Local News Articles

Vance Among More than Sixty Indicted by Grand Jury

August 4, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Comer Vance

A 39 year old man has been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury in connection with a recent burglary and theft at K & M Jewelry on West Broad Street.

Comer Thomas Vance is indicted on charges of burglary, theft over $60,000, felony vandalism, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Vance was among more than sixty defendants indicted by the Grand Jury Monday and Tuesday. Six sealed indictments were returned naming seven defendants. There were two "No" true bills. All will appear in criminal court for arraignment on Monday, August 17th at 9:00 a.m.

In the Vance case, Smithville Police Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. says sometime during the early morning hours of Thursday, June 25th, Vance allegedly entered the business by removing plywood covering a window. Once inside, a safe, containing jewelry, was taken from the store. The intruder also busted out glass in the display cases and removed more jewelry. The total value of the stolen jewelry was estimated at $100,000.

The owner of the business, Mark Violet, discovered the burglary and theft when he arrived to open up the store later that morning.

As a result of the investigation and with assistance from an informant, Vance was identified as a suspect in the crime. Police spotted Vance, who was as a passenger in a Ford Thunderbird, on West Broad Street Saturday, June 27th. The car was pulled over and Vance, also charged in warrants unrelated to the burglary case, was taken into custody. Police confiscated a stolen nine millimeter handgun, which was loaded. Most of the jewelry taken in the break-in at K & M. Jewelry has also been recovered.

Sergeant Joey Jones assisted in the traffic stop that led to Vance's arrest.

Meanwhile, Reed Davis Edge, who is a constable in the second district, was indicted by the Grand Jury on a charge of simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana). His wife, Sonya Kaye Edge was indicted for driving under the influence.

On Sunday, February 15th deputies stopped Mrs Edge for weaving from the center line to the shoulder of the roadway several times. The vehicle was pulled over on Old Mill Hill Road. Upon talking to Mrs. Edge, officers detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from within the vehicle. Edge had red watery eyes and a smell of alcohol on her person. She submitted to field sobriety tasks which she failed. She was charged with driving under the influence.

Mr. Edge was a passenger in the vehicle. During a search, the officer found a pouch under Edge's seat containing several bags, one of which had a small amount of marijuana.

Others indicted and their charges are as follows:

Ashley M. Anderson- filing a false report, tampering with evidence, and no drivers license

Lisa Marie Arnold- simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia

Jimmy R. Baker- violation of the sex offender registry (failure to report) and violation of the sex offender law (residing where a minor lives)

Ernest Paul Barnwell- possession of a schedule II & III controlled substance for sale and delivery, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of prohibited weapons, driving on a revoked license, and driving on a revoked licensed enhanced to a third offense.

Robert Paul Brawley- aggravated burglary, theft over $500, and theft over $1,000

Jeremy A. Bilbrey- driving under the influence, DUI per se, and DUI enhanced to a second offense

Brandy Bone- worthless checks (2 counts)

Jessica Brett and Oliver Eiland- filing a false report

Christopher E. Bush- aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000 (2 counts), theft under $500 (2 counts), theft over $500 (2 counts)

Brandon Byford- theft of property over $1,000, theft of property under $500, and resisting arrest

William Andrew Cantrell- evading arrest, driving on a revoked license, and driving on a revoked license enhanced to a third offense

Christopher Joseph Cantrell- driving under the influence

Jose Gerarvo Carrillo- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced to second offense, driving on a revoked license, and violation of the open container law.

Joshua Cripps- reckless endangerment, possession of prohibited weapons, following too closely, a light law violation, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia

Billy W. Crook, Jr.- simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and resisting arrest.

Johnny L. Devault and Ashley J. Ferrell- criminal responsibility for facilitation of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery, and assault.

Tony L. Edge- driving on a revoked license, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a revoked license enhanced to a third offense

Brandy M. Egerton- aggravated statutory rape

Jackie Darrell Ervin- driving on a suspended license

Michael E. Evans- driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence

Michael Eugene Evans- child neglect (under 18 years of age) 2 counts

Nathan D. Farris- driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, reckless driving, and violation of the open container law

Mistey D. Goff- forgery (2 counts) and passing a forged instrument (2 counts)

Tiffany C. Gora- aggravated robbery and theft under $500

Lorenzo A. Hernandez- driving on a revoked license and driving on a revoked license enhanced to a fifth offense.

James A. Hesson- violation of the sex offender registry

Craig A. Hill- theft over $1,000 and vandalism under $500

Howard R. Holmes and Anna Holmes- assault

Jill Kennedy- worthless check

Vanessa Louise Lance- possession of drug paraphernalia

Michael Francis Lawlor, Jr.- driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, DUI enhanced to a fifth offense, driving on a revoked license enhanced, and violation of the implied consent law.

Brandon N. Loader- driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, and DUI enhanced to the fourth offense

Jimmy Brown Martin- driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, and DUI enhanced to a third offense.

Gary Edward Matthews- speeding, violation of the financial responsibility law, simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a revoked license, and introduction of a controlled substance into a penal institution.

Patsy L. McCoy- aggravated burglary and theft under $500

Scotty Wayne Neisz- aggravated statutory rape and violation of the sex offender registry and monitoring act

Timothy Patrick- worthless check and reckless driving

Kimberly A. Patterson- forgery, passing a forged instrument, and theft under $500

Timothy E. Peden- aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000

Stephen Hunter Pugh- possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, and theft under $500

Joshua Keith Ramsey- simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance(marijuana) and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (xanax)

Bradley Shane Redmon-theft of property under $500 (2 counts), aggravated burglary (2 counts), theft over $10,000, and theft over $1,000

Carlos Reyes- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced to a second offense, driving on a revoked license, and violation of the implied consent law.

Jo Ann Rutland- theft of property under $500

Jeffrey L.Sanders- driving under the influence

Sharon K. Skinner- theft over $500

Sharon K. Skinner and Eddie LeRoy Taylor- forgery (5 counts) and passing a forged instrument (5 counts)

Danny L. Smithson, Jr.- driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, DUI enhanced to a fourth offense, driving on a revoked license enhanced to a fifth offense, and possession of prohibited weapons

Alfonso A. Soto- driving under the influence, failure to carry a drivers license, and criminal impersonation

Paul E. Stanley- driving under the influence

Tina Keith Stephens- driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, violation of the implied consent law, and DUI enhanced to the fourth offense.

Eddie LeRoy Taylor-simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance

Ricardo A. Vega-driving on a revoked license (2 counts)

Napoleon B. Wainwright- driving under the influence

Dennis Allan Wright- driving under the influence and simple possession of marijuana

Christopher E. Young- driving under the influence, DUI enhanced to a fourth offense, driving on a revoked license, driving on a revoked license enhanced to a fourth offense, violation of the implied consent law, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, burglary, and theft of property under $500

Jonathon R. Young- forgery (2 counts) and passing a forged instrument (2 counts)

Tina Beth Young- driving under the influence

DeKalb Community Hospital Welcomes New CEO

August 4, 2009
 Bill Little

DeKalb Community Hospital welcomes new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Little to its administrative team.

Most recently he has served as the Chief Operating Officer at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. According to Hugh Don Cripps, MD, the Medical Chief of Staff for DeKalb Community Hospital Little transitioned into his new position effective July 20, 2009.

Prior to his return to the Upper-Cumberland region, Little had spent 5 years serving as Vice President of Financial Operations at Vanguard Health Systems in Arizona. While there, he also served as the Chief Financial Officer for Arrowhead Hospital and Medical Center in Glendale, AZ. Little was awarded the Western Region CFO of the Year during that time.

Little is a native of Smithville. He obtained his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. Bill and his wife, Kelly, are the proud parents of three daughters, Marcey, Madalyn, and Meridith.

Incident at Federal Mogul Forces Evacuation

August 3, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to Federal Mogul off Cookeville Highway Sunday night after Central Dispatch received a call of a hydrogen peroxide spill at the plant.

The call came in at 5:08 p.m.

Firefighters quickly arrived on the scene to find the building had been evacuated. They donned air packs and breathing masks, entered the factory, and worked to help ventilate the building. Sources say there was actually no chemical spill, but firefighters did seal and remove a barrel to the outside, which may have been the source of the problem.

Efforts continued to ventilate the facility, even after firefighters left, and later employees apparently returned to work.

But at 8:18 p.m. Central dispatch received a call of people becoming sick at the plant. DeKalb EMS transported three people to the hospital and others reportedly went by private vehicle.

The fire department returned to the plant to assist EMS.

Officials of Federal Mogul have had no comment but have said a statement from the company will be released today (Monday)

Smithson Charged with Arson

August 3, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jeffery Smithson
Michael Glen Thomas
Nancy Felts Brown
Misty Shehane
 William Howell

46 year old Jeffery Smithson of Viola Road Trailer Park is charged with arson.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says detectives had been investigating Smithson for theft from a mobile home on Stoner Road near the Rollertown Road in the southern part of the county and through that investigation Smithson became a suspect in the arson case. He was charged on July 28th. Smithson allegedly went to the mobile home on June 28th, broke into the residence, and stole items from there. Smithson then allegedly set fire to the residence and fled. The fire caused extensive damage to the home. Bond for Smithson was set at $75,000 and he will appear in court on August 13th.

Also on July 28th, deputies went to the residence of 34 year old Misty Shehane , who lives on Carter Street in Smithville to execute a state violation of probation warrant on 38 year old Michael Glen Thomas of West Main Street Dowelltown. While there, officers spotted components of a methamphetamine lab and summoned county detectives to the scene. Found in the home were items such as tubing, used coffee filters, turkey basters, lye, charcoal starter fluid, red phosphorus, muratic acid, and other components used in the methamphetamine process. After obtaining consent to search, authorities found a fully operational methamphetamine lab in a box in the bed room that Thomas was occupying. Thomas was charged with manufacture of a schedule II drug (Methamphetamine). His bond is $50,000 and he will appear in court on August 6th.

Detectives also charged 31 year old Nancy Felts Brown also of West Main Street Dowelltown with manufacture of a schedule II drug (Methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Brown allegedly purchased or supplied items that were used in the Methamphetamine production process. Brown's pocket book contained a cut straw and a pill crusher and straws were found on a chest of drawers in the bedroom where she slept. Brown's bond was set at $26,000 and she will appear in court on August 6th.

After an investigation into Misty Shehane's involvement, detectives charged her on July 30th with manufacture of a schedule II drug (Methamphetamine) by having knowledge that Methamphetamine was being produced and for supplying a place for the illegal drug to be produced. Shehane was also charged with child neglect for allowing her two children, ages 23 months and 4 years of age, to be in the home or to live in a home where she had knowledge that Methamphetamine had been manufactured. Shehane's bond was set at $30,000 and she will appear in court on August 6th. The Department of Children's Services was contacted and the two children have been placed with family members. More charges are pending.

34 year old William Howell of Fairview Circle, Sparta was charged with theft of property over $10,000 on July 29th. Detectives received a report on July 25th that two jet skis and a double jet ski trailer were stolen from a boat ramp near the River Watch Golf Course in the eastern part of the county. Detectives were able to obtain a tag number by viewing video surveillance tapes from the River Watch area. Through their investigation, detectives learned that Howell was the person who allegedly stole the items. Bond for Howell was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on August 6th.. The two jet skis and trailer have been recovered by the detectives. Sheriff Ray says Howell has since admitted his involvement in the crime.

On July 31st, deputies stopped 35 year old Carlos Garcia of Bradyville Pike Apartments, Murfreesboro for a traffic offense on Highway 70. After speaking with Garcia, officers noticed a strong smell of alcohol on his person and Garcia's speech was slurred. Garcia submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. A computer check of Garcia's driver's license showed them to be revoked on May 19th, 2008 for not having insurance. Garcia was charged with driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. Garcia's bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on August 20th.

Deputies arrested two people after a traffic stop on Big Rock Road on August 1st. The officers initially spotted the vehicle sitting in the middle of Evins Mill Road. It then pulled away but stopped again on Big Rock Road where the driver swapped seats with the passenger. Arrested was 24 year old Michael Frederick Teachout of Students Home Road Smithville. He was charged with driving on a revoked license. Teachout's license had been revoked due to a driving under the influence conviction on February 25th in DeKalb County. The officer making the arrest saw Teachout swap from the driver's seat to the passenger side seat.

The passenger who swapped to the driver's seat was 29 year old Kym Denise Curtis of Judge Warren Road McMinnville. Curtis was found to have an odor of alcohol on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. She submitted to field sobriety tasks which she failed. Curtis was charged with driving under the influence and her bond was set at $1,000. Her court date is September 3rd. This is the second time Curtis has had a run in with the law in the last few days.

U.S Senate Approves Funding for Continued Safety Repairs at Center Hill Dam

August 2, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced Friday that the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which passed the full Senate Thursday night, includes funding to aggressively continue the safety repairs at Wolf Creek and Center Hill Dams. The bill also provides funding for several other water infrastructure projects in middle Tennessee.

Both Center Hill and Wolf Creek Dams were designated “high risk” for failure in January of 2007. The Senators said that currently ratepayers in Middle Tennessee have to pay an additional $100 million a year in replacement power while water levels at the dams are down for the repairs.

“This bill includes several projects important to Tennesseans like repairing two dams that have been designated ‘high risk’ since 2007,” said Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The funding in this bill will help ensure that Tennesseans across our state have safe, reliable water.”

“Maintaining Tennessee’s water-related infrastructure is particularly important given the tough economic conditions facing our citizens and our state government. Funds provided in this bill will help support the continued safe operation of major dams and locks for the communities that depend upon them,” Corker said.

Key Tennessee projects funded in the Senate version of the FY10 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act include:

$123 million for repairs to Wolf Creek Dam. Seepage has caused zones of high water pressure in the embankment next to the dam, posing a significant risk of dam failure and threatening the surrounding communities with flooding. Funding would be used to continue to build a cutoff wall to prevent seepage into the embankment. The bill also includes $7.8 million for operations and maintenance of the dam.

$56 million for repairs to Center Hill Dam. Since its construction in 1951, seepage problems have cost millions of dollars for constant upkeep. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dam Safety Portfolio Risk Assessment ranked Center Hill Dam as a Class I dam safety project -- the highest priority of all Corps dams. The bill also includes $6.1 million for operations and maintenance of the dam.

$50,000 for the Mill Creek Watershed to complete a feasibility study to address flooding problems. Mill Creek is a major tributary of the Cumberland River in southeastern Davidson County and northwestern Williamson County.

$6.5 million for Cheatham Lock and Dam for continued operations and maintenance.

$6.8 million for Cordell Hull Dam and Reservoir for continued operations and maintenance.

$4.8 million for J. Percy Priest Dam and Reservoir for continued operations and maintenance.

$12.3 million for Old Hickory Lock and Dam for continued operations and maintenance.

$6.4 million for Dale Hollow Lake Dam for continued operations and maintenance.

Funds for Sligo Bridge Included in Federal Transportation Appropriations Bill

August 1, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Federal funds for Sligo Bridge are included in a federal appropriations bill making it's way to the United States Senate.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander announced Friday that the Fiscal Year 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, includes significant funding for a number of mass transit, roadway, and airport improvements across Tennessee. The bill must now be considered by the full Senate.

In a prepared news release, Senator Alexander says the bill includes" $1.5 million for DeKalb County for the replacement of the US-70 bridge. Funding will be used to repair the US-70 bridge in DeKalb County. The current bridge is structurally sound, but was built in 1947 and is in serious need of repair. It is the only bridge across Center Hill Lake on the eastern end of DeKalb County and the only way for school buses and traffic to cross from the other side of the lake.

"This legislation funds important initiatives to improve transportation and economic development in Tennessee," Alexander said. "As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to ensure that Tennessee's federal tax dollars are used wisely to create jobs, upgrade our state's roadways and enhance the quality of life in our communities."

The FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill includes funding for the following projects:

· $6 million for the Tennessee Public Transportation Association for statewide mass transportation programs. Funding will be used to purchase and improve mass transit systems across the state of Tennessee – including busing and light rail. Improved mass transit will reduce congestion in Tennessee's cities as well as help provide hospital transportation for rural Tennesseans.

· $1.5 million for Nashville International Airport for runway reconstruction. Funding will be used to upgrade a runway at Nashville International Airport so it can better accommodate larger freight and passenger aircraft to meet the air transport demands for Nashville, one of the South's fastest growing cities.

· $200,000 for Cocke County for improvements to Waterville Road. Funding will help repair the Waterville Road in Cocke County which is heavily impacted by tourists visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which is partly within county limits.

· $1 million for the City of Gallatin for improvements to Airport Road. Funding will be used to redirect the airport road to make additional space for an expanded runway to accommodate increasing commercial aircraft traffic.

· $785,000 for the City of Jackson for improvements to East Chester Street. Funding will be used to improve East Chester Street and help spur redevelopment of East Jackson. East Chester Street was devastated by a tornado in May 2003.

· $1.5 million for DeKalb County for the replacement of the US-70 bridge. Funding will be used to repair the US-70 bridge in DeKalb County. The current bridge is structurally sound, but was built in 1947 and is in serious need of repair. It is the only bridge across Center Hill Lake on the eastern end of DeKalb County and the only way for school buses and traffic to cross from the other side of the lake.

Bredesen Announces Recovery Act Funds to UCHRA

July 31, 2009

Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency will receive $1.7 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for rural transportation services. UCHRA provides public transportation services for Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties.

“Many Tennesseans, particularly those with limited mobility, already rely on public transportation for their daily needs and many others would like to see expanded transit options,” said Bredesen. “The Recovery Act funds announced today will help rural transit providers in Tennessee improve service and replace aging fleets with safer, more reliable vehicles.”

A total of $17.9 million in Recovery Act funds will be provided to 12 rural transit agencies in Tennessee.

“Coming from the fourth most rural congressional district in the country I understand the importance of providing rural residents, particularly those with limited economic means and mobility, with accessible and reliable transportation,” said Congressman Lincoln Davis. “These Recovery Act funds will allow Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency to improve service by upgrading and expanding an aging fleet and provide thousands of Tennesseans with the mobility to continue being or becoming active members of their community.”

“Public transportation is a key component to attracting new businesses and spurring economic development,” said Congressman Bart Gordon. “As the economy recovers from this recession, improving public transit in our state’s rural communities will help make these areas more desirable for businesses to set up shop and create new jobs.”

UCHRA plans to use the Recovery Act dollars to add approximately 18 new ADA accessible minivans, 13 ADA accessible vans, eight new demand response vehicles, communications and GPS devices for the new vehicles to assist in locating service calls and one service vehicle. UCHRA also plans to utilize approximately $177,797 for operational costs.

“Many of the vans and buses in the rural transportation fleets have accumulated hundreds of thousands of miles over the years and have outlasted their useful life,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Replacing these vehicles will allow transit agencies to provide safer, more dependable service to their customers and will generate manufacturing work for the companies providing the vehicles.”

Federal Recovery Act Transit funds are administered by TDOT’s Division of Multimodal Transportation Resources. Tennessee received a total of $72 million in Recovery Act transit funds. Of those funds, $42.2 million was directed by the federal government to the state’s four large urban areas, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

For more information on TDOT’s Division of Multimodal Transportation Resources visit www.tn.gov/tdot. For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit www.recovery.gov. For TDOT specific information on the Recovery Act visit www.tn.gov/tdot/recovery.

Smithville Police Answering Domestic Disturbance Call Make Drug Arrest

July 31, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Smithville man was arrested on drug charges after police answered a domestic disturbance call last Saturday at his residence.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, in his weekly press release, reports that 45 year old Paul Andrew Hall of Smithville is charged with possession of a schedule III, IV, and VI controlled substance. His bond is $4,500 and he will be in court on August 6th.

Smithville Police Officer Matt Holmes states that on July 25th at around 1:00 p.m. he was dispatched to 134 Village Place in Smithville on a domestic disturbance call. Upon arrival, Officer Holmes met with Paul and Gail Hall. Officer Holmes learned that the Halls had a verbal argument. Mr. Hall agreed to get a few personal articles and leave the residence for a while. As Hall was about to get in his vehicle to leave, Ms. Hall asked him for her cell phone. Mr. Hall reached into his pocket and pulled out the cell phone and a small bag dropped on the ground. Mr. Hall immediately scooped up the bag and ran. Officer Holmes pursued and stopped Hall. Upon examining the material in the bag, Officer Holmes placed Hall under arrest for possession of marijuana. During a search of Mr. Hall, Officer Holmes found two white pills and four green pills believed to be Hydrocodone and three round yellow pills believed to be Valium.

Meanwhile, 26 year old Michael David Teachout of 1915 Midway Road, Smithville was arrested by Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis on July 26th on a violation of probation warrant.

20 year old Jeremy Shelton of 326 Jacobs Pillar Road is charged with violating an order of protection. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court August 27th.

Smithville K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow reports that on July 28th at around 5:05 a.m. he was traveling on East Broad Street when he witnessed Shelton in violation of the order of protection taken out by Latroya Bain. Officer Tatrow placed him under arrest.

24 year old Wallace Marlon Rackley of 515 North Congress Boulevard, Smithville is charged with felony vandalism, domestic violence assault, and aggravated burglary. His bond totals $20,000 and his court date is August 6th.

Smithville Police Officer Matt Holmes reports that on July 26th at around 1:00 p.m., he met with 28 year old Kimberly Ward of 632 Estes Street, Smithville at the DeKalb County Jail. She advised Officer Holmes that at around 2:30 a.m. that morning her ex-boyfriend, Rackley, broke into her residence and attacked her. Ward said she was beaten repeatedly by Rackley and that he took all the telephones in the residence. According to Ward, Rackley later fell asleep but she was too afraid to try and contact the police at that time. After he awoke, Ward told him she had to go to Wal-mart and that she would drop him off at his residence on the way. After taking Rackley home, Ward went to the police department. Warrants were then issued for Rackley and he was arrested on July 29th.

20 year old Ross Matthew Peterson of 1597 Midway Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is July 23rd.

Smithville Police Department Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. reports that on July 7th some auto parts and tools were taken from O'Reilly's Auto Parts store at 664 West Broad Street. An investigation into the theft led to the arrest of Peterson on July 14th.

Meanwhile, Chief Jennings is asking for your help in solving several recent criminal offenses.

On July 25th, Brad Cotter of 142 North Second Avenue, Smithville noticed that someone had tried to break into his residence and his workshop. The damage to the doors was approximately $100.

At around 2:00 p.m. on July 25th, 62 year old George Divine of 20 North Butler Street, Sparta allegedly took a 2006 Toyota Tacoma from Florence & White Ford in Smithville without their permission. The vehicle is valued at $11,850.

Someone tried to break into Terry Satterfield's residence at 612 South College Street in Smithville on July 26th at around 10:00 p.m. The suspect tried to gain entry through two different windows.

Michelle Burklow came to the Smithville Police Department on July 27th at about 5:41 p.m. to report that someone had taken her purse from the DeKalb County Board of Education Building on the public square. The purse contained personal identification, check book, keys, Wal-mart gift card, and cash.

Also on July 27th at around 9:00 p.m., Smithville Police Officer Brad Tatrow was dispatched to 732 Dry Creek Road in Smithville to investigate a vandalism complaint. Upon arrival, Officer Tatrow talked to Lori E. Page, who stated that someone had vandalized her 1997 Nissan automobile. The vehicle had been scratched in numerous places and someone attempted to pry open a window. The approximate damage to the vehicle is $1,000.

Chief Jennings says if anyone has any information on any of these criminal offenses to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210. Any information received will be kept confidential.

DeKalb County Celebrates First Day of School

July 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Booth one of many giving away Free school supplies

Parents and students joined educators and other supporters downtown Thursday evening for the Fourth Annual First Day of School Education Celebration in DeKalb County.

This Education Celebration is nationally known as First Day of School America and is held annually in a lot of the bigger cities in the United States. Since 1997 the First Day Foundation organization has been assisting schools, families and communities to come together for a celebration on the First Day of each new school year to support education and begin a year-long partnership to promote student success. This is also a time when parents and students become more familiar with the faculty, staff and PTO of the school that they are entering.

All five schools in DeKalb County and their Parent Teacher Organizations were represented at the celebration and several local businesses, public officials, individuals, and community based organizations provided free school supplies, refreshments, and other materials and resources to parents and students

Click here to view pictures from the DeKalb Education Celebration http://www.wjle.com/node/8305

The DeKalb County Education Celebration committee would like to THANK the following churches, community members, and businesses for donating to the 2009 celebration.

The DeKalb County Education Celebration committee would like to THANK the following churches, community members, and businesses for donating to the 2009 celebration.

Churches
Church of the Nazerene
New Hope Baptist Church/ Alexandria
Smithville Church of Christ
Jacobs Pillar United Methodist Church
Peoples Missionary Baptist Church
Salem Baptist Church
Liberty Methodist Church
Snow Hill Methodist Church
Bright Hill Methodist Church
Grace Bible Church
Keltonburg Church of Christ
Whorton Springs Baptist Church
Covenant Baptist Church
New Home Baptist Church
Indian Creek Baptist Church
Lighthouse In Home Ministries
New Union Baptist Church
Mt Zion Baptist Church
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Smithville Church of God
Johnson’s Chapel Free Will Baptist
Calvary Baptist Church
Smithville First Free Will Baptist
Dowelltown Methodist Church
Laurel Hill Church
Walker’s Chapel Church
Temple Baptist Church
First Methodist Church
Laurel Hill Baptist Church
First United Methodist
New West Point Free Will Baptist Church
The Baptist Tabernacle
Smithville First Baptist
Keltonburg United Methodist Church
Banks Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Businesses
DeKalb County Farm Bureau
Janney and Associates
Dr.David Foutch O D
Dr. Cliff Duke, DDS
T. Koen Orthodontics
Griffin’s Fruit Market
DeKalb County Elected Officials
Regions Bank
DeKalb Community Bank
First Bank
Judge Bratten Cook
DeKalb Co. Tee Ball Coach Pitch
Bumpers Drive In
Hendrix Financial
DTC Wireless
Infinity Athletics
Liberty State Bank
DeKalb County Public Libraries

Thank you to the County and City mayors for working with the committee to have the event on the square and assisting in the closing of the streets to protect our children.

Motorists Urged to be Extra Careful Around School Buses

July 30, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

It's back to school time!

School buses are running today as students register for a new school year.

Local and state law enforcement agencies urge motorists to be a little extra cautious and keep an eye out for the kids.

The THP and other local law enforcement officers often monitor school zones and watch for violators of speeding laws, as well as aggressive drivers and anyone who passes a stopped school bus.

Officials say it's important that children learn school bus safety tips. They include:

Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.
Stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.
Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
Check both ways before stepping off the bus. Walk in front of the bus-never behind it.
Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, then left again before exiting the bus or crossing the street.
The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus. Stay out of the danger zone

There are also important safety tips for drivers to remember, including:

Always stop for a stopped school bus.
Never pass a school bus.
Never speed in school zones, or in residential areas where children may be present.
The "Danger Zone" is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by drivers.
Pedestrian fatalities (while loading and unloading school buses) account for approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities when compared to school bus occupant fatalities.
The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus.

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8:55 A.M.
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9:45 P.M.

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