Local News Articles

DeKalb County Fair to Feature More Than Twenty Rides on the Midway

July 14, 2011
Dwayne Page
Kite Flyer Ride Coming to Fair
Kite Flyer

The Family Attractions Amusement Company has already moved in several rides to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds with several more to come by opening day of the fair on Monday.

Josh Macaroni, one of the owners of Family Attractions Amusement, said this year's fair will feature over twenty rides including the Dizzy Dragon, Pirates Bluff, Train, Wind Jammer, Badlands, Merry-Go-Round, Duckboats, Monster Truck, Fun Slide, and Kiddy Bounce for the family and kids along with spectacular rides like the YoYo, Tempest, Bumper Cars, Scrambler, Alibaba, Spider, Kite Flyer, Avalance, Sea Ray, Gondola Wheel, and more.

Unlimited rides will be available each night for $18.00. Wednesday will be Discount Ride Night-
Arm Bands Only for $14.00.

Untitled from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Admission to the fair is $3.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free

The DeKalb County Fair opens Monday, July 18 through Saturday, July 23 in Alexandria.

Fish Gets Three Year Sentence for Attempted Rape

July 13, 2011
Dwayne Page
Mark Fish, Jr
Matt Gilles
Matthew Baker
Stephanie Perry
Jamie L. Hodges
Tony Reeder

A 25 year old man, charged with statutory rape, pleaded guilty to attempted rape in a negotiated settlement in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Tuesday.

Judge David Patterson sentenced Mark Fish, Jr. to three years to serve at least 30%. He was given jail credit of 230 days.

Fish was originally charged with statutory rape.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on or about October 12th, 2010 while at a residence on Blue Springs Road, Fish allegedly unlawfully had sex with a 15 year old female without her consent. Sexual penetration was made by force. The female stated that she was asleep at the time of the incident and when she awoke, she told him to stop, but he did not.

Meanwhile, in other cases 25 year old Matt Gilles pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine) and received a six year sentence to serve 90 days. He was given credit for time served. The remainder of the sentence has been suspended to supervised probation. Gilles was also fined $2,000.

29 year old Matthew Baker pleaded guilty to two counts of second offense driving under the influence and aggravated assault. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each of the DUI cases with 45 days to serve to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a three year sentence in the aggravated assault case to be served in the community corrections program. Baker is under a restraining order to stay away from the victim in the case. He was given 89 days jail credit.

26 year old Stephanie Perry pleaded guilty to promotion of meth and was granted judicial diversion. She must pay a $2,000 fine.

23 year old Jamie L. Hodges pleaded guilty to promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine). She received a three year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of six years. Hodges will be on supervised probation for three years in the meth manufacturing promotion case. In the delivery of meth case, she is to serve three years at 30%. Hodges was given jail credit of 283 days and fined $2,000.

45 year old Tony Reeder pleaded guilty to a third offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to supervised probation except for 180 days to serve. He will lose his license per department of safety regulations.

47 year old Charles W. Smithson, Jr. pleaded guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days with 45 days to serve. He will then be on probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to another case against him. Smithson was given jail credit for 90 days of time served.

Fire Guts Home in Wolf Creek Community

July 13, 2011
Dwayne Page
Donny Green Photo

A Wednesday morning fire gutted a home in the Wolf Creek Community on Medley-Amonett Road just across the line in Putnam County.

Central dispatch received the call at 5:03 a.m.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green said a passerby spotted smoke coming from the two story residence and called 911. Members of the Temperance Hall, Main Station, and Cookeville Highway stations responded along with DeKalb EMS, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and Carl Halfacre, manager of Edgar Evins State Park.. Green said the structure, apparently used a vacation home, was unoccupied.

When firefighters arrived they discovered the home was located about fifty feet outside of DeKalb County in Putnam County. DeKalb County firefighters battled the blaze until Putnam County stations could get there and continued to provide assistance after they arrived.

The home was extensively damaged.

Green said the cause of the fire was not immediately known. The names of the owners were also unavailable.

School Board Revises Request for Tax Increase

July 13, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education has updated it's proposed school budget again and now seeks a property tax increase of almost eleven cents.

During another workshop and special meeting Tuesday night, the school board was forced to revise it's budget again after discovering that a line item adjustment was unnoted in the action taken during Monday night's workshop and special meeting.

Board members Monday night left the impression that they had cut the original request for a tax increase down to six and a half cents. But by Tuesday, they discovered the oversight in the calculations and had to schedule another special meeting for Tuesday night to correct it, before the spending plan was re-submitted to the county budget committee. After plugging in the numbers that were inadvertently unnoted, they discovered that the actual property tax hike needed to fund this budget is now 10.96 cents, not six and a half cents.

In it's original request when the tentative school budget was adopted in May, the board of education sought a seventeen cent increase in the property tax rate. But since then reappraisal has been completed and the amount of local money generated by each one cent on the property tax rate has been revised. So the board's initial seventeen cent increase is now closer to sixteen cents.

If no change is made in the tax rate, the new certified rate to fund schools is expected to be 52 cents or $2-million 204-thousand 260, which is sixteen cents less than what the school board is requesting to support schools for the coming year, with all the new positions and pay raises the board wishes to fund.

Members of the county budget committee have previously voted to fund the pay raises, which would be about a five cent tax increase for schools, but not other extras in the proposed school budget. Last week, County Mayor Mike Foster asked Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and the school board to find places to make cuts in their budget.

The school board met Monday and Tuesday night for that purpose. But while the board has trimmed it's request for a property tax hike of sixteen cents by five pennies or $211,948, down to around eleven cents, they are seeking new money from the local option sales tax or sinking fund in the amount of $169,560, and though that is not property tax money, it is the equivalent of four cents. That puts the overall request for new funding at the equivalent of fifteen cents, just one cent or $42,388 below the board's original request of sixteen cents.

The school budget now projects total revenues at $19-million 444-thousand 014 and total expenditures of $19-million 932-thousand 993, a difference of $488-thousand 979 which means in order balance the budget, an actual tax increase of 11.54 cents would be needed.

After meeting in special session Tuesday night, Director of Schools Willoughby hand delivered a copy of the new proposed school budget to County Mayor Foster and members of the budget committee who were meeting at the courthouse. Foster said no action would be taken on the budget until he and members of the committee had more time to review it.

The budget committee is expected to make its final recommendations on all county budgets Thursday night during a meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the courthouse. The new budgets and tax rate will then be published as a legal notice in the newspaper and presented to the county commission for final approval at a meeting in early August.

County Budget Committee Recommends Pay Scale for Sheriff's Department Employees

July 12, 2011
Patrick Ray

In an effort to make wages of sheriff's department employees more competitive the budget committee Monday night, July 11 voted to recommend to the county commission that a new four tiered pay scale be established and funded in the new 2011-12 spending plan. The extra cost to the county in implementing the plan comes to around $300,000 in the new budget.

Committee members Jack Barton, Wayne Cantrell, Jerry Scott, John Green, and Marshall Ferrell all voted for the proposal. Larry Summers was absent.

All other full time county employees would get a $1,000 pay raise for the year in the new budget, which equates to about a 50 cent per hour increase, subject to approval of the full county commission. .

As WJLE reported first last week, deputies and detectives at the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department are some of the lowest paid law enforcement officers in the state, according to Sheriff Patrick Ray.

DeKalb has fallen behind counties of similar size and population in recent years in what it pays law enforcement officers and Sheriff Ray's concern is that he will continue to lose more experienced personnel in the months ahead unless the county takes action to catch up.

In a meeting recently with the county budget committee, Sheriff Ray said he has lost five employees since last October because they have found jobs in law enforcement that pay better elsewhere. Sheriff Ray was asked to compile information on pay rates in other counties of similar size to give the committee some idea of where to start. Sheriff Ray provided those comparisons as well as a proposed pay scale for his staff. County Mayor Mike Foster and the budget committee reviewed Sheriff Ray's request, but apparently found it a little excessive. They asked him to get with Foster and come up with a more workable plan.

To address the problem, the budget committee proposes that entry level pay for a first year deputy be increased from the current level of $10.96 per hour to $12.87 per hour or $28,777 per year. The pay would increase each year until the fourth year when a deputy would top out at $15.31 per hour or $34,233 per year.

Pay for a first year detective would increase from the current rate of $12.99 per hour to $16.63 per hour or $34,590 per year. A four year detective would top out on the pay scale at $18.54 per hour or $38,563 per year.

The following is the new salary scale for members of the Sheriff's Department as proposed by the county budget committee, compiled by County Mayor Mike Foster and Sheriff Patrick Ray

Chief Deputy:
$19.30 per hour or $39,573 per year

First Year- $16.63 per hour or $34,590 per year
Second Year-$16.82 per hour or $34,985 per year
Third Year- $17.20 per hour or $35,776 per year
Fourth Year- $18.54 per hour or $38,563 per year

Patrol Sergeant:
First Year- $16.63 per hour or $34,590 per year
Second Year-$16.74 per hour or $34,819 per year
Third Year- $16.85 per hour or $35,048 per year
Fourth Year- $17.09 per hour or $35,547 per year

First Year- $12.87 per hour or $28,777 per year
Second Year- $13.23 per hour or $29,582 per year
Third Year- $13.98 per hour or $31,259 per year
Fourth Year- $15.31 per hour or $34,233 per year

Correctional Officers:
First Year- $11.50 per hour or $25,714 per year
Second Year- $11.93 per hour or $26,675 per year
Third Year- $12.36 per hour or $27,636 per year
Fourth Year-$12.79 per hour or $28,598 per year

First Year-$9.92 per hour or $20,633 per year
Second Year-$10.03 per hour or $20,862 per year
Third Year-$10.26 per hour or $21,340 per year
Fourth Year-$10.58 per hour or $22,006 per year

The following are the current hourly wages for DeKalb County Sheriff's Department positions:

Detectives (3 positions): $12.99 per hour or $27,024 per year
School Resource Officer (1 position): $10.96 per hour or $24, 514 per year
Deputies (14 positions): $10.96 per hour or $24,514 per year
Sergeant (1 position): $12.51 per hour or $26,023 per year
Correctional Officers(15 positions): $9.92 per hour or $22,174 per year
Correctional Officer/Training Officer (1 position): $22,674 per year
Secretaries/Correctional Officers (4 positions): $10.66 per hour or $22,174 per year
Litter Guard (1 position): $10.66 per hour or $22,174 per year
Cook (1 position) $10.11 per hour or $21,024 per year

The chief deputy is a salaried position and he currently receives $37,523 a year.

Meanwhile, the budget committee Monday night also recommended budgeting $5,000 for WCTE-TV in Cookeville to help defray costs of producing the Fiddlers Jamboree. The money would go specifically to assist the televison station in post-production of the Jamboree for the nationally televised two-hour highlight show.

Tuesday night, the budget committee voted to cut the contribution to the Chamber of Commerce from the requested $20,000 down to $15,000 in the new budget for the year.

Dare2Fair Next Week

July 12, 2011
Dwayne Page

The Grandpa Fair of the South kicks off Monday through Saturday July 18th through July 23rd.

With the theme "DARE2FAIR..It's a Sweet Ride ", this year's DeKalb County Fair will feature a fun filled week of activities including rides by the Family Attractions Amusement Company and two new events, Mud Drag Racing on Thursday night and the Lawn Mower Derby on Friday night as part of the Demolition Derby.

(Click here to view video clip of 2010 demolition derby at the fair)

Fair Manager Jeff McMillen said these new events should add even more excitement to an already entertaining fair. "The Mud drag racing is basically four wheel drive vehicles that run on a 150 foot track. They run against a clock. They're not actually lined up side by side. It's a time event. This is the best new attraction we've added in the last couple of years. We took away the four wheel drive rock climbing (Off Road Challenge) because it just wasn't drawing the number of spectators that we thought it should. We feel like this event will fill in that gap for us," said McMillen.

Click here to view video clip of 2010 rodeo steer riding event at DeKalb County Fair

"Probably one of the most interesting things we'll have this year is the lawn mower derby. During the demolition derby we've always had this down time between classes so this year we have added a lawn mower derby," said McMillen.

"Another event that we are working on is the corn hole tournament. That has become a popular thing in our community and across the state. We're going to try to put that together. Hopefully, it will be in a tent so that if it rains we can go ahead and have it anyway," said McMillen.

Click here to view video clip of Tony Luna portraying Billy Ray Cyrus at 2010 Vintage Fashion Show

The fair will be bringing back the Open Rodeo, the Demolition Derby, and Super Tractor and Truck Pull, Go Kart Racing, Four Wheelers and Motorcycle Racing, DeKalb Idol, the Vintage Fashion Show, and many other popular attractions.

(Click here to view video clip of 2010 Super Tractor Pull at the Fair)

The Off Road Challenge will not be part of this year's fair line-up of events

McMillen urges fair goers to take the time to enjoy lots of delicious foods from the food booths and stop by to see the many commercial, agricultural, and women's exhibits.

The Kenneth Sandlin Center will be open Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Click here to view video clip of 2010 Go Cart Racing at the Fair

All Perishable items ONLY will be accepted on Saturday, July 16th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Premium books are now available at DeKalb Community Bank, Liberty State Bank, Prichard's Foods in Alexandria, the Chamber of Commerce Office, the U.T. Extension office and at libraries and post offices in DeKalb County. It can also be downloaded from the fair website as well at www.dekalbcountyfair.us.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane and enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village, sponsored by DeKalb Community Bank. The DeKalb County Fair Memory Lane Stage Line-Up is as follows:

The following events are scheduled:

Monday, July 18
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Donny Barthelemy
7:45 p.m.- 8:45 p.m. Burden Rock Band

Tuesday, July 19
6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.: Born for This-Zachary Allen
7:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m.: Kingdom Reign-Zachary Allen

Wednesday, July 20
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Lil John-Magician
7:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m.: Mercedes Luna

Thursday, July 21
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: The Evermean Evergreen Cloggers
7:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m.: Terri Lynn Weaver

Friday, July 22
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Ronnie Wison Band
7:45 p.m.-until?: The Mid-State Cloggers

Saturday, July 23
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Pickin Friends
7:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m. Abigail Rose

Monday, July 18th: National Anthem at 5:45 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; Cattle Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly barn; Rodeo at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 6:30 p.m.; Junior Fair Princess Pageant for contestants ages 13-16 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Fairest of the Fair Pageant for contestants ages 17 to 20 at the Lions Club Pavilion. $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 19th: Visit from WSMV's Snowbird; the Little Mr. and Miss Pageant for contestants ages 4-6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion with a concert by The Springs to follow; Go-Cart Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; and a Horse Show at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 20th: Little Miss Princess Pageant for contestants ages 7-9 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Pageant for those ages 10-12 at the Lions Club Pavilion; Four Wheeler and Motorcycle Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 21st: Senior Citizen Day activities at 9:00 a.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; 4-H Chick Chain Show at 5:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly barn; Junior Goat Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly barn; a Baby Show at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Vintage Fashion Show at the Lions Club Pavilion; and Mud Drag Racing at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 7:00 p.m.; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, July 22nd: Toddler Show for contestants 13 months to 47 months at 6:00 p.m. followed by DeKalb Idol Final Competition at the Lions Club Pavilion; a Super Truck and Tractor Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; and a Demolition Derby/Lawn Mower Derby at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 23rd: Horseshoe Tournament at the Tot Kelly barn at 1:00 p.m.; Gospel singing at the Lions Club Pavilion at 6:00 p.m.; Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena: and a $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

One thousand dollars in cash will be given away each night, Monday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion and you must be present to win. If no one presents the winning ticket within three minutes, the money will be saved and given away on Saturday night in increments of $1,000. Your fair admission ticket is your ticket for the cash drawing.

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available each night for $18.00. Wednesday will be Discount Ride Night- Arm Bands Only for $14.00

Admission to the fair is $3.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

Every night is T-shirt night! Wear any DeKalb County Fair T-shirt from ANY YEAR and ask for your ticket to win the newest fair T-shirt during the cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion. Request tickets at the gate.

Sign up to compete in the DeKalb Idol competition Monday through Thursday backstage at the Lions Club Pavilion from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The registration fee is $10.00. The final competition will be Friday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m. following the Toddler Show at the Lion's Club Pavilion. You could win a $300 cash prize and a $100 People's Choice Award.

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us.

Art Revolution Coming to DeKalb County

July 12, 2011
Betsy Driver
Betsy Driver

Nearly a year ago, local photographer Jessica Atnip hatched an idea for a revolution.

This isn’t the type of revolution that overthrows the government but one that centers on art and gives DeKalb County’s teenagers an alternative in a small community where sports rules.


The result is an organization named Art Revolution that offers teenagers in grades 7-12 nine-week courses on different art forms. With the large artist community in DeKalb County, the group has been able to pull together a wide variety of artists to teach classes.

This Saturday from 7-9 p.m., after months of work, Art Revolution is officially unveiling the plans with a festive event at the 303 Building in downtown Smithville. More than 100 tickets have been sold for the event.

The 21-and-up event will feature wine from Stonehaus Winery and a silent auction with items such as a rocking chair made by award-winning artist Tim Hintz, a $100 gift card to Sunset Grill in Nashville, and art from the Appalachian Center for Arts & Crafts and Off the Beaten Path Artists. Tickets are $25 at the door but can be purchased at Stella Luna Gallery and the Chamber of Commerce or call Betsy Driver at 615-597-8507.

Most everyone knows that sports reigns king in DeKalb County. But Atnip said sports shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all. “And neither should art,” she said.

Atnip said the idea for Art Revolution is to level the playing field for teenagers and narrow the segregation between the artists and non-artists. The program is designed to be inclusive, bringing together aspiring artists with any student no matter their status, who want to show their creative side or have their creativity revealed through the classes.

“I think everyone enjoys a certain amount of expression,” she said.

Classes are scheduled to begin in October at the county’s new office complex on South Congress. They would have started closer to the beginning of the new school year but tornado damage delayed converting the former shopping center into new county offices.

Art Revolution secured space in the building fairly quickly because County Mayor Mike Foster got on board with the idea quickly.

“Once he said yes, the ball rolled even faster,” Atnip said. “He really wanted it for the community.”

Foster pulled out the plans for the new building and showed the possible rooms that could be used. Free space is the county’s contribution.

Foster said that the program goes hand-in-hand with his idea for the community to be able to use the new office complex.

“(Art Revolution) addresses a group of kids who potentially are at a crossroads in their lives and gives them an opportunity to find direction,” he said.

Foster added that his hope is that the program grows to a point where it’s available to all ages in the community.

So far, Art Revolution has raised more than $2,000. Tuition for the classes will be $50-75, depending on the class. Culinary classes will be a bit higher because of the materials involved.

Atnip said the goal is to offer tuition assistance to students who can’t afford the full tuition. But Art Revolution officials said the goal is to keep tuition as low as possible.

So far, Art Revolution has signed up Louie Colombarini, who works with clay; his wife Christine, who also works with clay; Jason Evans, the chef at the Inn at Evins Mill, to teach culinary arts; Ed Wooten, who works with glass; Claudia Lee, who works with paper making and bookmaking; Kathe Reed-Nelson, who works with jewelry; and Cherry Cratty, who works with pulp painting. Matt Gillard, a graphics designer, is possibly on board along with Shan Burklow, photographer and illustrator.

Atnip said more artists may get involved. Her email list started with 25 artists and grew to 75 and she said she’s heard from artists from neighboring counties.

The increasing interest from artists is the result of months of Atnip talking to whomever would listen to her pitch.

“She has tirelessly been working on this project while caring for her family, never missing a beat - keeping her family her first priority,” Art Revolution board member Betsy Driver said of Atnip. “She is teaching her children the art of perseverance, compassion and community. Hopefully Jessica's philosophy will be contagious among the students and volunteers coming through and supporting Art Revolution. Better yet, in our community as a whole".

Man Charged with Assaulting Son-In-law with Knife

July 11, 2011
Dwayne Page
Larry Lattimore

Smithville Police have charged a 50 year old man with aggravated assault for allegedly pulling a knife on his son-in-law and cutting him across the palm of his hand during an argument early Saturday morning.

The incident was reported around 12:55 a.m. Saturday.

Chief Randy Caplinger said that Larry Lattimore of 102 East Market Street is under a $5,000 bond and he will be in court on August 4.

According to police, Lattimore was visiting the home of his daughter and son-in-law at 114 Juniper Lane when he got into an argument with them. The dispute apparently continued outside the residence on Bell Street. After being asked to leave, Lattimore allegedly turned to walk away. However, police said Lattimore suddenly became aggressive, pulled a knife, and cut the left hand of his son-in-law about four inches across the palm. The victim was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital. Lattimore apparently left the scene before police arrived but Chief Caplinger said he turned himself in on Sunday.

School Board Makes Cuts in Proposed Budget

July 11, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education, following a two hour workshop, met briefly in special session Monday evening to trim the proposed budget for schools for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The revisions were made by the school board after County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the county budget committee last Thursday night asked Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and the school board to find places in the budget to make cuts.

SCHOOL BOARD from dwayne page on Vimeo.
The school board is now asking for a six and a half cent tax hike for schools, down from the original request for a seventeen cent increase. However the board is seeking an additional $169, 560 from the local option sales tax or the so called "sinking fund" in the new spending plan for schools above the $1.5 million in sales tax funds already included in the budget.

The overall budget for schools, as originally presented to the county budget committee in May, totaled $20-million, 146-thousand 303 dollars. The school board has now reduced that amount by $213,310 to $19-million 932-thousand 993. Projected revenues are budgeted at $19-million 655-thousand 962, which is $277,031 below estimated expenditures for the year.

The original proposed budget included funds for a few positions which have now been cut from the spending plan including the following:

A new physical education teacher at Northside Elementary School; an instructional coach; and two assistant soccer coaches. Total cuts in this category -$95,570

A total of $290,000 had been budgeted for diesel fuel costs but that has been cut by $84,000

The board had requested an additional $250,000 in capital outlay expense but that has been reduced by $31,855.

An additional $40,000 budgeted for updated hardware/software Accounting Department has been reduced by $1,885

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

Proposed new positions which remain in the budget are as follows:
A new fifth grade teaching position at Northside Elementary School.
An additional math teacher at DeKalb County High School
An assistant band teacher
A support staff site coordinator at DCHS
A special education teacher at DCHS
Three new assistant principals (one at each DeKalb West, Northside Elementary, and Smithville Elementary School)

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

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

The revised school budget, which was adopted on a 5-1 vote, will now be presented to the county budget committee for review Tuesday night, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the courthouse. School board members voting in favor were Kenny Rhody, Johnny Lattimore, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Charles Robinson, and Bruce Parsley. Board member John David Foutch voted "no" saying he could not support it until he knows what one cent of the property tax rate is projected to generate. Board member Billy Miller was absent.

Gandy Charged with Carrying Prohibited Weapons

July 11, 2011
Dwayne Page
Steven Levan Gandy
Delania Gene Mandrell
Karen Renee Hunter

A 30 year old man, pulled over by a county deputy on a traffic violation last Monday, was found to be carrying prohibited weapons

Steven Levan Gandy of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with illegal carrying or possession of a weapon and prohibited weapons. His bond totals $6,000 and he will be in court on August 4.

Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that on Monday, July 4, a deputy was responding to a reckless driver call on Cookeville Highway when he spotted Gandy's vehicle and pulled it over for a traffic violation. The officer spoke to the driver, Gandy and asked him for his drivers license. A check of his license found them to be expired. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the deputy found a loaded handgun underneath the arm rest compartment. Gandy said that he did not have a permit to carry the gun. The officer also found in the vehicle two knives with blades exceeding four inches. Another knife was found on Gandy's person with a blade length exceeding four inches. In addition to the gun and knives, the deputy confiscated two black poles, each of them three feet long, with weights on the end of them which were wrapped with tape. Sheriff Ray said that these poles have no common lawful purpose and appear to be for use as a weapon to inflict serious bodily injury.

52 year old Edwin Dale Evans of Smith Road is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 14.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday, July 6, a detective saw Evans operating a Mustang traveling west on West Broad Street. Having prior knowledge that Evans' license were revoked, the detective stopped Evans on Dry Creek Road. A computer check confirmed that his license had been revoked for a prior driving under the influence offense.

54 year old Delania Gene Mandrell and 42 year old Karen Renee Hunter both of Hayes Ridge Road, Lancaster are charged with burglary and theft of property under $500. Bond for each is $7,500 and they will be in court on August 4

Sheriff Ray reports that on Saturday, July 9, Mandrell and Hunter were charged with entering an outbuilding on Chapman Hollow Road with the intent to commit a theft. Items taken were a birdhouse, two rugs, a skillet, an antique Army metal gas can, a wooden milk stool, two metal flower stands, a marble smoke stand, and a small wooden chair with a total value of $303.


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