Local News Articles

Man Arrested, Charged With Burglary & Theft

June 10, 2006
Dwayne Page

Smithville police have charged a 27-year old man with nine counts of burglary, six counts of theft, evading arrest, and escape after a chase on foot Thursday led to the subject?s arrest.

Police chief, Gus Clemente, says Chistopher D. Bilbrey, believed to be homeless, but originally from Davidson County, was arrested Thursday, after being found with some stolen property, and is believed to be responsible for several vehicle and building break-ins.

Smithville Police received a call around 8:14 a.m. Thursday morning, about a suspicious male allegedly going through cars at 114 South Bright Hill Road.

Officer Lonnie DeFore responded to the scene, and was met by the victim, James Young, who said he had seen the subject take items from his vehicle and go behind a column across the street. Bilbrey was at the scene upon DeFore?s arrival, and the officer escorted Bilbrey to the column, where the items that were reported stolen were found.

Upon making the discovery, DeFore attempted to place Bilbrey under arrest, but the suspect fled the scene. A pursuit on foot ensued, as Bilbrey fled onto Congress Boulevard toward the Family Medical Center, were he was apprehended.

Around the same time, Smithville Police Lieutenant Richard Jennings was working two burglary reports, one at Model City Auto Sales and one at Tennessee Credit. It was learned Bilbrey was the one allegedly responsible for those break-ins, as well.

Bilbrey is believed to have taken a Shop Vac, a gas grill, a weed eater and a battery at Model City Auto Sales, in addition to breaking into three vehicles. He is also charged with breaking into two vehicles owned by Tennessee Credit.

Bilbrey was able to start one of the vehicles he broke into and was planning
to leave the scene with the items in his possession. However, a flat tire on the truck thwarted Bilbrey?s plan, and he had to resume his getaway on foot.

After he was arrested and taken in for processing, Bilbrey was handcuffed to an eye-bolt on a bench at the Smithville Police Department while authorities continued their investigation and completed the paperwork.

Around 1:30 p.m., while police continued their work, Bilbrey managed to take the eye-bolt out of the bench and escaped from custody out a side door. He again fled onto Congress Boulevard, and was apprehended a short time later, near where he was first confronted by Officer DeFore.

?It was a joint effort and very impressive team work?, Smithville Police Chief Gus Clemente said of Bilbrey?s apprehension on both occasions.

South College Street Home Destroyed by Fire

June 12, 2006
Dwayne Page

The home of a Smithville woman was destroyed by fire Saturday night on South College Street.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker says Royce Odom was at home around 8:00 p.m. and discovered the fire in the attic.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the scene but the blaze was already well underway by the time it was discovered and the home could not be saved. Ms. Odom was not injured.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid support with manpower at the scene.

Neighbors also pitched in and helped to salvage some of Ms. Odom's furniture and other personal belongings.

Chief Parker says the fire may have started from electrical wiring in the attic but the exact cause has not officially been determined.

Four Involved In Two Separate Crashes On Allen Ferry Road

June 13, 2006
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated two separate traffic accidents Monday night on Highway 83 (Allen Ferry Road)

In the first accident, Trooper Johnny Farley of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 25 year old Michael P. Clayborn was driving east in a 1997 Cadillac Deville when he crossed the centerline of the road and struck a westbound 2005 Ford Tauras, driven by 59 year old Mary K. Chapman.

Chapman was transported to DeKalb Hospital by DeKalb EMS while Clayborn was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle.

Trooper Farley says Clayborn was cited for a seat belt violation, driving on an expired license, violation of the financial responsibility law, and violation of the drive right lane except to pass law.

In the second accident, Trooper Farley says 51 year old Randy Campbell was traveling east on Highway 83 in his tow truck, enroute to the scene of the first wreck, when a 1999 Chevy Suburban, driven by 36 year old Robert R. Atnip Jr. pulled out in front of him from Holmes Creek Road.

According to Trooper Farley, Atnip failed to stop at the stop sign posted at the intersection of Holmes Creek Road and Highway 83 and pulled in front of the tow truck, causing Campbell's truck to crash into the driver side door of Atnip's Suburban.

Trooper Farley says the Suburban, upon impact, overturned and went off the westbound shoulder of the road, coming to rest against some trees.

The tow truck spun around, took out a fence, and came to rest off the west bound shoulder of the road.

Campbell, who was ejected, suffered only minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene.

Atnip was extricated from his vehicle by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and airlifted from near the scene by a Life Flight helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

In addition to Trooper Farley, DeKalb EMS, and the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, others rendering assistance were members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's Cookeville Station, and officers of the Smithville Police and DeKalb County Sheriff's Departments.

Hendrixson Elected Mayor- White & Burger Win Alderman Seats

June 20, 2006
Dwayne Page

Taft Hendrixson has been elected Mayor of Smithville.

Hendrixson defeated challenger Jerry Hutchins', Sr. in Tuesday's Municipal Election 365 votes (55%) to 301 votes (45%)

Incumbent Smithville Mayor Cecil Burger, who has served sixteen years as the city's chief executive, decided not to seek re-election this year, opting instead to run for alderman.

Both Burger and Incumbent Alderman Stephen White were elected to the city council.

White led the ticket with 380 votes (34%) while Burger received 350 votes (31%).

Incumbent Alderman Jackie Rigsby, who is serving an unexpired term, lost his bid for election coming in third place with 322 votes (29%) and Alford Webber received 68 votes (6%).

A total of 696 people voted in the city election, including 425 early voters and 271 on election day. There are almost 3,100 registered city voters.

The vote in the mayor's race breaks down as follows:

Taft Hendrixson: Early Voting- 199, Absentees- 16, and Election Day- 150.
Jerry Hutchins. Sr.: Early Voting- 182, Absentees- 10, and Election Day- 109

The vote in the aldermen race breaks down as follows:

Stephen White- Early Voting- 207, Absentees- 13, Election Day- 160
Cecil Burger- Early Voting- 210, Absentees- 17, Election Day- 123
Jackie R. Rigsby- Early Voting- 184, Absentees- 9, Election Day- 129
Alford H. Webber- Early Voting- 34, Absentees-3, Election Day- 31

The new make up of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be as follows:

Mayor Taft Hendrixson and Aldermen Stephen White, Cecil Burger, Aaron Meeks, W.J. (Dub) White, and Paul Young.

Each term is for two years.

The newly elected mayor and aldermen will be sworn into office to begin their new terms during a special meeting on Saturday, July 1st at 8:00 a.m. at city hall

Two Injured In Wednesday Morning Accident

June 14, 2006
Dwayne Page

Two people were injured in a two vehicle accident Wednesday morning at the intersection of West Broad and Duncan Street.

Lieutenant Richard Jennings of the Smithville Police Department says 50 year old Rosa Lee Estes of 321 Jackson Street was turning east from Duncan Street onto Broad Street in a 1989 Buick Regal when she struck a 2000 Dodge Dakota, driven by 41 year old George Lynn Sims of Sparta, who was west on Broad Street.

Both Estes and Sims were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Hospital.

White County Man Seriously Injured In Wreck

June 15, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 70 year old White County man was seriously injured in a one vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon on Highway 70 east.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says William M. Johnson of Roberts Matthews Highway, Sparta was traveling east on U.S. 70 in a 2002 Chevy Trail Blazer when he exited the roadway on the south side, struck a sign and mailbox, then went airborne, and came to rest some twenty feet below the roadway in a ravine.

Johnson was airlifted from the scene by a Life Force Helicopter Ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

The accident occurred around 1:58 p.m. at 2512 Sparta Highway in DeKalb County.

Trooper England says Johnson was not wearing a seat belt.

Fiddlers Jamboree Visitors Reminded Of

June 17, 2006
Dwayne Page

If you plan to visit the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival Friday and Saturday, June 30th and July 1st, please leave your pets at home.

The City of Smithville has an ordinance that prohibits most animals in the downtown area during the Fiddler's Jamboree.

The ordinance states that \"Whereas, the City of Smithville has received complaints in past years from people concerned about their safety and well being due to the presence of certain types of dogs, animals, and reptiles at the annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree, and

Whereas, on occasion, even animals restrained by a leash have been known to cause harm to individuals and instill fear for those attending the Jamboree, and

Whereas, the City desires to keep visitors to the Jamboree safe and free of fear of such animals,

Now, therefore be it ordained by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Smithville that

All types of pets including dogs, cats, reptiles, and other such animals shall be strictly and expressly prohibited on the city streets within the boundaries of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree during the period of the annual event, with the exception of dogs for the visually impaired, disabled and police and military dogs that are being used for official business during the Jamboree.

Each violation of this ordinance shall be punishable by a minimum fine of ten dollars per occurrence.

A brochure distributed by the Fiddler's Jamboree Committee states that the festival allows no pets, no alcoholic beverages, no fireworks, no roller blades, or no bicycles.

Two Seriously Injured In Saturday Wreck Near Sligo Bridge

June 18, 2006
Dwayne Page

Five people were involved in a two vehicle traffic accident around 2:50 p.m. Saturday afternoon on Highway 70 east just west of Sligo Bridge. Two of them were seriously injured.

Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 27 year old Bill D. Cannon of Little Brook Road, Cookeville was east on Highway 70 in a 2003 Dodge Neon when he crossed into the westbound lane while negotiating a curve and struck head-on a westbound 1998 Olds Bravada, driven by 49 year old Marvin T. Waggoner of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville.

Cannon and a passenger of his car, 22 year old Janelle Frazier of Luna Road, Sparta were seriously injured and airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Frazier's brother, 14 year old Chris Frazier, also of Luna Road Sparta, was slightly injured and taken by a private vehicle to DeKalb Hospital. He was also a passenger of Cannon's car.

Waggoner and a passenger of his vehicle, 49 year old Charlotte Henry of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville, were slightly injured and taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Hospital.

Sergeant Prater says the accident remains under investigation and there could be charges in the case.

In addition to Sergeant Prater, DeKalb EMS, and the Life Force Helicopter ambulance, others on the scene providing assistance were members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, who provided extrication to get Cannon out of his vehicle; officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department; and members of the Johnson's Chapel and Midway Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

Traffic was backed up for a while during the crash investigation.

One Man Airlifted To Erlanger Hospital After Sunday Morning Crash

June 18, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 28 year old man was seriously injured in a Sunday morning crash around 6:46 a.m. on East Broad Street in Smithville.

Lieutenant Richard Jennings of the Smithville Police Department says David Gene Satterfield of Tracy City, but who is believed to reside in Smithville, was traveling west on East Broad Street in a 1991 Chevy S-10 pickup truck when he crossed into the eastbound lane, went off the highway, struck a curb, overturned, and clipped a utility pole. The truck came to rest upright in the parking lot of Disco Tienda Latina.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene to extricate Satterfield from the truck.

He was taken by DeKalb EMS to meet a Life Force Helicopter Ambulance which landed near the scene.

Satterfield was then airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Smithville Police Make Another Arrest In Recent Theft and Burglary Investigations

June 22, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 23 year old man has been charged by the Smithville Police Department in connection with several recent theft and burglary investigations.

Christopher Adam Hale of Smithville was arrested on Wednesday.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says that on June 21st at approximately 8:45 p.m.. Officer Marcus Caldwell and Sergeant Steve Deffendoll responded to 1024 West Main Street to take a theft and burglary report.

According to the victim, someone had burst a hole in the rear wall of his shed and stole several power tools.

Officer Caldwell reported while at the scene that Hale, who lived next door, ran off into the woods . He was apprehended a short time later.

During a police interview, Detective Sergeant Russell says Hale confessed to committing the burglary at his neighbor's property.

He also accepted responsibility for another burglary that was committed about a month earlier at the same house where a shotgun was stolen.

According to Detective Sergeant Russell, Hale gave a third confession, claiming he committed a burglary at a house on West Main Street about a week ago, where several guns were taken.

Hale further confessed to committing at least two other burglaries out of the city limits , one on Game Ridge Road and one on Short Mountain Highway. The information in those two cases have been turned over to Detective Charles Griffith of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for prosecution.

Hale is charged with theft over $1,000, Theft over $500, Theft under $500, two counts of Aggravated Burglary, and one count of Burglary. Total bond is $110,000 and he is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on July 27th.


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