Local News Articles

Three Suspects Charged In Two Same Day Burglaries

October 9, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three people were arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, October 4th, following break-ins at two homes that day, one on Ferrell Road and the other on New Home Road.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 22 year old Carrie Young of Lonnie Cantrell Road, 28 year old James Freddy Summers of Toad Road, and 25 year old Randy Caldwell of Sparta are each charged with two counts of theft over $1,000 and two counts of aggravated burglary.

The three are charged with breaking into both homes and taking a computer, guns, a DVD player, DVD's, jewelry, and other items.

Sheriff Ray says the three were arrested about four hours following the second break-in after their vehicle was spotted parked at Mapco Express.

Some of the stolen goods were found in the vehicle.

The defendants will appear in General Sessions Court October 26th.

Corps To Address Seepage Problems At Center Hill Dam

October 19, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved plans for an extensive rehabilitation to address seepage problems at the foundation of Center Hill Dam, announced U.S. Representative Bart Gordon.

\"Addressing the seepage problems at Center Hill Dam will greatly enhance safety for the Middle Tenneseans who live downstream, as well as the millions of people who visit the lake each year, said Gordon. \"While the improvements may cause a tempprary inconvenience, the end result will be a safer place for recreation and residence.\"

The Corps is planning a $240 million rehabilitation, which will involve the addition of grouting to voids where seepage is occurring in the 57 year old earthen dam. Installation of a concrete cut-off wall into the rock foundation of the dam will provide another level of defense against future seepage.

While Corps officials say there is no immediate danger of the dam failing, they are monitoring the seepage so that emergency actions could be taken to lessen the possibility of a catastrophic breach occurring.

According to the Corps, a catastrophic dam failure could result in significant damage and loss of life if water from the Caney Fork River were to flood downstream communities.

\"The approval of our Major Rehabilitation recommendation for seepage problems at Center Hill Dam and the receipt funds to begin design mark an important milestone, said Linda Adcock, dam safety program manager for the Nashville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. \"These actions show the Corps is committed to keeping Center Hill safe and functional for the future. We promise to continue close monitoring of the dam throughout the construction period and to keep the public informed through public meetings, announcements and Web site updates.\"

According to Corps officials, the design stage will be completed next year, and construction will begin in 2008.

The most recent rehabilitation to the dam occurred in 1992, when grouting was added to combat seepage.

Next month, the Corps will hold public meetings in Carthage, Cookeville, and Smithville to provide more information about the rehabilitation and to address any questions from residents. For more information on the meetings, residents should call the Corps' Public Affairs Office at 615-736-7161.

Cocaine Investigation Nets Two Arrests

October 11, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

An investigation into the trafficking of cocaine has led to the arrest of two young women.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 25 year old Amanda Hicks and 20 year old Tasha Nicole Bain were arrested during a traffic stop late Tuesday night and charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine) with intent to sell or deliver. Hicks is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (scales) and possession of a schedule II controlled substance (hydrocodone).

Sheriff Ray says officers pulled over a Toyota Camry on South College Street in Smithville and found the women in possession of 16 grams of cocaine and hydrocodone tablets.

Officers seized some cash and impounded the vehicle.

Bond for Hicks is $54,000 and $25,000 for Bain.

They will appear in General Sessions Court October 26th.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was assisted at the scene by officers of the Smithville Police Department.

School Board Adopts 2007-2008 Calendar

October 12, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education formally adopted the school calendar for the 2007-2008 year Thursday night.

Registration for all students will be Monday, August 6th from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. That will be an abbreviated school day.

Tuesday, August 7 will be an administrative day at all schools and all teachers must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Students will not attend.

The first full day of school for all students will be Wednesday, August 8

A system wide professional development day will be Wednesday, August 1 at DCHS and all teachers from all schools must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

All teachers will report to their individual schools Thursday and Friday, August 2 & 3 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each day.

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 3rd.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 12-19

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 21, 22, & 23 and for the winter break December 20 through January 2, 2008. Wednesday, December 19 will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Thursday, January 3rd to begin the third nine week session.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 21 and for President's Day, Monday, February 18.

The spring break will be March 21st through 28th

Students will not attend on Thursday, May 22. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend.. The last day of school will be Friday, May 23. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be given to the students.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 9 and Thursday, March 13 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 11 and Thursday, January 31st at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Thursday, October 4th, Monday, January 7th, and Monday, March 10th.

Competency testing at DCHS will be October 9-11 and February 12-14.

Gateway testing at DCHS will be December 4-6 and May 6-8. Gateway test makeup will be December 7th.

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 5th. Writing Assessment make-up will be February 6th.

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 14-18.

(Stockpile Days) Professional Development/Instructional Days will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 5th; Friday, April 25th; and Friday, May 9th.

Board member Charlie Robinson, who is also a member of the Tennessee School Board Association's (TSBA) Board of Directors, presented the local board and Supervisor of Federal Programs Michelle Burklow an award for the recent \"Education Celebration.\"

The TSBA offers awards for Excellence in Education Programs that are designed to provide creative ways to enhance learning for students.

Robinson said the \"Education Celebration,\"held August 4, \"allowed students to collect various school supplies appropriate to their grade level and provided parents the opportunity to meet with school administrators and teachers to begin a year-long partnership to promote student success.\"

\"Education Celebration was a means for DeKalb County Schools to take a leadership role in reinforcing and improving relationships among parents, teachers, students and the community. This program involved business partners, local churches, the Director of Schools, school board
members and various community volunteers.\"

Robinson personally thanked Burklow, who headed up the project, saying \"I am privileged to present TSBA's Award for Excellence in Education Programs to the DeKalb County Board of Education and to the people of DeKalb County.\"

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly written personnel report to the board.

Those added to the approved substitute teacher's list include Carolyn Allen, Lisa Bowman, Christina Bowley, Amanda Carlton, Lorrie Evans, Kelly Frazier, Robbie Joan Frazier, Shelly Gibson, Dustin Hendrix, Joyce K. Hendrixson, Brenda Henry, Amy Johansen, Melinda J. League, Tracie Meadows, DeAnn Birdsong-Merrell, Angela Hedge Miller, Todd Miller, Sonya Parsley, and Jeanni L. Watson.

Tommy Darryl Davenport was added to the substitute bus driver list.

Those who have resigned include Beverly Starnes, cafeteria worker; Edith Lasser, Physical Therapy Assistant; and Phyllis Reed, Education Assistant at Smithville Elementary.

Ashley Barnes, Guidance Counselor at DeKalb Middle School, was granted a leave as requested.

Rita Young was transferred to the position of Attendance Clerk at Northside Elementary School and Smithville Elementary School.

Successful Weekend for the Fighting Tiger Band

October 14, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band traveled to Centerville Tennessee for the Hickman County Marching Invitational this weekend with good results.

The band placed 2nd with an average band score of 82.333, just behind Waverly Central High School's 83.333. The Field Commander, Dustin Estes, and Percussion section also placed 2nd behind Waverly. The Color Guard took 2nd behind Stewart County High School. \"All of the sections seemed to have improved last week. I'm very proud of these students. Fall Break had already started and they still managed to keep their head in the game for this competition. We'll be taking this week off and letting the band and their director take a much needed rest\" Band director Chuck Gilbert said with a smile. \"We'll pick our normal practice schedule back up on Monday October 23rd to prepare for the Smoky Mountain Invitational and Division II State Finals\".

The Band and Boosters would like to thank Mapco Express, General Equipment in McMinnville, DeKalb Market and the whole community for being behind the band and supporting with Ice, Water, Sideline Equipment and just general support. Booster President Kennie Barnes said \"without the support of the community, the band would not exist. These kids work hard and we're here to support them 110%. The Community has always been there to support and for that we say thank you\". The Boosters would also like to thank DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray and the Smithville Police Department for the escorts into town Saturday. Barnes said \"We want to show the whole town what a great group of kids that we have and our law enforcement officials helped us do that on Saturday. It was much appreciated and the kids seemed to have loved it\".

The DCHS High School Band Boosters will be hosting a Ham Breakfast and Yard Sale Saturday October 21st at the High School Cafeteria and Parking Lot. Breakfast will be served at 5am and will include Ham, Eggs, Taters, Gravy, Biscuit, Milk Juice and More. The Price for the Breakfast is just $5. For advance orders call Band Booster President, Kennie Barnes at 597-0572 or for call-ins that day, call the Band Room at 597-7213. We'll even deliver with-in the city limits. The Boosters are raising money to help pay for the new uniforms and any help would be greatly appreciated.

The DCHS Band Booster's next monthly meeting will be Monday November 6th at 6pm in the Band Room. If you are a parent of a DeKalb County Band Student or a supporter of the Band Program please attend this meeting. The Super-Boosters meet on the first Monday of every month. We're always discussing upcoming fundraisers and events. Come on out and support these students, they're really working hard. For more info on the band, their fundraisers and schedule, log on to www.DekalbBand.com

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Set For DeKalb County

October 16, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's mobile household hazardous waste (HHW) collection service will be in DeKalb County on Saturday, October 28 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the lot between DeKalb Farmer's Coop and the Church of God.

\"Our household hazardous waste mobile collection service provides the people of Tennessee with a safe, environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other potentially hazardous wastes at no cost,\" said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke. \"This service travels across the state holding collection events in local communities, and we encourage all Tennesseans to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize it.\"

The average home in Tennessee produces 20 pounds of household hazardous waste each year. Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, batteries, mercury thermometers and thermostats, swimming pool chemicals, paints and thinners and automotive fluids. Also accepted are fluorescent bulbs and electronics such as televisions, computer monitors, keyboards, computer mouse devices and computer processing units. Console televisions must be dismantled.

Items not accepted include microwave ovens, ammunition, explosives, medical waste and any items from a school, commercial business or agri-business.

When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck, away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original container whenever possible. If not, place it in a plastic jug with a secure lid and label the contents.

In 2005, more than 1.5 million pounds of household hazardous waste and 309,000 pounds of electronics were collected from 22,427 households at collection events across the state. Since 1993, households have properly disposed of more than 14 million pounds of material. This material is flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed in with regular garbage.

For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call

1-800-287-9013 or the County Executive's Office at 597-5175

7th Annual Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour Set For October 28-29

October 16, 2006
by: 
Donna Emmons

Adventure awaits at the 7th annual Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour set for Saturday, October 28th, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Sunday, October 29th, Noon - 5:00 pm.

Ten different home studios in DeKalb and Cannon County will host over 20 award-winning artists who look forward to sharing with visitors their creative skills in glass, paper, wood, clay, fibers, cement and copper. Along with various unique forms of clay and glass design, the tour features the expertise of artists in sculpture, wood furniture, quilting, paper, and fiber art.

The Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour is nestled along a beautiful meandering drive through rural middle Tennessee at the peak of the fall season. This annual free event is offered by artists who genuinely care about their art, and who desire to open their private studios to educate and visit with all those interested in how fine art is created. Live demonstrations will be given throughout the tour at most of the studios.

Featured artists include: Tim Hintz, ladder-back chairs, winner of the 2005 Best of Tennessee Exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum; Susan DeMay, clay, associate professor at Vanderbilt University; Timothy Weber, clay, former director of Visual Arts, Craft and Media for the Tennessee Arts Commission; Louis and Christine Colombarini, clay, 2005 winner of the national Niche Award from the Rosen Group at the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft and featured artists in American Style and Sunshine Artist magazines; Claudia Lee, paper, past president of TACA and a member of the Book Babes who will also be part of the tour; Tom Fuhrman, glass, whose works include a permanent glass installation at the Frist Center for Visual Arts; Ken and Dee Vanek, cement and copper, 2005 award winners at the Dave Macon Days Festival in Murfreesboro and the Webb School Art and Craft Show; William Kooienga, wood sculpture, featured artist in American Style and Crafts Report magazines; award-winning artist Arlene Knaak, clay; the innovative Meredith Novak, quilting; popular craftsman Rob Harvey, clay; Sharon Kooienga, weaving, featured artist in American Style and Crafts Report magazines; award-winning artist Sherri Gilbert Gard, clay; creative and talented Nancy Wunsch, glass jewelry and fiber art; Teresa Swystun, glass; and innovative Ed Wooten, lamp working and glass. New to the tour this year are: T. J. Edwards, clay; Breanna Rockstad-Kincaid, fibers art; and John Sellberg, clay.

This year's major tour sponsor, Lifeworks Foundation, will host a hospitality center throughout the weekend at the Healing Stones Sanctuary off Lee Braswell Road in Smithville. The restored cabin will feature a collective Off the Beaten Path artists' display. Light refreshments will be served. Also on display at the center will be the Lifeworks Foundation Empty Bowls collection, featuring vessels created by Tennessee craft artists in support of the Empty Bowls hunger project.

Brochures and maps are available at all the studios, Stella Luna Art Gallery, the Appalachian Center for Craft, and the Arts Center of Cannon County. For more information, visit www.smithvilletn.com, email obp@smithvilletn.com, or call Tim Hintz, (615) 597-8770.
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Three More People Arrested In Recent Burglary and Theft Investigations

October 16, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested two people Sunday night charging them with burglarizing a vacant home on the Cookeville Highway a total of nine times, where a house full of furniture and antiques were stored.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 54 year old William Arendall and 48 year old Sherry Cook , both of Sparta Highway (Lake Motel) have each been charged with nine counts of burglary and theft of property.

Cook was also charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and a seventh offense of driving on a suspended license. Cook allegedly had a loaded needle in her possession at the time of her arrest.

Sheriff Ray says the investigation reveals that the burglaries took place on nine separate occasions between October 8th and 15th.

Entry was made through a back window on each occasion and several truck loads of antiques, furniture, quilts, pictures, dishes, and other items were stolen from the home, totaling more than $10,000.

Some of the stolen goods were sold to an antique dealer in Sparta, and those items have been recovered.

Bond for Arendall is set at $675,000 and $686,000 for Cook.

Meanwhile, A 19 year old Liberty man, Johnathan Rice, has been charged with theft of property, accused of stealing jewelry from K & M Jewelry in Smithville on August 15th.

Sheriff Ray says Rice entered the store that day and apparently swiped a diamond ring, gold necklaces, and bracelets, unbeknownst to the store clerks.

During an interview with officers, Ray says Rice admitted to stealing the jewelry. Rice claims he asked the store clerks if he could use the restroom and while in there, he apparently put the jewelry in his pants and walked out.

After discovering the jewelry missing, the store clerks contacted authorities.

Rice was arrested October 14th and his bond is set at $15,000. He will be in court on the charge, November 2nd.

Over 500 Take Advantage of Early Voting Through Saturday

October 21, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A total of 511 people have cast ballots during the first four days of early voting for the Tennessee General Election including mail-in ballots.

All early voting will be in the basement courtroom of the DeKalb County Courthouse through Thursday, November 2nd.

Hours are 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday hours are from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th.

Lebanon Man Charged With Rape of Dowelltown Girl

October 23, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 22 year old Lebanon man has been charged with the Statutory Rape of a 14 year old Dowelltown girl.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Ricky Darnell Johnson of 135 Rogers Street, Lebanon was arrested Friday evening by Wilson County authorities.

He is under a $150,000 bond

Sheriff Ray says Johnson is accused of committing statutory rape by having sex with a 14 year old girl without her consent on October 14th in Dowelltown.

The victim identified the man to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department was contacted since Johnson is from Lebanon.

Sheriff Ray says Johnson is a registered sexual offender having been convicted of an attempted aggravated sexual battery in Wilson County in September 2002. He has been on supervised probation.

In addition to the sex offense in DeKalb County, Johnson is also a suspect in a Wilson County rape, which occurred three weeks ago.

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