Local News Articles

City To Select Airport Manager

November 7, 2006
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen have decided to hire an Airport Manager at the Smithville Municipal Airport rather than lease the facility to a fixed based operator.

The issue was discussed during Monday night's meeting.

A committee made up of Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Secretary-Treasurer Burnace Vandergriff, and Alderman Cecil Burger will review the three applications received and select a new Airport operator, after receiving input from members of the airport committee, who will be serving in an advisory capacity.

A background check will also be conducted on the three applicants for the job.

The city board, in September, accepted a bid from Highland Aviation of Crossville to become the new Fixed Based Operator of the Airport, subject to the new tenant's approval after a review and inspection of the property.

However, the city board, in October decided not to enter into a contract with Highland Aviation after City Attorney Sarah Cripps reported that a background check had been conducted on the company. Cripps says she learned, as a result of that background check, that officials of Highland Aviation had made several misrepresentations to the city.

Cripps told the mayor and alderman last month that Paul Sutta, the chief financial manager for Highland Aviation, was a convicted felon and has served a nine month sentence in a federal facility for fraud. Cripps says she learned that Highland Aviation has been dissolved as a corporation since 2002 and that the company was indebted to a fuel supplier by over $50,000.

Cripps recommended, after conferring with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), that it would be in the city's best interest to hire an Airport Manager rather than lease the airport to a Fixed Based Operator.

An Airport Manager would be a city employee and answer directly to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and the city would receive all fees generated from the airport through fuel sales, etc.

In other business, the city board formally voted to hire Thomas J. Stufano as the new Chief of Police.

Stufano was appointed to the position November 1st, subject to being hired by the city board.

The vote to hire Stufano was 4 to 1. Aldermen Steve White, W.J. \"Dub\" White, Aaron Meeks, and Cecil Burger voted to hire Stufano. Alderman Paul Young \"passed\".

Stufano will be paid $708.80 per week or $17.72 per hour.

The city board, in other business, approved an ordinance on first reading to abandon Ken Circle between the intersection of Dry Creek Road and the intersection of Ed Taft Drive. The ordinance states that Ken Circle was never developed or used as a roadway and no landowner would be landlocked by the abandonment of it.

Second and final reading passage will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

DeKalb Voters Favor Incumbents and Proposed Constitutional Amendments In Tuesday Elections

November 8, 2006
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredsen, Congressman Bart Gordon, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Frank Buck, and U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr. all carried DeKalb County in Tuesday's Tennessee General Election.

DeKalb County voters also overwhelmingly endorsed the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment to the State Constitution as well as the proposed Property Tax Relief Amendment.

A total of 5,727 DeKalb Countians voted in the election including 2,580 early voters and absentees and 3,147 on election day. That represents 44% of the 12,000 registered voters in DeKalb County.

In the Governor Race, Bredesen defeated Republican challenger Jim Bryson in DeKalb County 3,847 votes (69%) to 1,559 votes (28%).

Bredesen carried fourteen of sixteen precincts including Alexandria 269 to 98; Temperance Hall 91 to 46; Liberty 108 to 90; Dowelltown 95 to 47; Snow Hill 90 to 62; Middle School 230 to 79; Cherry Hill 44 to 29; Courthouse 213 to 55; Johnson's Chapel 93 to 47; Elementary School 171 to 69; Belk 130 to 32; Keltonburg 129 to 40; Blue Springs 123 to 55; Church of Christ Annex 219 to 63 and Early Votes/Absentees-1,770 to 674.

Bryson carried Edgar Evins State Park 22 to 21 and tied Bredesen 51 to 51 at Rock Castle

The Independent candidates for Governor and their vote totals in DeKalb County include George Banks- 38, David Gatchell 9, Marivuana Stout Leinoff 10, Charles E. Smith 6, Howard M. Switzer 8, and Carl \"Twofeathers\" Whitaker 33.

Republican State Senator Mae Beavers defeated her Democratic challenger Bob Rochelle in DeKalb County 2,630 (55%) to 2,132 (44%).

In the eight counties of the 17th District combined, Beavers received 34,699 votes (58%) to 25,521 (42%) for Rochelle. That's with all precincts reporting.

Beavers carried thirteen of the sixteen precincts in DeKalb County including Temperance Hall 72 to 58; Edgar Evins State Park 33 to 7; Liberty 129 to 50; Dowelltown 81 to 51; Snow Hill 80 to 62; Middle School 149 to 119; Cherry Hill 36 to 29; Rock Castle 63 to 19; Courthouse 135 to 105; Johnson's Chapel 76 to 50; Elementary School 123 to 98; Blue Springs 81 to 64; Church of Christ Annex 130 to 109; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,163 to 995.

Rochelle carried Alexandria 160 to 153; Belk 70 to 61; and Keltonburg 86 to 65.

Democratic Incumbent State Representative Frank Buck defeated Republican challenger Terri Lynn Weaver 3,171 (57%) to 2,151 (39%). Independent candidate Carl Jones received a total of 162 votes in DeKalb County,

In the three counties of the 40th district combined, DeKalb, Smith, and Macon, Buck won with 9,646 votes (57%) to 6,898 votes for Weaver (40%) and 520 votes for Jones (3%). That's with all precincts reporting.

Buck carried twelve of sixteen precincts in DeKalb County including Alexandria 223 to 135; Temperance Hall 73 to 60; Dowelltown 75 to 65; Snow Hill 88 to 67; Middle School 184 to 127; Cherry Hill 40 to 31; Courthouse 158 to 106; Elementary School 154 to 90; Belk 97 to 62; Keltonburg 117 to 50; Blue Springs 103 to 72; Church of Christ Annex 176 to 99; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,487 to 905

Weaver carried Edgar Evins State Park 25 to 19; Liberty 121 to 75; Rock Castle 66 to 33; and Johnson's Chapel 70 to 69.

Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. beat Republican Bob Corker in DeKalb County 2,998 (54%) to 2,450 (44%).

Ford carried ten of sixteen precincts including Alexandria 224 to 150; Temperance Hall 72 to 65; Snow Hill 81 to 76; Middle School 174 to 141; Courthouse 150 to 114; Elementary School 143 to 103; Belk 98 to 62; Keltonburg 114 to 55; Blue Springs 103 to 80; Church of Christ Annex 179 to 102; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,365 to 1,086.

Corker carried Edgar Evins State Park 26 to 18; Liberty 129 to 76; Dowelltown 71 to 68; Cherry Hill 39 to 36; Rock Castle 75 to 31; and Johnson's Chapel 76 to 66.

Independent candidates for the United States Senate and their vote totals in DeKalb County include Ed Choate 38; David Gatchell 22; Emory \"Bo\" Heyward 15; Gary Keplinger 16; and Christopher Joseph Lugo 9.

Democratic Congressman Bart Gordon easily carried DeKalb County over his Republican opponent David R. Davis. Gordon received 3,811 (77%) to 1,052 (21%) for Davis.

Gordon carried fifteen of sixteen precincts including Alexandria 264 to 60; Temperance Hall 96 to 32; Edgar Evins State Park 26 to 17; Liberty 107 to 62; Dowelltown 104 to 24; Snow Hill 114 to 28; Middle School 220 to 59; Cherry Hill 51 to 19; Courthouse 213 to 35; Johnson's Chapel 82 to 44; Elementary School 194 to 34; Belk 126 to 19; Keltonburg 135 to 19; Blue Springs 127 to 29; Church of Christ Annex 205 to 37; and Early Votes/Absentees 1,706 to 488

Davis carried Rock Castle 46 to 41.

Independent candidates and their vote totals in DeKalb County included Robert L. Garrison with 56 votes and Norman R. Saliba with 25 votes.

The Marriage Protection Amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman carried all sixteen precincts in DeKalb County with a total of 4,794 (87%) voting YES to 674 (12%) voting NO.

The precinct by precinct vote is as follows: Alexandria 323 (Yes) to 54 (No); Temperance Hall 122 to 13; Edgar Evins State Park 40 to 4; Liberty 179 to 24; Dowelltown 121 to 23; Snow Hill 139 to18; Middle School 280 to 41; Cherry Hill 62 to 13; Rock Castle 91 to 13; Courthouse 229 to 52; Johnson's Chapel 130 to 19; Elementary School 220 to 30; Belk 147 to 14; Keltonburg 164 to 10; Blue Springs 171 to 12; Church of Christ Annex 266 to 23; and Early Votes/Absentees 2,110 to 311.

The Property Tax Relief Amendment which would authorize local governments to freeze property taxes of senior citizens was approved in DeKalb County 4,125 (83%) to 805 (16%).

The precinct by precinct vote is as follows: Alexandria 295 (Yes) to 63 (No); Temperance Hall 115 to 13; Edgar Evins State Park 39 to 4; Liberty 142 to 30; Dowelltown 114 to 14; Snow Hill 118 to 26; Middle School 219 to 60; Cherry Hill 57 to 10; Rock Castle 85 to 13; Courthouse 205 to 48; Johnson's Chapel 121 to 21; Elementary School 186 to 36; Belk 113 to 31; Keltonburg 140 to 20; Blue Springs 134 to 32; Church of Christ Annex 207 to 51; and Early Votes/Absentee 1,835 to 333.

Woman Wanted For Passing Forged Checks In Custody

November 16, 2006
Dwayne Page

A White County woman , wanted by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for allegedly passing forged checks in the names of a Temperance Hall couple, is now in custody.

40 year old Lisa Kylene Frasier of Luna Road, Sparta is charged with theft and forgery.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says someone recently burglarized the residence of Kenneth and Nadene Carter at Temperance Hall and stole two boxes personal checks from Regions Bank and the Bank of Putnam County in the names of the Carters.

These checks have been passed in DeKalb, Sumner, Wilson, Jackson, Putnam, Smith, Coffee and Warren Counties.

Sheriff Ray says Frasier used a fake drivers license to pass the checks, that has her own picture, and the actual license number of Nadene Carter.

She was arrested Friday in Sumner County.

Flu Vaccine Now Available at DeKalb Health Department

November 9, 2006
Dwayne Page

Flu season is just around the corner and the DeKalb County Health Department is ready to offer flu shots to area residents. No shortage of vaccine is expected this year and the health department says local supplies will not be restricted while they last.

A mass flu clinic is currently scheduled for Monday, November 20th at the Smithville Church of God Family Fellowship Center from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The Church of God Family Fellowship Center is located at 801 West Broad Street, Smithville beside the Farmers Coop.

\"October and November are often the best months to get the influenza vaccine because that's generally before we begin seeing many flu cases. In Tennessee, flu activity usually peaks in late January, and can peak as late as April, so we will continue to vaccinate residents through the winter, or as long as we have vaccine available, said Elizabeth Burgess, ANP, APRN, BC.

Certain people are at especially high risk of serious illness or death from influenza, especially the elderly and the very young. People who live with or care for those at high risk for serious illness also should be vaccinated to prevent exposing them to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals in the following groups receive the vaccine unless their health care provider has told them otherwise:

Children aged 6 months through 59 months (up to the 5th birthday); pregnant women (or those who will be pregnant during flu season); adults aged 50 years and older (especially those 65 and older); residents of long term care facilities; people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes); all healthcare workers; and household members and caregivers of people in these high risk groups.

In DeKalb County, the cost of the flu shot will be $25.00 for adults and $13.70 for children. Pneumonia vaccine will also be available for $40.00. Payment can be made in the form of cash or check and Medicare, TennCare, and Health Spring can be billed. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. Correct change is preferred. Individuals receiving flu shots need to wear a short sleeve shirt.

For more information about the mass flu clinic, call the DeKalb County Health Department at 597-7599.

Monterey Woman Charged with Drug Fraud

July 10, 2006
Dwayne Page

A Monterey woman was arrested by Smithville Police Saturday and charged with drug fraud.

34 year old Anissa Renee Allison Adams is charged with two counts of drug fraud. Her bond is set at $30,000 and she will appear in General Sessions Court July 13th.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says that on Saturday at approximately 11:45 a.m. he and Officer Loni Defore responded to Family Medical Center Pharmacy to investigate a female who was attempting to obtain Sudogest, a cold medicine, on another person's prescription.

Upon arrival, the officers identified Adams and discovered that she had previously passed the same prescription on June 24th, obtaining Sudogest using another person's prescription.

Body of Nashville Banker Recovered from Center Hill Lake

July 10, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 45 year old Nashville banker lost his life on Center Hill Lake Saturday afternoon.

Dead is David Brian Williams.

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons says Williams was with his family on the lake when he went down while swimming.

TWRA Officer Ben Franklin says the incident occurred in Raccoon Hollow in the Holmes Creek area of the lake. \"He was swimming from one boat to another and went under water in the Raccoon Hollow section of Center Hill Lake between Holmes Creek and Indian Creek.\"

Officers of the TWRA, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and members of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad were summoned to the scene around 3:11 p.m.

Officer Franklin says dragging operations began shortly thereafter and the body was subsequently recovered from the lake. \"The DeKalb County Rescue Squad recovered the body in approximately 17 feet of water. We were very lucky to find him as fast as we did. From the time we got the call until the time we recovered the body was approximately two hours.\"

The Rescue Squad left the scene at 5:14 p.m.

Officer Franklin thanked all those who assisted in the recovery effort. \"Everyone did an excellent job. They were very professional and we appreciate everybody who took part in it from the Rescue Squad, TWRA, Sheriff's Department and the Medical Examiner.\"

Sheriff Emmons says an autopsy would likely be conducted to determine if the man drowned or experienced some medical problem that caused his death.

Williams reportedly helped build Sun Trust Bank's Music Division into a National entity.

In 1990, he moved the Bank's Music Industry Division to Music Row, making it Music Row's first full service branch.

DeKalb County High School Selected for National Redesign Project

July 12, 2006
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School is among twenty-seven Tennessee high schools which have been selected to participate in a national initiative to model rigorous and relevant curricula.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $5.6 million to the Council of Chief State School Officers and Successful Practices Network to develop a national coalition of promising high schools. Over three years, these Tennessee schools will identify their greatest needs and develop action plans for increasing the rigor and relevance of the high school experience.

\"Tennessee is embracing an innovative approach to ensuring all students graduate with the knowledge to pursue higher education or a successful career,\" said Dr. Keith Brewer, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Education. \"Not only do we want more students to earn a diploma, we want that diploma to be symbol of true achievement.\"

The Successful Practices Network is national movement founded on the conviction that students learn better when they understand how coursework relates to their life and their future. Each high school will receive training and resources to connect instruction to students' lives and challenge them to meet high expectations. Additional training includes aligning standards, excellence in career technical education, arts education, special education, reading in grades 7-12, small
learning communities and ninth grade academies.

\"Sharing proven strategies provides administrators a wealth of options when deciding how best to meet the needs of their school community,\" Brewer said. \"When educators work together toward the common goal of student achievement, they do so armed with more diverse knowledge and

The project also fosters collaboration and support amongst the participating high school to help each succeed in the endeavor. An annual model schools conference will draw participating schools from across the country together around the initiative, with a special state-specific session.

Partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education is the Tennessee Business Roundtable, an organization of CEO's working to advance the business climate in Tennessee.

Early Voting Begins For August Elections

July 12, 2006
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds you that early voting for the August elections will be held through July 29th.

Early voting hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse next to the election commission office.

In addition to the DeKalb County General Election, voters will be casting ballots in the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries for the offices of Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S.. House of Representatives, State Senate, State House of Representatives, State Executive Committeeman and committee woman.

A referendum will also be on the ballot asking voters to cast a yes or no vote on whether the local option sales tax should be increased from 1.5% to 2.75% which would make the total sales tax in DeKalb County go from 8.5% to 9.75%.

Dowelltown voters will also be electing three aldermen on August 3rd.

Democratic candidates on the ballot running for their party's nomination in the state primary for Governor include Incumbent Phil Bredesen; John Jay Hooker of Nashville; Tim Sevier of Hixon; and Walt Ward of Chattanooga.

Republican candidates for Governor are Mark Albertini of Chattanooga; Wayne Thomas Bailey of Smyrna; Jim Bryson of Franklin; David M. Farmer of Kingston; Joe Kirkpatrick of Nashville; Timothy Thomas of Murfreesboro; and Wayne Young of Cleveland.

Candidates for State Senator, 17th District include Incumbent Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet, unopposed in the Republican Primary; and Democrats Bob Rochelle of Lebanon, and Aubrey T. Givens of Lebanon.

Candidates for State Representative, 40th District include Incumbent Frank Buck of Dowelltown, unopposed in the Democratic Primary; Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster, unopposed in the Republican Primary; and Independent candidate Carl Jones of Macon County.

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, 6th District are Incumbent Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro and J. Patrick Lyons of Bell Buckle in the Democratic Primary and David R. Davis of Brush Creek in the Republican Primary.

Democratic candidates for the U.S Senate are Harold Ford, Jr. of Memphis; Gary G. Davis of Nashville; John Jay Hooker of Nashville; Charles E. Smith of Chattanooga; and Al Strauss of Nashville.

Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are Ed Bryant of Jackson; Tate Harrison of Dayton; Van Hilleary of Murfreesboro; and Bob Corker of Chattanooga.

Candidates in the DeKalb County General Election are as follows:

Democrat Myron Rhody and Republican Patrick Ray for Sheriff and Democrat Anthony (Doc) Green and Republican Sean Driver for Trustee;

Unopposed candidates include Democratic Incumbents County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack; County Clerk Mike Clayborn; Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen; General Sessions-Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook II; and Republican Incumbent Road Supervisor Kenny Edge.

Two county commissioners can be elected from each of the seven districts in the county. County Commission candidates are Democrats Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Charles Griffith and Republican Mason Carter in the first district; Republican Incumbent Bobby Joines and Democrats Jack Barton, and Shane Cook in the second district; Republican Randy Caplinger, and Democratic Incumbents Roy D. Merriman, and Jerry Scott in the third district; Incumbent Democrat Wayne Cantrell and Democrat Chris J. Smithson in the fourth district; Democratic Incumbent John D. Green and Democrat Jeffrey Barrett in the fifth district; Democratic Incumbents Jeff Barnes and Marshall Ferrell in the sixth district; and Democratic Incumbent Larry Summers and Democrat Willie E. Thomas in the seventh district.

In the 13th Judicial District; the candidates are as follows:

Democrat Ronald Thurman and Republican Jerry Burgess of Cookeville for Chancellor; Democratic Incumbent Lillie Ann Sells and Independent challenger David A. Patterson of Cookeville for Criminal Court Judge Part II; Democratic Incumbent Leon Burns, Jr. of Cookeville for Criminal Court Judge Part I; Democratic Incumbent John A. Turnbull of Livingston for Circuit Court Judge Part I; Democratic Incumbent John Maddux of Cookeville for Circuit Court Judge Part II; Democratic Incumbent William E. (Bill) Gibson of Cookeville for District Attorney General; and Democratic Incumbent David N. Brady and Republican challenger Samuel Harris of Cookeville for District Public Defender

Candidates for the School Board are Incumbent John David Foutch in the first district; Incumbent Charles L. Robinson and challenger John Allen in the second district; Incumbent Kenny L. Rhody in the third disttrict; Joan Draper in the fourth district; and Incumbent Johnny Lattimore in the seventh district.

Candidates for Dowelltown Aldermen include Tom R. Duggin, Jr., Joe L. Bogle, Keith Farler; amd Brad Driver. Three can be elected.

Candidates for DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee include Judy A. Slager and Betty Mildred Clayborn in the first district; Peggy Pursell and Dennis Slager in the second district; and Donna Emmons in the fifth district. More than one can be elected in each district.

Democratic Candidates for State Executive Committeewoman, 17th Senatorial District are Jennifer Kyle Bassett of Castalian Springs and Mary A. Patterson of Mount Juliet. Republican candidate for State Executive Committeewoman, 17th Senatorial District is Susan Witcher of Red Boiling Springs.

Democratic candidates for State Executive Committeeman, 17th Senatorial District are David R. Harper of Hartsville and Ben Johnson of Gordonsville. Republican candidates for State Executive Committeeman, 17th Senatorial District are Bob Ousley of Mount Juliet and Albert B. McCall, Sr. of Carthage.

Bredesen Announces Grant Awards for 227 New Pre-K Classrooms Including One At Smithville Elementary School

July 13, 2006
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredesen and the Tennessee Department of Education Thursday announced $20 million in new pre-K grants to open 227 new classrooms under the Governor's Voluntary Pre-K for All program.

Ninety-six school systems across the state including DeKalb County will receive funds to open a new classroom for the 2006-2007 school year, providing access to pre-K for 5,000 additional four-year-olds in Tennessee.

Clay Farler, Director of the DeKalb County Pre-K program and Attendance Supervisor, says state funds will be allocated to create a new Pre-K classroom at Smithville Elementary School. With the addition of the new class, DeKalb County will have a total of four Pre-K classrooms, including three at Smithville Elementary School and one at DeKalb West School.

Farler says eligible children must be four years of age by September 30th, and their parents must meet the federal income guidelines.

Each Pre-K class may have up to twenty students. At least sixteen students per class must be enrolled by September 30th in order for the school system to retain available funds for the program.

Bredesen requested that the General Assembly appropriate an additional $20 million in this year's budget for pre-K in Tennessee, increasing total funding for the program to $55 million. With the grant awards announced Thursday, Tennessee's voluntary pre-K program now extends to 88 of the state's 95 counties.

\"I'm extremely pleased that every school system that has applied for pre-K funds has received enough to fund at least one classroom, and I want to thank the leaders of these school systems and their communities for embracing the opportunity to partner in an extraordinary program,\" Bredesen said. \"I especially want to recognize the teachers, who are responsible for maintaining the high quality of Tennessee's pre-K experience.\"

Tennessee has been recognized nationally as having among the highest standards for its pre-K program. In a ceremony in Washington D.C. Thursday, the Tennessee Alliance for Early Education was awarded the \"2006 Pre-K Champion Award\" by the national advocacy group Pre-K Now. Tennessee was one of only four states to receive such recognition.

In June, Education Commissioner Lana Seivers and Office of Early Learning Executive Director Bobbi Lussier addressed state leaders at a national conference where Tennessee's pre-K program was highlighted as a model for other states.

\"Not too long ago, pre-K was not on the public radar in this state,\" Seivers said. \"Today, we are celebrating the breakneck expansion of pre-K classrooms and Tennesseans are aware of the benefits of pre-K because Governor Bredesen has made early childhood education and the future of Tennessee's children a priority.\"

State funding for pre-K has been increased to more than five times the funding level of 2003. When school resumes, funding from excess lottery prize money and increases in state funding will have allowed 527 new pre-K classrooms to open statewide in the past two years.

Governor Bredesen also recognized United Way Thursday for rising to his challenge to help support local pre-K classrooms by securing financial commitments to provide matching funds.

\"In February, I challenged the leadership of United Way to support pre-K by raising the local match for 40 classrooms, and they have moved quickly to exceed that goal, securing financial commitments for 47 new pre-K classrooms,\" said Bredesen. \"This represents a $1.5 million commitment over three years. Public-private partnerships have always been an essential part of our voluntary pre-K program, and I want to express my appreciation to United Way for stepping up to support something so fundamentally important to the education of our children.\"

The Governor encouraged local school systems and pre-K councils to engage the leadership of their local United Way to learn more about funding match opportunities and form relationships centered on the best way for each community to grow the number of pre-K classrooms and meet the needs of parents who want to give their children access to pre-K.

One Person Airlifted Following Friday Morning Accident

July 14, 2006
Dwayne Page

Five people were involved in a three vehicle accident around 9:15 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 56 north (Cookeville Highway)

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 62 year old Donna Lawson of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown, driving a 1997 GMC Jimmy, was traveling north and slowing to make a left turn into a residence at 3195 Cookeville Highway when her vehicle was rear ended by a northbound 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by 57 year old Kenneth Herman of Bessie Gribble Road, McMinnville. Herman's truck was pulling a utility trailer.

According to Trooper England, the collision caused the Lawson vehicle to cross the southbound lane and make head-on impact with a 1995 Toyota 4 Runner, driven by 44 year old James Todd of Nashville.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene to perform extrication to get Lawson out of her vehicle. She was airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

67 year old Dorothy Smith of Old Mill Hill Road, a passenger of the Lawson vehicle, was taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Todd was also transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Herman and a passenger of his truck, 31 year old Chris Moss of McMinnville, were not transported to the hospital. They were apparently not injured.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway and Cookeville Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and officers of the Sheriff's Department were also on the scene to provide assistance.

Trooper England says the highway was closed to traffic for about two hours during the crash investigation and cleanup.


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