Local News Articles

DCHS Graduation Set For Friday Night

May 18, 2006
Dwayne Page

A total of 154 students at DeKalb County High School will receive their diplomas during graduation exercises Friday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

The program will feature remarks by the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Class President, and Principal. The prestigious White Rose and Citizenship Awards will also be presented to three outstanding members of the class.

The high school chorus will be featured and the high school band will perform the processional and recessional.

The honor students will also be recognized.

Elise Cantrell is the Valedictorian and Kheela Blair is the Salutatorian. Both have a grade point average of 4.0.

In addition to Cantrell and Blair, students earning Highest Distinction with a 4.0 grade point average include Shane Baker, Charles Cox, Courtney Curtis, Samantha Emerson, Justin Hooper, Kirk Michaels, Jacob Norton, and Caitlin Robinson. Others earning Highest Distinction and their grade point averages are Ben Malone-3.96, Jessica Ingram-3.93, Malea Adamson-3.92, Daniel Alexander-3.89, and Kealah Curtis-3.80.

Students earning High Distinction and their grade point averages include Kevin Colvert- 3.62, Ashley Craver-3.60, Christen Hale- 3.75, Caleb Hendrix- 3.60, Sarah Jared- 3.67, Sean Leiser-3.71, Paige Preston- 3.66, Keitha Pryor- 3.64, Johnathon Puckett- 3.62, Krista Puckett-3.68, Cody Randolph- 3.75, Whitney Rice- 3.61, Kris Robinson- 3.70, Matthew Taylor- 3.68, Ashley Underhill- 3.64, Susan Willis- 3.66, and Aaron Young-3.64.

Students earning Distinction and their grade point averages are Alexandra Adcock- 3.22, Amy Adkins- 3.20, Paige Bass- 3.31, Alesha Billings- 3.30, Ashley Bowling- 3.34, Shelly Braseel- 3.55, Steven Cantrell- 3.20, Tara Cantrell- 3.42, Bethany Davis- 3.53, Zachary Fuson- 3.28, Amanda Green- 3.37, Devin Hale- 3.59, Josh Hendrixson- 3.48, Nicole Linn- 3.57, Andrew Nunley- 3.34, Lourdes Quezada- 3.57, Josh Ramsey- 3.28, Sarah Randolph- 3.29, Amanda Scott- 3.44, Kathy Scott- 3.37, Bethany Sims-3.58, Matthew Sorrell- 3.25, Kristen Stickland-3.57, Elicia Taylor- 3.46, Tiffany Waggoner-3.25, and Corey Williams-3.28

Members of the Class of 2006 at DeKalb County High School are:

Jessica Adams, Malea Ashley Adamson, Alexandra Paige Adcock, Eric Randall Adcock, Amy Dawn Adkins, Brittany Nicole Alack, Joseph C. Aldridge, James Daniel Alexander, Jillian Bridget Atnip, Randi Renee Atnip

Kalah Elaine Bailiff, Shane Allen Baker, Lee Roy Barajas, Tiffany Carol Barrett, Paige Allessandra Bass, Robert O. Beavers, Chase Belcher, Alesha Candace Billings, Bobby Ray Blackford, Kheela Nichole Blair, Kimberly Ann Blanchfield, Joshua Denton Bowers, Ashley Nicole Bowling, Chase Bradford, Shelly Nichole Braseel, Brandon Wayne Brooks, Alexander Wayne Brown, Erika Sarah Brown, Riley A. Bullard, Chris Burke, Cody Franklin Byars

Micheal Darin Caldwell, Mark Cameron, Carl Ray Cantrell, Elise Jessica Cantrell, Jacob Lee Cantrell, John Cantrell, Justin Andrew Cantrell, Steven Andrew Cantrell, Tara Regina Cantrell, Shayna Nicole Close, Kevin Norris Colvert, Brandi Nicole Colwell, Stephanie Corriea, Charles Wesley Cox, Ashley Michelle Craver, Emily Crook, Jeremy Brandon Crook, Allen Robert Crotty, Micheal Anthony Crowell, Courtney Lee Curtis, Kealah Deanne Curtis

Lindsey Paulette Davenport, Bethany Kay Davis, Jared Purnell Davis, Courtney Danielle Decker, Samantha Devault

Samantha Nicole Emerson, Janda Arielle Emmons

Andrew Ferris, Kalee Erin Finley, Derrick Byron Fitts, Zachary Lee Fuson

Nathan Ray Gard, Rachel Michelle Goodwin, Brandon Michael Gray, Amanda Gayle Green, Juan Ricardo Gutierrez

Christen Ashley Hale, Devin Caldwell Hale, Leroy Hale, Leslie Cleo Harrison, Caleb Andrew Hendrix, Cory Ryan Hendrixson, Joshua Ryan Hendrixson, Claudet Delrocio Hernandez, Daniel Wayne Holmes, Justin Davis Hooper

Jessica Ingram, Sara Lee Jared

Orlando Jamal Johnson

Jonathan Bryan Keith, Cory Adam Killian

Jessica Lane, Jason M. Lattimore, Sylvia Lattimore, Leslie Lawrence, Mollie Lawrence, Zackery Wade Lay, Sean Allen Leiser, Yessica Leon, Nicole Dee Linn, Amanda Jean Lombardi, Ashley B. Long

Benjamin Tyler Malone, Kevin James Maloney, Miranda Kaye Maple, Kelly McKeown, Kirk Andrew Micheals, Seirra Kasey Miller, Shane Allen Miller, Amanda Louise Moore, Tiffany Gayle Morgan

Jacob Colby Nokes, Sasha Danielle Nokes, Benjamin Nolt, Jacob Ryan Norton, Andrew Stephen Nunley

Joshua Allen Odom, Charles Matthew Olson

Ronak Narendra Patel, Roy Jacob Pedigo, Gary Christopher Ponder, David Kalahan Potter, Melanie Paige Preston, Keitha Mechelle Pryor, Johnathon David Puckett, Joshua Puckett, Krista Nichole Puckett

Lourdes Quezada

Joshua Keith Ramsey, Cody Chance Randolph, Sarah Beth Randolph, Julie Dianne Ray, Joshua Van Reed, Paige Lauren Reeder, Whitney Nicole Rice, Caitlin Denise Robinson, Kristopher Anthony Daniel Robinson

Tiffany Ann Satterfield, Amanda Jo Scott, Kathy Jane Scott, Jessica Lee Shehane, Bethany Lynne Sims, Josalyn Zan Sisk, Matthew Barham Sorrell, Kristen Meredith Strickland, Jodee Leigh Stults

Elicia Kaye Taylor, Matthew Ryan Taylor, Nicholas M. Taylor, James Russell Teuteberg, James Tramel

Ashley Rebekah Underhill

Justine Marie Vaughn, William Thomas Vaughn

Tiffany Waggoner, Samantha Sueann Walker, Joseph Travis Wann, Joseph Loye Webster, Tom Webster Jessica Leeann West, Amy Nichole Williams, Corey Dana Williams, John Lucas Williams, Susan Danielle Willis

Aaron Wilson Young

Alex Zimmerman

School Board Seeks Property Tax Hike To Fund New Budget

May 18, 2006
Dwayne Page

The Board of Education will be asking the county commission for a tax increase of from thirteen to twenty three cents to help fund the 2006-2007 general purpose and food service budget.

The school board adopted the tentative budget Thursday night.

Two options are being proposed for the county commission's consideration.

Under the first option, the school board proposes expenditures of $15, 880, 490 which is $1,190,133 more than proposed revenues of $14, 690, 357 ( including $950,000 appropriated from the Local Option Sales Tax Fund/Sinking Fund)

The board proposes to use $750,000 of the fund balance/reserves and reducing expenditures, but under this plan $440,133 in new money would be needed, requiring a thirteen cent tax increase for schools.

Under the second option, the school board still proposes expenditures of $15,880,490, which is $1,540,133 more than proposed revenues of $14,340,357 (including $600,000 appropriated from the Local Option Sales Tax/Sinking Fund)

The board proposes to use $750,000 of the fund balance/reserves and reducing expenditures, but under this plan $790,133 would be needed in new money, requiring a twenty three cent tax increase for schools.

The Tentative School Budget proposes the following extras:

A 2% salary increase for certified staff; degree advancement for certified staff; an increase in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement Rate for Certified Staff to the new rate of 6.13%; benefits matching increased for certified and support staff; health insurance increased for certified staff and support staff; a 2% salary increase for support staff/step increases as per salary scale; an increase in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement Rate for Support Staff to the new rate of 5.18%; an increase in school attendance clerks to 11 month positions; add another Central Office attendance clerk position at 10 months; increase the salary of a Computer Technician by $5,000; increase funds for textbooks; increase funds for utilities (electric and natural gas); increase funds for fuel (diesel and gasoline); Regular Capital Outlay 300,000; and Special Education Teacher positions as required (3).

The tentative budget will be presented to the Budget committee of the County Commission for consideration.

DeKalb Jaycees Dedicate Town Clock

May 19, 2006
Dwayne Page

Members of the DeKalb Jaycees, city government leaders, and others joined in a brief dedication ceremony at noon Wednesday for a new Town Clock located on the ground of the Smithville City Hall building.

In his remarks during the ceremony, Bert Driver of the DeKalb Jaycees and a former city alderman, said the new clock is part of the downtown beautification effort. \" In 1998, the Smithville City Council initiated a beautification project around the town square ? the trees that you see planted have begun to mature and provide a softer landscape that accentuates the charm of our town. The continuing desire of both the citizens of Smithville and the city Council has resulted in the on-going sidewalk improvements throughout different areas of the city\".

\"As we continue to see more and more people moving into our community, both the towns people and the city government will have to embrace new ideas and react to a more progressive and competitive community. The city of Smithville has as much potential as any other small town in Middle Tennessee and with a concerted effort between citizens, government and the business community, Smithville can retain its charm and sense of value by preserving its traditions and embracing its future. This progressive heritage should be the cornerstone of the next generation of leadership\".

\"And as for today, we gather to add one more improvement to our great city ? the Town Clock. The Town Clock before you has been a long time coming- and a great many people have put their effort into this project, particularly the DeKalb Jaycees who have not only supported this project financially; they have also given a great deal of sweat equity into making sure that this plan was completed\".

\"It gives us great pride in dedicating the clock today as a symbol of spirit and pride\".

Driver also offered the following poem by an unknown author:

\"This Thing Called Time -

Time can be an enemy, yet sometimes be a friend,
There is a time that we all grow, and then a time we mend,
Time that seems to make us late, can sometimes make us cry,
There is a time we call our life, and then the time we die.

Time is used to measure days, we spend here on this Earth,
It helps divide the times in life, and re-calls all from birth,
It is a constant from this world, and then it fades away,
Taking all within its grasp, and making a new day.

Time it seems can measure space, and all ones distant travels,
It rushes us throughout our lives, and then delays arrival,
There's always time for disappointment, and appointed time,
But time that's somehow wasted, seems such an awful crime.

Time can not be bottled, nor packaged in a bag,
But when it's managed wisely, time seems not to lag,
This timely realization, sometimes is not remembered,
Events that seem so timely, though cherished may be squandered.

And now you have, your space in time, for all that it is worth,
To you it seems, a grand old time, your life upon the Earth,
But you will see, that time flys by, and empties your lifes cup,
So make it count, this thing called time, before it's all used up.

Cantrell and Alexander Receive White Rose Awards at DCHS Graduation

May 19, 2006
Dwayne Page

Members of the Class of 2006 said their goodbyes to DeKalb County High School on the occasion of their graduation Friday night.

Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to Elise Cantrell and Daniel Alexander and while the Citizenship Award was presented to Ben Malone

The White Rose is presented to a boy and girl from the class for outstanding achievement and leadership, academics, and other activities. The Citizenship Award is given to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding service, devotion and loyalty to DeKalb County High School.

A total of 147 students received diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Jim McCormick as their names were called by Principal Kathy Hendrix.

In remarks to the Class, Valedictorian Elise Cantrell admonished her fellow classmates to make good decisions and embrace the changes that will affect their lives. \"Success is something we all want a part of, but it is defined differently for each of us. No matter how big or small someone's goals might be, they are never too far from reach. You and you alone have to make success happen. Each of us must be willing to put forth every effort we have into each task we perform. Make the right decisions, because the decisions you make now will affect you in the future. Most, importantly, make decisions for you. You can spend your whole life trying to please other people and you will never feel a sense of satisfaction. Life is too short to be unhappy so live it now and don't take a single second for granted. The good Lord has put each of us in this world for a purpose and it is our responsibility to find that purpose.\"

\"Tonight, there is a journey coming to an end, but we will soon venture off onto an entirely different journey. No one knows exactly where that journey will lead. We are starting a whole new life, and it is up to us to make the most of the life we choose. It has come our time to step out into the real world of change. We must not hold resentment against change, but instead we should embrace the new opportunities that come along with change. We will leave here tonight, not with sadness in our eyes, but with a new vision on life. Every moment we have shared will be cherished and we will take what we have learned at DCHS and move into the next chapter of our lives. I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a wise philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, ?When you're finished changing, you're finished\".

Salutatorian Kheela Nicole Blair urged the class to overcome life's obstacles and make the journey of life fulfilling. \" Upon entering into each of our new lives, we will encounter many obstacles along our long road to success. Like our pasts, our futures will be filled with not only a great amount of joy, but also with many tears and struggles. As we have grown up, we have acquired much knowledge from our elders about how to make mature and responsible decisions to help us deal with whatever challenges may come our way. Through our own personal experiences, we each know that with hard work and determination, we are always capable of pulling through. For without these two characteristics, none of us would be sitting here tonight.\"

\"Nonetheless, there are the occasional obstacles that we can never prepare for. It is in these instances that we must remember to maintain confidence in ourselves and uphold our trust in the Lord. Philippians 4:13 says ? I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me'. Have faith and you will go far. Congratulations to the class of 2006. May you be successful in all you do.\"

Class President Kris Robinson encouraged the seniors to \"follow the road that leads you to where you need to go\". All three of our school colors are represented on this road. It is Black, White, and Gold. Not only can we relate our experiences to our school colors, but we can also interpret its colors as a symbol of its guidance in relation to the roads we travel. Just as the road has the white and gold boundaries and the black asphalt, which provides for smooth travel, DeKalb County High School has provided us with the limits to keep us in-line while preparing us for a smooth path to success\".

Principal Kathy Hendrix, in her remarks to the class, admonished the graduates to \"let your high school years become the foundation upon which you make a difference in this world.\"

\"This road we call life is filled with challenges large and small. However, the rewards for meeting those challenges are great. Therefore, I ask you not to be afraid to struggle, do not be afraid to give your best. Hopefully at the end of your life you, like Saint Paul, can say that you have fought a good fight, have finished the race, and have been true to yourself. If so, then you will be able to look back on tonight as more than just one special night in your life, but rather an event truly marking a beginning. Congratulations to all the 2005-2006 graduates and their families. God bless each and everyone of you.\"

Several Thefts Under Investigation by City and County Authorities

May 20, 2006
Dwayne Page

One woman has been charged with theft of property under $500 and another arrest is expected in a robbery at the Bizzy Bee's Flea Market on Allen's Ferry Road Thursday.

Investigator Charles Griffith of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department says 28 year old Lisa Michelle Porterfield of Dowelltown has been arrested in the case.

According to Griffith Porterfield and another woman went to the flea market between 11:00 a.m. and noon on Thursday and while one woman was talking with the clerk and keeping her busy on the outside of the building, Porterfield had gone inside where she allegedly removed $200 to $240 in cash.

Griffith says Porterfield apparently knew where the money was kept because she had been at the flea market on Wednesday and had sold some DVD's.

The victim, after providing Griffith with a description of the women, positively identified Porterfield from a photo line up and she was subsequently arrested.

The case remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Griffith says three men, 40 year old William Ray Cantrell, 39 year old Martin Riley, and 35 year old Scott R. Adams all of Smithville, have been arrested in connection with a recent burglary of a residence on Coon Branch Road, in which numerous items were stolen.

Investigator Griffith says the burglary occurred during daylight hours when no one was home. However, as the men were leaving the property, the owner of the house returned and tried to confront them, but they fled the scene.

The men were later identified by the victim during a photo lineup.

Griffith says the men are also suspects in other recent burglaries.

Smithville Police are investigating a break-in at the office of Dr. Melvin Blevins and Johnny's Drugs early Thursday morning.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says sometime during the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning someone broke out a rear window at Dr. Blevins' office at the Center Hill Medical Building and entered.

Once inside, several attempts were made to make entry to the drug store next door through the wall.

After bursting through a sheet rock wall, the intruders removed from the pharmacy a large quantity of controlled substances including oxycontin, hydrocodone and xanax. The intruders then left, going back out the same way they came in.

If you have any information that may help solve the case contact Detective Sergeant Chris Russell of the Smithville Police Department or phone the anonymous tips line at 464-6046.

Two Men Face Federal Charges For Distribution Of Marijuana

May 25, 2006
Dwayne Page

Two alleged marijuana dealers in Warren and Cannon County have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury stemming 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.

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

Young, a convicted felon, was arrested in a traffic stop in Manchester on Wednesday. Authorities found and seized some handguns at his home.

Roller was picked up at his Warren County farm on Wednesday. He was in possession of a gun at the time of his arrest.

Both are in federal custody in Hamilton County.

Authorities have 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, which they will have to pay.

Warren County Investigator Patrick Ray says more arrests are forthcoming as a result of this investigation, including some from DeKalb County.

Drivers License Roadside Safety Checkpoints

May 22, 2006
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting driver license roadside safety checkpoints during the week of May 21, 2006 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 Tennessee.

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.

Murfreesboro Man Injured In Motorcycle/Car Accident

May 28, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 58 year old Murfreesboro man was injured around 5:05 p.m. Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle/car collision on Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road).

Stephen M. Brown of Greenbrier Drive, Murfreesboro was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Hospital.

Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 57 year old Mary J. Farris of Capshaw Road, Smithville was operating a 2004 Chevy Malibu attempting to enter Highway 96 from a private drive at 908 Dale Ridge Road, when she failed to yield the right of way and pulled into the path of a northbound 2004 Suzuki motorcycle, operated by Brown.

Sergeant Prater says Brown applied his brakes, laid the motorcycle down, and slid into the left front corner of the car.

Farris was not injured.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, assisted by Sergeant Prater, and officers Kenneth Whitehead, Jon Slager, and Mike Murphy of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Members of the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

Voters To Decide If Local Option Sales Tax Rate Should Be Increased

May 22, 2006
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution calling for a referendum seeking authorization from the people of DeKalb County to increase the local option sales tax in DeKalb County from the current rate of 1.5% to the maximum of 2.75%.

The question, as recommended by the county budget committee, will be put before the voters of DeKalb County on the August 3rd General Election ballot.

County Mayor Mike Foster says under a 1967 agreement that still exists between the county and the city governments of Smithville, Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown, a majority of the local option sales tax revenues that are generated help fund the school system. \"If agreeable to the cities and the school board, this additional money, would go to the local purpose fund to finance school debt service and operations. It is projected to raise approximately $850,000 in additional sales taxes. Part of this money would go to the cities, but if they continue the current agreement, they would be contributing to the local purpose fund up to 66% of the new revenue to schools\".

Of the 95 Tennessee Counties, 33 have a local option sales tax rate of 2.75%, 39 have a rate of 2.25%, six counties have a rate of 2% and 14 counties have a rate of 2.50%. Cannon County's rate is 1.75%. Only DeKalb and Johnson County have a local option sales tax rate of 1.5%.

Foster says by increasing the rate, the county government would be in a better position financially, should the state government decide to keep a portion of the local option sales tax revenue, as is being considered.; and he says, more sales tax revenue could keep the county from having to enact drastic increases in property tax rates in the future.

Proponents of the increase also argue that consumers, whether they realize it or not, are already paying more sales taxes when they shop in other counties, where the rates are higher and tax money spent in those counties goes to fund their local governments and schools.

The overall sales tax rate in DeKalb County is 8.5%, including 7% state and 1.5% local.

If approved, the new rate for DeKalb County would be 9.75%, including 7% state and 2.75% local.

Fire Destroys Vacant Trailer Home

May 24, 2002
Dwayne Page

A vacant trailer home, belonging to Brad Johnson, was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning on Yulanda Hills Road in the Holmes Creek area.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says fire fighters were summoned to the scene around 1:00 a.m. but the structure had already been burning for quite some time before it was discovered and it could not be saved.

Green says no one lived at the trailer and no utilities were connected to it.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Cookeville Highway and Short Mountain Highway stations and the tanker truck responded. No one was injured.


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