Local News Articles

Two Homes Damaged In Monday Night Fires

June 27, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Fires damaged two homes late Monday night in DeKalb County.

Firefighters responded to the residence of Chris Dodson at 906 Parkway Drive around 11:17 p.m. after a neighbor spotted smoke coming from the house and called 911 to report it.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says firefighters made entry to the home and contained the blaze to a front bedroom of the house, where the fire apparently started.

The rest of the home received heat and smoke damage.

Green says the Dodson's were reportedly at work when the fire started. No one was injured.

Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, and Midway Stations responded along with the tanker truck. DeKalb EMS also stood by at the scene as a precaution and officers of the Sheriff's Department assisted with traffic control.

Meanwhile, Assistant County Fire Chief Roy Merriman says another fire call came in around 11:45 p.m. at the residence of Danny Rigsby at 1863 Bethel Road.

Firefighters, responding to an alarm, found fire coming from a back bedroom of the house. They made entry to the home and quickly extinguished the blaze. Merriman says the fire was mostly confined to the bedroom although there was some damage to the ceiling, living room, and hallway.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

Members of the Blue Springs, Keltonburg, and Belk Stations responded to that fire.

DeKalb EMS and a county officer also stood by at the scene.

Friday Session Of Fiddler's Jamboree Runs Smoothly

July 1, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Except for about an hour and a half delay because of threatening weather, the first day of the 35th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival ran non-stop from about 9:00 a.m. to 11:10 p.m. Friday.

Preliminaries were held in fifteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo/Duet): First Place- The Greens of Ripley Mississippi. Second Place- Emily Dean of Springfield, Tennessee. Third Place- Jack Horner of Nashville..

Flat Top Guitar: First Place-Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama. Second Place- Brian Blaylock of Hixson, Tennessee. Third Place- Dr. Rob Pearcy of Smyrna, Tennessee.

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39): First Place- Amanda Herron of Cookeville. Second Place- Lauryn Boss of Bloomington Springs. Third Place- Chris Stewart of Lebanon.

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39): First Place- Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro. Second Place- Chris Stewart of Lebanon. Third Place- Amanda Herron of Cookeville.

Dobro Guitar: First Place-Earl Grubbs of Murfreesboro. Second Place- Tyler Collins of Allons, Tennessee. Third Place- Brian Blaylock of Hixson.

Mountain Dulcimer: First Place-Bobby Nobley of LaGrange, Georgia. Second Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna. Third Place- Lisa Patton of Murfreesboro.

Hammer Dulcimer: First Place- Amber Burks of Greenbrier. Second Place- Howard Friedman of Knoxville. Third Place- Beth James of Newport.

Novelty Event: First Place-Pa Fields and the Wham Bangers of Crossville. Second Place- Lucille Graham of Bryant, Alabama. Third Place- Backwards Bluegrass of Dyersburg.

Old Time Fiddle Band: First Place-DeKalb County Hilltoppers of Danville, Virginia. Second Place- Blue Creek Ramblers of Murfreesboro. Third Place- Slim Chance of Allover Tennessee.

Autoharp: First Place-Bobby Nobley of LaGrange, Georgia. Second Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia. Third Place- Bill Rothe of Estill Springs.

Gospel Singing (Solo): First Place- Molly Green of Ripley, Mississippi. Second Place- Amber Burks of Greenbrier. Third Place- Anna Noe of Nashville.

Country Harmonica: First Place-Isaac Vick of Lyles, Tennessee. Second Place- Ken Tenpenny of Murfreesboro. Third Place- Lewis Taylor of Ringgold, Georgia.

Old Time Banjo: First Place-Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia. Second Place- Eric Vick of Lyles, Tennessee. Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet): First Place- The Greens of Ripley, Mississippi. Second Place- Tomlin & Chunn of Greenbrier. Third Place- Emily & Ty of Springfield.

Mandolin: First Place- Solly Burton of Sullivan, Indiana; Second Place-Jesse Daniel of Fort Payne, Alabama. Third Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama.

State Senator Mae Beavers presented a United States flag to a member of the audience from Australia and a Tennessee State flag to a visitor from Alaska.

The flags go to the persons who travel the greatest distances, both from inside and outside the country, to get here.

Four Women Injured In Wednesday Night Car Crash

July 7, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Four women were injured in a two car crash around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday night on Highway 53 just south of Anderson Road near Liberty.

Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 55 year old Beverly Moore Meszaros of Smithville was south on Highway 53 in a 1995 Lincoln Mark VIII two door sedan when she crossed the center line of the road and struck head-on a northbound 1997 Olds Cutlass four door sedan, driven by 77 year old Christine Adamson of Liberty.

83 year old Nonnie Johnson and 90 year old Mary Grizzle of Liberty were passengers of Adamson's vehicle.

The Mesazros vehicle overturned in the roadway and the Adamson car came to a stop on the shoulder of the road.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene to perform extrication services to get Adamson out of her car.

All four women were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and the Sheriff's Department also provided assistance.

Sale of DeKalb Hospital Becomes Final

July 1, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Cannon County Hospital, LLC and Saint Thomas Health Services have jointly announced that the sale of DeKalb Hospital, Smithville has been finalized.

Cannon County Hospital, LLC assumed ownership of the hospital at the close of business on Friday.

The sale of DeKalb Hospital to Cannon County Hospital, LLC was announced in April. The transaction was reviewed by the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General and both Saint Thomas Health Services and Cannon County, LLC were notified that the Attorney General would take no action in the proceeding clearing the way for the immediate closure of the sale.

DeKalb Hospital has been a part of Saint Thomas Health Services since 2002 when Saint Thomas Hospital acquired the Baptist Health Care System. The criteria for considering organizations interested in purchasing DeKalb Hospital included commitments to continuing health care services in DeKalb County and to the continued employment and well being of associates employed there.

The principals in Cannon County Hospital, LLC, also own Stones River Hospital,a 65 bed hospital in Woodbury. Stones River Hospital was acquired in 1999 and has grown through the addition of new physicians and services.

Saint Thomas Health Services is a faith based ministry serving Middle Tennessee. Saint Thomas Health Services consists of four hospitals: Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro, and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville. It is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic Organization, that is the largest not-for profit health system in the United States.

Smithville Mayor And Two Aldermen Take Oath Of Office

July 1, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson and Aldermen Stephen White and Cecil Burger, elected on June 20th, were sworn into office to begin their new two year terms Saturday morning during a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at city hall.

City Attorney Sarah Cripps administered the oath of office.

After the swearing in ceremony, Mayor Hendrixson appointed each of the alderman to oversee a city department.

The appointments are as follows: Steve White-Vice Mayor and Commissioner of Finance and Taxation; W.J. (Dub) White- Commissioner of Streets and Safety; Paul Young- Commissioner of the Water and Sewer Departments; Cecil Burger-Commissioner of Sanitation; and Aaron Meeks - Commissioner of the Police and Fire Departments.

Suspected Marijuana Dealer Sentenced In Criminal Court

July 8, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 48 year old man, who was found with 83 pounds of marijuana last summer by Smithville Police, pleaded guilty in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday under a negotiated settlement with state prosecutors.

Timothy Dean Adams entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana).

Judge Lillie Ann Sells sentenced Adams to an eight year term suspended to probation after he serves six months. He was fined $2,000 and must perform 100 hours of community service work.

The marijuana, shrink-wrapped in nine large packages and in three smaller bags, was confiscated on June 21, 2005 by Smithville Police.

The bust was made after officers and TBI drug agents executed a search warrant at a residence on Meadowbrook Drive. The marijuana and two shotguns were then recovered by authorities.

The street value of the illegal weed was placed at over $100,000.

In addition to the drug and shotguns, authorities also seized $820 in cash and a 2004 Mazda car.

In other cases Friday, 49 year old Johnny Ray Ball pleaded guilty to Tenn Care Fraud and received a two year sentence on probation. He must make restitution of $160 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and perform 100 hours of community service work.

30 year old Russell Allen Blackwell pleaded guilty to forgery, driving on a suspended license, and violation of the registration law. He received a two year sentence suspended to probation after he serves 60 days. He was fined $50 and ordered to make restitution of $847. He allegedly passed a forged check from Triple-A Enterprises at Smithville Food Store.

39 year old Howard R. Mayo, Jr. pleaded guilty to driving on a revoked license (7th offense) and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to probation except 45 days. He was fined $50 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. The sentence is to run consecutive to a violation of probation case against him.

44 year old Danny Ray Ponder pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence suspended to probation after he serves 300 days. He must pay a fine of $2,000 and make restitution of $385 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and TBI. Ponder must also perform 100 hours of community service work and undergo and alcohol and drug assessment. The term is to run consecutive to any other case against him. Ponder was given credit for 234 days of jail time served.

53 year old Brenda Gayle Shephard pleaded guilty to three counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a four year sentence but will be on probation if she successfully completes eight months of rehab at the Mission Bible Training Center in Crossville. Shephard was fined $2,000 and must perform 100 hours of community service work. She was also ordered to make restitution of $320 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

31 year old Jackie Lee Snider pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a three year sentence, all suspended to probation except 120 days to serve. He was fined $2,000. The case is to run consecutive to a General Sessions Court case against him. He was given credit for seven days of jail time served.

29 year old Brandon L. Starnes pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license (3rd offense), evading arrest, and simple possession. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve. He was fined $250 and given credit for 163 days of jail time served. The sentence is to run consecutive to a case against him in Rutherford County.

47 year old Robert Eugene Zimmerman pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III controlled substance. He received a three year sentence, suspended to probation except for 60 days to serve. He was fined $2,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service work.

Denton Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler In Jamboree Beginners Competition

July 1, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Murfreesboro girl took home this year's top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Maddie Denton was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. \"Bobo\" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

Denton also received the \"Entertainer of the Year\" Award, which is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place-Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro. Second Place- Danielle Bishop of Fairview, North Carolina. Third Place- Alex Thomlinson of Suches, Georgia.

Buck Dancing: First Place- Emily Dean of Springfield. Second Place- Ty Jackson of Cedar Hill. Third Place- Tanner Dunn of Cookeville.

Clogging: First Place-Emily Dean of Springfield. Second Place- Ty Jackson of Cedar Hill. Third Place- Lindsay Batts of Ashland City..

Dobro Guitar: First Place-Seth Taylor of Bryson City, North Carolina. Second Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro. These were the only two contestants in this category.

Mandolin: First Place-Sarah Jones of Smithville. Second Place- Grant Rigney of Normandy, Tennessee. Third Place- Emma DeJarnette of Snellville, Georgia.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Seth Taylor of Bryson City, North Carolina. Second Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro. Third Place- Aaron Thompson of Benton, Kentucky.

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro. Second Place- Tyler Sellers of Ashland City. Third Place- Andrew Rigney of Normandy, Tennessee.

Stephens Wins Berry C. Williams Memorial Award At Fiddler's Jamboree

July 1, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 35th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia.

Stephens won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.

Stephens made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating Carl Franklin of Hendersonville, the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest.

Other winners in the Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia. Second Place- Greg Hallums of Lebanon. Third Place- Ashley Sullivan of Mount Juliet.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro. Second Place- Justin Frazor of Smyrna. Third Place- Chris Gray of Saint Joseph, Tennessee.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro. Second Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro. Third Place- Tommy Scruggs of Hartsville.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Stanley Reece of Whitleyville, Tennessee. Second Place- Darrin Stryker of Crossville. Third Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville. Second Place- Michael Oliver of Hartsville. Third Place- Tommy Jackson of Franklin.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place- Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg. Second Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia. Third Place- Tyler Collins of Allons, Tennessee.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- Tennessee Bluegrass of Jackson, Tennessee. Second Place- Crosswind of Olive Hill, Tennessee. Third Place- Stoney Lonesome of Cookeville..

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Carl Franklin of Hendersonville. Second Place- Delmer Holland of Waverly. Third Place- R.B. Scruggs of Hartsville.

Square Dancing: First Place- Rhythm-N-Motion of Cookeville. Second Place- Rocky Top Revue of Franklin, Tennessee. Third Place- Rhythm-N-Motion Xplosion of Cookeville.

Police Chief Wants Officers To Take Patrol Cars Home...City Council Defers Action

July 4, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Gus Clemente wants the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to adopt a vehicle take-home policy for officers of the police department.

Under the proposal, each officer, who is already assigned a patrol car to drive while on duty, would get to take that cruiser home after work.

Some members of the city council have reservations about that proposal since most of the city police officers reside outside the city.

Under the proposed policy, only officers living within a 25 mile radius of the corporate city limits of the City of Smithville would be allowed to drive the police vehicles home. All other officers would park the vehicles at the police department headquarters.

Chief Clemente says the goals of this policy would be to promote the security of the citizens of Smithville by greater visibility and presence of vehicles on the streets and highways; provide quicker response time to certain types of calls and therefore increase the opportunity to apprehend criminals; reduce the yearly mileage on each vehicle, therefore increasing vehicle life; reduce maintenance cost on each vehicle in the fleet; provide quicker response of off-duty personnel when called back to duty because of an emergency; provide increased incentive and morale of officers participating in the program; and maintain vehicles in top condition through preventive maintenance and personalized assignment.

Members of the council agree that the policy could provide for quicker response time by some officers in the event of an emergency, but others argue that it will add to the city's fuel cost and potentially increase liability.

Some also question how that there could be greater visibility and presence of patrol cars on city streets, when most of the city patrol cars would be outside the city, when driven home by officers who live outside the city.

The city board voted unanimously Monday night to defer action on the proposed policy until the next meeting on Monday, July 17th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

In other business Monday night, Mayor Taft Hendrixson appointed himself as the city's representative and re-appointed Clay Farler as a citizen member to the City Planning Commission.

Steve Hays was reappointed to the City Beer Board and Lloyd Black was named as a new member of the board. Beer Board terms are for five years.

Wade Smith and Jimmy Ervin were reappointed as members of the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mayor Hendrixson appointed himself as the city representative on the Industrial Development Board. Hendrixson, who was already on the board as a citizen member, appointed Richard Judkins to fill that position. Alan Webb was also named to the Industrial Board to fill the vacancy created by the death of his father Norval Webb.

Man Injured In Monday Night Wreck

July 4, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 25 year old man was injured in a one car crash Monday night on Blue Springs Road.

Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Terry Reeder of Bethel Road, Smithville was driving a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire when he failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, and hit a guardrail near a bridge.

Reeder was ejected from the car.

He was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Blue Springs Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene.

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