Local News Articles

Early Voting Hours Set for State Senate Special Election

November 14, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

Early voting hours for the December 19th 17th Senatorial District Special Election have been set.

The candidates are Mary Alice Carfi, the Democratic nominee, and Mark Pody, the Republican nominee. The winner will fill the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers.

The DeKalb County Election Commission voted Monday night to set the following hours

Mondays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon

Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon

Thursdays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon

Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 Noon

Early voting begins November 29 and runs through December 14. All early voting is conducted on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Election Day is December 19 and polls will open that day at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, local candidates are gearing up for the May DeKalb County Democratic Primary and DeKalb County General Election in August. County offices up for election in 2018 are Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, Trustee and the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

Petitions for the Democratic Primary will be available at the election office beginning Friday, November 17th. The qualifying deadline is Noon February 15, 2018.

Independent candidates for those county offices can also pick up petitions beginning Friday.

Republican candidates will be selected by a party caucus.

Independent and Republican candidates must also qualify by Noon February 15.

Man Arrested for Breaking into Home of Ex-Wife and Assaulting Her

November 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Thomas Thomason
Mark Anthony Mason, Jr.
Cynthia Lynn Herman
Mark Anthony Graham
Christopher Shannon Mooneyham
Dylan Allen Crook
Steven Michael White

A man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into the home of his ex-wife and assaulting her.

50 year old Thomas Thomason of South College Street, Smithville is charged with aggravated burglary and domestic assault. His bond is $15,000 and his court date is December 14.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 11/06/2017 Thru: 11/13/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_47.pdf (2.7 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on September 18 a deputy, while investigating a domestic assault, spoke with a woman who said that her ex-husband, Thomason made entry into her home by breaking a door chain and picking a lock. There were signs of forced entry at the residence. After entering the home Thomason allegedly hit the woman in the head causing her to fall into a plastic crate. She had visible marks on her body.

Meanwhile in a separate case another man has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend.

45 year old Mark Anthony Mason, Jr. of Redmon Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is November 30.

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_48.pdf (2.54 MB)

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, November 6 a deputy was dispatched to Kings Court in Smithville in response to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said while a friend was visiting her, Mason (her boyfriend) came in through the back door, grabbed her by the hair and arm, and threw her out the door. She landed on the front porch leaving red marks on her arm.

52 year old Cynthia Lynn Herman of Nashville Highway, Liberty is charged with driving under the influence. She was also cited for driving on roadways laned for travel. Her bond is $2,500 and her court date is December 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 7 a deputy responded to a complaint of a reckless driver in a red Nissan truck on Nashville Highway. He spotted the vehicle on West Broad Street in Smithville and observed it failing to maintain its lane of travel. The deputy made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Herman whose speech was slow and she appeared to be disoriented. She claimed to have taken Xanax and Gabapentin earlier in the day. Herman submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.

47 year old Mark Anthony Graham of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is December 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 10 a deputy was on routine patrol in the area of the public square in Smithville when the driver of a vehicle pulled up beside him and began asking questions about a previous call to which the officer had responded. While speaking with the driver, Graham, the deputy noticed the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his vehicle. The officer asked Graham to step out of the automobile and submit to field sobriety tasks. Graham consented but performed poorly on the tasks. He was then placed under arrest.

38 year old Christopher Shannon Mooneyham of Murfreesboro is charged with public intoxication. He was also cited for simple possession. Mooneyham is under a $2,500 bond and his court date is November 30.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, November 11 two deputies were called to Poss Road due to a man believed to be highly intoxicated. Upon arrival the officers found the man, Mooneyham who was attempting to break in to a truck. He was very unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Mooneyham told the officers that he had smoked some marijuana and had used methamphetamine. He was placed under arrest. During a search incident to arrest, two strips of a substance believed to be suboxone was found in Mooneyham’s wallet.

20 year old Dylan Allen Crook of Carthage is charged under a two count sealed indictment with sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine). He was indicted on May 30 along with many others as a result of an undercover drug investigation by the sheriff’s department. Crook was arrested on Monday, November 13. His bond is $100,000 and he will be arraigned in criminal court on November 27.

68 year old Steven Michael White of Pea Ridge Road, Liberty is charged with simple possession/ casual exchange of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is November 30.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, November 2 a sheriff’s department detective assisted probation and parole with a probation search at the home of White. During a protective sweep of the home, the detective spotted a glass pipe and a set of digital scales setting on top of a dresser. A further search turned up approximately 75 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana along with eight pipes and a set of digital scales.

Dates Set for Christmas Parades

November 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Santa Claus is coming to town!

Santa Claus is coming to town!

The first of three Christmas parades in DeKalb County this holiday season will be Saturday, December 2 when the Smithville Christmas Parade sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department takes place starting at 1:00 p.m. The line up begins at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School. To enter call Jeff Wright at 615-597-6750 or John Poss at 931-349-5598.

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 3 at 2:00 p.m. The line-up will be at 1 PM at Salem Baptist Church. Call 615-464-8085 for more information.

The Alexandria Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. Line-up begins at 1 p.m. on West Main Street. To enter stop by or call the Alexandria City Hall at 615-529-2171 extension 2

2nd Annual Turkey Trot Collects Generous Donations

November 13, 2017
Elise Driver receives check from Gloria Pinegar of DeKalb Farm Bureau
Rhonda Caplinger and staff of Liberty State Bank with Elise Driver and Cindy Childers
2nd Annual Turkey Trot Winners
Food collected during Turkey Trot

Coordinated School Health's 2nd Annual Turkey Trot was this past Saturday, November 11, 2017. The event was held to benefit CSH's Back Pack Program. Participants were asked to bring non-perishable food items for a donation to The Back Pack Program. "There were generous donations of food and funds made to our program at the Turkey Trot thanks to individuals, businesses, and civic groups", said Elise Driver, Coordinated School Health. "All of the food donated today will be going into our Christmas boxes that we will be delivering to every family on our Back Pack list this year."

"We had 75 participants this year. That ended up being a compiled 230 plus miles that were walked/ran in an hour and a half! That is amazing!" "We would like to thank everyone that came out to the Turkey Trot this year, whether you walked, worked, or donated, we are so grateful for this show of support for The Back Pack Program. This program would not be possible if it were not for our wonderful community."

Winners in the female age categories: 5 & under-Trinity Parker(4 laps), 6-12-Alex Moreno(22 laps), 13-19-Misti Lloyd(5 laps), 20-29-Marissa Garmer(11 laps), 30-39-Carrie Gottlied(15 laps), 40-49-Susan Vandyne(9 laps), 60-69-Gloria Pinegar(10 laps).

Winners in the male age categories: 5 & under-Caysen Hale(4 laps), 6-12-Aaron Gottlied(30 laps), 13-19-TJ Bratcher(7 laps), 20-29-Danny Pirtle Jr.(7 laps), 30-39-Andrew Harvey(3 laps), 40-49-Edward Gottlied(16 laps), 50-59-Bill Conger(11 laps), 60-69-Jerald Cripps(3 laps).

We are continuously seeking food/funding to maintain our program. If you are interested in donating, please contact Elise Driver at 615-215-2118 or Cindy Childers at 615-215-2161.

2017-18 Gun Hunting Season For Deer Opens November 18

November 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
2017-18 Gun Hunting Season For Deer Opens November 18

Tennessee’s 2017-18 gun hunting season for deer opens Saturday, Nov. 18. Deer gun season has the traditional opening date of the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving.

During gun season, sportsmen may also use muzzleloader or archery equipment. The season will continue through Jan. 7, 2018 and the second Young Sportsman Hunt is Jan. 13-14.

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses) while hunting any species in Tennessee.

For more information about Tennessee’s 2017-18 deer hunting seasons, refer to the 2017-18 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all license agents, TWRA regional offices in Jackson, Nashville, Crossville, and Morristown or on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.

This is the third year that the statewide bag limit for antlered deer is two. The number includes those taken during the archery only, muzzleloader, and gun seasons.

The start of muzzleloader season was on Nov. 4, and like much of the fall season across the state, temperatures were above normal for the weekend. The harvest was 4,823 deer as compared to 10,960 over the 2016 opening weekend.

Since archery only season began in late September, there have been 30,505 deer harvested through the first weekend of muzzleloader season, which also includes the Young Sportsman Hunt in late October. The total is 3,048 less than through the same period in 2016.

City Costs of Providing Health Insurance for Employees Going Down

November 12, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

The City of Smithville will be saving money on the cost of providing health insurance coverage for its employees next year.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson informed the Mayor and Aldermen that according to the city’s health insurance provider, the overall renewal cost is going down by 6.5%.

“About four years ago we switched from the Tennessee state plan to Blue Cross Blue Shield with Health Cost Solutions of Hendersonville. They assured us they would save the city money. Smithville Electric System also got on board with it. Last month we received an email from Tim Herndon of Financial Blue Print sharing the news about the lower medical insurance rate to the city,” said Hendrixson.

Reading from the letter, Hendrixson said “We love to provide good news about group medical insurance. We rarely have the chance to do it. Great news!. Your medical insurance rate is actually going down in 2018. I have attached the BCBS of TN renewal piece of your plan and it’s going down 5.9%. When you bake the new BCBS rate into the cost of Health Costs Solutions (a third party which oversees the city’s plan) your overall renewal cost is going down about 6.5%. When you add up the estimated total amount of money the City of Smithville and Smithville Electric System combined have saved over the last four years compared to the state plan, the amount is $1,335,920”.

According to Hendrixson, the City of Smithville pays 100% of its employees’ and elected city officials health insurance premiums. Smithville Electric System, which is a separate entity, pays 100% of the premiums for family plans of its employees and board members. The city has about 50 workers. SES has 10 employees.

Alderman Josh Miller asked what the cost would be for the city to pay the premiums for family plans

“Its rather expensive. Unfortunately that’s the only draw back. I see in some ways we’re saving to where we could put it out there but I don’t know how long it would last. Things change from year to year. I would hate to start it this year and then next year find out we can’t do it. Unfortunately once you go to the family plan regardless of whether you have one person or four or five people it goes up. But for next year’s budget we could get numbers,” said Hendrixson.

Alderman Shawn Jacobs asked whether former city employees in good standing could continue to carry insurance after they have retired.

“Once you separate from service from the city assuming you are in good standing and you put in your 30 years and retire or whatever, I wonder if you could take that insurance with you. Would it increase our costs that much if we allowed that employee to take that insurance with them if they paid the entire premium which I would think would still be a lot less for them,” asked Jacobs?

“I don’t want to cost the city any more money but people are hurting when it comes to health insurance and if we can help them get it without costing us too much money, I think its good. For someone who has devoted his or her life to serving the city it would be a little perk to take with them,” said Jacobs.

“I think we would need to get with Health Cost Solutions and let them put the numbers together,” added Hendrixson.

Local Boy Scouts Collect Food for Pantry

November 12, 2017
by: 
Bill Conger
Gavin Conger (Photo by Bill Conger)

Troop 347 scouted for food at Smithville Food Lion Friday night (Nov. 10). The Boy Scouts collected nonperishable food to stock God's Food Pantry for the holidays. Scouts asked customers to pick up an extra item or two while they were grocery shopping to be given to the needy families in DeKalb County. Kaleb Wildes, Zach Cantrell, Carter Dias, Gavin Conger, and Webelos Jaden Wildes volunteered between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Scouts collected two baskets of food and 100-dollars that was donated.

Hawkins Pays Tribute to Fellow Veterans and their Families (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

November 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Veterans Day Program guest speaker Billy Hawkins (left) with Ronnie Redmon, Adjutant of American Legion Post #122 and Judy Redmon, President of the Ladies Auxiliary
Veterans place wreath at Courthouse Monument Saturday following Veterans Day program at the county complex

A large crowd took time Saturday to join members of the American Legion Post #122 in remembering the service and sacrifices of soldiers during the annual Veterans Day program held at the county complex.

The program began with piano music by Mary Lynn Page followed by a performance of patriotic songs by members of the DCHS Band and Chorus.

Boy Scout Troop #347 presented the colors and led the audience in the pledge to the flag. Victoria Vincent performed the national anthem accompanied by the DCHS Chorus.

Local minister Larry Green offered an opening prayer and Judy Redmon, President of the American Legion Post #122 Ladies Auxiliary introduced the guest speaker Billy Hawkins who opened his remarks by saying how much his fellow veterans mean to him.

“I want to say to these veterans who are here today that we are not necessarily heroes but we were doing our jobs when we were in the military. That is the important thing. We were doing what we signed up to do. I don’t feel like a hero but these other veterans here today are my heroes. DeKalb County has sent many people into the service. We’ve had many that did not come back but we owe you all a deep debt of gratitude,” he said.

M2U02594 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Hawkins gave a history of how Veterans Day came about and then spoke of what veterans have done for our country.

“A veteran is the cop on the beat who spent twelve months in a desert sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

A veteran is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in a makeshift military hospital.

A veteran is the POW who went away one person and came back another, or didn't come back at all.

A veteran is a parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

A veteran is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket who killed the Vietcong in the name of liberty and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

A veteran is an ordinary human being and he may be your next door neighbor.

It is the veteran who has given us freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the right to assemble. It is the veteran who has given us the right to a fair trial and the right to vote. It is the veteran, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

There is no greater way that a person can serve their loved ones or their fellow man than providing freedom, safety and security,”
Hawkins said.

Hawkins then paid tribute to law enforcement officers and firefighters as well as the families of veterans. “ I want to recognize law enforcement officers and firefighters because they serve just as well. They put their lives on the line for every one of us every day when they are needed,” he said.

“I also want to recognize the unrecognized heroes. The people left at home. I salute the families of veterans. They sacrificed every day of their family’s military service. They are the heroes who stayed behind and took care of the children and everything else while worrying about you as a veteran. They were the ones who packed up the household goods, sometimes with very little notice and moved to foreign places. If you are a family member, a wife, husband, child, sister, brother, or grandparent of a veteran I salute you because you also paid a price,” Hawkins said.

Born in Watertown, Hawkins grew up in Tennessee and Michigan, and graduated from Smithville High School in 1953. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1974 retiring as a Tech Sergeant.

Hawkins earned a B.S., M.S., and Ed.S degrees from MTSU and began teaching at DCHS in 1977. He retired from teaching in 1997.

After serving in the Tennessee State Guard for 20 years, Hawkins retired in 2003 as a Brigadier General Commanding the 2nd Brigade known as “the Old Hickory Brigade of Middle Tennessee”. He has served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Upper Cumberland Military Officers’ Association. Hawkins is a member of the VFW and the American Legion and has been a supporter and consultant to the Nashville “Operation Standdown” serving homeless veterans.

Following Hawkins’ remarks, American Legion Post #122 Adjutant Ronnie Redmon, Sr. recognized fellow members for their years of service including:

W.D. (Doyle) Smith- 63 years; Thermon N. Harrison-44 years; Lee A. Plummer-43 years; Willie T. Robinson-41 years; Earl Hensley-40 years; George Corley, Jr.-38 years; David R. Laird-35 years; Jerry N. Brown and Calvin L. Hullett-32 years; Ronnie Redmon, Sr., Edsel B. Frazier, and Jimmy L. Driver-30 years; Gary L. Fuson-28 years; Eugene J. O’Neil and Walter N. Johnson-25 years; and James E. Cantrell, Waniford Cantrell, Edward Frazier, and Eddie M. Young-20 years.

American Legion Commander William Edmonds also made welcoming remarks.

Following the program, local veterans boarded a school bus made available courtesy of the School System Transportation Department for a parade escort from the county complex to downtown Smithville for the laying of a wreath at the courthouse veterans memorial monument. Sheriff Patrick Ray along with members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments, and DeKalb EMS made up the parade.

A high school band member then blew taps to end the program.

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I came to an end when Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies.

"Armistice Day" was celebrated in the U.S. on Nov. 11, 1919, to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of WWI. Seven years later, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance. In 1938, Nov. 11 became a national holiday but it wasn't until 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

Veterans Day pays tribute to all U.S. military veterans, living or dead, for serving the U.S. during war or peacetime.

Drug Defendants Sentenced in Criminal Court

November 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jeffery Mark Hatfield
Philando Darnell Fullilove
Stephanie Ann Pierce

Three people were sentenced Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court on drug charges stemming from an undercover investigation by the Sheriff’s Department.

Judge David Patterson presided.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 11/06/2017 Thru: 11/13/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_47.pdf (2.7 MB)

27 year old Jeffery Mark Hatfield of Smithville entered a plea to sale of a schedule II drug (oxycodone) and sale of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine). He was sentenced to six years in one case and four years in the other to run consecutive for a ten year TDOC term. Hatfield was granted probation and was fined $4,000. He must make restitution of $200 to the sheriff’s department.

30 year old Philando Darnell Fullilove of Shady Lane, Alexandria entered a plea to sale of methamphetamine over half an ounce and received a ten year TDOC sentence to serve but furloughed to Mission Teens. The term is to run consecutive to two other cases against him. Fullilove was fined $2,000 and given 112 days jail credit.

42 year old Stephanie Ann Pierce of Pea Ridge Road, Elmwood entered a plea to sale of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) and received a six year TDOC sentence to serve 180 days in the DeKalb County Jail. She must make $200 restitution to the sheriff’s department and was fined $2,000. Pierce was given jail credit from August 28 through November 7.

The DeKalb County Grand Jury met in special session Tuesday, May 30 and returned more than 40 sealed indictments mostly against drug offenders.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said officers of his department appeared before the Grand Jury and presented cases against each offender as the result of an undercover investigation. "A variety of drugs were bought during this operation including Xanax, Hydrocodone, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Subutex, and others," he said.

"Some of the indictments were for sale and delivery in a drug free zone which is an area 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, and daycare," he added.

Meanwhile, 31 year old Justin L. Murphy entered a plea Tuesday to domestic assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days with six months of supervised probation and five months and 29 days of unsupervised probation. The term is to run consecutive to a DeKalb violation of probation he is currently serving. Murphy allegedly assaulted his victim by punching her in the left shoulder repeatedly leaving a visible bruise.

Local Health Information Professionals Earn Department of the Year

November 11, 2017
Pictured: (L to R: Janice Ham (Regional HIM Consultant), Tabitha Anderson (Health Information Manager), Andrea Puckett (HIM Assistant), Greg Bidwell (SVP, Central Region)

The leaders of the Health Information Department at NHC Smithville were recently recognized as the HIM Department of the Year at the annual NHC Health Information Conference. Accepting the award was Tabitha Anderson, Health Information Manager, and Andrea Puckett, Health Information Assistant. Anderson and Puckett both reside in Smithville. The conference was held September 27-29 in Pigeon Forge, TN. The Award for Health Information Department of the Year is given to the department which performs the best in areas such as Medicare certification, chart analysis, survey deficiencies, physician services, and overall excellence. NHC Smithville’s Health Information team also won the Department of the Year in 2013.

“Ensuring that each patient’s medical record is accurate and complete is of paramount importance at NHC Smithville,” Anderson said. “This recognition is a team accomplishment because it takes each partner: CNA’s, nurses, therapists, and physicians, to assist with health information.” Clint Hall, Administrator, added, “Tabitha and Andrea are a tremendous asset to NHC Smithville. They perform their work in a timely, organized, and skilled manner. They also have a deep commitment to excellence that shows in the professionalism of their work and the way they lead themselves personally. This is a great accomplishment for them and for NHC Smithville.”

For more information about NHC Smithville, visit www.nhcsmithville.com or call (615) 597-4284.

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