Local News Articles

Almost 300 Vehicles Checked In New Year Holiday Road Blocks

January 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Smithville and Alexandria Police Department conducted recent road blocks to keep travel as safe as possible to start 2008.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says a total 293 vehicles were stopped during the road blocks including 72 vehicles on Highway 56 south; 53 on Highway 70 east; 47 on Highway 53 in Alexandria; 62 on Highway 70 west in Alexandria; and 59 automobiles were stopped on Highway 146

During the roadblocks, sheriff's department deputies made three arrests.

31 year old Ramon Hernandez of College Street, Smithville was arrested for no drivers license. His bond was set at $1,500 and his court date is January 9th..

51 Year old Danny Certain of Blue Springs Road, Smithville was arrested for a second offense of driving under the influence and was issued a citation for violation of the open container law. Bond for Certain was set at $3,000 and his court date is January 31st.

22 year old Thomas Thompson of Manners Road, Lebanon was arrested for a first offense of driving under the influence. His bond is set at $1,500 and his court date is January 31st.

The Smithville Police Department arrested 30 year old Alfredo Bazaldua of Atnip Street, Smithville. He was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence. His bond was set at $1,500 and his court date is January 31st.

The Smithville Police Department also issued two citations to one person for driving without a driver's license and littering, after the individual threw a bottle out of his vehicle.

Sheriff's Department Investigating Burglary at Local Restaurant

December 31, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Sheriff's Department is investigating a break-in which occurred this morning (Monday) at Barbara's Cedar House Restaurant on Johnson's Chapel Road.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says some time late Sunday night or early this morning (Monday), someone entered the restaurant and stole several cases of assorted beer, TV's, a computer, a projector, and a surround sound system.

According to Sheriff Ray, the owners of the restaurant are offering a $1,000 reward for the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons who are responsible for the crime.

If anyone has any information about the case, please call Sheriff Ray at 597-4935 or the Confidential Tip Line at 615-464-6400. All calls are kept confidential.

In other recent cases, 18 year old Latroya Bain of Lee Homer Road, Smithville was arrested on Thursday, December 27th at Gentry Avenue for Theft of Property over $1,000 and Failure to Appear.

Sheriff Ray says on December 5th, Bain was at a residence on Lee Homer Road, Smithville and took a vehicle without the owner's consent. The vehicle has since been recovered. Bain is under a $10,000 bond and will appear in court on January 3rd.

Meanwhile, in a related case, 18 year old Jeremy Shelton of Jacob's Pillar Road, Smithville was arrested on Thursday, December 27th on Village Place, Smithville.

Sheriff Ray says on December 5th, Shelton took a vehicle on Dry Creek Road, Smithville without the owner's consent. Shelton was arrested for Theft of Property over $1,000 and Violation of Probation. His Court date is January 3rd and his bond was set at $6,000. The vehicle has since been recovered.

In another case, 62 year old James Harold Davis of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville was charged Saturday, December 29th with Introduction of Drugs into a Penal Institution.

Sheriff Ray says Davis brought a coffee pot into the jail for his grandson, and upon inspection by correctional officers, the coffee pot was found to be filled with tobacco and marijuana. Bond for Davis was set at $5,000 and he will appear in court on January 17th.

Two Smithville Pharmacies Burglarized

December 30, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two more pharmacies have been burglarized in recent days.

F.Z. Webb and Sons Pharmacy and Gifts in downtown Smithville was broken into early Saturday morning.

Owner Alan Webb says he received a call from his security company of an alarm around 2:00 a.m. Saturday.

Upon arrival, Webb found that someone had broken into the building through a rear door. Motion sensors apparently triggered the burglar alarm, after the intruder or intruders made entry.

Webb says he could find nothing missing, only an open bottle of cough syrup.

No arrests have been made.

Meanwhile on Christmas night, someone broke into Caldwell's Drug Store on West Main Street. Entry was believed to have been made through the roof. Police say a small vent on the roof appeared to have been kicked in and inside, the ceiling in the lobby appeared to have been pushed in from above.

Police say according to the owner, nothing was taken in that break-in. No arrests have been made.

These pharmacy burglaries come just a month after someone broke into F.Z. Webb and Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria.

Alexandria Police have charged three people in that case. 22 year old Bryon Ray (Bud) Gibbs and 25 year old Candice B. Vickers both of Liberty and 31 year old Jeffery A. Willet of Lebanon are charged with one count each of burglary and theft over $500.

Chief Mark Collins says officers discovered that entry had been made through the roof and that 6,500 Lortab pills and liquid morphine were stolen. The break-in is believed to have occurred sometime between November 24th and November 26th.

All three are currently incarcerated in other jails on unrelated charges.

Three Applicants in the Running for Police Investigator Job

December 29, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department may soon have an Investigator.

Three people have applied for the job. Applications were accepted until noon Friday.

Those in the running include Jerry Hutchins' Jr., Marcus Caldwell, and Danny Holmes.

Hutchins is a former employee of the Smithville Police Department and he is currently employed with the Wilson County Sheriff's Department. Hutchins is also a former employee of the Lebanon Police Department where he worked as a field training officer and patrol supervisor. He is the son of Smithville Alderman Jerry Hutchins Sr.

Caldwell is also a former employee of Smithville Police Department. He is currently working for the White County Sheriff's Department.

Holmes is a former long time employee of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office and is head of Safety and Security at Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

In the past, the City Secretary/Treasurer, Mayor, and Police Commissioner have made the initial hire of employees in the police department, subject to final approval by the board of aldermen.

In recent months, some of the aldermen have said they want more input in the interview and hiring process.

Earlier this month, Alderman Tonya Sullivan, at a city council meeting, said the city must be consistent with it's hiring process. "The code and charter are very vague about who is supposed to be present for interviews, how many people are supposed to be interviewed, and what the process is that we are supposed to be following. We have not been consistent with our hiring process."

Meanwhile, the city is still in search of applications for a certified water plant employee and resumes for a new city attorney through noon January 11th.

At last report, none had been filed.

The city is accepting applications for a full time certified water plant employee. Only Grade III Certified applicants will be accepted.

The city is also accepting resumes from qualified, licensed attorneys for the city attorney position.

The water plant position is apparently is a new job being created. The new city attorney will succeed John Pryor, who has announced his resignation, effective December 31st.

Alexandria Woman Arrested for Theft and Forgery

December 28, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department recently arrested an Alexandria woman in a theft and forgery case.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 37 year old Dana McKinney of Tramel Branch Road allegedly entered a home in Alexandria on November 1st and took numerous checks without the consent of the owner. McKinney then went to several stores in DeKalb County during the period of November 1st through November 13th, forged four checks, and cashed them. McKinney's bond was set at $12,500 and her court date is January10th.

McKinney was charged on Tuesday, December 18th with theft of property under $500 and four counts of forgery.

Meanwhile, 20 year old Amanda Brook Washer of McMinnville Highway, Smithville was charged on Saturday, December 22nd with Public Intoxication, Simple Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Sheriff Ray says deputies were on a traffic stop on Roy Womack Road when Washer came walking up to them in an intoxicated manner. Washer was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. Washer was placed under arrest and after a search of her person, she was found to have a marijuana roach, rolling papers and a marijuana cigarette in her pocketbook. Washer's bond was set at $5,000 and she will appear in court on February 7th.

Deputies responded to a disturbance call on Highway 70 East at the Lake Motel on Monday, December 24th. The officers knocked on the door and were invited into the room. One of the persons who was there was 30 year old Andy Certain of The Loop Road, Smithville. Deputies learned that Certain was wanted in Wilson County for failure to appear to court. Deputies also noticed a bag of marijuana on a table. Certain admitted that the marijuana was his. Certain was charged with simple possession and his bond was set at $2,500. His court date is January 3rd. Certain will be transported to Wilson County later.

Three Charged in Recent Pharmacy Burglary in Alexandria

December 27, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Alexandria Police Department has charged three people with a November burglary at F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria.

22 year old Bryon Ray (Bud) Gibbs and 25 year old Candice B. Vickers both of Liberty and 31 year old Jeffery A. Willet of Lebanon are charged with one count each of burglary and theft over $500.

According to Alexandria Police Chief Mark Collins, the investigation began on November 26th when officers from the Alexandria Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office responded to a reported break-in at the pharmacy, which is located downtown.

Chief Collins says officers discovered that entry had been made through the roof and that 6,500 Lortab pills and liquid morphine were stolen. The break-in is believed to have occurred sometime between November 24th and November 26th.

All three are currently incarcerated in other jails on unrelated charges and will face the charges in Alexandria upon release. Bond will be $30,000 each.

More arrests are expected.

Sheriff Patrick Ray and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted in the case.

Suspicious Fire Guts Home on West Bryant Street

December 26, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A fire Wednesday morning gutted the residence of Freeland Estes at 109 West Bryant Street.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene at 10:49 a.m.

Chief Charlie Parker says it appears there were multiple fires in the residence, which rendered extensive damage.

The cause is under investigation.

No one was at home at the time of the blaze and no one was injured.

Estes says the fire damaged or destroyed all of his belongings.

The dwelling is a rent home belonging to John Bill Evins.

Fallen Tree Limb Causes Power Outage and Sparks Fire that Destroys Van

December 26, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A fallen tree limb snapped a power line at the home of Bobby Rader at 925 Earl Avenue Wednesday evening which caused a power outage for a portion of the city and sparked a fire that destroyed Rader's Dodge Caravan.

Rader says he was topping a tree in his yard when the incident occurred. "I was already up in the tree, cutting the tree, when my mother-in-law pulled up in a car underneath where it was going to fall, so I stopped cutting to get down out of the tree, to get her out of there. It then began popping and everything."

"It was just an accident. The limbs were getting dead and I was trying to prevent them from getting into the lines and over the people's (neighbor's) homes. One of the limbs caught the smaller wire and snapped it into. It burned my van up and basically knocked power out to half the city."

Neither Rader nor his mother-in-law were injured and her vehicle apparently wasn't damaged, but as the tree limb fell, it broke a power line which sparked a fire in the yard where Rader's Dodge Caravan was parked, destroying that vehicle.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was summoned to the scene around 4:57 p.m.

Deputy City Fire Chief Hoyte Hale says firefighters dealt with the fire but had to be a little more cautious due to the nature of it. " There were two big balls of fire around the van where the electric line had fallen on it and about 30 feet down the road, a transformer was arching on fire. Due to the safety of the firemen, we couldn't get around the van to put any water on it until the electric company crew got here, but while they were enroute, we stood across the road and straight streamed a pre-connect attack line and got it knocked down and kept an eye on it until they arrived and repaired the line."

Rader praised the fire department for their efforts."The fire department did a real good job, more than they were expected to do. I'm glad they responded the way they did."

The power outage was widespread, affecting the subdivision where Earl Avenue is located, and many other streets to the south of Broad Street from Carter to Mountain.

Three People Involved in Wednesday Morning Wreck.

December 26, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three people were involved in a two vehicle accident Wednesday morning at the intersection of Highway 56 south and Vaughn Lane.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 28 year old Jamie Carroll of 834 Gentry Avenue was east on Vaughn Lane in a 1990 Chevy pickup, crossing Highway 56, when he collided with a Buick LaSabre, driven by 74 year old Charles Burgen of Pekin, Indiana, who was north on Highway 56.

Burgen and his wife, 71 year old Edith Burgen were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Trooper Tisdale says Carroll was cited for a second offense of driving on a suspended license and other charges are pending.

He says the Burgen's had been visiting their daughter who lives in McMinnville.

Candidates May Now Qualify for Smithville Municipal Election

December 22, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission is now accepting qualifying petitions for the Smithville Municipal Election.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on June 17th. The positions are currently held by Mayor Taft Hendrixson and Aldermen Steve White and Cecil Burger.

The qualifying deadline is Thursday, March 20th at 12 noon.

The last day to register to vote in the city election is Monday, May 19th.

The Smithville Charter allows Property Rights Voting. The property must be a minimum of
7500 square feet and the person owning the property must reside in DeKalb County. Proof of ownership and residence must be shown by the following means: (1) A certified copy of the deed and the execution of an affidavit that the person still owns this property and (2) A copy of the most recent DeKalb County real property tax notice, and (3) Proof of residence in DeKalb County. Property rights registrants are entitled to vote but not to hold any municipal office or serve on any municipal board or commission. Proof of ownership and registration form must be provided to the Election Commission office by the May 19th registration deadline.

Early voting for the city election will be May 28th through June 12th. Voting hours have not yet been set.

Meanwhile, January 16th is the first day candidates in the Liberty and Dowelltown Municipal Elections may pick up qualifying petitions.

The Dowelltown Election will be held on August 7th to elect a mayor and two aldermen. Three aldermen will be elected in Liberty on August 7th.

The qualifying deadline for both the Dowelltown and Liberty elections is 12 noon on April 17th and the last day to register to vote is July 8th.

The charters in both towns allow property rights voting, but proof of ownership must be provided to the Election Commission office by the July 8th deadline along with a registration form.

Early voting for both elections is July 18th through August 2nd. Voting hours have not yet been set.

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