Local News Articles

Stribling Re-Elected Chairman of County Commission

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling
Seventh District Commissioner Larry Summers

County Mayor Tim Stribling was re-elected Chairman of the county commission Monday night.

All members present voted in favor.

Seventh District member Larry Summers was returned as Chairman Pro Tempore.

The county commission must annually elect a chairman and a chairman pro tempore. The commission may elect the county mayor or a member of the body to be the chairman, although the county mayor may refuse to serve. If the county mayor is chairman, he or she may vote only to break a tie vote. If a member is chairman, the member votes as a member, but cannot vote again to break a tie. If the county mayor is not chairman, he or she may veto most resolutions of the county legislative body, but this veto may be overridden by a majority vote. The majority vote that is required for this and the passage of resolutions or other measures is a majority of the entire actual membership of the county legislative body, and not a majority of the quorum, nor a majority of the authorized membership.

The county commission consists of fourteen members, two from each of the seven districts in the county.

The make-up of the county commission is as follows:

Julie Williams Young and Mason Carter from the first district; Jimmy Midgett and Joe Johnson from the second district; Jack Barton and Bradley Hendrix from the third district; Wayne Cantrell and Jonathon Norris from the fourth district; Jerry Adcock and Anita Puckett from the fifth district; Jeff Barnes and Betty Atnip from the sixth district; and Larry Summers and Kevin Robinson from the seventh district. Their terms are for four years and will expire August 31, 2018.

Conley Gets Probation for Statutory Rape

September 25, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kristain Conley
Lisa Michelle Huard
Jacob Murphy
Jim Flesher

A man charged with statutory rape in February was in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday.

21 year old Kristain Conley entered a plea to statutory rape and received a two year sentence on probation. He has applied for judicial diversion. He is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim.

25 year old Lisa Michelle Huard entered a plea to sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Hydrocodone). She received a three year sentence on probation and has applied for judicial diversion. She must make restitution of $200 to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

21 year old Jacob Murphy entered a plea to sale of a schedule II drug (Hydrocodone). He received a four year sentence suspended and has been given credit for 112 days of jail time served. Murphy has applied for judicial diversion. He must make restitution of $200 to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

21 year old Jim Flesher entered a plea to simple possession of morphine and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on supervised probation. He was fined $750.The sentence is to run consecutive to a sentence against him in DeKalb County General Sessions/Drug Court. He must make restitution of $200 to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

38 year old Jessie Hall, II entered a plea to possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. He received a two year TDOC sentence on probation. He must forfeit the weapon.

36 year old Kimberly Beard entered a plea to driving under the influence. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 48 hours in the DeKalb County Jail and then be on supervised probation. She was fined $350 and will lose her license. She must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment.

THP Charges Man with Leaving Scene of Injury Crash

September 25, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Robin C. Green

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has filed charges against a man who left the scene on foot after being involved in a two vehicle crash on Saturday, September 16.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 9/18/2017 Thru: 9/25/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_40.pdf (2.62 MB)

43 year old Robin Clark Green of Sparta is charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an injury crash, driving while license revoked, improper passing, and failing to exercise due care. His bond is $11,500 and his court date is December 14.

According to the THP, the crash occurred at 9:26 p.m. on Highway 70 east (Sparta Highway) near Howard Redmon Road as Green, driving a 1994 Nissan Xterra east on U.S. 70, crossed into the westbound lane to pass another vehicle on a double yellow line. 30 year old Juan Delgado of Smithville, who was traveling west on Highway 70 in a 1998 Toyota Tacoma, swerved to avoid a collision but Green’s vehicle hit the Tacoma in the left front. Delgado’s truck then traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a ditch where it came to its final rest. Green’s Xterra traveled off the left side of the roadway and struck a ditch and then a fence before coming to its final rest in a field.

After the crash, Green fled the scene on foot. He had three passengers in the vehicle with him, 39 year old Angela Atnip, 22 year old Zachary Walker, and 42 year old Barry Atnip all of Smithville. Both Angela and Barry Atnip were transported by ground ambulance to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital while Walker was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Delgado was not injured but he was cited for no drivers license and failing to provide proof of financial responsibility.

Trooper Jason Cobble was the investigating officer.

Abandoned House Destroyed by Fire (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 25, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Volunteer Firefighters were called to a structure fire at 3:22 a.m. Monday on Magness Road.

Upon arrival, the firefighters found an abandoned house, in the midst of trees and overgrowth, fully involved in flames.

County Fire Chief Donny Green said the property owner is Russell Norton. Although a line extended to the house, it had no electrical service.

Members of the Belk, Short Mountain Highway, and Main Stations responded from the DeKalb County Fire Department along with the Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb EMS. There were no injuries.

DeKalb West Names Students of the Month

September 25, 2017
by: 
Bill Conger
DeKalb West Names Students of the Month (Photo by Bill Conger)

DeKalb West School has announced its Students of the Month for September. Zane Griffith (Kindergarten), Bella Gonzalez (1st grade), Zoey Golson (2nd grade), Timothy Campbell (3rd grade), Izzy Hendrixson (4th grade), Caroline Crook (5th grade), Brynn Harvey (6th grade), Kortnee Skeen (7th grade) and Hagen Waggoner (8th grade) are some of the best at DeKalb West this month. Teachers select students for the honor based on their academic excellence, character, and other traits that make them an outstanding student.

Pictured
Front Row left to rights are Bella Gonzalez, Zoey Golson, Zane Griffith, and Timothy Campbell. Back row left to right are Assistant Principal Joey Agee, Izzy Hendrixson, Caroline Crook, Brynn Harvey, Kortnee Skeen, Hagen Waggoner, and Principal Sabrina Farler.

Community Celebrates Justin Potter Library's Golden Anniversary

September 24, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Portrait of Justin Potter (1898-1961) displayed inside Justin Potter Library
Brenda Hooper, Jane Ramsey, Jane Hobson, Annette Greek, Bobby White, Genrose Davis, Betty Pankey, June Vaughn, Kathy Hendrixson, State Comptroller and Grandson of Justin Potter Justin Wilson, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (presenting state proclamation), Chamber Director Suzanne Williams (presenting Milestone Award), Jenelle Pugh, Jan Thomas, and County Mayor Tim Stribling
Tennessee State Comptroller of the Treasury and Grandson of Justin Potter Justin Wilson with DeKalb County Historian Thomas G. Webb
County Mayor Tim Stribling with Jenelle Pugh, the only surviving  DeKalb County library board member from 1967 when Justin Potter Library opened, and current Library Board member and Chairman of the Board Jan Thomas

A 50 year celebration was observed Sunday for Justin Potter Library.

Members of the community stopped by during the two hour event to visit and enjoy refreshments. State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver presented a proclamation signed by herself, State Representative Mark Pody, and Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell marking the occasion and Chamber Director Suzanne Williams honored the library with a Milestone Award.

Current and past Library Board members, Directors, and employees joined in the celebration including Jenelle Pugh, the only surviving 1967 library board member.

Justin Potter Library opened in June 1967 followed by an official dedication and open house on September 17, 1967. It was named for the late Justin Potter, a DeKalb County native and successful Nashville businessman, whose family provided funds to help build the library through the Justin and Valere Potter Foundation.

Potter’s grandson, Justin Wilson was among those in attendance for the celebration.

“This was done by Congressman Joe L. Evins from Smithville in 1967. I remember going up to see him in Washington to talk about how to get this funded. I am really pleased to see how wonderfully the library is doing today for the community,” said Wilson, who also is the current Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.

For eleven years prior to 1967, the library was located in a room on the main floor of the Veterans Memorial building downtown.

DeKalb County Historian Thomas G. Webb, also in attendance at the observance, said Justin Potter Library is a great asset to the community. “When I was growing up DeKalb County had no library at all. You don’t know what a change it is to have this from no library. We’re proud of our library,” he said.

“The library is important to DeKalb County and it is run by a great board and staff. They are very professional. We can all be proud of them,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

The state proclamation honoring Justin Potter Library follows:

“Whereas, the members of this legislative body take great pleasure in recognizing those venerable institutions that are devoted to serving their communities; and

Whereas, one such institution is the Justin Potter Library, which is this year celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, a hallmark occasion for this community gathering place that supports and informs its patrons and serves as the heart of the DeKalb County community; and

Whereas, on September 24, 2017, the DeKalb County Library Board and staff will host a fiftieth anniversary celebration, joining with members of the community to reflect on the library’s history and success; and

Whereas, organizational efforts for the Justin Potter Library were spearheaded by Emma Burton; in 1966, when available federal money for library construction required a matching donation, Mrs. Burton found a willing benefactor in the Justin and Valere Potter Foundation; and

Whereas, a 3,764 square foot edifice was built in 1967 to house the Justin Potter Library; the library opened its doors to the public in June of that same year, hosting a formal opening celebration on September 17, 1967; and

Whereas, in 2003, the building underwent a 2,000 square foot expansion funded by the DeKalb County Court, with donations from members of the community providing shelving and furniture; while the original structure was built to hold 10,000 volumes, the expanded building now contains over 25,000 items; and

Whereas, featured in the library’s more than 25,000 items is an extensive collection of county genealogy and Historical materials, thanks to the combined efforts of Jorene Parsley, Earl France, County Historian Thomas G. Webb, and many others; and

Whereas, the library’s mission has always been to provide all DeKalb County residents with opportunities to improve the quality of their lives by offering quality materials and services that fulfill the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the entire community in an atmosphere that is welcoming and respectful; and

Whereas, the Justin Potter Library has been successful in fulfilling its mission; throughout the last five decades, it has been home to many educational and cultural programs, including summer reading, author book signings, holiday events, Older American’s Day celebrations, art and computer classes, homeschooling events, discussion groups, school field trips, and volunteer opportunities for Tennessee Promise students and others; and

Whereas, in addition to making available thousands of volumes in print and online, the Justin Potter Library has worked to get books in the hands of as many individuals as possible; it facilitates sign-up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and engages in book outreach to area schools; and

Whereas, the library also provides other services to the community, including interlibrary loans, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency boating exams, and tax and voter registration forms; and

Whereas, from 2016 to 2017, there were nearly 40,000 visits to DeKalb County libraries, with 8,000 registered borrowers, 64,000 materials checked out, 112 programs offered that saw 2,000 in attendance, and approximately 15,000 computer users; and

Whereas, the members of the DeKalb County Library Board of Trustees at the time of the opening of the Justin Potter Library were W.R. Lassiter, chair; Emma Burton, chair building committee; Otha Dell Conger, building committee; Nell McBride, building committee; Bessie May White; Rosa John Twilla; and Jenelle Pugh; and

Whereas, current library board members are Genrose Davis, Annette Greek, Jane Hobson, Brenda Hooper, Betty Pankey, Jane Ramsey, Pam Redmon, Board Chair Jan Thomas, and Bobby White; and

Whereas, the Justin Potter Library has enjoyed the superb leadership of four directors since 1967: June Vaughn (1967-68, 1991-2004), Idell Spann (1968-91), Kathy Winchester Vardy (2004-07), and Kathy Hendrixson (2007-present); and

Whereas, the success of the library is wholly attributable to the dedication and hard work of the library board members, staff, and volunteers and the support of the Justin and Valere Potter Foundation, Smithville Study Club,, DeKalb County, City of Smithville, State and federal government, and the community throughout the last fifty years; and

Whereas, the Justin Potter Library has served the citizens of DeKalb County for five decades now, and it is fitting that the organization be honored; now, therefore,

I, Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the One Hundred Tenth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, at the request of and in conjunction with Representative Mark Pody and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, do hereby proclaim that we congratulate the Justin Potter Library upon fifty years of devoted service to the DeKalb County community, extending our sincere best wishes for much continued success in the future.

Proclaimed in Nashville, Tennessee, on this the 31st day of August, 2017.”

Wilson Withdraws from State Senate Race

September 23, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

One candidate has had a change of heart and will not seek the seat of former State Senator Mae Beavers in the special election this fall.

Steve Wilson of Lebanon, who had previously announced his intentions to be a candidate for the Republican nomination in the November 7 primary, has decided to withdraw

Wilson sent a letter to the DeKalb County Election Commission and to other counties in the 17th district making the withdrawal official.

State Representative Mark Pody, a Republican, is now the only announced candidate for the special election. No other Republican and no Democrat has yet announced a bid. Pody's name will be on the GOP primary ballot.

The special election was created due to the September 1 resignation of Senator Beavers, who is running for governor. Her senate term expires after the 2018 elections next November.

The qualifying deadline for candidates is Noon Thursday, September 28th.

The primary will be held on November 7th followed by the General Election on December 19th.

Early voting for the primary will be held October 18 through November 2 on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse. Early voting hours are Mondays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m. until Noon; Wednesdays 9 a.m. until Noon; Thursdays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m. until Noon and Saturdays 9 a.m. until Noon.

Voting hours for election day, December 19 at all precincts will be 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Tennessee’s 17th Senate District includes Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Clay, Smith and Macon counties.

Tigers Dominate in Homecoming Win over Cannon County

September 23, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tigers Dominate in Homecoming Win over Cannon County

The DeKalb County Tigers celebrated a homecoming victory Friday night over the visiting Cannon County Lions 42-0.

The Tigers are now 2-4 on the season and will travel to Livingston Academy next week. The Wildcats are 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in Region play. Cannon County falls to 0-6 on the season.

After getting the ball on a Cannon County turnover at the Lions 20 yard line, DeKalb County Quarterback Tyler Cantrell threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Paxton Butler with 8:20 left in the 1st period. The PAT by Andrew Fuson was good and the Tigers led 7-0.

The next score came as the Tigers capped a 52 yard drive on a 40 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Axel Aldino to Braxton Linder with 10:41 left in the 2nd period. Andrew Fuson added the extra point for a 14-0 Tiger lead.

DeKalb County extended its advantage on a 2 yard touchdown pass play from Aldino to Bradley Miller, capping a 74 yard drive. Fuson’s PAT gave the Tigers a 21-0 lead with 2:30 left in the 2nd period.

After the Tigers blocked a Cannon County punt, Jesse Smith scooped up the loose pigskin and raced 25 yards for a Tiger touchdown with 48 seconds left in the 2nd period. Fuson booted the extra point and the DeKalb County lead at halftime was 28-0.

The Tigers cashed in on two more Cannon County turnovers in the second half. After a Lions interception by Tiger Bradley Miller, DeKalb County capped a scoring drive on a 15 yard pass from Quarterback Axel Aldino to Riley Sexton with 7:53 left in the 3rd period. Fuson added the extra point and the Tigers held a 35-0 lead.

On the ensuing kick-off, the return man for Cannon County fumbled in the air and DeKalb County’s Bradley Miller grabbed it and rambled 25 yards for a touchdown with 7:30 left in the 3rd period. Fuson booted the PAT and DeKalb County went on to win 42-0.

Crews to Stand Trial for First Degree Murder of his Girlfriend in February

September 22, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews being led out of courthouse by deputy after making a brief court appearance in Smithville Friday
Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews
Ashley Bain

A man accused in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend more than two and a half years ago may stand trial in February.

44 year old Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews made a brief appearance before Judge Gary McKenzie in DeKalb County Criminal Court today (Friday).

Judge McKenzie set December 13 as the date to hear pre-trial motions in the case including a change of venue request. He has also set the trial date for February 13, 2018.

The District Public Defender, who is representing Crews, is asking the court to have the trial in Putnam County, rather than DeKalb County. Crews is currently being held in the Putnam County Jail. The judge has given the Public Defender's staff until October 23 to file all their pre-trial motions and the District Attorney General's staff has until November 15 to file answers to the motions.

Crews is under indictment for first degree murder in the death of 28 year old Ashley Bain, whose body was found lying on the floor of a bedroom at the home she and Crews shared at 3870 Cookeville Highway, Smithville on Thursday afternoon, February 5, 2015.

Bain was stabbed numerous times about the upper body. It's not known exactly how long she had been dead by the time authorities were notified but she had been seen alive earlier in the day. A knife, believed to have been the murder weapon, was found in the home.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Crews called 911 at 2:33 p.m. on February 5, 2015 to report that he had discovered Bain's body when he entered the residence. Sheriff Ray and members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were alerted and quickly arrived on the scene. The TBI and District Attorney General's Office also joined the investigation. Sheriff Ray said authorities determined that Crews had committed the crime and made up the story about finding the body.

One week later, Crews made his first court appearance under tight security at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

During the brief hearing in General Sessions Court, Judge Bratten Cook, II increased Crews' bond from $250,000 to one million dollars. He also appointed the District Public Defender's Office to represent Crews.

Before increasing the bond amount, Judge Cook questioned Crews about his background. Crews said he was from New York and had relocated to McMinnville three years ago (prior to the murder). He is married and had once served in the military. At the time of his arrest, Crews was enrolled as a student at MTSU and had worked at Shiroki in Smithville. He admitted to having a misdemeanor criminal past for simple assault in New York but claimed the charges against him there were dismissed. Crews said he is not currently on parole or probation for any other offense.

After being appointed to represent Crews, Assistant District Public Defender Allison Rasbury West asked that his bond be kept at $250,000 saying that amount was sufficient. However Judge Cook raised it to one million dollars.

Crews' second appearance in General Sessions Court was for a preliminary hearing on March 26, 2015

Following the hearing, Judge Cook ordered the case bound to the grand jury and increased Crews' bond from one million to two million dollars.

Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong called two persons to testify during the March 26 hearing and they were questioned by both Strong and Assistant Public Defender Allison Rasbury West , who at the time was representing Crews.

Amy Tucker, a clerk at Village Market Marathon on North Congress Boulevard, testified that Crews was a regular customer and bought beer there on the day that Bain was killed. " He was a pretty steady customer. He came in usually two or three times a day every day and bought beer," she said.

During his testimony, TBI Special Agent and Criminal Investigator Lance Walker said surveillance video from Village Market showed Crews making a beer purchase around 1:00 p.m. on the day of the murder and an empty beer bottle and a bloody knife, believed to have been the murder weapon were found later that afternoon inside a Village Market bag at the crime scene. "We had heard that he had gone to Village Market and we retrieved a receipt (from the store) that matched up with beer sales of Mr. Crews purchasing 2-24 ounce Bud Ices and a Steel Reserve with a time stamp on the receipt at 1 p.m. The store video showed him making the purchase. When we got to the scene back in the bedroom where Ms Bain's body was found, there was a plastic bag consistent with the bags that Village Market uses and in the bag was an empty Steel Reserve bottle and next to the bottle in the bag was a knife that had been bent from the force used upon it covered in reddish brown stains. There was also blonde hair appearing to belong to the victim on that knife. The knife was recovered and sent for testing," Walker testified.

Agent Walker said that he was notified of the stabbing at around 2:00 p.m. that day and arrived on the scene at around 3:30 p.m. He described what he observed . " I arrived on the scene after I received the call. We set up a perimeter for the crime scene. Mr. Crews (who was on the scene) was transported to be interviewed by another agent. I conducted a crime scene investigation. The first thing we noticed was that the front door was ajar. The frame was off the door. We went through the house and saw reddish brown stains which we assumed to be blood throughout the house leading back to the back left bedroom. And then we encountered Ms. Bain's body. She was found on the left side of the bed, near the foot of the bed close to the wall. The manner of death (according to the autopsy) was multiple stab wounds. They could confidently say that there were at least fifteen (stab wounds). They could not establish the estimated time of death," testified Agent Walker.

" Mr. Crews (who was at the scene) was disheveled. He was repeating himself over and over again. He appeared to be incoherent and he had a strong odor of alcohol on him. My understanding was that he and Ms. Bain were in a relationship and he stayed at the house at times throughout the week off and on. His clothing had what appeared to be blood. His long sleeved shirt, pants, and shoes all had reddish brown stains on them. His hands had what appeared to be dried blood. His clothing was sent to the lab for testing," said Walker.

"Samples of blood were taken from designated areas inside the home and sent to the crime lab for analysis including from the floor of the hallway, bedroom, dining/kitchen area, and a number of other items such as the knife and Bain's wallet, which was found between two trash bags filled with trash (one on top of the other) in the kitchen. The wallet had about $1,400 in it. We also found more money (another $1,600 or $1,700) that appeared to come from the same source in the bedroom," Walker testified.

As for the broken front door, Agent Walker said Crews had reported to the Sheriff's Department in January, 2015 that it had been damaged in an attempted break-in. "The Sheriff's Office let me know that a report had been filed on January 26, 2015 for a supposed break-in. I think Crews filed the report that somebody had broke the door. I re-secured it before I left. It seemed secure," Agent Walker testified.

DCHS Spreads Homecoming Spirit (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 22, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School students celebrated the last day of Spirit Week with a Homecoming Day parade Friday afternoon

The Tiger football team's homecoming opponent Friday night is the Cannon County Lions and the floats in the parade had a Tiger versus Cannon County theme.

The parade featured Homecoming Queen Allison Maynard and Attendants Kaitlyn Cantrell, Kayla Belk, Leah Davis, Alley Sykes, and Callie Mulloy; class and club floats, the football team, lots of decorated cars and trucks, county and city law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and other emergency vehicles, among others.

The event concluded with a pep rally led by DCHS Football cheerleaders and a performance by the DCHS band on the square.

Winners of the float competition were as follows:

First Place: Junior Class
Second Place: DCHS Tiger and Lady Tiger Basketball Players and Cheerleaders
Third Place: Senior Class

Best Decorated Automobiles:
First Place: Noah Martin
Second Place: Christina Bain
Third Place: Hannah Brown
Honorable Mention: Braya Murphy

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