Local News Articles

Judge Hands Down Sentences in Several Burglary, Theft, and Drug Cases

November 20, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Several people appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court for sentencing on burglary, theft, and drug charges Wednesday after entering pleas under negotiated settlements.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

42 year old Ronald D. Stewart pleaded guilty to facilitation to sell a schedule II controlled substance. He received eight years but was given credit for time served from September 1st, 2009 to November 17th, 2010. The balance of his sentence will be on probation to run concurrently with a Davidson County case against him.

22 year old Julie Marie Prater pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule IV controlled substance. She was granted judicial diversion for a period of two years. She will be on supervised probation by the Tennessee Department of Corrections or TDOC. Prater must submit to an alcohol and drug assessment and follow all recommendations. She must pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,000 and reimburse the drug buy money of twenty dollars.

31 year old Amanda Gayle Cains pleaded guilty to facilitation of a conspiracy to sell 50 grams or more of a schedule II controlled substance. She received an eight year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. She must submit to an alcohol and drug assessment. After five years of successful supervised probation, she can be placed on unsupervised probation.

38 year old Rachel Mabe pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a three year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. Mabe was fined $2,000. She was given jail credit for two days.

40 year old Tim Lawson pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III controlled substance and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000

23 year old Jeffery Hendrix pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and escape. He received a three year sentence on the burglary charge and one year for escape. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a sentence he is now serving. Hendrix will then be on TDOC probation.

61 year old Harold G. Blackwell pleaded guilty to attempting to facilitate the sale of a schedule III controlled substance. He received a one year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to another sentence against him. He was fined $2,000

37 year old Teddy Joe Hooten pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell a schedule II controlled substance. He was granted judicial diversion for a period of three years. He will be on supervised probation by TDOC. He was given jail credit of seven months. The three year term is to run concurrently with any other sentence against him. Hooten must perform 100 hours of community service work and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and follow the treatment plan.

45 year old Riley Anthony Bullard pleaded guilty by information to attempted sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a two year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. He was given jail credit of 76 days. Bullard was fined $2,000.

31 year old Scottie Wayne Knowles pleaded guilty by information to criminal responsibility for facilitation of delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Knowles received a two year sentence for criminal responsibility and 11 months and 29 days on the drug paraphernalia offense, all suspended to supervised probation. The two sentences are to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with a violation of probation against him in General Sessions Court.

32 year old Heather Irvine pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule II controlled substance and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to supervised probation. She was fined $750.

20 year old Christopher Garrett pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation.

32 year old Steve A. Stanley pleaded guilty to burglary and received a two year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. He was given jail credit for 176 days. The two year term is to run concurrently with a General Sessions sentence against him.

25 year old Amy Knowles pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She was fined $2,000. Knowles has requested that she receive judicial diversion probation and a hearing is set for January 24th. She was given jail credit of ten days.

62 year old Helen Faye Self, charged with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of two years. She must make restitution of 120 dollars.

31 year old John Alsup, charged with two counts of theft over $500, was granted pre-trial diversion for one year. He must perform 50 hours of community service work.

26 year old Shannon R. Herman pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a six year suspended sentence. He was fined $2,000.

Smithville Police Make Arrests for Public Intoxication, Theft, and Drug Offenses

November 19, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department has made arrests for a drug offense, theft, and public intoxication within the last week.

25 year old Matthew Dewayne Griffith of Short Mountain Highway was arrested on Saturday, November 13th and charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow and Sergeant Joey Jones responded to a complaint of a possible intoxicated person at the Sonic Drive-In. Upon arrival, the officers saw Griffith, who was a passenger of a vehicle. Sergeant Jones received consent from the driver to search and Officer Tatrow asked Griffith to step out of the automobile. While assisting Sergeant Jones in the search, Officer Tatrow noticed Griffith stuffing something in his shoe. Police say Griffith became confrontational and acted like he might run or fight the officers. Griffith was handcuffed for the safety of the officers. Officer Tatrow retrieved a cigarette lighter holder from Griffith's right shoe and inside was a schedule II drug. Bond for Griffith is $1,500 and his court date is December 2nd.

31 year old Chad Alan Hendrixson of Big Hickory Court was arrested on Thursday, November 18th for theft under $500. On September 7th, a citizen reported that some jewelry had been taken from her home. Upon investigation, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow discovered that Hendrixson had allegedly taken the jewelry without consent of the owner. Bond for Hendrixson is $1,000 and his court date is December 2nd.

24 year old Nikita D Clark of Patterson Road was arrested on Friday, November 19th for public intoxication. Lieutenant Steven Leffew responded to the parking lot of Liberty State Bank in reference to a person passed out in a vehicle. Upon arrival, he found Clark slumped over the steering wheel. Upon speaking to Ms. Clark, he found her speech to be slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Bond for Clark is $1,000 and her court date is December 2nd

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

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

State Audit Report Released on DeKalb County Government

November 19, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

An annual state audit of the DeKalb County government has been released which shows some deficiencies.

The "Annual Financial Report, DeKalb County, Tennessee" for the year ended June 30, 2010 was conducted by the Department of Audit, Division of County Audit, of the State of Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.

The audit resulted in twelve findings and recommendations, according to the report.

To view the entire audit report on DeKalb County , click the following link. (Look for specific findings and recommendations by scrolling down to pages 159 to 172)

http://www.comptroller1.state.tn.us/repository/CA/2010/Dekalb.pdf

County Mayor Mike Foster comments on audit report. Click here to listen

It's not uncommon for the state to find deficiencies. In fact, Blake Fontenay, Director of Communications for the Comptroller's Office, says findings and recommendations result from nearly every county audit performed by the state each year.

New Family History Book to be Released December 6th

November 18, 2010
Earl Dean France, Kathy Hendrixson, and Tommy Webb

Justin Potter Library is pleased to announce the publication of a new family history book, "The Redmon and Turner families of DeKalb County". The 777-page hardback book is actually two volumes bound together in one book. It will be available for sale beginning December 6th at Justin Potter Library in Smithville, at the Alexandria Library, and at F.Z. Webb and Sons Pharmacy and Gifts in Smithville. The cost is $35.00 per copy. It may be ordered by U.S. Mail by sending a check for $40.00 to Justin Potter Library, 101 South First Street, Smithville, TN. 37166.

The author is Earl Dean France, whose grandmother was a Turner; his great grandmother was a Redmon. He was assisted by his wife, Emmalyne Cantrell France. Also assisting was DeKalb County Historian Tommy Webb, whose wife Audrey is a Turner and Redmon descendant. Research for the book began over 50 years ago, and the past three years have been spent in compiling and organizing the family material. By using new technology, the author has been able to find information on family members who lived in Alabama, Texas, Michigan, and other states.

Listen to Earl Dean France talk about the book by clicking here

Both the Redmon and Turner sections have a complete full-name index, so that the name of any particular person can be easily found. Since descendants of both males and females are traced to the present time, many other family names are included in this book. Among the other family names in the Redmon section are Moore, Linder, Colwell, Adcock, Cantrell, Driver, Judkins, Martin, Pack, and Young.

Click here for Tommy Webb's commentary on the book

The Turner section also has extensive information on other families, especially Taylor, Adcock, Hooper, Cantrell, France, Judkins, Thweatt, Luna, Rigsby, and Young. The Turner section deals primarily with the Turner family of the Jefferson, Belk, and Shiney Rock communities, as well as the Nolan Turner family of Dowelltown. Other Turner families of the Dowelltown area are not related.

Click here for Kathy Hendrixson's comments on the book

A book signing is planned for Saturday, December 18th from 10:00 a.m. until noon at Justin Potter Library.

DeKalb County Farmers Eligible for USDA Disaster Assistance

November 18, 2010

Congressman Bart Gordon announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made disaster assistance available to DeKalb County farmers, offering loans to help farmers recover from losses suffered during drought and excessive heat this summer.

“Drought conditions have destroyed crops here in DeKalb County,” Congressman Gordon said. “With this declaration, many farmers will be able to rebuild and prepare for the start of the next farming season.”

DeKalb has been designated a contiguous disaster county. The USDA’s disaster declaration enables qualifying farmers to apply for federal farm disaster assistance programs. Farm operators in affected counties will be eligible to apply for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program.

“Middle Tennessee depends on its strong farming community,” Gordon said. “This assistance will help not only farmers and their families, but also the local economy.”

Farm operators are encouraged to contact the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency office at (615) 597-8225 ext. 2 for more information about available disaster assistance.

IRS Seeks to Return $2.48 Million in Undelivered Checks to Tennessee Taxpayers

November 17, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Internal Revenue Service is looking to return $2.48 million in undelivered refund checks. A total of 2,091 Tennessee taxpayers are due one or more refund checks that could not be delivered because of mailing address errors.

"IRS is ready to reissue these checks once the taxpayers give us a correct address," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone. "Taxpayers are warned that e-mails alerting them of pending refunds are not ever from the IRS but are identity-theft scams."

Taxpayers can generally update their address or check the status of their refund with the "Where's My Refund?" tool on IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-829-1954. To use the tool, a taxpayer must submit his or her Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on the 2009 tax return.

In Tennessee, undelivered refund checks average $1,188 this year, compared to $958 last year. Nationwide, the average undelivered check is $1,471, compared to $1,148 last year. The increase is possibly due to recent changes in tax law which introduced new credits or expanded existing credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Taxpayers can put an end to lost, stolen or undelivered checks by choosing direct deposit when they file. Taxpayers can use direct deposit when e-filing or filing paper returns, but e-filing significantly reduces filing errors and speeds up refund processing.

10th Annual Christmas on the Square set for December 2nd

November 17, 2010
Suzanne Williams

The Christmas season is nearly upon us which means it's almost time to celebrate Christmas on the Square! This holiday event will be celebrated on Thursday, December 2nd from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on the Smithville Public Square.

Chamber festivities will be held at the 303 North Public Square building. There will be lots of Special Music, Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause by Double J Photography (Packages starting at $10), and also Free Family Portraits by Studio Six Limited from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. (1 group shot only - no individual children poses). A FREE Picture CD with a photo release will be provided by Studio Six Limited, so you can make all the copies you want! So bring the whole family!

Snowbird will be visiting around town from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.. He will be at the Justin Potter Library from 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

At the Justin-Potter Library, Snowbird will read to the children and pose for pictures from 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. And the library will have a special visit from Santa immediately after Snowbird, so don't forget to bring your camera!

There will be a Children's Train and Inflatables (if weather permits)

There will be extended hours and Open Houses at several downtown stores and restaurants. This is a wonderful time for Christmas shopping and having a nice meal downtown.

Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Williams would like to invite everyone to this enjoyable and heartwarming experience – Christmas on the Square! For more information, call the Chamber office at 597-4163.

** Please Note: The Courthouse has decided not to have an Open House this year.

Remote Area Medical Clinic’s Patients Fed for the First time in DeKalb County

November 16, 2010
by: 
Story submitted to WJLE

As you all know, The Remote Area Medical Clinic was in town this past weekend on November 12th and 13th. Patients began lining up around 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon and the line continued to grow as nightfall came. Patients stood out in the cold with blankets, heavy coats and whatever was needed to try and stay warm. They began handing out tickets for the first round of patients around 3:00 am on Saturday morning. As patients stood in line, they never expected the generosity that they received during their wait. Thanks to a local lady and the help of one local non-profit organization, the patients received free food, water and coffee. Elizabeth Napier, a local resident, worked with The Remote Area Medical Clinic back a few years ago when it was in DeKalb County. While volunteering then, she saw the need to provide patients with food services due to some illnesses brought on by going without food for several hours, waiting in long lines. She made up her mind right then and there, that if they were to ever return, she would make sure food was provided as long as The Lord would help provide.

Little did she realize that God would hold her to that thought. When Mrs. Napier learned that the Remote Area Medical (RAM) was coming back to town, she began to pray about it and God directed her to the help of none other than DeKalb County Children’s Service Council. Upon contact, they also saw the same need and set out to make this happen.

Mrs. Napier approached her family, the organization and from there it just snowballed and what a great success it was. On Saturday, they were able to feed well over 600 patients and on Sunday about 300. There were over 34 gallons of coffee made and served, over 700 snack cakes and cookies passed out and countless bottles of water were handed out.

Special thanks goes to all of the sponsors: Star Manufacturing, Bumpers, WJLE, Cash and Carry, Prichard’s Grocery, Bay's Southern Bread Co ( Sarah Lee), Mapco, Bumpers, Save-a-Lot, Wal-Mart, Howard Jr. and Frieda Reynolds, Doris Gilbert, Jim and Peggy Scott, Bill and Sue Dearman, Loretta Sharritts, Rebecca Tucker, Robert and Evelyn Tucker, David and Kaye Fedak, Berle and Mamie Billings, Marvin and Libbie Napier, Smithville Church of the Nazarene, Real Life Community Church, Chris Jolley, Kenneth Neal and The Cookeville Social Security office.

Special thanks to the volunteers who helped served. Libbie Napier, Kenneth Neal, Vonda Brown, Halea Brown, Caleb Haggard, Aaron Haggard, Daniel Haggard, Ashton Waggoner, Robert Davidson, Breanna Williams, Jodie Jones and Wanda Redmon.

Smithville Golf Course Remains Closed as Aldermen Ponder Decision

November 16, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville aldermen have yet to decide what to do about the Smithville Municipal Golf Course, which remains closed for now.

During Monday night's meeting, the aldermen voted to have a committee study to determine cost estimates and then have a workshop to discuss whether the city should hire someone to manage the operation or lease it.

At the last meeting two weeks ago, the city set a Friday, November 12th deadline for anyone interesting in running the golf course to submit a proposal.

Tony Poss sent in a proposal with two options for the city to consider. The following is Poss's first proposal:

"I will honor any proposals already submitted to the City of Smithville. This is just another option I want the city to consider."

"I will pay the city $100 per year lease"

"The city will purchase a greens mower, golf carts, tractor and gang mower and any other equipment needed for the course that the city approves."

"If the city cannot purchase equipment necessary, I will consider furnishing the equipment needed".

"The city will pay all expenses associated with the pool including lifeguards wages."

"The city will provide insurance on all of the golf course and swimming pool property"

"The city will pay for any expenses on the equipment except fuel that the city purchases. If I purchase the equipment, I will pay for expenses on equipment that I purchase."

"I will hire the lifeguards and any other employees needed for the pool and the city will pay their wages"

"I would like a contract for 10 years and a 10 year extension in order to have time to rebuild the business."

The following is Poss's second proposal:

"I will honor any proposals already submitted to the City of Smithville. This is just another option I want the city to consider."

"I will pay the city $100 per month lease for 5 years and $150 per month for every month thereafter as long as I am the current tenant."

"The city will purchase a greens mower, golf carts, tractor and gang mower and any other equipment needed for the course that the city approves."

"The city will pay electric and water utilities during the months of April through October every year."

"The city will pay for any pool supplies needed and any repairs on the pool, golf course, and pro-shop."

"The city will provide insurance on all the golf course and swimming pool property."

"The city will pay for any expenses on the equipment except fuel."

"I will hire the lifeguards and any other employees needed for the pool and the city will pay their wages for 5 years. If after 5 years the golf course and pool is becoming profitable, I will pay for the lifeguards wages."

"I will return all money received from regular admission charges of the pool to the city during the first five years."

"I will retain all the revenues of the pro-shop and golf course"

"I would like a contract for 10 years and a 10 year extension in order to have time to rebuild the business."

"I would like to re-open the golf course as soon as possible to recruit new members and re-establish this business as a child-friendly, family oriented environment. The club house needs to be re-done and this will take a little time to make this transition. I will take care of the greens at no charge until the city can make all the legal paperwork official and award me the lease or managing position."

"I will give the city a 90 days notice of any intent to terminate a lease or managing position."

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said he found Poss's first proposal to be of some interest. But, Alderman Aaron Meeks said he wants to know what the city's costs would be before committing to any proposal. "I think we need some cost figures. I don't know how we can write a blank check without knowing what the amount on the check is going to be. One of these proposes that the city purchase the equipment. I don't know what the equipment costs. I have no idea. If the city is going to purchase it, I want to see figures on every single one of these items on what it's going to cost the city before I give it any consideration."

Poss said he would like for the aldermen to give him some indication of what they're going to do with the golf course. "I just need to know which direction or which proposal you're considering. Is it's Faron's or ours? We really don't have anything to start with."

Mayor Hendrixson responded, " My opinion may be different from the board's, but my opinion is that I would love to lease it to someone and they furnish their own equipment and I'd be willing (for the city) to maybe pay the pool expenses. But that's my opinion only."

Faron Hendrix of Smithville Golf Management, who recently terminated his golf course lease with the city for economic reasons, has also submitted proposals to manage the operation and possibly sell his golf course equipment to the city.

Speaking to the mayor and aldermen Monday night, Hendrix expressed his frustration with the city's indecision. "Steve (White), you asked for this (golf) course two years ago and how many times have you asked me for it since, for the city to run it? We don't know what you want. You tell us one thing and then you change your mind. Be honest. Be transparent. We still pay taxes in the city and we're tired of hearing it. You're not acting responsible at all. We've had a lot of people work over there for free to promote this course. We've been transparent and told you what the problem was but you're not reacting. We've given you proposals and you're not even reading them. The code says you can buy used equipment and we've offered it to you for hardly nothing to keep the thing going. A lot of people have worked hard and haven't made a dime over there and the course is in better shape than it's ever been and if you don't believe it, call Jim Alexander(former golf course manager). He knows what it was like when he left there. It was a dust bowl. We've got greens, t-boxes, and the fairways are decent. Had we gotten water (sprinkler system), you would have had something over there, but you don't have water on the fairways so you're dependent on the current conditions and climate. So what are you going to do? Are you going to close it? You have no answers for us. We're willing to help you. If you don't want us to have it, we're here to help you. We've offered everything to try and take care of it through April 1st. You didn't want to act on that. It's still my city. I pay taxes in this city and I work hard. I've given a lot of time over there. A lot more than any of you would ever give over there. We've tried to provide something for these kids and adults to do besides sit around and do nothing. It's a little bit of exercise."

Alderman Steve White said he has always preferred that the city assume control of the golf course and hire someone to manage it, while seeking grants to help improve it. Something, he said the city cannot do if it leases the golf course to some private individual or group as it has done in the past. "I still think the city needs to run it as I've always said. But I think that with these different proposals, some of them offer the opportunity for the city to run it and hire a manager. Some of them offer just like what you offered (Faron) for the city to take it over, get part of the proceeds so we can get grants, just like I've said from the beginning, and basically let the city sublease or subcontract the labor. I move that we either get a committee together to get some figures on what it would cost to purchase some used (golf course) equipment and to find out what expenses we're going to have and then maybe have a workshop on it in a few days."

The golf course committee, made up of Aldermen Steve White, W.J. (Dub) White, and Aaron Meeks are expected to meet soon at Steve White's suggestion to review the proposals and discuss potential costs to the city.

Smithville Police Make Arrest in Burglary and Theft Case

November 15, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Matt Lawson

Smithville Police have charged a man in connection with the burglary and theft of a local residence after finding items from that home in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop last week.

Detective Matt Holmes has charged 27 year old Matt Lawson of 1243 Haley Road, Smithville with theft over $500 and aggravated burglary

K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow has also charged Lawson with possession of a schedule II and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance for resale.

Bond for Lawson is $8,500 and he will be in General Sessions Court on December 2nd

The investigation began after Detective Holmes and Officer Tatrow stopped Lawson on Bryant Street for a traffic violation on Monday, November 8th. Lawson was found to be in possession of illegal narcotics (Oxycontin and Xanax), drug paraphernalia, and stolen jewelry. These items were allegedly stolen from a residence on Greenwood Drive, Smithville during a burglary on Sunday, November 7th.

Items found in Lawson's possession have been positively identified by the victim as belonging to her.

Smithville Police say the investigation continues.

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