Local News Articles

Grand Jury Indicts 44 People Including Two Men in Local Rape Cases

August 2, 2011
Dwayne Page
Joshua Cook
Walter R. Hartman

The DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday indicted two men in separate rape cases involving children.

23 year old Joshua Cook has been indicted on two counts of rape of a child while 47 year old Walter R. Hartman is indicted on two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that Cook, who had been staying in Liberty, was arrested on Thursday, October 28th, 2010. At the time of his arrest, Cook was believed to be homeless.

According to Sheriff Ray, Cook allegedly performed sexual acts on a six year old and a ten year old male child on Church Street in Liberty and then he allegedly had the two children perform sexual acts on him. These events allegedly took place on September 15th, 2010.

Hartman, meanwhile allegedly provided beer to two fourteen year old girls and engaged in sexual activity with them at his home on February 26.

Cook and Hartman are among forty four persons indicted by the August term of the Grand Jury including six named in sealed indictments. All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, August 15 at 9:00 a.m.

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Agustine Munez- driving under the influence and no drivers license

David D. Miller- aggravated assault

David Dennis Miller- resisting arrest

Kenny Stults- theft over $500, theft under $500 (2 charges), and theft over $1,000

Earnest P. Barnwell- theft under $500

Cynthia D. Walls- driving under the influence

Sharon K. Skinner- possession of paraphernalia and criminal impersonation

Janet R. Mayo- possession of a schedule II and VI controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia

Steve A. Hale- possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance for resale, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, and a third offense of driving under the influence

Ray D. Underwood and Bradley S. Redmon- assault

Edgar Hernandez- driving on a revoked license

Brittany D. Barnes- theft under $500

Elizabeth Ann Chalfant- driving under the influence, possession of paraphernalia, a 4th offense of driving on a suspended license (2 counts), reckless endangerment, violation of the implied consent law

David Graham and Alexandria Rowell- child neglect, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia

Emily F. Fare- aggravated assault

Walter R. Hartman- aggravated rape (2 counts) and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (2 counts)

Stephanie Ann Fagan- aggravated child abuse and possession of a schedule VI and II controlled substance

Courtney Paris- possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale (2 counts)

Chad Carrier- theft over $1,000 and violation of an order of protection

Melinda Murphy- fraudulent use of a credit card (2 charges) and theft under $500

Angela Howell- fraudulent use of a credit card (2 counts) and theft under $500

Jonathan Eugene Cash- driving on a revoked license (6th offense)

James L. Owen- promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine

Theresa Columbo- driving under the influence

Thomas Joseph Somoza- driving under the influence, possession of a handgun under the influence, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, criminal impersonation, no drivers license, and violation of the implied consent law.

Matthew A. Baker- driving on a revoked license (2 charges) , possession of paraphernalia

Brandon K. Thomas- initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine

Rickey Hendrixson- initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Rhonda F. Brewer- introduction of contraband into a penal institution

Tammy Jennings- possession of paraphernalia

Charlie Chad Barnes and Terry Ray Barnes- initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine

Nena R. Chapman- theft over $10,000

James Stringer- burglary, theft over $1,000, and theft over $500

Julie Moore- theft under $500 (4 charges), forgery (3 charges)

Joshua Cook- rape of a child (2 counts)

Antonio Cezar Wilford- possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and alteration of an item's distinguishing numbers

The names of those charged in sealed indictments cannot be disclosed until they are arrested.

Smithville Police Charge Local Man with Burglary and Auto Theft

August 2, 2011
Dwayne Page
Jessie Robert Adcock
Mark Goodson
Dickie Bain
Jimmy Peck
Terrence Martin

Smithville Police have charged a 31 year old DeKalb County man with two counts of burglary and one count of auto theft after a couple of incidents early Saturday morning.

Jessie Robert Adcock of Obie Adcock Road is under a $20,000 bond

Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Saturday morning at 4:48 a.m. police were called to Mapco Express where an employee reported seeing a man get into her vehicle in the parking lot. After police were notified, the man got out of the car and walked across the street, where employees of Mapco said it appeared he was trying to get into automobiles parked at Hardees.

Adcock was still in the Hardees parking lot when the officer arrived. He was taken into custody for questioning. Adcock admitted to opening the door to the car at Mapco Express but denied getting in it.

While Adcock was being questioned, police received a call of an auto theft on Woodlawn Street. According to the victim, the vehicle, a black Dodge pickup was stolen sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. that morning. The truck was later found parked at Hardees.

Adcock allegedly admitted to taking the truck from the Woodlawn Street home and driving it to Hardees.

Smithville Police have charged four men in connection with the recent theft of a riding lawn mower.

Chief Caplinger reports that 45 year old Mark Goodson, 42 year old Dickie Bain, and 57 year old Jimmy Peck are each charged with theft of property over $1,000. 29 year old Terrence Martin, along with Goodson and Bain are also charged with filing a false report.

Chief Caplinger reports that just before midnight on July 25 a man called central dispatch to report that his Cub Cadet lawn mower was missing. Someone had apparently stolen it from his yard on Snow Street while he was at work. A witness in the neighborhood later reported to police that he had seen two men stop in a Jeep Cherokee at the victim's home and load the riding lawn mower onto a utility trailer. Earlier in the night police had stopped to check out a couple of vehicles at the city park on Smith Road including the Jeep Cherokee with the utility trailer and lawn mower. Goodson, Bain, Martin, and Peck were present but when questioned told police that the lawn mower belonged to one of them. At that time police were unaware of the theft. Shortly after midnight, police, having learned of the theft, spotted the Jeep Cherokee again while on patrol and stopped it. The small utility trailer was still attached with the Cub Cadet riding lawn mower aboard. The four men in the truck Goodson, Bain, Martin, Peck, were subsequently arrested and charged in the case. They will appear in court August 11.

In another case, David Hill was issued a citation for shoplifting after an incident at Save A Lot on July 18 in which he allegedly tried to steal two packs of meat.

Chief Caplinger reports that the store manager saw Hill put two packs of meat down the front of his pants. Hill was stopped as he exited the store. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on August 4.

Anthony Joe Hamilton was arrested July 20 on two counts of simple possession of a schedule IV drug and one count of simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. Hamilton, who had a warrant against him out of Putnam County, was stopped by Smithville Police at the Mapco convenience market. During the investigation, the officer noticed that Hamilton appeared to be trying to conceal something. Found were fourteen pills including what were believed to be xanax and valium. Hamilton also produced a small bag from his left pocket containing what appeared to be marijuana.

Alicia Chambers is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and filing a false police report. A co-defendant in the case, Christopher Scruggs was charged with filing a false report.

Chief Caplinger reports that police responded to a traffic accident on South Congress Boulevard in front of McDonald's on July 23. One of the vehicles involved in the mishap left the scene, heading south on Congress Boulevard. The vehicle then pulled into the parking lot of the Sonic Drive-In. Chambers, the woman inside the automobile, got out and ran to a residence at 610 Bright Hill Road. She returned to the Sonic shortly thereafter and with her was Christopher Scruggs, who told police that it was he who was driving the vehicle involved in the accident. Chief Caplinger said police later learned, after viewing surveillance video from McDonalds, that it was not Scruggs but Chambers who was the driver. Chambers was picked up by police and charged in the case. At the time of her arrest, police said Chambers was unsteady on her feet and had slurred speech.

Ms. Chambers, in an email to WJLE, wrote that she was "not under the influence of ANY substance and wasn't arrested until 4 hours after the accident occurred and was NEVER given nor offered a field sobriety test or blood test". "Matter of fact", she wrote, "the officers told my colleague I was ok to come back to work, as I was on my lunch break when the accident occurred. I hardly think any employer would allow an employee to work while under the influence."

Vicky Cox was charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and drug paraphernalia on July 28. She will be in court on August 25.

Chief Caplinger reports that an officer was called to Kwik-N-Ezy after someone driving a vehicle had struck the building. There were apparently no injuries or serious damage to the building but the driver, Cox, was charged in the case. Cox told police that she was distracted by a dog she had in the vehicle with her resulting in the accident. Cox gave the officer consent to search and he found some marijuana and rolling papers.

Curtis Jones is charged with driving on a revoked license and possession with intent to resell a schedule II controlled substance. He will be in court on August 18.

Chief Caplinger reports that Jones was recently pulled over on a traffic stop and police discovered that his license were revoked for a prior DUI. While taking inventory of the vehicle, the officer found a bottle containing morphine pills. Police seized the drugs and over five hundred dollars in cash..

Mateo Martin was charged with driving on a revoked license on July 29. Police pulled over Martin's vehicle after spotting it weaving on Congress Boulevard, failing to maintain the proper lane of travel. The officer asked Martin for his driver's license, but he didn't have one. A computer check revealed that his license had been revoked for a previous DUI in Putnam County. Martin will be in court on August 25.

Luis Bartolo Velazquez was charged with driving under the influence on July 18. While running radar in the Miller Road, Short Mountain Street area, police spotted Velazquez's vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer pulled over his automobile on South College Street and found that Velazquez was unsteady on his feet.

Amanda Shriver was issued a citation for theft of merchandise in a shoplifting incident at the Dollar General Store on July 22.

Police cited Nathaniel Tippens for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 16.

Jerry Goff was issued a citation on July 28 for simple possession of a schedule III and VI controlled substance and simple possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police cited Sabrina Brown for theft of merchandise in a shoplifting incident at Food Lion on July 23.

Alex Rajas was issued a citation on July 16 for violation of the open container law, violation of the financial responsibility law, and a drivers license violation.

Aldermen Vote to Pay Tenant's Swimming Pool Liability Insurance

August 2, 2011
Dwayne Page

City officials and the golf course tenant Tony Poss have been at odds over who is to provide liability insurance coverage of the city swimming pool.

During Monday night's city council meeting, Poss addressed the mayor and aldermen with complaints, saying broken tile and other structural defects have developed in the pool over the summer apparently caused by the contractor's poor workmanship while making repairs during the spring.

City officials including aldermen have notified the contractor, Langley and Taylor Pool Corporation of Nashville to come back and fix the problems, but so far the company has not taken action to do so.

As a result, Poss said some injuries have occurred. In one case, the mother of a young child hurt on the diving board has put in a claim and is threatening to sue to collect on doctor bills as a result of the injury, if the city's insurance carrier doesn't pay. Poss said according to his lease, he should be shielded from such liability.

The city's lease with Poss states that "The landlord (City) shall insure, at its sole expense, the clubhouse and pool against fire and other hazards and provide public liability insurance, including general liability coverage, with a limit of not less than one million dollars for any one person and three million dollars coverage per occurrence"

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the city has public liability insurance to cover the golf course, pool, and all other city properties but it's up to Poss to foot the bill for the general liability insurance for his private business.

Poss said he recently took out a liability insurance policy for $1,800 a year to make sure he was covered, but based on the terms of his lease, Poss asked that the city reimburse him for the cost of that policy.

Alderman Steve White said unlike previous lease agreements with other golf course tenants which did require them to provide general liability coverage, the agreement with Poss does not require him to do so. White said when aldermen were in negotiations with Poss earlier this year, it was his understanding that the city would assume all costs associated with the pool and that Poss would merely be managing it for the city.

Alderman Gayla Hendrix said based on her understanding and reading of the lease, she believes the city should reimburse Poss this year, if he is not covered under the city's liability policy and she made a motion to that effect, which was approved by the council. Alderman Hendrix further suggested that action be taken now to address the minor defects at the pool and to have city attorney Vester Parsley contact the contractor about fixing the more major structural problems. She said the city might have to take legal action against the contractor if he doesn't respond.

County Launches New Website

August 1, 2011

Need some information about your local government? Need to know about election precincts or voter registration details? How about your local emergency services? DeKalb County now has a web presence to answer all your questions with the recent launch of their new County Website.

DeKalbTennessee.com is your new online source for all DeKalb County, Tennessee, government and county operated services. The site has information on local schools, elected officials and offices, and even local churches, libraries, and organizations.

“I invite you to browse this website to learn more about DeKalb County government and the services we provide,” said County Mayor Mike Foster. “I hope you agree that DeKalb County a great place to live, work and play.”

Foster says the new website also highlights local businesses and industry, as well as the many tourist attractions in the area. “The website provides information on the several manufacturing plants and warehouse facilities that provide employment to so many of our residents. It also has information for visitors to our area. Local parks, marinas, the Jamboree, the DeKalb County Fair, and other attractions can be found on the site.”

The website also provides information on local services such as the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, the DeKalb Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb E-911. Other information provided includes Solid Waste Management, the DeKalb Road Department, and DeKalb Senior Services.

“Our County government is committed to maintaining a high quality of life for all of our citizens,” Foster said. “I am proud of the dedicated employees who make our County run smoothly, and honored to serve the citizens of our County. Our taxpayers get a tremendous value. The Sheriffs' Department keeps us safe and secure. County workers keep our roads in good operating condition. Numerous other departments provide the necessary other programs and services to fulfill the requirements of our residents.”

The site also includes a link to the new ShopLocal website at www.mainstreetstudio.us. The new site is designed to connect DeKalb County shoppers with local businesses in the area. ShopLocal has a directory of businesses that will include profiles of the companies, restaurant menus, photos, maps, and more.

Businesses will have the opportunity to showcase their products and services in their profiles, and they can also create an additional web page. The community is encouraged to shop locally for value, unique variety and personal service, all while supporting our own community because it really does make a huge difference.

Foster says DeKalbTennessee.com was designed to provide information to local residents and promote everything the county has to offer to potential visitors. “DeKalb County attempts to provide all of these services in the most cost efficient and effective means possible, so that all our citizens can benefit from the services and programs the County offers. I hope you enjoy the website and find it a useful tool for finding information about the greatest county in Tennessee.”

DCHS Football Kicks Off Soon

August 1, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County High School Football season kicks off soon.

A pre-season scrimmage is set for Friday, August 5 at home against Gordonsville around 6:00 p.m. followed by a Black and Gold game on August 11 at home for the school. The Tigers will then compete in a Jamboree at Watertown on August 12

The 2011 campaign opens at Warren County on Friday, August 19 at 7:00 p.m. in McMinnville.

The Tigers will then have a three game home stretch, hosting Clay County on August 26, Cannon County in the district opener on September 2, and White County for homecoming on September 9.

DeKalb County will then hit the road for four weeks at Smith County in a district clash on September 16, at Hixson on September 23, at York Institute in another district showdown on September 30, and at Macon County on October 7.

The Tigers will return home to face Upperman in a district game October 14 and close out the regular season at home against district foe Livingston Academy on October 28 following a bye week on October 21.

WJLE will broadcast all games LIVE each week with John Pryor. All games are scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.

Dowelltown Woman Charged with Breaking into Same Home Four Times

August 1, 2011
Dwayne Page
Tammy Denise Currie
Kenneth Adam Wright
Theresa Petty Tittle
Jason Kenneth Cline

A Dowelltown woman, accused of breaking into the home of a neighbor on four separate occasions last month while the victim was in the nursing home, has been charged with four counts of aggravated burglary and theft under $500.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that 39 year old Tammy Denise Currie of East Main Street, Dowelltown is under a $30,000 bond and she will be in court August 18.

According to Sheriff Ray, Currie took advantage of her neighbor being in a nursing home, going to the residence on East Main Street, Dowelltown four times in July to remove items from the home.

On each occasion, Currie entered the residence through a back door

On July 5, Currie allegedly stole several dishes, antique plate sets, China sets, and other glass items valued at $200.

Three days later on July 8, Currie allegedly took more dishware from the home, valued at $150 including China cups, matching some of the dishes taken on July 5.

Currie returned to the home on July 12 and allegedly stole a box of China dolls, two bb guns, and two lamps, valued at $475.

On July 14, Currie entered the home again and allegedly took a suitcase, jewelry, and a VCR, valued at $390.

29 year old Kenneth Adam Wright of Lower Helton Road, Alexandria is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. Wright's bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on the charge August 25. He was also issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law and violation of the implied consent law.

Sheriff Ray reports that on July 31, a deputy saw two males slumped over in a vehicle at the parking lot of DeKalb Market. While performing a welfare check, the officer found that the automobile's engine was running. The driver, Wright, was awakened by the deputy and asked to step out of the vehicle. The officer noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on Wright and he was very unsteady on his feet. He submitted to and performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. Wright refused to submit to a blood test.

42 year old Theresa Petty Tittle of Pea Ridge Road, Liberty is charged with theft of property under $500. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on August 18.

Sheriff Ray reports that on July 28, Tittle went to DeKalb Market and got $64.06 worth of gas and left the store without paying for it.

33 year old Jason Kenneth Cline of Ford Road, Smithville is charged with vandalism. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court August 4.

According to Sheriff Ray, Cline broke a window on July 26 in a holding cell at the DeKalb County Jail while he was incarcerated. Cline could be seen on the jail's surveillance camera monitors kicking and breaking the window. The estimated value of the damage is $2,000. Sheriff Ray said that the incident occurred while Cline was serving a weekend sentence.

Community Joins in "Prayer Service for Schools"

July 31, 2011
Dwayne Page

A large group turned out Sunday afternoon to join in a special "Prayer Service for Schools" observance held in front of DeKalb County High School.

The prayer service has become an annual event conducted by local ministers offering prayers for each school as well as the students, teachers, transportation staff, and other employees.

Among the local ministers participating were Larry Green, Donald Owens, Bernard Houk, Michael Farr, Don Davidson, Bill Robertson, B.J. Thomason, and John Carpenter.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby also made some brief remarks

DeKalb County Schools Re-Open Monday, August 1.

Registration for all students, not previously registered, will be Monday, August 1st. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, August 2nd will be an administrative day

The first full day of school for all students will be Wednesday, August 3rd.

Meanwhile. the Sixth Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Monday, August 1st from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square



Foster Explains County Budget in WJLE Interview

July 31, 2011
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster

The DeKalb County Commission is scheduled to act on approval of budgets for all county departments for the 2011-12 fiscal year and establish the property tax rate for the year during a special meeting scheduled for Monday, August 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse. Action on passage of the new budgets and tax rate will take place after a public hearing, scheduled for 5:00 p.m..

Total appropriations come to $37-million 154-thousand 087 dollars.


Dekalb 2012 Budget.pdf (196.53 KB)

The county budget committee is recommending that the new tax rate be set at $1.62 per $100 of assessed value, a ten cent increase above the new certified rate of $1.52 established by the state after reappraisal.

County Mayor Mike Foster, in an interview with WJLE Thursday, said that while a tax increase is being proposed, the new budget does not include any extra frills. "Overall we've tried to stay pretty well the same as the budget we had last year except there's a little bit of stuff in there to cover some utilities, insurance costs that went up. There's a little bit in there for pay raises. We budgeted five cents (tax increase) for schools and that covers their raises and we budgeted five cents (tax increase) for the county. That covers nearly most of their raises as well," said Foster.

Some county officials have said that their new budgets have been cut somewhat in certain line items from this past year which will absorb the pay raises that will be given to their employees.

While projections for the new budget year show the county going into the red, Foster said he is hopeful that all departments will spend less and stay under budget again this year, just as most did this past year. "We show going a little bit into the red. We did that last year too but actually every budget was under budget so we still came in actually ahead with expenditures about $400,000 less than revenues," said Foster.

So why then a need for a tax increase? Foster answered "Because you never know what your expenditures are going to be. Your budget is kind of a guess. You try to guess your expenditures high and your revenues low and hope that it comes out like it should. We try to budget five or six percent under and over, that way you hopefully can come out right. For example, in July of this year you don't know what diesel is going to be costing in December. You don't know what electricity might be and other things that are very much unknown. You could have two central units go out. We have to account for all that. So you over bid expenditures a little bit and you usually underbid revenues a little bit. I feel that most people are doing a good job with their budgets. I think in the times we are in we don't need to be increasing (the number of) positions. We're trying to protect the people we have rather than trying to increase (the number of employees). There may come a time when we have to cut some people (positions)," said Foster

Under the county budget committee's recommendation, five cents of the tax hike would go for schools and the other nickel increase would be for county general. The proposed tax rate, as recommended by the county budget committee, breaks down as follows:

County General: 83 cents
Highway/Public Works: 3 cents
General Capital Projects- 9 cents
Debt Service-12 cents
General Purpose Schools- 55 cents

The solid waste fund does not receive any property tax money. The fund is supported by revenues derived from payment-in-lieu of taxes, local option sale taxes, hotel-motel tax, bank excise tax and wholesale beer tax, etc. Up until two years ago, the solid waste fund was supported by a portion of the property tax rate. Since then the tax rate previously designated for solid waste, 20 cents, has been added to the general fund.General services charges include $90,000 in tipping fees. Total revenues for solid waste from local and state sources comes to $1,357,220. County Mayor Foster said that total solid waste expenditures are projected to be $1,460,860, up from last year's budget of $1,400,231. "It's up a little bit but there's $120,000 in there for depreciation which rolls over and comes back in (to the budget) and the state requires us to put in $200,000 for post closure. That means (money has to be in the budget) in case we have to do some work at any of these other old landfills that have been closed for up to thirty years. In reality we know its actually going to be about $51,000 this year that we will be doing. So actually there's about $270,000 that the state requires us to put in there which we are 99% sure we won't spend. So it's stable. There are no new positions. There was a (rollback) truck in last year's budget that we've rolled over into this year's budget,' said Foster.

One cent of the tax rate generates $42,389 in local money with a 5.85% delinquency rate figured into the equation.

The new budget includes a new four tiered salary pay scale for employees of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department to bring their salaries more in line with other law enforcement agencies in the area. All other full time county employees are budgeted a $1,000 pay raise for the year, which equates to about a 50 cent per hour increase.

Last year, the county budgeted money to fund an animal control officer but that position was not filled. This year funds for that position, $25,000, will be re-allocated to fund a director position at the new county administrative office complex still under construction on South Congress Boulevard. Four county officials from the courthouse, the Register of Deeds, Assessor of Property, Trustee, and County Clerk and their staffs are scheduled to move to their new offices in the old Town and Country Shopping Center location on Thursday, August 18.

The costs to the county for the new administrative building including purchase price and renovation expense is expected to be $3.2 million unless other change orders or add-ons are required before the entire project is finished. The re-payment schedule on the five million dollars borrowed to pay off previous obligations and to purchase and renovate this building is for fifteen years at a locked in rate of three percent. Yearly payments are to be $409,000 compared to $469,000 under the previous six year debt repayment schedule at 5.8%. The county is scheduled to receive $50,000 a year in rental payments from tenants in a portion of the building, including UCHRA. General fund utilities expense for county buildings combined is budgeted to go from $75,000 last year to $150,000 in the new budget. County Mayor Foster said about $50,000 of the increase for utilities is due to the new administrative building

The budget again provides local property tax relief of up to $50 for those who qualify for the state property tax relief program.

Capital projects fund expenses include:

"Motor Vehicles" Ambulance-$80,000 (to re-do an existing ambulance, placing a new chassis with an old box remount)

"Furniture and fixtures" (shopping center building)-$150,000 (carry-over expense from last year)

"Motor vehicles" category for patrol cars and or fire truck- $80,000 (money allocated for any emergency vehicle needed during the year)

"Law enforcement equipment" fire department- $31,000 (carry-over expense from last year to be used to purchase an older model equipment truck for the county fire department)

County Fire Chief Donny Green's request for $180,000 to purchase a new fire pumper to replace the Midway engine which is a 1979 model will apparently not be met for now. The truck has not been included in the budget. But in addition to an older model equipment truck, the department may also get to fund replacement of a portion of turnout gear and breathing cylinders.

"Other construction" is caution lights- $30,000 (to purchase and install caution lights at the intersection of State Highway 83 and U.S. 70 near Kilgore's Restaurant)

"Building Construction" Administration Building- $1,300,000 (carry over-expense from last year- About $700,000 to $800,000 left to be spent from remaining borrowed funds to finish rehab construction work on county administrative building)

"Solid Waste Equipment"- $145,000 (to purchase roll back garbage truck)

"Other construction" for various projects-$18,000 (for roof repairs to Omega Apparel building and for work to be done to 911 building)
Total: $1,834,000

A total of $183,053 in gifts and contributions to local libraries, which have been previously kept in a bank account, must now be accounted for as a line item in the county general budget for libraries by recommendation of state auditors.

As for schools, County Mayor Foster insists that the county is adequately funding schools with local money at more than $4.5 million dollars and is exceeding the state's BEP required local match for schools "by about $250,000".

"Schools have gone from over $11- million dollars nine or ten years ago to $19.9 million dollars today and that does not include the $2.8 million federal budget that goes in there for the cafeteria fund which kind of funds itself in that people buy meals but there's also some federal money in there for low to moderate income people," said Foster.

The General Purpose Schools budget totals $19,932,993. The property tax rate for schools as recommended by the budget committee is 55 cents per $100 of assessed value, five cents more than last year but not as much as the school board has requested. In addition to the $2-million 331-thousand 429 for schools generated by the 55 cent tax rate, the county commission is expected to transfer $1-million 540 thousand from the local purpose tax fund (sinking/local sales tax fund) to help operate schools this year along with $570,645 to fund the school debt service for payment on the Northside Elementary School and roof at Smithville Elementary School. The school system also gets $55,954 from Trustee's Collections (prior years), $30,309 from Circuit Clerk and Masters collections (prior years), $12,823 in interest and penalty, $8,603 in pick up taxes, and $1,000 in bank excise taxes. The total appropriation of local funds for schools is $4,550,763. The state BEP allocation for schools is $13-million 198-thousand dollars, an increase from last year's budget of $12,508,000. The school system also receives, according to County Mayor Foster, some $2.8 million in federal funding in addition to local and state appropriations.

The school board initially adopted a tentative budget requesting a seventeen cent property tax rate increase for schools to fund pay raises for personnel and to add some new positions in the new budget. The county budget committee rejected the request for new money, except for pay raises. The committee asked the school board to make cuts in their proposed budget. The school board later revised its proposed budget and brought back a proposal asking for an eleven cent tax increase and more money from the sales tax or sinking fund to meet their budget request. The county budget committee again rejected the proposed spending plan but voted to recommend a consolidated budget that includes a five cent tax increase for schools to send to the county commission. Although neither the budget committee nor the county commission can dictate how the school board spends the money, the proposed five cent tax increase is just enough to cover the proposed pay raises for school personnel.

The school board has proposed a 3.2% pay raise for support staff or non-certified personnel and a 1.6% local increase to match the state's 1.6% pay hike for certified personnel (teachers)..

The school board, according to its revised plan, seeks to add the following new positions:

A new fifth grade teaching position at Northside Elementary School.
An additional math teacher at DeKalb County High School
An assistant band teacher
A support staff site coordinator at DCHS
A special education teacher at DCHS
Three new assistant principals (one at each DeKalb West, Northside Elementary, and Smithville Elementary School)

The school board's revised budget adds local funding back to the general fund for three teaching positions and an educational assistant, which for the last two years have been paid for with federal stimulus or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds that have now been exhausted

Also remaining in the spending plan are requests for the following increases:
Textbook adoption (Math)- $40,000
Minimal increase in utility costs- $6,000
Increase in maintenance of plant supplies- $23,000

The county commission will be asked Monday, August 8 to either approve or reject the school board's revised budget request or to approve or reject the county budget committee's recommendation.

The ambulance service budget estimates expenditures to be $1,223,451 for the year, an increase from last year's budget of $1,138,558. Estimated revenues for the new year are projected to be $1,014,938 including $990,000 in patient charges.

Three cents of the property tax rate, $127,169 helps support the county highway department along with a mineral severance tax, $25,000, Other than that, Foster said all of the county road department's budget is funded by state allocations, mostly state gas tax revenues

Here's how much each fund is expected to collect from local property tax dollars:

Net Estimated Collections:
County General- $3,518,339
General Purpose Schools- $2,331,429
Debt Service- $508,675
Highways/Public Works- $127,169
General Capital Projects- $381,507
Total Tax Levy- $6,867,119

Total Estimated Revenues:
County General- $6,163,103
Highways- $2,075-225
Debt Service-$530,096
General Purpose Schools-$18,942,427
Central Cafeteria- $1,422,000
General Capital Projects-$397,572
Local Purpose Fund-$2,200,000
Drug Control- $34,910
Courthouse/Jail Maintenance-$48,600
Solid Waste-$1,357,220
Total: $33,171,197

Total appropriations for each fund are as follows for the year 2012 compared to 2011
County General- $6,894,857; ($6,339,634 for the year 2011)
Highways- $2,120,663; ($2,109 381 for the year 2011)
Debt Service- $1,103,260; ($1,138,412 for the year 2011)
General Purpose Schools- $19,932,993; ($18,029,136 for the year 2011)
Central Cafeteria- $1,536,450 (1,408,500 for the year 2011)
General Capital Projects- $1,872,369 ($3,511,566 for the year 2011)
Local Purpose Fund- $2,134,845 ($2,144,184 for the year 2011)
Drug Control- $33,535 ($36,003 for the year 2011)
Courthouse/Jail Maintenance- $64,255 ($64,755 for the year 2011)
Solid Waste- $1,460,860; ($1,400,231 for the year 2011)
Total- $37,154, 087 (Total- $36,181,801 for the year 2011)

The beginning Fund Balance for all funds combined (available money) to start the fiscal year July 1st, 2011 was $13,714,698. The ending fund balance by June 30th, 2012 is estimated to be $10,485,506.

Beginning Fund Balance as of July 1, 2011 (Available money as new year begins)
County General: $2,873,097
Highways: $720,875
Debt Service: $1,505,611
General Purpose Schools: $3,425,513
Central Cafeteria (Schools): $447,142
General Capital Projects: $2,219,421
Local Purpose Fund (Sales Tax): $721,245
Drug Control: $36,081
Courthouse/Jail Maintence: $90,905
Education Capital Projects: $3,945
Solid Waste: $1,669,863

The county commission is also expected to adopt a resolution August 8 making appropriations of $133,243 to the following non-profit organizations:

DeKalb Sparks Softball- $150
Upper Cumberland Development District- $3,411
Tennessee Division of Forestry-$1,500
DeKalb County Rescue Squad- $11,500
Plateau Mental Health-$7,180
Families First-$750
Senior Citizens Program-$26,325
DeKalb Soil Conservation District-$29,281
DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce-$15,000
Imagination Library- $7,200
Genesis House- $1,500
DeKalb County Fair- $1,500
WCTE-TV- $5,000
Prospect Incorporated-$12,500
Upper Cumberland Human Resources-$1,200
UCHRA Assessment-Homemaker Aide, etc-$9,245

Dues and memberships:
Upper Cumberland Tourism Association- $300
Tennessee County Services Association- $1,223
Tennessee County Officials Association- $1,985
Tennessee County Sheriff's Association- $1,500
Tennessee County Commissioners Association- $1,350
Upper Cumberland Development District- $3,000
Association of Tennessee Valley Governments- $400
Total dues and memberships- $9,758

DeKalb County 4-H Excels at State 4-H Roundup

July 30, 2011
April B. Martin, Extension Agent
Cassie Cain, Kayley Green, Matthew Cain, Hailey Perry, and Elizabeth Sanders
Hailey Perry, Matthew Cain, and Elizabeth Sanders.

DeKalb County was well represented at the State 4-H Roundup/All-Star Conference held recently at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Roundup is a state high school level event for 4-H members competing in project areas. To get to this level, 4-Hers must complete a portfolio and be one of five state finalists. At Roundup, they are required to do an interview along with a project display or resume.

Elizabeth Sanders, a senior at DeKalb County High School, received the Level II Goat project award. Kayley Green, a sophomore, received the Level I Food, Health, and Fitness project award. Hailey Perry, a senior, received the Family and Consumer Science Leadership award. These three 4-Hers received a trip to the National 4-H Congress to be held later this year. Also, Cassie Cain, a sophomore, competed in the Level I Veterinary Science project. Matthew Cain, a senior, competed in the Level II Veterinary Science project.

State elections are also held while at Roundup. We are very proud that two DeKalb County 4-Hers were elected to state positions. Elizabeth Sanders was re-elected as the State 4-H Council Member-At-Large for the second year in a row. Hailey Perry was elected as the State 4-H All-Star Scribe.

Another major event that occurs while at 4-H Roundup is the Vol State ceremony. Vol State is the highest level of recognition a Tennessee 4-H member may achieve. Vol State is presented to high school juniors and seniors in recognition of excellence in all phases of 4-H work, as well as service and leadership rendered in their communities.

We are proud that 4-Hers Hailey Perry, Elizabeth Sanders, and Matthew Cain were presented with the Vol State Award.
More information about 4-H Roundup can be found at http://www.utextension.utk.edu/4H/roundup/index.htm. The University of Tennessee Extension offers all its programs to everyone in the community, regardless of race, sex, national origin or ethnicity.

Four County Officials Relocating to New Administrative Building August 18

July 29, 2011
Dwayne Page
New Office Building for Four Courthouse County Officials
UCHRA Office Entrance
Renovation Continues on Rest of Building

Construction on the new DeKalb County Administrative Office Complex, formerly known as the Town and Country Shopping Center, is progressing and work on the offices of the four county officials who plan to move out there may be completed within three weeks.

Moving day from the courthouse to the new building for Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Assessor of Property Timothy "Fud" Banks, Trustee Sean Driver, and County Clerk Mike Clayborn is now set for Thursday, August 18.

The portion of the building being leased by the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency has already been finished and officials of UCHRA have moved in there.

The remainder of the building, which is not expected to be completed by next month, will remain under construction.

County Mayor Mike Foster, in an interview with WJLE Thursday, said the county has spent to date $1-million 808-thousand 580 dollars on the renovation of the building and is still expected to spend up to another $700,000 before it is finished.

The total project is expected to cost the county around $3.2 million. The purchase price was $750,000 and the cost of construction to renovate the complex is $2-million 523-thousand 416.

When the county bought the building, Foster said a decision was made by the county commission to borrow up to $5-million dollars. By doing so, the county was able to pay off existing debt at that time of more than two million dollars and finance the cost of this building project. While the repayment schedule is now at fifteen years, rather than six years under the former debt repayment plan, Foster said the county's yearly payments are less with a better interest rate. Plus, he said the county is getting the added benefit of having tenants in the new building (UCHRA) which will be paying rent to the county for a number of years.

"The money we set aside when we borrowed the five million dollars was to pay off some debt that the county already had and that was paid off," said Foster. "We then set aside three million dollars for the building to do the upgrades and what not. We borrowed the money by bond issue at three percent for fifteen years locked in. So by borrowing the money at three percent versus 5.8% (under the former loan) that saved us some money. Of course, doing it under a fifteen year loan rather than a six year loan (under the former debt repayment schedule) really changed the amount we pay. We already owed over two million dollars, so that was paid off. The rest of the money was designated for upgrading that building and buying it. So we paid ourselves (county) back out of that five million dollars, the $750,000 that we gave for it (building). We are now in the process of doing the renovations and the bid to do that work (renovation) was $2,337,000. But we did some upgrades on insulation and energy saving devices throughout the building so we added a little bit to it ( change orders totaling $186,416) so it's (total renovation project) is $2,523,416," said Foster.

"One company (Cambridge Constructors, Inc. of McMinnville) is doing the work and they are subbing it out. In our specs we specified that 40% of the equipment had to come from DeKalb County and they have hired some local workers too as laborers because a percentage of them had to be local too," said Foster.

He continued "In the process, we have rented three or four spaces in there (building) that's going to bring in about $50,000 a year to help offset the costs. That $50,000 a year will be a continuous thing. Its not just a one time thing. Our payments (under former loan) on what we already owed was $469,000 a year but only for six years. The payment on the new building is $409,000 but for fifteen years. If we take the revenue we'll be receiving and use it for debt payment. If you did it (calculated it) that way, that would lower it (debt payment) to about $355,000. But you could also use it (rental payments from tenants) for utilities because there's going to be some utility costs out there. But either way, we're still about $55,000 better off than we were. We also cut the animal control officer position that was in the budget ($25,000) and moved it out there as somebody (director) to oversee the building along with a lot of volunteers. So it's a net gain actually of a little bit of money, rather than spending more money, except we'll be paying on it for fifteen years rather than six years the other way," said Foster.

Foster said he still believes this is a good investment for the county."We had to have more space for people in the courthouse. We had bought the lot here in town and had intended to use it for that purpose, but it was probably going to cost from $1.1 million to $1.5 million to build a new building over there. We later learned about this building (shopping center complex). So the county commission voted to buy it and do some renovation on it and move four of the county (courthouse) offices out there, Register of Deeds, Assessor of Property, Trustee, and County Clerk," said Foster.

In March, 2008 the county commission voted to purchase a small lot, about eight tenths of an acre, near the public square as a possible future location for a courthouse annex. The county paid $125,000 for the property on a three year note.

Foster insists that this new building project is not the reason the county is seeking a proposed increase in the tax rate.


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree