Local News Articles

"Reeling in the Years" Airs Saturday Night on WJLE

January 17, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shawn Jacobs and Dennis Stanley

Another edition of “reeling in the years” is coming into your home and automobile this Saturday night, January 18..

Join Dennis Stanley and Shawn Jacobs as they play the music from your youth, this Saturday from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Hear music from The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Meatloaf, The Beatles, Chicago, Neil Young and many more.

That’s “Reeling in the Years,” this Saturday night from 6 to 10 on WJLE.

WJLE Radio Shopper Returns Thursday, January 23

January 17, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

WJLE and participating local businesses are giving you a chance to bid on and buy merchandise at a discount in the RADIO SHOPPER on Thursday, January 23.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. that morning, WJLE will be opening up the phone lines for you to bid on various items from F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, the Flower Box, Dairy Queen, Kilgore’s Restaurant, DeKalb Farmers Coop, DeKalb Tire & Service, Bumpers Drive-In, Cantrell’s the home of Fluty and Fluty’s Shoes, Head Turners, Tangles Salon, the White Possum Grille, and possibly others!

WJLE will set a minimum bid on each item, and continue the bidding until the item is sold. The program on Thursday will be limited to around three hours. If we have more items to sell, the program will resume Friday morning, January 24 at 8:30 a.m.

It’s going to be fun and exciting! Be sure to be by your radio and your telephone on Thursday, January 23rd at 8:00 a.m. and call in a bid to RADIO SHOPPER on WJLE. The program will also be streamed LIVE at www.wjle.com..

Drug Defendants to be Arraigned February 21

January 16, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
2010 Chevy Equinox driven by 17 year old girl

Sixty four persons were named in sealed indictments by the DeKalb County Grand Jury on Monday, January 13 after a three month undercover drug investigation by the Sheriff's Department. The defendants are to be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on February 21.

(CLICK LINK TO VIEW PHOTOS OF ALL DRUG DEFENDANTS ARRESTED WEDNESDAY)
http://www.wjle.com/image-gallery/drug-defendants

Those arrested Wednesday and their charges are as follows:

42 year old Chad Everett Knowles of The Loop Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid), $30,000 bond

69 year old Eulain “Poley" Shelton of Gentry Avenue, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid), $30,000 bond

32 year old Kenneth “Kenny” Bain Jr. of Old west Point Road, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine) $60,000 bond

25 year old Bruce Carlon Cantrell of Bobby Hayes Road, Dowelltown:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone) 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Percocet); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, $130,000 bond

30 year old Terra Elaine Locklear of Toad Road Dowelltown:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Percocet); 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), $70,000 bond

35 year old Jessie Eugene Thomas of Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Percocet); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, $50,0000 bond.

59 year old Kenneth Lee Bain Sr. of Old West Point Road, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine), bond $60,000

32 year old Mark Denver Young of Barnes Mill Road Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone), $60,000 bond

28 year old Amanda Alice Atnip of Coconut Ridge Road, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Opana), Bond $60,000

35 year old Michael Shone Saylors of West Main Street Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), $40,000 bond

30 year old Christopher Trent Barnes of Hayes Court, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone); 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule drug II (Opana); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, $100,000 bond

32 year old Christopher Eudean Pack of Kendra Drive, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone), $60,000 bond

36 year old Jermaine Derperise McCoy of Smith Road, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Crack Cocaine); 2 counts of Drug Free Zone, bond $100,000

33 year old Brandon Edward Smith of Cooper Street, Smithville:
4 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Crack Cocaine); 2 counts of Drug Free Zone, bond $160,000.

29 year old Donald “Ricky” Atnip Jr. of Natchez Lane, McMinnville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Opana), bond $60,000

24 year old Emily Claire Anderson of Natchez Lane, McMinnville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Suboxone Strips), bond $20,000

43 year old Richard Scott Adams of Redmon Road, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Crack Cocaine), bond $30,000.

50 year old Victor Locklear of Toad Road, Dowelltown:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), bond $40,000

30 year old Jackie Blake Sanders of Highland Street, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Percocet); 2 counts of Drug Free Zone, bond $100,000.

22 year old Christopher Michael Prince of Cascade Falls Drive Murfreesboro:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Adderall); 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule VI drug (Marijuana), bond $70,000
(NOTE: A citation was issued to Prince because when arrested the deputy found a small amount of marijuana on his person. The citation was for simple possession of marijuana.

32 year old David “D.J.” Stewart of Greenwood Drive, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Suboxone), bond $70,000.

49 year old Scott Alan Ferrell of Cookeville Highway, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, bond $80,000.

34 year old John Miller Alsup of Toad Road, Dowelltown:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), bond $40,000.

28 year old Clent Lee Shehane of Foster Road, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine); 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule IV drug (Valium), bond $70,000.

51 year old Carl Edward Martin of Smith Road, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid): 2 counts of Drug Free Zone, Bond $100,000.

53 year old James “Jim” Walters of Fuston Cemetery Road McMinnville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Adderall), Bond $60,000.

63 year old Billie Jean Sanders of Highland Street, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Counterfeit Drug;
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Adderall); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, Bond $60,000.

53 year old Sammy Gene Taylor of Winter Drive, Dowelltown:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Adderall), bond $60,000

61 year old Charles Ronnie Evans of Students Home Road, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid), Bond $60,000.

26 year old Auston Corley Wood of Main Street Gassaway:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, Bond $80,000.

34 year old Russell Shannon Estes of Locust Street, Liberty:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Suboxone Strips);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid), bond $50,000.

27 year old Nikita Dawn Clark of Patterson Road, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone), Bond $60,000.

19 year old Savanah Brooke Arnold of Miller Road, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Suboxone Strips); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, Bond $50,000.

29 year old Amanda Michelle Certain of Locust Street Liberty
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone)
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrodone), Bond $50,000.

41 year old Lisa Lue Ray of Cookeville Highway, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Percocet);
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), bond $50,000
(NOTE: Ray was issued a citation for drug paraphernalia because when she was arrested the deputy found an ink pen barrel that contained a white powdery substance, a dish that contained a white powdery substance, and a pill crusher that contained a white powdery substance that was found in her home).

46 year old Lawrence Scott Young of Cascade Falls Drive, Murfreesboro:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Adderall), bond $60,000.

52 year old Tommye Lou Bell of Hawkins Drive, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid), bond $60,000.

32 year old Ricky Shannon Pollard of Peyton Lane, Smithville:
2 counts of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine), bond $60,000.

35 year old Anthony Glen Johnson of Antioch Road, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine); 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), bond $70,000.

31 year old Jonathan Kyle McCormick of Green Acres Drive, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid); 1 count of Drug Free Zone; 1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, Bond $100,000. (NOTE: McCormick was issued a citation for drug paraphernalia after a deputy found hypodermic needles, strings, straws, and spoons in his bedroom that is believed to have been used to consume drugs).

34 year old Christopher Shannon Mooneyham of Green Acres Drive Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Roxycodone); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, Bond $50,000. (NOTE: Mooneyham was issued a citation for simple possession of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) and drug paraphernalia after a deputy found in his possession hypodermic needles, straws, and spoons and six Hydrocodone pills).

56 year old Tommy Redmon of Sparta Highway, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid), Bond $30,000

45 year old Bradley “Buck” Luna of Antioch Road, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Adderall), Bond $30,000

31 year old Jimmy Joel Farris of Andrews Street, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Counterfeit Drug, bond $10,000.

34 year old Steven Ray Keen Jr. of South College Street, Smithville:
1 count of Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Opana); 1 count of Drug Free Zone, bond $50,000

56 year old George O. Divine of North Butler Street Sparta:
Three counts of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Adderall), bond $90,000

28 year old Brandy Faye Batey of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown:
Two counts of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Opana); two counts of drug free zone, bond $100,000

30 year old Ronald “Jag” Jagnandan of C.B. Johnson Road, Sparta:
One count of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Roxycodone); One count of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Adderall), bond $60,000.

47 year old Howard Robert Mayo Jr. of Main Street, Gassaway:
One count of Sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), bond $20,000

48 year old Evelyn Darlene Cantrell of Bobby Hayes Road, Dowelltown:
Two counts of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Opana), bond $60,000

31 year old James Todd Qualls of Luna Lane Sparta:
Initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a schedule I drug (Mushroom), bond $75,000.

32 year old Garth Cantrell of Pine Grove Road, Smithville:
One count of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Roxycodone); and one count of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Crack Cocaine), bond $50,000

22 year old Eric Dewayne Judkins of Hendrixson Road, Smithville:
One count of Sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Opana); and one count of Sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), bond $50,000

50 year old Robert Jeffery League of Smith Road, Smithville:
Two counts of Sale and delivery of a schedule I drug (MDMA Ecstasy); and two counts of a Drug Free Zone, bond $50,000

28 year old Brandon Scott Kidd of Four Seasons Drive, Smithville:
One count of Sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug (Xanax), bond $20,000

Woman Injured in Rollover Crash

January 15, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Officers at Scene of Car Crash on Short Mountain Highway
Woman Injured in Car Wreck

A 26 year old Smithville woman was injured in a one car crash Wednesday afternoon on Highway 146 near Short Mountain Mini-Storage.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:26 p.m.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Amanda Washer was traveling north in a 2003 Mitsubishi Galant when the car went off the right side of the road, struck a culvert, and overturned coming to rest on its wheels. Washer was ejected from the car. She was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Washer told Trooper Johnson that she took her eyes off the road when she reached to pick up a lighter. She was cited for not wearing her seatbelt and for failure to maintain her lane of travel.

Members of the Short Mountain Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with officers of the Sheriff's Department.

Undercover Drug Operation Results in Grand Jury Indictments Against Sixty Four Persons

January 15, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Deputy Andy Taylor, Kenneth "Kenny" Bain, Jr., and Deputy Tyler Patterson
Deputy Colt Stewart and Drug Defendant Emily Claire Anderson
Drug defendant James "Jim" Walters and Deputy Brian Williams

A three month long undercover drug investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department resulted in grand jury indictments against sixty four people on Monday, January 13.

(CLICK PDF LINK TO READ NAMES OF DRUG DEFENDANTS ARRESTED WEDNESDAY AND THEIR CHARGES)
news1-8-14defendants.pdf (51.18 KB)

Most of the defendants were arrested Wednesday and brought to the Main Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department on King Ridge Road where they were booked.

"My Department and I started this undercover drug operation around the middle of September and stopped it close to the middle of December," said Sheriff Patrick Ray.

"On Monday January 13th, my Drug Detectives and I met with the DeKalb County Grand Jury for the purpose of seeking indictments on 63 drug dealers here in DeKalb County. We presented a total of 112 controlled drug buys to the DeKalb County Grand Jury. There was also an additional drug indictment on another person for a methamphetamine lab. So the total number of Drug Defendants is 64," he said..

Some of the defendants charged in the drug sting are employees of local businesses. " There were three businesses on West Broad Street in Smithville where we were able to conduct controlled drug buys. We had been receiving citizen complaints of drug sales and drug abuse from one business in particular where we made arrests today. We were able to conduct 12 different controlled drug buys from 6 different employees who worked at this business," said Sheriff Ray.

(SHOWN IN VIDEO BELOW: CORRECTIONAL OFFICER ERNIE HARGIS WITH DRUG DEFENDANT LAWRENCE SCOTT YOUNG WEARING LIGHT BLUE SHIRT AND DETECTIVE ROBERT PATRICK WITH DRUG DEFENDANT CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL PRINCE WEARING DARK JACKET)

"As for the other two businesses on West Broad Street, we were able to conduct four different controlled drug buys from two employees at one business, and two different controlled drug buys from one employee at the other business. In addition, we made one controlled drug buy from an employee at a business on McMinnville Highway. And lastly, we conducted three different controlled drug buy operations from an owner of a business on Holiday Haven Drive," he continued.

Sheriff Ray would not reveal the names of the businesses since in most cases there was no evidence that the owners were aware of the drug activity taking place there.

According to the Sheriff, a variety of drugs were purchased through this three month investigation from individuals across the county. "Through these controlled drug buys, we were able to purchase many different types of drugs. We purchased Dilaudid, Morphine, Opana, Roxycodone, Percocet, Hydocodone, Suboxone Strips, Suboxone Pills, Adderall, Valium, Xanax, Subutex, Ecstasy, Crack Cocaine, and Marijuana. The majority of the drugs bought were prescription pain killers.
These controlled drug buys were spread all across the county," he said.

"Some of the controlled buys were conducted in drug free zones. A drug free zone is property such as parks, day cares, schools, libraries, or any where that is designated for children or where children can gather. The zone extends 1,000 feet from the property line of these places. When a drug dealer arranges for a drug buy to take place within these zones, we as law enforcement can charge the drug dealer with the drug free zone charge. The punishment for illegal drug transactions conducted in a drug free zone enhances the charges and penalties and could result in the defendants having to serve longer sentences and paying higher fines," said Sheriff Ray.

In addition to the arrests, Sheriff Ray said efforts will be made to seize vehicles used in the delivery of the drugs. "Out of this operation, we expect to seize at least 10 vehicles that drug dealers used in the transport and sale of illegal drugs," he said.

Sheriff Ray expressed his appreciation to all those who were involved in the investigation. "I want to thank my Detectives and Deputies for the hard work that they have done in planning and implementing this operation. An extensive amount of time was dedicated to every phase of this significant operation," he said.

"As a result of these efforts, DeKalb County’s citizens are safer and these defendants now have the opportunity to face the consequences of their wrong and, hopefully, make a commitment to not making these mistakes again. And probably the most positive impact of this operation is the undisputed fact that, as of today, the availability of illegal drugs in DeKalb County has been drastically slashed," added Sheriff Ray.

"I also want to thank District Attorney General Randy York, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong, and their Secretary Melissa Lewis, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, DeKalb County 911 Dispatch, Officers from the State of Tennessee Probation and Parole, and the DeKalb County Fire Department for allowing us to use their facility as part of this operation," Sheriff Ray concluded .

Legislation Filed to Stop ObamaCare in Tennessee

January 15, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
State Representative Mark Pody
State Senator Mae Beavers

State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Mark Pody announced Wednesday that they will sponsor a bill to resist implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Tennessee. Based on similar legislation already introduced in Georgia, the Tennessee Health Care Freedom and ACA Noncompliance Act would prohibit any cooperation by the state or its agencies in implementing or administering the federal health care program commonly referred to as ObamaCare.

The lawmakers say the bill rests on the legal foundation known as the anti-commandeering doctrine in which Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone.

“The federal government does not have constitutional authority to commandeer state and local governments to enforce or implement these federal healthcare mandates,” said Senator Beavers. “It’s time that Tennessee says no to assisting them in the implementation of this disastrous program. This legislation takes a very strong stand to resist this federal overreach of power.”

“This action, especially in conjunction with similar steps being taken in other states, has the effect of nullifying ObamaCare,” added Rep. Pody. “If the feds cannot even build an appropriate website or keep their promises to consumers, they will be extremely hard-pressed to implement the other provisions for this program within our boundaries.”
Beavers’ and Pody’s legislation:

•directs that no powers, assets, employees, agents or contractors of the state or its local government subdivisions, including higher education institutions, can be used to implement or administer the federal health care program;

•bans Obamacare healthcare exchanges in the state;

•prohibits local governments in Tennessee from participating in or purchasing insurance from an ObamaCare health insurance exchange;

•provides that any health insurance contracts purchased in violation shall be void in a court of law in Tennessee; and

•empowers the General Assembly to enact sanctions, fines and penalties for violation of the proposed law and gives the state’s Attorney General the right to file a lawsuit against violators;

"The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States' officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case-bycase weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty," said Mike Maharrey, National Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, which assisted in drafting the bill.

“There is no question that this bill sits on sound legal footing,” Maharrey said. “So, let’s focus the debate on whether or not the people of Tennessee want Obamacare. After witnessing the website debacle, watching people who wanted to keep their insurance lose it and knowing that’s only the beginning of the government-created chaos to come, I’m guessing they don’t.”

“We are a sovereign state,” Beavers and Pody continued. “We have the constitutional authority to refuse to use our state dollars and personnel to implement this disastrous federal law. We look forward to presenting this bill as soon as possible and believe it has an excellent chance for passage.”

Most DUD Water Customers to See Rates Rise by 42%

January 15, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Most DUD Water Customers to See Rates Rise by 42%

Most DeKalb Utility District customers can expect a 42% increase in their water rates thanks to the City of Smithville's hefty rate increase to the utility, according to DUD officials.

In a letter to subscribers Tuesday, January 14, Board of Directors and Management of the DeKalb Utility District have announced that rates to customers who receive water purchased by the DUD from the city will be increased by 42% or $4.30 per thousand gallons effective with the January billing.

DUD officials say the increase is necessary to help offset the 144% rate increase the City imposed on the DUD effective January 1. The DUD must now pay the city $5.00 per thousand gallons, an increase from the rate of $2.05 per thousand gallons the DUD had been paying for the last year until its water purchase agreement with the city expired.

In the letter to subscribers, DUD officials say they are considering options in challenging the city's new rate.

The letter to customers reads as follows:

"The City Council of Smithville has unanimously voted to increase the rate for water sold to DUD from the current rate of $2.05 per thousand gallons to the rate of $5.00 per thousand gallons which equals a 144% increase effective January 1, 2014".

"This increase was imposed even though no additional expense was incurred by the City in producing water and delivering it to DUD. Further, the City indicated that this rate is subject to being increased again in July".

"DUD is now forced, due to the actions of the Smithville City Council, to increase our rates. We therefore provide notice that beginning with the January billing that an increase of $4.30 per thousand gallons (42% increase) will be assessed to our customers who receive water purchased from Smithville. DUD is mindful of the impact an increase has on its customers and is making every effort to keep the increase as minimal as possible. While this increase does not totally cover the increased cost imposed by the City, it should be sufficient while DUD is considering its options to challenge the rate".

"We appreciate your patience and understanding as we make every effort to provide you quality water at a reasonable price. The actions of Smithville provide a prime example why DeKalb Utility customers need their own water treatment plant so that others will not possess such random pricing power. Indeed, DUD continues with plans to construct a water treatment plant in order to permanently avoid this situation in the future".

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen met in special session Thursday night, December 12 at city hall to set the new rate for the DUD once the old contract expired December 31. The new rate of $5.00 per thousand gallons established for DUD is the same rate that city customers pay for water.

For the last decade, the DUD had been under contract with the city to purchase water at a rate which had increased by five cents per thousand gallons each year starting at $1.60 per thousand gallons in 2004 and ending up at $2.05 per thousand gallons in 2013.

Proposals for a new deal were presented by both sides in the months prior to the expiration of the contract but the parties could not reach an agreement.

In the last proposal, DUD commissioners offered to enter into a new ten year contract with the city and pay $2.67 per thousand gallons for the first five years and $2.80 per thousand gallons for the remaining five years. But they were unwilling to adhere to the city's request to give up plans to build a DUD water treatment plant and agree to minimum purchase amounts from the city for the next ten years. While not taking a vote on the DUD proposal, the aldermen clearly were opposed to it.

Several months ago the city hired Warren and Associates to do a water cost study. Their findings were that it cost the city $2.67 per thousand gallons to produce water. That's the same rate as the DUD proposed to pay in the first five years of a new contract with the city.

However during the December 12 meeting, the city's financial consultant, Janice Plemmons-Jackson advised the aldermen against locking in the rate for five years with costs likely to rise. "Every year your cost is going to continue to go up. To lock in one rate for five years, unless you're getting a high rate on the front end doesn't make sense," she said.

Jackson added that the results of Warren's cost study, done months ago, may already be out of date. "Those were probably 2012 numbers and we're already at the end of 2013 going into 2014. You have had some cost increases so the rate that was good at the time of the cost study is probably not the rate you're now spending to produce the water. That's an old number," she said.

At the December 12th meeting with no new agreement between the city and DUD, all five aldermen voted in favor of a motion to set the new DUD rate at $5.00 per thousand gallons.

The rate took effect January 1 and is be re-evaluated by the mayor and aldermen next summer during budget preparations for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins July 1. "The rate will be established in the budget by ordinance and it can be re-evaluated with the new budget July 1. Instead of doing a contract, the rate may now be voted on each year by the board in the budget ordinance," said City Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson.

Wheeler Arrested After Pursuit and Scuffle with Police Officers

January 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lonnie Wheeler

After a pursuit and a scuffle with officers, a Smithville man was taken into custody Monday evening and charged with evading arrest, DUI, unlawful possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, assault, and vandalism.

37 year old Lonnie Wheeler is under a $12,000 bond and will appear in court on February 13.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE that the incident began around 5:30 p.m. Monday as Officer Chip Avera and Corporal Travis Bryant were dispatched to break up a fight in progress on Kendra Drive. While police were enroute, the suspect got in his automobile and left the scene. After spotting the vehicle on Mountain Street near the Covenant Baptist Church, the officers activated their blue lights. But instead of pulling over, the suspect accelerated and led police on a pursuit down Mountain Street to Bryant Street. As the vehicle tried to turn onto Fisher Avenue, it ran into a ditch. Wheeler, the driver, then got out and tried to flee on foot leaving behind a passenger in the automobile. As Officer Avera and Detective Brandon Donnell stayed with the other person in the vehicle, Corporal Bryant chased after Wheeler and called for him to stop but he was uncooperative. After being tasered, Wheeler went to the ground and was handcuffed and placed in custody by Corporal Bryant along with Detective Matt Holmes and K-9 Officer James Cornelius who were also on the scene. As the officers were escorting Wheeler to the patrol car, he began fighting with them and head butted Corporal Bryant which later resulted in an assault charge against him. Wheeler was then taken to the ground again and restrained. After being placed in the patrol car, Wheeler continued to resist and kicked the glass out of the left rear door resulting in the vandalism charge against him.

Wheeler was also charged with DUI after police determined that he was intoxicated. According to Chief Caplinger, Wheeler was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Police found in Wheeler's vehicle an open beer and some whiskey along with a long blade knife and a baseball bat which led to a charge against Wheeler of unlawful possession of a weapon.

After his arrest, Wheeler was taken to the hospital for treatment of a gash on his head. He was then transported to jail. No one else was seriously injured in the incident.

DTC Seeks Amendment to Current Law Affecting Local Cooperative

January 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Keith Blair

DTC Communications has asked for a bill to be introduced at the Tennessee General Assembly to amend a current law that only affects DTC Communications.

Under legislation requested by DTC and being offered by State Representative Mark Pody, a provision of state law relative only to DTC Communications would be amended by deleting the requirement that all contested elections of DTC Board of Directors be conducted by a State Election commission and held on voting machines. The current requirement has been in effect since 1986 and affects no other cooperative in the State of Tennessee.

When asked by WJLE, Keith Blair, attorney for DTC Communications, stated that the increased difficulty in contracting with an election commission to conduct the election, the increased cost to the cooperative, and that only DTC is affected by this law were all factors that went into the decision to seek an amendment. Blair also stated that all future elections would still be held on voting machines and that paper ballots would not be used in the election process.

DTC Communications holds its director elections during the annual membership meeting in September. Terms of the ten member board are staggered with the election of three directors in one year, three others the next year, and four members the following year.

Third District to Have New Voting Location

January 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Church of God Fellowship Hall

Voters in the third district will have a new voting location this year.

The DeKalb County Election Commission voted Monday night to move the voting precinct from the Middle School to the Smithville Church of God Fellowship Hall on West Broad Street in Smithville.

The move means no school will be used for voting, freeing up the facilities for school days or teacher training. Voting was moved from Smithville Elementary School two years ago when the DeKalb County Complex opened on South Congress Boulevard.

“We have been looking to move this precinct for some time due to conflicts with the school system and due to safety issues," said Walteen Parker, Election Commission Chairman. “We want to thank Pastor Jeff Armstrong and the Church for agreeing to allow the facility to be used for voting.”

“We also want to thank the local school system for allowing us to use the various schools throughout the past years," Parker added. “School system personnel worked with us in securing the site and for that we are appreciative.”

The move becomes effective with the upcoming May primary elections.

In the coming weeks the election commission will mail letters to active voters in the district notifying them of the change.

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