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Congressman Diane Black Holds Town Hall Meeting in Smithville (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

August 11, 2016
Dwayne Page
Congressman Diane Black talking to constituents after her town hall meeting
Congressman Diane Black conducts town hall meeting
Attendees at town hall meeting
Town hall meeting attendees

Congressman Diane Black held a town hall meeting in Smithville Thursday evening where she addressed a range of issues from national security to the GOP’s vision for America in the House of Representatives called “A Better Way”.

Speaking to a room full of constituents in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse, Congressman Black said the “Better Way” plan addresses specific proposals to reform the tax code, combat poverty, rebuild our economy, replace Obamacare, protect our national security, and restore the Constitutional separation of powers.

“At the first of the year, our leadership asked all of our committees to take a look at the issues that we felt could move us forward. We came up with six different major issues and with each issue we were tasked with bringing a plan together about how we would implement those,” said Congressman Black, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee.

“Our tax code is far too large. Its far too complicated. It has not been reformed in 30 years. Its very expensive for families to figure out the tax code and how to file their taxes. We want to modernize our tax code. We want over 90% of the people to be able to fill out their tax returns on a single post card. Back and front. We want to reduce the size of what is in the code for everyone. Our plan is to eliminate the death or estate tax. We also want to take the standard deductions and increase those so you don’t have to gather up all those little slips of paper you have to save in order to show what you can deduct off of your taxes. We want to bring the corporate tax rate down to 20% so we’re competitive with countries all over the world. Right now we’re at about 36% on the federal government side. Some states also have an income tax which increases that tax burden. If we can bring that down to 20% it would make ourselves more competitive around the world,” said Congressman Black.

In addressing poverty, Congressman Black said able bodied people receiving entitlements should be working. “There are two indicators we’re hoping to get people out of poverty. One is education and the other is work. If you don’t have an education you probably don’t have a job. They go hand in hand and our program will address that issue. We now have more percentage of our population in a poverty situation than we did 50 years ago when the so called War on Poverty was launched by President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Today we measure our fight and success on poverty by how many people get on a program rather than how many people get off a program. We lose human capital when people don’t reach their full potential. When somebody doesn’t know what God given talents they have because they are stuck in poverty, it doesn’t help our country. We’re not having those good minds think about things that are creative and inventive. We’re seeing that in other countries but we are not seeing it here in the United States," she continued.

Reducing federal regulations on businesses is another issue the “Better Way” plan seeks to address. “We want to rebuild our economy. I hear it from businesses all over my district whether its a banking or manufacturing industry. They say the government is in our way. With all of the regulations we can’t do our job because its so over regulated. Cutting those regulations down and letting those businesses do their work will allow the economy to burst wide open,” she said.

“We want to replace Obamacare with something that is more patient friendly. Something that gives you the opportunity to say what you need rather than what the federal government says you need. We want to allow more competition in the marketplace which will bring costs down. And we have a way to take care of those people who have pre-existing conditions who have difficulty getting insurance,” said Congressman Black.

“We further need to restore our Constitutional separation of powers. In Congress when we pass a bill and it gets signed into law, it goes to the administration and they write the regulations without any say from us (Congress). It never comes back to us for a discussion or vote. Here we have an administration (President Obama) that’s on steroids with writing all these rules and regulations and when they can’t get something passed in the House of Representatives and Senate, they decide to do it by rules and regulations. A good example of that is coal. They really tried very hard to pass bills in Congress to deal with the coal industry because they want to shut down the coal industry. They were unable to do it. So the President has done it by regulation. What we want to do is take back some of that control and put it back in the House of Representatives where our founding fathers really meant it to be,” added Congressman Black.

On other issues, Congressman Black addressed the need to get smart about our nation’s border security, to stop illegal amnesty, and to combat sanctuary cities. She co-authored the SMART Border Act which requires the Department of Homeland Security to achieve operational control of the border within one year. The Act also mandates that the Department of Defense make 10,000 National Guard available for deployment upon request by border state governors until control is achieved. It further authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to deploy “Smart border technology” (such as seismic detectors and UAV’s) to areas of the border in which operational control has not been achieved.

Congressman Black said she also authored and passed an amendment to this year’s Energy & Water Appropriations Bill defunding sanctuary cities; authored the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act which withholds key federal funding streams from cities that fail to enforce immigration laws; and co-sponsored Kate’s Law instituting mandatory minimums for those who re-enter our nation after being deported.

After addressing the audience, Congressman Black talked with constituents about their concerns individually following the meeting.

State to Launch Online Auto Insurance Verification System in 2017

August 11, 2016
Dwayne Page

Do you have an automobile liability insurance policy?

State law requires you to be covered by such a policy if you own and operate a vehicle in Tennessee.

In 2017, an online insurance verification system thru the County Clerk’s office will verify liability auto insurance coverage for ALL Tennessee drivers.

Uninsured drivers in Tennessee will pay fines and risk losing their vehicle registration if they are not covered by an auto liability insurance policy. A web-based program will verify insurance for all Tennessee drivers. These changes come as part of the James Lee Atwood Jr. Law.

The required minimum limits of your liability car insurance are:

* $25,000 for each injury or death per accident.
* $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident.
* $15,000 for property damage per accident.

(If you have a car loan or lease, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage.)

Also if your vehicle has a regular passenger or motorcycle license plate (anything other than a commercial tag), you must carry a policy as outlined above.

If your vehicle has a commercial license plate, that vehicle must be covered under a company general liability insurance plan.

- See more at: http://www.tn.gov/revenue/article/drive-insured-tn#sthash.2wTlvapi.dpuf

Morgan Green Crowned National Miss Teen

August 11, 2016
Dwayne Page
Morgan Green Crowned National Miss Teen
Morgan Green

17 year old Morgan Green of DeKalb County was crowned the National Miss Teen 2016 two weeks ago during the national pageant at The Music Road Resort Inn & Conference Center in Pigeon Forge.

The pageant brought together inspirational & accomplished ladies of all ages from around the nation to compete. Throughout the two day event, the contestants not only prepared for the themed show “A Night at the Opry” but were able to take a break getting to know their fellow state delegates and to have some fun with shows, games and checking out the sites as VIP Guests at Dollywood. When it was time for competition, the ladies in age divisions from Miss Teen to the new “Classic” divisions competed in five categories: private interview, fitness in aerobic wear, glamour wear, evening gown and photogenic which encompassed each delegates overall score. After all the scores were tallied,Green was announced as the new National Miss Teen 2016. Morgan also won the Overall Fitness Award after participating in the on stage portion of the competition.

As National Miss Teen 2016, Morgan will spend the next year traveling and promoting the mission of her pageant system as well as her platform, The Ronald McDonald House - Improving the Health and Well-Being of others while acting as a role model in her community.

Crowns of Inspiration, Inc., started in 2003, is the founder and independent producer of the National Miss Teen, Miss, Ms & Mrs Pageants®. Based out of Brookline, New Hampshire, their mission, just like this national pageant system, is “Inspiring others through the World of Positive Pageantry” and community events whenever and however possible.

School Enrollment Up By 35 Students

August 10, 2016
Dwayne Page
Joey Reeder

Enrollment in the DeKalb County School System was up by 35 students as of Tuesday, August 9 compared to August 8, 2015.

According to Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder, a total of 3,050 students are enrolled compared to 3,015 last year. But Reeder said the numbers change often especially this early in the school year. “We’re up by a few but you have to realize that nothing is very firm at this point. The numbers change. We’ve got kids still coming in to register and we have students who have moved away and their schools (elsewhere) are starting so we’re beginning to get some records request from those schools. Once we get those (records requests) they (students) go off our rolls. It’s probably going to be after Labor Day before we get good firm numbers as to how many students we have but as of now we’re up by 35 students and that’s not a big increase but its 35 students we have to place somewhere,” Reeder told WJLE Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, enrollment at each school was as follows compared to last year:

DCHS: 864 (down by 3 students)
DeKalb Middle School: 539 (up by 3 students)
Northside Elementary: 654 (down by 4 students)
Smithville Elementary: 580 (up by 11 students)
DeKalb West School: 404 (up by 22 students)

Enrollment at DCHS breaks down as follows:
9th grade: 217 students
10th grade: 232 students
11th grade: 210 students
12th grade: 205 students

Enrollment District-Wide by grade level is as follows:
Kindergarten: 227 (SES & DWS combined)
1st grade: 235 (SES & DWS)
2nd grade: 223 (SES, Northside, & DWS)
3rd grade: 239 (Northside & DWS)
4th grade: 269 (Northside & DWS)
5th grade: 221 (Northside & DWS)
6th grade: 219 (DMS & DWS)
7th grade: 222 (DMS & DWS)
8th grade: 224 (DMS & DWS)

Reeder urges parents to make sure their children attend school on time every day classes are in session. “In the past we’ve concentrated on just getting students to school and not missing for unexcused days. But now there’s a new term “Chronic Absenteeism” which is defined as missing 10% of the school year for any reason. Of course, if your child is sick we don’t want them at school and as long as the absences are excused there is not a lot we can do about it but we ask parents to try and get your child to school every day possible because if a student misses 18 days of school then that is defined as “Chronic Absenteeism” and that is something we want to avoid,” he said.

Under state law, if a student misses as few as five days of school “unexcused” he or she is considered “truant”. “We won’t take you to juvenile court for five days missed but we will send a letter to the parents to arrange a meeting with them to see what can be done to improve their child’s attendance,” said Reeder.

Tardies are also a concern, especially early in the morning. “We don’t have a lot of tardies during the day. Its like during first block in the morning when they are getting there a few minutes late. We ask parents bringing their children to school to please arrive on time by 7:45 a.m. because three tardies can equal one unexcused absence,” said Reeder“

Meanwhile, Reeder urges parents who are home schooling their children to contact the school system to let them know.”I wish you would come by and register with us. It helps us to know where they (students) are and what they are doing. Some people withdraw their kids from the school system to home school and we never hear from them again in the following years. Legally, parents are suppose to register but there is really not a penalty if they don’t. It just helps us keep up with where the students are at. Registering is not a big deal. It doesn’t take but five minutes and it would help us out some,” said Reeder.

Mayo Gets Eight Year Sentence in Meth Case

August 10, 2016
Dwayne Page
Gregory Allen Mayo

A Smithville man arrested by the Sheriff's Department in November, 2015 after he was found with a meth lab in his car during a routine traffic stop for registration violation, appeared in Criminal Court for sentencing Monday, August 8.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

48 year old Gregory Allen Mayo entered a plea to initiation to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II drug over .5 grams. He received an eight year sentence in each case to serve at 30% before his release eligibility date. The terms are to run concurrently.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, November 30, 2015 a deputy stopped a white Ford Crown Victoria at West Broad Street and Anthony Avenue in Smithville for a registration violation. The car belonged to Mayo but he was a passenger. During the investigation Mayo admitted that methamphetamine and a firearm would be found inside the car. Upon searching the trunk, the deputy discovered lye, drain opener, propane fuel with a cook head, acid in a liquid gasser, Coleman fuel, plastic tubing, cold packs, electrician tape, coffee filters, and Hydrogen Peroxide. A Mason jar containing a white residue was also found in the side floor board of the car which field tested positive for methamphetamine. Mayo also had in his right front pants pocket, a bag containing 1.3 grams of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine. The deputy further discovered a Smith & Wesson 40 caliber pistol in the back seat and a cigarette pack on the passenger seat where Mayo was seated which contained what was believed to be a marijuana cigarette. Sheriff Ray said Mayo is a convicted felon of a drug offense on May 24, 2013.

76 year old Frank Thomas of Liberty entered a plea Monday to simple assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on CPS probation. Thomas must forfeit a weapon and he is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim in the case. Thomas was accused of pointing a gun at another motorist (family member) while chasing after him in his vehicle at high speeds on Highway 56 South in September, 2014.

A Cookeville man believed to be responsible for recent thefts and burglaries last month appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday.

20 year old Tyler Johnston Arnett entered a plea by criminal information to theft over $1,000 and auto burglary. He received a three year sentence for the theft and two years for auto burglary. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other to be suspended to supervised probation. Arnett has requested judicial diversion. He must make restitution of $78 to one of the victims in the case.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 12 a deputy was dispatched to the Pine Grove Subdivision where a vehicle was observed parked in the road. Upon arrival, the officer found an abandoned 2000 GMC dual wheel truck in the road with the head lights on. During the investigation, the sheriff’s department received another call in the same area where a resident suspected someone had been in his vehicle. Arnett was later spotted by a deputy riding a pink and purple bicycle in the neighborhood. After stopping him and checking further, the officer discovered that Arnett had allegedly stolen both the bike and the truck (valued at $3,500) and had broken into another vehicle, taking a brown tri-fold wallet containing a JC Penny card, a Chase Mastercard, a Sears card, and a BP gas card. Arnett was believed to have been under the influence of an intoxicant. He was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Arnett told the officer that he did not know where he was or where he had been. Meanwhile, other people in the area reported being suspicious of someone having been in their vehicles but nothing was missing. The burglaries and thefts were investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective. A deputy arrested Arnett on a public intoxication charge.

A Monterey woman was sentenced Monday on a January 2015 theft charge after trying to steal a shopping cart full of merchandise from Walmart in Smithville.

32 year old Tasha Marie Cooke entered a plea to theft over $1,000 and received a four year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. The term is to run consecutive to a sentence against her in Cumberland County.

Smithville Police were dispatched to Walmart in reference to a shoplifter on January 20, 2015. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with an employee who said that Cooke had loaded a shopping cart full of various merchandise and went out the front doors and into the parking lot. After being confronted, Cooke allegedly admitted that she was stealing the items for her friends. Items in the cart included flashlights, purses, and other merchandise with a total value of $1,742.

A 50 year old man charged with assault for allegedly threatening a county deputy in May was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday.

Douglas Ray Ferrell entered a plea by criminal information to assault and resisting arrest and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days at 75% all suspended to supervised probation in each case. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a violation of probation against him

Ferrell was arrested on Saturday, May 7 for assault and for resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy responded to a residence on Midway Road for a possible domestic. As the officer was talking to the woman who placed the call, Ferrell ran out of the house and charged toward the deputy holding a wire plant hanger. Although the officer ordered him several times to stop and go back inside the house, Ferrell continued toward the deputy and drew back the hanger as if he were going to hit him before throwing it to the ground. But after dropping the hanger, Ferrell again approached the deputy with a raised fist in a fighting stance. Ferrell was forcibly subdued by the deputy and placed under arrest.

27 year old Daniel Lee Preston entered a plea by criminal information to reckless driving and violation of the implied consent law. He received six months probation for the reckless driving and a $50 fine for the implied consent violation. His driver license has been revoked for one year. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 21 a deputy responded to a wreck at Sligo Marina. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Preston who said he was operating a vehicle which backed into another automobile involved in the wreck. Preston had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His speech was slurred and he was very unsteady on his feet. Preston told the officer that he had consumed five or six beers within the previous hour or two. Preston refused to submit to field sobriety tasks and a blood test.

45 year old Gary C. Boatwright entered a plea to evading arrest and received a three year sentence to serve as a range 1 offender. The term is to run concurrent with a sentence against him in Wilson County. He was given jail credit from November 7, 2015 to August 8, 2016. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, November 7, 2015 a sheriff's department deputy attempted to stop a vehicle on Highway 70 west for failing to maintain his lane of travel. The driver pulled to the shoulder of the road but did not come to a complete stop. He then took off again. The officer began a pursuit on Highway 70 which continued onto Highway 96. The pursuit was terminated at Cannon County. After an investigation, officers learned that Boatwright was the driver and a computer check of Boatwright's license showed they were revoked for a DUI.

28 year old Amanda Brooke Washer entered a plea to evading arrest and simple possession. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case all suspended to supervised probation. The terms are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a General Sessions court case against her. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, May 3 Washer intentionally fled from law enforcement officers by running from them as they were trying to serve an arrest warrant on her. Washer was forcibly taken into custody. A search of her belongings revealed two spoons with residue which field tested positive for cocaine; two used hypodermic needles; and two lighters and tissue paper. Washer was named in a sealed indictment by the grand jury last month on the simple possession charge (marijuana) from a December 14, 2015 incident.

44 year old Tonya Silcox entered a plea to possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation. Smithville Police were dispatched to McDonald's Restaurant on August 27, 2014 to investigate a wreck. Upon arrival, the officer was told by a deputy that he saw Silcox's automobile hit another vehicle in the drive through and then pull out onto the highway in front of traffic, almost causing another accident. Silcox was pulled over and she was asked to step out of her vehicle. Silcox performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was very unsteady on her feet. During a search incident to arrest, police found a diabetic testing kit containing several syringes and crushed straws. The syringes contained a yellow residue consistent with drug use. One straw was found in her purse. Silcox was placed under arrest.

Helicopter Airlift of Sick Student Causes Delay at DeKalb Middle School

August 9, 2016
Dwayne Page

Students were released from school about twenty minutes later than normal this afternoon due to a medical emergency at DeKalb Middle School involving a pupil.

Due to the student’s medical condition, a helicopter ambulance was summoned to the school to airlift the youngster.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps said traffic on campus was halted once the helicopter was enroute and students were kept at school for their safety until the helicopter left.

Other local emergency personnel were also on the scene

Public Invited to Open House of the New DeKalb Dental Center, Office of Dr. Mitch Tatum D.D.S.

August 9, 2016
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Dental Center, Office of Dr. Mitch Tatum D.D.S.
Dr. Mitch Tatum at the front desk of the new DeKalb Dental Center
Dr. Mitch Tatum with CBCT 3D Imaging and Panoramic X-ray unit.
CEREC Digital CAD/CAM system
Dr. Tatum at Central Sterilization Center
Sterisil Water Filtration System

DeKalb Dental Center, the office of Dr. Mitch Tatum, D.D.S. is hosting an Open House of the new facility on Friday, August 12 from 3-6 p.m. at 201
South 3rd Street.

Everyone is invited to stop by to take a tour, enjoy refreshments, and register for drawings

The Chamber of Commerce also plans a ribbon cutting.

Construction was completed in late spring on the new 3,500 square foot dental center which is next to the location where the former building once stood. The center sports an attractive new look and features nine identical patient treatment rooms or operatories, new state-of- the art equipment, spacious waiting room and offices, and a down stairs storage area and break room for employees

“We’ve been in it about two months and probably about 18 months from the time we decided we were going to do it. We have a lot more space now and we’re offering more services,” said Dr. Tatum.

The center offers new high tech dental x-rays, implants and a new water filtration system among other services. “We’re going to start offering implants from start to finish where you don’t have to be referred out to have them placed. With our new Cone Beam Computer tomography Machine (CBCT) and the digital x-ray technology it provides, we can offer much more precise surgical planning and implant creation. Through CEREC Dental restoration, we use computers which includes 3D and CAD/CAM technology to provide crowns in one office visit. We also have a new Sterisil filtration system for dental unit water lines which eliminates the need for independent bottles to cleanse dental equipment and handpieces,” said Dr. Tatum

Born in Shelbyville and raised in Nashville, Dr. Tatum received his high school education from Ezell Harding and later graduated from David Lipscomb University. He and his wife Gina are the parents of three sons, 20 year old Will and Zach (twins) and 16 year old Drew.

Dr. Tatum has been practicing in Smithville for sixteen years, having bought the business from Dr. Larry Puckett. “ I found my way up here looking for a job after dental school. I started out in Woodbury as an associate for a few years and was looking to buy my own practice. Dr. Puckett, who had been practicing since 1964, was wanting to retire so he called me up one day and we started talking. We continued talking after that day off and on for probably about eight months before I bought his practice,” said Dr. Tatum.

Dr. Tatum’s wife Gina Tatum, who is originally from Spring Hill, said after they moved here so did Dr. Tatum’s parents. “We’re lucky to have them living here. They moved up here two years after we moved. Its nice to have family here,” she said.

“My dad had retired and they were trying to get out of Nashville too,”said Dr. Tatum

“And move closer to some of their grandkids," added Gina.

Dr. Tatum said it has been a joy serving and caring for his dental patients and he is most appreciative of his loyal staff. “I’m the second newest employee,” said Dr. Tatum with a smile. ““Five of them have been here longer than me. We recently added a new assistant. I’ve been extremely lucky to have this wonderful staff, which includes two dental hygienists, two assistants, a hygiene assistant and three administrative personnel. They are all really loyal to the practice and loyal to our patients”, he said.

The Tatum’s hope you will make plans to join them for the open house of the new dental center on Friday from 3-6 p.m. at the 201 South 3rd Street.

“If you are looking for a dentist we would be glad to have you. We’ll treat you like family,” Dr. Tatum concluded.

Open House Tuesday at DeKalb County Health Department

August 8, 2016
Dwayne Page
Open House Tuesday at DeKalb County Health Department

The DeKalb County Health Department will join celebrations of National Health Center Week Aug. 7-13. The goal of this observance is to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the course of more than five decades. The theme for NHCW 2016 is Celebrating America's Health Centers: Innovators in Community Health.

An Open House will be held at the DeKalb County Health Department on Tuesday, August 9 from 1-3 p.m. at 254 Tiger Drive, Smithville. Meet the team, take a tour of the facility, and enjoy refreshments.

The Upper Cumberland Primary Care Project provides services for more than 25,000 people in DeKalb County and across the Upper Cumberland Region annually and has been successful in:

*Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room

*Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent

*Reducing infant mortality rates

“For almost 30 years, community health centers in the Upper Cumberland have improved access to care,” said DeKalb County Health Director, Michael Railling. “Our health centers provide full service adult and pediatric primary care as well as preventive health services to anyone with private insurance, TennCare or Medicare, as well as those without insurance.

To learn more about the services of your local community health center, please call (615) 597-7599

Intoxicated Driver Found Passed Out and In Possession of Methamphetamine

August 8, 2016
Dwayne Page
Amanda Nicole Wright
Harold Eugene Cunningham
Jacob James Damon
Sabastian Rosalino Francisco
Kenny Wayne Bly
Laura Elizabeth Ball

An intoxicated woman found passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle Sunday was also in possession of methamphetamine.

28 year old Amanda Nicole Wright of Sparta Highway, McMinnville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell. She was also cited for a second offense of driving on a revoked license. Her bond is $8,000 and she will make a court appearance on September 15.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, August 7 a deputy responded to the area of Keltonburg Road and McMinnville Highway where a woman was observed passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle setting in the roadway. The officer stopped and awoke the driver, Wright. She had an empty 12 ounce can of beer in her lap. She also had an open container of beer in the cup holder of the automobile. The deputy detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on Wright. Her speech was slurred and she had bloodshot eyes. Wright performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and she was placed under arrest. During a search of Wright’s vehicle, the deputy found in her purse three small individual baggies containing a clear crystal substance which tested positive for methamphetamine and an empty baggie was found with traces of meth.

46 year old Harold Eugene Cunningham is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is September 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, August 2 Cunningham allegedly assaulted his brother by threatening to kill him while aggressively displaying a wooden stick. Cunningham’s actions caused his brother to fear for his life.

Jacob James Damon of McMinnville is charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court on August 18. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, August 3 Damon broke into and stole a 1991 Nissan pickup truck valued at $1,000. In the back of the truck were various items valued at $935 which were also stolen.

Sabastian Rosalino Francisco of West Main Street, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is September 15. He was also cited for public indecency. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 6 a deputy was on routine patrol on Sparta Highway when he spotted someone walking in the westbound lane of the roadway. The officer stopped the man, Francisco and found that he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were bloodshot and he was very unsteady on his feet. Francisco admitted to having consumed three alcoholic beverages. He was placed under arrest. While being detained, Francisco exposed himself to traffic and began urinating while standing on the side of the road ignoring the officer’s commands to stop. After forcing him to stop, the deputy placed Francisco in the patrol car.

37 year old Kenny Wayne Bly of Neil Drive, Smithville is charged with criminal impersonation and failure to appear in court. He is under a $10,000 bond and he will make a court appearance on August 25. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 6 a deputy was dispatched to the Dollar General Store on Nashville Highway in reference to a possibly intoxicated man who had left the store with a small child. The complainant reported that the man was driving a white Lexus. The responding officer stopped and spoke with the driver who identified himself as Terry Paul Bly. The man was unable to provide the officer with an accurate date of birth and Social Security number. A further investigation revealed that the man was actually Kenny Wayne Bly. He was placed under arrest.

34 year old Laura Elizabeth Ball of Nashville Highway, Smithville is charged with interfering with emergency calls. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is August 25. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 6 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Nashville Highway in reference to a verbal argument. Before arriving on the scene, Central Dispatch advised the officer that they (dispatchers) had lost contact with the caller. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the caller who said that she and her daughter (Ball) had been arguing. When Ball learned her mother had placed a call to Central Dispatch seeking help from law enforcement, Ball took the phone from her and wouldn’t give it back.

November Elections to Include City Wine and Liquor Referendums

August 8, 2016
Dwayne Page

Referendums will be on the November 8 ballot in the City of Smithville including one asking voters to permit grocery stores to sell wine and the other to allow liquor by the drink in restaurants.

The referendums were verified with the number of signatures required to get the questions on the November 8 election ballot. The election commission has approved placing the referendums on the ballot

"A wine at retail food stores referendum may only be called by petition of registered voters in jurisdictions which have held and passed either a referendum to authorize retail package stores or a referendum to authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises," said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.

“Two years ago Smithville voters approved retail package stores, thus making the city eligible for wine at retail food stores,” he said. “To call a wine at retail food stores referendum, a petition must be signed by 10% or more of the registered voters casting a ballot for governor in the last city election.”

In addition, the petition has to be filed with the election commission no later than 75 days before the upcoming November election. That requirement
was also met.

The other referendum seeks to authorize alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in restaurants. Both referendums apply only to the City of Smithville.

“A Retail food store” is defined in the law as a business that derives at least 20 percent of its sales from the retail sale of food and food ingredients and has floor space of at least 1,200 square feet. The law requires that food sales be those types of sales taxed at the lower, 5 percent state rate, rather than the higher sales tax rate applied to sales of prepared food. It appears that this definition will prevent most convenience stores and gas stations from obtaining licenses to sell wine.

If voters approve the sale of wine in grocery stores and or liquor by the drink in restaurants, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission will be the body to issue “ licenses”.

Applicants for wine in grocery stores must submit a certificate from the city, signed by the mayor, stating that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony in the past ten years and that the applicant has a location for their business inside the city limits. If a city fails to issue a certificate to an applicant within 60 days after receiving a written application, the commission will waive the certificate requirement.

Store ownership is not required in order to receive a license, as store owners may enter into franchise or management agreements with licensees. Cities may not limit the number of retail food store wine licenses to be issued in their jurisdiction nor require that applicants reside in the city.

Grocery stores located within 500 feet of package stores may not obtain licenses to sell wine until July 1, 2017, unless the package store owner provides written permission to the commission. Any package store owner who refuses such permission cannot sell those additional items permitted by the law until such time as the grocery store obtains permission to sell wine.


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