Local News Articles

Sheriff's Department Finds Meth Lab

January 10, 2011
Dwayne Page
Christopher Eugene Layne
Coty Lynn McCormick
Don Eugene Griffith, Jr.

A Foster Road man was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Friday, January 7th after a meth lab was found in the apartment where he was living.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said 23 year old Christopher Eugene Layne of Foster Road is charged with manufacture of methamphetamine. He is under a $50,000 bond and his court date is Thursday, January 13th. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 7th a deputy received a tip that meth was being made at an apartment complex on Foster Road. The officer obtained consent from the renter of the apartment to search. Upon conducting the search, the deputy found several components to manufacture methamphetamine. Layne allegedly admitted that these items belonged to him. The Haz Mat crew was called to the apartment complex to properly dispose of the chemicals. The apartment room where the meth lab had been located was also quarantined.

23 year old Coty Lynn McCormick of Bessie Gribble Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of violation of probation and one count of vandalism under $500. Sheriff Ray said deputies picked him up at his home on Tuesday, January 4th and he is now being held without bond for the violations. While he was in jail on Wednesday, January 5th, McCormick allegedly placed wet toilet paper over the camera lens so he could not be seen. He then allegedly broke the water sprinkler head, causing parts of the jail annex to be flooded. McCormick is under a $1,500 bond for the vandalism.

32 year old Don Eugene Griffith, Jr. of Circle Drive, Dowelltown was arrested on Wednesday, January 5th and charged with theft of property over $1,000. According to Sheriff Ray, Griffith went to a residence at Preston Vickers Road on Wednesday December 1st where he allegedly took a craftsman drill driver set, power tools, two bags of assorted tools, and a chainsaw, all valued at more than $1,000. Griffith allegedly pawned these items at an area pawn shop. Griffith is under a $5,000 bond.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray is asking for your help in catching the person or persons responsible for throwing eggs in the Cookeville Highway/ Pine Grove Road/ Rolling Acres Road area. "A month and a half ago we had reports of someone throwing eggs in the Pine Grove Road/Cookeville Highway area. We also received a similar report this past weekend in the Highway 56 north/Rolling Acres Road area. They usually drive by and throw eggs, hitting houses and or automobiles. According to a witness, the eggs have been thrown from a black truck. That's the only description we have at this time. We ask the public to keep an eye open for any strange vehicles in the neighborhood and report any suspicious activity to central dispatch at 215-3000."

Anyone caught throwing eggs may be charged with projecting a missile (eggs) and or vandalism if there is damage.

State Releases Report Card on DeKalb County Schools

January 9, 2011
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The 2010 Report Card on the DeKalb County School System from the Tennessee Department of Education reveals that three of the five schools are in "Good Standing" for No Child Left Behind AYP (Average Yearly Progress) status but Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary are listed as " School Improvement 1" schools because the sub-group of Hispanic students failed to meet the necessary AYP benchmark for the year in the subjects of reading and language arts.

Schools and districts must meet performance standards in 37 categories at each grade span to be deemed in "good standing" under federally mandated No Child Left Behind.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said efforts are being made to address the issue. "Last year Northside Elementary was a "Target" school along with Smithville Elementary, which was only listed as a "Target" school because it's a feeder school to Northside Elementary. We were targeted last year because a sub-group of students with disabilities failed to meet the AYP benchmark in the reading and language arts category. But this past year, those students did make the average yearly progress that they needed to but during testing in the spring, we had another sub-group that did not make the average yearly progress that we would have hoped. But we did not have the data concerning that. With the TCAP tests, if you do not have at least 45 students in a sub-group, the information is not made available (from the state). The sub-group where we need to make improvement this coming year is the sub-group of Hispanic students in reading and language arts. So that's an area where we will be concentrating on at Smithville Elementary and Northside. Our whole goal with No Child Left Behind is to see that all students succeed and are very successful."

While Director Willoughby acknowledges that system-wide there are "opportunities for academic improvement" in some areas, overall he is pleased with the report card and the work teachers and students are accomplishing in the classrooms.

The report reveals that system-wide, DeKalb County schools, for the year, met or exceeded state grade averages in Academic Achievement in the subjects of math, reading/language, social students, and science in grades 3-8 as well as the fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade writing assessments.

Elementary students from grades 3-8 take the TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) exam, and high school students take the End of Course exam. But Director Willoughby pointed out that the state's standards and assessments have become more challenging and that fair comparisons with last year's DeKalb County report card cannot be made because of it. " In the past ten years, you could compare scores/grades from the year before because everything was a three year average, but 2010 scores do not compare at all with 2009 scores and these 2010 scores cannot be compared to the previous years scores. Basically, everything about the test has become more difficult, much more rigorous. For example, what students were taught in the seventh grade two or three years ago, now students are being required to learn that information in the fifth grade. Our teachers are also being trained even more on strategies for teaching these new standards. But I'm pleased with the academic achievement that has been made during this year. As far as Value Added and average yearly progress, we know we've got some areas that we need to improve on, such as math. Those are some of the things that we're looking at right now and we're still working on strategies to meet the needs where we need improvement."

Willoughby adds that "looking at the standards and how they have changed, yes it's tough knowing that we have students that may be having to learn things that were once taught to students two or three grades ahead of them but when we look back on this, we'll be very happy that this has come about because our children will be achieving more. I believe it's good for the state and the nation. We have an outstanding group of educators in DeKalb County as well as an outstanding group of students. No Child Left Behind is good for kids and we're in the business of doing what's good for children."

At the high school, the graduation rate was at 91.2%, above the state goal of 90%, but ACT scores are down. However, Director Willoughby said that's probably because all eleventh graders are now required to take the ACT, instead of just college bound students. "Our ACT scores did go down some but all eleventh graders have to take the ACT tests now, whereas in the past all eleventh grade students did not take the ACT tests. A few years ago, if you were going to college, you would take the ACT tests, so you would think those students would score higher and we were pleased to see our ACT scores go up. Last year's test scores went down, but I attribute some of that to the fact that it was all eleventh graders taking the ACT scores whether they intended to obtain more education after they left high school or not. Many of them are going to college and we want all of our students to be career or college ready. But it's going to look a whole lot different if you have twenty five percent of your students wanting to go to college taking the ACT versus 100% of students having to take the ACT."

The following is a summary of the DeKalb County School System Report Card for 2010 from the Tennessee Department of Education:

K-8 Non-Academic Indicators:
The school system average attendance for K-8 for 2010 was 94.1% and above the state goal

The promotion rate for 2010 was 99.3% and above the state goal

9-12th grade Non-Academic Indicators:
The attendance rate for grades 9-12 was 94.5% in 2010 better than the state's attendance goal.

The graduation rate for DeKalb County High School was 91.2% in 2010 and above the state graduation goal of 90%.

The 2010 event dropout rate is 1.1%.

2010 Academic Achievement Grades for grades 3-8 are as follows:
Math-B (score 50); (state-C score 49)
Reading/Language-B (score 50); (state-C score 49)
Social Studies-B (score 52); (state-B score 51)
Science-B (score 54); (state-C score 49)

Achievement scores show how well students performed on their standardized achievement tests.

2010 Value Added Academic Growth Grades for K-8 are as follows:
Social Studies-C

Value Added scores in the elementary grades are designed to show whether teachers were effective in helping students learn. Children are tracked from year to year to determine whether they have learned a full year's worth of material since the last test.

For 2010, DeKalb County earned an "A" in 5th and 8th grade writing with scores of 4.3 in 5th grade writing and 4.5 in 8th grade writing. The eleventh grade writing score was "A" in 2010 (4.1 score)..

DeKalb County High School three year average ACT scores from 2008 to 2010 fell slightly below the state three year averages.

The ACT results in grades 9-12 for 2010 (individual year) show that the composite score was 18.5; 17.8 in English; 17.6 in Math; 19.3 in Reading; and 18.7 in Science/Reasoning. The 2010 state averages (individual year) are 19.6 composite, 19.4 in English, 19.0 in Math, 19.9 in Reading, and 19.6 in Science/Reasoning.

The state set a predicted score of the high school Gateway and End of Course test which compare the school progress with the progress of students across the state.

Math Algebra I: NDD (Not detectably different)
Science Biology: Above Average
English II: NDD
English I: NDD
US History: NDD

60% of all DeKalb County High School students in Math and 71% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 25% in math and 49% in reading/language plus writing. (AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

The following are the results from each elementary school included in the report card:

DeKalb West:
2010 Grades K-8 Non-Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate- 94% (State Goal 93%)
Promotion Rate- 100%

Academic Achievement Grades:
DeKalb West: Math- A (Score 56), State (Score 49)- C
Reading/Language-A (Score 55), State (Score 49)-C
Social Studies-A (Score 58), State (Score 51)-B
Science-A (Score 56), State (Score 49)-C

Academic Growth (Value Added)
DeKalb West:
Social Studies-B

Writing 5th Grade-A (score 4.4): (state score 4.1)
Writing 8th Grade-A (score 4.4): (state score 4.2)
47% of all DeKalb West School students in Math and 63% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 20% in math and 32% in reading/language plus writing.(AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

Northside Elementary:
2010 Grades K-8 Non-Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate- 94.5% (State Goal 93%)
Promotion Rate- 100%

Academic Achievement Grades:
Northside Elementary:
Math- C (Score 48), State (Score 49)- C
Reading/Language-C (Score 48), State (Score 49)-C
Social Studies-B (Score 51), State (Score 51)-B
Science-B (Score 51), State (Score 49)-C

Academic Growth (Value Added)
Northside Elementary:
Social Studies-A
Writing 5th Grade-A (score 4.3);(state score 4.1)
34% of all Northside Elementary students in Math and 50% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 20% in math and 32% in reading/language plus writing.(AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

DeKalb Middle:
2010 Grades K-8 Non-Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate- 94% (State Goal 93%)
Promotion Rate- 100%

Academic Achievement Grades:
DeKalb Middle:
Math- C (Score 49), State (Score 49)- C
Reading/Language-C (Score 49), State (Score 49)-C
Social Studies-C (Score 49), State (Score 51)-B
Science-A (Score 55), State (Score 49)-C

Academic Growth (Value Added)
DeKalb Middle:
Social Studies-D
Writing 8th Grade-A (score 4.5): (state score 4.2)
25% of all DeKalb Middle School students in Math and 51% in Reading/Language Plus Writing scored proficient and advanced. Better than the state established target of 20% in math and 32% in reading/language plus writing.(AYP calculations include only continuously enrolled first time test takers)

Smithville Elementary:
Grades K-8 Non Academic Indicators
Attendance Rate 93%
Promotion Rate 97.1%

The Tennessee Education Improvement Act of 1992 established accountability standards for all public schools in the state and required the Department of Education to produce a Report Card for the public to assess each year.

Tennessee state law has since been amended to match regulations in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for meeting required federal benchmarks for all schools, school systems, and the state. Additionally, the State Board of Education has revised its performance standards and requirements to meet performance criteria in the new federal law.

The goal of NCLB is to ensure that all students in all schools are academically proficient in math, reading and language arts by 2014. Until that time, schools, school systems and the state will be measured on their ability to move toward that goal. In other words, schools, school systems, and the state must show that a greater percentage of its students are meeting required proficiency standards.

Schools, school systems and the state must meet proficiency benchmarks in nine subgroups, including five race/ethnicity groups; students with disabilities; limited English proficient students; economically disadvantaged students; and the school as a whole.

The Report Card is organized in the following sections: System/School Profile, NCLB (AYP), Achievement, Value Added (TVAAS data), Attendance and Graduation, Discipline, Teacher Quality, Special Education, and Career and Technical Education. Data required by No Child Left Behind are defined in drop-down boxes containing explanations for each criterion. Grades are assigned to appropriate criteria, and a grade scale is available for explanation of specific scaling.

Schools and school systems that do not meet required federal benchmarks for one year are assigned the status of "Target." Schools and school systems that do not meet the federal benchmark for two or more consecutive years in the same category are assigned the status of "High Priority."

Kijanski Named Tiger Football MVP- Winchester Gets MVC Award

January 8, 2011
Dwayne Page
Tiger Football MVP Kevin Kijanski
Tiger Football MVC Quincie Winchester
Tiger Football Player Award Winners
Tiger Football Cheerleader Award Winners
Tiger Football Cheerleader Award Winners

Senior running back Kevin Kijanski was named Most Valuable Player of the 2010 DeKalb County High School Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held Saturday night at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center building. The awards were sponsored by Liberty State Bank

The award was presented to Kijanski by Coach Steve Trapp, who spoke with WJLE after the banquet. " Kevin has been with us for four years. I've had the luxury of coaching him ever since he was a junior pro player. He's always brought the passion and the fire to the game that you wish every player had and we're just excited that he was a part of our football family for the last four years. He was our leading rusher. As a running back, he was our third leading receiver. He was our leading tackler on defense. He led the team in return yards, kick off returns, punt returns. He could have won almost every award tonight that you wanted to put him in and usually that's the way the MVP is so he just had a tremendous season for us. He played a lot of football. He started as a sophomore and just had a great career for DeKalb County."

Meanwhile, Quincie Winchester, a senior, was named Most Valuable Cheerleader. The presentation was made by Cheer Coach Sonya House, who also spoke with WJLE after the banquet. "Quincie is a wonderful girl and an outstanding cheerleader. She can cheer. She can dance. She can stunt. She can do just about everything and anything that we could ask for and she has one of the best personalities and attitudes of anyone I've ever met. She was really wanting to work on her tumbling and during her sophomore year we noticed that there was a problem. So she went and got checked and by her junior year she had been diagnosed with I believe a fractured back and she had several disks that were out of place. They told her that tumbling was out and it almost kept her out of cheerleading but she was able to really strive, struggle, and push forward. I'm going to miss her dearly. She is my angel. She will truly be missed on this squad. It's going to be hard to replace these seniors."

Other individual Football Player Awards are as follows:

Offensive Player- Shane Salley (absent)
Offensive Lineman- Randall Hansard
Offensive Back- Lucas Phillips
Receiver- Dillion Brown
Defensive Player- Devin Thomas
Defensive Lineman- Gage Brown
Linebacker- Sebastian Phillips
Defensive Back- Matt Giles
Special Teams Player- Rickey Spare
Most Improved- Sam Giles
MVP- Kevin Kijanski
Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award- Devin Thomas, presented by Edwards' son, Abram Edwards.

Individual Cheer Awards are as follows:

Best Stunts-Heather Hughes
Most Spirited-Elizabeth Mason
Best Jumps- Johnna Roller
Best Dance-Taylor Cantrell
Most Improved-McKenzie Poteete
MVC- Quincie Winchester
DEAR (Dedication, Enthusiasm, Attitude, and Responsibility)- Taylor Cantrell

Although the Tigers finished the 2010 season at 3-7 overall and 2-3 in the district, Coach Trapp says his program will have a lot of experienced players returning next season. " To all the seniors, I just appreciate everything they put into this program, helping us to build it and now we're in that mode where we have to sustain it. We want to keep taking steps forward. This past season isn't what anybody wanted but the majority of the guys that were on the field were sophomores and juniors so we've got a lot of experience coming back. Those sophomores are going to be more mature physically and mentally so we're very excited about next season."

Top picture: MVP Kevin Kijanski

Second picture from top: MVC Quincie Winchester

Third picture from top: (seated left to right) Devin Thomas, Randall Hansard, Kevin Kijanski, Matt Giles, Sam Giles; (standing left to right) Rickey Spare, Gage Brown, Dillion Brown, Sebastian Phillips, Lucas Phillips

Fourth picture from top: Left to right- Elizabeth Mason, McKenzie Poteete, and Taylor Cantrell

Bottom picture: Left to right- Quincie Winchester, Johnna Roller, and Heather Hughes

Smithville Police Department Crime News

January 8, 2011
Dwayne Page

In the latest crime news by the Smithville Police Department, Chief Randy Caplinger says 37 year old Windy Carol Bain of Luttrell Avenue was arrested by Sergeant Randy King on December 31st for driving on a suspended license. Police say Bain was stopped for a traffic violation at which time a check of her driver's license through central dispatch revealed them to be suspended. Bond for Bain is $1,000 and her court is February 10th.

39 year old Brad Elliott Johnson of Carter Street was cited on Wednesday, January 5th by Officer David Phillips for simple possession and possession of paraphernalia. Officer Phillips stopped Johnson for a traffic violation at which time Johnson gave the officer consent to search. Upon a search of his person, a schedule II drug and paraphernalia were found. Johnson's court date is February 3rd.

26 year old Eroydi G Sanchez of Adcock Cemetery Road was arrested by Officer James Cornelius on Friday, January 7th for criminal impersonation. Officer Cornelius stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The two men inside the vehicle provided Cornelius their names but they could not provide any forms of identification. Officer Cornelius was joined at the scene by Sergeant Randy King who recognized one of the men as Sanchez from a past encounter. Sergeant King informed Cornelius of the fake name he had been given. A computer check revealed there was an active warrant in DeKalb County for Sanchez and he was taken into custody and transported to the DeKalb County jail. Bond for Sanchez is $1500 and his court date is February 7th.

Meanwhile anyone having information on any criminal offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the crime Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential

THP Now Says Watertown Man Still Clinging to Life After Thursday Night Crash

January 7, 2011
Dwayne Page
Watertown Man Clings to Life After his Car Splits Apart in Three Auto Crash
Watertown ManClings to Life After his Car Splits Apart in Three Auto Crash
Watertown Man Clings to Life After his Car Splits Apart in Three Auto Crash
Four Injured In 1994 Honda Accord
One Injured in 2000 Ford Focus

A 42 year old Watertown man, who was initially reported by the Tennessee Highway Patrol as having died from injuries in a three car crash near Alexandria Thursday night, is apparently still clinging to life in Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported to WJLE around midnight that Vanderbilt hospital staff had told him Timothy Estes had died. Now, Trooper Jennings says he has been informed by Vanderbilt hospital that Estes is still alive but on life support.

Six other people were also injured in the crash which occurred on Highway 70 just east of Alexandria near the stock barn. Central dispatch received the call at 6:31 p.m.

Others injured were 47 year old David Glenn Cole of Watertown, 30 year old Brandyn Lee Wright of Smithville, and 37 year old Shirley Ann Hardy, 30 year old Jeff Bush, 16 year old Dustin Lee Hardy, and 12 year old Devyn Wayne Jones all of Rutledge, Alabama.

According to Trooper Jennings, Ms Hardy was traveling west on U.S. 70 in a blue 1994 Honda Accord when a maroon 1999 Chrysler Sebring, driven by Estes, came up behind her at a high rate of speed. According to Ms. Hardy, the driver seemed anxious to pass her, making more than one attempt to do so. When Estes finally pulled into the eastbound lane to pass Hardy, he found himself in the path of an approaching black 2000 Ford Focus, driven by Wright. The Estes car struck Wright's vehicle, causing Hardy's car to also be involved in the crash.

Estes's car ripped apart in the wreck. The front half of the car came to rest across the westbound lane, while the back section was off to the side of the highway. Both Estes and his passenger, Cole were ejected as neither was wearing a seat belt.

Estes was airlifted from the scene by an Air Evac helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Cole was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital with serious injuries and later taken by ground ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Hardy and her passengers, Bush, Jones, and Dustin Hardy were all taken by private vehicle to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment. Wright was treated and released at the hospital.

According to Trooper Jennings, alcohol was present in the Estes vehicle and charges are pending against Cole, who owned the car being driven by Estes.

Meanwhile, Ms Hardy was issued a citation for failing to carry a drivers license and for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). Ms. Hardy, a former resident of Smithville, was enroute to Carthage to visit a family member, according to Trooper Jennings.

Trooper Jennings was assisted in the investigation by THP Lieutenant Randy Maynard and members of the THP Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). Others on the scene were members of the Main Station, Liberty, and Rescue unit of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, Sheriff Patrick Ray and other members of the DeKalb County sheriff's department, Alexandria police and fire departments, and first responders.

Highway 70 in that area was closed to traffic for several hours during the crash investigation and cleanup, forcing motorists to have to take alternate routes.

January is National Blood Donor Month

January 6, 2011

January is National Blood Donor Month

Blood Assurance is in need of O negative, B negative donations. Blood drives are scheduled for Friday, January 28th at the Family Medical Center from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.; at the Smithville Senior Citizens Center at city hall from noon until 2:00 p.m..; and at DeKalb Community Hospital from 2:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

As part of your new year's resolution, Blood Assurance encourages area residents to consider giving the gift of life in 2011. According to America's Blood Centers, if all blood donors gave blood one additional time each year, blood shortages would be a rare occurrence. The current average is two donations per year.

Blood Assurance is currently experiencing a shortage of type O negative and B negative blood donations.

The holidays and winter weather are just two factors that can affect the blood supply. Illnesses such as the flu can temporarily prevent regular donors from giving blood, while the holidays can cause a decrease in the number of blood drives held at schools and local businesses, particularly during inclement weather.

What remains constant is the need for blood. Blood Assurance is the only source of blood donations for more than 50 hospitals and healthcare facilities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

For a list of area blood drives this month, please visit www.bloodassurance.org/blooddrives.

All donors will receive a complimentary snack and t-shirt. Visitors at any Blood Assurance location or blood drive in January can register to win a $500 grocery gift card to the store of their choice. Three winners will be selected at random.

For more information about donating blood, please visit www.bloodassurance.org.

Adcock Re-Elected to DeKalb FSA County Committee

January 6, 2011

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, says the DeKalb FSA County Committee met in regular session on Tuesday, December 7 to canvass and tabulate the ballots received in the 2010 Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 3 County Committee Election. The deadline to return ballots was December 6.

Timmie Adcock was re-elected to serve as a member on the Committee representing LAA-3. His third and final term began January 1, 2011.

In addition, the Committee met on January 4, 2011 for its Organizational Meeting. The Committee selected Timmie Adcock to serve as Chairperson, Jack Campbell to serve as Vice-Chairperson, and Mary Sanders to serve as Member. The Committee meets on the 2nd. Tuesday of each month at the DeKalb County USDA Service Center located at 647 Bright Hill Rd.

Green says that the DeKalb FSA County Committee and office staff wishes to express their appreciation to voters in LAA-3 who participated in the election by voting and returning their ballots. "The local County Committees are a very important part of Farm Service Agency's program delivery and administrative processes. I do not know of any other agency providing federal programs that can say that the delivery and decision making efforts are made on the local level by a farmer-elected committee," added Green.

For more information about FSA's County Committees or other program inquiries, call 597-8225 (extension 2) or come by the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency office at 647 Bright Hill Street in Smithville. You can also visit the agency’s web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

Body of Elderly Man Sent to State Medical Examiner for Autopsy

January 4, 2011
Dwayne Page

Local authorities were called to the residence of a well known elderly man Tuesday morning after he was found dead on his property in the Snow Hill area

Dead is 77 year old Price Harrison.

Central dispatch received a call at 11:38 a.m. of a man found deceased outside of his home. The body was apparently discovered by farm hands

At this time authorities do not know whether he died of injuries in a fall or due to natural causes, but the body has been sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy to help determine the cause.of death.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department is being assisted in the case by the TBI

2010 County Fire Incident Responses Down

January 4, 2011
Brad Mullinax

The DeKalb County Fire Department has compiled its 2010 Incident Response Summary.
The best news in this report is that DeKalb County did not record any fire-related deaths in 2010. Overall, 2010 fire incident responses in the county were down by 82 calls from 2009. In 2009, the department responded to a total of 474 fire incidents. The department responded to 392 fire incident responses in 2010. This count does not include the 408 rural medical first responder calls that county fire department personnel responded to.

With DeKalb County's rural population growing at rates higher than the cities' population growth within DeKalb County, the department continues to strive to prevent fires and fire related incidents by using prevention and educational measures. DeKalb County Fire Department's Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, Lt. Brad Mullinax, says that preventing incidents is much more economical than responding to them.

The following is a breakdown of each type of fire incident response that the department responded to in 2010:

Incident Type:
64 (2009)
60 (2010)

73 (2009)
55 (2010)

Auto Wrecks:
151 (2009)
124 (2010)

Vehicle Fires:
36 (2009)
15 (2010)

Landing Zones:
20 (2009)
35 (2010)

25 (2009)
18 (2010)

64 (2009)
59 (2010)

41 (2009)
26 (2010)

474 (2009)
392 (2010)

Still No Action on Future of City Golf Course

January 4, 2011
Dwayne Page

The Smithville aldermen have still not taken action on the future of the golf course.

During Monday night's city council meeting, Alderman Steve White mentioned that the greens would be re-seeded and fertilized once the weather warms up. "The seeding and fertilizing of the greens hasn't been done yet. They're waiting on some warmer days in a row. Otherwise if they put the seed down it wouldn't germinate properly so it would be just wasted money if we did it right now, until we have a few 40 to 50 degree days in a row."

White also made a motion that bids be advertised once specs are drawn up on repairs and maintenance of the municipal swimming pool. The board approved White's motion. "I met with one of the guys who has done work on the pool in the past. With it (pool) empty we needed to see how bad it was. He looked at it. I think what we need to do is go ahead and advertise and get some bids in that way we can get a jump on the pool because it will take quite a bit of time for them to finish it. There's quite a few cracks (in the pool). There are some softer spots or leaks and some structure cracks. All of those have to be repaired and then of course it'll need the gel coating. That should hold it for approximately ten years", said White.

Alderman Aaron Meeks also mentioned that some maintenance work will have to be done soon on the clubhouse, but no action was taken on that Monday night. "From the visit we made to the golf course, there's going to be some repairs that's going to be required on the club house. It's not been maintained through neglect or whatever, I don't know the reason and I wouldn't begin to establish a reason or cause but there's going to have to be some renovations and improvements made to the clubhouse at some point in time too", said Meeks.

With no tenant or anyone to manage it, the municipal golf course remains closed for now.

Meanwhile, the aldermen approved the list of officers and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Charlie Parker included the request in his monthly report to the board. Parker said the department held it's election of officers about an hour before the meeting of the mayor and aldermen Monday night. The following officers and members were approved by the department: Charlie Parker-Chief, Hoyte Hale-Deputy Chief, Jeff Wright-Captain and Training Officer, Danny Poss- Lieutenant, Jon Poss-Lieutenant, Donnie Cantrell-Lieutenant, Anthony Wright-Lieutenant and firefighters Wink Brown, Charles Young, Wallace Caldwell, Gary Johnson, Randall Hunt, Stephanie Wright, Glen Lattimore, Ronald Whitaker, Patrick Edge, and Greg Bess- Photographer.

Chief Parker added that "December starts a new year for the fire department. We had a busy December with a total of seven alarm calls, three motor vehicle accidents, eight landing zones, and two structure fires."

Police Chief Randy Caplinger, Bobby Pinegar of the sewer plant and Public Works Director Kevin Robinson all gave their monthly reports to the mayor and aldermen.

Concerned citizen Gary Durham addressed the mayor and aldermen briefly asking them to again consider taking action to update or develop a new twenty year plan setting goals to meet future needs. Durham said he had surveyed 44 city residents and all had expressed support for a twenty year plan. Durham added that "it's up to you to do what the people want, or what you want." Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the issue will be referred to the city planning commission which meets the first Thursday night of each month.

Unless there is a need for a special meeting, the mayor and aldermen will not convene again in regular session until Monday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. There will be no meeting on Monday, January 17th due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.


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