Local News Articles

Off The Beaten Path Artists Open Studios for 10th Anniversary Tour

October 26, 2010
Mike Antoniak
Pulp Painting by artist Cherry Cratty to be given away
William Kooienga

Art lovers from across Tennessee and throughout the Southeast will be in DeKalb County this weekend, October 29 - 31, as the Off The Beaten Path Artists Studio Tour marks its 10th Anniversary.

This free three-day event draws thousands of visitors each year for the opportunity to experience the beautiful fall colors of our area and the Center Hill Lake region and tour the studios of some of the region’s leading professionals in fine art and craft.

“It’s a different tour every year as we keep it exciting with addition of new artists, new studios and our own work continues to evolve,” says Louie Colombarini, one of the founding members of Off The Beaten Path and member of it’s executive committee.

“People who take the tour are always pleasantly surprised to see what we do tucked away in the hills and hollows. It’s like a treasure hunt.”

The 2010 tour features 11 stops and ten working studios with more than 25 participating artists. Their varied work encompasses a full range of traditional and contemporary craft in wood, ceramics, fiber, painting, metal and jewelry making.

New stops include the studio/gallery of master woodcarver David Sharp, and the nearby Red Bow Studio of Cherry Cratty, pioneer in her patent-pending pulp painting technique. All visitors will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for this year’s art prize, the painting “Off the Beaten Path” donated by Cratty.

At each studio, guests can meet and converse with the artists and learn about the methods, material and environment which inspires their creativity. Visitors will also have an opportunity to purchase or commission original works by all participants.

Demonstrations of a variety of crafts are planned at several stops throughout the weekend: glass blowing at BareGlass Studio; wood and pumpkin carving by David Sharp; Raku firing of clay at From the Earth and Sea Originals; paper making at Liberty Paper Mill; weaving at Cosmic Clay studio; spinning and weaving at Beech Hollow Studios; and demonstrations of a wood fired kiln, blacksmithing and felt making at Creek Bend Pottery. Other participating studios include Fresh Chairs and Made by deMay in Smithville.

Although tour stops are numbered, the event is intended to be entirely self-guided, giving visitors the opportunity to drive from studio to studio in any order. Bright black and yellow signs will be placed throughout the county to direct them to each stop.

Stella Luna Gallery in Smithville is this year’s official tour hospitality center and also a showcase for the work of Off The Beaten Path members and other leading artists of Tennessee. There, visitors can pick up a copy of this year’s tour guide, plan the day’s or weekend’s itineracy and enjoy light refreshments.

“Our tour is a great reason to get out and see the work of all these different artists when our area is ablaze with color,” says Colombarini. “People who take the tour have never been disappointed.”

For more information, or to download a copy of this year’s tour map and guide, please visit the group’s website, www.offthebeatenpathtour.com.

DeKalb Angel Tree, Inc. Accepting Applications

October 26, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Angel Tree, Inc is accepting applications for the 15th Annual Angel Tree Project through Friday, October 29th.

Spokesperson Laura Stone said changes have been made to the application process for this year." Applications can be picked up October 25th through October 29th. You will still pick up your applications at the Department of Human Services, but one of the changes will be that the application must be returned in person the following week to the 303 Building."

"Completed applications will have to be returned to the 303 Building in downtown Smithville (the old Lavelle's Building) on one of the following days; Tuesday, November 2nd from 5 until 8, Wednesday, November 3rd from noon until 6 or Thursday, November 4th from 5 until 8. Applications not returned to the 303 Building on one of these three dates WILL NOT be accepted. There are no exceptions to the requirements of the application process", said Stone.

"Applications can only be picked up at the Department of Human Services on October 25th through October 29th and can only be returned to the 303 Building on the dates listed. In addition to bringing the completed application, applicants must provide photo identification of the person applying and social security cards and birth certificates for ALL children listed on the application. We will only be keeping the application; all other documents will be returned to the applicant. If an applicant cannot appear in person, their application can be submitted by a family member as long as all of the required information is presented."

"Eligible children must live in DeKalb County and be no older than age 12 by December 25, 2010. The Department of Human Services will only be passing out the applications. Nothing will be returned to them and any questions should be directed to Laura Stone at 615.597.5060"

Stone adds that "the Angel Tree has been such a tremendous success in the past and with economic times extremely tough for many in our area, we want this years Angel Tree to be no exception. The Angel Tree helps so many families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is sad to think about, but many of these children would not otherwise have a single present for Christmas. With the economy still struggling, we are expecting demand to be high."

DeKalb Jail and Annex Again Meet Minimum Standards for State Certification

October 26, 2010
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The DeKalb County Jail and Jail Annex have again met minimum standards for certification by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said the Tennessee Corrections Institute recently performed an inspection of the DeKalb County Jail and the DeKalb County Jail Annex. In a letter to Sheriff Ray, TCI Executive Director Jerry Abston, wrote that "the inspection revealed this facility meets all applicable minimum standards. This status shall be reported to the Board of Control at it's next meeting. After approval from the Board of Control, you will receive a Certificate of Certification. You are to be congratulated for attaining this degree of professionalism in your organization."

Inspector Joe Ferguson, in the report, wrote that "On June 3rd, 2010 the DeKalb County Jail and Annex were inspected. I looked at records and logs which appeared to be in order. Medical exams were up-to-date. The kitchen was clean and the dietician letter was current. The physical plant appeared to be in good state of repair and clean. I recommend continued certification for 2010."

The DeKalb County Jail and Annex have a certified capacity of 102 beds. The inmate population on the day of the inspection was 95.

Golden Charged with Setting Fire to Woods Near Indian Creek Boat Ramp

October 25, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jesse A. Golden
Michael Andrew Snyders
Scotty Randall Hendrixson
Gary Christopher Ponder
Priscilla Leann Roberts
Tara Leann Aughinbaugh
Steven Craig Banfield

A 29 year old Smithville man was arrested by the Sheriff's Department last week after witnesses saw him setting fire to the woods near Indian Creek Boat Ramp and then trying to run from the law.

Jesse A. Golden of New Home Road, Smithville is charged with setting fire to personal property or land, reckless endangerment, felony evading arrest, and driving under the influence.

Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that on Friday, October 22nd at Indian Creek Boat Ramp and parking lot, witnesses saw Golden setting several fires in the woods. An officer got behind Golden's automobile and turned on his emergency equipment signaling Golden to stop but he accelerated to speeds up to 90 miles per hour. The chase continued for about two miles. While running from the officer, Golden almost hit a county fire engine and another vehicle head-on before pulling over. The officer found an empty gas can and a package of matches in Golden's vehicle. During questioning concerning the fire, the deputy noticed that Golden was unsteady on his feet. He admitted to drinking beer and performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test. The total bond for Golden is $16,000 and he will be in court on October 28th.

In other crime news, 47 year old Ricky Lynn Cantrell of Liberty is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. On Friday, October 15th, a deputy responded to an accident where the driver left on foot. After speaking to several witnesses, the officer learned that Cantrell had run out of gas on Highway 70 west. He pushed the vehicle into the parking lot of Crook's Used Cars, hitting another automobile. He then left on foot before an officer arrived on the scene. Witnesses said Cantrell appeared to be intoxicated. He was arrested on Saturday, October 16th. His bond is set at $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

29 year old Christopher Shawn South of Woodbury is charged with driving on a suspended license. He was arrested on Monday, October 18th. His bond is set at $1,500 and he will be in court on Wednesday, October 27th. South was operating a motor vehicle at Sonic Drive-In on South Congress Boulevard that matched the description of the automobile of another person who was wanted for questioning. A computer check revealed that his license were suspended for failure to pay child support on October 10th, 2009.

23 year old Austin Corley Wood of Dale Ridge Road, is charged with a third offense of driving on a suspended license. He was arrested on Tuesday, October 19th. Bond for Wood is $3,000 and he will be in court on October 27th. Wood was operating a vehicle on Highway 56 and was stopped for a traffic offense. A computer check revealed that his license were suspended for driving on a suspended license on April 6th, 2009 and other offenses that day and on August 20th, 2007.

41 year old Sherry Lynn Chandler of Page Drive, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on November 3rd. Sheriff Ray says Chandler was operating a motor vehicle on Midway Road on Tuesday, October 19th and was stopped for a traffic offense. A computer check revealed that her license were suspended for failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility on September 10th, 2010 in DeKalb County.

25 year old Michael Andrew Snyders of West Main Street Smithville is charged in five warrants for violation of probation. He was arrested on Wednesday, October 20th. He is also named in a sealed indictment from April 12th, 2010 charging him with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of violation of the drug free school zone. Snyders is under a $50,000 bond in the drug cases.

25 year old Scotty Randall Hendrixson of McMinnville Highway is charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He was arrested on Thursday, October 21st. Hendrixson was a passenger of a vehicle on Cecil Hale Road, which was pulled over by an officer. A K-9 unit was requested to come to the scene. The dog indicated on the vehicle. A search was conducted and half of a dilaudid pill was found in the floor of the passenger side where Hendrixson was sitting. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

Meanwhile, 23 year old Gary Christopher Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Ponder was the driver of the vehicle in which Scotty Randall Hendrixson was a passenger. During the search, a loaded hypodermic needle was found under the drivers seat where Ponder was sitting. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

22 year old Priscilla Leann Roberts of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with introduction of drugs into a penal institution. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court on October 28th. On Friday, October 22nd, Roberts reported to the county jail to do 24 hours of drug court time. During a search prior to her being locked up, a correctional officer found two whole pills and sixteen half pills of xanax on her person.

22 year old Justin Andrew Cantrell of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. He is under a $2,500 bond and he will be in court on November 18th. On Saturday, October 23rd, Cantrell was operating a motor vehicle on Adcock Cemetery Road and was stopped because the officer had prior knowledge of his license having been suspended. A computer check confirmed that Cantrell's license were suspended for failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility on July 9th, 2010.

39 year old Shawn Edward Richardson of Salem Road, Lebanon is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th. On Saturday, October 23rd on Locust Street in Alexandria, Richardson was operating a motor vehicle and stopped for traveling the wrong direction on a one way street. A computer check revealed the his license were revoked for a DUI on August 24th, 2006 in Rutherford County.

50 year old Clifton Eugene Brown of Wesley Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with driving on a revoked license. On Sunday, October 24th, Brown was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 and stopped for failing to maintain his lane of travel. A computer check revealed that his license were revoked for a DUI on December 18th, 2009 in White County. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

33 year old Tara Leann Aughinbaugh is charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $4,000 and she will be in court on November 4th. On Monday, October 25th. Aughinbaugh was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 and was stopped for erratic driving. She gave the officer consent to search and he found, in a change purse, a plastic bag containing methamphetamine and a hypodermic needle.

34 year old Steven Craig Banfield of College Street, Lebanon is charged with driving on a suspended license, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Sunday, October 24th, Banfield was operating a motor vehicle and stopped for crossing the center line of the highway several times. A computer check revealed that his license were suspended for failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility. Banfield gave the officer consent to search and inside the back seat was a pill bottle containing marijuana and a pipe with marijuana residue. His bond totals $4,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

27 year old Brandon Ross Bogle of Jefferson Road, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on November 4th. On Monday, October 25th on Big Rock Road, the sheriff's office received a call that someone was knocking on a door of a residence. An officer responded and found Bogle on the porch of the complainant. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet.

The DeKalb County Jail and Annex has again passed certification for minimum standards for local correctional facilities for 2010-2011. The certification remains valid until next year's inspection.

Habitat Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale Friday!

October 25, 2010
Courthouse Gang Won Best Chili Award Last Year

Who makes the best chili in DeKalb County? Find out on Friday, October 29th when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 7th annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the 303 Building on the town square. You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches will also be for sale.

“We are looking forward to another great day of good food and fellowship at the chili cook-off,” said Tom Janney, president of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. “We just completed our third Habitat home in DeKalb County and are making plans for our fourth house to be built in 2011,” said Janney. “The proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will be used towards building our next house, so we hope everyone will come out and eat lots of chili for a great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “Blessed and Highly Flavored” from Allen’s Chapel Methodist Church; “Cauldron of Fire” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Edgar Evins Chili Peppers” from Edgar Evins State Park; “Hale’s Bowls of Fire” from James C. Hale for State Representative; “Hillbilly Chili – It’s a Natural Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “The Bean Counters” from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates; “Red Hot Kilowatts” from Smithville Electric System; “Hollywood Corpse Review” from the Smithville Review, and The Inn at Evins Mill.

Last year, “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials won the “Best Chili” award, and “Monster Mash” from the DeKalb County Board of Education followed in second place. In the decorating contest, the “Red Hot Chili Papers” from the Smithville Review won first place honors. The 2009 event raised approximately $3,500.

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.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Pryor at 597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 215-8181.

New Dowelltown Playground Now Open

October 24, 2010
Dwayne Page
Ribbon Cutting Held for New Dowelltown Playground
Emily Burklow and Carlos Harris Trying out New Swings

A ribbon cutting was held Saturday morning to commemorate the completion of the new playground at Dowelltown.

City leaders, members of the DeKalb County Children's Service Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and corporate donors were on hand for the occasion.

Dowelltown Mayor Gerald Bailiff said the $30,000 project has been in the making for several years and was completed about three weeks ago. "We had a playground here that was actually from the old Dowelltown school but the state came in and looked at it and condemned it because it was so old. The school has been gone for several years. So they (state) came in and said it had to go so we had to have it removed. That's when we got started on this (project)."

"We've been trying to get all this together for going on five to six years now. We have six sets of swings, monkey bars, slides, and all kinds of climbing things here where the kids can play on.'

"We had fundraisers like sock hops, car shows, and bake sales. Of course, the Children's Service Council, DTC Communications, Liberty State Bank, and everybody donated to it to get it all going for us. We've put a lot of time and effort into it."

Clata Redman said the DeKalb County Children's Service Council was instrumental in helping raise funds for the project. "We were looking for some children projects to do here in the county and found that they needed some playground equipment in Dowelltown. The children were playing on the streets and needed a place so we decided we would help them.'

‘We did have to do fundraisers at different times. One of our largest contributors was Wal-mart. They were a very good supporter. We've also had people to give personal grants.'

"Our organization is a volunteer group. No one gets paid. We could use more physical hands to help us do more projects in the community. So we would like to ask anyone who has extra time on their hands to help us get projects for our children in the county."

Early Voting Totals Through Saturday, October 23rd

October 23, 2010
Dwayne Page

A total of 1,245 people in DeKalb County have already cast ballots in the November General Election during the first ten days of early voting through Saturday, October 23rd.

Early voting resumes Monday through Thursday, October 25th-28th. Voting hours will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. All early voting is being conducted on the first floor of the courthouse.

The number of voters is almost equally split between men and women, 624 males and 621 females.

The following are voters by age group who have cast ballots early through Saturday October 23rd
Age Group:
18-20: 15 voters
21-30: 39 voters
31-40: 78 voters
41-50: 154 voters
51-65: 439 voters
Age 65 and over: 520 voters

The following are the numbers of voters by precinct who have already cast ballots early at the courthouse through Saturday, October 23rd.

Alexandria: 81
Temperance Hall: 41
Edgar Evins State Park: 8
Liberty: 62
Dowelltown: 26
Snow Hill: 47
DeKalb Middle School: 258
Cherry Hill: 12
Rock Castle: 7
Courthouse: 196
Johnson Chapel: 52
Elementary School: 142
Belk: 24
Keltonburg: 70
Blue Springs: 62
Church of Christ Annex: 157

Here's the voting turnout in the three county 40th state legislative district through Saturday, October 23rd:
Smith County: 1,968
Macon County:1,721
DeKalb County: 1,245

Turnout in the seven county 17th state senatorial district through Saturday, October 23rd:
Cannon County: 845
Clay County: 524
DeKalb County: 1,245
Macon County: 1,721
Smith County: 1,968
Trousdale County: 754
Wilson County: 9,193

Students and Teachers Return to School Monday

October 23, 2010
Dwayne Page

Students and teachers will be back in the classroom Monday after taking two weeks off for fall break.

The next break for students will be Tuesday, November 2nd but for teachers that will be a Professional Development/Instructional Day from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The Thanksgiving holiday will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 24th, 25th, & 26th and schools will be closed for the winter break December 20th through December 31st. Friday, December 17th will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Tuesday, January 4th to begin the third nine week session.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17th and for President's Day, Monday, February 21st.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 21st-25th and for Good Friday, April 22nd.

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 25th. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held Tuesday, March 15th at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 17th at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Thursday, January 6th and Monday, March 14th.

AYP-EOC/Gateway Testing at DCHS will be Tuesday through Thursday, December 7th-9th and May 3rd-5th at DCHS and a make-up AYP-EOC/Gateway Test will be Friday, December 10th and May 6th.

ACT Test for the 11th grade will be Tuesday, March 8th

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 1st. Writing Assessment make-up will be February 2nd..

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 13th-20th

(Stockpile Days) Professional Development/Instructional Days will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2nd, Monday, January 3rd, and Friday, March 18th. Students will not attend on those days.

BOPP Restricts Sex Offenders From Halloween Activities

October 23, 2010

Sex offenders under supervision of the Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole are again being restricted from taking part in any Halloween or fall and harvest activities. Each sex offender has signed a letter acknowledging that they are prohibited from participating in Halloween activities. BOPP Executive Director Bo Irvin said, “Maintaining public safety is the Board of Probation and Parole’s primary mission. We put these restrictions in writing to make sure the sex offenders we supervise know what activities are inappropriate for them.”

The letters advise sex offenders that:

Neither they, nor anyone in their home, can answer the door to trick or treaters on Halloween;
They cannot pass out candy;
Their homes cannot be decorated for Halloween, either inside or outside;
They cannot host Halloween parties at their homes;
They cannot go to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides or any other seasonal activity;
They cannot be at any function where children are gathered, including private residences;
They cannot give any Halloween treats to children;
They cannot wear costumes and
They cannot take any child trick or treating.

BOPP officers will enforce the restrictions throughout the month. BOPP Field Services Director Gary Tullock said, “During the rest of the Halloween season, officers will make additional visits, both announced and unannounced, to verify that the sex offenders on their caseloads are in compliance with these restrictions. On many of these visits, the probation and parole officers will be accompanied by local law enforcement officers for added emphasis on the seriousness of our restrictions.”

The Board of Probation and Parole (http://www.tn.gov/bopp/) is an independent seven-member board whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Board is charged with the responsibility of deciding which eligible felony offenders will be granted parole and released from incarceration to community-based supervision. Along with the supervision of those granted parole, the Board is also responsible for supervising felony offenders who are placed on probation by criminal courts.

Halloween to be Observed Saturday, October 30th

October 22, 2010
Dwayne Page
Chief Randy Caplinger

Halloween falls on Sunday this year but Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger says it will be observed on Saturday, October 30th in Smithville.

"Traditionally, when Halloween falls on Sunday, it's usually celebrated on Saturday, so the Smithville Police Department will have extras patrols out on Saturday. We'll be working the streets and our neighborhoods because there will be a lot of trick or treaters out. We want to keep everyone as safe as we can. So there will be extra patrols in the city. A lot of people will be out that night and a lot of children crossing the streets. We ask that everyone be extra cautious and if you see anything that you feel may be a problem, call central dispatch at 215-3000 and we'll answer those calls as they come in. We want everyone to have a good time, be safe, and enjoy Halloween."

The county will also observe Halloween on Saturday.


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