Local News Articles

DUI Bills Progress in State Senate Judiciary Committee

April 18, 2008

The State Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that would add vehicular homicide as a result of the driver's intoxication and aggravated vehicular homicide to offenses requiring mandatory sentencing. The bill requires those convicted to serve 100 percent of the sentence imposed by the court, less sentence credits earned, which assures that at least 85 percent will be behind bars.

The bill was sponsored after the death of David Hudson, of Piney Flats, who was hit crossing a Johnson City street in December by a man whose blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. The man, who was charged with vehicular and aggravated vehicular homicide, had four previous DUI convictions dating back to 1989.

Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) who also support the measure said, “We must get these repeat offenders off our roads. We have several bills before our General Assembly this year that would provide comprehensive reform of our DUI laws.”

Also approved by the Judiciary Committee was a bill that would increase DUI fines by $250. Part of the money would be kept in the local communities where the crime occurred for housing offenders or law enforcement needs. The other half would be used for alcohol or drug addiction treatment. The bill is expected to provide $1.5 million to the state and $1.5 million to local governments.

Finally, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation to ban open containers of alcohol in vehicles. The bill, sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) would allow Tennessee to have control over $12 million in federal highway funds, which the state does not currently have due to not being in compliance with federal safety laws.

“The law presently on the books is merely an invitation for someone to drink and drive as long as there’s a passenger that they can ‘pass the bottle’ to if they get pulled over by law enforcement,” said Beavers. “This legislation will provide safety for our citizens and help us access needed road funds.”

Two bills stiffening penalties for crimes against law enforcement officers were approved this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. One bill would provide that a killing of a law enforcement officer during perpetration of a felony would be elevated to first degree murder under the felony murder rule, making it a death penalty offense.

The bill would apply to cases, like one in involving the shooting of Trooper Calvin Jenks, who was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop near the intersection of Highways 14 and 54 in Tipton County. During the stop, Trooper Jenks smelled marijuana from the vehicle and was told by the driver that there were drugs in the center console. When he asked the passenger if he had any drugs, the man produced a handgun and opened fire, striking Trooper Jenks once in the head and once in the body.

The second bill, sponsored by Senator Beavers would create a new felony offense for assault on an officer.

Both bills would apply in cases of the intentional killing of an officer. It also applies to cases where the officer was killed in the line of duty.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation requiring those convicted of aggravated robbery or especially aggravated robbery offenses to serve 100 percent of the sentence, less sentence reduction credits of up to 15 percent to keep them on the straight and narrow while in jail. Senator Beavers said the bill is modeled after a Florida law passed in 1999 that significantly reduced armed robberies after its implementation. Currently, those convicted of armed robbery in Tennessee are eligible for release after serving 30 percent of their sentence.

The committee heard testimony from Mary Anne Purcell, whose fiancé was killed last fall in an armed robbery of the Nashville restaurant he managed. The killer and his accomplice got away with only $200. Purcell said current sentences are ineffective to deter the crime. She said the brief jail time served by most are a “slap on the wrist” and often embolden gang members to continue a life of crime, as their status is raised by serving time behind bars.

“We must address the serious crime of armed robbery,” said Senator Beavers. “Our current laws are not working as a deterrent. This legislation would keep these criminals off the streets and protect our citizens.”

Spring Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday, April 25

Tennessee’s spring sales tax holiday is set to begin at 12:01 on Friday, April 25 and will end at 11:59 on Sunday, April 27. During this designated three-day weekend, consumers may purchase selected clothing, school supplies and computers without paying Tennessee’s state and local sales tax on the items. It applies to clothing priced $100 or less per item and computers priced $1,500 or less. This holiday also includes purchases of qualified items sold via mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

“I hope that as many people as possible will take advantage of this sales tax holiday,” said Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet). “It will hopefully provide a boost to the economy, while helping our citizens enjoy some tax relief.”

Senator Beavers sponsored the bill in 2007 that created this sales tax holiday and also reduced the sales tax on food by .05%.

Details about the state's special Sales Tax Holiday are available at the state’s dedicated Web site, www.tntaxholiday.com. The Tennessee Department of Revenue also offers assistance to consumers via e-mail, Salestax.Holiday@state.tn.us, and through its toll-free statewide telephone hot line, (800) 342-1003. Staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. (Out-of-state and Nashville-area callers, please dial (615) 253-0600.)

Issues in Brief

Notary public – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation this week to require any person who is a notary public to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Lethal injection ruling – The U.S. Supreme court has cleared the way for states to carryout their death penalty statues with a ruling on Wednesday that lethal injection does not violate the U.S. Constitution. Tennessee had stayed executions while the nation’s high court considered the Baze v. Rees case that claimed lethal injection was “cruel and unusual.” The legislature has worked diligently to address barriers to carrying out the death sentence and for restoration of Tennessee’s death penalty law by changing the method of execution from electrocution to lethal injection during the 1998 session. Before that time, the state has not executed a prisoner convicted of capital crimes in 38 years. Edward Jerome Harbison had been scheduled to die in January for the beating death of an elderly woman. The execution of Paul Dennis Reid, who was sentenced to death for multiple fast food restaurant killings, was also stayed due to the Supreme Court case.

Handgun permits – Legislation that would send $15 of the handgun permit fee to county sheriffs, who must do a background check on applicants, passed the Senate Finance Committee this week. The sheriffs have been conducting the background checks without being reimbursed by the state while extra money collected above the cost of processing the permit has been accumulating in a reserve account. Testimony in the committee revealed that $5.5 million has gone into a reserve account due to excess charges of the $115 initial handgun permit fee.

Sex offenders – The Judiciary committee voted to approve legislation that requires sex offenders to report to Tennessee’s Sexual Offender Registry all name changes or names different than those listed on their original registration form. The bill would make it clear that sex offenders cannot change their name to skirt the law regarding sex offender registry requirements.

Tax Season Paying Off For Children In Need

April 17, 2008

The federal Income Tax Refund Offset program is paying off for thousands of Tennessee children.

The Department of Human Services has intercepted 20,000 tax refunds totaling more than $26 million so far this year. Those numbers are expected to double in coming weeks, as non-paying parents file their income tax returns.

The state works with several federal agencies, including the IRS, to intercept tax refunds from parents who owe, but are not paying their child support. Any parent who owes more than $500 on his or her child support case is subject to the federal Income Tax Refund Offset program.
“It’s just incredible that some parents expect to get a refund check from the federal government when their children have gone without support for months, and even years,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “The tax intercept program makes it easy for the state to help children whose parents are not helping them. We’re especially pleased to see the increase in number of returns and dollars collected for the children and families who need them.”

The number of tax refunds the state is intercepting has more than doubled in just two years, and the amount of money has also risen dramatically--up from $15.7 million in 2006 to $26.4 million so far this year. While the average intercepted check amount is $1,200, the state has claimed refunds as high as $18,000. The program has been in effect since 1981.

Congress recently closed a loophole in the law that prevented states from intercepting IRS refunds after a child turned 18-years old. This has allowed many more refunds to be distributed to the families who struggled through the years, waiting for child support that never came or came sporadically. DHS is expected to collect another $20 million in coming months when the federal rebate checks are sent out to Tennessee households. The Department of Human Services continues to see increases in its child support collections overall. More than $350 million in child support has been collected so far this state fiscal year. There are currently 267,000 child support cases under order in Tennessee.

For more information on the Tennessee Child Support Program, visit: http://www.state.tn.us/humanserv/child-support.htm

Several Appear in Criminal Court for Sentencing

April 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Several people were sentenced by Judge David Patterson under negotiated settlements in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday.

23 year old Travis Tramel pleaded guilty to failure to appear and received six months on supervised probation to run consecutive to any other sentence against him.

31 year old Andy Certain pleaded guilty to simple possession and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve. The fine was waived. The case is to run concurrent with a violation of probation against him. He was given credit for 112 days of jail time served.

24 year old David M. Caldwell, charged with theft over $1,000, was granted judicial diversion for a period of three years. He will be on supervised probation and must perform 100 hours of community service work. He must also make restitution of $1,500 jointly and severally with the co-defendants in the case.

24 year old Ashley Nicole Owen pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and was given a two year sentence all suspended to TDOC supervised probation. She must pay restitution of $1,956 to the victim and perform 100 hours of community service work. She was given five days of jail credit. Forgery and Criminal Impersonation charges against her were dismissed.

43 year old Jeffery Ponder pleaded guilty to simple possession and received six months to serve day for day. His fine was waived. The sentence is to run consecutive to any other sentence against him. He was given jail credit of 128 days.

26 year old Elizabeth Chalfant pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery and received a two year sentence in each case, all suspended. The cases are to run concurrently but consecutive to other cases against her. She will be on probation and must make restitution. She was given jail credit of 103 days.

37 year old Lois McCloud pleaded by information to possession of drug paraphernalia. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to time served. The case is to run concurrent with another sentence against her in Putnam County. She was given jail credit of 11 days.

20 year old Michael D. Dirden, charged with filing a false report and theft over $1,000, was granted judicial diversion for a period of three years. He will be on probation and must perform 100 hours of community service work. He must also make restitution of $2,067. Dirden was given jail credit of 13 days.

19 year old Anthony Tramel, charged with aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000, was granted judicial diversion for a period of four years. He must make restitution of $1,500 and perform 100 hours of community service work.

Castillo Charged with Rape

April 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a 29 year old man with the rape of a woman at her home.

Jose Luis Chavez Castillo of 920 Short Mountain Street will appear in General Sessions Court on May 29th on the rape charge. His bond is $50,000.

In his report, Officer Bradley C. Tatrow states that "On April 14th at approximately 2:50 a.m., I responded to a possible rape. Upon arrival, I made contact with the victim who advised me that an Hispanic male, whose name she thought to be Luis, had come into her home and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. She advised me that he called her earlier in the night and said he wanted to come over to talk to her just as friends. She stated that the male subject came over to talk to her. She advised me that while he was at her home, she went into a bedroom to check on her son and he followed her in and shut the door behind him. She said he threw her on to the bed and forced her to have intercourse with him. He then ran out the door and left in his green station wagon and went in the direction of his residence on Short Mountain Highway. The victim was taken to the emergency room of the hospital for an examination. Castillo was later arrested at his home. DNA evidence was collected from both the suspect and victim.

The case was investigated by Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr.

Meanwhile, Kelly Ann Gibbs of Evins Mill Road was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on the charge April 17th.

In his report, Officer Randy King states that "On April 10th, I was dispatched to Smith Road (park) along with Officer Travis Bryant. Upon arrival, I spoke with Gibbs. She had been reported as missing to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. I spoke with Lou Steinsiek, Gibbs' mother and the owner of the (Gibbs) vehicle. Steinsiek advised that her daughter had left in the vehicle at approximately 4:30 p.m. the day before. Steinsiek advised me that she did not want her daughter to have her vehicle and gave me and Officer Bryant consent to search it. Upon a search of the vehicle, Officer Bryant seized two syringes in the vehicle. Both were found on the seat. One had residue and the other was new. I asked Gibbs if she had anything else on her person. Before being taken to jail, she handed me a syringe from her bra that was wrapped in a blue eye glass cloth."

In a related case, 46 year old Danny Ray Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road was also arrested Thursday and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on the charge April 17th.

In his report, Officer Travis K. Bryant states that "On April 10th, at 1:30 p.m. I responded to the park on Smith Road. Upon arrival I made contact with several subjects, one of them being Ponder. We obtained permission to search the vehicle from the owner and Ponder was asked to step out of the car. Ponder was sitting on the passenger side front seat and in the driver's seat in his immediate access were a jacket with two needles on it. The driver stated that the needles belonged to Ponder.

In another case, 22 year old Robert Terry Maxwell of Wenger Lane was charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,000 in each case and he will be in court on the charges April 24th.

In his report, Officer Bradley Tatrow states that " On April 10th at 9:47 p.m., I observed a vehicle traveling east on Highway 70 with a driver not wearing his seatbelt. Upon stopping the vehicle (at Juniper Lane and West Broad Street) I made contact with the driver (Maxwell). Upon consent to search the vehicle, I recovered a small baggie of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and rolling papers (in glove box). After securing the items, I returned to the vehicle. I smelled the strong odor of marijuana and had a suspicion that there was more in the vehicle. Upon K-9 Astro being deployed, he indicated on a gate very near the vehicle. A small baggie of a green leafy substance was recovered from a crack in the gate. Maxwell admitted that the substance belonged to him and he gave a written statement to that fact."

Meanwhile, on April 10th, Officer Scott Davis was dispatched to 520 West Main Street in reference to an automobile burglary.

In the report, Officer Davis states that " Upon arrival, I made contact with the complainant. She stated that while she was in the hospital, an unknown person broke into her vehicle (broken driver side window) The amount of the damage to the victim's vehicle is estimated at $150. Property missing includes a black pocket book, an agner billfold, $25.00, a check book, a Goody's credit card, a Pay Pal credit card, a deed to property, and other miscellaneous items (papers).

Sheriff Ray Says Thieves May be Reading Your Classified Ads

April 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Patrick Ray is warning you to be careful about how you advertise items for sale from your homes, such as motorcycles, ATV's, and vehicles because it could entice thieves to steal them when you are unaware or away from home.

Sheriff Ray says "We have found out through our investigations that people who post items for sale on the Internet, newspapers, or radio and post their home phone number or home addresses, may be giving thieves valuable information. Thieves are taking the listed phone numbers and querying them through search engines on the Internet and finding out the location of the items. Then the culprit will use mapping systems on the Internet for directions to the home and attempt to steal the listed items. Items such as ATV's, motorcycles, and vehicles are among the most favorite because most people leave these items parked in yards to advertise them for sale. Sheriff Ray asks you to post a cell phone number instead of your home phone number and never post your address for someone to look at."

Meanwhile, in other crime news, 65 Year old Phillip Roger Gravel of Andrew Street, Smithville was charged last Monday with driving on a suspended driver's license. Sheriff Ray says deputies, with knowledge that Gravel's license was suspended, stopped him on Restview Avenue after noticing him operating a motor vehicle. Gravel's bond was set at $1,000 and his court date is May 15th.

58 year old Jose Contrera of Old Smithville Road, McMinnville was arrested Wednesday for no driver's license and leaving the scene of an accident. Sheriff Ray says deputies responded to a call on Highway 56 South where Contrera had hit a vehicle. Instead of staying at the scene of the accident, Contrera decided to leave. Contrera was found at a factory on Highway 70 West and was arrested. Contrera's bond was set at $2,000 and his court date is set for April 23rd.

Also on Wednesday, 30 year old Aron Dewayne Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown was arrested on a sealed indictment from the April Term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury. Ponder was indicted on one count of attempt to sell a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) and one count of attempt to deliver a schedule II drug (Oxycontin). Ponder's bond was set at $10,000.

26 year old Christina Love Johnson of Kendra Drive, Smithville was arrested Thursday on a sealed indictment from the December 2007 term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury. Johnson was charged with possession of a schedule VI drug for resale, possession of a schedule VI drug for delivery, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnson's bond was set at $5,000.

On Friday, 34 year old Martinez Velasquez of Bright Hill Road, Smithville was arrested for a first offense of driving under the influence and no driver's license. The Sheriff's Department responded to a call on Highway 70 East about an accident. After an investigation into the accident, officers found that Velasquez had run a vehicle off the road way and that he was intoxicated. Velasquez also did not have a valid driver's license. He was arrested and a bond was set at $2,000. His court date is May 15th.

Burton and Ray Honored at GOP Lincoln Day Dinner

April 12, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Republican Women's Club hosted the Fifth Annual Lincoln Day Dinner Friday night at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

Two long time party leaders, Walter Burton and Ernest Ray were recognized for their devotion and service.

Burton is a former DeKalb County Republican Party Chairman, a former Volunteer Firefighter, and he is a member of the Smithville Industrial Development Board. Burton is owner and operator of Voyager Carpets.

Ray is a former teacher, principal, and Superintendent of Schools.

Both were presented plaques by party treasurer Dennis Stanley.

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey was the keynote speaker at the dinner.

Ramsey talked about recent Republican gains in the State House and Senate and issues over which Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill disagree, including how to address Illegal Immigration.

The State Senate is divided with 16 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and one Independent, while in the State House, Democrats have a four seat majority.

Ramsey says Republicans have a chance to pick up seats this year in both the House and Senate including the seat Frank Buck is giving up.

Other speakers during the dinner included Robin Smith, Tennessee GOP Chairperson, State Senator Mae Beavers, and Conservative Radio Talk Show Host Steve Gill, who served as the master of ceremonies.

State Senate Approves Resolution Setting up Special Committee to Investigate Removal of Gibson

April 11, 2008

The State Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) held a special committee meeting this week to hear a resolution that would set up a special committee to investigate the removal of William E. Gibson from the office of District Attorney General of the Thirteenth Judicial District by the Tennessee. The Thirteenth District includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White Counties.

Sponsor of the resolution, Senator Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) told Chairman Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and members of the committee, “improprieties have occurred. “They are clear and undisputed,” he said.

“This would create a committee and proceed with the process,” said Chairman Beavers. “They will than have an investigation and make a recommendation to the full Senate. The House will also participate as five members will be selected by each Speaker, House and Senate, to serve on the special panel. Then the report of the committee would come before both bodies for a vote.”

The Committee approved the resolution on Wednesday and sent the measure to the full Senate, where it was approved on Thursday. The resolution sets up the procedure to investigate the removal. Tennessee’s Constitution provides that attorneys for the state may be removed from office by a concurrent two-thirds vote of both Houses of the General Assembly, each House voting separately.

Gibson has been sanctioned with the temporary removal of his law license by the Board of Professional Responsibility which supervises the ethical conduct of attorneys. Kyle said the actions of the Board were due to several reasons, including Gibson “using his position to influence the outcome of a case.”

Action by State Senate Committee Would Deter “Sanctuary Cities” for Illegal Aliens in Tennessee

April 11, 2008

The State Senate and Local Government Committee has approved legislation to cut off economic and community grant money to any Tennessee city that might declare itself a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens. The bill aims to deter the creation of any local zones where aliens could live illegally in the state.

Sanctuary communities are a danger to the public because illegal immigrants who commit crimes are able to repeat their offenses instead of being dealt with by immigration officials,” said Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet). “San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and many more localities are evolving into ‘city-states.’ They've sprung up all over the country, declaring their independence from the rule of law. During a time when our borders are being used as gateways for terrorists and other illegal activities, there is no reason for knowingly providing illegal aliens with sanctuary from prosecution.”

A sanctuary city is a term given to a city in the United States that follows certain practices that protect illegal aliens. The term generally applies to cities that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to cooperate with federal immigration laws. This most commonly occurs when cities do not allow police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status.

Thirty-eight cities in the U.S. have been recognized as sanctuary cities. However, many sources have identified over 200 city or county governments nationwide as practicing such policies. Thus far, no Tennessee city has been identified in these groups.

“The legislation is a preemptive measure to guard against adoption of any policy by cities in the state to provide a sanctuary for illegal aliens in Tennessee,” said Senator Beavers. “This would enable police to do their job and see that criminal aliens are not allowed to live invisibly among our communities in violation of our laws.”

Issues in Brief

DUI / ignition interlock -- The Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would require ignition interlock devices to be installed on motor vehicles driven by DUI offenders with alcohol concentration levels exceeding .20, or for repeat offenders. The bill requires the Department of Safety to create an interlock indigency fund for offenders who cannot afford the installation of the interlock equipment by adding a $50 alcohol and drug addiction treatment fee for DUI offenders. Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) said, “We have research from the Highway Safety Administration that shows that ignition interlock devices are one of the most effective ways to keep drunk drivers from continuing to drive intoxicated. Unfortunately, they’re significantly underused across the state. Passage of legislation to require use of these devices will greatly help in our efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads.”

DUI / education – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that gives judges the option to order DUI offenders to attend victim impact panel programs. The bill authorizes the court to assess a fee of no less than $25, but no more than $50, to offset the cost of participation.

McDonald Withdraws as Candidate for State Representative

April 10, 2008
Dwayne Page

One of the candidates for State Representative has pulled out of the race.

Citing personal reasons, George McDonald of Riddleton has withdrawn as a candidate for the Democratic nomination to succeed Frank Buck

That leaves seven Democrats, two Republicans, and one Independent candidate.

Democrats hoping to win their party's nomination on August 7th include Cleveland Derrick Bain of Smithville, Jeff Barrett of DeKalb County, Steven K. Cantrell of Smithville, Gayla C. Hendrix of Smithville, Carl (Hix) Jones of Westmoreland, Dean Sircy of Westmoreland, and Sarah Marie Smith of Carthage.

Candidates seeking the Republican nomination for State Representative on August 7th include Nicky Rittenberry of Lafayette and Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster.

The winners of the Democratic and Republican Primaries in August will run against each other in the November State General Election along with Ray Amalfitano of Dixon Springs, who will be an Independent candidate for State Representative.

Willoughy Hires Certified Personnel for 2008-09 School Year

April 8, 2008
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has signed contracts with the Professional Personnel for the 2008-2009 school year.

Willoughby presented a list of the employees to the Board of Education Tuesday night.

Certified personnel at each school are as follows:

DeKalb County High School-

Angie Anderson, Lori Barnes, Danny Bond, Amanda Brown, Kevin Burchfield, Boyd Cantrell, Harriett Cantrell, Jeanine Cantrell, Mary Anne Carpenter, Patrick Cripps, Dixie Crook, Jared Daniels, Linda Dean, Donna Emmons, Marshall Ferrell, Tina Fletcher, Amanda Fuller, Judy Fuson, Wayne Fuson, David Gash, Michael Hawkins, Marie Hill, Susan Hinton, Sonja House, John Isabell, Lori Isabell, William Jennings, Dylan Kleparek, Brad Leach, Deborah Loring, Lynus Martin, Rolanda Navarro, Jenny Norris, Scott Odom, Rebecca Oliver, Lori Page, Shelly Painter, Walteen Parker, Linda Parris, Rebecca Purdue, Kristin Reagh, Joey Reeder, Leslie Rice, Melissa Ruch, Frederick Sanders, Daniel Sebers, Larry Steffee, Amy Tobitt, Steve Trapp, Chris Vance, Michael Whitefield, Carol Williams, Charlotte Wruble, Melvin Young, and Kathy Hendrix.

Northside Elementary School-

Joyce Alexander, Rebecca Baugh, Lisa Bell, Marla Beshearse, Kelly Birmingham, Kathy Bryant, Linda Bush, Wendy Colvert, Michael Crockett, Amanda Dakas, Alisha Day, Holly Espinosa Jerry Foster, Carrie Gottlied, Amy Green, Amanda Griffith, Jennifer Griffith, Jessica Hale, Patty Hale, Karen Jacobs, Kristy Lasser, Amanda Mathis, Libby McCormick, Pamela Miller, Louise Owen, Joy Parker, Amy Raymond, Bethany Rigsby, Melissa Roysdon, Tammy Sims, Jama Todd, Carol Tripp, Cheryl Vance, Julie Vincent, Betsye Walker, Tad Webb, Ginger Wenger, Sandy Willingham, and Gayle Redmon.

DeKalb West School-

Pat Allen, Doris Cantrell, Jeanna Caplinger, William Conger, Kim Crook, Martha Damron, Genrose Davis, Tonya Ellis, Janet England, Sabrina Farler, Carol Hale, Lesa Hayes, Ricky Hendrix, Regina Kent, Kathy Lawrence, Michael Littrell, Shelia McMillen, Melanie Molander, Tammy Payne, Debra Poteete, Cynthia Preston, Lori Pryor, Joyce Robertson, Susan Robinson, Pam Sanders, Lori Sexton, Jane Watson, Vicki Wilson, Amy Young, and Danny Parkerson.

Smithville Elementary School-

Sharon Anderson, Ana Bain, Renee Beaty, Kelly Birmingham, Kim Brown, Vickie Burton, Beth Cantrell, Laura Carter, Alisha Cheatham, Layra Crook, Trena Curtis, Sue Driver, Vicky Duke, Wanna Foster, Kelli Foster, Amy Fox, Misty Franklin, Tina Gash, Amanda Hardiek, Vicky Hawker, Bradley Hendrix, Holly Hendrix, Mary Henny, Jill Herren, Betty Hickey, April Hines, Anna Johnson, Sabrina Kirksey, Karen Knowles, Carrie Lee, Lisa Mabe, LeVaughnda Midgett, Margaret Nichols, Christina Ontiveros, Lisa Pack, Beth Pafford, Jane Parsley, Kristy Parsley, Jennifer Peek, Mary Pugh, Lori Purnell, Jane Ramsey, Amanda Rhoady, Carol Tallent, Jan Thomas, Janet Trapp, Carol-Ann Tripp, Fay Turner, Sherian Waggoner, Janet Woodward, Crystal Young, Christie Young, and Billy Tanner.

DeKalb Middle School-

Joey Agee, Josh Agee, Jan Alexander, Ashley Barnes, Pat Barnes, Lori Cloyd, Lisa Craig, Lisa Cripps, Jennifer Davenport, Tena Davidson, Nancy Dillon, Lori Hendrix, Tom Hill, Michelle Jones, Gail Kirksey, Mike Littrell, Michael Lewis, Debra Moore, Rebecca Oliver, Karen Pelham, Anita Puckett, Judy Redmon, Kevin Rigsby, Joyce Robertson, Candice Scarbro, Mike Schockley, Penny Smitty, Jenny Stephenson, Lori Sexton, Tonya Sullivan, Kitty Thomas, Vicky Terrell, Jennifer West, and Randy Jennings.

Central Office Staff-

Gina Arnold, Katherine Ballard, Michelle Burklow, Clay Farler, Carol Hendrix, Danielle Collins, and Mary Nelle Summers

County Wide-

Penny Bileyu, Tonya Dickens, Judy Malone, Lori Rogers, and Peggy Semmes.

In other business, Director Willoughby recommended that the following teachers be granted tenure because they have successfully completed the statutory apprentice period of three years as required for tenure:

Ana Bain, Layra Crook, Donna Emmons, Holly Espinosa, Christina Ontiveros, Kristy Parsley, Karen Pelham, Bethany Rigsby, Fredrick Sanders, Lori Sexton, Amy Tobitt, Steve Trapp, Betsye Walker, and Vicki Wilson.

The school board approved the tenure status of those teachers.

Meanwhile, Director Willoughby updated the board on other personnel moves since last month.

Gordon Williams has been employed as a substitute bus driver and Colleen Eslick has been named a substitute Deaf Interpreter for the 2007-08 school year.

Holly Bain, an Educational Assistant at DeKalb West School, and Lesa Hayes, teacher at DeKalb West School, have been granted a leave of absence as requested.

Donna Davis, teacher at DeKalb West School, is retiring.

Three teachers have resigned, Alisa Rice, Christine Rivers, and Eric Helton.

The board approved an overnight trip request for members of the golf team to participate in a golf tournament August 10th-12th in Chattanooga (TGF-Baylor Preview Golf Championship).

An overnight trip request was also approved for FFA students to attend the State Forestry Camp at Fall Creek Falls State Park June 1st-7th and the FFA State Leadership Camp in Doyle July 7th-11th.

In other business, board member Kenny Rhody says the state has authorized making all school zones in DeKalb County 25 miles per hour.

Currently, there are different speed limits in three of the school zones.

Rhody says the Smithville Elementary School zone will also be relocated from South Congress Boulevard to East Bryant Street and Walker Drive. "I spoke with Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings this week about the progress of getting all of our school zones with one speed limit. He spoke to the state commissioner from TDOT. He came down here and reviewed our proposal. I met with Sheriff Patrick Ray, Chief Jennings, the City Manager, and Mr. Willoughby. We looked at our proposal. As many of you know we have one school zone on a three lane highway (Northside Elementary) at 30 miles per hour. We have one at the West School that's 25 mph and the one at the high school is 15 mph. I spoke with Sheriff Ray and Chief Jennings and we talked to the guy with the state. He agreed to make them all the same. They agreed on 25 miles per hour for all the school zones and the one on South Congress will be moved to behind Ace Hardware on Bryant Street all the way through and then on Walker Drive, where the actual school traffic is to start with."


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