Local News Articles

Local Illusionists to Perform at Relay for Life

May 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

11 year olds, Devon Owens and Glenna Beaty will be participating in the Relay for Life May 11th at Greenbrook Park.

The local Wal-Mart?s relay team will have a camp with the theme ?The Magic Cure? where Devon and Glenna will be performing Mini Magic Shows all through out the evening. The Shows are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and continue hourly until at least 10:00 p.m.. If the interest is there one more show at 11:00 p.m. may be added.

Devon?s Dad and producer said, ?He?s has been working very hard to make this event as big as possible. I think you?ll be surprised at some of the big stage illusions that he?s bringing? The show will include some new magic and Devon?s twist on a classic or two. Devon and Glenna will also perform their award winning tribute to ?The worlds most famous magician ever?Harry Houdini?.

?I?d like to thank Wal-Mart for asking me to be a part of their camp? Devon said. ?My Granny B works there and I?m glad to get to help her help others with cancer?

Wal-Mart Relay team member Vonda Brown says \"Even though there is no ?Magic Cure? for cancer, Devon and Glenna will be doing their part to create one\". The public is invited to come to the relay and see this show. Admission to the show is just $2 and will go directly to the American Cancer Society.

You can visit Devon's Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/magicianboy

Two Seriously Injured In Sunday Crash

May 7, 2007
Dwayne Page

Two men were seriously injured in a one auto crash Sunday afternoon on Bright Hill Road.

Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 23 year old Emmanuel Guerra Cruz was driving a 1995 Chevy Blazer, going away from Smithville, when he lost control while trying to improperly negotiate a curve. The Blazer went off the road, jumped a creek, and struck an embankment.

Both Cruz and a passenger, 30 year old Leonides Viel Guzman were seriously injured and taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where they were airlifted by a Life Flight Helicopter Ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Trooper Raymond says Cruz tried to flee the scene immediately after the wreck but he collapsed before he could get away. Both men reside on Bright Hill Road.

The accident remains under investigation.

Sheriff's Department Makes Five Arrests in Recent Days

May 14, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has made five arrests in recent days on various charges.

27 year old James Kelly Estes of Windy Cut Street Smithville was arrested Tuesday on a sealed indictment for sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Sheriff Patrick Ray says he was also charged with simple possession after deputies found a bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana on his person. His total bond is $21,000

23 year old Joseph Demaio of West Main Street Alexandria was arrested Tuesday for burglary, theft of property and three counts of forgery. Sheriff Ray says Demaio broke into an office building on Driver Road in Dowelltown and stole checks from the victim. Demaio then allegedly cashed three checks in the amounts of $218 on May 3rd, $318.00 on May 4th, and $112.64 on May 6th. His total bond is $21,000

22 year old Raymond Simpson of Church Street Dowelltown was charged Friday with vandalism and leaving the scene. Sheriff Ray says Simpson was on Old Blue Springs Road cutting donuts on the pavement of the Primitive Baptist Church's parking lot. Upon leaving the parking lot and entering the roadway, Simpson lost control of his vehicle and flipped his vehicle over. Simpson damaged the pavement of the Church's parking lot and left the scene. His total bond is $10,000.

40 year old Joey Young of Adcock Cemetery Road Smithville was charged Thursday with filing a false report. Young reported to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department on May 5th that a 1998 Subaru car was stolen from his business on Highway 70 East. Sheriff Ray says through an investigation, Detectives found the vehicle was wrecked and abandoned in Davidson County on April 28th. Young admitted to DeKalb County Detectives that he was the driver of the vehicle and he was arrested locally for filing the false report. More charges are pending in Davidson County.

40 year old Martin Riley of Poss Road Smithville was arrested on Friday for theft of property. Sheriff Ray says Riley sold a door frame, door handles, lights, and windows with a combined value of over $1,000 to an individual for $50. These items were reported stolen from Mid Seasons Court Smithville.

Sheriff Ray asks you to report anyone who is trying to sell items such as power tools or building supplies for a low cost. These items might be stolen. You may report this and any crimes to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department by calling 597-4935.

Man Recently Indicted on Drug Charges Gets Busted Again

May 7, 2007
Dwayne Page

A man indicted last month for the sale of drugs as a result of an undercover investigation by the Sheriff's Department has been busted again.

25 year old Halton Wayne Hicks of South College Street, Smithville is charged with Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid).

Hicks was previously charged by the Sheriff's Department with drug transactions in the April Drug Sting. After his arrest in April, Hicks posted a $100,000 bond.

Sheriff Ray says \"Hicks is a known drug dealer in our county and we have been able to buy dilaudids from him since his arrest in April. We have charged Hicks with this more recent drug buy and he is under a $200,000 bond in the case. We will be asking the court for a revocation of the previous bonds he has made.\"

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 25 year old Barry Gibbs of Malone Hollow Road Alexandria was arrested in Dowelltown last Wednesday.

Sheriff Ray says\" A concerned citizen called in a suspicious vehicle which was a 2005 model Infinity. Upon an investigation, Detectives found the vehicle to be stolen out of Gallatin. Gibbs was apprehended and admitted to Detectives that he had in fact driven the vehicle to Dowelltown.\"

Gibbs was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle valued at over $30,000 and driving on a revoked drivers license. His bond totals $51,500.

On Friday, 35 year old Christopher Pack of Evins Mill Road, Smithville was arrested for Simple Possession. Sheriff Ray says after Pack was stopped on Evins Mill Road, Detectives smelled a strong odor of marijuana in Pack's vehicle. Upon a search, Detectives retrieved a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and a rolled marijuana cigarette. Pack was arrested and his bond set at $1,500.

On Sunday, 27 year old Jamie Carroll of Gentry Avenue, Smithville was arrested on a grand jury sealed indictment as a result of the Sheriff's Department's April Drug Sting. Carroll is charged with Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II Drug (Dilaudid) and his bond is set at $20,000. His court date is July 7th

On Monday, 20 year old Jamaal League of Smith Road was arrested after a traffic stop on West Main Street Smithville. Sheriff Ray says \"During the traffic stop, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department's K-9 Narcotics Detector Dog, Banshee, hit on the vehicle for drugs. Upon a search by Deputies, a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found on League's person. He was charged with simple possession and his bond was set at $1,500. His court date is May 31st..

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department will be conducting sobriety check points on Graduation Night, Friday May 18th. Sheriff Ray says he and his department will be working hard to target impaired drivers that threaten the safety of the citizens on our highways, especially our graduates. The Sheriff's Department will be conducting sobriety check points on Highway 56, Highway 70, and possibly other roads in the county. Sheriff Ray says he and his department are making a diligent effort to make this a special night for our graduates to enjoy and remember. Sheriff Ray says targeting impaired drivers will help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of an avoidable accident

Two Major Marijuana Dealers Get Lengthy Prison Sentences In Federal Court

May 7, 2007
Dwayne Page

Two men, described by Sheriff Patrick Ray as major marijuana dealers in this area, are going to be in federal prison for several years after being sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.

U.S. District Judge J. Alan Edgar sentenced 51 year old Jeffory Carl Young of Short Mountain Road, Woodbury to 224 months (18 years and 6 months), of which he must serve 85% or 15 years and 8 months. Young was fined $15,000 and must undergo drug rehabilitation while in prison. Upon his release, he will be on supervised federal probation for eight years.

54 year old Morris Edward Roller of Lance Road, McMinnville received a sentence of 200 months (16 years and 6 months) of which he must serve 85% or 14 years and one month. He was fined $10,000 and must undergo drug rehabilitation while in prison. Upon his release, Roller will be on supervised federal probation for four years.

In late January and early February, Young and Roller stood trial and were found guilty on all charges in a 20 count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in May, 2006.

The two men have been incarcerated since their arrests.

Following the trial, the defendants agreed to forfeit 1,000 acres of property they own jointly in DeKalb and Cannon County, with an estimated value of $1.7 million dollars. The property will be sold at auction by the U.S. Marshal's Service at a later date.

Both men were found guilty on a charge that \"they did conspire to manufacture 100 to 1,000 marijuana plants, a controlled substance, from at least 1992 until May, 2006\".

Roller was convicted on nine counts of marijuana distribution on the following dates: January 19th, January 30th, February 18th, July 21st, September 15th, and November 17th in the year 2004, on March 2nd and December 29th in the year 2005, and on May 24th, 2006.

Roller was also found guilty of using a communication facility (telephone) to facilitate the distribution of marijuana on the following dates: September 29th, October 4th, October 5th, and December 21st, 2005.

The jury found Young guilty of aiding and abetting another person in the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute on August 27th, 2004 and January 31st, 2006

Young was also convicted on charges that he used a telephone to facilitate the distribution of marijuana on December 21st, 2005, January 26th and January 31st, 2006 and twice on December 12th, 2005.

The men, business partners, operated farmland on the Warren-Cannon County line.

The case stems from an undercover investigation by the Warren County Sheriff's Department, the Southeastern Drug Enforcement Agency, the Middle Tennessee Drug Enforcement Agency, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Agency, and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Officers say they made many undercover buys leading up to the raids in May, 2006.

During the arrest in May, authorities seized 31 parcels of land, equaling 1900 acres with a tax appraisal of $2.5 million; more than $10,000 in cash; and over ten pounds of marijuana.

Investigators also confiscated two farm tractors, a round hay baler, semi-truck, a ton truck, and a bob cat loader, all believed to have been purchased with proceeds from the sale of drugs.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue also levied a $60,000 tax against the two men.

Monday Fire Causes Extensive Damage To Local Residence

May 8, 2007
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Firefighters were called to the residence of Len Jinks at 506 Old Highway 96 Monday.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says no one was at home at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

He says the fire is believed to have started from the stove. The blaze spread up the wall into the attic.

Green says fire fighters of the Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Short Mountain Highway Stations were able to extinguish the blaze but the house received extensive damage.

Liberty and Temperance Hall Stations were called back to the scene later after the fire rekindled.

DeKalb County Home Nominated To National Register of Historic Places

May 10, 2007
Dwayne Page

The State Review Board will meet on Wednesday, May 16 to examine Tennessee's newest proposed nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

The meeting will be held at Clover Bottom Mansion at 2941 Lebanon Road in Nashville. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. The Board will vote on 16 nominations from across the state. Those nominations that are found to meet the criteria will be sent for final approval to the National Register of Historic Places in the Department of the Interior.

The nominations are:

Davidson County: Beech Grove; McGavock-Harris-Gatewood-Webb House; Whitland Area Neighborhood Historic District

DeKalb County: Susie Foster Log House

Hardeman County: Pocahontas School

Henderson County: Montgomery High School

Marion County: Marion Memorial Bridge

Meigs County: Blythe Ferry (boundary expansion)

Rutherford County: Elmwood (boundary expansion and additional documentation)

Sevier County: First United Methodist Church; Settlement School Community Outreach Historic District; White Oak Flats Cemetery

Shelby County: Universal Life Insurance Company; Vollintine Hills Historic District

Williamson County: Triangle School

Wilson County: Lebanon Woolen Mills

The State Review Board is composed of 13 people with backgrounds in American history, architecture, archaeology or related fields. It also includes members representing the public. The National Register program was authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The public is invited to attend the meeting. For additional information, please contact Claudette Stager at (615) 532-1550, extension 105, or at Claudette.Stager@state.tn.us.

School Board Honors Retiring Teachers and Bus Driver

May 10, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education recognized the retirees and new tenured teachers during Thursday night's meeting held at the DCHS Cafeteria.

Those retiring at the close of the school year are Ina Ruth Bess of DeKalb County High School, who has been an educator for 58 years; Lynda Luna of Smithville Elementary School, who has taught 34 years; Linda Franklin of DeKalb Middle School, who has been a teacher for 35 years; Linda Lawrence of DeKalb Middle School, who has taught for 30 years; and Rebecca Davis of Northside Elementary School, who has been an educator here for 11 years. Sandra Hays, a teacher at DeKalb County High School retired earlier in the school year and was not present at Thursday night's meeting. Jack Patterson, who has been a bus driver for 20 years, is also retiring. Each of the retirees was presented a plaque by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and their principal or supervisor.

Tenured teachers recognized were Ashley Barnes of DeKalb Middle School, Amanda Rhoady of Smithville Elementary School, Tena Davidson of Northside Elementary School, Cynthia Preston of DeKalb West School, and David Gash, Melissa Ruch, and Larry Steffee of DeKalb County High School.

Director of Schools Willoughby has employed the DeKalb County Support Staff for the 2007-2008 school year.

He presented the list of employees to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed at DeKalb County High School are:
Rena Adcock- Cook, Cindy Armour-Cook, Jean Bandy-Cook, Cathy Beltz-Educational Assistant, Richard Bullard- Custodian, Kathy Chapman-Cook, Billy Colwell- Custodian, Linda Cyphers- Vocational Rehabilitation Secretary, Debbie Eaton- Educational Assistant, Regina Estes- Secretary, Beverly Ferrell- Educational Assistant, Faye Hendrix- Vocational Secretary, Jerry Herman- Custodian, Helen LaFevre-Cook, Tammy Lambert-Educational Assistant, Debra Magness- Bookkeeper, Rhonda Merriman-Educational Assistant, April Patterson- Guidance/Records Clerk, JoAnn Pittman-Custodian, Jo Dean Redmon-Cook, Rob Robinson-Educational Assistant, Juanita Salazar- Part time Custodian, Beverly Starnes-Cook, Suzanne Williams-Educational Assistant, and Debbie Young-Cafeteria Manager.

DeKalb Middle School:
Rita Beshearse- Part Time Library Assistant/Part Time Cafeteria Monitor, Helen Burt- Part Time Cafeteria worker, Helen Cantrell-Cook, Fay Gilreath- School Bookkeeper, Johnna Goff- Educational Assistant, Connie Haggard- Cook, Truitt Hale- Custodian, Murinna Herman- Custodian, Barbara Hibdon- Cook, Rita Johnson-Cook, Molly Johnson-Educational Assistant, Samantha Lester- School Secretary, Reba Malone- Custodian, Paulette McDonald- Educational Assistant, Deandrea Miller- Educational Assistant,Lisa Norton- Educational Assistant, Julie Pugh- Educational Assistant, Eldon Vanatta- Cafeteria Manager, and Jean Young- Educational Assistant.

Smithville Elementary School:
Austin Bain-Custodian, Jimmy Barnes- Custodian, Christie Bates- Cook, Pauline Braswell- Educational Assistant, Brenda Crook-Educational Assistant, Barbara Ervin- Cafeteria Manager, Darlene Evans-Educational Assistant, Jennifer Gay- Educational Assistant, Betty Griffith- Educational Assistant, Jean Hayes- Cook, Vickie Jeffries- Educational Assistant, Angela Johnson- Educational Assistant, Natasha Judkins- Educational Assistant, Melinda Lattimore- Educational Assistant, Rita Liechtfuss- Educational Assistant, Sara Lomas-Custodian, Patricia Milam- Part Time Cafeteria Monitor/Substitute Custodian, Tina Miller- Educational Assistant, Dori Mooneyham- Educational Assistant, Lisa Pack- Educational Assistant, Freeda Pedigo- Cook, Rhonda Pelham- Secretary/Receptionist, Lori Poss- School Bookkeeper, Evelyn Rankhorn- Educational Assistant, Brenda Rigney- Part Time Educational Assistant, Debra Rowland- Educational Assistant, Thomas Trammell- Custodian, Tammy Tyler- Cook, Annie Walker- Educational Assistant, Celia Whaley- Educational Assistant, and Judy Wilson-Cook..

Northside Elementary:
Faye Adkins-Custodian, Charles Ayers- Custodian, Suzanne Bradford- Educational Assistant, Cindy Childers- Educational Assistant, Betty Cooper-Cook, Gail Crips- Secretary, Ervil Cubbins- Educational Assistant, Regina Daw- Cafeteria Manager, Rebecca Ervin- Cook, Starr Ferrell-Educational Assistant, Gloria Gardner- English as a Second Language (ESL) Educational Assistant, June Gilbert-Cook, Phyllis Hallum- Educational Assistant, Dena Haugh- Educational Assistant, Thelma Martin- Educational Assistant, Denise Merriman-Cook, Angie Moore-Educational Assistant, Deanna Page- Cafeteria Monitor/Part Time Cafeteria Worker, Linda Sorrell- Educational Assistant, Diane Trapp- School Bookkeeper, and Kim Violet- Custodian,

DeKalb West School:
Holly Bain-Educational Assistant, Betty Boss- Educational Assistant, Brenda Beth Cantrell-Educational Assistant, Donna Driver- Cook, Dorothy Duggin-Custodian, Tena Edwards- Educational Assistant, Pauline Frazier- Custodian, Mattie Frazier-Custodian, Lisa Hale- Educational Assistant, Donna Hale- School Bookkeeper, Donna Hendrix- Cook, Melissa Hicks- Part time Cook, Shelby Jennings- Educational Assistant Faye Nixon-Cook, Kristi Sullivan- Educational Assistant, Roenia Turner- Half Time Library Assistant and Lunch Room Monitor, Jalene Vanatta- Secretary, and Georgia Young-Cafeteria Manager.

County Wide Positions:
Chandra Adcock- School Nurse, Jenean Bain- Bus Assistant, Benita Byars- School Nurse, Betty Cooper-Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Bettye June Dodd- Bus Assistant, Sharon Farler- Substitute School Nurse, Greg Frasier-Computer Technician, Melissa Fuson- Substitute School Nurse, Theresa Garrison- Part-time Occupational Therapist, Billy Golden- Maintenance Worker, Rhonda Harpole- Library Assistant -half time at Smithville Elementary School and half time at Northside Elementary School, Terry Hicks- Maintenance Worker, Earl Jared- Maintenance Supervisor, Freda Johnson- Bus Assistant, Mary Joines- Bus Assistant, Eddy Roy Judkins- Maintenance Worker, Sara Lee-Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Faye Lohorn- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Teresa Miller- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Tera Mooneyham- English as a Second Language (ESL) Assistant, Brad Mullinax- Technology Director, Nancy Mulloy- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jean Neal-Bus Assistant, Shirley Ours- Special Education Secretary, Melissa Pirtle- Food Service Bookkeeper, Elizabeth Redmon- Educational Assistant CW, Patricia Redmon- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jo Dean Redmon- Part Time Custodian- Brian Reed- Alternative School Assistant, Joyce Robinson- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Jennifer Roller- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jewell Tate-Part time Custodian, Ricky Todd- Substitute Custodian, Kimberly Turner- School Nurse, Barbara Vanatta- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jamie Vickers- Secretary/Bookkeeper Central Office, and Rita Young-Attendance Clerk at Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary School.


Shane Cook- Transportation Supervisor, James Wilkerson- Mechanic, and Peggy Pursell- Part Time Secretary.

The following are bus drivers: Harold Ashford, Karen Adkins, Dwayne Cantrell, Dinah Cripps, Elaine Davis, Debbie Eaton, Julie Fayette, Marshall Ferrell, Starr Ferrell, Julie Fitts, Linda Fowler, Bill Fowler, Lynn Griffith, Judith Hale, Melissa Hicks, Kimberly Lawson, Angela Lawson, Bobby Martin, Ronald Merriman, Jimmy Mullican, Walter Phillips, Faye Pollard, Jimmy Poss, Tony Poss, Peggy Pursell, J.T. Pursell, Juanita Salazar, Vickie Simpson, Bobby Taylor, Mark Violet, and Suzanne Williams.
Substitute bus drivers are: Danny Bond, Shawna Harper, Jerry Lawson, Daniel Lawson, and Annette Vanatta.

Those employed for the 2006-2007 school year since the last meeting are Nancy Mulloy-substitute cafeteria worker; K. Wayne Taylor- substitute custodian; Michael Kingsbury-part time groundskeeper; and Nicholas Smith-part time groundskeeper. Pam Eldridge, a sign language interpreter at Smithville Elementary School, has resigned.

Special Education Summer School Personnel have also been employed. Summer School is set for June 4th-29th from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. (4 hours daily).

Instructors are as follows:

Extended Preschool Program: Teacher Jane Parsley and assistants Tina Miller and Dori Mooneyham.

Early Elementary Reading Intervention: Teacher- Amy Fox and assistant Thelma Martin.

Upper Elementary Reading Intervention: Teacher- Tonya Perry (Holly Espinosa will fill in one week) and assistant Phyllis Hallum. Speech/Language Therapy-Louise Owen, Assistant for Speech/Language Lisa Pack; and there will be a Sign Language Interpretor for a deaf student.

Smithville Man Treated and Released After Wreck

May 10, 2007
Dwayne Page

A 74 year old Smithville man was injured after he wrecked his pickup truck on Highway 70 east Thursday afternoon.

Lieutenant Brian Lawson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Darwin Gard of Pack Circle was driving west on Highway 70 in a 2000 Chevy Silverado pickup truck when he lost control while negotiating a curve, overcorrected, and went into a yaw. The truck went off the southside of the highway and overturned one time, coming to rest on it's top off an embankment.

Gard was wearing his seatbelt and was not ejected.

He was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated and released.

Smithville Sales Tax Collections Take Big Jump In April Report

May 12, 2007
Dwayne Page

Local Option Sales tax collections in Smithville took a huge jump in April, compared to the same months the two previous years.

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson says monthly figures released from the Tennessee Department of Revenue show that April 2007 net collections in Smithville came to $136,955, up over $40,000 compared to $94,257 in April 2006, and $95,367 in April 2005.

Mayor Hendrixson says these numbers indicate that Smithville is growing and making progress. With an expanding sales tax base and good management of city resources, Mayor Hendrixson says there is no foreseeable property tax increase on the horizon in the city.

Net collections for the county in April 2007 were $28,376, up from $27,927 in April 2006, but down from $31,523 in April 2005.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue, in the report, notes that normal Local Optopn Sale Tax collections may fluctuate. This could be due to additional collections on assessments or reductioons as a result of taxpayer refunds or returned checks. Should collection amounts increase significantly, it might be the result of an audit assessment.


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