Local News Articles

Veterans Urged to Ride in Alexandria Christmas Parade Sunday

November 24, 2010
Dwayne Page
Santa and Mrs Claus at 2009 Alexandria Christmas Parade

Alexandria will host the first Christmas parade of the season in DeKalb County this Sunday, November 28th.

As always, the parade is expected to feature a variety of creative floats, farm tractors, vintage automobiles, all terrain vehicles, horseback riders, and Santa Claus. Caleb Brown will be the honorary Grand Marshal and his family and friends will represent him in the parade.

Alexandria Mayor Ria Baker said this year's parade will also pay tribute to veterans. "The city has borrowed the Watertown trolley to use in the parade to honor the veterans. Please encourage everyone you know who is a veteran to ride. We will load everyone (veterans) at city hall on this Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., then drive out to the lineup from there. Dwayne Cantrell has agreed to drive the trolley. This is for all veterans of any age who have served our country."

The parade will line-up at 2:00 p.m. and get underway at 3:00 p.m.

All entries are welcome and anyone under age 16 must have an adult to accompany them in the parade. Prizes will be given away on the square after the parade. Crafts and food booths are welcome to set up on or around the square.

For more information, contact Deb McCoy at 615-948-6486, Denise Barrett at 615-948-4829, or the Alexandria City Hall at 529-2171.

Meanwhile the Smithville Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 4th, sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department. The parade will line-up at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School and depart at 1:00 p.m. The deadline to enter the parade is Thursday, December 2nd . For more information call Jeff Wright at 597-6750 or John Poss at 597-1135

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 5th. Line up begins at 1:00 p.m in front of Salem Baptist Church and the parade will get underway at 2:00 p.m. For more information call (615) 536-5101.

Fire Causes Extensive Damage to Thomason Residence on Forrest Avenue

November 23, 2010
Dwayne Page

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the home of Doyle Thomason on Forrest Avenue this morning (Tuesday).

Central dispatch received the call at 7:19 a.m.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker said the occupants of the home were awakened by the smoke and escaped.

The fire apparently started in the utility room and spread to the kitchen. Chief Parker said the blaze was contained to those two rooms, but intense heat and heavy smoke caused extensive damage throughout the home.

The cause of the fire has not officially been determined but may have been electrical in nature.

The Smithville Police Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene. Chief Parker said Mr. Thomason suffered some smoke inhalation but did not have to be transported to the hospital.

White Charged DUI and Possession of Drugs

November 22, 2010
Dwayne Page
Autumn Danielle White

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested a 36 year old Dowelltown woman Saturday after doing a welfare check of a vehicle at a business location in Smithville and finding her intoxicated and in possession of pills.

Autumn Danielle White of Old Mill Hill Road is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a schedule II and III controlled substance for resale. White is under a $26,500 bond and she will be in court on December 2nd.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said on Saturday, November 20th at a place of business on Highway 70 west in DeKalb County, a deputy was doing a welfare check on a vehicle beside the building. The engine was running and the lights were on. White was the only occupant of the vehicle. She had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. White performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and refused to submit to a blood test. She was placed under arrest.

When the officer arrived with her at the jail, she handed over her purse and a bottle containing seven and a half hydrocodone pills and one roxycodone pill. There was also another bottle with two and a half oxycodone pills and three hydrocodone pills. White also had $596 in cash which was seized.

Meanwhile, 28 year old Lori Ann Lewis of Johnson's Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on December 1st.

Sheriff Ray said on Wednesday, November 17th, an officer responded to a complaint of a woman getting into her neighbor's cars on Johnson's Chapel Road. A description was given and upon arrival, the deputy saw a woman fitting the description standing in the roadway. After speaking with her, the officer determined that she was intoxicated and appeared to be a danger to herself and or others so she was placed under arrest.

22 year old Raymond Howard Rollins of Jackson Hollow Road, Lancaster is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is December 1st. He is being held without bond for violation of probation. He will be in court on the VOP on November 29th.

A deputy was on Highway 70 when he spotted Rollins. The officer knew that Rollins had a violation of probation warrant against him so he made a traffic stop and ran a computer check of his drivers license and found they were suspended for failure to satisfy a citation against him in Putnam County.

Three Injured in Traffic Accident on Braswell Lane

November 20, 2010
Dwayne Page
Three Injured in Wreck on Braswell Lane (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)
Car Hits Tree on Braswell Lane (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)

Three people were injured Saturday afternoon after their car went off the road on Braswell Lane and struck a tree.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:28 p.m.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said 20 year Brittany Leanna Mingle of Liberty was driving west in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo when she lost control, left the roadway to the right, and struck a large tree nearly head-on.

Mingle and passengers of the car, 21 year old Jonathan Travis Wann of Liberty and his brother, 25 year old Joseph Travis Wann of Smithville were transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Mingle told Trooper Jennings that she had been having brake problems and was enroute to have some repairs made to the car.

In addition to Trooper Jennings, others on the scene were members of the county volunteer fire department, Smithville Police Department, Constable Johnny King, and the Sheriff's Department.

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

November 20, 2010
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
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
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)


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
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.


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