Local News Articles

Hoover Dies in Sunday Night Crash

December 22, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Firefighters at Crash Scene (Photo by Callie Matthews)

An 18 year old man died in a two vehicle crash Sunday night on Highway 53 near Liberty.

Dead is Jake Hoover of Liberty.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that Hoover was driving south in a 2004 Honda when the car went off the left side of the roadway into an embankment, causing the car to go airborne. While airborne, a northbound 2000 Peterbilt tractor trailer truck, hauling a load of milk, struck Hoover's car causing it to fly into a utility pole. The truck was driven by 55 year old Joe Hearn of Alexandria.

The DeKalb County Fire Department's extrication team was called to the scene to remove Hoover from the vehicle. The THP says Hearn was not injured.

Both men were wearing their seatbelts and there was no evidence of any alcohol or drugs.

The Liberty and Main Station engines of the DeKalb County Fire Department also responded to the scene along with DeKalb EMS, and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

The crash was investigated by Trooper Jimmy Tisdale and Sergeant James Sells of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

"Love Lights a Tree" Seeks Support

December 21, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Love Lights a Tree
American Cancer Society Love Lights a Tree

The DeKalb County Unit of the American Cancer Society seeks your support in the "Love Lights a Tree fundraising campaign." This annual event gives area residents the opportunity to honor a special person during the holiday season and aid in cancer research.

The "Love Lights a Tree" project is designed to raise money not only for research, but includes cancer education and patient services. Donations in honor of and in memory of a special person can be made throughout the holiday season. The persons you honor or remember do not necessarily have to have suffered from cancer.

The names of honorees are as follows:

Allison Rogers, Betsy Lynam, Bruce Robertson, Carnell Hyde, Carolyn Sheets, Denise Brown, Earl D. France, Jack Midgett, Jo Doris Johnson, Joe Reeder, Judy Maxwell, Judy Robertson, Linda Judkins, Lisa Anderson, Mandy Vaughn, McKinley Jones, Michael Breeding, Peggy Johnson, Radley Hendrixson, Sarah Ellen Colwell, Shirley Beckham, Trinity Faith Young, Walter Johnson, Wesley Cantrell, William Blair, Willie Turner, Helen England, Brookelynn Maxwell, and Georgia Willoughby.

In memory:

Alfred Love, Alice Marie Dorton, Alma Love Chapman, Angel Mahler, Angela Allen, Austin Vaughn, Bailey Carr, Billie Ann Malone Frazier, Billie Jo Davis, Billy Cooper Pruitt, Jr., Billy J. France, Bobby Carroll Pruitt, Bracket Luna, Brenda Hale, Bruce Smithson, Bud Kirby, Buddy Parker, C.T. Phillips, Jr., C.L. Randolph, Carl L. Cathcart, Carl Ray Bailiff, Carolyn Maynard, Charles Johnson, Chris Stanley, Clifton Cantrell, Clinton Wall, Clyde Redmon, Cordell Love,

Cordie B. Wall, Curtis Adams, Dale Brian Berry, Dannie Edge, Darrell Carr, Dollie Fuson, Donna Phillips, Dr. Jerry Puckett, Edsel Fuston, Alfred England, Elsie Steinbach, Emily Cripps, Esker Harrison, Ethel Carr, Eula Cantrell, Eva Crook, Eva Harrison, Eva Mai Curtis, Ewin Vanatta, Florence Redmon Sanders, Floyce Vaughn, Foster Redmon, Frances Cantrell, Frances Scramick, Frank Potter Young, Fred Steinbach, G.D. Hendrixson, Gail Cripps, George Durham,

Grady Crook, Grady Judkins, Green Wall, Maude Wall, H.C. Duke, Hamp Cantrell, Jr., Harvey Colwell, Sr., Helen Jones Mayo, Herb Checchi, Sr., Hershel Ford, Hobert Curtis, Homer Ellis, Howard Patton, J.B. Redmon, J.D. Hendrixson, Jack G. Rhody, Jack Wall, James Alvie France, James Oakley, Jeremy Caldwell, Jerry Hendrixson, Jerry McGuire, Jessie Paul Johnson, Jewell Cantrell, Jewell Phillips, Jim S. Davis, Jimmy W. Davis, Jodie Cantrell, John Larry Frazier, John Redmon, John Steinbach, John Walls, Johnnie Joines, Johnny Cantrell, Jordan Steinbach, Joshua Caldwell, Judy Hawkins,

Karen Magness, Kathy Foster, Kenneth Parker, Laura Bell Wall, Len Judkins, Leonard Freeman, Sr., Leonard M. (Buddy) Freeman, Jr., Lewis L. Cobb, Jr., Lillie Judkins, Linnie Johnson, Lonnie Wilkins, Louise Winchester, Luther Cantrell, Luther Fuson, Mac A. Ervin, Margaret Freeman, Margaret Judkins, Marie Judkins, Marvin Hutson, Mary Collins, Nadine Luna, Nan Smith, Nancy Walls, Ofallon Pinegar, Paul Walls,

Pearl Fuson, Rebecca Cantrell, Rebecca Gingerich, Regena Carr Olivo, Rex Hayes, Jr., Ricky Winchester, Robert Joines, Robert McMillen, Royce L. Givens, Jr., Ruth Elder, Sara Robertson, Sarah Henderson, Sarah Hutson, Shane Hawkins, Sherman Love, Skip Henderson, T.C. McMillen, Ted Beck, Tracy Cassity, Vanice King Davenport, Velma Midgett, Vera Bell Davenport, Virgil Smith, William Doyle Thomason, William H. Chapman, Willie Redmon, Willie Taylor, Woodrow Frazier, Zak Turner,

Nina Phillips, Vada Reeder, Clarence T. Phillips, Sr., Edna Pauline Phillips, George Robert Reeder, Bertie Reeder, B. Akin, Mai Akin, John D. Akin, Bob Cook, Buddy Cook, Jessie Cook, Pam Cook. Brownie Haley, Frances Haley, Lucille Harris, Billy Shelton, H.R. Rosson, Edward Hobson, Earl Judkins, Mary Randolph, Leonard Gwyn, Jr., Luther Taylor, Margaret Hendrixson, Martha Cathcart, W.A. Carthcart, Clara Elizabeth Linder, and Sandra Willoughby.

Love lights are $5.00 each. Forms will be available at most banks in DeKalb County. The name of every person honored or remembered will be placed on a display board located on the south lawn of the courthouse through the holiday season.

For more information contact Iva Dell Randolph at 597-5296, Violet Fuson at 597-4483 or Melanie Judkins at 597-1132.

State Offers Tips for Purchasing Gift Cards this Holiday Season

December 21, 2008

What typically is the year’s busiest shopping season is upon us. And, even with a national economic downturn sapping consumer confidence, gift cards are a sure bet to remain hot sellers.

You can find department stores’ gift cards not only in the chains’ retail locations but also being sold in grocery stores and drugstores. Many consumers see gift cards as reliable standbys for friends and relatives who seem to already have everything. For them, a gift card from a favorite store can be ideal.

But, despite all the conveniences of gift cards, savvy consumers should take steps to ensure stores’ fine-print policies don’t translate into buyer’s remorse during the holiday season:

1. Check expiration dates and fees. In the state of Tennessee, expiration dates, fees and other terms must be clearly disclosed at the time of purchase. The expiration date and fee must be legibly printed on the gift card.

2. Ask about restrictions. Some card issuers deduct a monthly fee from the card or apply inactivity fees, if a card has not been used for a period of time. These fees will reduce the value of the card. Some gift cards do not allow cash refunds for a remaining balance on a card. You will have to either forfeit the balance or buy additional items.

3. Know what it will cost. Major shopping mall operators charge fees for gift cards. Gift cards issued by banks and credit card companies often expire and tend to add fees. Fees – including activation fees, transaction fees, maintenance fees and inactivity fees – can lessen a card’s value.

4. Ask what to do if the card is stolen. Always keep a receipt. Since gift cards are not usually registered to an individual purchaser, they can be easily stolen. Some stores urge customers to access their store website and register cards in case they’re stolen.

5. Check on purchase exemptions. Ask if the card may be used at both a store’s physical location and the store’s website. Also ask if the card may be used at other locations, not just the specific store where the card was purchased.

6. Get as much information as possible for the card’s recipient. Ask for a toll-free phone number, in case there are problems with the gift card. Ask if a website that provides gift card details is available.

Consumer Affairs is here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities, to resolve complaints through the mediation process, to investigate violations of the state Consumer Protection Act, and to clarify consumer protection laws.

The department is available to help consumers and business owners who have been affected by unfair business practices. Feel free to call Consumer Affairs at 1-800-342-8385. Or visit online where consumers can get tips on everything from avoiding investment scams to picking a home repair contractor. You can find this information at www.tennessee.gov/consumer.

Second Segment of Gun Season for Deer Hunters Now Open

December 21, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Tennessee's second segment of gun season for deer hunters opened Saturday, Dec. 20 in all three of the state's deer hunting units according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

The dates for the second segment for each unit are as follows:
*Unit A (DeKalb County) - Dec. 20 – Jan. 11.
*Unit B - Dec. 20 – Jan. 7.
*Unit L - Dec. 20 – Jan. 11.

The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is three, except a hunter may take no more than two antlered bucks from Unit B. No more than one antlered buck may be taken per day.

For antlerless deer hunting in Units A and B, refer to the list of hunts on page 21 of the Hunting and Trapping Guide. There are quota and non-quota hunts listed on that page.

An Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman, Type 167 Permit, or Type 94 permit is required to harvest antlerless deer on all non-quota hunts in Units A, B, and L.

Antlerless deer are defined as deer with no antlers or deer with antlers less than three inches in length.

Anyone born on or after Jan. 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 deer hunting seasons, refer to the Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all license agents or on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.

State Fire Marshal’s Office Issues Warnings on Christmas Trees

December 20, 2008

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding Tennesseans with natural, fresh-cut Christmas trees in their homes to take care to keep them in water, in light of the fire risk posed when they are allowed to dry out.

“The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there is an estimated annual average of 210 home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees,” says State Fire Marshal and Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Leslie A. Newman. “Properly maintaining a cut Christmas tree’s moisture content of more than 100 percent by keeping it in water significantly reduces the chance that its needles will dry out and pose a fire hazard.”

NFPA studies also have found that, on average, one of every nine Christmas tree fires causes a fatality, compared with an average of one death per 75 non-confined home fires. Fires involving Christmas trees cause 94 percent of those related fatalities when they spread beyond the room where the fire begins, which is 49 percent of the time.

“We’re in the midst of the winter holiday season,” Newman says. “It’s imperative – amid the hustle and bustle of holiday events – that residents remember to practice good fire safety and make sure to never leave trees near heat sources, especially dried-out trees.”

To illustrate the short time in which a dry, cut Christmas tree can catch fire and engulf a room in flames, the Tennessee Fire Marshal’s office is distributing links to two videos produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
* http://fire.nist.gov/videotest/xmasTreeVideos/comparison_wetdry.wmv – side-by-side comparison of the burn rates of a properly maintained tree and a dried-out tree
http://fire.nist.gov/videotest/xmasTreeVideos/tree_fire.mpg – tree fire spreading throughout a room.

For further information on protecting your home from fire hazards, particularly during the winter months, visit www.tn.gov/commerce/sfm or call 615-741-2981.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

Winners Named in Dowelltown City Lights Contest

December 19, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Winners have been named in the Town of Dowelltown's Christmas lights contest

Names of the winners are as follows:

First Overall:
Joe & Vicki Bogle

Second Overall:
Darry & Susan Driver

Third Overall:
Kevin & Beth Kent

First Place Door/Porch:
James & Ruth White

Second Place:
Andy & Shan Burklow

First Place Window:
Terri Dodd

Second Place:
Jan Taylor

Three Municipal Elections Scheduled in 2009

December 19, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

2009 will be a light election year in DeKalb County.

There will be no county or state elections, only three municipal elections.

The Smithville Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, June 16th and three aldermen will be elected that day.

The Liberty Municipal Election will be held on Thursday, August 6th and Mayor and two Aldermen will be elected.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected in the Alexandria Municipal Election on Thursday, September 3rd.

Woman Dies in Cannon County Crash

December 19, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 52 year old woman died in a one vehicle traffic accident in Cannon County Thursday night.

Dead is Deanna M. Kirby of Warren County.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that Kirby was driving east on the Judge Purser Hill Road in a 1998 Durango SUV when the vehicle went off the right side of the road, crossed a bridge abutment, and struck a tree.

The accident was investigated by Troopers Bruce Pryor, Monty Terry, and THP Sergeant Billy Prater.

Officials say extreme fog at the time of the 7:15 p.m. crash contributed to the accident.

Kirby was wearing her seatbelt.

Large Number of Students Record Perfect Attendance

December 17, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Clay Farler

Student attendance has been good for the first half of the school year and a total of 268 students system wide have had perfect attendance.

Clay Farler, Attendance Supervisor for the DeKalb County School System says the attendance numbers have been impressive. "Part of my role each year is to keep up with the attendance of students in the county and to report that to the state. Perfect attendance means no missed days, no tardies, and no leave earlies for the year. We've had 82 full days of school (as of Monday) and there are 94 days of school left in the year (as of Monday)."

The attendance rates at each school and the number of students with perfect attendance at each grade level are as follows:

DeKalb West School:
Attendance rate- 95.8%
32 students with perfect attendance
By grade:
Pre-Kindergarten -1, Kindergarten-2, 1st Grade- 3, 2nd Grade- 2, 3rd Grade-6, 4th Grade-3, 5th Grade-7, 6th Grade-2, 7th Grade-1, and 8th Grade-5

DeKalb Middle School:
Attendance rate-96.4%
57 students with perfect attendance
By grade:
6th Grade-21, 7th Grade-19, and 8th Grade-17

Smithville Elementary:
Attendance Rate-95.3%
38 students with perfect attendance
By grade: Pre-Kindergarten-1, Kindergarten-11, 1st Grade-11, and 2nd Grade-15

DCHS:
Attendance Rate-95.1%
65 students with perfect attendance
By grade:
9th Grade-27, 10th Grade-12, 11th Grade-18, and 12th Grade-8

Northside Elementary:
Attendance Rate-96.7%
76 students with perfect attendance
By grade:
2nd Grade-11, 3rd Grade-20, 4th Grade-18, and 5th Grade-27

Farler says "I want to commend all the students, their parents, and their schools for this accomplishment. Of course, we encourage students to be in school everyday and on time and stay for the full day. For us, to be almost half way through the school year and have this many students who have not missed any school is really good."

Two Men Sentenced on Statutory Rape Charges

December 16, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 19 year old man, indicted on four counts of statutory rape of a young girl, entered a guilty plea under a negotiated settlement Monday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Leon Burns, Jr. was the presiding judge.

Bradley Robert Herriott of West Broad Street, Smithville pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape and received a two year sentence, all suspended to time served. He was given jail credit for 131 days from August 8th to December 15th.

According to Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. of the Smithville Police Department, Herriott had sexual intercourse with a 13 year old girl on four different occasions near the juvenile's home on a neighbor's back porch on Morgan Drive and at the Joe L. Evins Ball Park on the last week in May through the first week in June.

Herriott was charged on Wednesday, August 6th in the case.

Meanwhile, 24 year old Carmelino Sanchez Rodriguez of Short Mountain Street, also indicted on a charge of statutory rape of a 16 year old girl, pleaded guilty Monday and received a two year sentence, all suspended to time served.

Rodriguez was given jail credit of 110 days and must have no contact with the victim. He must perform 100 hours of community service work.

Smithville Police initially charged him with aggravated rape and especially aggravated burglary.
The police report stated that on Saturday, August 23rd, at 756 South Mountain Street, Rodriguez forced his way into the home of the victim and then took her into the bedroom where he raped her. Holding a knife, Rodriguez allegedly threatened to kill her if she told anyone or called the police.

Rodriguez was indicted earlier this month on the statutory rape charge, but he was not indicted on the other offenses.

Wendy Whittmore of Pea Ridge Road, Liberty pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft of property. She received a four year sentence in each case to run concurrently, all suspended to time served. She was given jail credit of 177 days from June 21st to December 15th.

43 year old Roxanne Hendrixson pleaded guilty to introduction of contraband into a penal institution and public intoxication. She received a three year sentence in the contraband case, all suspended to probation. She must perform 100 hours of community service work. The case is to run concurrent with a violation of probation against her in criminal court. Hendrixson was given jail credit of 21 days from September 19th to October 10th. She was fined $50 plus court costs in the public intoxication case.

41 year old Todd Allen Bussiere pleaded guilty to attempt to violate the sex offender registry. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to 90 days to serve. He was fined $350 plus costs and will be on CPS probation. He was given jail credit of 126 days from August 11th to December 15th.

25 year old Christopher Miles pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended. He was fined $150. Miles was given one day of jail credit.

19 year old Allan R. Lester pleaded guilty to auto burglary. He received a two year sentence on TDOC probation and must pay $100 to the economic crime fund. He must also make restitution as determined by probation. Lester was given four days of jail credit.

29 year old Milton Rodriguez entered a best interest plea to domestic assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve ten days. He must make a $200 contribution to a domestic abuse shelter and perform 40 hours of community service work. He will serve ten days on consecutive weekends. The case is to run concurrently with a Wilson County case. Rodriguez must have no contact with the victim and fines and costs are payable at $175 per month. He will report to jail on December 26th.

29 year old Michael Todd Jones pleaded guilty to vehicular assault, driving under the influence (2nd offense), and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. He received a four year TDOC sentence in the vehicular assault case to serve 180 days and then be on supervised probation by community corrections. He must also perform 40 hours of community service work and pay $1,250 restitution to the victim.

In the DUI case, Jones was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days to serve 180 days with the balance on probation supervised by community corrections. He must pay a fine of $610 and he will lose his drivers license as per Tennessee Department of Safety regulations for two years.

In the drug case, Jones was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days to serve 180 days and then be on probation supervised by community corrections. He must pay a fine of $750.

The sentences in the vehicular assault and DUI are to run concurrently with each other but consecutively with the sentence in the drug case. He will report to jail on January 2nd.

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