Local News Articles

Many Honored and Remembered Through "Love Lights A Tree" Fundraising Campaign

December 24, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Love Lights A Tree
Love Lights A Tree2

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:

McKinley Jones, Shelly Cross, Peggy Roller, Polly Turner, Carolyn Walden, James Walden, Linda Judkins, Carolyn Sheets, Jack Midgett, Kent Smithson, Roy Breeding, Walter Johnson, Jo Doris Johnson, Earl D. France, Radley Hendrixson, Violet Fuson, Lisa Anderson, Robbie Scott, Kassie M. Boyd, Vada Pauline Herndon, Vera Bell Davenport, Vanice King Davenport.

In memory:

Luther Fuson, Pearl Fuson, Lewis Cobb, Floyce Vaughn, Peggy Fuson Palmer, Florene Redmon Sanders, C.H. Malone, Bernice Malone, Roy Harney, Billie Malone Frazier, Doak Pedigo, Stanley Wallace, Harold Hoover, Betty Jean Braswell, Angie Malone Allen, John Paul Grubb, Ted Beck, Billy C. Pruitt, Sr., Kenneth Parker, Joe Reeder, Len Judkins, Marie Judkins, Earl Judkins, Clyde Randolph, Mary Randolph, Ruth Elder, Hattie Velma Braswell, Houston Braswell, Eugene Braswell, Clyde Redmon, Lloyd Redmon, June Nixon, Nannie Smith, Virgil Smith, Grady Crook, Eva Crook, Curtis Adams, Rusty Sittig, Frances Sramcik, Velma Midgett, Faye Phillips, Martha Cathcart, Homer Lee Ellis

Rebecca Cantrell, Hamp Cantrell, Jr., Judy Hawkins, Shane Hawkins, Lonnie Wilkins, Rebecca Wilkins, John Lee Pack, Emma Jo Knight, Charles (Jack) Knight, Maylee Jo Blackford, Nina Phillips, Vada Reeder, C.T. Phillips, Sr., Edna Pauline Phillips, George Reeder, Birdie Reeder, Joe Huffman, John Walls, Nancy Walls, Wallie Fuson, Emily Cripps, Ewin Vanatta, Gail Cripps, Dortha Barnes, Bobby C. Pruitt, Rebecca Gingerich, Austin Vaughn, Becky Cantrell, Louise Winchester, Gilbert Walden, Kim Redmon, Brenda Hale, Virginia Nokes, Bobbie Houk, Katherine Conger, Clifton B. Cantrell, Jodie W. Cantrell, Johnny Cantrell, Frances Cantrell, Linnie Cantrell, Vera Hendrixson, Alan Bradford, Jim Truitt Hale

Alfred England, Helen England, Jordan Steinbach, Edward Hobson, Horace Rosson, Mary L. Collins, Lenard Gwyn, Dannie Edge, Helen Jones Mayo, Dale Scott, Judy Love Maxwell, Carl Bailiff, Carolyn Maynard, Lucille Harris, Nadine Luna, Brackett Luna, Buddy Cook, Pam B. Cook, John D. Akin, Mai Akin, B. Akin, Leonard M. Buddy Freeman, Jessie Cook, Bob Cook, Brownie Haley, William Doyle Thomason, William Paul Thomason, Green Wall, Maud Wall, Esker Harrison, Eva Harrison, T.C. McMillen, Lee Homer McMillen, Billy J, France, Alvie France, Royce L. Givens, Richie David Pack, Ricky Eston Pack, Terry Kenneth Pack, Flora E. Redmon, W.A. Cathcart, Mallow Herndon, Carl Roy Cathcart

Ewin Sandlin, Sherman Love, Martha Cathcart, Jewel Medley, Lucille Robinson, Edward Robinson, John Larry Frazier, Billie Ann Frazier, James Gantzer, H.D. Tootsie Cook, Woodrow Frazier, Dr. Jerry Puckett, and Barbara Page.

Love lights are $5.00 each. Forms are 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, Melanie Judkins at 597-1132, or Casey Midgett at 597-2089.

DeKalb Jobless Rate at 10.6% for November

December 24, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for November was 10.6%, down only slightly from 10.7% in October. The rate for November, 2008 was 8.1%

The local labor force for November was at 9,460. A total of 8,460 were employed and 1,000 were unemployed.

Meanwhile, Tennessee's unemployment rate for November was 10.3 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the October rate of 10.5 percent. The United States' unemployment rate for the month of November was 10.0 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for November 2009 show that the rate decreased in 50 counties, increased in 36, and remained the same in nine counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.7 percent, down 0.2 from its October rate. Lauderdale County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 18.6 percent, down 0.2 from the October rate, followed by Haywood County at 18.0 percent, up from 17.9 percent in October.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.7 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from the October rate. Hamilton County was at 8.5 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the October rate. Davidson County was 8.8 percent, down 0.1 from the previous month, and Shelby County was 10.0 percent, down 0.1 from the October rate.

Smithville Police Department Conducts Sobriety Checkpoints

December 23, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department, in an effort to make city streets safer during the holiday season, conducted saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints on Tuesday, December 22nd.

Police say 127 vehicles were stopped on Highway 56 south. Several citations were issued for offenses ranging from speeding to drug charges.

Officer Scott Davis arrested Eula Davis and Mark E. Adams of Murfreesboro during a traffic stop. Davis was charged with driving on a revoked license and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and Adams was charged with possession of schedule II and IV controlled substances. Davis' vehicle was also seized by the Smithville Police Department.

Meanwhile, Corporal Travis Bryant arrested Santos Acuna of Smithville for driving on a suspended license. Acuna was observed driving a 1998 Ford Explorer with a passenger side head light out. After stopping the vehicle, Officer Bryant discovered that Acuna's license was suspended.

Corporal Bryant also cited Christopher Myers into court for possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving on Morgan Avenue.

K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow, while on patrol, observed a black Chevrolet Cavalier traveling 19 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. Upon stopping the vehicle, Officer Tatrow detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. After performing field sobriety tasks, David Allan Cox was arrested for a first offense of driving under the influence.

These saturated patrols and sobriety checkpoints were funded by the Governor's Highway Safety Office.

Meanwhile in other city crime news, 30 year old Christopher Shannon Mooneyham of 200 Green Acres Drive was arrested Monday, December 21st for public intoxication. According to the report, Corporal Travis K Bryant was called to the probation office where he was met by Deputy Jody Johnson, Norene Stribler and Heidi Johnson. Officer Bryant was told that Mooneyham was intoxicated and had fallen asleep in the chair. Corporal Bryant woke Mooneyham and began speaking with him. Mooneyham appeared to be disoriented and he stated that he was on medication prescribed by his doctor. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Smithville Police Department. Bond for Mooneyham was set at $1,000 and he will be in General Sessions Court on January 7th.

28 year old Jennifer M Ball of 620 Anderson Ridge Road, Silver Point was arrested Monday for public intoxication. Officer Scott Davis reports that he was dispatched to 223 East Bryant Street in reference to a fight. Upon arrival, he made contact with Ms. Ball. She had an odor of an alcoholic beverage about her breath. Her eyes were bloodshot and watery, her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Officer Davis attempted to get her a ride home, however due to her level of intoxication and for her safety, she was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Bond for Ball was set at $1,000 and she will be in General Sessions Court January 7th.

35 year old Leslie Danette Yorke of 1025 Morningside Drive, Cookeville was arrested on Tuesday, December 22nd on a capias out of Putnam County. Corporal Travis K Bryant and Patrolman Matt Holmes went to 830 Luttrell Avenue and made contact with Ms. Yorke. Officers had prior information of a warrant for her arrest. She was taken into custody at that time without incident.

22 year old Virginia Ruth Carrier of 1243 Haley Road was arrested on Wednesday, December 23rd on one count of forgery and four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. The arrest was made by Detective Jerry Hutchins. Bond for Carrier was set at $12,500 and she will be in General Sessions Court on February 4th.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

Wreck Claims One Life, Injures Three Others

December 23, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

One man lost his life and three others were injured Tuesday night after their SUV went off Highway 70 at Dowelltown overturned and came to rest upside down in a creek.

Dead is 41 year old Troy Bain.

30 year old Dwayne Reeder, 39 year old Walter Redmon, and 27 year old Courtney Paris all of Smithville were injured and transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital

Central Dispatch received the call at 8:37 p.m.

Lieutenant Randy Maynard of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that Reeder was traveling east on Highway 70 in a 1997 Ford Expedition when he apparently fell asleep. The vehicle went off the left side of the road, plunged over an embankment, overturned, and came to rest on it's top in a creek. Bain and Redmon, back seat passengers, were ejected. They were not wearing their seatbelts. Reeder and Paris, in the front seat, were apparently wearing their seatbelts.

Among those responding were members of the DeKalb County Fire Department Extrication and Rescue Team, the Liberty Fire Station, DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb EMS, and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Smithville Firefighters Called to Fiddlers Manor Apartments

December 22, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Firefighters Called to Fiddlers Manor Apartments

Smithville Firefighters were called to Fiddlers Manor Apartments on Walker Drive at 12:57 p.m. today (Tuesday) after a fire was reported in one of the apartments.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker says actually what happened was that a woman who lives in the apartment was roasting pecans and nuts when the stove overheated, causing damage to the oven. Smoke spread throughout the apartment, but no one was injured.

As a precaution, Chief Parker says all residents of the entire apartment complex were evacuated. There was no structure damage to any of the apartments.

DeKalb EMS and officers of the Smithville Police Department were also on the scene.

Aldermen Approve Airport Board Requests

December 22, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night approved requests from the Airport Board to establish monthly fees for the lease of the new T-hangars to be built at the airport and to extend the leases of the tenants of the existing T-hangars.

Ten years ago, the city entered into an agreement with a group of aircraft owners, under which they would put up their own funds to build T-hangars at the airport and the city would not assess them a rental fee for ten years. That agreement ends this month.

The city is also in the process of building additional T-hangars and making other improvements at the airport, after receiving state and federal grants to help fund the project. The city's local matching obligation is 10%.

Roth Terrell, a member of the Airport Board, presented his proposals to the Mayor and Aldermen. "We are erecting a new set of T-hangars. There will be eight individual T-hangars for single planes and at the end of those T-hangars will be one large corporate hangar that will hold a larger corporate size aircraft or multiple airplanes. Currently we have a list of tenants who have already put their names on a list to reserve a spot so hopefully once the T-hangars are finished, they will be filled immediately. The airport board, the manager, and others got together a while back and discussed what the T-hangars should be leased for. We did some research on surrounding airports and found out what they are charging. For individual hangar, we would recommend that it be leased for $115 per month, and for the large corporate sized hangar, that would be leased for $225 per month. We would ask you to take that into consideration."

Terrell also asked for an extension in the lease agreements of the current T-hangar tenants. "We do have another set of T-hangars just like the ones being erected now that was constructed ten years ago. At that time, they were paid for by seven individuals who put up their own money to have these T-hangars built. Their ten year lease is up at the end of this month. Under the lease, they've paid $12,000 of their own money for an individual hangar. One individual spent a little more because he had a corporate size hangar. The city, at that time, agreed to a ten year lease for that."

"A lot of the surrounding airport boards have agreed in the past that when people are interested in building their own hangar for their own use, they have typically received a 20 year lease. The individuals here only received a ten year lease. Since their lease is coming up at the end of this month, I would like to propose that the city consider extending the gentlemen's lease by five more years under the same terms, with a five year extension. That would give them potentially a twenty year lease which is fair since they put up their own money in advance."

"The benefits to the city from these T-hangars is that the city will receive eight individual T-hangars and one corporate size T-hangar in just a few months at only 10% of your investment. 90% of it was done by the government(grant). We have a list already compiled of people who want to lease those."

"The individuals who put up the money on the other (existing) T-hangars, they are going to be staying there. Some individuals (who originally participated) have left so those T-hangars will be becoming available also. We've proposed the same fees be applied to those as the new ones."

" The city's total investment for these sixteen T-hangars and two corporate size hangars is approximately $88,000. Your monthly income would be somewhere around $1,715 per month. Shortly over four years, the city will have recuperated their investment and will be making money at that point. Not to mention the added fuel sales the city will receive from those extra airplanes based at the new hangars. Also having extra airplanes here provides the potential for an aircraft mechanic based at our facility which would add revenue for the city."

Again, the aldermen approved Terrell's requests.

In other business, the aldermen set the regular meeting dates of all 2010 city council meetings. The meetings will be held on the first and third Monday nights of each month, except for Dr. Martin Luther King Day in January and Labor Day in September. No meetings will be held on those dates.

The board also hired Larry Dickens as an employee at the Water Treatment Plant.

The city firefighters have requested a workshop meeting with the Mayor and Aldermen. That will be held on Monday, January 11th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Convicted Sex Offender Back in Custody

December 21, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Freddy Sylvester Stringer
 Michael Anthony Leichtfuss

A convicted sex offender is back in custody.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 36 year old Freddy Sylvester Stringer of Church Street Liberty, was found at a residence in Smith County on Friday, December 18th. According to Sheriff Ray, Stringer, who pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault on a child in July of this year, violated his probation after being arrested for a seventh offense of driving on a revoked license. Sheriff Ray also obtained a warrant against Stringer for violation of the sexual offender law after learning that Stringer participated in Halloween activities by having his porch light on and allowing children to come the residence to trick or treat. Stringer also had his residence decorated for the Halloween season, which is a violation of state law for sex offenders. Sheriff Ray says Stringer had been on the run until he was captured on Friday. Bond for Stringer was set at $10,000 on the sexual offender law violation but a hold without bond was placed on him for violation of the community corrections warrant. He will appear in court on January 7th.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray says on Monday, December 14th a deputy, while on patrol on New Home Road, Dowelltown, spotted 27 year old Jessica French Hale of Walker Drive Smithville driving an automobile. The officer having prior knowledge of Hale's driver's license being suspended stopped her and placed her under arrest for driving on a suspended license. Hale's bond was set at $1,500 and she will appear in court on December 30th.

On Tuesday, December 15th, a deputy responded to an accident on High Street in Alexandria where a vehicle had struck a utility pole. Before the officer arrived, the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash left the scene. Deputies later located the driver, 25 year old Kevin Matthew Bly of South Church Street in Alexandria. A check of Bly's drivers license revealed they were suspended. Bly was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license. Bly's bond was set at $4,000 and his court date is January 14th.

Also on Tuesday a DeKalb County High School student was arrested on a drug charge. The school resource officer was notified by an assistant principal that he smelled burnt marijuana coming from the boy's bathroom at the school. After investigating, the assistant principal and the resource officer learned that 18 year old Michael Anthony Leichtfuss of Old Eagle Creek Road Smithville had been in possession of a burning marijuana cigarette that had been thrown into the boy's bathroom area. The school resource officer seized more marijuana from the student's home. Leichtfuss was charged with simple possession of marijuana and his bond was set at $1,000. He will appear in court on January 7th.

46 year old Stevie Lane Holder of Rolling Hills Road, McMinnville was charged Wednesday, December 16th with driving under the influence of an intoxicant after a deputy stopped him for speeding and weaving in the roadway. Holder was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 East when an officer paced him at 70 miles per hour in a 40 mile an hour speed zone. The deputy also noticed Holder weaving in the roadway. After Holder was stopped, he submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Holder had slurred speech and poor motor skills. Holder did admit to consuming two mixed drinks and two beers earlier. Bond for Holder was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on January 7th.

46 year old Ricky Lynn Cantrell of Eckels Heights Liberty was arrested Wednesday after being involved in a two automobile accident and then leaving the scene. The deputy investigating learned that Cantrell left the scene of the accident and then drove to his residence. The officer also discovered that Cantrell's drivers license was revoked for a prior conviction of driving under the influence. Cantrell's bond was set at $3,000 and he will appear in court on January 20th.

Also on Friday deputies received a call to"Be on the lookout" for a reckless driver in Smithville who was driving at a high rate of speed and passing vehicles. They were also dispatched to an automobile accident on Tramel Lane in Smithville. Upon arrival at the scene of the accident, officers found the same vehicle identified in the "Be on the lookout" call chained to the automobile that was involved in the accident. The driver of the "BOLO" vehicle was trying to pull the other automobile from the ditch line. 32 year old John L. Atnip Jr. of Jacobs Pillar Road Smithville was arrested for a third offense of driving on a revoked license. Atnip admitted that he passed an ambulance and two other cars to get to the accident scene. Atnip was also issued citations for violation of the driver's license change of address law, driving without vehicle insurance, and violation of vehicle registration law. Bond for Atnip was set at $3,000 and he will appear in court on January 14th.

32 year old Stephanie Lee Vanatta of Old Snow Hill Road Dowelltown was arrested Sunday for a first offense of driving under the influence. While on patrol on Short Mountain Highway, a deputy spotted Vanatta's vehicle traveling in the oncoming lane of traffic and almost hit a bridge. After making the traffic stop, the officer noticed that Vanatta had slurred speech, that her eyelids were heavy, and she was unsteady on her feet. She submitted to field sobriety tasks which she failed. Vanatta's bond was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on January 14th.

24 year old Jonathan David Thomas of Nashville Highway Liberty was charged Sunday with attempted escape. Thomas, an inmate at the jail, ran out of the cell when correctional officers opened the door to deliver the inmate's food trays. Thomas was quickly caught in the visitation area of the jail annex. Bond for Thomas was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on January 14th.

Also on Sunday deputies were called to Sims Street in Dowelltown in answer to a domestic complaint where they talked with a female who had been assaulted. The woman had a cut above her eye and her eye was swollen. The victim told the officers that 22 year old Trinity J. Anderson of Sims Street Dowelltown had assaulted her, that he had fired a gun in the house, and had shot the tires on her vehicle in the driveway. Deputies located Anderson at the residence but he became belligerent, uncooperative and wanted to fight the officers.. After Anderson was cuffed and placed in the patrol car, he then kicked the back window out of the patrol car. Deputies found in the home seven bullet holes as well as holes in the tires of the victims vehicle where Anderson had allegedly fired shots. Anderson was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, vandalism to county property, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. Bond for Anderson was set at $66,500 and he will appear in court on January 14th

Local Residence Suspected of Distributing Child Pornography Raided by Police

December 21, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police conducted a raid at a West Main Street residence Friday after receiving reports that persons there were engaging in the solicitation and distribution of child pornography.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew, Officer in Charge, says the raid came after a four week investigation, in which the police department worked extensively collecting evidence in order to obtain a search warrant.

Several computers and pieces of computer equipment were seized in the raid. Charges are pending further investigation by the Tennessee Bureau Investigation Crime Lab.

Smithville Police officers assisting in the execution of the search warrant were Sergeant Randy King, Officer Nathan Estes and Officer Scott Davis.

Lieutenant Leffew says he would like to extend his sincere appreciation to Detective Lieutenant. Gary Harris of the Algood Police Department and to the District Attorney General's Office for their tireless efforts and their many man hours dedicated to this case as well as the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for assisting in answering calls of service during this time.

Lieutenant Leffew added "During the course of this four week investigation I attended several meetings with District Attorney General Randall York and investigators of the District Attorney General's Office. I was made aware that this type of disturbing criminal activity is an increasing problem. If anyone has any information pertaining to this kind of criminal activity please contact the Smithville Police Department or the Crime Tip Hotline at 464-6046."

Smithville Police Receiving Reports of Counterfeit Currency

December 19, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police say there has been an increase in reports of counterfeit currency recently and all citizens and local business owners are asked to especially be on alert.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew, Officer in Charge, says counterfeit twenty dollar bills have been reported in increasing regularity. The Smithville Police Department asks that all citizens and business owners call the department if you have questions.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Leffew reports that investigators of the District Attorney General's Office have determined that recent allegations against Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. by Chris Whitney are unfounded. On November 16th a formal complaint was filed against Hutchins by Whitney. The complaint alleged that Whitney's criminal history was released to a private citizen and that a case involving a minor was not properly investigated. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, Lieutenant Leffew recommended that an independent agency investigate the complaint. The complaint was forwarded to the District Attorney General's Office for further investigation. On December 17th, Lieutenant Leffew met with investigators of the District Attorney General's Office. During this meeting investigators reported that all allegations were unfounded.

In crime news, 62 year old Sharon Maureen Hindsley of 830 South Mountain Street was arrested on Monday, December 14th for public intoxication. According to the report, Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to Highway 70 and Highway 56 in response to a call concerning a woman who was attempting to cross the road from Hardees to Mapco Express. The complainant said that the woman was almost hit twice while crossing the road and appeared very unsteady on her feet. The woman was reported to be wearing blue jeans and a brown jacket. Officer Farmer says upon arrival, he was told that the woman may have gone into Mapco. He then saw her standing by the beer coolers near the rear of the store. She appeared very unsteady on her feet and was having to hold onto things to negotiate turns in the aisle ways. Officer Farmer says the woman approached him and he recognized her as Ms. Hindsley. After inquiring about her condition, Ms. Hindsley told Officer Farmer that she was okay. He asked her if she had any medical conditions and she said no. During this conversation, Ms. Hindsley had to lean against a rack of candy to keep from falling. He asked her why she was having trouble keeping her balance and she said that she had been drinking. Officer Farmer asked how much she had drank and she said one, then two beers. She then said that she hadn't been drinking alcohol, just beer. He noticed a smell of an intoxicating beverage on her breath. She was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in General Sessions Court on January 7th.

38 year old Angel Ferrell of 527 R. Arnold Road was arrested Wednesday, December 16th for theft. Officer Matt Holmes reports that on December 12th he was dispatched to 849 Luttrell Avenue in reference to a theft of property. Upon arrival, Officer Holmes made contact with the complainant, Jean Hayes who stated that her purse was missing. Ms. Hayes stated that on December 12th she went to work and placed her purse in the trunk of her vehicle and when she got home she could not locate it. On Wednesday, December 16th at approximately 3:00 p.m. while conducting a follow up investigation, Officer Holmes met with Angel Ferrell at the Smithville Police Department where it was determined that Ms. Ferrell took Ms. Hayes car keys from her coat pocket, used them to enter the trunk of Ms. Hayes' vehicle, and stole the purse.

40 year old Donna Sue Blankenship of 215 North High Street, McMinnville was arrested Friday, December 18th for a second offense of driving under the influence, violation of implied consent and possession of drug paraphernalia while 35 year old Ernest Paul Barnwell of 604 Ginger Drive, Smithville was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officer Matt Holmes reports that he was dispatched to the area of Jewels Market to check out a green KIA that was observed weaving on South Congress Boulevard. Upon arrival, Officer Holmes saw an employee of Jewels Market standing beside a green KIA, waving him over. Officer Holmes found inside the parked vehicle, a man and a woman who were both slumped over. He knocked on the window and the woman raised up. Officer Holmes says he saw what looked like to be a crushed pill on the console and a cut straw in the floor board with residue. At that point he asked the woman to exit the vehicle where she was asked to perform sobriety tasks. Officer Holmes administered the horizontal gaze and nystagmus test to which her eyes appeared to be very jerky. Ms. Blankenship said she had prescribed medication for her back and that she would not be able to do any more of the tests. When asked if she had her drivers license, Blankenship replied "yes". She added that she had driven there. A check of her license revealed they were suspended.

As for Barnwell, who was in the passenger's seat. Officer Holmes and Sergeant Randy King tried to wake him but were unsuccessful on numerous attempts. EMS personnel were called to the scene but he became conscious and alert upon their arrival and signed a refusal form. A search of the vehicle turned up a red cut straw in the driver's side floor board with residue, two open containers of Bud Light in the console which were cold, a yellow powder residue on the center console and an open bottle of Dasani water with a used hypodermic needle inside on the passenger's side.

Ms Blankenship's eyes were very droopy and her speech was slurred. Her pupils were dilated and she was unsteady on her feet.

Again, Barnwell was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia for having the hypodermic needle. Blankenship was arrested for a second offense of driving under the influence, violation of implied consent, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also cited for violation of the open container law and driving on a suspended license. Officer Holmes asked Blankenship to submit to a blood test, after explaining implied consent. She refused to submit to a blood test but did sign the implied consent refusal form.

Meanwhile, anyone having any information on the following offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On December 11th at approximately 3:18 p.m., Corporal Travis K Bryant responded to 740 Walker Drive in response to a call concerning a vandalism to a vehicle. Upon arrival, he made contact with the complainant identified as Peggy Gibbs who said that she had last seen the vehicle before the vandalism at about 5:00 p.m. on December 10th. She discovered the damage December 11th at approximately 2:18 p.m. The damage was to the drivers side door handle and the dash had been pried open causing the upper part of the dash to burst. Total value of the damage is estimated at $300.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

DeKalb County to Receive $20,000 Roadscapes Grant

December 18, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide a Tennessee Roadscapes Grant in the amount of $20,000 to DeKalb County.

“These funds will help make improvements along the roadways that serve as the front door to our communities,” said Bredesen. “Well-planned landscaping programs create an inviting atmosphere that can boost local economies and improve the quality of life for citizens.”

The Roadscapes grant funds will be used for four signs that will be placed at various entry points into DeKalb County.

The Tennessee Roadscapes initiative was developed in 2006 as a partnership between community organizations across the state and TDOT to create inviting spaces through an integrated approach to roadside landscaping. TDOT funds 80 percent of the cost of a project with the grant recipient contributing the remaining 20 percent. Grants are derived from federal funds that are specifically earmarked for roadway enhancement projects.

“The Roadscapes program creates an opportunity to showcase the roadways and natural beauty of our state,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “It’s important to create welcoming places for people to live and work and to build a sense of pride in one’s community.”

The Tennessee Roadscapes program includes a variety of environmental stewardship and beautification programs:

• Landscaping with naturalized flowers and native flowering trees
• Memorials and parks
• Roadside tree planting
• Exotic and invasive plant removal
• Litter cleanup and prevention education programs
• Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Spot programs
• Community landscaping at intersections, street corners, medians, entrances, and gateways

For more information about the Tennessee Roadscapes program, please visit us on the web.

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