Local News Articles

Three More People Arrested In Recent Burglary and Theft Investigations

October 16, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested two people Sunday night charging them with burglarizing a vacant home on the Cookeville Highway a total of nine times, where a house full of furniture and antiques were stored.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 54 year old William Arendall and 48 year old Sherry Cook , both of Sparta Highway (Lake Motel) have each been charged with nine counts of burglary and theft of property.

Cook was also charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and a seventh offense of driving on a suspended license. Cook allegedly had a loaded needle in her possession at the time of her arrest.

Sheriff Ray says the investigation reveals that the burglaries took place on nine separate occasions between October 8th and 15th.

Entry was made through a back window on each occasion and several truck loads of antiques, furniture, quilts, pictures, dishes, and other items were stolen from the home, totaling more than $10,000.

Some of the stolen goods were sold to an antique dealer in Sparta, and those items have been recovered.

Bond for Arendall is set at $675,000 and $686,000 for Cook.

Meanwhile, A 19 year old Liberty man, Johnathan Rice, has been charged with theft of property, accused of stealing jewelry from K & M Jewelry in Smithville on August 15th.

Sheriff Ray says Rice entered the store that day and apparently swiped a diamond ring, gold necklaces, and bracelets, unbeknownst to the store clerks.

During an interview with officers, Ray says Rice admitted to stealing the jewelry. Rice claims he asked the store clerks if he could use the restroom and while in there, he apparently put the jewelry in his pants and walked out.

After discovering the jewelry missing, the store clerks contacted authorities.

Rice was arrested October 14th and his bond is set at $15,000. He will be in court on the charge, November 2nd.

Over 500 Take Advantage of Early Voting Through Saturday

October 21, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A total of 511 people have cast ballots during the first four days of early voting for the Tennessee General Election including mail-in ballots.

All early voting will be in the basement courtroom of the DeKalb County Courthouse through Thursday, November 2nd.

Hours are 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday hours are from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th.

Lebanon Man Charged With Rape of Dowelltown Girl

October 23, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 22 year old Lebanon man has been charged with the Statutory Rape of a 14 year old Dowelltown girl.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Ricky Darnell Johnson of 135 Rogers Street, Lebanon was arrested Friday evening by Wilson County authorities.

He is under a $150,000 bond

Sheriff Ray says Johnson is accused of committing statutory rape by having sex with a 14 year old girl without her consent on October 14th in Dowelltown.

The victim identified the man to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department was contacted since Johnson is from Lebanon.

Sheriff Ray says Johnson is a registered sexual offender having been convicted of an attempted aggravated sexual battery in Wilson County in September 2002. He has been on supervised probation.

In addition to the sex offense in DeKalb County, Johnson is also a suspect in a Wilson County rape, which occurred three weeks ago.

County Commission Gives First Reading Approval To Proposed Changes In Subdivision Regulations

October 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted proposed amendments to the Subdivision Regulations on first reading upon the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Second and final reading passage will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next county commission meeting in November.

One of the proposed amendments pertains to the design and construction of new roads in subdivision developments.

County Mayor Mike Foster, reading from the proposed resolution Monday night, said \"A revision of minimum standards for new roads has been determined as necessary in order to help protect the DeKalb County taxpayers from excessive and unnecessary expenditures for road maintenance, in order to provide fair and equitable treatment to all persons seeking to have suitable roads within the county.\"

Under the proposed amendment, Foster says developers would be required to put down two inches of hot mix. \"They would still do the six inch base and 20 foot width of surface but they would also, after completing the two inches of asphalt binder, come back and add 1 ? inches of wearing surface after everything is done for a total of 3 ? inches of concrete.\"

The following is the proposed amendment:

Cross Section

Right of Way- Local 50 feet, Collector 60 feet
Roadbed Width- Local 28 feet, Collector 34 feet
Width of Base- Local 22 feet, Collector 32 feet
Thickness of Base- Local 6 inches, Collector 8 inches
Width of Surfacing- Local 20 feet, Collector 26 feet
*Thickness of Asphalt Binder- Local 2 inches, Collector 2 inches
*Thickness of Wearing Surface-Local 1 ? inches, Collector 1 ? inches
Thickness of Total Surface- Local 3 ? inches, Collector 3 ? inches

*The compacted thickness of the asphalt concrete surface (Hot Mix) shall be determined by road classification and shall not be less than as indicated above.

Another proposed amendment would revise the \"Hillside Development Standards\" by adding the following text, \" Lots that have slopes thirty percent or greater shall be inspected by the Planning Commission. Lots that are deemed not suitable for construction and not approved, shall be left as open green space for the developments.\"

The existing regulations reads, \"For area and width requirements, the maximum total increase shall not exceed fifty percent for any slope of thirty percent or greater.\"

Foster says the proposed change is primarily meant to stop some lot developments on the lake that are actually too steep for development.\"

Another amendment seeks to revise regulation standards concerning the design of \"Flag Lots\".

The proposed amendment states that \"Within a subdivision, occasional \"Flag Lots\" may be permitted with a minimum \"50 feet Road Frontage\" section for driveway and utility access and a minimum 30,000 square foot acre building site at the end of a driveway-utility strip. In such situations, the strip cannot exceed 300 feet in length. Also, such lots must be restricted from further subdivision unless the strip is built to road standards. Such lots cannot exceed 10% of a total development.\"

Carter Appeals Statutory Rape Sentence

October 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

53 year old Gary Marshall Carter, sentenced last month on a charge of statutory rape, has filed a notice of appeal of the judgment to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

Criminal Court Judge Leon Burns Jr., on September 25th, denied Carter's request for judicial diversion and ordered Carter to serve nine months of a two year sentence and then be on probation for a total of four years.

The charge stems from an alleged incident dating back to the Spring of 2005 and involves a girl who was under the age of 18 at the time.

Carter had entered a plea at an August hearing but filed the request for judicial diversion hoping to avoid any jail time.

As part of the sentence, Carter was required to submit to the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act and he is now listed on the TBI Sexual Offender Registry.

On Tuesday, October 24th , Carter filed a $50,000 appearance/surety bond and will apparently be free pending the disposition of the appeal.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says he was approached Monday night by Carter's attorney Hilton Conger asking if the Sheriff would agree to a work release program for Carter, subject to the court's approval, so that Carter could keep his job at the county landfill.

Sheriff Ray told Conger he would not agree to such a request due to the seriousness of the offense and due to the fact that the Sheriff's Department has no work release program.

Sheriff Ray said he also turned down Conger's request to make Carter a trusty at the jail. Sheriff Ray says he told Conger that he doesn't permit convicted sex offenders to be trusty's .

TDOT Officials Review Highway 56 Plans With Property Owners

October 27, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Officials of the Tennessee Department of Transportation met Thursday night with property owners who will be affected by the proposed widening and improvement of Highway 56 south between East Bryant Street and Magness Road in DeKalb County.

The meeting was held at Northside Elementary School.

Bryant Williams, TDOT Transportation Specialist from the Right of Way Office in Chattanooga, said property owners got a chance to see the plans and to ask questions. "We're here to show the property owners the plans and explain how the plans will affect their properties. We're also here to see if there's any mistakes as far as property lines or names of the owners, on the plans."

"This project starts at Magness Road and extends about five miles to East Bryant Street. Part of the project will be curbs and gutters and part of it down to the south will be a divided highway with four lanes. The part toward town will be four lanes with curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and a turning lane."

"Right now we're showing six relocation tracks. We have a total of 70 tracks we'll have to buy. We should be out buying in the spring of 2007. The appraisal work is going to be starting soon. The project letting date is the spring of 2008, that's when the project will go to letting for construction. The construction work will start sometime after that."

In addition to the six relocations, the county's garbage collection convenience site on Highway 56 will have to be removed.

Officials say a portion of Highway 56 will be redesigned taking a new path, east of the existing route, from near the Smithville City Limits to near Smithville Nursery.

Intersections at Old Blue Springs Road and Keltonburg Road are also expected to be redesigned.

Many property owners affected by the new road are unhappy with the proposed project and some expressed their opposition during Thursday night's meeting.

Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-off A Success

October 27, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Approximately 300 people enjoyed chili Friday at Habitat for Humanity?s Third Annual Chili Cook-off, which was held at the First Methodist Church CFC. The Inn at Evins Mill took the top honors for Best Chili, with ?The Chuckwagon Chili Crew? from the DeKalb County Board of Education following in second place and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas in third. In the decorating contest, ?Great Bowls of Fire? from Bradley Printing placed first, followed by Middle Tennessee Natural Gas in second place and the ?Edgar Evins Chili Peppers? from Edgar Evins State Park in third.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor, Habitat board president, the event raised $3,300.00, which will be used toward the building of the second Habitat house in DeKalb County. ?We were really pleased with the turnout, especially in light of the weather,? said Pryor. ?We appreciate all the teams for their participation and for their flexibility and good sportsmanship. We also appreciate everyone who came out to eat chili and those who donated baked goods to sell. I think everybody had a great time, and we look forward to another successful cook-off next year.?

Nine teams participated in the event, including ?Great Bowls of Fire? from Bradley Printing, ?Curves Divas? from Curves of Smithville, ?Chuckwagon Chili Crew? from the DeKalb County Board of Education, ?The Hot Checks Chili? from DeKalb Community Bank, ?The Courthouse Crew? from the DeKalb County Courthouse, ?Edgar Evins Chili Peppers? from Edgar Evins State Park, ?The Bean Counters? from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, and The Inn at Evins Mill. The Middle Tennessee Times had a ?Times Tummy Table,? and sold items for post-chili relief.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181.

Five Injured In Saturday Evening Wreck

October 29, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Five people were injured in a two vehicle accident around 5:05 p.m. Saturday evening on Highway 70 East in front of the Gentleman's Club.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 22 year old Joseph Wayne Jenkins of Smithville, driving a 1996 Buick Century, was in the eastbound lane, turning left into the Gentleman's Club parking lot, when he crossed the path of a westbound 2002 Chrysler Sebring, driven by 61 year old Ruth L. Ladd of Sparta.

Jenkins was not transported but a passenger of his vehicle, 31 year old Robert H. Mattox of Smithville was taken to the hospital.

Ladd was also transported along with passengers of her vehicle,, 37 year old Melissa Shay of McMinnville; 7 year old Braxton Worthington of McMinnville, and 10 year old Austin Shay of McMinnville.

Trooper Tisdale says all six persons were buckled in during the crash and were not believed to have been seriously injured.

DCHS Band Wins Big At Knoxville

October 30, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County High School Band traveled to South Doyle High School in Knoxville for the Smoky Mountain Invitational Marching Band Festival on Saturday and outscored 9 other bands in 2 separate classes. The band brought home 8 trophies in all, three of which were larger than some of the students.

The DC Color Guard placed 2nd in class A just behind the Alcoa Color Guard. The guard scored enough to beat two of the four bands in the class by upwards of 4 points.

A score of 88.38 placed the band 1st in class A and 1st in Division which was a combination of Class A and AA, beating out bands that were larger. The next closest score was 86.13 by Jefferson County in the larger class.

The percussion section outscored the others in class and division as well. 89.50 was the score that beat out the Gibbs County percussion section who scored a 88.00.

The Field Commander Dustin Estes, assisted by Michelle Scott placed 1st in class and 1st in Division with a score of 94. That score was 4 points higher than any other field commander in the whole competition. (Class A, AA, AAA, AAAA).

Band Director Chuck Gilbert said \"it's really good to get the wins that these students deserve but we can't stew on it. We have to use it for fuel and look ahead to our Division II State Championship next weekend\" When asked about the performance Mr. Gilbert said \"I hadn't seen any of our competition when we came off the field but I knew they had just put on a performance that was worthy of a 1st place trophy. It was good to actually bring home the hardware. I want everyone to know how hard these students work. I am very proud of them and I hope they are proud of themselves. They deserve this win\".

As the Band buses made their way back to DeKalb County they were greeted at the county line by two county sheriff cars with lights flashing. One escorted from the front and one in behind. As they got to the City Limits of Smithville, a City Police Car stepped up in front of the whole caravan. Band Booster President Kennie Barnes, who is one of the drivers of the Equipment Bus, said \"It's really good to get to make some racket for these kids. I'd like to thank the sheriff's department and police department for being so supportive of our kids.\"

Next weekend the High School Band travels to Goodpasture High School for the Division II State Championship. They are scheduled to take the field for their performance at 1:45pm. Mr. Gilbert said \"We should know the full schedule by mid-week\". For those that are interested in driving up with the \"Tiger Band Caravan\" can call the band room at 597-7213 or log onto www.DekalbBand.com for the schedule.

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