Local News Articles

Mobile Home Destroyed in Saturday Fire

May 18, 2008

The DeKalb County Fire Department responded to a single wide mobile home fire Saturday afternoon, shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Smithville Highway in the Silver Point Community.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says upon arrival, firefighters found the mobile home fully involved with heavy smoke and flames showing. According to the owner, Eddie Sutton, the family had left the house around 11:00 a.m. and upon returning around 2:00 p.m. found heavy smoke coming from the home. Sutton called 911 to report the fire, but when fire personnel arrived flames were coming from both ends of the trailer.

The mobile home and contents were a total loss. Chief Green says that the owner stated the family had no insurance on their home or contents.

Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Fire Department responded along with the department's tanker truck. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and DeKalb County EMS also assisted on the scene.

Seniors Honored for Academic and Athletic Achievement

May 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

In addition to scholarships, members of the Class of 2008 received other special honors for academic and athletic achievement during Thursday's annual Senior Awards Day Program at DeKalb County High School.

The honor students were recognized including the Class Valedictorian, Nick Winchester and the
Salutatorian, Adam Emerson

Students earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 are as follows: Brittney Armour, Carla Barnes, Alisha Billings, Chase Cantrell, Tyler Cantrell, Joseph Carroll, Brent Collier, Roger Curtis, Justin Duke, Michael Elliott, Lindsy Ervin, Amber Evans, Chase Ferrell, Trey Finley, Grant Goodwin, Josh Gilbert, Lauren Hansard, Natasha Hendrixson, Katie Herman, Jake Hoover, Justin Lattimore, Jacob Moore, Trisha Neiberger, Lacey Parchman, Shaun Reed, Zack Rowland, Colt Stewart, Emily Summers
Cody Thomas, Nique Tubbs, Corey Turner, Anna Marie Walker, GeriAnna Wilson, and Kevin Woodside.

Students earning "High Distinction" with a GPA of 3.6 to 3.79 are as follows: Josh Cantrell, Mykel Cantrell, Dustin Estes, Kayla Fish, Dustin Hood, Dustin Jennings, Steven McCormick, Jessica Paschal, Colton Rhody
Tyler Robinson, and Travis Woodward.

Students earning "Highest Distinction" with a GPA of 3.8 to 4.0 are as follows: Lacey Beshearse, Jessica Dyer, Adam Emerson, Daniel Foutch, Jessica Harney, John Malone, Hope Martin, Tayla Turner, Nick Winchester, Tyler Woods, and Ryan Young

Tennessee Scholars were also recognized.

The Tennessee Scholars Program is designed to recognize students who have maintained good academic, disciplinary and attendance standards. It's also designed to recognize students who take a more rigorous and challenging course of study in high school. They must take challenging classes above and beyond what is required for college entrance and graduation. These students have also volunteered at least 20 hours of community service in our community. Because the Tennessee Scholars Program is designed to be a partnership between the school and business community, the DeKalb County Education Foundation, for the last three years, has provided the medallions given to the Tennessee Scholars.

Tennessee Scholars are as follows: Lacey Beshearse, Kristel Bush, Tyler Cantrell, Josh Cantrell,
Casey Curtis, Justin Duke, Adam Emerson, Lindsey Ervin, Dustin Estes, Chase Ferrell, Trey Finley, Kayla Fish, Daniel Foutch, Tiffany Frazier, Lauren Hansard, Jessica Harney, Natasha Hendrixson, Katie Herman, Dustin Hood, Dustin Jennings, John Malone, Jacob Moore, Bray Page, Colton Rhody, Tyler Robinson, Jennifer Rogers, Colt Stewart, Brian Trapp, Nique Tubbs
Tayla Turner, Justin Vanatta, Anna Marie Walker, Susan Walls, GeriAnna Wilson, Nick Winchester, Tyler Woods, Travis Woodward, and Ryan Young

Other award winners are as follows:

Outstanding Students of America- Tayla Turner
Tennessee 4-H Council- Travis Woodward, Chase Ferrell, and Dustin Hood
Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen- Tayla Turner
U.S. Marines Semper Fidelis- Emily Summers
U.S. Marine-Scholastic Excellence- Adam Emerson and Tayla Turner
U.S. Marine-Distinguished Athletes- Grant Goodwin and Lauren Hansard

U.S. Army National Scholar Athletes- Tyler Robinson and Jessica Harney

Leadership DeKalb- Chase Ferrell and Tyler Woods

English Department Awards- Bridgette Linder, Jessica Dyer, James Gibbs, Alisha Billings, Jennifer Rogers, and Nick Byrge

Business Department Award- Travis Woodward

Motlow Dual Enrollment Math Award- Adam Emerson and Lacey Beshearse

Economics Award- Adam Emerson, Dustin Hood, Travis Woodward, and Tyler Woods

Physics Award- John Malone and Adam Emerson

Database Award- Ryan Young

Journalism Award- Nique Tubbs, GeriAnna Wilson, Brent Collier, James Harden, Shane Mims, and Brelle Seals

Vocal Music Award- Chase Ferrell and Anna Marie Walker

FFA Award- Casey Belcher, Tyler Cripps, Jeff Puckett, Jessica Dyer, Jessica Ray, and Lacey Parchman

FCCLA Award- Corey Turner and Alisha Billings

Student Council Awards- Nick Winchester, Abby Cantrell, Chase Cantrell, Chase Ferrell, Lindsy Ervin, Dustin Hood, GeriAnna Wilson, Tyler Woods, Jessica Harney, and Katie Herman

Chemistry Award- Adam Emerson

Rotary Math- Tayla Turner
Rotary Vocational- Jeremy Eakes

Mrs. Linda Paris' Textile Class presented quilts made by members of the class to the family of the late Debbie Parchman.

Three teachers of the year, chosen by the faculty, were also recognized including Harriett Cantrell, Charlotte Wruble, and Mary Anne Carpenter.

Arrest Made In October Stabbing

May 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

An arrest has been made in the stabbing of Gustaro Sanchez last October.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Warren County Sheriff's Investigators last week were able to capture 24
year old Juan Lorenzo Rodriguez of 500 Skyline Drive McMinnville.

He says Rodriguez attempted to allude law enforcement officers in Warren County and
was charged with other crimes there. Rodriguez was turned over to DeKalb County authorities on Tuesday, May 13th..

Rodriguez is charged in DeKalb County with attempted second degree murder. His bond was set at $2,000,000 and his court date is May 29th.

The warrant states that " On October 28th, 2007 at Pirtle's Nursery on Highway 146 in DeKalb County, Rodriguez did stab Gustaro Sanchez several times in the neck, abdomen, and head and cut him twice across the abdomen and left him for dead. Sanchez was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in critical condition."

Sheriff Ray says the fight was over a female and Sanchez was cut with a knife.

Rodriguez is currently being held in the DeKalb County Jail.

Sanchez was found Sunday, October 28th in the driveway of a barracks where migrant workers reside at Pirtle's Nursery on Short Mountain Road.

According to Sheriff Ray, someone at the barracks heard Sanchez screaming in pain, discovered him lying in the driveway, and called 911

Sheriff Ray says since no one apparently witnessed the attack, authorities were uncertain if the stabbing occurred where Sanchez was found, or if it took place somewhere else and he had come to this location to get help.

He says Sanchez, who has recovered from the attack, suffered numerous stab wounds to his chest, back, and head area. He was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and then flown by Life Flight to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Some Second Grade Classes May Go From SES to NES To Ease Overcrowding

May 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

It appears more likely that the Board of Education, instead of obtaining portable classrooms, may move four-second grade classes from Smithville Elementary School to Northside Elementary School this fall in order to relieve student overcrowding there.

During a School Board meeting last Thursday night, Board member Charlie Robinson recommended that a committee be appointed to do a feasibility study. "We're going to need additional classrooms to meet our Basic Education Program in at least one school in our system. I'm going to suggest that we establish a committee to evaluate the cost of site preparation, which includes electrical, water, and sewer hookups as well as fire code and state building code requirements for the placement of portable classrooms as needed throughout our system. Questions addressed should be the cost comparisons concerning buying, renting, or building this type of classroom. This is a band aid solution. I think it's time. We've got to be pro-active for our next school year."

Board members and school officials have apparently concluded, based on their initial findings, that it would be too costly to either purchase or lease portable classrooms to meet the existing needs. For example, the initial cost to set up portable classrooms is about $8,000, not including hooking up utilities such as electricity and sewer services. The monthly rental fees would be around $1,100 per month. Purchasing new or used portables could be as much as $70,000 or more.

Smithville Elementary School currently has 174 second grade students, divided up into ten classes. State law limits an average class size to no more than 20 per class in grades K-3. Next year, SES is expected to have 205 second graders divided up into possibly eleven classes. By relocating four second grade classes, Northside, currently a 3rd to 5th grade school, would be taking on about 80 more students, which would ease the student overcrowding problem for now at Smithville Elementary

School officials say that while Northside Elementary currently makes use of all it's space, the school can accommodate four second grade classrooms.

Second grade teachers at Smithville Elementary have also apparently been made aware of the plans and some have volunteered to make the move to Northside.

Smithville Elementary School serves as a school for students in kindergarten to second grade, but in recent years has taken on more pre-K classes, made available through state funding. The school currently has four pre-kindergarten classes and one special education class.

Last Thursday night, Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III, referring to relocating second grade students from Smithville Elementary to Northside Elementary said." I personally don't feel comfortable doing that, but if that's our only alternative then that's what we'll have to do to keep from being overcrowded at the Smithville Elementary School. I just don't feel comfortable splitting up the second grade or, for that matter, any grade."

A committee made up of board members Kenny Rhody and Johnny Lattimore, assisted by Board Chairman Evins and Director Mark Willoughby is studying the issue and is expected to report back to the school board at a later meeting with a formal recommendation.

Scholarships Presented to Many Seniors During Awards Day Program at DCHS

May 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Thousands of dollars in scholarships were awarded to members of the Class of 2008 at DeKalb County High School during Thursday's annual Senior Awards Day program.

Colleges, universities, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations presenting awards and their recipients are as follows:

MTSU Scholarships:
$5,000 Neill-Sandler & $2,500 Dr. Sidney & Elizabeth McPhee Scholarship-Lacey Parchman
$12,000 Valedictorian Scholarship-Nicholas Winchester
Full Tuition plus $4,000 Buchanan Fellowship-Adam Emerson

Cumberland University:
$2,000 Academic Scholarship through FBLA- John Malone

Vol State Community College:
$1,350 Athletic (Baseball) Scholarship -Bray Page

Martin Methodist College:
Academic and Athletic (Baseball) Scholarship- Trey Finley

University of Memphis:
Outstanding Music Performance Full Tuition Scholarship- Chase Ferrell

Tennessee Wesleyan College-
$8,000 Athletic (Golf) Scholarship-Grant Goodwin

Tennessee Tech University:
$10,000 Golden Eagle Excellence Scholarship- Lacey Beshearse
$10,000 Golden Eagle Excellence Scholarship- Jessica Harney
$500 Earl McDonald Leadership Scholarship- Hope Martin
$500 Joe Lancaster Family Scholarship (School of Agriculture Faculty and Staff)- Jessica Dyer

Motlow State Community College:
$4,000 Scholarship- Natasha Hendrixson

Nashville Auto Diesel College:
$1,000 NADC High School Select Scholarship- Randy Summers

Maryville College:
$12,000 per year Making a Difference Scholarship - Kayla Fish

$1,000 Leaders and Achievers Scholarship-Tyler Woods

Dr. Warren T. Johnson
$500 Scholarship-Geri Anna Wilson

David Lipscomb University:
$4,000 Scholarship-Dustin Hood

DeKalb Community Hospital:
$500 Scholarship-Abby Cantrell

Smithville Women's Club:
$500 Scholarships- Anna Marie Walker & Mary Williams

Lucille Stewart Memorial:
$2,000 Scholarships- Lacey Beshearse & Ryan Young

Kenny and Kyle Robinson Memorial:
$1,000 Scholarship- Tyler Woods

DeKalb County Scottish Rite:
$1,000 Scholarship-Abby Cantrell

Jeff Garrett Memorial:
$500 Scholarship- Joshua Cantrell

Eddie Crips Memorial:
$1,000 Scholarship- Travis Woodward and Kristel Shumake-Bush

Liberty State Bank:
$1,000 Scholarships- Joshua Cantrell & Daniel Foutch

Tennessee Valley Authority:
$4,000 Scholarship-Tayla Turner

Beecher and Wilma Moss:
$2,000 Scholarship- Hope Martin

Charlene Morrison Johns Memorial:
$500 Scholarship- Tayla Turner, Jacob Moore, & Jessica Harney

DeKalb Funeral Chapel:
$1,000 Scholarship- Chase Cantrell
$500 Scholarship- Dustin Bogle
$500-Scholarship- Tara Young

Love-Cantrell Funeral Home:
$500 Scholarships- Amber Evans & Alisha Billings

Allen Hooper Memorial:
$500 Scholarship- Jacob Moore

Joe Paris Parker:
4 year -$1500 Scholarship at U.T.- Dustin Jennings

DeKalb Farmers Coop:
$500 Scholarship- Jessica Dyer

DCHS Class of 1966:
$500 Scholarship- Colt Stewart

Katherine Conger Memorial:
$1,500 Scholarship- Dustin Hood, Travis Woodward, & Tyler Robinson

First Bank:
$500 Scholarship- Grant Goodwin
$500 James W. Ayers Foundation Scholarship- Grant Goodwin

Smithville Rotary Club:
$500 Scholarships- Jessica Harney and Lacey Parchman
$100 Math Award- Tayla Turner
$100 Vocational Award- Jeremy Eakes

DeKalb Retired Teachers Association:
$500 Scholarships- Alisha Billings & Emily Summers

Tony and Wanda Harts of Yuppies Puppies.com:
$1,000 Scholarship -Tayla Turner

Smithville Business & Professional Women's Club:
$500 Scholarships- Brittney Cantrell & Emily Summers

Leadership DeKalb Alumni Association:
$750 Scholarship- Chase Ferrell
Partial Scholarship- Tyler Woods

DeKalb Republican Women:
$500 Scholarship- Dustin Hood

Agee Oil Company:
$1,500 Scholarship- Natasha Hendrixson

Amvets Post #101:
$250 Scholarship- Nique Tubbs

Amvets Post #101 Ladies Auxiliary:
$250 Scholarship- Lindsy Ervin

DeKalb County Fire Fighters Association:
$250 Scholarships- Dustin Bogle, Justin Duke, & Nick Winchester

DCHS Class of 1969:
$250 Scholarship- Lauren Hansard

DCHS Class of 1962:
$600 Scholarship- Corey Cripps

Middle Tennessee Times:
$500 Scholarship- Colt Stewart & Tayla Turner

Elzie & Nell McBride Memorial:
$500 Scholarship to MTSU- Ryan Young

DeKalb County Soil Conservation District:
$500 Scholarship- Jessica Dyer & Lacey Parchman

Jolly Angels:
$1000 Scholarship- Jake Hoover, Lacey Parchman, Brittney Cantrell, and Hope Martin

$1,000 Scholarship-Jacob Moore and Joshua Cantrell

$500 Scholarship- Alisha Billings
$300 FCCLA Margaret Browder Scholarship-Alisha Billings
$300 FCCLA Elizabeth Chapman Scholarship -Alisha Billings

DCHS Student Council:
$250 Scholarship- Tyler Woods

Gordon Votes to Combat Rising Gas Prices

May 14, 2008

In an effort to bring relief to consumers as gas prices rise to record highs, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon voted for legislation Tuesday (May 13) that would suspend the fill of the nation's Strategic
Petroleum Reserve while oil prices remain above $75 per barrel.

"Gas prices near $4 a gallon are taking a chunk out of people's wallets," said Gordon. "The high prices have forced families to rethink their budgets and make tough choices about where to cut back on household expenses."

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation to halt shipments of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the end of the year as long as prices remain above $75 per barrel. The reserve serves as the nation's emergency oil supply.

Past presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as President George W. Bush, have tapped or suspended fill of the reserve in the past. After such action in 2000, the price of oil
dropped by one-third - from $30 to $20.

"Filling the reserve takes 70,000 barrels of oil off the market each day," said Gordon. "Experts predict this bill could lower gas prices by 5 to 24 cents per gallon. That's not enough and there's
still work to do to provide relief to consumers, but this is a first step."

The reserve, which holds 727 million barrels of oil, is 97percent full.

Gordon said Tuesday's congressional action would be followed by additional House efforts on energy.

"We need a smarter, cleaner energy future for America," said Gordon. "In the coming days, the House will consider legislation to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and we will hold OPEC-controlled entities and oil companies responsible for price fixing," said Gordon.

Boat Smart Super Saturday Sails for Fun On Area Lakes

May 14, 2008

Volunteers have teamed up with the US Army Corps of Engineers at area lakes for Boat Smart Super Saturday on May 17.

Super Saturday, the kickoff to National Safe Boating Week, May 17-23, is geared to promote boating and water safety while having fun at the lake. “Wear It,” referring to life jackets, is the primary message for boaters to follow to arrive alive after a day on the lake.

The team will be ready at boat ramps around the lake on Super Saturday to greet visitors and remind them of tips to be safe on the water. With the warmer weather and summer approaching quickly, crowds are getting back out on the lakes

A variety of volunteers participating from boaters, park hosts, clubs, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Scouts and more. Volunteers view it as a nice way to take a few hours, greet visitors, enjoy being around the lake, and feel good about knowing the information they provide may save a life.

“It’s a great time of year to enjoy water sports,” said Public Affairs Specialist Steve Foshee. “Boat Smart Super Saturday tackles the job of reminding people to have fun and yet to expect the unexpected. Prepare with the right gear for your boat, wear a life jacket, use courtesy and common sense, and don’t drink and boat.”
Some tips for boaters:
1) Expect the unexpected. Wear your life jacket.
2) Avoid drinking and operating a boat.
3) Keep a proper lookout – watch out for the “other guy.”
4) Use courtesy and common sense.
5) Take a safe boating course.

“This is a great kickoff event to get folks started on every day being a boat smart day,” said Randy Ventress, Staff Officer for Public Affairs of Division 11 8, Eastern Region, US Coast Guard Auxiliary. “Throughout the year we offer boating courses. We’ll be at Bass Pro Shops on Super Saturday promoting life jacket wear and demonstrating the comfort of inflatable life jackets.”

Area lakes that will participate in Boat Smart Super Saturday include Barkley, Cheatham, Old Hickory, J. Percy Priest, Cordell Hull, Center Hill, Dale Hollow, and Lake Cumberland.

$750,000 Federal Loan Allows CAIC to Make Loans to DeKalb Small Businesses

May 13, 2008

A $750,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan will allow the Cumberland Area Investment Corporation to make loans to small businesses in DeKalb County, U.S. Representative Bart Gordon said.

"In Tennessee, small businesses drive the state's economy," Gordon said. "Small businesses, those with fewer than 500 employees, employ over 44% of Tennesseans. Women represent over 35% and minorities account for over 18% of small business owners in Tennessee."

The funds will be used to create a revolving loan fund that will make small business loans in the 14 Upper Cumberland counties CAIC serves. CAIC will inject $750,000 of matching funds into the revolving loan fund to leverage the fund. Their intermediary Relending Program already has small business applications totaling almost $1.4 million on hand.

"Small businesses are the backbone of rural economies, and we are very pleased to be able to further our efforts in supporting small businesses, as well as start-up business throughout the region," Wendy Askins, executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District, said.

A projected 300 jobs will be created as a result of the Intermediary Relending Program.

"Thanks to the support of our leaders like Congressman Bart Gordon, USDA Rural Development has the financial resources to invest in good jobs through the work of the Cumberland Area Investment Corp, said Rural Development State Director Mary Ruth Tackett.

CAIC serves Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties.

FBLA Students Win Regional and State Awards

May 13, 2008
Dwayne Page

Members of the DeKalb County High School's Future Business Leaders of America Club brought home awards from Regional and State Competitions this year.

The Regional competition was held March 6 at Cumberland University and all of the local
students placed in the top five of their competitions, making them eligible to compete at the State Competitions held in April. All students went beyond their assigned competition and
took some "open" event tests.

At the State Competitions in Chattanooga, local students competed against 1,871 students from all counties in Tennessee.

Luke Willoughby was elected State Vice-President for the 2008-2009 school year, and will represent Tennessee and DeKalb County at the National FBLA Conference in Atlanta in June.

Also this year, a DeKalb County student, John Malone, is the recipient of the Cumberland
University FBLA Scholarship.

At the Regional Competitions, the local winners are as follows:

April Martin- Region 5 Business Person of the Year
Brooke Pack- Hospitality & Tourism Management- 1st place
Dustin Hood, Jared Adams, and Tyler Cantrell- Entrepreneurship Team- 1st place
Josh Cantrell- Personal Finance- 1st place
Justin Duke- Technology Concepts and Computer Operating Systems- 1st place
Megan Pack- Business Communications- 1st place
Ryan Dodd- CISCO-1st place
Tia Menix- Word Processing II-1st place
Travis Woodward- Region 5 Who's Who- 1st place
Austin Garrett- Leadership- 2nd place
Dustin Jennings- Hospitality & Tourism Management-2nd place
Jared Adams- Sports Marketing & Management- 2nd place
Kelly Merriman- Business Calculations- 2nd place
Martha Webb- Word Processing I- 2nd place
Ryan Dodd- Introduction to Business- 2nd place
Travis Woodward- Mr. FBLA
Colton Rhody- Ethics and Business Law- 3rd place
Dustin Jennings- Business Calculations- 3rd place
Grant James- Introduction to Business Communication-3rd place
Justin Lattimore- Personal Finance- 3rd place
Nick Goff and Reeves Beller- Global Business- 3rd place
Tia Menix- Hospitality & Tourism Management-3rd place
Tiffani Scott- Word Processing II- 4th place
Tyler Woods- Economics- 4th place
Austin Garrett- Accounting I- 5th place
Nick Goff- Hospitality & Tourism Management- 6th place
Justin Lattimore- Sports Marketing & Management- 7th place
Tyler Woods-Sports Marketing & Management-8th place

Winners at the state competition are as follows:

Casey Curtis- Cyber Security- 4th place
Dustin Hood & Tyler Cantrell- Entreprenuership-4th place
Tia Menix-Word Processing I- 4th place
Travis Woodward- Mr. FBLA- 4th place
Josh Cantrell- Personal Finance- 6th place
Dustin Jennings- Business Calculations- 7th place
Justin Lattimore- Personal Finance- 7th place
Justin Duke- Technology Concepts- 10th place

Chapter Awards:
Local Chapter Annual Business Report- prepared by Advisors- 2nd place
Local Electronic Scrapbook- prepared by Brooke Pack/Shay Sullivan- 6th place
Community Service Project-prepared by Josh Cantrell, Jessica Paschal, and Justin Lattimore-7th place
Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit-criteria met

Travis Woodward was recognized as a Mr. FBLA nominee from Region 5. Woodward is also the Region 5 Who's Who in FBLA.
Luke Willoughby was elected State Vice-President of Tennessee FBLA for 2008-09 and is a Who's Who in FBLA.
John Malone was awarded a $2,000 renewable scholarship from Cumberland University.

City Businesses With Gambling Machines Now Subject to Prosecution

May 12, 2008
Dwayne Page

Businesses who have illegal gambling machines have now been warned and are now subject to being investigated by the Smithville Police Department

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings recently issued a news release stating that the department would begin enforcing the law regarding gambling machines as of Friday, May 9th.

Chief Jennings, in the news release, said "I have received several complaints from citizens in our community about illegal gambling devices in certain business establishments within the city limits of Smithville."

"I contacted the District Attorney General's Office and asked for a clarification of state law on possession of illegal gambling devices and their recommendation on the enforcement of the law. The Attorney General's office recommended giving ten days notice of the police department's intention to enforce the law regarding Possession of gambling devices. I have decided to follow their recommendation."

Under state law, "A person commits an offense who knowingly owns, manufactures, possesses, buys, sells, rents, leases, stores, repairs, transports, prints, or makes any gambling device or record."

"Any gambling device or record is contraband and shall be subject to seizure, confiscation, and forfeiture in accordance with the forfeiture provisions, codified in state law.

"Possession of a gambling device or record is a Class B misdemeanor".

Chief Jennings said Friday that he would start an investigation and if any illegal gambling devices are found, he will build a case and act on it. " What you have to do is have someone go in and play them (machines) and get paid off and then testify in court. It's hard to get somebody to do that. It's probably what we'll be looking at somewhere down the road. If they are here, the next step in the process is to make sure they're paying off and being able to prove it."

Chief Jennings added that " I want to have proof they're actually used as a gambling device before I pick them up."

Meanwhile, Smithville Police have made several recent arrests on various charges.

Chief Jennings says 30 year old Jason R. Skaroupka of Green Acre Drive is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is May 22nd.

Officer Bradley C. Tatrow, in his report, states that On May 5th at 6:03 p.m., I responded to Wade Street to Officer Jody Johnson who was attempting to stop a vehicle because of a warrant in Rutherford County. Upon arrival, I made contact with the driver, Ashley Allen. I asked Ms. Allen if she would consent to a search of her vehicle and she replied ‘no'. Upon deploying K-9 Astro, he indicated on the back right passenger door. A small baggie of a green leafy substance, believed to be marijuana, was found under the front passenger seat very near the back floor board. Skaroupka was occupying that seat and was seen by Officer Johnson stuffing the small baggie under the seat. He did admit that the baggie belonged to him and he was placed under arrest.

47 year old David R. Petty of Smith Road was charged Monday, May 5th with theft of property under $500. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on the charge May 22nd.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew, in his report, states that on May 5th at Save-A-Lot on South Congress Boulevard, Petty allegedly took a purse belonging to Melissa Murphy and ran across the parking lot to McDonald's. Petty was chased down by the victim, store employees, and spectators and detained by them until police arrived. The purse and contents were valued at under $500.

19 year old Steven Cuevas of Highland Avenue was charged Monday, May 5th with vandalism over $1,000 and domestic assault. His bond is $7,500 and his court date is May 15th.

According to Officer Matt Holmes, Cuevas was arrested after police responded to a fight call at Evins Manor Apartments, 848 Foster Avenue. "Upon arrival, I saw a large group of people gathered in the parking lot. I spoke to a woman who advised me that her boyfriend and father of her child, Cuevas, had assaulted her and damaged her vehicle. She had large markings on her throat. She advised us that Mr. Cuevas had choked her. Cuevas admitted to choking the woman and vandalizing her vehicle. He advised me that he did so because she kicked his vehicle. Myself, Officer Leffew, and Deputy Mike Billings found no evidence of any damage done to Mr. Cuevas' vehicle. The victim's mother advised me that she witnessed the entire thing and that Mr. Cuevas choked her daughter and then jumped up on top of her vehicle on the trunk, roof, and hood, jumping up and down, caving it in."

Four teenagers, including a juvenile, were recently charged by Smithville Police with drug offenses after they were found in a vehicle near the high school.

19 year old Joshua Ryan Crabtree of 229 Toad Road, Dowelltown and 18 year old Scotty Dale Colwell of 646 Kendra Drive are charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana). Bond for each is $2,500 and their court date is May 29th.

19 year old Brian Allen Cunningham of 449 LaFever Street is charged with simple possession of marijuana. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is May 29th.

A 17 year old female is also charged in the case.

Officer Randy King states in his report that "On April 29th, I responded to 254 Tiger Drive near DeKalb County High School to a suspicious vehicle where underage children were smoking. Upon arrival, I walked to the driver's side of the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Joshua Crabtree. As I was speaking to him, I noticed a smell of what I believed to be marijuana coming from the vehicle. I asked Mr. Crabtree to step out of the vehicle. I asked Mr. Crabtree if there were any drugs or weapons on his person or vehicle. Mr Crabtree advised me that he had a small bag containing a pipe and a small amount of marijuana in it. These were found in his jacket pocket. Scotty Colwell was seated in the right rear of the vehicle. After Mr. Crabtree was arrested, I searched the vehicle, incident to arrest, and found two marijuana cigarettes, a pipe, and a red pill crusher under the ashtray where he was sitting. Also during the search, officers found a small amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in the floorboard directly in front of where Cunningham was seated. Drug paraphernalia and marijuana were also found in the immediate location of where the juvenile was seated."

34 year old Alfonzo Wilbur Lester of 625 Highland Street was charged on April 29th with disorderly conduct. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on the charge May 29th.

53 year old Larry Dale Lepley of Old Sparta Highway was charged on May 1st with a first offense of driving under the influence and a first offense of driving on a suspended license. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court May 29th

Officer Bradley Tatrow states that he stopped a vehicle on East Broad Street. Upon speaking with the driver, Lepley, Officer Tatrow noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His speech was slurred and his motor skills were slow. When asked to perform field sobriety tasks, Lepley stumbled sideways when he exited the vehicle. He performed poorly on all tasks. He did submit to a Breathalyzer test and the result was .12. A computer check revealed that his license was suspended for failure to pay child support.

21 year old Joshua Denton Bowers of West Main Street was charged May 1st with vandalism. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is June 5th.

Officer Bradley Tatrow states in his report that Bowers vandalized two trucks that were parked in the parking lot of Fred's in Smithville. He slashed all four tires to both vehicles and also took a small dumb bell weight and damaged the body of one truck and also keyed it. Mr. Bowers admitted to vandalizing the vehicles. The estimated value of the tires is $2,200 and the truck damage is $1,500.

21 year old Alfonzo Soto of South Third Street, Smithville was charged with domestic assault on May 2nd. His bond is $2,500. He allegedly came to the work place of his girlfriend to bring her lunch and got mad at her while there. Soto allegedly assaulted her by grabbing her by the neck and choking her. He threatened to kill her if the law was called.

35 year old Sandy D. Wheeler of Chattanooga was charged May 5th with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, a second offense of driving under the influence, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $5,500 and her court date is May 22nd.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew states in his report that Wheeler was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 that was involved in an accident in front of the Smithville Electric Office. She was later caught after leaving the scene about three miles away on Highway 70. She was very unsteady on her feet, had slurred speech, and had problems staying awake. She performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and refused to submit to a blood test. Upon a search incident to arrest, officers found two used hypodermic needles in the console of the vehicle with a liquid residue in them.


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