Local News Articles

Two Escape from DeKalb County Jail- One Captured

December 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Gilberto Acuna
Devin Anson French

One of two escapees Sunday night from the DeKalb County Jail is back in custody.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said 24 year old Devin Anson French of Gallatin was apprehended Monday afternoon in Wilson County. The other escapee, 23 year old Gilberto Acuna of Foster Road, Warren County, remains at large.

According to Sheriff Ray, the two inmates are believed to have escaped from the DeKalb County Jail Annex Sunday night around 11:00 p.m. The discovery of their escape was made Monday morning around 11:00 a.m. "We discovered some time around 11:00 a.m. that two people had escaped from the jail annex. We think they got out around 11:00 p.m. Sunday night. A couple of the other inmates assisted Acuna and French by lifting them up on the air conditioner vents, located near the ceiling of the dormitory cell. Acuna and French then busted out a corner of one of the fiberglass skylights, and were able to squeeze between a corner of a metal grid and the skylight to make their escape."

French has been in jail for probation violation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor while Acuna has been incarcerated for driving on a suspended license. Both have now been charged with felony escape. Bond for each is $50,000.

This is the first escape from the DeKalb County Jail Annex since October, 2007 when four inmates broke through a skylight and fled. They were arrested a short time later.

After the October, 2007 incident, Sheriff Ray had sheets of tin installed over the skylights from the outside to guard against further escapes. But he said the state asked that they be removed to keep the facility from being de-certified. Sheriff Ray complied and had the sheets of tin removed. Instead, he had metal grids installed across the bottom of the skylights, as recommended by the state, as a measure to prevent further escapes.

Acuna is 5 feet tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has short brown hair, brown eyes, and medium complexion. If you have information that could lead to the arrest of Acuna, contact the Sheriff's Department at 597-4935.

Sheriff Ray said more arrests are pending.

Sheriff's Department Receives Award from GHSO for Fatality Reduction

December 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray
Kenny B. Stults
William Andrew Cantrell
James Mitchell Johnson
Richard Andrew Scruggs

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has received an award from the Governor's Highway Safety Office for fatality reduction during the year 2010.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said his department received the award on Thursday, December 2nd . "we are very proud and honored to have received this award. We work with the Governor's Highway Safety Office in obtaining grants where we can get out and do sobriety checkpoints, where we can road block. They help us buy our equipment. So we are real fortunate to have those grants and we're very honored to receive this award for the reduction of fatalities for the year 2010."

Meanwhile, in this week's crime news, 51 year old Kenny B. Stults of Pine Creek Drive, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. He was arrested on Tuesday, December 7th.

Sheriff Ray said on November 30th, Stults allegedly went to a residence on Cookeville Highway and took numerous shelving items without the owner's consent. He then allegedly took the shelving to a business on New Home Road and sold it. The value of the property taken was approximately $200. His court date is December 16th and he is under a $2,500 bond.

48 year old Connie Gail Chapman of Sycamore Road, Woodbury was issued a citation on Tuesday, December 7th for simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance. Chapman will be in court on January 13th. The deputy, assisting the probation office on a search of Chapman, found in her purse, an orange pill, believed to be suboxone.

31 year old Lafael Murrillo of Short Mountain Highway was issued a citation on Tuesday, December 7th for having an expired drivers license and violation of the financial responsibility law. Murrillo was involved in a two car wreck on Highway 56 and couldn't show proof of insurance. His license had expired on December 6th, 2006.

42 year old William Andrew Cantrell of Redman Road, Smithville was arrested on Thursday, December 9th for evading arrest. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court on December 16th. He also has two other warrants against him for violation of probation. He is being held without bond on those offenses. A deputy driving down New Home Road noticed Cantrell in a vehicle that was pulling into a business. The officer, having knowledge of warrants against Cantrell, also pulled into the business to confront Cantrell. When Cantrell saw the officer, he got out of the vehicle and took off running. The officer called for Cantrell to stop. Cantrell was placed under arrest.

52 year old Gregory Scott Redmon of Midway Road, Smithville was issued a citation on Thursday, December 9th for two counts of simple possession. An officer stopped Redmon's vehicle for suspicion of driving under the influence. Upon a search of the vehicle, the officer found a red pill crusher. Inside the pill crusher were six pink oval pills believed to be xanax, a schedule IV controlled substance, and an orange pill believed to be suboxone, a schedule III controlled substance. Redman will be in court on January 6th.

36 year old James Mitchell Johnson of Fancy Farms, Kentucky is charged under a grand jury sealed indictment for forgery. He is under a $5,000 bond.

31 year old Richard Andrew Scruggs of Highland Avenue, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. He was arrested on Friday, December 10th and he will be in court on Thursday, January 6th. His bond is $1,000. While on routine patrol on Allen Ferry Road, a deputy saw a man walking in the roadway. The man was very unsteady on his feet. The officer stopped and spoke to the man, Scruggs, and noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he had slurred speech. According to the officer, Scruggs was a danger to himself and for his safety, he was placed under arrest.

33 year old Bridgett Nicole Judkins was issued a citation for possession of a schedule II controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. She will be in court on January 6th. On Sunday, December 12th, Judkins was a passenger of a vehicle. In her lap was an open glasses case. Inside the case was a hypodermic needle and two glass pipes containing residue. Also inside the case was a pill container that held a baggie with a powdered substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine, a schedule II drug.

TCAP Achievement Test Results to Comprise a Percentage of Students Final Grades

December 11, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jonathan Fontanez (Previous Photo)

Beginning with the spring semester, TCAP Achievement test scores in the third through eighth grade will comprise 20% of a student's final grades in the subjects of Math, Reading/Laguage Arts, Science, and Social Studies. The percentage will increase to 25% next school year.

Meanwhile, the End of Course test grades for high school students will count for 25% of their final grades beginning next school year, 2011-12. The percentage is currently 20%.

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night adopted this new policy based on a recommendation by Jonathan Fontanez, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7-12.

Fontanez explained that beginning with the 2011 spring semester, the state is requiring that each local board of education develop a policy by which scores on the TCAP achievement tests administered to third through eighth grade students comprise a percentage of the students final grade for the spring semester in the subjects of Mathematics, Reading/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. According to Fontanez, the percentage shall be determined by the local board of education within a range of 15%-25%. The policy must be developed and implemented by the spring semester of 2011.

According to state policy, High School End of Course test grades count for 20% of the final course grades in End of Course assessed subjects. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year and the subsequent years following, the End of Course test grades for those assessed courses will count 25% toward a student's final grade.

Fontanez recommended that the board make the percentage for grades 3-8 coincide with the high school requirement already in place so as to help establish a measure of continuity across grades within the district.

Under the new policy as recommended by Fontanez, for the initial semester of this policy implementation (Spring 2011), the percentage will be 20% for grades 3-8 which is the same percentage currently used for the high school End of Course grade calculations . The percentage will be adjusted for the 2011-2012 and subsequent years to increase to 25% of a students final grade in class.

Smithville Woman Arrested for Shoplifting also Found with Drugs

December 11, 2010
Dwayne Page

A Smithville woman was found with some drugs after police arrested her for shoplifting last Saturday.

Police Chief Randy Caplinger said 34 year old Tracie Lyndal Godsey of Andrew Street was arrested by Officer David Phillips on Saturday, December 4th for theft of property and simple possession of a schedule II drug. Officer Phillips was called to check out a complaint concerning a shoplifter at Rite Aid Pharmacy. By the time Officer Phillips arrived the suspect had left the scene. After the clerk provided a description of the suspect and the vehicle she was driving, Officer Phillips located the automobile at East Side Citgo. Ms. Godsey was placed under arrest for theft. Godsey also had a schedule II drug on her person at the time of her arrest. Her bond is set at $2000 and her court date is January 27th

47 year old Robert Jeffery League of Smith Road was arrested by Officer James Cornelius on Friday, December 3rd for domestic assault. League allegedly held the victim down on a bed and threw her in a closet, leaving marks on her arms and breaking the closet door. Bond for League is $2500 and his court date is January 27th.

36 year old Angel L Brown of Brown Lane was cited for shoplifting on Friday, December 3rd by Lieutenant Steven Leffew. Wal-Mart managers stated that they saw Brown conceal property in her purse and jacket. Lt Leffew stopped Ms. Brown outside of Wal-Mart where she produced the items. Her court date is December 16th.

28 year old Joshua Key Alford of Morrison was arrested by Officer James Cornelius on Saturday, December 4th for driving under the influence. Alford, operating a motor vehicle, was stopped for a traffic violation. He had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Bond for Alford is $1000 and his court date is January 6th.

28 year old Amanda Leigh Alford of Manchester, a passenger of Joshua Alford's vehicle, was cited for simple possession. Officer Cornelius spotted a hand rolled cigarette in Ms. Alford's hand containing a brown leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Her court date is January 6th.

35 year old Milford Michael Stewart of Page Drive was arrested by Sergeant Randy King on Sunday, December 5th for criminal impersonation and being a fugitive from justice. Sergeant King was dispatched to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital to check out a suspicious person. A man there had given more than one name, different social security numbers and different dates of birth. Sergeant King informed the man of why he was there and told him that if he were untruthful, he would be charged with criminal impersonation. The man gave Sergeant King personal information which, upon further investigation, was found to be untrue. The man was later identified as Milford Stewart. Police learned that he had lied to Sergeant King in an attempt to prevent the officer from finding out that he (Stewart) is wanted in several states. Stewart is wanted in Ohio and is being held here, pending extradition for assuming the identity of another person in that state. Stewart is under a $1,500 bond for criminal impersonation and his court date is December 16th.

Meanwhile, anyone with information on criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

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

Bailey T. Hayes is a Winner!

December 11, 2010
Bill Conger
Bailey T. Hayes

Bailey T. Hayes is a Winner!

This is exactly how I wanted the headline to read after leaving the Tennessee Junior Beta Convention in Nashville, Tenn., November 22 and 23. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner. The President of the Junior Beta Club was the first-ever candidate from DeKalb West School to run for state office. Hayes, the son of Alan and Lesa Hayes of Liberty, was one of three candidates vying for Secretary. He and his campaign skit participants gave an outstanding effort to earn the post, but when the winner was announced on Tuesday afternoon, it wasn't Bailey's name that was read.

Despite what the final vote tally determined, there is no doubt in my mind that Bailey T. Hayes is still the winner. How could he not be? Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he did something no one else at DWS had ever done. He tried. For weeks, he practiced and practiced his campaign speech, giving 110% effort. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he faced the fear--public speaking-- that even adults rank as number one above death. He stood in front of 7,000 of his peers at the Opryland Hotel and delivered a confident, no flaws speech. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he pulled out an impromptu question from a bag in front of a crowd of thousands and gave an answer straight from his heart that any parent would be proud to hear. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he gracefully accepted defeat with his chin held high regardless of how disappointed he might have been in the moment. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he is the kind of remarkable student and child that I am thrilled to have witnessed take on a challenge and from start to finish give it a Grade A commitment. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he has two parents who gave sacrificially in this campaign to help see their son be the best he can be, just the way they've always performed for him since his birth. His campaign theme was "Stand For Something (or you'll fall for anything)." Service to others, Trustworthy, Appreciative, Never Say Never Attitude, and Dedication/Determination are just a few of the character traits this young Christian man demonstrates continuously. It's little wonder that Bailey T. Hayes has turned out to be a winner. Congratulations!

Lydia Trail Recently Awarded John W. Harris Trophy

December 11, 2010
Bill Conger
Lydia Trail (Right) Wins John W. Harris Award

A DeKalb West School 8th grader recently won the Jr. Beta Club's M.V.P. trophy during the Tennessee Junior Beta Convention in Nashville.

Lydia Trail, the daughter of Heidi Trail, was one of two students picked in Tennessee and one of 25 across the nation selected for the prestigious John W. Harris service and leadership honor. Jr. Beta Club sponsor Bill Conger nominated Trail for the awarded and wrote an essay about her character traits that was sent to the National Junior Beta Club office. National Junior Beta Club sponsor Judy Cummings presented Trail with the award on stage at the recent event. Trail has helped with service to her school and community in a variety of ways. She has assisted numerous times to organize and distribute food to the needy at the Second Harvest Food Mobile at Smithville First Methodist Church, has helped spruce up around the school with landscaping and litter pick-up, and has helped make cards of thanks to the military and local community leaders. The local Beta club's secretary has served in leadership roles with 4-H, maintained high academic standing, and currently plays on the Lady Bulldog basketball team.

"Likewise, I want to congratulate the 22 other students who participated in a variety of academic, arts and crafts, and political leadership activities," Conger said. "At D.W.S., we required that students obtain an average of 92 or above among all their core academic subjects the first 9 weeks, give at least five hours of service work to the school and community, and demonstrate good character in their behavior at school. Several of our students juggled the time needed to commit to their studies along with numerous outside activities like basketball, cheerleading, and church along with the service work and the time to practice and prepare for events at the competition. They worked hard. I am proud of them all." Two students, Kenzie Morris and Hailey Walker, demonstrated the show-must-go-on spirit when they set aside their personal sickness at the convention and performed in the political campaign skit the first night of the convention. They were joined in the event by Teddy Tippin, James Sherwood, William Cain, Brooke Martin, Bruce Wilson, Alex Foutch, Bailey Redmon, Rosa Payne, and Cason Oakley. Singer/Songwriter Thea Tippin and Dancer Extraordinaire Chelsie Young helped with the music and choreography for the campaign skit. Caitlyn Lawrence, Payne and Redmon read twelve books in preparation for the Battle of the Books contest. Alexis Nokes, Lydia Trail, Taylor Ellis, Brooke Martin, Leah Burchfield, and Mary Belle Mofield made a special banner that fit the convention theme, "Beta: A Volunteer State of Mind." Sonya Edge coordinated that category for D.W.S. Cason Oakley, Leah Burchfield, Taylor Ellis, and Nate Sherwood decked out as chimney sweeps to recreate a scene from "Mary Poppins" in the Living Literature event. Lisa Oakley coordinated the event while Alexandria Mayor Ria Baker was instrumental in helping with the costumes and set design. John Cain oversaw the Tower of Power event with a team of D.W.S. students--Alex Foutch, Ashley Grater, William Cain, Teddy Tippin, and James Sherwood. Entering individual contests were Maegan Harris, Poetry; Kirkland Smallwood, Spelling; Bruce Wilson, Math; Charlie Young, Social Studies; Kenzie Morris, Arts and Crafts-Handmade jewelry; Anna Bess Malone, Arts and Crafts, Black and White Photography; Bailey Redmon, Arts and Crafts-Color Photography; Lydia Trail, Arts and Crafts, Sketching (Pen and pencil).

Lastly, although Kelsey Hedge is not a member of the DWS chapter of the Junior Beta Club, she is one of our own students in the county that we should praise. As a member of the D.M.S. Junior Beta Club, she ran a very commendable campaign for Chaplain at the state convention. She is the daughter of David and Trina Hedge and the granddaughter of one of my childhood heroes, the late Amos Hedge and his wife, Frances.

School Board Approves School Zone Traffic Control Plan

December 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
Billy Miller
W.J. (Dub) Evins, III
Charles Robinson

After failing to adopt it last month, the DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night approved a plan to fund the cost of having persons direct traffic in the school zones during the mornings and afternoons at Northside Elementary, DCHS, and DeKalb Middle School.

Under the plan, the Board of Education, City of Smithville, and DeKalb County government will each fund one third of the cost.

The proposal has been under consideration for several weeks. The city and county had already approved the partnership under a memorandum of understanding, but last month the school board failed to adopt it on a 3-3 vote. Board members Kenny Rhody, Billy Miller, and Bruce Parsley had voted for it but members W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, John David Foutch, and Charles Robinson voted against it. One member, Johnny Lattimore was absent. Some board members believe the school system should not be in the business of traffic enforcement.

Board Chairman Charles Robinson, during Thursday night's meeting, said Board member Billy Miller had requested that the issue be raised again. "At our last meeting, an update of a workshop conducted by the DeKalb County Commission on October 21st was discussed. At this workshop, county government agreed to hire and train personnel to direct traffic at Northside Elementary, DCHS, and DeKalb Middle School. A contract or memorandum of understanding was to be prepared by the county attorney on how funding would be handled. Prior to this, city and county government had agreed to fund $3,000 each and proposed that the board of education also contribute $3,000 during a meeting on October 1st in which representatives of the board of education were unable to attend. After some discussion on the role of the DeKalb County Schools involving traffic control on public roadways as well as funding issues, a motion was made by Mr. Rhody to fund the $3,000 and with a roll call vote the motion failed. Mr. Miller has made a request to revisit this issue at tonight's meeting."

Miller then explained his reason for wanting to bring it back up. "I have talked to several people in the community and everybody that I have talked to, two to one has suggested that they want somebody out there directing traffic. I know there are several people on the board and in the community who think that it's not the school board's responsibility and it may not be. But I think it is the school board's responsibility to make sure that our kids get to and from school safely. If that means that we have to put up $3,000 to make sure that's done per year then I think that we should do that. I don't think that is necessarily making us traffic cops no more than us serving lunch at school each day would make us running a cafeteria. It's part of the education process. I make a motion that we take the money this year, send somebody out there as traffic controllers and then we bring this issue back up in May, so that we can revisit this issue while the students are out for the summer. We can revamp it on a yearly basis."

Board member Evins suggested that the board make specific in the motion that the appropriation is for one third of the cost, up to $3,000 since we're already nearly half way through this school year and may not need to spend the entire $3,000. Evins also called for an independent study of the Northside Elementary School Zone by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) to determine if there are better alternatives for traffic control there.

Board Chairman Robinson explained how that an MTAS study could be beneficial. "It's an agency of the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service and they provide technical assistance to cities and towns. Their consultants will assist in the development of practical and individual solutions. They will provide consultants who specialize in most areas of municipal operation. They also have a person who specializes in police matters including traffic. Mr. Evins once mentioned about the feasibility of using Smith Road as an entrance to an exit from the school. If we were to ask this guy (consultant) for a traffic study, we may have enough information to actually erect a traffic control device at the intersection of Highway 56 north and Smith Road that would allow entrance and exit during school time or have the sensors that operate the signals. I would recommend that we have this guy do the study which would look at all facets."

The board, by a unison voice vote, approved the plan. No one voiced any opposition. All seven board members were present Thursday night.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel.

Those employed since last month include:

Gary Good, special education assistant at DeKalb West School
Dana Davenport, substitute cafeteria worker
Talitha Looney, cafeteria worker at Smithville Elementary School
Cerina Craig, part-time PTA

Eric Snow, transferred from substitute bus driver to full time bus driver position
Tayla Turner, transferred from substitute teacher to educational assistant at Northside Elementary School

Leave of Absence:
Kathy Bryant, teacher at Northside Elementary, leave as requested

Melvin Riley, bus driver
Glyn Taylor, bus assistant

Four Arrested by Smithville Police For Passing Counterfeit Bills

December 9, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jessica Hubbard
Brian Thomason
Crystal Turner
Billy Moss

An investigation by the Smithville Police Department and U.S. Secret Service agents into reports of counterfeit bills being passed at city businesses, has resulted in the arrest of four people, charged with criminal simulation.

Chief Randy Caplinger said 25 year old Jessica Hubbard, 23 year old Brian Thomason, 35 year old Crystal Turner, and 28 year old Billy Moss were arrested Thursday.

In addition to the U.S. Secret Service agents, the investigation was conducted by Detective Matt Holmes and K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow of the Smithville Police Department.

According to Chief Caplinger, Thomason and Hubbard are charged with passing a counterfeit $20 for a Pizza Hut delivery. The report, filed by Officer Scott Davis on Saturday, November 27th states that Pizza Hut delivered a pizza to 425 Dry Creek Road and received a counterfeit $20 bill for the order.

Thomason and Hubbard are also implicated in an incident at the Discount Tobacco Outlet. According to the report filed by Officer Matt Farmer on November 24th, Thomason allegedly tried to pay for items with a counterfeit bill. The clerk noticed that the bill was not real and pressed the panic alarm. Thomason was accompanied by his girlfriend, Hubbard.

Chief Caplinger said Turner is charged with passing a counterfeit bill at Kwik-N-Ezy. According to the report filed by K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow on December 7th, a female (Turner) came into the store and paid for $5.00 in gas with a $20.00 bill. She received fifteen dollars in change. The $20.00 bill was found to be counterfeit, but by that time Turner had already left the store.

In the case against Moss, Chief Caplinger said he is accused of passing a $100 counterfeit bill at the Wal-mart pharmacy to purchase pseudoephedrine. The report filed by Officer Tatrow on December 6th states that Moss passed the bill at the pharmacy counter and received about $90 in change from the transaction, which was captured on the store's video surveillance system.

Thomason was just arrested by Smithville police last week on seven counts of burglary, one count of felony theft, six counts of misdemeanor theft, and one count of felony vandalism in connection with several recent car burglaries on Whaley and Cill Street.

City Seeks up to $1 Million in Disaster Recovery Grant Funds for Sewer Rehab

December 9, 2010
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville is making application for up to one million dollars in Disaster Recovery CDBG Funds from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to ensure that much needed rehabilitation of the sewer system is met to avoid any problems that may arise in the event of severe flooding.

Mayor Taft Hendrixon said Monday night during the city council meeting that funds are available due to floods which occurred last May." I was approached about a week and a half ago by the Upper Cumberland Development District concerning about a $10 million pot of money for the fourteen county area for the May flood disaster. They asked if we wanted to be involved in this and I said certainly so. We had a public hearing and decided that probably our most pressing thing right now for infrastructure is the infiltration of water into the waste water treatment plant during floods. The Upper Cumberland Development District has prepared a resolution which they must have before they can proceed with it. We'd like to get that passed tonight."

The resolution states as follows:

"Whereas, the City of Smithville is eligible for grant funds under the Disaster Recovery Funds Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; and

Whereas, the City of Smithville is taking into account the long term recovery and planning of the City due to the severity of flooding on May 2nd, 2010,

Whereas, the City realized they lack certain equipment to deal with an emergency of that magnitude;

Whereas, the City of Smithville needs to ensure the much needed rehabilitation of sewer is met to avoid any problems that may arise if other similar flooding were to occur and

Whereas, sewer rehabilitation projects are eligible activities under the Disaster Recovery Funds Community Development Block Grant Program; and

Whereas, Smithville is eligible for a maximum grant of one million dollars under the Community Development Block Grant; and

Now, therefore be it resolved by the Mayor and City Council that the Mayor be authorized and directed to:

Execute and submit an application for Community Development Block Grant funds to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in order to provide an adequate sewer service for the community

Enter into the necessary agreements with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to receive and administer said grant funds.

Execute necessary agreements for Administrative services without further action by the commission, contingent upon approval by the funding agencies.

The Upper Cumberland Development District shall prepare all necessary documents for the completion of said application for the proposed project at no charge to the City of Smithville. Should said CDBG grant be approved, UCDD shall be engaged to perform all administrative services for said project."

The aldermen adopted the resolution.

In other business, the council approved a resolution establishing a $30 per day fee for the impoundment and storage of seized vehicles by the Smithville Police Department.

The resolution states as follows: "Whereas, the Smithville City Police Department, has the authority to make and execute traffic stops within the City limits of Smithville; and

Whereas, the Smithville City Police Department, has a vehicle impound lot; and

Whereas, the Smithville City Police Department, has just cause to impound vehicles for various traffic offenses; and

Whereas, the City of Smithville is entitled to charge and collect a reasonable impound and storage fee on these vehicles;

Now, therefore be it resolved, by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Smithville that a charge of thirty dollars per day is hereby assessed on each and every vehicle that has been seized or impounded by the Smithville Police Department for a violation of the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Laws and/or City Ordinances.

This resolution rescinds a previous resolution regarding this issue.

In other business, the aldermen voted to spend about $1,800 to fertilize and overseed the greens at the golf course.

Alderman Steve White raised the issue."The greens at the golf course. They did aerate them back in September but they did not overseed and fertilize. This would cost approximately $1,800. I think it would be well in our interest to go ahead and get those greens taken care of and that should hold them through the winter. If we don't, they're going to be in a whole lot worse shape come spring. It really should have been done in September."

The aldermen voted to pay $3,512 to replace carpet for the Business and Professional Women's Club. The carpet is used during the organization's annual beauty pageants. The club had stored their old carpet in a warehouse building across from city hall. That building was demolished during the summer. The carpet was destroyed in the process.

Alderman Aaron Meeks said the city had little choice but to pay the bill to replace the carpet. "The purchase was authorized by an employee of the city (Hunter Hendrixson) who is authorized to make purchases, therefore the merchant delivered the merchandise under the assumption that he was selling to an authorized individual, which he was, so I don't think we have any choice but to pay that amount for the purchase."

Meeks added that "If we are storing anything else for other people, or if in the future we store for other people, I think we should get them to sign something stating that they are liable for the loss and not the city."

Alderman W.J. (Dub) White suggested that the aldermen take action to reduce the limit for which purchases may be made by city officials without board approval to no more than $500. The mayor and other aldermen voiced concerns about White's suggestion. No action was taken.

The aldermen voted against making an adjustment to the water/sewer bill of Regal Craft Kitchens. John Daniels addressed the aldermen last month, stating that his company recently received a water bill from the city for $3,300 for a one month period when the bill is normally around twelve dollars a month. Daniels asked that the city remove the sewer charges on the bill and allow him to make payments on the water bill. Mayor Taft Hendrixson said last month that the water meter was removed for testing and it checked out okay. There were also apparently no obvious water leaks. Daniels said he couldn't understand why the bill was so high.

The issue was brought up for discussion again Monday night. Since there was no evidence to prove that the water did not go through the sewer system, the aldermen voted against adjusting Daniels' bill.

Mayor Hendrixson explained that "What we do for large water usage, is if it didn't go through the sewer, we usually take the sewer (charges) off the bill and charge for the water. The state of Tennessee will not let us give away water, nor do we want to."

Alderman Steve White added "I don't think anybody has shown that the water didn't go through the sewer and by checking the meter and it being correct, the water did go through. It went through the sewer also. Personally, I can't see where we would be able to give any type of a break. Usually we set up some payment plan on it but I wouldn't want it to be for too many months. I think four or five months would be long enough."

Waniford Cantrell, city resident, taxpayer, and former mayor, addressed the mayor and aldermen with a concern. Cantrell believes the city is selling water to the DeKalb Utility District at below cost.

Several weeks ago, Cantrell pointed out to the mayor and aldermen that the city had budgeted a 43% water rate increase for it's own customers, compared to a 9 1/4% increase for the DeKalb Utility District.

Cantrell asked that the city conduct a study to determine the cost of producing water. Since then, the city's financial consultant prepared some cost figures. But Cantrell, speaking Monday night during the council meeting, said he has no confidence in the report. "I reviewed this thing and I'm having a problem with it. I have no confidence in the cost they show on the report. As a good example, on the report it shows $84,000 in depreciation. But your actual budget last year and actual costs that you show was $100,000. That's $16,000 bucks (difference) but if you add all this together it's going to increase the costs of your water."

"The study didn't have any methodology used in how they come up with the figures. There are no assumptions listed but there had to be some kind of assumptions because some of the figures are showing at 100%, some at 50%, and some at 25%. So I don't know how they came up with the assumptions. There was no pro-rated interest expense and no pro-rated consultant expense. These are just to name a few. Really what they came up with in my opinion is useless. I'm not a certified cost accountant but I have some cost accounting experience."

"The only way you're going to actually determine the cost of water is to get a cost accountant, sit him down and let him do it. He could do it in two or three days, if not less."

The aldermen took no action on Cantrell's suggestion Monday night.

George Oliver of the Smithville Rotary Club asked the city for a donation of maybe $200 to help provide Christmas baskets to 80 senior citizens this year.

The aldermen took no action.

Gary Durham, city resident and taxpayer, addressed the mayor and aldermen expressing his opinion that the city should establish a 10 year or 20 year plan which would put the city in a better position to prepare for future needs regarding maintenance and or expansion of city services. Durham said the city had a long range plan covering the period 1984-2004 but it seems that nothing has been done in recent years to update it.

Durham also questioned why the city has limits for property right's voting in city elections. Durham said it's unfair to prohibit people who own a business (property) in the city but who live outside the city from voting in city elections just because they don't meet a specific lot size requirement.

Alderman Shawn Jacobs responded saying "Most municipalities do not allow property rights voting, we're one of the few who do but there has to be limits."

The term "property rights voter" applies to those people who live inside DeKalb County but outside the city limits and yet they own property inside the city limits. The Smithville Charter allows property rights voting. It does have a (city property) size requirement of at least 7,500 square feet.

UCHRA Serves 12,304 Individuals in DeKalb County

December 9, 2010
UCHRA Serves 12,304 Individuals in DeKalb County

“During the past year, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s DeKalb County Office has provided services to 12,304 individuals with $2,854,008 being spent in the County. The UCHRA programs addresses the needs of all ages and has a positive impact on the residents in DeKalb County,” stated County Executive Mike Foster.

The UCHRA provides services to the residents in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland Area through more than 68 programs supported by federal, state, and local dollars. The mission of the Agency is to assist individuals in moving from ‘dependence to independence’.

“The Agency ‘delivers hope’ to approximately 166,000 individuals, annually, and continuously strives to make each of the Upper Cumberland Counties the best place possible to work, live, and retire,” said Phyllis Bennett, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency Executive Director.

In DeKalb County, approximately 29% of the dollars expended last year supported the following services: 16,409 nutritional meals were provided through the nutrition program for older persons and other adults with disabilities, and the commodities food program distributed food to 1,010 eligible individuals to be used to prepare meals at home. Five UCHRA transportation vehicles provided 21,549 trips to over 1,089 households enabling these individuals to go to the doctor, medical facilities, grocery and drug stores, and other business locations in the County. The fourteen county UCHRA transportation program runs approximately 2,818,617 miles in a given program year and the miles traveled transporting DeKalb County residents to and from locations in the County accounts for approximately 7% of those miles.

“These services are so important to the residents of the City of Smithville and to DeKalb County, especially in the difficult economic situation we have faced during the past year. The City and County is fortunate to have a committed, dependable Agency like the UCHRA to contact to access quality services,” said Taft Hendrixson, Smithville City Mayor.

“The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency appreciates the work of the City and County officials in DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Advisory Committee for the UCHRA, and the UCHRA DeKalb County Office Staff. This team of local leaders, interested businesses and citizens makes it possible to provide quality services to the residents of DeKalb County,” said Bennett.

For further information about services available through the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency please contact UCHRA’s DeKalb County Office at (615) 597-4504 located at 527 West Main Street, Smithville, TN 37166.

CUTLINE: Pictured are the new officers for the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Board of Board of Directors and Policy Council. These officers were elected for 2011 during UCHRA’s Annual Meeting. Pictured from left to right: Curtis Hayes, Treasurer of the Board of Directors; Dale Reagan, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors; Shelvy Linville, Secretary of the Board of Directors; Michael Nesbitt, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mike Foster, Chairman of the Policy Council; Mike Gannon, Vice-Chairman of the Policy Council; and Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director.


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