Local News Articles

Smithville Police Make Drug Arrest

July 31, 2012
Dwayne Page
David B. Cook

Smithville Police have arrested an Andrews Street man after he allegedly sold pills to an confidential source working for the department on two separate occasions earlier this month

60 year old David B. Cook is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance and two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug. His bond totals $13,801 and he will be in court on August 16.

Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Monday, July 16, Cook allegedly sold four pills believed to be klonopin to a confidential source working for the Smithville Police Department. The transaction was made from Cook's car. Police seized the vehicle, a 1983 Chevy Camaro.

One week later, on Monday, July 23, Cook allegedly sold four pills believed to be hydrocodone to a confidential source working for the Smithville Police Department. He sold these pills from his home.

Later that day, while executing a search warrant at Cook's home, Detectives Matt Holmes and Brandon Donnell and other officers found in Cook's front right pants pocket, ten pills believed to be hydrocodone wrapped in aluminum foil. Cook admitted toplacing the pills in the package for someone else.

31 year old John Williams is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on August 9.

Chief Caplinger said that on Saturday, July 21 officers were dispatched to a residence on South Mountain Street to a domestic violence call. Upon arrival, officers spoke with a woman who said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, Williams. The woman said Williams had strangled her and pushed her up against a wall leaving red marks on her neck. He also allegedly twisted her arm behind her back, leaving bruises on her upper arm. Williams allegedly threatened to kill her, according to the woman. After the assault, she called police.

40 year old Wendy Driver Humphrey is cited for shoplifting. She will be in court on Thursday, August 2. Chief Caplinger said that on Sunday, July 22, Humphrey allegedly concealed items in her purse while she was shopping at the Dollar General Store. The stolen items were recovered.

30 year old Christina Johnson and Jason Knowles are cited for criminal trespassing. They will be in court on August 30. Chief Caplinger said that both Johnson and Knowles had been served with a notice by the Smithville Housing Authority to keep off the property there, but they allegedly violated that order and were cited for trespassing on Friday, July 27.

35 year old Crystal King is cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. She will be in court on August 9. Chief Caplinger said King was a passenger of a vehicle stopped by police on Tuesday, July 24. The driver gave consent to search the car. King told police that she had two used hypodermic needles in her purse. She produced the needles and handed them over to the officer

Three Cited for Criminal Littering

July 31, 2012
Dwayne Page
Hunter A. Close
Tabitha Marie Norsworthy
Amanda Brooke Washer
Kenny Wayne Bly
Kenny Lynn Arnold
Dustin Shay Wagner
Neil Bernard Keenan

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has cited three men in two separate cases of criminal littering after they were caught illegally dumping on the side of the road.

41 year old Rodney Wade Laulo of Cookeville was issued citations for aggravated criminal littering and violation of the financial responsibility law on Tuesday, July 24. He will be in court on August 1. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that a deputy was dispatched to Cookeville Boat Dock Road where a Putnam County deputy had found Laulo dumping a trailer load of construction trash. Laulo also could not provide proof of insurance.

Meanwhile, 36 year old Allen Matthew Mooney, Jr. of Dowelltown and 35 year old John Carter of Carthage are cited with criminal littering and they will be in court on August 2. Sheriff Ray said on Wednesday, July 25 Mooney and Carter were allegedly caught throwing tires into a ditch on Man Hill Road.

19 year old Hunter A. Close of Watertown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on August 2. Sheriff Ray said that Close allegedly assaulted a female family member on Sunday, July 22 at a residence on Lower Helton Road by pushing her into a chest of drawers and strangling her, leaving red marks on her neck. Close had been asked to leave the residence but did not until after he had assaulted the woman. Close also allegedly threatened to kill her. The case was investigated by a sheriff's deputy.

22 year old Tabitha Marie Norsworthy of Baxter is charged with theft of property under $500. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on August 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 23 Norsworthy allegedly took a debit card from a residence on Vickers Ridge Road to purchase a $50 phone card for herself. This transaction caused the victim's bank account to overdraft. The total loss was $55.41 and a $75 overdraft fee for a total of $132.41.The case was investigated by a sheriff's deputy.

24 year old Amanda Brooke Washer and 33 year old Kenny Wayne Bly of Smithville are charged with theft of property over $1,000. Bond for each is $5,000 and they will be in court on August 2. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, July 21 Washer and Bly allegedly stole a 2003 Ford Ranger pickup from a residence on Potts Camp Road. The case was investigated by a criminal detective from the sheriff's department.

32 year old Kenny Lynn Arnold of Johnson's Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with filing a false report and two counts of criminal impersonation. His bond is $5,800 and he will be in court on August 2. Sheriff Ray said that on June 20, a deputy was dispatched to Johnson's Chapel Road to investigate an attempted theft. Arnold told the officer that he had borrowed a tractor from his landlord and left it parked behind his house. When he returned, Arnold said the tractor had been stolen. The tractor was later found turned over at the bottom of a hill. It had not been stolen. When he filed the report concerning the tractor, Arnold identified himself as Kenny L. McClure. He also gave a bogus social security number. The officer later learned Arnold's true identity. Arnold said he used the fake name and social security number because he has warrants against him in Hamilton County. Meanwhile, on Thursday July 26 a criminal detective and a deputy from the sheriff's department went to serve a state warrant on Arnold at his residence. Upon arrival, the detective approached the front door while the deputy went around to the back of the home. After knocking on the back door, the deputy saw Arnold inside the house trying to hide in a closet. The detective entered the home and found Arnold in the closet. He asked Arnold to identify himself and Arnold replied "Randy". When asked a second time, Arnold said he was "Kenny L. McClure". When the detective asked a third time, Arnold gave his real name. Arnold was then placed under arrest. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

25 year old Dustin Shay Wagner of McMinnville is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on August 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, July 26 a sheriff's department drug detective saw Wagner operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 west. Having prior knowledge that Wagner's license were suspended, the drug detective stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Wagner. A computer check revealed his license were suspended due to frequent traffic violations in May.

55 year old Neil Bernard Keenan of Dowelltown is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,550 and he will be in court on August 23. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, July 29, a deputy saw a vehicle on Highway 70 west in Liberty traveling eastbound without its headlights on. The officer got behind the vehicle and saw it cross the yellow line. The deputy pulled over the automobile and approached on the driver's side. The officer talked to the driver, Keenan. He noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming form the vehicle. The officer asked Keenan if he had been drinking. Keenan replied "yes". The deputy saw several empty beer cans in the vehicle along with one open beer can, and three not opened. Keenan submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood alcohol test.

State Sales Tax Holiday Set for August 3-5

July 31, 2012
State Sales Tax Holiday Set for August 3-5

The Department of Revenue is reminding Tennesseans that the seventh annual Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled for Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5. During these three days Tennessee shoppers can save nearly 10 percent on tax-free clothing, school and art supplies and computer purchases.

"The annual Sales Tax Holiday was designed with Tennessee families in mind, providing savings for families, especially as students start the new school year,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.

The holiday begins Friday, August 3 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m. During the designated three-day weekend, consumers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item, and computers with a price of $1,500 or less.

“As in years past, last year's tax-free weekend was very successful, providing Tennessee taxpayers nearly $9.6 million in tax savings” said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. “We are hopeful that all Tennessee shoppers will take advantage of the tax relief provided by the 2012 Sales Tax Holiday.”

Please visit the Sales Tax Holiday Web site at www.tntaxholiday.com to learn more about the items exempt from sales tax. The Tennessee Department of Revenue also assists consumers via e-mail, Salestax.Holiday@TN.gov, 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.)

Examples of exempt items include:

Clothing: Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms whether athletic or non-athletic and scarves

School Supplies: Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors

Art Supplies: Clay and glazes; acrylic, tempera and oil paints; paintbrushes for artwork; sketch and drawing pads; and watercolors

Computers: Central processing unit (CPU), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and preloaded software (Note: While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible.) iPads and other tablet computers are eligible for tax exemption, while smart phones and video game consoles are not.

County Commission Authorizes Issuance of $3.4 Million Capital Outlay Note for School Projects

July 30, 2012
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West School

The DeKalb County Commission last Monday night adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of a general obligation capital outlay note in an amount not to exceed $3.4 million for school system building/roofing projects.

The note will cover the $600,000 FEMA grant match to build eight tornado safe rooms at DeKalb West School, an $850,000 cafeteria and kitchen renovation project at DeKalb West School; a $1.1 million DeKalb Middle School roof project, a $700,000 DeKalb West School roof project; and an $85,000 Smithville Elementary School partial roof project. No property tax increase will be required.

The county will spend $600,000 in local funding to meet a 12.5% FEMA grant match for building the "safe rooms" at DeKalb West School. The purpose of the "safe rooms" is to relieve overcrowding and to shelter students, school staff, and the general public in times of severe weather. Under the grant program, the federal government pays 75% of the cost. The state pays 12.5% and the local share is 12.5%. Any further costs related to construction not covered by the FEMA grant, including furnishing classrooms, is to be funded locally.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has approved grant funds of more than $1.5 million for the safe room project at DeKalb West School, pending final approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The proposed 15,000 square foot addition will be constructed in the front of the school, including eight classrooms, restrooms, a new secure entrance, an office, clinic, conference room, guidance and teacher work area.

Although a new larger DWS cafeteria and kitchen does not qualify under the FEMA grant as school officials had hoped, the architects included in the design an expansion of the existing dining area to be funded locally and that project is covered in the capital outlay note.

David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet updated the school board on the FEMA grant application during its regular monthly meeting earlier this month. " I've spoken with the state and there is one more (grant application) ahead of you guys at the moment and then you guys are next. I expect monies becoming available for our DeKalb West project, probably in August," he said.

Smithville to Receive Grant for Airport Grounds Maintenance Equipment

July 30, 2012
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has announced that federal and state aeronautics grants totaling $18.3 million have been approved for 20 Tennessee airports including one at the Smithville Municipal Airport

The local grant is in the amount of $12,426 for grounds maintenance equipment. The state will pay for $9,319 with the city to provide the local match of $3,107

The grants are made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division.

The Division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction and maintenance of Tennessee's diverse public aviation system.

Except for routine expenditures, grant applications are reviewed by the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC), which is a five member board charged with policy planning and with regulating changes in the state Airport System Plan. The board carefully reviews all applications for grants to ensure that the proper state and local matching funds are in place and that the grants will be used for needed improvements.

The TDOT Aeronautics Division has the responsibility of inspecting and licensing the state's 126 heliports and 75 public/general aviation airports. The Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government and staffing for the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.

DeKalb County Schools will re-open Thursday

July 30, 2012
Dwayne Page
Back to School

DeKalb County Schools will re-open Thursday.

Registration for all students will be Thursday, August 2. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

The first day of school education celebration will be held on Friday, August 3 on the public square at 6:00 p.m.

Friday, August 3 will be an administrative day for teachers only

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 6

A system wide professional development day will be Monday, July 30 at DCHS from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

All teachers will report to their individual schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 31 and August 1 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Northside students in 2nd and 3rd grades are asked to attend the annual "Meet Your Teacher Night" on Monday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m. in the Northside Gym. Students will have a time to meet and talk with their teacher for the upcoming school year, visit their classroom and tour the school. Parents may fill out their paperwork at this time and students will not have to return to school until the first full day on Monday, August 6th. 4th and 5th grade students will register on Thursday, August 2nd from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Please plan to spend enough time at school on that day to complete all paperwork.

Randy Jennings, Principal at DeKalb Middle School, said sixth grade orientation will be July 31. "Our sixth grade orientation at the middle school is July 31, which is on Tuesday night. We will be doing a call home to the students to let them know which students are to come at what time. We have two different groups who come. Seventh and eighth graders will register on August 2," he said.

DCHS will have 9th grade registration and Open House on Monday, July 30 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Activities will be held for students. Parents will need to be there at 6:00 p.m. to complete registration paperwork. They will be finished by 7:00 p.m. Students who attend on July 30 will be given their schedules. They will not be required to attend school on Thursday, August 2. They will start on the first full day Monday, August 6. If you have questions, call 597-2247 or email spainter1@k12tn.net.

DeKalb Unemployment Rate Climbs to 8.3% in June

July 28, 2012
Dwayne Page

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for June 2012 show the rate increased in all 95 counties. In DeKalb County the rate jumped to 8.3%, up from 7.8% in May but still below the rate of 9.8% in June, 2011.

The local labor force for June was at 10,040. A total of 9,210 were employed and 830 were without work

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for June was third lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region. Here's how they rank highest to lowest

Van Buren- 13.2%
Picket County- 13%
White- 12.1%

Tennessee's unemployment rate for June rose to 8.1 percent, up from the May revised rate of 7.9 percent. The national unemployment rate for June 2012 was 8.2 percent, unchanged from May.

The state unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 6.7 percent, up from 6.0 percent in May. Davidson County was 7.3 percent, up from 6.7 percent the previous month. Hamilton County was 8.3 percent, up from 7.4 percent, and Shelby County was 9.7 percent, up from the May unemployment rate of 8.8 percent

Early Voting Up Slightly from Four Years Ago

July 28, 2012
Dwayne Page
Brett Curtis signs with Election worker Dean Estes on last day of early voting
Angela Puckett at Voting Machine on Last Day of Early Voting

Early voting ended Saturday for the August elections with a total of eight hundred seventy six people having taken advantage of it from July 13-28 at the courthouse. That is up slightly from August, 2008 when 807 people voted early/absentee and up from the 719 who voted early/absentee in the local Democratic and Presidential Preference Primary in March of this year. Two years ago in August, 1,474 voted early/absentee.

During the two week early voting period in this election, a total of 373 people cast ballots in the Tennessee Republican Primary and 371 voted in the Tennessee Democratic Primary.

The largest single day turnout for early voting was on the next to the last day, Friday July 27 when 119 people cast ballots. The response each day was as follows:

Friday, July 13-70
Saturday, July 14- 31
Monday, July 16- 42
Tuesday, July 17- 42
Wednesday, July 18- 53
Thursday, July 19- 55
Friday, July 20- 37
Saturday, July 21- 43

Monday, July 23-79
Tuesday, July 24-53
Wednesday, July 25-73
Thursday, July 26-87
Friday, July 27-119
Saturday, July 28- 92

In the August election four years ago, a total of 2,256 voted including 807 early voters/absentees and 1,449 on election day. Voter turnout was only 17.2% in DeKalb County on that day.

During the local Democratic Primary and Presidential Preference Primary in March of this year,
2,598 voters cast ballots, including a total of 1,879 on election day and 719 either by early voting or absentee ballot.

A total of 3,816 people voted in the August election two years ago including 2,341 on election day and 1,474 during early voting or by absentee ballot.

If you are properly registered to vote and did not participate in early voting, you can cast ballots on election day, Thursday August 2. All sixteen precincts in DeKalb County will be open Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

As a voter you may vote for whom you choose in the DeKalb County General Election regardless of party affiliation in the races for assessor of property, constable, or school board member. In other words, you can vote for a democrat in one race and a republican in another.

However, if you choose to vote in one of the state primaries which include the offices of State Representative, U.S. Representative, or U.S. Senator, you must declare in which primary you intend to vote. For example, if you declare your intention to vote in the State Republican Primary, you can ONLY vote for Republican candidates for State Representative, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator but you MAY vote for ANY candidate you choose regardless of party affiliation in the county general election (Assessor of Property, Constable, School Board)

Likewise, if you choose to vote in the State Democratic Primary you can vote
for only Democratic candidates for State Representative, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator but you MAY vote for ANY candidate you choose regardless of party affiliation in the county general election (Assessor of Property, Constable, School Board)

In simple terms, you can vote for a Democrat in the County General and still choose the Republican State Primary; or you may vote for a Republican in the County General and still choose the Democrat State Primary.

Local voters will be electing a new Assessor of Property in August. The candidates are Scott Cantrell and Mason Carter. Two school board seats will be filled along with five constable seats.
In the state primary, local voters will help select the party nominees for State Representative in the 40th district, the 46th district, Congressman in the 6th District and one U.S. Senator.




TrekAmerica International Sightseers Visit DeKalb County Fair

July 28, 2012
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Fair President Judy Sandlin Greets International Visitors

Several young people from as far away as Switzerland, Wales, Australia, and England paid a visit to the DeKalb County Fair Friday evening.

Members of TrekAmerica, a group of young international sightseers who want to experience North America, are currently on a three week tour of the country, having left recently from Los Angeles enroute to New York City.

TrekAmerica offers small group adventure tours to those from other countries who want to
discover this continent. Participants get to explore America on trips that take them to big cities, National Parks, beaches, small towns and many places away from the tourist routes.


M2U00789 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

The Grandpa Fair of the South will end its week long run tonight (Saturday)

Admission ticket holders will have at least nine chances to take home $500. There was only one cash winner Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night and no winners at all Thursday and Friday nights.


A total of $4,500 will be given away tonight in increments of $500 each starting at 9:30 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion.. You must be present to win. All the cash will be given away tonight.

Meanwhile, other activities taking place today include the following:

Horseshoe Tournament at the Tot Kelly barn at Noon.; Gospel Singing at the Lions Club Pavilion at 6:00 p.m.; Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena:

Take a stroll down Memory Lane and enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village, sponsored by DeKalb Community Bank. The DeKalb County Fair Memory Lane Stage Line-Up is as follows:

Saturday Night July 28
6:30-7:30 p.m— Mid State Cloggers
7:45-8:45 p.m— Evermean Evergreen Cloggers

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available for $18.00.

Admission to the fair is $4.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:00 p.m. Parking is Free!

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfairtn.com.

Josh Issac Wins DeKalb Idol

July 28, 2012
Dwayne Page
Josh Issac Wins DeKalb Idol

Josh Issac of Smithville was the winner of the DeKalb Idol competition held Friday night at the DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria, sponsored by DTC Communications.

Fifteen contestants competed for the title and Issac was among the top three called back after the first two rounds. As the winner of DeKalb Idol, Issac received a $300 cash prize.

Erica Melton of Auburntown received second place and $200.

Ashlee Whitehead of Smithville received third place and $100 as well as the Peoples Choice Award and $150

The program was hosted by Tom Duggin of MyDTC3 TV along with Chelsie Young of MyDTC3's Talkin' Country program.

(Pictured left to right: Chelsie Young (Idol Co-Emcee), Josh Issac (Idol Winner), Erica Melton (2nd place), Ashlee Whitehead (3rd place and People's Choice Winner), Tom Duggin (DeKalb Idol Emcee)


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