Local News Articles

Alexandria Citizens Speak Out Against Beer by the Drink in Restaurants

June 25, 2014
Dwayne Page
Thurman Seber
Citizens Attend Alexandria City Council Meeting
Alexandria Mayor Tony Tarpley
Alexandria City Council Meeting
Alexandria Aldermen Matt Boss and Bennett Armstrong

A suggestion by the Town of Alexandria Beer Board to allow restaurants the opportunity to apply for a permit to serve beer by the drink has given cause for concern among many residents there.

Several citizens attended Tuesday night's monthly meeting of the Alexandria Board of Mayor and Aldermen to speak out against the proposal.

Mayor Tony Tarpley said the beer board, which is made up of the town's aldermen, met recently in a workshop to discuss the idea. "The beer board met and made a suggestion to the city council to make an amendment to the beer permit ordinance where if it was a restaurant that applied for a permit that they could sell beer by the drink on the premises," he said.

The town already allows eligible stores to be permitted to sell packaged beer for off premises consumption.

City Attorney Vester Parsley explained that no permits could be issued for beer by the drink in restaurants unless the aldermen were to vote to amend the current beer ordinance, which would require two readings at city council meetings and a public hearing.

Thurman Seber, a local minister, was among those who spoke in opposition. Seber said if beer by the drink were approved it would eventually lead to a push for liquor. In fact, Seber said he has learned that a petition either is or will be circulated seeking signatures calling for a referendum on liquor sales in Alexandria.

Others who expressed their opposition were David Cripps, Robert Walker, Mark Willoughby, Danny Parkerson, Stein Prichard, Jimmy Arms, and Peggy Leach.

Both Mayor Tarpley and Alderman Matt Boss said they too are opposed to any effort to allow beer by the drink in Alexandria.

The aldermen took no action Tuesday night.

Two Plead Guilty to Stealing from Bank Account

June 24, 2014
Dwayne Page
Judge Leon Burns, Jr.

Two people charged with stealing approximately $105,000 from their female victim's money market account at a local bank were sentenced Tuesday, June 24 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

28 year old Jonathon Daniel Nellums pleaded guilty to theft of property and received a six year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. He must also make restitution to the victim in an amount to be determined. He was given jail credit from March 8, 2014 to June 24, 2014. Meanwhile, 32 year old Robin Baquedano pleaded guilty to one count of theft over $10,000 and received a six year sentence to serve at 30% before her release eligibility date. She is to make restitution in an amount to be determined. The case is to run concurrently with a Rutherford County violation of probation against her. She was given jail credit from February 10 to June 24, 2014.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said Nellums and Baquedano allegedly took approximately $105,000 from the victim's money market account at Regions Bank in DeKalb County from November 8, 2013 to February 5, 2014. The case was investigated by a criminal detective.

Meanwhile, in other cases 35 year old Jeremy Robert Vaughn pleaded guilty to one count of auto burglary and two counts of theft under $500. He received a sentence of eleven months and twenty nine days in each of the theft cases and two years for auto burglary to run concurrently with each other. He must serve at least 30% before his release eligibility date. Vaughn was given 202 days of jail credit.

27 year old Jennifer Ferrell pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and received a two year sentence all suspended to supervised probation to be supervised by community corrections. The term is to run consecutive to her current probation. She is to make restitution in an amount to be determined. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 a deputy took a theft report from a victim on New Home Road. Eleven truck batteries were reported stolen. The total value of the stolen batteries is $1,520. The officer recovered nine of the batteries at a local recycling center where Ferrell and a co-defendant had allegedly sold some of the batteries.

37 year old Brady Cunningham pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000 and received a four year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. He was given fifty three days of jail credit. Sheriff Ray said that on January 14, 2013 Cunningham took a 2006 black Chevrolet pickup truck from Jason's Auto Sales on Nashville Highway. The value of the truck was $11,500. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

28 year old Steven Dale Davidson pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. He received a four year sentence in each case all suspended to supervised probation. The terms are to run concurrently with each other. He is to make restitution of $6,100 to one of the victims.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday November 5, 2013 Davidson allegedly took several items from property on Jones Mill Road including an Allis Chalmers dozer winch, a three point hitch bush hog, a three point hitch pickup disk, a two bottom plow, a three point hitch pond scoop, logging forks from a fork lift, and two-three point hitch cultivators. Davidson allegedly admitted to taking these items. Most of them were sold to a local recycling center but Davidson said he sold the bush hog to a family member for thirty dollars. The case was investigated by a detective of the Sheriff's Department. Meanwhile on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Davidson and a co-defendant entered a residence on James Place and took several items from the home including a storage trunk, a picture, jewelry box, a wooden bunk bed, two mattresses, a wooden end table, and a bag containing sheets and towels all valued at more than $500.

30 year old Megan Tramel pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery. She received a two year sentence in two of the cases and one year in the third all to run consecutive to each other for a total sentence of five years all suspended to supervised probation. Tramel must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and she is under a restraining order to keep away from her grandmother, grandfather, and uncle. Sheriff Ray said that Tramel passed a forged check on the account of a family member on six different occasions at Walmart from June 13 through August 28, 2013. She was arrested after an investigation by a criminal detective of the Sheriff's Department. According to Sheriff Ray, Tramel allegedly passed the forged checks in the following amounts on the following dates: $66.51 on June 13; $142.52 on June 20; $131.60 on August 18; $109.62 on August 20; $87.75 on August 21; and $197.83 on August 28. She pleaded guilty to only three of the charges on June 13, August 18, and August 28, 2013.

DeKalb Man Dies in Pedestrian Accident on I-40

June 24, 2014
Dwayne Page

A DeKalb County man died in a pedestrian accident on Interstate 40 in Wilson County near the Smith County line at around 5:45 p.m.on Friday, June 13.

Dead is 58 year old Gary A. Bouldin of Smithville.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a 2013 Dodge CVN Minivan, driven by 36 year old Amanda Hagler of Waverly, was traveling east on I-40 in the left lane near the 249 mile marker when a pedestrian (Bouldin) entered the eastbound lanes of I-40 from the south shoulder. The vehicle collided with Bouldin in the left lane and drove off the left shoulder into the median coming to final rest. The pedestrian (Bouldin) came to final rest in the middle of lane 1 on the east bound lane.

Bouldin was taken by ground ambulance to UMC Medical Center in Lebanon.

Three passengers were in the vehicle with Hagler but none of them were injured.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Tracy White

Man Found Drunk and Naked on Sparta Highway

June 24, 2014
Dwayne Page
Marty Brad Tallent
April Lynn Anderson
Marco Antonio Granadoz
William Marvin Jared
Raymond Howard Rollins
Vickie Lenae Alvis

A man found drunk and naked on Sparta Highway last week was arrested by the Sheriff's Department

47 year old Marty Brad Tallent of West Broad Street, Smithville is charged with public intoxication and public indecency. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on July 10. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, June 19 a deputy responded to a location on the Sparta Highway to check out a report of someone beating on doors. Upon arrival, Tallent was found standing in the middle of Sparta Highway completely naked and he was unsteady on his feet. Tallent also threw a beer bottle at the patrol car as it approached and he tried to leave on foot. Tallent had to be forcibly taken to the ground to be handcuffed. He was placed under arrest and taken to the jail for booking.

30 year old April Lynn Anderson of Quail Point Drive, Smithville is charged with failure to appear. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on August 21. Sheriff Ray said that Anderson was supposed to begin serving seventeen days in jail on weekends October 25, 2013 but she has not appeared to serve her time. She was arrested on Monday, June 16.

Marco Antonio Granadoz of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, June 21 a sheriff's department deputy was dispatched to Short Mountain Highway due to a fight in progress. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Granadoz and his wife. The couple had been in a physical altercation and the woman had markings on her left shoulder area. The investigation revealed that Granadoz was the primary aggressor and that he had assaulted his wife by grabbing her shoulder.

43 year old William Marvin Jared of Center Drive, Sparta is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was further issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court July 10. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, June 21 a deputy spotted a gold Toyota Camry traveling south on Belk Road. The vehicle left its lane of travel. After stopping the automobile, the officer spoke with the driver, Jared. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Jared admitted to having drunk six beers. He submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. Jared also submitted to a blood test. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

25 year old Raymond Howard Rollins of South Judkins Lane, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on July 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 22 a deputy received a domestic call on South Judkins Lane in the Jefferson Community. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that Rollins had thrown her from the front porch to the ground. She claims Rollins grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into the wall, bursting the wall. Through an investigation, the deputy found that Rollins was responsible for the assault and caused the woman to fear bodily injury. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

43 year old Vickie Lenae Alvis of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with violation of an order of protection. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court July 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 22 a deputy received an unwanted guest call on the Sparta Highway. Upon arrival the officer found Alvis at the residence. Another woman there has an active order of protection against Alvis. She (Alvis) was determined to be in violation of the order of protection and was arrested.

Jimmy Womack Reappointed to DUD Board

June 24, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jimmy Womack

Jimmy Womack has been reappointed to a new four year term on the DeKalb Utility District Board of Commissioners.

The county commission Monday night voted in support of County Mayor Mike Foster's appointment of Womack. Those voting in favor were county commissioners Elmer Ellis, Jr, Mason Carter, Jerry Scott, Bradley Hendrix, Wayne Cantrell, David McDowell, Rick Cantrell, Jeff Barnes, Marshall Ferrell, and Larry Summers. Jerry Adcock voted no and Jimmy Poss passed.

Womack is one of two DUD board members whose current term expires this year. The other is Roger Turney of Cannon County

During its regular monthly meeting on June 5 the DUD board certified a list of nominees to the county mayors of DeKalb and Cannon County to fill those positions.

The term of Turney, serving Cannon County on the DUD's board will expire on August 31, 2014. Womack's current term will expire on October 31, 2014. Womack is one of three members on the board who serves DeKalb County. Each term is for four years.

By law, the DUD board must submit the names of three nominees to fill each position, listed in order of preference. During the June 5th meeting, the board voted to submit the names of Turney, Chris Blackburn, and Winfred Gaither in that order to the Cannon County Mayor. The DUD board also voted to submit the names of Womack, Jimmy Herndon, and Paul Blair in that order to the DeKalb County Mayor.

Under the law, a customer could have also submitted names for consideration by the DUD board for the list of nominees. A public notice was published in May but no names were offered by DUD customers.

The general provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated (State Law) TCA § 7-82-307 provide that the utility board members must submit three nominees, listed in order of preference, to the county mayor (where the vacancy exists). The county mayor has the authority to appoint one of the nominees to the vacant position on the board or reject all of the nominees. If the county mayor rejects all three nominees, then the board of (utility) commissioners has to submit three additional nominees to the county mayor for consideration.

The DUD Board is made up of five members, three from DeKalb County (Jimmy Womack, Joe Foutch, and Hugh Washer), one from Cannon (Roger Turney), and one from Smith County (Danny Bass). The terms are staggered.

Alexandria Man Charged with Aggravated Arson

June 24, 2014
Dwayne Page
Shawn Patrick Byrd

An Alexandria man is charged with aggravated arson for allegedly setting fire to the residence where he lives on Lower Helton Road last week.

23 year old Shawn Patrick Byrd is under a $25,000 bond and he will be in court June 26.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire on Wednesday, June 18 at the residence on Lower Helton Road in Alexandria. When firefighters found the source of the blaze they thought it to be suspicious and summoned a sheriff's department detective to the scene. The detective conducted an investigation and discovered what appeared to be an intentionally set fire. Through the investigation, Byrd was identified as a suspect. During the interview with the detective, Byrd allegedly admitted to starting the fire.

Sheriff Ray said the investigation reveals that the fire was set in the upstairs portion of the residence next to the HVAC unit in the closet using a table cloth and a piece of wood. Three other adults were in the home at the time including two downstairs and one upstairs.

Young Girl Commended for Reporting Sexual Comments Made to Her at Pool

June 23, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jeania Poss

A 13 year old girl is being commended for reporting an incident last week that led to the arrest of a convicted sex offender at the Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool.

"If this little girl hadn't told me then there is no telling what would have happened," said Jeania Poss, operator of the Pool in an interview with WJLE Monday.

41 year old Timothy Eugene Bowman of 1507 Big Hurricane Road is accused of making sexual comments to the 13 year old and two other teens. He is charged with three counts of solicitation of a person under 18 years of age and violation of the sexual offender registry law. He is under a $25,000 bond and will be in court on June 26.

According to Poss, the child came forward last Wednesday to report the incident which occurred the previous week and when Bowman showed up at the pool again, Poss immediately called police and refused to let him leave until officers arrived.

"The little girl had gone to my lifeguard (Wednesday, June 18) to tell him that there was a guy there the previous week that had made her feel uncomfortable. So my lifeguard came to me right away to tell me what had happened," said Poss. "Me and the little girl talked about what was said. I told her that if she ever saw him there again to let me know. She had described him to me so I had an image of who he was. Just a couple of hours later, he pulled up in the parking lot. I saw him pull up. As I was going to find the little girl to see if that was the guy, she was coming to tell me that was the guy. I already had my lifeguards on alert so when he came inside the gate, we watched every move he made while I sent someone to call the police. We were watching this guy so closely that I think he caught onto us watching him so he went to get his stuff to leave and as he was walking out the gate, I took off running after him. I stopped him and told him he couldn't go anywhere until the police got there. Of course he was denying everything. Within just a matter of minutes, the police were there and they questioned him. I told the police officer what the little girl had reported to me and the officer asked the guy to go get his ID. When the guy went to get his ID, the police officer called it in and that's when it came back that this man was a registered sex offender. I didn't know at the time that he was a sex offender. I just called the police because of the comments that she had said he made to her. That was the reason I called the police," Poss said.

Police later learned that Bowman allegedly made sexual comments to two other girls, a 14 year old and a 16 year old in recent visits to the pool.

Operators of the pool want to reassure parents that every effort is made daily to keep everyone, including children safe. " Keeping everybody safe is our top priority at the swimming pool. That's what we're there for is to keep the swimmers safe. We watch everything that goes on there. I don't want anybody to be scared of coming out because once we knew about it (Bowman), we took care of it," said Poss.

"I do want this to be an awareness. I do want everybody to teach their children to speak up. If somebody makes you feel uncomfortable, if you don't want to tell your parents, tell an adult because if this little girl hadn't told me then there is no telling what would have happened. I want this to be an awareness. It could happen at church. It could happen at the grocery store. Just teach your children not only the dangers of talking to strangers but that if they do talk to a stranger, if that stranger makes them feel uncomfortable to please report it," Poss concluded.

TDOT Commissioner Views Sligo Bridge Construction

June 23, 2014
Dwayne Page
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer (far right) talking with TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges at Sligo Bridge
New Sligo Bridge going up beside existing bridge
Workers pump concrete into the drilled shaft to form the shaft for the columns that will soon follow.
Construction workers being carried to top of cap on bridge pier

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer began his three day "TDOT Projects Tour" in Region 2 Monday and the first stop was in DeKalb County.

The Commissioner was joined by other TDOT representatives, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody and officials of Massman Construction during a luncheon at the county complex and most traveled by bus or vans afterward to the construction site of the new Sligo bridge.

Upon arrival, each of the spectators donned hardhats, life jackets, and safety glasses and then boarded a barge for a ride on the lake to get an up close view of the construction.

"It's a massive project and very complicated," said Commissioner Schroer. "Deep water bridge work is very hard but we've got a good tour of what they're doing and how they are doing it. Not being an engineer myself, this is a great educational time for me and some of the other people here to see what is going on. It's a fun way for us to get out and meet people and see what is happening out in the communities," he said.

"The project is going real well," said Ken Flynn, Director of Operations for TDOT Region 2. " Right now we're on schedule and maybe just slightly ahead. We're getting there. It's looking real good. We've got all of our drill shafts into the lake completed and we're starting to go up with the rest of our sub-structure. It's a great milestone to get the in-water work complete. The next big challenge is how we're going to set our steel so high up in the air," said Flynn.

In April 2013, TDOT awarded the construction contract on Sligo bridge to the Massman Construction Company based in Kansas City, Missouri at $38,903, 917. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2016.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings Promoted to Sergeant

June 23, 2014
Dwayne Page
Dewaine Jennings Receives Sergeant's Pin from THP Colonel Tracy Trott

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Jennings, who has worked in DeKalb County since joining the THP in 2007, received the promotion in March but was recognized in a formal ceremony on June 5 at the THP Training Center in Nashville. He received his Sergeant's pin from THP Colonel Tracy Trott. Sergeant Jennings will be Supervisor in Putnam County.

Sergeant Jennings is a U.S. Navy veteran and he logged twelve and a half years as a law enforcement officer before joining the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Since becoming a member of the THP, Sergeant Jennings has been named three times as the Cookeville District Trooper of the Year in 2008, 2009, and 2012 and he was Trooper of the Year for the entire State in 2009.

He is a Crash Reconstructionist, Radar Instructor, District Field Training Officer Coordinator, Supervisor of Strike Team 6, Drug Recognition Expert, and a member of the THP Honor Guard. Sergeant Jennings currently attends Bethel University where he is working to obtain a criminal justice degree.

TDH Urges Parents To Think Now About School Immunizations

June 23, 2014

Many students across Tennessee are enjoying their summer break. But it won’t be long before the bell rings for the new school year, and it’s never too early to think about school immunizations. Tennessee students are required to have a number of immunizations for school attendance.

“Getting vaccinated is so important to help protect all of us from infectious diseases,” said Kelly Moore, MD, MPH, director of the Tennessee Immunization Program. “Making sure your children have their required vaccinations is a good way to help ensure students won’t be out of the classroom due to a preventable illness.”

In Tennessee, children enrolling in school for the first time and all children going into seventh grade must provide schools with a state immunization certificate before classes start as proof they have had all the immunizations necessary to protect them and their classmates from serious vaccine-preventable diseases.

“We encourage parents to avoid the last-minute rush of getting into a health care provider’s office by making sure their child has his or her needed immunizations now,” said Moore.

Immunizations required for school are available from a variety of health care providers, including county health departments. Children may be eligible to receive free vaccine if they have no insurance, are enrolled in TennCare, have private insurance that does not cover vaccines, or are American Indian or Alaska Native. There is a separate charge for administration of the vaccine which may be discounted for children with no insurance, who are American Indian or Alaska Native, and children with private insurance that does not cover vaccines.

One of the required immunizations is for measles, mumps and rubella, also known as MMR. An outbreak of five cases of measles was recently reported in Tennessee among contacts of an infected traveler, the first cases in the state in three years. None of these cases, all adults, had evidence of two doses of MMR vaccine.

“The measles virus is highly contagious and can stay airborne or live on surfaces for up to two hours,” said Jan Beville, MD, TDH Community Health Services medical director. “Measles is rare, but can be just a plane ride away. The two doses of MMR vaccine required for school and college protects more than 99 percent of healthy children.”

All students entering seventh grade are required to have proof they have had two doses of chickenpox vaccine (or a history of illness) and a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis or whooping cough, commonly known as “Tdap,” to protect them through their teens. This is also the age pediatricians and other experts recommend preteens get their first of three doses of a vaccine to help prevent the cancers of men and women caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and their first dose of meningitis vaccine. Although HPV and meningitis vaccines are not required, they are recommended to be given at the same time as the required Tdap booster and any other vaccine a child may need.

In 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law the “Jacob Nunley Act” requiring new incoming college students who live in on-campus housing to provide proof of immunization against meningococcal meningitis.

The complete list of Tennessee child care and school immunization requirements is available on the TDH website at http://health.state.tn.us/TWIS/requirements.htm. Questions about school policies on when or how immunization certificates must be provided should be directed to local schools.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at http://health.state.tn.us/.


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