Local News Articles

Chancellor to Rule on City's Case Against DUD Within 30 Days

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle is expected to issue a ruling within 30 days in the case involving DUD ratepayers and the City of Smithville against the DeKalb Utility District.

Chancellor Lyle conducted a Judicial Review hearing today (Wednesday) in Davidson County Chancery Court in the matter which was filed as "Ratepayers of the DeKalb Utility District, Petitioners versus the DeKalb Utility District, Respondent".

The city sought the hearing after the state's Utility Management Review Board ruled against the petitioners in a DUD rate review hearing held in Smithville last April. The city joined the petitioners in mounting this legal challenge in an effort to keep the DeKalb Utility District from building its own water treatment plant.

Attorneys for all sides presented their cases during today's hearing including Nashville attorney Jason Holleman, representing the city and DUD ratepayers; Nashville lawyer Dewey Branstetter, Jr,. representing the DUD, and Jason Hale for the Utility Management Review Board.

At the conclusion of the two hour hearing, Chancellor Lyle said she would hand down her ruling within 30 days.

Last July, the aldermen voted 4-0 to hire Nashville attorneys Bill Purcell and Jason Holleman to file an appeal of the Utility Management Review Board's dismissal of a petition brought by a group of DUD ratepayers and the city who were hoping to halt DUD plans to build the water plant.

Following a hearing held April 4th, 2013 in Smithville with an administrative law judge presiding, UMRB members voted to dismiss the petition saying they (petitioners) had failed to meet their burden of proof that DUD rates or services provided were unreasonable. The UMRB entered its final order on June 5.

"I do not believe that the petitioners presented a case for water rates," said one member of the UMRB board at the April 4 hearing. "They presented a case for not wanting Smithville to lose DeKalb Utility District as a customer. What the petitioner proved was that Smithville didn't want to lose a customer, not that the rates were improper," he said.

"The hearing, I believe showed that the petition was not well founded," said Nashville attorney Dewey Branstetter, Jr. in an interview with WJLE after the April 4 hearing. Branstetter represents the DUD in this case. "There was no evidence that the DeKalb Utility District had not established sufficient rates. The district has basically done nothing wrong. I think that came out during the course of this hearing. I think it also became apparent during this hearing that even though they may have gotten the ten percent of the ratepayers to sign the petition (a requirement for forcing the UMRB hearing) that this is all really about Smithville not wanting to lose DeKalb Utility District as a customer. Fortunately, the board found that the petitioners had not met their burden of proof," said Branstetter.

Calling the UMRB's ruling "arbitrary and capricious", attorneys for DUD ratepayers and the City of Smithville filed an appeal in August, 2013 asking the Davidson County Chancery Court for a judicial review of the case.

The attorneys for the city and DUD ratepayers allege that "the UMRB acted in violation of statutory provisions and followed an unlawful procedure by failing to apply the appropriate scope of review in its deliberations and otherwise acted illegally, arbitrarily, and capriciously in the case. Further, the UMRB’s decision was unsupported by substantial and material evidence in light of the entire record."

The court is being asked to reverse the decision of the UMRB and decree that its action was illegal, arbitrary, and/or capricious and that any such further general relief be granted as the equities of this case may require and as the Court deems necessary and appropriate."

County to Apply for CDBG Grant to Extend Water Lines

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster and Amanda Mainord

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution making application for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for DUD to run water line extensions to areas of the county in need.

Amanda Mainord of Grassroots Planning & Consulting, grant administrator, said the project will serve thirty eight households on Tramel Branch, Oakley Road, Carter Lane, Old Givens Hollow, and the Dismal to Alexandria Road.

"There are six houses left to complete the (existing) water line on Tramel Branch and that's just a half mile left there. On Old Givens Hollow, there's nine houses there in a mile and three tenths. The Alexandria to Dismal and the first part of Oakley Road, there's actually thirteen houses there and that is in 2.6 miles. There is kind of a spot on Oakley Road where I call no man's land because there is one house in a whole mile so we're going to leave that. It's not cost effective to run a water line to serve one person or one household. To start at the other end of Oakley Road and go on to Carter Lane, there are ten houses there and that's just a mile and eight tenths," said Mainord.

The county's grant application will be through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, which if approved would assist the DeKalb Utility District in extending water lines into these areas of the county not already served.

The DUD would be responsible for paying the grant's local 20% matching requirement or $96,000 plus any additional funds required to complete the project.

Several residents in the area to be served showed up for a public hearing Tuesday night, January 7 at the courthouse expressing their desire for water services.

County Mayor Mike Foster said surveys were conducted to determine which areas could benefit most from this project. The public hearing was held as part of the grant application process.

According to Foster, many of the residents in the targeted areas have to live with poor quality water or little or no water. "I think it's a really important thing that we try to get water into some of these areas. Some of them (residents) have sulfur water and salt water. Some have no water. They are using cisterns . Some haul water and put it in a tank. Some just have seasonal water. When the spring gets dry in the summer they don't have water. Others have no water pressure much. It's in an area that really does need help. I've heard of them digging wells several hundred feet deep and not getting water," said Foster.

A similar grant was approved two years ago to extend water lines to a portion of this area but that project did not include everyone who needs water. "We did one grant that went (extended lines) from Liberty to Dismal. One went about half way up Dismal. Another one went up Dismal to Tramel Branch and turned right. It's just in sections that we've been trying to piece all this together. Now we want to come back down Dismal toward Oakley Road in that area," said Foster
The grant application is due by the end of February.

"We will send in the application in February. We'll probably be notified in October (if the grant is approved). If we get the money, we'll get started on this project," said Foster.

There are no guarantees that the grant will be approved. "There will probably be 125 applications. Last year they (state) funded 65 so we have about a 50/50 shot of being approved," Foster concluded.

Second District County Commissioner Jack Barton Resigns, Plans to Run in Third District

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jack Barton

Second District County Commissioner Jack E Barton, III has resigned his position because he has moved his residence to the Third District.

In a letter to County Mayor Mike Foster, Barton said "I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my office and responsibilities as County Commissioner of the second district, effective January 28, 2014. I will be moving out of my district and as such cannot continue in my elected capacity as commissioner."

"I first took office in August 2006 and have been serving the people of the second district since then. I have enjoyed greatly the time I have given to this very important role in our county government and regret that I cannot fulfill this second term I was elected to."

"I wish only the best for this governmental body and its role in overseeing the county. The county commission performs a very important function and I am pleased with what it has accomplished while I have been fortunate enough to be a part of it," he wrote.

Barton has announced his intention to run for a county commission position in the Third district. He will be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for one of the two seats on May 6th. Winners will advance to the August General Election.

County To Impose Fees for Excessive False Fire and Burglar Alarms

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page

In an effort to reduce the number of false fire and burglar alarms, the DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution establishing "False Alarms Service Fees" for those who don't keep their emergency alarm systems in proper working order.

Under the resolution, owners and or operators of emergency alarm systems that transmit a false alarm to the County Fire Department or Sheriff's Department will receive verbal notification by the county fire chief or Sheriff for the first false alarm; a written warning for a second alarm; and a service fee of $50 will be imposed for a third false alarm. On the fourth and subsequent false alarms, a service fee of $50 will be imposed for each violation plus the actual costs of such response by the responding agency, including the costs of equipment, fuel, personnel, administration, and other such factors as determined by the County Fire Chief or Sheriff.

"We have a couple of commercial places in the county where their fire alarm is going off several times a quarter and we have to send a fire truck and the sheriff usually sends a car too," said County Mayor Mike Foster during Monday night's county commission meeting. "The False Alarm Service Fees are meant to tell the operator or person servicing that alarm system that they need to make sure it's working correctly. It's not to be punitive. It's to be mildly corrective so that we don't send people out there risking equipment and their lives and time when it is actually probably something that can be adjusted by the person serving that facility," said Foster.

According to the resolution, "Activated emergency fire alarm and burglar alarm systems are many times false, and responses to such alarms reduce the available resources and finances of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the DeKalb County Fire Department . Adequate maintenance of such emergency alarm systems can reduce the number of such false alarms.

The “False Alarm Service Fees” Resolution is as follows:

False Alarm Service Fees
I. Definitions.

(a) “False emergency alarm” means any signal actuated by an emergency alarm to which the Fire Department or Sheriff’s Department responds, which is not the result of fire, burglary, or other actual emergency, and not caused by an extraordinary act of nature.

(1) “False alarm'' includes:

a. Negligently or accidentally activated alarm signals; and

b. Alarm signals that are the result of faulty, malfunctioning, or improperly installed or maintained equipment.

(2) "False alarm'' does not include:

a. Alarm signals activated by severe weather conditions;

b. Alarm signals knowingly activated during installation or routine maintenance, IF 911 is properly notified of the testing or maintenance prior to the alarm activation and after testing or maintenance is completed.

(b) “Owner” and/or “Operator” means any person who owns the premises where the alarm signaling system is installed, or the person or persons who lease, operate, occupy, manage the premises, or are bound by the contract for services provided by the alarm signaling monitoring company.

(c) “Service Fee” means the monetary service fee reimbursement due to the responding service. This reimbursement is calculated based on approximations of expenses including, but not limited to, personnel, equipment, administrations and fuel.

II. Notices and fees

The following schedule of notices, warnings, and fees (commensurate with actual costs incurred by responding agencies) shall be assessed to the owners and/or operators of emergency alarm systems for false emergency alarms transmitted to the DeKalb County Fire Department or Sheriff’s Department within any calendar year, January 1 through December 31:

1st false alarm - Verbal notification by the Fire Chief or Sheriff of
DeKalb County, Tennessee.

2nd false alarm - Written warning informing the owner or operator of the
alarm system of the provisions of this ordinance, and of the
occurrence of a second violation.

3rd false alarm - A service fee of $50.00 will be imposed.

4th and subsequent false alarms - For each violation, a service fee of $50 shall be
imposed plus the actual costs of such response by the responding agency, including the costs of equipment, fuel, personnel, administration, and other such factors as determined by the Fire Chief or Sheriff, will be imposed.

III. Testing of alarm signaling systems

(a) No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of an alarm signaling system without first contacting the DeKalb County 911 Emergency Communications District. The dispatch center shall also be contacted when the alarm test or demonstration is completed.

(b) A violation of this section shall have fees assessed as follows (per calendar year):

(1) 1st offense; written warning; no fine

(2) 2nd offense and subsequent occurrences: $50 service fee shall be
imposed, plus the actual costs of such response by the responding agency, including the costs of equipment, fuel, personnel, administration, and other such factors as determined by the Fire Chief or Sheriff, will be imposed.

(c) For purposes of this resolution, an alarm contractor that employs a person who violates this section will be held accountable for the offense.

(d) The offenses will be cumulative for all of the alarm contractor's employees who violate this section within a calendar year.

IV. Owner Responsibilities:

(a) The owner shall ensure that the alarm signaling system is inspected and tested. (b) The owner shall ensure that the alarm signaling system is maintained per manufacturer's specifications. (c) All owners of premises where alarm signals are installed shall provide the monitoring companies a current contact list of at least 3 representatives or designees of the owners of which 1 will respond to the premises within 30 minutes to assist the responding agency in gaining access to the premise. (d) On 1st offense, a written warning will be issued to the owner. A $50 fee, plus an amount to offset the actual expense incurred for responding will be assessed on the 2nd and subsequent occurrences when an owner or designee does not arrive within 30 minutes of the responding agency’s arrival at the premise.

V. Fee Collections

(a) The DeKalb County Fire Chief or Sheriff shall assess all service fees as outlined in this resolution, and will provide written notification and payment instruction to the responsibly party. (b) All service fees will be paid within 30 days from the date on the written notification. (c) All service fee collections shall be submitted to the County Mayor’s Office, along with a copy of the fee assessment notification letter. Proper budget amendments will be prepared to credit the applicable agency’s respective budget. (d) An owner or alarm contractor may appeal the service fee assessment to Emergency Services Committee. (e) The DeKalb County General Sessions Court shall have jurisdiction over all unpaid service fees

Mobile Home Fire Leaves Family Homeless, Adult and Child Suffer Minor Burns (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Early Morning Fire Leaves Family Homeless

A fire Tuesday morning at a mobile home on Toad Road left a family homeless and an adult and a child with minor burns.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:14 a.m. of a fire in a trailer park.

County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that Brandon Tramel was the owner of the mobile home but that it was being rented by Amanda Duke.

The initial call to 911 was that children may still be inside the structure but a few minutes later it was reported that everyone inside got out. However, an adult and a child suffered burns "Duke, three other adults, and four children ages 6 to 16 were in the residence at the time of the fire and narrowly escaped," said Chief Green. "One of the adults suffered first and third degree burns and one of the children had first degree burns on his arm and hand from the fire. The family also lost at least two dogs inside the home," added Chief Green.

There were no smoke alarms installed inside the residence.

Members of the Liberty, Main Station, and Short Mountain Highway Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker and equipment truck. DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Chief Green said firefighters could not save the structure. "When the fire department arrived, approximately 75% of the mobile home and a 2005 Chevrolet 4 X 4 pickup truck were fully involved in flames. The rear porch area of another mobile home in front of the burning structure was also beginning to catch fire," he said.

"Despite the challenges posed by the extremely cold temperatures, firefighters arrived on the scene within six minutes from the time of dispatch and quickly took action to save the adjacent mobile home that had already begun to burn on the rear porch eave," Chief Green continued.

"The mobile home, where the fire originated, and pickup truck were a complete loss. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time and is being investigated," he added.

"DeKalb County’s American Red Cross Chapter representatives assisted at the scene and arranged immediate shelter, clothing, and food for the family," Chief Green concluded.

Sheriff's Department Makes Theft Arrests

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Terry Lee Jones, III
Randy Glenn Haslam
Lydia Renee Judkins
Lucas Dale Hall

Four persons have been arrested recently by the Sheriff's Department on burglary and or theft charges.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said Monday that 21 year old Terry Lee Jones, III of Dowelltown is charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft of property over $1,000. According to Sheriff Ray, Jones allegedly broke into a residence on Dale Ridge Road on Friday, January 17 and stole several items including a 2003 Red Honda 250 Recon ATV, a Remington Model 870 Shotgun, Insulated Carhartt Jacket, Trail Cameras, a full box of 12 gauge shotgun shells, eight bottles of whiskey, and one Igloo cooler. Six days later, on Thursday January 23, Jones allegedly broke into a garage on Johnson Ridge Road and took a Yamaha Kodiak 400 four wheeler, valued at $4,000. His bond is $30,000 and he will be in court on February 13. The case was investigated by a deputy of the Sheriff's Department.

41 year old Randy Glenn Haslam of Murfreesboro is charged with theft of property over $1,000. He will be in court February 6. The case against Haslam is more than a year old, but he has been incarcerated since then on separate charges in another county. Sheriff Ray said that December 7, 2012, Haslam allegedly took several items belonging to a female family member. The items were locked up in a safe at her home on New Hope Road in Alexandria. Haslam was living with this woman at the time of the theft. Several pieces of jewelry were taken with a total estimated value of $12,725. The stolen items included a gold woman's watch, a gold nugget bracelet, a 3 karat diamond gold bracelet, hoop earrings with diamonds, an 8 mm gold band quarter karat ring with seven diamonds on the top, a 3 karat diamond cluster ring, and miscellaneous gold rings and earrings. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the Sheriff's Department.

26 year old Lydia Renee Judkins of Jefferson Road, Smithville is charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Her bond is $20,000 and she will be in court on February 6. Sheriff Ray said that on December 16, Judkins allegedly broke into a building on Blue Springs Road and stole property valued at approximately $5,500, including a 2003 Polaris 4 Wheeler, two chainsaws, and a cordless drill. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the Sheriff's Department.

25 year old Lucas Dale Hall of Brush Creek is charged with theft of property over $500. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on February 6. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, January 15 a deputy met with a complainant on Evins Mill Road who told the officer that he believed one of his employees had stolen a Glock model 19 handgun from a residence. After the deputy asked for permission to search that employee's vehicle, Hall came forward and told the complainant that he had the gun in his 1999 Dodge Intrepid. The officer asked Hall to turn the weapon over to him. Hall then went to his vehicle, reached between the front seats, pulled the gun out, and handed it to the deputy. Hall was placed under arrest.

Meanwhile, two more persons have been arrested by the Sheriff's Department from the recent undercover drug investigation. Sheriff Ray said 30 year old Christopher Wayne Miles of Earl Avenue, Smithville was indicted by the grand jury on January 13 on two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Percocet) in a drug free zone. His bond is $100,000 and he will be arraigned February 21.

Vickie Anne Cantrell of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville was arrested on Wednesday, January 22. She was indicted by the grand jury on January 13 on one count of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Her bond is $30,000. She will be arraigned on February 21.

In other cases, 34 year old Dwayne Allen Reeder of Meridian Drive, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, January 19 a deputy went to Meridian Drive on a domestic call. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Reeder and a woman. She had marks on the back of her head and chest allegedly from an altercation with Reeder. He was determined to be the primary aggressor and was arrested for domestic assault.

33 year old Heather Starr Trapp of South College Street, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on February 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, January 20 Trapp was operating a vehicle on West Main Street in Smithville when she was stopped for driving on a suspended license. The arresting officer had prior knowledge that Trapp's license were suspended and a computer check confirmed it. Trapp's license were suspended on October 4, 2012 in Warren County for failure to satisfy a citation. She was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

29 year old Jonathan Dewayne Barnes of Judkins Lane, Smithville is charged with two counts of criminal impersonation, simple possession, and a fourth offense of driving on a suspended license. His bond is $15,000 and he will be in court February 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, December 26, Barnes was a passenger of a vehicle that had been stopped by a deputy for a traffic violation. When asked for identification, Barnes told the officer that he had no identification on him and then said his name was John Walls. It was later learned that Barnes had given the officer a phony name. Almost a month later on Tuesday January 21, a deputy stopped Barnes' vehicle on J.C. Jones Road to serve a warrant on him for the previous criminal impersonation charge. Barnes could not produce a driver's license and a computer check revealed that his license were suspended in Jackson County. When the officer asked for his name, Barnes identified himself as Randy Jackson. The officer actually already knew Barnes' real name and arrested him. During the stop, Barnes admitted to the officer that he had a bag of marijuana in his pocket. When the officer emptied Barnes' pocket, he found a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Barnes was brought to the jail for booking.

Democratic Candidates Make Announcements During Mass Meeting (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

January 25, 2014
Dwayne Page
Tim Stribling to Run for County Mayor
County Clerk Mike Clayborn to Seek Re-election
James L "Jimmy" Poss to Run for County Clerk
General Sessions Judge Bratten Cook II to Seek Re-Election
Margie Rigsby Miller to Run for General Sessions Judge
Jimmy Sprague to Run for Road Supervisor
Shane Walker to Run for Road Supervisor
Michael Agee to Run for Sheriff
Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack to Seek Re-election
Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen to Seek Re-election

Candidates for various public offices announced their intentions during the DeKalb County Democratic Party Mass Meeting Saturday at the high school cafeteria.

The May 6th DeKalb County Democratic Primary looks to feature at least three contested races for county offices including County Clerk, General Sessions Judge, and Road Supervisor.

Three term Incumbent County Clerk Mike Clayborn will face opposition from James L "Jimmy" Poss. General Sessions Judge Bratten Cook, II is being challenged for a third eight year term by Margie Rigsby Miller. Jimmy Sprague and Shane Walker will battle for the Democratic nomination for Road Supervisor.

Smithville Alderman Tim Stribling announced his candidacy for County Mayor.

Mike Foster, the Democratic Incumbent County Mayor, did not attend the Mass Meeting and has not yet made any announcement about whether he will seek a fourth term.

Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen and Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack each announced re-election plans. McMillen will be looking for his eighth term. Pack is seeking her fourth term.

Michael Agee will be running for Sheriff.

County Commission candidates making their intentions known Saturday included :

Jerry Hutchins, Jr. and Clarence Trapp in the Second District

Jerry Scott (Incumbent), Bradley Hendrix (Incumbent), and Jack Barton in the Third District. Barton, an incumbent county commissioner in the Second District has resigned that position because he has moved his residence to the Third District.

David McDowell (Incumbent) in the Fourth District

Rick Cantrell (Incumbent) and Anita Puckett in the Fifth District

Betty Atnip in the Sixth District

Larry Summers (Incumbent) and Kevin Robinson in the Seventh District.

Other Democrats who did not attend Saturday's Mass meeting but who have picked up petitions from the election commission office are:

Kenneth Clayborn for County Commissioner in the First District

Elmer Ellis, Jr. for County Commissioner in the First District (Incumbent),

Bennett Armstrong for County Commissioner in the First District

Bobby Taylor for County Commissioner in the Fourth District

Wayne Cantrell for County Commissioner in the Fourth District (Incumbent),

Jeff Barnes for County Commissioner in the Sixth District (Incumbent),

Marshall Ferrell for County Commissioner in the Sixth District (Incumbent)

Two county commissioner candidates can be nominated from each of the seven districts.

An announcement was made on behalf of Benjamin Chad Curtis for Constable in the First District.


Several Democratic candidates for judicial offices in the seven county 13th Judicial District also attended the Mass meeting announcing plans to seek the party's nomination including:


William F. Roberson of Putnam County who is running for Criminal Court Judge, Part I.


Anthony Craighead of Putnam County for District Attorney General

David N. Brady of Putnam County for District Public Defender (Incumbent)

Amy Hollars of Overton County for Circuit Court Judge, Part I (Incumbent)

Randall York of Cumberland County for Circuit Court Judge, Part II

Retiring Criminal Court Judge Leon Burns, Jr. spoke on behalf of Incumbent Chancellor Ronald Thurman, who was unable to attend the meeting.

Aubrey Givens and Rachel Givens, candidates for the Democratic State Executive Committee also spoke during the Mass meeting. The guest speaker was State Representative Gloria Johnson of Knoxville.

Amos Powers of Cookeville announced that he is seeking the Democratic Nomination for U.S. Representative in the 6th Congressional District which includes DeKalb County.

Candidates were not required to make announcements Saturday. The qualifying deadline for the May 6th primary is noon on February 20th with the DeKalb County Election Commission Office.

Although city races are non-partisan, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss announced that he would be a candidate for re-election in August. Former alderman Gayla Hendrix, who lost a bid for re-election last summer, said she would be running for alderman again this August.

Lebanon Man Seriously Injured in Fall from House

January 25, 2014
Dwayne Page
Man Falls from Top Deck of House on Skyline Drive (Photo by Jason Majors)
Rescue Squad Comes to Aid of David French (Photo by Jason Majors)

A 28 year old Lebanon man was seriously injured Friday after falling from the top deck of a two story house under construction at 500 Skyline Drive off Holiday Haven Road.

David French was airlifted from near the scene by a helicopter ambulance and reportedly flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

French was part of a crew doing work on the home being built on the side of a steep hill when the accident occurred. According to Captain Dustin Johnson of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, French was on the top deck, lifting a beam from an eight foot ladder, when he fell off the house and several feet down a steep slope.

Because of the difficulty in reaching French, members of the Rescue Squad were called to the scene. They used ropes to go get to French and then brought him back up the hill in a Stokes basket assisted by members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb EMS.

French was taken from the scene by ambulance to a helicopter landing zone in the Holiday Haven Road area and then airlifted.

McMinnville Woman Airlifted After Two Vehicle Crash

January 24, 2014
Dwayne Page
McMinnville Woman Airlifted After Two Vehicle Crash

A 64 year old McMinnville woman was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital after a two vehicle accident Friday morning at the intersection of Highway 56 and Blue Springs Road.

Patsy Inglis was flown out from a field near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance.

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 18 year old Victoria Brooke Cantrell of Smithville was traveling east on Blue Springs Road in a 2000 Toyota 4Runner when she failed to yield to a stop sign at the intersection. Cantrell turned south onto Highway 56 and into the path of a northbound 2006 Mercury Voyager Van, driven by Inglis resulting in a head-on crash.

Cantrell was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Trooper Johnson said Cantrell claims her brakes failed contributing to the accident.

Members of the Keltonburg and Blue Springs Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with officers of the Sheriff's Department.

Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Charge, Furloughed to Drug Treatment Facility

January 24, 2014
Dwayne Page
Judge David Patterson

A 34 year old man pleaded guilty Wednesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court to one count of initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine in a July, 2013 case. But instead of jail, Judge David Patterson furloughed Bradley Pugh to a drug treatment facility in Arkansas. He was also fined $2,000 and given over six months of jail credit.

If he doesn't successfully complete the program, Pugh is facing an eight year sentence to serve at 30% before parole eligibility, plus an additional eight year sentence after being found in violation of his probation in another meth crime which occurred in October, 2011.

A court order signed by Judge Patterson states that, Pugh is to "be furloughed and released from the DeKalb County Jail on January 22 to be transported to Grace Mission Bible Training Center in Paragould, Arkansas by his parents. It is anticipated that Pugh will complete the program within ten months after which he will be placed on probation for the remainder of the sentence imposed in this case. However, if Pugh fails to successfully complete the intensive outpatient program at Grace Mission Bible Training Center, then he will immediately return to the DeKalb County Jail to serve the balance of his sentence.

Pugh was one of two people arrested on July 11, 2013 after a sheriff's department detective discovered meth related items in their truck during a traffic stop and then found more incriminating evidence against him at a residence in Dowelltown.

In November 2011, Pugh pleaded by information to a separate charge of initiation of a process to manufacture meth. He received an eight year sentence in that case, suspended to probation. Pugh's arrest in that crime came on October 10, 2011 after a deputy found items used to make meth in Pugh's truck on Seven Springs Road.

In other court cases Wednesday, 29 year old Rhonda Joy Goff pleaded guilty to three charges of forgery. She received a total sentence of three years on these charges suspended to supervised probation but the term is to run consecutive to another sentence she is currently serving. Goff must also make restitution to the victims.

Sheriff Ray said that Goff allegedly went to Jewel's Market on South Congress Boulevard last year and passed forged checks on May 2, May 3, and May 14. She allegedly admitted to a detective to having committed the forgeries.

43 year old Vickie Cantrell pleaded guilty to two counts of Sale of a Schedule II controlled substance. She received a sentence of four years in each case to run concurrently with each other but consecutively with another sentence she is now serving. Cantrell must serve at least 30% before parole eligibility. She was fined $2,000 and must make restitution to the Smithville Police Department. The term is to run consecutive to another sentence she is currently serving.

Cantrell is one of the sixty four people indicted by the grand jury last week in the Sheriff's Department's recent undercover drug investigation. She was also indicted in August 2013 as the result of a Smithville Police Department undercover drug probe in December 2012.

42 year old Donald Junior Perry pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) and violation of probation. The sentences are to run concurrently but he has been furloughed to the DeKalb County Drug Court. If he doesn't successfully complete the program Perry is facing a two year sentence on the drug charge and the balance of a six year term in the previous case for which his probation was revoked. Perry was given 129 days of jail credit.

Perry was indicted in August 2013 as the result of an undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department in February, 2013.

43 year old Jeffery White pleaded guilty to promotion of methamphetamine. He received a two year sentence suspended to probation. He must pay a $2,000 drug fine. White was given jail credit of forty three days.

21 year old Travis Melton pleaded guilty to introduction of contraband into a penal facility. He received a three year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. The term is to run with his current probation. He was given jail credit from August 6 to December 22, 2013.

Sheriff Ray said that while being booked into the jail on other charges Tuesday, August 6, officers asked Melton if he had anything on him. He replied no. Before being locked down, Melton was searched by a correctional officer who found less than a half ounce of marijuana on Melton's person.

34 year old Tammy Sue Steele pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and driving while her license was suspended. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve on the theft charge and six months to serve on the license offense. The two sentences are to run concurrently with each other and with cases against her in White County. Her license is suspended for one year.

40 year old Gary Lane Hale pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence suspended to probation. Hale was granted judicial diversion. He was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $90. He is to undergo an alcohol and drug assessment.


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