were notified and joined the Smithville Police Department in the investigation later that night, and after interviewing employees, decided they needed to talk to Sosa.

After discovering where she lives, Sheriff Patrick Ray went to the address on Talley Road and picked her up around 4:00 a.m. Saturday. She was brought to the Smithville Police Department, where she was interviewed by the TBI agents.

During the questioning of Sosa through an interpreter, agents determined she was a likely suspect in the case and took her to DeKalb Community Hospital for an examination. The emergency room doctor found that she had recently given birth and suggested that she undergo emergency surgery, because she had suffered some potentially life threatening complications during the delivery.

Sosa was then transported to the Cookeville Hospital early Saturday morning. She came through the surgery fine and is expected to be released Monday, after which she will be taken into custody and charged in the case.

A guard is posted at the hospital around the clock to make sure she dosen't leave before she is released.

Chief Jennings says the baby was sent to Nashville for an autopsy. The infant, a male, fully developed child, weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 19 inches long. He says it appears the mother carried the child about eight months.

The exact time of death hasn't been determined, but Chief Jennings says it is believed that the infant was still alive when he was found. " I have a statement from one of the EMT personnel, who stated that when he was getting the child out of the trash can and preparing to transport him to the hospital, he believed he could see the baby's chest rising and falling slightly and believes the child was breathing. However, sometime either during the transport or after the child got to the emergency room, he was pronounced dead. Judging from the condition of the body, there were no marks on the child. He appeared to be perfectly normal. There was no evidence of trauma. The only thing that we discovered was that the umbilical cord was not cut, it was pulled apart."


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