Local News Articles

Special Grand Jury Session Called to Indict Defendants in Theft Investigation by Sheriff's Department

September 25, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
James M. Adcock

An investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department into a recent rash of burglaries and thefts has led to a special session of the grand jury and sealed indictments against several persons named in the probe.

The DeKalb County Grand Jury was called into special session Wednesday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says "These individuals are thought to be "larger scale" thieves considering their past criminal histories and are a threat to our community. This is an ongoing investigation by my detectives and me dealing with theft rings here in DeKalb County. More arrests are forthcoming."

Sheriff Ray asks for you to take an inventory of your firearms, electronic components, and valuables by listing all serial numbers and descriptions of your items in case of a theft. This is vital information that tremendously increases the solvability of any theft and also aids in the recovery of the stolen items.

Among those named in sealed indictments by the Grand Jury Wednesday are:

79 year old James M. Adcock of Jefferson Road, Smithville who was arrested on a sealed indictment for theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Ray says Adcock had in his possession several guns that had been reported stolen here in DeKalb County. During a lengthy investigation, detectives found that people, who were known felons and who had long criminal histories for similar crimes, were stealing guns from several homes in DeKalb County and were taking the stolen firearms to Adcock's home to be sold. Adcock would purchase the weapons with cash. After obtaining this information, detectives went to the home of Adcock and confronted him with information they had obtained. They were able to recover two stolen firearms. While at the residence, Adcock was advised that officers had proof of other firearms which had been sold to him but Adcock denied it. Detectives left Adcock's residence but were able to reconfirm their information that more stolen firearms had been sold to him. Officers then went back to Adcock's home later in the evening and conducted a search of his residence. During the search, detectives found two more stolen guns that Adcock had purchased, including a .357 pistol that had been reported stolen here in DeKalb County in 2003. Also found at the residence was the stolen firearm that the detectives had questioned him about earlier in the day which he had denied having in his possession. Adcock's bond was set at $10,000 on the charge and he will appear in court on October 24th.

42 year old Shannon Lynn Newby of Anthony Avenue, Smithville was arrested on three counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of theft of property over $1,000, and one count of theft of property under $500. Sheriff Ray says in May of this year, Newby made forced entry into a residence on Cookeville Highway and took two firearms, a floor safe, guitar, a DeWalt impact wrench, and multiple DVD's all valued at over $1,000. Many of these items including one of the firearms have been recovered.

Sheriff Ray says in June of this year, Newby went to a residence on Twilla Lane Smithville and made forced entry into the home. He took two rifles valued at over $1,000. One weapon has since been recovered. Also in June, Newby forcibly entered a home on West Main Street in Smithville and took a chainsaw valued at $350 from the home. The chainsaw has since been recovered. Newby's bond was set at $150,000 and he will appear in court on October 24th.

38 year old Comer Thomas Vance of Bell Street Smithville was arrested for two counts of theft over $500, one count of theft under $500, and one count of aggravated burglary. Sheriff Ray says in June of this year, Vance went to a residence on Lee Homer Road Smithville and stole a catalytic converter off of a 1995 Chevy Lumina valued at $600 without the owners consent. Also in June of this year, Vance forcibly entered a home on West Main Street in Smithville and took a chainsaw valued at $350 from the home. The chainsaw has since been recovered. On another date in June, Vance went to a residence on Haley Road in Smithville and stole a catalytic converter off of a 1991 Ford Van valued at $800. Vance's total bond was set at $100,000 and he will appear in court on October 24th

32 year old Tyrone Dewayne Owens of Shady Drive Smithville was arrested for one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $1,000. Sheriff Ray says in May of this year, Owens forcibly entered a residence on Cookeville Highway and stole a .25 caliber semi automatic hand gun, a .22 caliber rifle, a floor safe, acoustic guitar and case, several DVD's, and an impact wrench valued at over $1,000. Owens' total bond was set at $50,000 and he will appear in court on October 24th.

32 year old Sharon K. Skinner of Cedar Drive Smithville was arrested for one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $500. Sheriff Ray says in August of this year, Skinner made forced entry through a window of a residence on A.B. Frasier Road Smithville and stole several articles of jewelry, one play station two console, loose change, and several DVD's valued at over $500. Skinner's bond was set at $25,000 and she will appear in court on October 24th.

23 year old Donald Ricky Atnip Jr. of Banks Pisgah Road Smithville was arrested for theft of property over $1,000 and filing a false report. Sheriff Ray says earlier this month, Atnip went to a residence on Short Mountain Highway and stole a 16 foot trailer and a Maytag Washer and Dryer. Atnip then drove from the residence on Short Mountain to McMinnville Highway where the trailer came off of Atnip's vehicle. The operator of another vehicle, which was traveling on McMinnville Highway, did not see the trailer in the roadway and struck the trailer causing damage to their vehicle. When Deputies arrived at the scene, Atnip was loading the stolen trailer back on to his truck and told the deputies that the trailer belonged to him. The deputies filed an accident report with Atnip and the other motorist. A further investigation into the accident revealed that the trailer had been stolen. Atnip's bond was set at $25,000 and he will appear in court on October 24th.

38 year old Walter Ray Redmon of Sparta Highway Smithville was arrested for four counts of theft over $500 and one count of aggravated burglary. Sheriff Ray says in June of this year, Redmon forcibly entered a residence on Four Star Loop through a window and stole a Marlin 30-30 rifle and case along with various swords, daggers, and knives. The rifle has since been recovered. Also in June of this year, Redmon went to a residence on Evins Mill Road in Smithville and stole a catalytic converter off of a 1996 Chevy Lumina Van valued at $600.

On another date in June of this year, Redmon went to a residence on Haley Road in Smithville and stole a catalytic converter off of a 1991 Ford Van valued at $800. Also in June, Redmon went to a residence on Lee Homer Road in Smithville and stole a catalytic converter off of a 1995 Chevy Lumina valued at $600. Redmon's bond was set at $125,000 and he will appear in court on October 24th.

In other news, 30 year old Jerry H. Goff of South Titsworth Road Smithville was arrested Sunday for simple possession of drugs after he was stopped on South Titsworth Road for a traffic violation. Deputies received consent from Goff to search his vehicle and found 6 orange pills in the console of his car believed to be Suboxone. Goff did admit to the deputy that the pills were his and he had no prescription for them. Goff's bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on October 9th.

39 year old William Andy Cantrell of Redmon Road Smithville and 42 year old Tammy Denise Miller of Short Mountain Road Smithville were arrested Tuesday after a deputy spotted their car sitting beside of the roadway on McMinnville Highway. Officers obtained consent to search the vehicle and found 31 hypodermic needles in Miller's vehicle. Cantrell was found to have another hypodermic needle in his pants pocket. Bond for both Cantrell and Miller was set a $2,500 each and they will appear in court on December 11th.

40 year old Donna Sue Estes was arrested Wednesday for possession of drug paraphernalia after officers from the Sheriff's Department went to a home on Short Mountain Highway. The officers received consent to search from the owner of the residence and found 5 hypodermic needles, two cut straws, and a tourniquet in a bedroom where Estes was sitting. Estes' bond was set at $2,500 and she will appear in court on October 2nd.

23 year old Daniel Sklenka of South College Street Smithville and 22 year old Barry Elrod of Golden Lane McMinnville were arrested Thursday for theft under $500 for stealing county road signs. A deputy, while on patrol, noticed a vehicle sitting on Dry Creek Road in Dowelltown. As the officer approached the vehicle, the driver turned his headlights off and then when the deputy got to the vehicle, the driver turned the headlights back on and drove off. The officer pulled the vehicle over for a traffic violation and noticed the county road signs in the back of the vehicle. The names of the road signs were- Highway 70 and Evins Mill Road cross signs, Toad Road, Adcock Cemetery Road, and a deer crossing sign. The two men were taken into custody. Bond for both men was set at $1,000 and they will appear in court on October 30th.

Smithville Man Defends Himself In Home Invasion

September 24, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Smith Road resident defended himself from a burglar early Monday morning.

Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis, in his report, states that "On Monday, September 22nd at 3:15 a.m., I was dispatched to 274 Smith Road in reference to an attempted break-in. Upon my arrival, I made contact with the complainant, David Reses, who stated that he was home when a male Hispanic with a mask over his face and armed with a black gun, kicked in the front door. When the suspect got near the complainant's bedroom door, the complainant (Reses) struck the suspect in the head with a steel pipe. The suspect fled in an unknown direction of travel."

There was damage to the front door and a lock but apparently nothing was stolen from the residence.

Two Men Rob Restaurant Employee

September 24, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

An employee of the City Cafe on West Broad Street says she was robbed as she was closing the business last weekend.

Danielle Swanson told Sergeant Joey Jones of the Smithville Police Department that two men took a money bag from her containing $1,000.

Sergeant Jones' report states that " On Saturday, September 20th at about 12:55 a.m. I was dispatched to the City Café on a robbery complaint. Arriving at 1:04 a.m., I made contact with Danielle Swanson who advised me that she was robbed. She went on to say that around 11:00 p.m. while closing the restaurant, she had gone over to the trash cans to throw away some trash and as she was walking to her car, parked on the other side of the parking lot, someone shoved her down from the back. Swanson said she could not tell who it was but they (two men) had sleeveless shirts and khaki shorts. Both were about 20 years of age and tall, approximately six feet tall, and thin. One had a beard and blond hair and the other had dark hair but no facial hair. She advised me that she had never seen them before. She then stated that they had to have come from around the trees behind the trash cans to the north of the building. That's the only place that she said they could have been hiding. Then she stated that one of the guys took her purse and threw out the contents and then they got the money bag containing the daily receipts. They then went across the parking lot and got into a white suburban and took off heading westbound. Swanson then stated that she ran over to her sister's house and called her step-father who said that when he was coming off of Dry Creek Road onto West Broad Street enroute to the restaurant, he saw a white suburban turning down Dry Creek Road, and going fast."

Swanson stated that the only thing taken was the money bag.

No arrests have been made.

Bredesen Appoints York District Attorney General

September 24, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
District Attorney General Randy York

Governor Phil Bredesen has appointed Randall A. York of Crossville, Tenn., as the District Attorney General in the 13th Judicial District. The vacancy was created by the resignation of William E. Gibson, which became effective in July. The 13th Judicial District is composed of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White Counties.

“Randy York has practiced general civil and criminal law in the state and federal courts, with a concentration in all seven counties of the 13th Judicial District,” said Bredesen. “I am pleased to make this appointment and believe Randy will serve the State of Tennessee with distinction and provide the leadership the people of the district expect and deserve.

“I also want to thank Tony Craighead for his service as District Attorney General Pro Tempore during the last two years,” said Bredesen. “General Craighead has served the 13th District with integrity and honor during a difficult transitional period.”

York , who spoke with WJLE by telephone late Wednesday afternoon, says he is ready to go to work for the people of the 13th Judicial District as their new District Attorney General. "I'm ready to get my feet wet, roll up my sleeves, and to do some work. I have been practicing law since 1982, primarily here in Crossville. I've had an occasion to practice in all of the seven counties that compose and comprise the 13th Judicial District so I've tried all different types of cases including just about every kind of criminal case you can imagine."

"My wife is from Smithville, the former Judy Dodd. Her mother is Genelle Dodd from Liberty. I have two children, John and Anna."

York says he will keep offices in Livingston, Cookeville, and Crossville. "There are three counties (in the district) with an office of the Attorney General including Livingston, Cookeville, and Crossville and all of those will stay as they are. The D.A's staff has a group of seasoned prosecutors that are really good and I'm looking forward to working with them."

York has been a member of the firm Colvard, York & Ramsey since May 1990. Previously, he was a member of the firms Bean, Colvard & York from 1985 to 1990 and York and York from 1982 to 1985. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1978, York received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Nashville School of Law in 1982.

“This is a great honor, and I want to thank Governor Bredesen for the opportunity to serve the state in this new capacity,” said York. “I look forward to working with the dedicated employees of the district attorney’s office to ensure justice is achieved for the citizens of Tennessee.”

York is a member of Cumberland Homestead Baptist Church and serves as president of the Bread of Life Rescue Mission board of directors. He is a past president of the Cumberland County Bar and a member of the Tennessee Association for Justice. He is married to Judith York, a teacher at Cumberland County High School, and has two children, Jonathan and Anna.

Two Smithville Police Officers Receive Commendations

September 24, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
(Left to Right) Brad Tatrow and Matt Holmes

Smithville Police Officers Matt Holmes and Brad C. Tatrow and have been presented commendations signed by Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Police Commissioner Stephen White, Police Chief Richard Jennings, and Lieutenant Steven Leffew, for their recent actions.

The commendations states that "On August 31st, 2008, while working drug interdiction, K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow conducted a traffic stop and Officer Matt Holmes provided backup. During the investigation, K-9 Astro was deployed and indicated on the vehicle. During a pat down of one of the suspects, the driver assaulted Officer Tatrow and fled on foot. Both Officers Tatrow and Holmes gave chase and apprehended the subject approximately 500 yards from the traffic stop."

‘An estimated $6,000 of cocaine and marijuana was taken off the streets of Smithville and the police department was able to seize a 2001 Mercedes Benz."

"Due to your continuing efforts and dedicated service, know that you are making a difference for the citizens of Smithville that you swore to protect and serve. You have served with distinction and are a credit to the Smithville Police Department."

" For your outstanding service, you are hereby formally recognized and commended with a copy of this commendation becoming a part of your permanent personnel record."

"Congratulations and keep up the great work!"

Chapman Pleads Guilty In Counterfeit Cash Case- Gets Two Years Probation

September 23, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jason Ryan Chapman

A 24 year old man, charged in a cash counterfeiting operation earlier this year, pleaded guilty to forgery by passing Monday in DeKalb County Criminal Court

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. sentenced Jason Ryan Chapman to two years, all suspended to time served. He must perform 100 hours of community service on probation and make restitution of $40 to Wal-mart. He was given credit for eight days of jail time served.

Chapman, a former employee of Walmart in Smithville, could be seen on a videotape from the store's surveillance camera , making purchases at Walmart with some of the counterfeit money.

Smithville Police Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. said at the time of the arrest that "On March 21st a patrol officer responded to Walmart in reference to counterfeit money showing up. The case was assigned to me and I received the videotape from the manager of Walmart that shows an employee, Jason Chapman basically passing $40 in counterfeit currency to purchase items there. I developed a lead in the city and he (Sheriff) had some tips in the county he had come up with and we put our information together and was able to resolve the case."

Two other people in the case, 24 year old Megan Ann Lann and her boyfriend, 27 year old Somer Walid Abdalla were indicted in August on charges of criminal simulation and passing counterfeit bills as currency.

Abdalla pleaded guilty on August 18th to criminal simulation over $1,000 and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised TDOC probation. The case is to run consecutive with a violation of probation sentence against him in the General Sessions Court in another case. Under terms of the plea agreement, Abdalla cannot associate with his girlfriend Lann except for court authorized contact with their child. All jail credit of 143 days from March 28th, 2008 to August 18th, 2008 shall be applied to the violation of probation sentence in the General Sessions court case.

Lann pleaded guilty to forgery (passing) and received a two year sentence, all suspended to TDOC supervised probation. She must make restitution toWal-mart in the amount of $240 and perform 100 hours of community service work. She must not associate with her boyfriend Abdalla under terms of the plea agreement.

Abdalla, Lann, and Chapman were arrested as the result of a joint investigation by the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Lann and Abdalla were accused of producing at least $800 to $1,000 in counterfeit $10 and $20 bills on a desktop and laptop computer and printer in their home and then passing some of those bills at local and area businesses.

Detective Sergeant Hutchins says the Smithville Police Department also charged Lann and Chapman with passing counterfeit bank bills as currency.

Sheriff Ray and Detective Sergeant Hutchins say counterfeit bills showed up at several businesses during the winter and spring. The bills had no water marks or bar codes and some were not cut squarely. The bills also had some of the same serial numbers.

According to Sheriff Ray, both Abdalla and Lann were involved in manufacturing the counterfeit bills.

In other court cases Monday, 35 year old Lisa Dillon pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000 and received a four year sentence with six years of DOC probation. Dillon must make restitution of $12,841 to the victim in the case and perform 100 hours of community service work.

22 year old Christopher P. Mulford pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule VI controlled substance and received a two year sentence with 30 days to serve. He must perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution of $100 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. Mulford must also pay a fine of $2,000.

23 year old Edward Lee Judkins, Jr. pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000. He received a three year sentence to serve 150 days. The sentence is to run consecutive to a violation of probation in General Sessions Court. He must perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution. Judkins was given jail credit for time served since February 26th.

30 year old Amy Renee Ford pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and was sentenced to two and a half years, suspended to and given credit for time served since March 29th. She will be on DOC supervised probation, must perform 100 hours of community service work, and must make restitution of $500.

24 year old Leonardo Rodriguez pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, but he was given credit for time served since March 22nd and will be on supervised probation. He is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim in the case.

20 year old Steven Cantrell pleaded guilty to casual exchange and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days. He will be on supervised probation by PSI and must pay a $500 fine. Cantrell must also perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution of $100 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. The case is to run consecutive to a General Sessions Court case against him.

DeKalb West Junior Beta Club Inducts 25 Members

September 23, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West School Junior Beta Club members

Twenty-five new students were inducted into the DeKalb West School chapter of the Junior Beta Club on Monday night, September 8. The local club invites students in 5th-8th grades who excel academically with an A/B average. Receiving certificates honoring their accomplishment were the following: William Cain, Cayla Cantrell, Kayna Caplinger, Ty Curtis, Lane Davenport, Dakoda Eaton, Sarah Edwards, Taylor Ellis, Austin Frazier, Chasity Garrett, Katie Hall, Austin Hicks, Hanna Leach, Anna Malone, Keely McKay, Mary Belle Mofield, Megan Nichols, Alexis Nokes, Damian Payne, James Sherwood, Megan Strayn, Nathaniel Theriaque, Teddy Tippin, Morgan Vickers, and Hailey Walker.

DeKalb West School students got their groove on for charity September 12th for the Junior Beta Club’s second annual fundraising dance. The club brought in over 300-dollars for Relay for Life. Crystal Vickers, McKenzie Poteete, Sarah Edwards, Paige Lohorn, and Cassie Cain were the club’s leaders for the benefit dance. Payton Graves handled the music for the night.
The academic club will be raising money for its own cause over the next couple of weeks. Students will be selling Sonic cards) for 5-dollars each to help offset the costs of attending the Tennessee Junior Beta Club convention in Nashville in November. Club members will participate in a variety of academic, talent and arts and crafts events. Call Club sponsor Bill Conger at the school at 536-5332 to find out more about buying tickets.

Weekend Prisoner Caught Trying to Bring Drugs in the Jail

September 23, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

A weekend prisoner was caught trying to bring drugs into the jail Friday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 43 year old Roxanne Hendrixson of West Green Hill Road ,Smithville was checking into the DeKalb County Jail to serve weekends as the result of a court sentence, when a female correctional officer found in Hendrixson's bra 1 ½ pills believed to be seroquel. Hendrixson was charged with introduction of drugs into a penal institution. Her bond was set at $5,000.00 and she will appear in court on September 24th.

Meanwhile, in other cases, on Sunday, September 14th, officers received a call about a vehicle that was weaving on Highway 56 South. A county deputy spotted the vehicle and ran the tag. The officer then stopped the vehicle for a traffic offense. The driver, 18 year old Lucio Romo of Short Mountain Highway Smithville was found to be driving on a suspended license. Romo's license was suspended for a charge of driving while impaired on June 22nd. Romo was arrested for driving on a suspended license and a state warrant for violation of probation was also served on him. Romo's total bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on October 2nd.

On Saturday, September 20th, deputies went to the home of 29 year old Benjamin Theodore Taylor of Troy Cripps Road, Liberty to serve a warrant on another person there. Taylor advised the officers that the person they were looking for was not there. Officers received consent to search Taylor's residence and found 3 peach colored pills believed to be Xanax lying on a dresser in the bedroom area of the residence. Taylor admitted to the deputies that the pills were not prescribed to him. Taylor was arrested for simple possession and his bond was set at $1,500. He will appear in court on October 9th.

Also on Saturday, deputies were summoned to Highway 56 South for an auto accident. Upon arrival they found 20 year old Amanda Brook Washer of 625 Ike Adcock Road Smithville to be the driver of the vehicle. Washer was driving a 1997 Honda Accord Southbound when she ran off the right side of the road and lost control hitting a utility pole. Washer was uninjured. Washer's driver's license was checked and came up suspended for failure to satisfy a citation on November 12th, 2006 in Wilson County. Washer was arrested for driving on a suspended driver's license and her bond was set at $1,000.00. She will appear in court on October 8th.

Board of Education Denies Request to Establish a New Elementary Basketball Program

September 22, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Board of Education, during a special meeting Monday night, denied a request to start a 4th & 5th grade basketball program for boys and girls at Northside Elementary and DeKalb West School this fall.

The board voted 6 to 1 against the proposal this year because funding for coaching supplements for such a program is not in this year's school budget. The board is expected to revisit the issue next year before the new budget is adopted. All voted no except for Sixth District Board member Bruce Parsley.

Principal Gayle Redmon says other school systems have an elementary basketball program and it would be good for the students and for school spirit. "We are proposing to start a basketball program for 4th and 5th grade students at Northside Elementary School. We've had quite a bit of parent interest in this particular program. We've talked with Mr. Willoughby for several months about the possibility of getting this program started. We've looked at costs. We don't want a real complicated program. We just want a simple program with a few games and maybe playing in tournaments. We've talked with coaches and schools in Putnam County, White County, and Warren County and all of those programs have elementary school basketball programs. We think it would be a good way for our students to learn basketball skills and learn to compete and learn to be good sports as well as promoting school spirit."

Redmon says there probably would have been no more than eight regular season games, four at home and four on the road, plus maybe some tournament games. No bus transportation would have been required since parents would transport the players on the road trips.

The initial request was made for Northside Elementary School, but had the school system given permission, DeKalb West School would have had the same opportunity to start a 4th & 5th grade basketball program there.

School Board Modifies Fuel Reimbursement Policy

September 22, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Monday night met in special session and voted to amend a policy giving some relief to groups who have to reimburse the school system for the cost of bus transportation to and from extracurricular activities.

The school board adopted this policy earlier this year, making it apply to all groups.

Under the policy, sponsors of field trips, athletic programs, the high school band, clubs, and other extra curricular activities are required to pay the bus driver, reimburse the school system for the cost of fuel, and pay for the cost of wear and tear on the bus.

The calculation was originally figured on the cost of fuel per gallon based on the last delivery costs, divided by average bus mileage of 6.5 miles per gallon, rounded to the nearest whole cent, and then doubled for the wear and tear of the bus, multiplied by the number of miles traveled.

Transportation employee Peggy Pursell said Monday night that actual mileage of one bus on a recent trip to and from a football game was checked and it came to eight miles per gallon. "We used a bus with a full tank of gas and when we got back, we filled it up again and we checked our mileage. We got between eight and eight and a half miles per gallon. So we're figuring at eight miles now. I bought fuel Friday from Harris Oil in Cookeville. I got 7,000 gallons and I only needed 5,000. Mr (Kenny) Edge took the overage. We bought the fuel for $3.08 and they delivered it today (Monday)."

Sixth District School Board member Bruce Parsley said Monday night, he believed assessing a cost for wear and tear was unfair. "My thinking is we've already paid for the buses. We shouldn't be charging kids again for wear and tear."

Seventh District Board member Johnny Lattimore responded that other school systems make a charge for wear and tear and that " looking at what other counties are charging, we are well under them."

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby added that the policy is written so that the costs fluctuates as the price of fuel changes."The proposal that we passed made everything sort of on a sliding scale. If things cost more then the fuel per mileage and depreciation was going to cost more. Now it's less. In the beginning, when we were talking about this, it was going to cost over a dollar a mile and now we're down to 77 cents per mile so that part has gone down. Our policy for extracurricular activities for field trips is less expensive than the majority of school systems in our area. I know we're DeKalb County and we make our policies for DeKalb County but we do look at other places too to find out what's in line."

However, Third District member Kenny Rhody said the charge for depreciation of the buses is creating a financial hardship on some groups like the high school band program. "Some parents have talked to me and they have really been bothered by the costs. They said they would be doing good if they could pay for the fuel. Some of the parents expressed the same thing Mr. Parsley said that we bought these buses when they were new for the children and when they wear out we'll buy more new buses, but we bought them for our kids to use. They don't mind paying for the fuel, but the buses, they feel like they've paid for once, and are now being hit with another charge. It's enough on them to have to pay for the fuel. That's a big burden for them. If we just do the surcharge on the fuel and not have the additional fee for the usage and wear and tear, then if it goes over $4.00 a gallon, we could look at this policy again."

Board member Parsley made a motion that these groups pay only for the cost of the fuel and the bus driver on these trips to extracurricular activities, but that the charge for wear and tear be eliminated. Board member Kenny Rhody seconded the motion, but they were the only members voting for it.

Board Chairman Charles Robinson and members W.J. (Dub) Evins III, Johnny Lattimore, Joan Draper, and John David Foutch voted no.

Lattimore then made a motion that the cost for wear and tear be cut in half, which would currently make it 19 cents instead of 38 cents, and that the board take another look at the policy in January.

All voted in favor, except Parsley.

So the new formula will be as follows:
Divide the cost of fuel based on the last delivery, currently $3.08, by 8 miles per gallon and the cost is figured at 38 cents per gallon. Then add another 19 cents for the cost of wear and tear and the total cost per mile is 57 cents.

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