Local News Articles

Mother and Daughter Injured In Saturday Wreck

January 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

Two people were injured in a midday two car crash Saturday at the intersection of U.S. 70 and State Highway 83 near Smithville.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says a 1996 Chevy Blazer, driven by 21 year old Phillip M. Lafever of Cookeville, was crossing U.S. 70 from Highway 83 when it was struck by 2001 Dodge Intrepid, driven by 39 year old Carrie L. Young of Smithville, who was traveling west on Highway 70.

The impact caused the Blazer to overturn on it's top.

Lafever apparently wasn't injured but Young was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital by DeKalb EMS.

Young's eight year old and nine year old daughters were in the car with her. The eight year old was not hurt but the nine year old was taken by DeKalb EMS to the hospital.

Judkins Named Smithville Police Officer of the Month

January 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Officer Mac Judkins has been named \"Officer of the Month\".

The announcement was made Monday by Smithville Police Chief Thomas J. Stufano.

The commendation presented to Officer Judkins says \"On behalf of the City of Smithville Police Department, I would like to commend you for your recent actions and diligent efforts in your capacity as Police Patrol Officer. Your determination and efforts this month in traffic enforcement specifically in the detection of drivers that were DUI has resulted in numerous arrests.

Due to your professional training in recognizing this type of serious hazard and taking immediate action, know that you have removed an opportunity for serious injury or death from their irresponsible actions as drivers. Your expertise enabled the citizens of Smithville, your fellow co-workers and guests of our area a safer passage while here in DeKalb County. You have served with distinction and are a credit to your profession as a Smithville Police Officer.

Additionally, your work ethic and tenacity during the month of January has shown your true commitment to the citizens we serve and your fellow officers.

I appreciate your input and current performance and for that you are hereby formally recognized and commended with a copy of this Commendation becoming apart of your permanent personnel record for all to see.

Congratulations on a job well done!\"

The commendation was signed by Chief Stufano, Mayor Taft Hendrixson, and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks.

Tractor Trailer Rig Overturns On Students Home Road

January 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

A 33 year old truck driver was treated and released at DeKalb Community Hospital Friday morning after his tractor trailer rig overturned around 2:30 a..m on Student's Home Road..

Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Sirvan H. Rasul of Pelican Rapids, Michigan was driving a 2002 Freightliner for the Premier Freight Exchange Company and was enroute to the Goggin Warehouse where he was to deliver 43,000 pounds of brake parts for Federal Mogul.

Sergeant Prater says the truck, which was traveling toward Magness Road from Keltonburg Road, overturned as it approached a narrow bridge. \"As he was making his turn, the trailer tracked off the right side of the road, the edge of the roadway gave way, and the truck and trailer laid over on it's side.\"

The load crashed through the side of the trailer as it overturned spilling some of the cargo onto the ground.

Rasul was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Hospital with minor injuries.

Sergeant Prater says Students Home Road was closed nearly all day while the truck was unloaded, pulled upright, and the cargo reloaded onto another truck. Officers cleared the scene around 7:00 p.m. Friday night.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Keith Maddux of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Others on the scene throughout the day included DeKalb EMS, DeKalb Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker, volunteer firefighters, and Troopers Brian Raymond, and Allen England of the THP among other volunteers.

DeKalb County Schools To Be Closed Tuesday and Wednesday Due To Sickness

January 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday because of flu like sickness among students and teachers

Higher than normal absentee rates at each of the schools had been recorded last week, but apparently not high enough to close schools. However Monday, it was a different story.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says the overall student attendance rate Monday was 78%, when it is normally around 96% at the elementary schools and 94% at the high school.

The following are the numbers of students absent at each school Monday:

DCHS- 210 (attendance rate 70%)
DeKalb Middle- 104 (attendance rate 79%)
DeKalb West-87 (attendance rate 79%)
Northside Elementary- 100 (attendance rate 80%)
Smithville Elementary-116 (attendance rate 80%)

Willoughby says there is justification for closing schools when overall attendance falls below 80%.

Willoughby says closing schools for a couple of days will hopefully keep the sickness from spreading and give those who are sick more time to rest and recover.

Two Alleged Marijuana Dealers On Trial In Federal Court

February 2, 2007
Dwayne Page

Two alleged marijuana dealers in Warren and Cannon County are on trial in Federal Court in Chattanooga.

48 year old Jeffory Carl Young of Short Mountain Road, Woodbury and 53 year old Morris Edward Roller of Lance Road, McMinnville were each indicted in May by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to distribute over 2,200 pounds of marijuana and a multi-count indictment for distribution of marijuana.

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

The case stems from a two and a half year old 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.

DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray worked for the Warren County Sheriff's Department at the time and was involved in the investigation.

A state witness testified this week that Young and Roller trafficked over 100 pounds of marijuana every two weeks for several years.

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 has also levied a $60,000 tax against the two men

The trial is set to resume Tuesday. If convicted, Young could be in prison for the rest of his life and Roller could get a 25 to 30 year federal prison sentence

Sheriff Ray says more arrests may be forthcoming as a result of this investigation, including some from DeKalb County.

USDA Releases Payments for 2007 Tobacco Transition Payment Program

February 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, announces that annual payments for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, for the 2007 payment year, were released Thursday, January 25. DeKalb County quota holders and producers will receive $496,726 in 2007 program year payments. Green says that direct deposit transactions should arrive in bank accounts within 3 business days while mailed checks should arrive within 10 business days for quota holders and producers who have enrolled in the program.

The Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP), also called the \"tobacco buy-out,\" helps tobacco quota holders and producers transition to the free market.
The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357), signed by President Bush on Oct. 22, 2004, ended the Depression-era tobacco quota program and established the TTPP. The program provides annual transitional payments for 10 years to eligible tobacco quota holders and producers. Payments began in 2005 and continue through 2014. Payments are funded through assessments of approximately $10 billion on tobacco product manufacturers and importers. The remaining payments will be made in 7 annual installments that are issued in January of each year.

For more information on the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, please contact the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency at 615-597-8225, extension 2.

Revenue Department Extends April 15 Filing Deadline

February 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

Tennessee taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, 2007, to file state taxes due April 15, the Tennessee Department of Revenue announced today. The revenue department's decision to extend the filing time follows an announcement earlier this year by the Internal Revenue Service that it was changing its federal income tax deadline nationwide to April 17 for this year only.

The April 17, 2007, deadline will apply to the following: Hall income tax and franchise and excise taxes.

?We will follow the IRS?s lead in regard to the April 17 filing deadline. As always, we encourage taxpayers to utilize our online tax filing applications,? said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr.

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, the department collected $10.3 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.8 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.Tennessee.gov/revenue.

Drivers License Roadside Safety Checkpoints Scheduled Friday

February 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting driver license
roadside safety checkpoints Friday, June 15th on State
Routes 53, 56, 83, 96, and 146 in DeKalb County.

Recognizing the danger presented to the public by unqualified
drivers, Troopers will concentrate their efforts on vehicles being
operated by drivers who would violate the driver license laws of

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has found these driver license
roadside safety checkpoints to be an effective means of enforcing driver
license laws of Tennessee while ensuring the protection of all motorists.

Stepped Up Police Visibility and Enforcement Efforts Lead To Several Arrests

February 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Officers working traffic enforcement and drug interdiction were busy over the past few days in stepped up efforts to have more police visibility.

Chief Thomas J. Stufano says on February 2nd Officers stopped 38 year old Celina Rena Tate of 848 Foster Road in Smithville leaving the Bridgeway Motel at 4:30 a.m. on a reported Domestic disturbance complaint. During the course of the investigation Officer?s found that Tate was under the influence of a drug or alcoholic beverage and was acting in a disorderly manner by beating on motel doors disturbing patrons. A records check disclosed that this was Tate?s 3rd offense for driving under the influence. She was eventually charged with DUI 3rd Offense, Refusal to Sign a Citation, Disorderly Conduct and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Syringes), and Simple Possession of a Scheduled III Drug. She was transported to the Dekalb County Jail under an $8,500 Bond. Tate?s vehicle, a 2000 Chevy S-10 4x4, was seized under the State?s Seizure Statute.

Meanwhile, Chief Stufano says on February 4th, 25 year old Juan A. Hernandez of 962 Blue Springs Road was stopped for a traffic infraction when Smithville Officers learned that Hernandez did not have a license due to it being revoked for a DUI. He was arrested and charged with a traffic citation and Driving on a Revoked License. He was transported to the DeKalb County Jail under a $1,500 bond and his vehicle, a 2002 Chevy Avalanche, was seized under the State?s Seizure Statute.

Also on February 4th, 19 year old Leon Birlain of 122 Delano Street in McMinnville was arrested for having an open container of an alcoholic beverage while driving, speeding and he did not have a valid Driver?s License or Insurance. Smithville Officer?s working a dedicated traffic enforcement detail on Highway 70 originally stopped Birlain for speeding. He was eventually arrested and transported to the Dekalb County Jail under a $1,500 bond.

In a separate case 33 year old Jason Cripps of 774 Four Seasons Road was arrested for Theft under $500.00 from the Walmart store on Highway 70. Smithville Police responded to the store after a Night Manager stated that Cripps was seen concealing a Dremmel Power tool under his clothing and leaving the store. He was eventually stopped and the item recovered. At the time of arrest Cripps had $420 in cash on him. He was arrested and transported to the DeKalb County Jail under a $1,500 bond.

Chief Stufano says traffic enforcement efforts over the weekend yielded 18 citations for speeding infractions, no driver?s license, no insurance and DUI. The Smithville Police Department is committed to providing the citizens and guests of Smithville a safer driving experience and would like to thank the motoring public for helping identify those drivers that put us in jeopardy.


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