Local News Articles

WJLE Radiothon Raises Over $5,000 for DCHS Project Graduation

April 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
DCHS student Jacob Washer Takes a Pledge during Radiothon (Judith Hale Photo)
DCHS Teacher Chris Vance Interviews Students Leah Burchfield and Katie Willoughby (Judith Hale Photo)
DCHS Teacher Chris Vance Interviews Student MaKalee Ruch  (Judith Hale Photo)
DCHS Teacher Chris Vance Interviews Student Bailey Hayes (Judith Hale Photo)

More than $5,000 was raised during a three hour radiothon Friday morning on WJLE for the DCHS Class of 2015 Project Graduation.

DCHS teacher Chris Vance and David Hedge co-hosted the program and parents of high school seniors who serve on the Project Graduation committee answered phones, taking pledges during the drive. Several members of the DCHS Class of 2015 also participated.

Parents and students wish to thank everyone who supported the radiothon.

Project Graduation is an all night drug-free, alcohol-free graduation party for members of the DCHS Class of 2015 committed to having a safe, wholesome, yet entertaining celebration together for the last time as a class.

Judith Hale, President of the Project Graduation Committee said she is pleased with the results of the Radiothon. "It's more than what I was expecting. We were hoping for $5,000 and we actually got $5,060."

"Project Graduation is in its 16th year. Our community has played a huge part in wanting to keep our children of DeKalb County safe by all the donations and prayers. I would like to personally thank the people of DeKalb County for all that they have done," said Hale.

"On the night of Project Graduation, we'll have people come in and bring games and we'll have a lot of churches donate food and things along that line for the teens. With so much going on we plan to stay busy the whole night," she said.

Other fundraising events are planned including a plant sale on Saturday, April 11 starting at 8:00 a.m. at the DeKalb Middle School parking lot. Local nurseries are donating plants for the sale. A fishing tournament will take place on Saturday, April 18 from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Ragland Bottom Recreation Area on Center Hill Lake. Proceeds will benefit the DCHS Class of 2015 Project Graduation

Local Girl Scouts Making Plans for Fundraising 5K and Fun Run

April 2, 2015
Dwayne Page
Local Girl Scouts Making Plans for Fundraising 5K and Fun Run

Local Girl Scout Troop #343 is hosting a fundraising event to help cover costs of a trip to Europe in 2017.

The "Run Your Cookies Off 5K and Samoa Shuffle one-mile fun run" will be Saturday, May 30 starting and finishing at the Smithville Church of Christ. The races will start at 8:00 a.m.

Proceeds will fund the local girl scouts' visit to the Girl Scout World Centers in London and Switzerland in 2017.

Registration is $25.00 and Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops who sign up together will get a discount. T-shirts will be available for everyone and an awesome finishers medal. Anyone who wears their Scouting Vest or Sash will get a patch.

Registration forms are at the County Complex or you may register online from their facebook page "Run Your Cookies Off and Samoa Shuffle Fun Run"

(PICTURED: SEATED- Baylee Phillips, Rachel Fuson, Sahara Lafever, and Callie Cripps; STANDING- Joannie Williams, Zoe Cripps, Kristen Parsley, and Amy Cripps)

School Board May Consider Director Buyout Offer Monday Night

April 2, 2015
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and School Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III

How much longer will Mark Willoughby remain as Director of Schools?

The DeKalb County Board of Education is expected to take up that issue when it convenes in a special called session on Monday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Board of Education Building. The agenda calls it a "discussion of the Director of Schools contract". A work session is tentatively set prior to the special meeting Monday night at 6:00 p.m.

Director Willoughby, who has held the position since July 1, 2006, announced plans to retire as of June 30 during a meeting with central office staff on Monday, March 16. He also notified the board with an email communication during that meeting.

Although he still has more than two years left in his contract, Willoughby believes the time has come for him to step down. But rather than let him stay on through June 30, some members of the board apparently want to cut ties with Willoughby now and offer him a buyout through June 30th. The cost of a buyout to the school system would be approximately $28,000 according to Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III.

The board was apparently scheduled to consider a buyout option during a special called meeting held Monday, March 23 but deferred action until April 6 in order to get a legal clarification on what the board's obligations are under the contract. Although Willoughby gave a 107 day notice of his retirement, the board apparently wants to know if a 30 day notice is sufficient?

If the board members should vote to buyout Director Willoughby's contract, they would have to find the money and then name someone to serve as interim director until a new director is under contract. "We need to talk to members of the county commission and county mayor and if they say it's good to go maybe we can pull this money out of the sinking fund (local option sales tax fund) and not affect our budget. That will give us an opportunity to find an interim director. I know we can go a few days without one but we can't go for very long," Chairman Evins said.

Election Officials Attend Voter Registration Software Seminar

April 1, 2015
Michelle Riley and Dennis Stanley

51 election officials from 25 Tennessee counties met in Wilson County on March 27th, to learn more about their voter registration software. Michelle Riley, Embry Consulting, conducted the seminar- answering questions, unveiling new applications and listening to ideas from the everyday users.

“Having this opportunity to meet with so many of our clients at one location has been a great experience. Every county in Tennessee has different needs. We strive to provide a voter registration system that works well in every jurisdiction,” said Riley.

Dennis Stanley, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections said, “Every county in Tennessee has many of the same election administration challenges just on different scales depending on the number of voters. Coming together to learn how to best utilize the tools we have and learn from each other’s experiences benefits the voters of every county.”

Accurate voter registration rolls are the foundation of elections. Election Day is the culmination of work done every day at the Election Commission in preparation for that big day. DeKalb County processes new registrations each month. In addition to new voters, the Commission staff processes address changes, name changes, removes voters that have moved from the county or are deceased. Properly maintaining DeKalb County’s voter rolls is a daily task.

With over 11,000 eligible voters, the job of maintaining voter rolls would be costly without technology. DeKalb County and 79 other Tennessee counties use Voter Central registration software. Voter Central is a Tennessee owned company serving county election commissions in Tennessee.

The seminar was hosted by the Wilson County Election Commission at their training facility in Lebanon, TN.

Contact the DeKalb County Election Commission at 615-597-4146 or dekalbelections@dtccom.net with your questions and for information about voting, voter registration and elections.


“Reeling in the Years” Returns April 11

April 1, 2015
Dwayne Page
Shawn Jacobs and Dennis Stanley

Many of us have often had a longing for the past, a yearning for yesterday.

With nostalgia in mind, another edition of “Reeling in the Years” will air on WJLE the night of April 11.

Former WJLE announcers Dennis Stanley and Shawn Jacobs host the program that will feature the pop/rock music and artists of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

“We’ll be playing many of the songs that today’s 50 to 65 year old residents remember as teens and young adults,” said both Jacobs and Stanley. “The music you will hear on our show will bring back many fond memories. We’ve made sure our playlist includes a few songs that were popular during April in a number of years in the 1970s. It’s those little details we want to incorporate into our show to make it even more enjoyable.”

The program will also showcase the diversity of the pop/rock music scene during a time of transition in the lives of our listeners and in the world.

“During the days we were ‘disc jockeys,’ WJLE and radio stations throughout the country were playing music that ranged from soul, rock, southern rock to disco music. All of those genres were mixed within the same program, and ironically, it worked,” said Jacobs and Stanley.

The April 11 program will air from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on WJLE FM and will be the second of four shows planned for 2015.

Man Charged with Assaulting His Uncle with an Axe Handle

March 31, 2015
Dwayne Page
Devin French (Older Photo)

Smithville Police have charged a man with aggravated domestic assault for allegedly attacking his uncle with a wooden axe handle.

29 year old Devin A. French is under a $5,000 bond and he will be in court on April 23.

According to a report by Corporal Chip Avera, " On Wednesday, March 25 Officer Lance Dillard and I were dispatched to City Walk Apartments after receiving a report of a man being beaten up. While enroute, dispatch advised that the victim and the suspect had left together in a white truck. Officer Dillard located the vehicle and stopped it in the Sonic parking lot. We spoke to the victim, who was bleeding from his face and head. The man said he was beaten up while at City Walk Apartments and he thought his nephew, French may have done it".

Corporal Avera's report continued " We spoke with the driver of the vehicle, French who said that his uncle was jumped by a group of people at City Walk Apartments and he was trying to help his uncle. French had blood on his hands, knuckles, pants, and shoes. There was blood in the bed of the truck and on the tailgate of the truck. Officers also found a wooden ax handle in the bed of the truck that had blood on it. They spoke to Devin's girlfriend who said the three of them were riding in the truck together and Devin got into a verbal argument with the victim and that when they got to City Walk Apartments, Devin had enough and began beating the victim. An anonymous 911 caller reported that Devin had also bragged to others at City Walk Apartments that he had beaten up someone there."

French was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was arrested.

39 year old Jimmy Layne Estes is charged with robbery. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court April 16.

According to Smithville Police, Corporal Travis Bryant was dispatched to a robbery on Monday, March 23 which had occurred on West Broad Street. After the incident, the victim had gone to 632 Highland Street. Upon arrival Corporal Bryant met with the victim who said he was at home at 443 West Broad Street when he answered the door to an unknown male (Estes). After the victim opened the door, the male suspect (Estes) grabbed his phone from him and threw it out in the yard. The man (Estes) then struck the victim in the head and took about $45 from his wallet. The man (Estes) also took the victim's cane and struck him with it. The victim gave a description of the suspect and police located him (Estes) in the vicinity of the robbery a short time later. A search of his person revealed about $43 concealed in his underwear. Estes, who was identified by the victim at the police department incident to arrest, told police had had been with his aunt all day.

Prior to this incident, Estes was charged by Smithville Police on Sunday, March 8 with public intoxication and cited for simple possession of a schedule III drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on these offenses April 23. According to police, someone approached Officer Matt Farmer to report that a man wearing a red hoodie was walking beside South Mountain Street and that he appeared to be intoxicated. Officer Farmer responded and found the man walking on the sidewalk, weaving from side to side. He appeared to be having trouble keeping his balance. The officer stopped and talked to the man, whom he recognized as Estes. His speech was slurred and his eyes were red and watery. When asked if he had been drinking or taking anything to impair him, Estes replied that he had smoked a joint earlier. Asked if he was carrying anything illegal on him, Estes said he had two syringes in his pocket. Estes produced the syringes and placed them on the hood of the patrol car. Officer Farmer then asked Estes to empty his pockets. Estes produced a cut black straw containing residue along with a white Ibuprofen bottle containing a partial orange pill. Estes called it his Subutex pill. He could not provide a prescription for the pill. Estes was placed under arrest.

51 year old Paul Andrew Hall is charged with the domestic assault of his stepson. His bond is $2,500. According to police, Corporal Travis Bryant responded to 1222 South College Street on Sunday, March 8 in reference to a domestic dispute between a stepfather and stepson. Upon arrival, Corporal Bryant spoke with Hall who said he had been in a verbal argument with his wife. Hall's stepson said he came out of his room and went into Paul's room to calm the situation. Paul then allegedly grabbed him by the neck and began pushing him back. Corporal Bryant observed marks on the stepson's neck and his face was swollen where he had been struck. He also observed a cut to Paul's forehead. The wife said she witnessed Paul push the juvenile first. Paul was placed under arrest.

41 year old Stephanie A. Murphy is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on April 23. According to police, Patrolman Will D. Judkins received a call from dispatch regarding a gray Nissan Xtera swerving all over the road on West Broad Street. Dispatch then advised that the vehicle had pulled into the parking lot of the Smithville BP gas station. The tag came back to Murphy. The officer stopped to make a welfare check on the driver, Murphy, in the parking lot of Smithville BP. She was unsteady on her feet and had slurred speech. Murphy, who submitted to field sobriety tasks, said she had taken several oxy's. Murphy was placed under arrest.

48 year old Marty Brad Tallent is charged with resist, stop, halt, frisk, arrest, or search and disorderly conduct. His bond is $2,000 and he will be in court on April 9. Smithville Police report that on Monday, March 23 Sergeant Brad Tatrow saw Tallent walking down the middle of the roadway into oncoming traffic with a guitar over his shoulder. Traffic was having to stop and back up to avoid him. Sergeant Tatrow stopped and got out of his vehicle, ordering Tallent to get out of the roadway. Tallent refused to comply with the verbal commands and turned toward the officer. Sergeant Tatrow continued issuing verbal commands for Tatrow to stop but he kept advancing and appeared to be aggressive. When it appeared that Tallent was not going to stop and fearing that he was going to be struck with the guitar, Sergeant Tatrow deployed and activated his taser. Tallent was then placed in custody.

31 year old Johnny Lynn DeVault is charged with violation of bond conditions. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court April 9. According to police, on Thursday, March 19 Sergeant Brad Tatrow received information that Devault was at the home of his mother, who has an active "no contact" bond condition against him. Upon going to his mother's home on Miller Road, Sergeant Tatrow found that Devault was there with his mother, which violates his bond condition. He was placed under arrest.

20 year old Thomas Lynn Rains was issued citations for speeding, failure to stop at a traffic control device (stop sign) and reckless endangerment, and he was charged with evading arrest. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on April 23. Police report that on Monday, March 9 Patrolman Will Judkins was traveling north on South Congress Boulevard when he spotted a Ford Mustang traveling at a speed of 53 miles per hour in a posted 30 mile per hour zone. He then turned around and activated his emergency lights in an effort to stop the vehicle. The Mustang turned west on East Bryant Street and failed to stop at the College Street intersection. The officer activated his siren but the Mustang ran more stop signs, gaining more speed. He then turned south onto South Mountain Street, west on Kendra Drive, north on Georgia Lane, east on Miller Road, north on Anthony Avenue, west on West Broad Street, and north on Duncan Lane at which point the officer lost sight of the car. Patrolman Judkins terminated the pursuit but continued looking for the Mustang. He later saw it setting in the road on Coo-Coo Lane. After activating his emergency lights, Patrolman Judkins stopped and spoke with the driver, Rains, who said the reason he ran from the officer was because he was scared. Rains was then placed under arrest.

47 year old Andreas B. Allen of Sparta is charged with criminal impersonation. His bond is $1,500. According to police on Tuesday, March 3 Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes responded to a call at McDonalds where the manager reported that a man there was harassing an employee. He said the man had been there several times before and that he had been asked to leave the property. Sheriff's Department Detective Jeremy Taylor advised Holmes prior to his arrival that he observed the man acting suspiciously walking through the woods and hiding behind the dumpsters at McDonalds. Upon Holmes' arrival, Detective Taylor advised him that he had seen the man's vehicle pulling out of the McDonald's parking lot heading southbound on South Congress Boulevard. The car was stopped at the Food Lion parking lot. The driver was Billy Knowles. The officer asked a passenger in the vehicle for his identification. The man could not produce an ID but said his name was Steven Allen and that his birthday was December 1, 1976. Officers later learned that the man, Andreas B. Allen had lied about his identity and that his actual birth date is March 12, 1968. He was placed under arrest. Allen told police that he lied about his name because he feared there might be warrants against him.

18 year old Ray Franklin Vincent is charged with assault. He is under a $2,500 bond. Police report that on Sunday, March 8 Sergeant Travis Bryant was dispatched to an assault call at 194 Village Place. While enroute, Sergeant Bryant was advised by dispatch that the suspect had left the scene in a gray sedan. As he approached the intersection of College and Main Streets, the officer saw a vehicle matching that description. He stopped the automobile and spoke with Vincent. According to Sergeant Bryant, Vincent told him that he had just been in a physical altercation at his girlfriend's residence. The victim later told police that he and Vincent's ex-girlfriend were sitting in his car when Vincent opened the door, pulled him out, and began to assault him. Another woman, who was inside the house, came outside when she saw what has happening and tried to pull Vincent off the victim. But Vincent allegedly kicked her in the face and struck her in the side of the stomach.

Prisoner in DeKalb Murder Case Released on Parole

March 31, 2015
Dwayne Page
Melvin Eugene Turnbill

A man serving a twenty five year prison sentence in a 2002 DeKalb County murder case is now a free man.

According to Melissa McDonald, Communications Director for the Tennessee Board of Parole, 43 year old Melvin Eugene Turnbill has met the conditions for parole and was released from prison on Monday, March 9. He was incarcerated at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville

Almost a year ago, members of the Tennessee Board of Parole voted to release Turnbill to parole supervision provided he complete a nine to twelve month substance abuse program called "Therapeutic Community", and get a release plan approved. The board also voted that Turnbill receive a substance abuse after-care referral upon leaving prison, and that he be assessed for substance abuse treatment once he is under parole supervision. The assessment is to be completed by TDOC staff.

After a hearing on Thursday morning May 1, 2014, parole board member Tim Gobble voted to parole Turnbill with the aforementioned conditions. The hearing was held at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville, where Turnbill was incarcerated. Gobble was not at the prison. He presided by video conference from another location. After the hearing, the file was sent to other parole board members, who reviewed it and cast their votes. Three matching votes were required for a final decision in the case.

In September 2003, Turnbill received a twenty five year sentence after pleading guilty in DeKalb County Criminal Court to facilitating the first degree murder of Joshua Murphy, who was shot and killed in a secluded area in the Laurel Hill Community at the end of Old Eagle Creek Road on Sunday, September 15, 2002. His body was discovered three days later.

Officials said Turnbill and a co-defendant, Christopher Nicholas Orlando suspected Murphy of stealing methamphetamine. Orlando, the triggerman in the killing, was tried and convicted of the crime by a DeKalb County Criminal Court Jury in April, 2004. Orlando, serving a 45 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder, is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee. Orlando was denied parole following a hearing in March, 2013. He will be up for parole again in 2016.

Turnbill's sentence is due to expire on April 28, 2022. He has served twelve years and six months of the term. Last May's parole hearing was the second for Turnbill. He was denied release three years ago following his first hearing due to the seriousness of the offense.

In making his plea for parole, Turnbill told Gobble that he has a new outlook on life. "I believe I have changed. I believe my attitude has changed. I know for sure that I'm not going back in any kind of drug activity. I know I can honestly say that. I just wish I could be given a second chance," said Turnbill.

Cantrell Enters Plea to Growing Marijuana

March 31, 2015
Dwayne Page
Donald Wayne Cantrell

A 63 year old man was sentenced Monday, March 23 in DeKalb County Criminal Court after entering a plea to growing marijuana.

Judge David Patterson presided.

Donald Wayne Cantrell received a two year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to manufacturing a schedule VI drug. He was fined $2,000.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 a sheriff's department drug detective went to Cantrell's residence on Ferrell Road and spoke with him about some marijuana plants. Cantrell was mirandized (read his rights). Cantrell admitted to growing marijuana plants and showed them to the drug detective. Approximately 42 marijuana plants were recovered from Cantrell's back yard. He was arrested and taken to the sheriff's department for booking.

Meanwhile in other cases Monday, 35 year old Jessie Harris pled guilty to attempted initiation to manufacture meth and tampering with evidence. He received a four year sentence in each case to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to another TDOC sentence against him. In this case, he must serve at least 30% of the term before his release eligibility date. He has been given jail credit of 816 days.

36 year old Amy Craig pled guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. She was given jail credit of 51 days. Craig was fined $2,000 and must make $150 restitution to the Smithville Police Department.

33 year old Shane Miller pled guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence in each case all suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other.

39 year old Desiree Ferrell pled guilty to sale and delivery of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence, all suspended but 53 days in the DeKalb County Jail. She was fined $2,000 and given jail credit of 53 days.

34 year old Christopher E. Pack pled guilty to manufacture, sale, and delivery of a schedule II drug and received a four year TDOC sentence all suspended to probation. He was fined $2,000. The sentence is to run concurrently with a theft case against him in Smith County.

28 year old Dustin Burgess pled guilty to vandalism over $1,000 and received a sentence of three years to serve. The term is to run concurrently with other sentences against him being served. Any restitution amount to be paid will be determined later.

30 year old Karey Lynn Benson received a one year sentence for worthless check but the term has been suspended to judicial diversion state probation.

39 year old Robert Dean Bumbalough pled by information to reckless driving and received a six month sentence, all suspended upon payment of costs.

Meanwhile, in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Wednesday, March 11, 43 year old Terry Lynn Johnson pled guilty to sale of a schedule IV drug and TennCare fraud.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

Johnson was granted judicial diversion probation for a total of two years and was fined $2,000. Johnson must make restitution of $104.90 to TennCare and $20 to the Smithville Police Department and he will lose his TennCare benefits.

56 year old Judy Johnson pled guilty to sale of a schedule IV drug and TennCare fraud. She was sentenced to two years in each case to run concurrently and all suspended to supervised probation. Johnson was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $104.90 to TennCare and $20 to the Smithville Police Department.

40 year old Shawn Renee Gibson pled guilty to promotion of methamphetamine and received a four year sentence suspended to probation. She was fined $2,000 and was given 24 days jail credit.

36 year old Kevin Smith pled guilty to evading arrest and reckless endangerment. He received a two year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of four years but concurrently with a 12 year sentence in a Warren County case against him. Smith was given jail credit from January 5, 2014 to March 11, 2015.

50 year old Jerry Haas pled guilty by information to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to supervised probation except for 45 days. He will lose his license per Department of Safety regulations and he was fined $610. Haas was given credit for 27 days jail time and 28 days of rehab.

DeKalb County Supports Prevent Child Abuse Campaign

March 31, 2015
Bill Conger
Foster mom Cindy McCann and a group of children pose in their Pinwheel Garden at DeKalb West School
Cindy McCann and Friends Planting Pinwheels at the Courthouse

Springtime is beginning to bud, and amid all the colorful flowers that are shooting through the ground is a few patches of blue pinwheels that have taken root. It’s part of the county’s involvement with a grassroots campaign across the state to call attention to child abuse and neglect.

During the month of April, child abuse prevention month, communities across Tennessee are participating in Pinwheels for Prevention. In our county, Cindy McCann is leading the effort.

“Each pinwheel represents one case of child abuse in Tennessee,” McCann, a foster parent out of Camelot’s Cookeville office explained. “I shared with my foster child what they meant, and he wanted to plant a garden. This is kind of his story, so this means a lot to me,” she added.

McCann and her friends and family planted a couple hundred pinwheels in the ground at all of the county schools, the courthouse, school board, and head start.

“This group is putting out 1,800 here in DeKalb County,” she said.

Across Tennessee, 50,000 pinwheels will be planted at local businesses, schools, community centers, and churches. The campaign kicks off this year with a free event at Farmer’s Market in Nashville on April 4.

According to Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee, the pinwheel garden demonstrates commitment to building a healthy community and investing in the lives of children. The pinwheel reminds us of childlike notions and symbolizes the healthy, happy, carefree childhood that all children deserve.

(TOP PHOTO: Foster mom Cindy McCann and a group of children pose in their Pinwheel Garden at DeKalb West School. The group planted 200 blue pinwheels Saturday afternoon (March 28) by the school's marque' to call attention to child abuse prevention month in April)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Cindy McCann and Friends Planting Pinwheels at the Courthouse)

County Clerk's Office to Implement New Print-on-Demand Decals

March 30, 2015
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss
County Clerk's Office to Implement New Print-on-Demand Decals

The DeKalb County Clerk's Office will soon be implementing 'Print-on-Demand' registration decals. A new service which will print a customized decal displaying a vehicle’s license plate number.

The technology, already being used in 86 other counties, removes the need for standard pre-printed decals with randomized numbers. Instead, residents will be issued a sticker showing their license plate number. Registration cards will also look different. Rather than the usual 8-1/2-by-11 inch sheet of paper, residents will receive a smaller document, about the size of an envelope, printed by the machines. The decals are directly printed onto the cards. Having the registrant's plate number on the decal will help prevent and stop the theft of renewal decals.

The county commission last week approved a line item budget transfer to start up the service. County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, who made the request, said that while he already has the money in his budget, he would need to move funds from one category to another within the budget to account for the expenditure.

"Based on registration and renewal statistics provided from the Tennessee Department of Revenue Vehicles Services, DeKalb County will receive $1,500 from the state which will assist with the start up costs of acquiring the equipment needed for the service," said Poss.

"Our equipment provider, Business Information System" or "BIS" has provided a quote of $1,640 to implement the "Print on Demand" program, after reimbursement. Four new printers are to be installed at the County Clerk’s office as part of the system. As an addendum to the contract, an annual $800 expense will be required to cover any maintenance or replacement of any of the four printers for up to five years.

“Print on Demand” is expected to help the office save money by no longer having to issue the standard registrations. And the state is furnishing the new specialized paper and assisting in the expense of the printers. " This will combine vehicle registrations and tag decals into a single document. We will no longer staple the decal sticker to paperwork. This process eliminates the need for controlled stock decals, since license plate numbers are printed on the decal. Our Office should see increased efficiency by eliminating the log of decal numbers. The Department of Revenue will supply the plain thermal form stock paper," said Poss.

The new system may also cut down on decal thefts, assist law enforcement, and help the clerk’s office turn away non-residents who attempt to register their vehicles in the county. "The printing of the registrant's plate number on the decal is an added security feature and will curb theft of decals. For someone who wants to steal your decal all they would have to do is peel yours off and put it on their plate. With "Print on Demand" if they try to take them it won't work because the decal number has to match the license plate number. This system works a lot better for us, because we won't have to worry about keeping up with all the decal numbers. Their decal will be tied to their plate," Poss said.

"Print on Demand" began in December 2013 and is expected be in operation statewide by the end of 2015.


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