Local News Articles

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.

10th Annual Christmas on the Square set for December 2nd

November 17, 2010
Suzanne Williams

The Christmas season is nearly upon us which means it's almost time to celebrate Christmas on the Square! This holiday event will be celebrated on Thursday, December 2nd from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on the Smithville Public Square.

Chamber festivities will be held at the 303 North Public Square building. There will be lots of Special Music, Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause by Double J Photography (Packages starting at $10), and also Free Family Portraits by Studio Six Limited from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. (1 group shot only - no individual children poses). A FREE Picture CD with a photo release will be provided by Studio Six Limited, so you can make all the copies you want! So bring the whole family!

Snowbird will be visiting around town from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.. He will be at the Justin Potter Library from 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

At the Justin-Potter Library, Snowbird will read to the children and pose for pictures from 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. And the library will have a special visit from Santa immediately after Snowbird, so don't forget to bring your camera!

There will be a Children's Train and Inflatables (if weather permits)

There will be extended hours and Open Houses at several downtown stores and restaurants. This is a wonderful time for Christmas shopping and having a nice meal downtown.

Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Williams would like to invite everyone to this enjoyable and heartwarming experience – Christmas on the Square! For more information, call the Chamber office at 597-4163.

** Please Note: The Courthouse has decided not to have an Open House this year.

Remote Area Medical Clinic’s Patients Fed for the First time in DeKalb County

November 16, 2010
Story submitted to WJLE

As you all know, The Remote Area Medical Clinic was in town this past weekend on November 12th and 13th. Patients began lining up around 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon and the line continued to grow as nightfall came. Patients stood out in the cold with blankets, heavy coats and whatever was needed to try and stay warm. They began handing out tickets for the first round of patients around 3:00 am on Saturday morning. As patients stood in line, they never expected the generosity that they received during their wait. Thanks to a local lady and the help of one local non-profit organization, the patients received free food, water and coffee. Elizabeth Napier, a local resident, worked with The Remote Area Medical Clinic back a few years ago when it was in DeKalb County. While volunteering then, she saw the need to provide patients with food services due to some illnesses brought on by going without food for several hours, waiting in long lines. She made up her mind right then and there, that if they were to ever return, she would make sure food was provided as long as The Lord would help provide.

Little did she realize that God would hold her to that thought. When Mrs. Napier learned that the Remote Area Medical (RAM) was coming back to town, she began to pray about it and God directed her to the help of none other than DeKalb County Children’s Service Council. Upon contact, they also saw the same need and set out to make this happen.

Mrs. Napier approached her family, the organization and from there it just snowballed and what a great success it was. On Saturday, they were able to feed well over 600 patients and on Sunday about 300. There were over 34 gallons of coffee made and served, over 700 snack cakes and cookies passed out and countless bottles of water were handed out.

Special thanks goes to all of the sponsors: Star Manufacturing, Bumpers, WJLE, Cash and Carry, Prichard’s Grocery, Bay's Southern Bread Co ( Sarah Lee), Mapco, Bumpers, Save-a-Lot, Wal-Mart, Howard Jr. and Frieda Reynolds, Doris Gilbert, Jim and Peggy Scott, Bill and Sue Dearman, Loretta Sharritts, Rebecca Tucker, Robert and Evelyn Tucker, David and Kaye Fedak, Berle and Mamie Billings, Marvin and Libbie Napier, Smithville Church of the Nazarene, Real Life Community Church, Chris Jolley, Kenneth Neal and The Cookeville Social Security office.

Special thanks to the volunteers who helped served. Libbie Napier, Kenneth Neal, Vonda Brown, Halea Brown, Caleb Haggard, Aaron Haggard, Daniel Haggard, Ashton Waggoner, Robert Davidson, Breanna Williams, Jodie Jones and Wanda Redmon.

Smithville Golf Course Remains Closed as Aldermen Ponder Decision

November 16, 2010
Dwayne Page

The Smithville aldermen have yet to decide what to do about the Smithville Municipal Golf Course, which remains closed for now.

During Monday night's meeting, the aldermen voted to have a committee study to determine cost estimates and then have a workshop to discuss whether the city should hire someone to manage the operation or lease it.

At the last meeting two weeks ago, the city set a Friday, November 12th deadline for anyone interesting in running the golf course to submit a proposal.

Tony Poss sent in a proposal with two options for the city to consider. The following is Poss's first proposal:

"I will honor any proposals already submitted to the City of Smithville. This is just another option I want the city to consider."

"I will pay the city $100 per year lease"

"The city will purchase a greens mower, golf carts, tractor and gang mower and any other equipment needed for the course that the city approves."

"If the city cannot purchase equipment necessary, I will consider furnishing the equipment needed".

"The city will pay all expenses associated with the pool including lifeguards wages."

"The city will provide insurance on all of the golf course and swimming pool property"

"The city will pay for any expenses on the equipment except fuel that the city purchases. If I purchase the equipment, I will pay for expenses on equipment that I purchase."

"I will hire the lifeguards and any other employees needed for the pool and the city will pay their wages"

"I would like a contract for 10 years and a 10 year extension in order to have time to rebuild the business."

The following is Poss's second proposal:

"I will honor any proposals already submitted to the City of Smithville. This is just another option I want the city to consider."

"I will pay the city $100 per month lease for 5 years and $150 per month for every month thereafter as long as I am the current tenant."

"The city will purchase a greens mower, golf carts, tractor and gang mower and any other equipment needed for the course that the city approves."

"The city will pay electric and water utilities during the months of April through October every year."

"The city will pay for any pool supplies needed and any repairs on the pool, golf course, and pro-shop."

"The city will provide insurance on all the golf course and swimming pool property."

"The city will pay for any expenses on the equipment except fuel."

"I will hire the lifeguards and any other employees needed for the pool and the city will pay their wages for 5 years. If after 5 years the golf course and pool is becoming profitable, I will pay for the lifeguards wages."

"I will return all money received from regular admission charges of the pool to the city during the first five years."

"I will retain all the revenues of the pro-shop and golf course"

"I would like a contract for 10 years and a 10 year extension in order to have time to rebuild the business."

"I would like to re-open the golf course as soon as possible to recruit new members and re-establish this business as a child-friendly, family oriented environment. The club house needs to be re-done and this will take a little time to make this transition. I will take care of the greens at no charge until the city can make all the legal paperwork official and award me the lease or managing position."

"I will give the city a 90 days notice of any intent to terminate a lease or managing position."

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said he found Poss's first proposal to be of some interest. But, Alderman Aaron Meeks said he wants to know what the city's costs would be before committing to any proposal. "I think we need some cost figures. I don't know how we can write a blank check without knowing what the amount on the check is going to be. One of these proposes that the city purchase the equipment. I don't know what the equipment costs. I have no idea. If the city is going to purchase it, I want to see figures on every single one of these items on what it's going to cost the city before I give it any consideration."

Poss said he would like for the aldermen to give him some indication of what they're going to do with the golf course. "I just need to know which direction or which proposal you're considering. Is it's Faron's or ours? We really don't have anything to start with."

Mayor Hendrixson responded, " My opinion may be different from the board's, but my opinion is that I would love to lease it to someone and they furnish their own equipment and I'd be willing (for the city) to maybe pay the pool expenses. But that's my opinion only."

Faron Hendrix of Smithville Golf Management, who recently terminated his golf course lease with the city for economic reasons, has also submitted proposals to manage the operation and possibly sell his golf course equipment to the city.

Speaking to the mayor and aldermen Monday night, Hendrix expressed his frustration with the city's indecision. "Steve (White), you asked for this (golf) course two years ago and how many times have you asked me for it since, for the city to run it? We don't know what you want. You tell us one thing and then you change your mind. Be honest. Be transparent. We still pay taxes in the city and we're tired of hearing it. You're not acting responsible at all. We've had a lot of people work over there for free to promote this course. We've been transparent and told you what the problem was but you're not reacting. We've given you proposals and you're not even reading them. The code says you can buy used equipment and we've offered it to you for hardly nothing to keep the thing going. A lot of people have worked hard and haven't made a dime over there and the course is in better shape than it's ever been and if you don't believe it, call Jim Alexander(former golf course manager). He knows what it was like when he left there. It was a dust bowl. We've got greens, t-boxes, and the fairways are decent. Had we gotten water (sprinkler system), you would have had something over there, but you don't have water on the fairways so you're dependent on the current conditions and climate. So what are you going to do? Are you going to close it? You have no answers for us. We're willing to help you. If you don't want us to have it, we're here to help you. We've offered everything to try and take care of it through April 1st. You didn't want to act on that. It's still my city. I pay taxes in this city and I work hard. I've given a lot of time over there. A lot more than any of you would ever give over there. We've tried to provide something for these kids and adults to do besides sit around and do nothing. It's a little bit of exercise."

Alderman Steve White said he has always preferred that the city assume control of the golf course and hire someone to manage it, while seeking grants to help improve it. Something, he said the city cannot do if it leases the golf course to some private individual or group as it has done in the past. "I still think the city needs to run it as I've always said. But I think that with these different proposals, some of them offer the opportunity for the city to run it and hire a manager. Some of them offer just like what you offered (Faron) for the city to take it over, get part of the proceeds so we can get grants, just like I've said from the beginning, and basically let the city sublease or subcontract the labor. I move that we either get a committee together to get some figures on what it would cost to purchase some used (golf course) equipment and to find out what expenses we're going to have and then maybe have a workshop on it in a few days."

The golf course committee, made up of Aldermen Steve White, W.J. (Dub) White, and Aaron Meeks are expected to meet soon at Steve White's suggestion to review the proposals and discuss potential costs to the city.

Smithville Police Make Arrest in Burglary and Theft Case

November 15, 2010
Dwayne Page
Matt Lawson

Smithville Police have charged a man in connection with the burglary and theft of a local residence after finding items from that home in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop last week.

Detective Matt Holmes has charged 27 year old Matt Lawson of 1243 Haley Road, Smithville with theft over $500 and aggravated burglary

K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow has also charged Lawson with possession of a schedule II and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance for resale.

Bond for Lawson is $8,500 and he will be in General Sessions Court on December 2nd

The investigation began after Detective Holmes and Officer Tatrow stopped Lawson on Bryant Street for a traffic violation on Monday, November 8th. Lawson was found to be in possession of illegal narcotics (Oxycontin and Xanax), drug paraphernalia, and stolen jewelry. These items were allegedly stolen from a residence on Greenwood Drive, Smithville during a burglary on Sunday, November 7th.

Items found in Lawson's possession have been positively identified by the victim as belonging to her.

Smithville Police say the investigation continues.

Sheriff's Department Finds Another Shake and Bake Meth Lab

November 15, 2010
Dwayne Page
James Walton (J.W.) Goodman
Robert (Bobby) Atnip, Jr.
Darryl Wayne Cantrell
Tommy Lynn Parsley
Auston Corey Wood
Stephen Hunter Pugh
Matthew Anthony Murphy
Edwin Dale Evans

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department uncovered a shake and bake meth lab while assisting the Department of Children Services on a home visit last Monday, November 8th.

36 year old James Walton (J.W.) Goodman of Lowery Road, Smithville is charged with initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, a deputy made the discovery while assisting the department of children services on a home visit at the Lowery Road residence, where Goodman was staying. An 18 year old who answered the door told authorities that his parents were not at home, and when asked, said the vehicles parked in the driveway belonged to Goodman, who was inside the house sleeping. The deputy asked the 18 year old to wake up Goodman and have him come outside. In the meantime, the officer noticed some clothes and bags piled up in Goodman's truck. When Goodman came outside, the deputy asked him if the truck belonged to him. He replied "yes" but that the vehicle was for sale. The officer and Goodman walked over to the truck and in plain view, the officer saw several mason jars in a black bag and a turkey baster in the seat. In the floor of the truck was a blue funnel, Coleman propane fuel, rubber gloves, and a two liter bottle containing a white substance. He also noticed a strong chemical smell coming from the vehicle. The officer searched further and found more components to make meth.

Goodman is under a $2,500 bond and he will be in court on November 18th.

A 41 year old man has been arrested by the Sheriff's Department after being found in possession of items taken from a vehicle parked at the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 7th.

Sheriff Ray said Robert (Bobby) Atnip, Jr. of Allen Ferry Road is charged with burglary and theft under $500. Atnip has also been issued two citations for simple possession, one citation for possession of drug paraphernalia, and a citation for driving on a suspended license.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy recently pulled over Atnip on a traffic stop and found on him, Xanax, Ambien, a needle, a container of water solution, and a straw. A computer check of his license revealed them to be suspended for numerous traffic violations. The deputy also noticed inside the vehicle, a basketball bag from DeKalb Middle School and a GPS unit, which were believed to have been stolen. Upon a further investigation, the deputy located the owner of the items found in Atnip's vehicle.

The burglary charge states that on Sunday, November 7th, Atnip allegedly entered a vehicle without the owner's consent with intent to commit a theft. The vehicle was parked at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on South College Street.

The theft charge states that Atnip allegedly took items from the vehicle including a GPS and a blue bag containing DeKalb Middle School girls basketball uniforms. The total value is $325.

Bond for Atnip is $6,500 and his court date is November 18th.

Meanwhile 33 year old Darryl Wayne Cantrell of Morgan Drive, Smithville was arrested on Monday, November 8th and charged with violation of parole, evading arrest, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Ray said a deputy stopped to do a welfare check on a vehicle he saw parked by the side of the road on Highway 53 in Liberty. Three people were inside, including Cantrell who was in the back seat. Suspecting that Cantrell had a parole violation against him, the officer called central dispatch to make sure. Cantrell, who got out of the vehicle, was instructed by the deputy to get back inside while he was answering dispatch. Cantrell started running. The officer called for Cantrell to stop but he refused. After chasing him on foot for about 60 yards, Cantrell was caught and placed under arrest.

Upon arrival at the jail, a pat down search was conducted on Cantrell and officers found in his front right pants pocket, a spoon and a used hypodermic needle wrapped in a paper towel.

Bond for Cantrell on the evading and drug paraphernalia charges is $3,500 and he will be in court November 18th. He is being held without bond on the violation of parole.

27 year old Tommy Lynn Parsley of Mount Juliet is charged with evading arrest and a sixth offense of driving on a suspended license. He is under a $6,000 bond.

Sheriff Ray said on Wednesday, November 3rd, a deputy saw Parsley operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 west in the Snow Hill area. Having prior knowledge that his license were suspended, the officer activated his lights and siren but Parsley did not stop. The deputy followed Parsley for about three miles, before terminating the pursuit due to weather conditions and the speed of the pursuit which was 60-70 miles per hour. A computer check revealed that Parsley's license were suspended for failure to satisfy citations in Wilson County and Smith County.

Parsley was arrested on Monday, November 8th.

23 year old Auston Corey Wood of Dale Ridge Road, was arrested for theft of property under $500 on Monday, November 8th after he obtained the services of a tow truck operator to haul off a truck for scrap from property on the Cookeville Highway. But what the tow truck operator did not know was that Wood was actually stealing the truck. The value of the truck is $450. According to Sheriff Ray, Wood told the tow truck operator that he had bought the truck and that he wanted to haul it off to a scrap yard on the Cookeville Highway. The truck was already loaded on the wrecker and ready to go when officers arrived. But again, Sheriff Ray stressed that the tow truck operator had no knowledge that Wood was trying to steal the truck.

Bond for Wood is $2,500 and he will be in court on November 18th.

25 year old Stephen Hunter Pugh of Gassaway Road, Woodbury is charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on November 18th.

On Tuesday, November 9th while on routine patrol, Sheriff Ray said a deputy saw a female in the backseat of a vehicle on West Broad Street, Smithville. Having prior knowledge that the female had an active warrant against her, the deputy stopped the vehicle at a business on West Broad Street. Pugh was a passenger. The officer noticed Pugh putting something in his pocket. Pugh was asked to step out of the vehicle and to keep his hands out of his pockets, but he kept putting his hand in his right pocket. According to the officer, Pugh was combative. The deputy conducted a pat down search and found three syringes and a cut straw in Pugh's right pocket. He also found a pill bottle with water.

19 year old Matthew Anthony Murphy is charged with criminal trespassing. His bond is $1,000
and he will be in court on December 2nd.

Sheriff Ray said on Friday, November 12th, the DCHS school resource officer saw Murphy approaching the school from the adult high school area. According to the SRO, he and the assistant principals have told Murphy several times not to come onto the school property. No trespassing signs are posted and Murphy knew he was not to be there.

52 year old Edwin Dale Evans of Smith Road, Smithville is charged with a first offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on December 2nd.

On Saturday, November 13th, a deputy was called to check out a possible impaired driver. Dispatch reported that the vehicle was all over the roadway. The officer got behind the automobile on Broad Street, Smithville and saw the vehicle cross the yellow line several times. After stopping the vehicle and speaking to the driver, Evans, the deputy noticed that his speech was slurred. Evans was asked to perform several field sobriety tasks. He performed poorly. Evans was also unsteady on his feet and he had poor motor skills. Evans admitted to taking Xanax about 30 minutes prior to the stop. He submitted to a blood alcohol content test.

DeKalb West Royalty Crowned During Harvest Festival

November 14, 2010
Dwayne Page
Abbie Gann and Devon Maxwell
Cristopher Hobbs and Taylor Hale
Alex King and Destinie Edge

DeKalb West Royalty were crowned Saturday night during the annual Harvest Festival, sponsored by the PTO.

Tracy Lawrence, Secretary of the DeKalb West PTO, says the Harvest Festival is the organization's major fundraiser for the year and thousands of dollars was raised through LIVE and Silent Auctions, games for the kids, a cake walk, pizza supper, and ticket sales from all the classes in the school which determined the kings and queens.

Officers of the DeKalb West PTO in addition to Lawrence are President Missy McKay, Vice President Julie Cook, and Treasurer Sean Driver.

The King and Queen of the Pre-Kindergarten to Second Grade Division are Abbie Gann and Devon Maxwell of Debra Poteete's Kindergarten class. Gann is the daughter of Michelle Gann and Jeremy Gann and Maxwell is the son of Christie Maxwell.

Others representing the division were:

Amy Young's Pre-K class:
Jasmen Chapman, daughter of Jamie and Debbi Chapman
Bristol Redmon, son of Joseph and Brittney Redmon

Tonya Ellis' Kindergarten class:
Bonnie Hale, daughter of Derrick Hale and Carrie Hale
Lane Goss, son of Rich Goss and Spilman White

Lindsey Holmes' First grade class:
No Girl
Jaden Baines, son of John and Traci Beaulieu

Cindy Pulley's First grade class:
Savannah Curtis, daughter of Jeff Curtis and Glenda Curtis
No Boy

Cathleen Humphrey's First grade class:
Becca Lawrence, daughter of Charlie and Tracy Lawrence
Allen Curtis, son of Royce Curtis and Alicia Curtis

Susan West's Second grade class:
Lynsey Ellis, daughter of Donnie and Tonya Ellis
Justin Johnson, son of Darrell and Inga Johnson

Regina Kent's Second grade class:
No Girl
Jordan Bailiff, son of Ricky and Chrissy Bailiff

Shelia McMillen's Second grade class:
Chloe Gleed, daughter of Sarah Gleed and Randall Crutcher, Jr.
Parker Vantrease, son of Jeremy and Missy Vantrease

Meanwhile, the King and Queen of the division for Grades 3 to 5 are Taylor Hale and Christopher Hobbs of Jeana Caplinger's Fifth grade class. Hale is the daughter of Teresa Hale and Jerome Hale. Hobbs is the son of Randy and Vickie Hobbs

Others representing this division were:

Lori Pryor's Third grade class:
Makenzie Ray, daughter of Roy and Pam Schaffnit and David and Shirley Ray
Seth Harris, son of Robbie and Annette Rowland

Shawn Baker's Third grade class:
Kenda Whitehead, daughter of Roger and Donna Whitehead
Parker Prince, son of Michael and Leigh Ann Prince

Amanda Mullinax's Third grade class:
Kyrsten Grater, daughter of Sandra Grater
Cody Antoniak, son of Sean and Jessica Antoniak

Tammy Payne's Fourth grade class:
Callie Mulloy, daughter of Randy and Nancy Mulloy
Grayson Redmon, son of Mike and Elizabeth Redmon
Kim Crook's Fourth grade class:
Lydia Brown, daughter of Stephen and Amanda Brown
Dillon Sullivan, son of Ricky and Kristi Sullivan

Jane Watson's Fifth grade class:
Jasmine Parker, daughter of Paul and Andrea Diestelow and John and Lisa Parker
Hunter Robertson, son of Stacy Young and Jason Young

The King and Queen of the division for Grades 6 to 8 were Destinie Edge and Alex King of Janet England's Sixth grade class. Edge is the daughter of Debbie and Jamie Chapman and Reed and Sonya Edge. King is the son of Fred and Susie King

Others representing the division were:

Jenny Cantrell's Sixth grade class:
Kaylee Braswell, daughter of Fay Elrod
No Boy

Martha Damron's Seventh grade class:
No Girl
Kirkland Smallwood, son of Jimmy Smallwood and Jennifer Smallwood

Vicki Wilson's Seventh grade class:
Ashley Grater, daughter of Sandra Grater
Matthew Winsett, son of Steve and Lisa Hylsky

Cynthia Preston's Eighth grade class:
Lydia Trail, daughter of Heidi Trail and the older sister of Christian Trail
No Boy

Melanie Molander's Eighth grade class:
Katie Willoughby, daughter of John Lee Willoughby and the late Sandra Willoughby

Estes Charged with Burglary and Theft

November 13, 2010
Dwayne Page

A 34 year old man was arrested on Wednesday, November 10th, after he allegedly stole a purse from the vehicle of a Dairy Queen employee.

Smithville Police report that Jimmy Lane Estes of Bell Street is charged with burglary and theft. An employee of Dairy Queen reported that someone had stolen a purse from her vehicle while she was inside working. Fellow employees spotted Estes on video surveillance going from one car to another checking doors to see if they were locked. Sergeant Randy King was dispatched to Bell Street where a resident informed him that Estes had arrived there with a purse under his shirt. They took the purse from him and called central dispatch. After the victim identified the purse, warrants were taken against Estes. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is December 2nd.

Meanwhile in other city crime news, 29 year old Cynthia Denise Walls of Cookeville Highway is charged with driving under the influence. On Friday, November 5th, Officer James Cornelius was called to check out a suspicious vehicle at the ball field on Allen Ferry Road. Upon arrival Officer Cornelius and Sergeant Randy King found a vehicle with the engine running and a female inside who appeared to be unconscious. The officers rapped on the window several times before she woke up. The officers spoke with the woman, Walls, and she appeared to be in a confused state as she exited the vehicle. She was also unsteady on her feet. Bond for Walls is $1,500 and her court date is December 2nd.

32 year old Eric Lee Linder of McMinnville was arrested on Friday, November 5th for driving on a revoked license. Officer David Phillips stopped Linder's vehicle for a traffic violation. A computer check of his license through dispatch revealed them to be revoked. Bond for Linder is $1,000 and his court date is December 30th.

33 year old James Milton Butler of California was arrested on Friday, November 5th for aggravated assault. Sergeant Randy King was informed that an argument began between Butler and the victim and at one point he hit the victim on the right side of his face. The victim was transported by private vehicle to the hospital for injuries sustained. Bond for Butler is $5,000 and his court date is December 2nd.

52 year old Edwin Dale Evans of Smith Road was arrested on Saturday, November 6th for public intoxication. Officer David Phillips was called to Mapco Express on East Broad Street where a man appeared to be incoherent. Upon arrival and speaking to the man, Evans, Officer Phillips noticed his speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Bond for Evans is $1,000 and his court date is December 2nd.

25 year old Florence Diane Nesbitt of Redmon Road was arrested on Monday, November 8th for filing a false report. On October 7th, Ms. Nesbitt filed a sexual assault report and upon further investigation it was determined that the incident had not occurred. K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow made the arrest. Bond for Nesbitt is $1,000 and her court date is November 18th.

25 year old Jordan Thomas Adams of Game Ridge Road was arrested on Tuesday, November 9th for possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with intent to resale and violation of the drug free zone (park). Corporal Travis Bryant was notified that Adams had gone to a local business and allegedly attempted to sell a schedule VI drug to employees there. Corporal Bryant made contact with Adams at Green Brook Park on South College Street. Corporal Bryant asked Adams to get out of the vehicle and he conducted a pat down search Two baggies of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana were found on Adams' person. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is November 18th.

27 year old Billie Jo Perrigan of Tommy Harrell Street was arrested on Tuesday, November 9th for disorderly conduct. Corporal Travis Bryant was called to Tommy Harrell Street to check out a complaint alleging that Perrigan was harassing her neighbors. Upon arrival, Corporal Bryant observed Perrigan outside yelling and harassing the neighbors. He instructed her to go inside and stop yelling and causing annoyance. She was belligerent. Corporal Bryant then told her that if she didn't go inside he was going to arrest her for disorderly conduct. Perrigan failed to heed the warning and continued to disturb the neighbors. She was arrested. Her bond is $1,000 and her court date is November 18th.

28 year old Travis Montell Patrick of Village Place was arrested on Wednesday, November 10th for a third offense of driving on a suspended license. Officer Matt Farmer stopped Patrick's vehicle for a traffic violation. A computer check of his driver license revealed them to be suspended. Bond for Patrick is $1,000 and his court date is December 1st.

Meanwhile anyone with information on criminal activity should please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

School Board Fails to Approve Funding for Traffic Control in School Zones

November 11, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education is divided on whether to join the City of Smithville and the DeKalb County Commission in allocating funds for the hiring of two people to direct traffic in the school zones at Northside Elementary and at DeKalb County High School.

During Thursday night's school board meeting, third district member Kenny Rhody made a motion to appropriate a third of the cost, $3,000, just as the city and county have done. And if the money is not all spent this school year, the rest could be rolled over to the next school year. First district member John David Foutch seconded the motion. But during a roll call vote, Foutch, Fifth district member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, and Second district member and Board Chairman, Charles Robinson voted against it. Rhody, Sixth district member Bruce Parsley, and Fourth district member Billy Miller, voted in favor of making the $3,000 appropriation. Seventh district member Johnny Lattimore was absent. Since the measure did not receive the required four votes needed for passage, the motion failed on a 3 to 3 tie vote.

Last month, Lattimore made a motion that a school board committee be appointed to meet with county and city officials to discuss the issue. Chairman Robinson appointed board members Miller and Rhody to join him on that committee.

During Thursday night's meeting, Robinson updated the board on what transpired at that committee meeting. "We met with the county commission, along with Mr. (Mark) Willoughby during their workshop held on October 21st. (Police) Chief (Randy) Caplinger represented the City of Smithville. Basically what we were told was that they wanted our money but they didn't want to have anything to do with hiring, training, or conducting traffic control at the schools."

"After some discussion, County Mayor (Mike) Foster reported that the county would hire and train personnel and it was suggested that for auditing purposes for the school system to create a paper trail, that a contract or memorandum of understanding be prepared by the county attorney on how our share of funding would be documented to satisfy our auditing issues. At that time, the amount agreed to was $3,000 from each the county government, city government, and the board of education.", said Robinson

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby added that "At that meeting, there was not a concrete figure as far as a price that would be paid (to the traffic control officers), possibly $10.00 per hour to $15.00 per hour, so I don't know if that has been worked out. Three thousand dollars could be a changing dollar amount. I would think as far as this year goes, since we're almost at Thanksgiving time, that this year it will not be $3,000, even if they started tomorrow. I don't know if they have the people trained yet in order to accomplish this goal or not."

Evins said he believes the school system should not be in the law enforcement business. "We've never been in the business of directing traffic. I just don't see that this is a school issue. With our portion of the county property taxes, I think in this budget it's about $2.1 million dollars and while school transportation is not required by the state of Tennessee, we provide that out of county funds, which is about three quarters of a million dollars each year. Plus another $250,000 for three new buses as we rotate them in, so we're spending about a million dollars on transportation in getting two thousand out of three thousand kids back and forth to school. We're already spending nearly half of our county tax money on transportation. But if it takes it, put $3,000 in there and go with it, but I think we ought to re-visit it. We need to be buying microscopes, instead of investing in radar equipment."

Willoughby replied "I agree. I have always been of the belief that educating children on our property was our business that we need to take care of . That is our priority. Roads is not our responsibility although we want safety for all kids. But since this has gone on so long and we have not been able to get it accomplished by other people, hopefully by all three organizations going together, we can have a safer area for people pulling in and out."

Evins then asked, "Are they (officers) going to write citations? I understand they've written 40 plus citations. Where is that money going?

Parsley inquired further, "Do we get a third (of the money) from citations written in the school zones, if we're responsible for it (traffic control)?"

Willoughby responded, "There was some discussion about what would happen in school zones if there was an accident, would we be responsible? Unless our buses are involved, that school zone is like any other part of the road, we wouldn't have any more responsibility because it's a school zone. It's the same responsibility there would be if we were not in a school zone and there was an accident."

Foutch said "traffic control is not a function of the board of education."

Kindergarten students will have to attend school for a full day, just like all other students, starting in January.

The board of education approved the change Thursday night.

Currently kindergarten students may attend for a full day, or a half of a day. Parents have that option.

But Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K to 6th grade, said she recently e-mailed several school systems in surrounding counties inquiring about their policy concerning all day kindergarten. According to Burklow, she received responses from thirteen county school systems and "all of them are a full day kindergarten and have been for several years."

"The research shows that our teachers will have more time to dedicate to math, science, and social studies in a full day time period, where now our focus is on reading. We will be able to have our babies in our classrooms longer to prepare them academically for first, second grade, and all the way through", said Burklow.

She added that only a small percentage of kindergarten students leave early now anyway. Most of them already remain in the classroom all day.

Meanwhile in other business, the board of education Thursday night adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.

The resolution states as follows:

Whereas, Mr. Willoughby has served as director of schools for our school system for four years; and,

Whereas, he has consistently demonstrated effective leadership and made decisions with integrity and honesty; and,

Whereas, he has created budgets for our district and to provide the resources necessary for our schools to operate a quality educational program; and,

Whereas, he provides support for the programs at the schools, helping students and faculty to grow and develop academically and socially; and,

Whereas, he has built support within the community for our school system;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Board of Education officially recognizes the services of Mr. Willoughby to the students of DeKalb County and extends its appreciation for his work to enhance the learning environment of the students in our district;

Be it further resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby declares November 18th, 2010 as Director of Schools Appreciation Day in DeKalb County.

Be it further resolved, that each school principal takes necessary measures to implement the Employee Appreciation Program in their school and recognize our director this month;

Be if further resolved, that this resolution of appreciation be recorded and spread across the minutes of the Board of Education on this 11th day of November, 2010.

In other business, Director Willoughby released his monthly report on personnel.

Kristen Van Vranken, Speech Teacher, new position

Kelly Daniels, certified substitute teacher, transferred to a full-time teaching position at DCHS

Jeff Poteete, substitute bus driver

Leave of Absence:
Tiffany Wheatley, teacher at SES, leave as requested.


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