Local News Articles

Four Injured in Sunday Night Wreck

June 7, 2010
Dwayne Page

Four people were injured in a one car crash at around 10:45 p.m. Sunday night on South College Street.

Smithville Police Officer David Phillips says 39 year old Jenna Sue Murphy of Smithville was driving a Mercury Topaz north on South College Street when she went off the road and struck a utility pole.

Murphy and three other passengers of the car, 51 year old Ricky Reece, 51 year old Dorene Pedigo, and 51 year old Raymond Serrano all of Smithville, were injured.

All were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. Reece was later airlifted by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to another hospital.

Drive Drunk, Get Nailed

June 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger
Drive Dunk, Get Nailed

The phrase, "I just got nailed by the cops," is taking on a whole new meaning thanks to the Governor's Highway Safety Office and the "Drive Drunk, Get Nailed" message.

GHSO has already spread the message to many in Middle Tennessee in a unique and surprising way. Vehicles with 10 foot nails driven through the hoods and trunks are appearing in high visibility locations across Middle Tennessee in an effort to spread the word.

One of those vehicles is now in Smithville, currently located at City Hall.

"There is never a good reason for getting behind the wheel after you've been drinking," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "Unfortunately, many people are still not getting the message, so we hope this new campaign will help draw attention to the problem of drunk driving in Tennessee."

The nailed vehicles are part of a campaign to make drivers aware that Tennessee's law enforcement agencies will be stepping up enforcement on the roads this summer and watching for anyone speeding, riding without a safety belt, or driving while under the influence.

"Impaired driving will not be tolerated on the roadways of Smithville this summer, or at any other time throughout the year," said Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger. "If you are driving aggressively, impaired, or without a safety belt, you will get ‘nailed.'"

"Our goal is to generate buzz in Tennessee communities with this campaign, and continue to save lives on Tennessee's roadways at an unprecedented rate," said GHSO Director Kendell Poole. "Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for every age group in the United States, and it is particularly disturbing that most of these crashes are preventable."

Man Found with 62 Pills during Traffic Stop Arrested by Smithville Police

June 7, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police recently arrested a 27 year old DeKalb County man for possession of drugs after he was found with sixty two pills during a traffic stop, for which he had no prescription.

27 year old Nathan Joe Trapp of 379 Magness Road is charged with possession of a schedule III & IV controlled substance for resale and simple possession. K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow pulled over Trapp during a traffic stop, after noticing his vehicle weaving in the roadway. Trapp said the reason he was weaving was because he was checking his text messages. Upon issuing Trapp a citation for failure to maintain proper lane of travel, Officer Tatrow deployed K-9 Leo and the dog indicated on the passenger side door of Trapp's vehicle. Officer Tatrow, during a search, recovered a black bag from the passenger floor board with 62 assorted pills. Trapp did not have a prescription for the pills.

43 year old Miguel Pascual Lopez of Monterey and 54 year old Carmello Cortez Garcia of Smith Road were arrested on Saturday, May 29th for driving under the influence and public intoxication. Officers were called to Kwik N Ezy to check out a possible intoxicated driver. They followed the vehicle a short distance and witnessed it swerving and almost wreck onto the sidewalk. Corporal Travis Bryant and Officer David Phillips initiated a traffic stop and found Lopez to be the driver. Lopez had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. He was asked to exit the vehicle. Lopez submitted to field sobriety tasks and performed poorly. Officer Phillips arrested Lopez for DUI. Garcia, a passenger of the vehicle, had a very strong odor of alcohol on his person. His speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Garcia was charged with public intoxication. Bond for Lopez is $1,500. Garcia's bond is $1,000. Their court date is June 24th.

51 year old Susan Pirtle Green of 700 Rolling Acres Road was arrested on Saturday, May 29th for driving on a revoked license. K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow observed Green fail to maintain proper lane of travel. She was stopped by police and a computer check revealed her license to be suspended from Warren County. Green produced a restricted license authorizing her to drive Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Green's bond is $1,500 and her court date is June 24th.

42 year old David Howard Dixon of 624 Crestlawn Avenue was arrested on Monday, May 31st for domestic assault. Dixon allegedly assaulted his girlfriend by hitting her in the face and about the body with his fist causing her to require emergency treatment. Officer David Phillips made the arrest. Bond for Dixon is $5,000 and his court date is July 8th.

On Tuesday, June 1st, Officer Scott Davis arrested 34 year old Sharon Skinner of 308 Bell Street on warrants taken by Officer Jerry Hutchins April 29th for theft. On April 6th, Sergeant Randy King took a report for Mike Jennings stating that Skinner had taken his vehicle without his permission. The vehicle was later discovered by Officer Hutchins to have been sold by Ms. Skinner to Ivy Bluff Salvage yard. Bond for Skinner is $7,500 and her court date is June 10th.

22 year old Priscilla Leann Roberts of 2323 Students Home Road was cited for shoplifting on Tuesday, June 1st. Ms. Roberts allegedly attempted to leave the Dollar Tree with 14 items without paying for them. The citation was issued by Officer Jerry Hutchins. Her court date is June 10th.

24 year old Julian Hernandez Lopez of 620 South Mountain Street is charged with driving under the influence and Angel Figueroa Hernandez of Highway 70 West faces a public intoxication charge after being arrested by K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow and Sergeant Joey Jones on Thursday, June 3rd. Police received a call stating that a black car occupied by two males was running people off the road. Central dispatch reported that the vehicle went through the four way stop at Webb Street and was going toward the public square. Officer Tatrow saw the vehicle pull up onto the side walk in front of the DeKalb County Board of Education and almost hit the building. The vehicle was pulled over. According to K-9 Officer Tatrow, Lopez, the driver, had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he could not stand without assistance. Due to the language barrier and his intoxicated state, no field sobriety tasks were administered and he was arrested for DUI. Sergeant Jones noticed that Hernandez, a passenger of the vehicle, had blood shot eyes. He was unsteady on his feet and he had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Hernandez was arrested for public intoxication. Bond for each was set at $1,000 and their court date is June 24th.

Meanwhile, anyone having information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On Friday, May 28th, William Snipes of 518 Miller Road reported that a 2008 Poulan Self Propelled 22" push mower was taken from his patio sometime between May 26th and May 28th.

On Tuesday, June 1st Sheila Hunter, an employee of the Discount Tobacco Store, reported that someone had cut the phone lines of the business either during the late night hours of May 31st or early morning hours of June 1st.

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

Early Voting Ends Thursday for Smithville Municipal Election

June 6, 2010
Dwayne Page

A total of 367 people have cast ballots in the Smithville Municipal Election with one day left of early voting.

Twenty eight people voted on Wednesday, June 9th.

Voting this week will be Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on the first floor of the courthouse. Election day is Tuesday, June 15th. Voting hours that day will be from eight a.m. until seven p.m., also at the courthouse.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected, each to serve a two year term.

Here's how the vote breaks down each day during the early voting period:

May 26th 23

May 27th: 27

May 28th: 32

May 29th: 40

June 1st: 30

June 2nd: 36

June 3rd: 53

June 4th: 25

June 5th: 38

June 7th: 23

June 8th: 40

June 9th: 28

Community Rallies in Support of 13th Annual Relay for Life

June 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
Cancer Survivors
Cancer Survivor Frances Hedge

Sounds of music and celebration filled the air at Greenbrook Park Friday evening as caring neighbors from throughout our community gathered to rally support for cancer survivors and to help raise money in the search for a cure during the 13th annual Relay for Life

The theme of this year's Relay was "Imagine a world with more birthdays" and featured lots of food, entertainment, and fun things for kids.

Casey Midgett, 2010 Chair of Relay for Life in DeKalb County, says so far the event has brought in around $46,000. "As far as the atmosphere, the people who were there, and the weather we had, I don't think I have been part of a Relay that went better than this one. We're going to be down this year but anything that we raise is very much appreciated. Right now, it looks like we're going to have somewhere around $46,000 to this point (as of Saturday morning). We have some more money still to come in and we have a couple more events we're going to have this year to hopefully increase that total. One of those events is the Relay 5K and One Mile Fun Run which we will have Saturday, June 12th at Greenbrook Park. We'll also have a booth at the Fiddler's Jamboree again this year. I look for us to have somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000 before it's over but whether we reach it or not, I am so proud of what we've done. It's not all about money, it's about touching people's lives and I know we did that this year and I know we do that every year."

Cancer survivors took center stage during the opening ceremony to give a personal testimony as to just how long they've been a survivor and then they took the first lap around the track as the evening's activities got underway.

The walking track was lined with luminaria in honor or remembrance of those who have battled cancer, and those people were given special recognition later in the evening.

Click here to listen to the luminaria ceremony

Frances Hedge, who has been a cancer survivor since October 2009, shared her story with the audience. "I learned on October 13th, 2009 that the lump removed from my breast the week before was malignant. The next week I had a second surgery and this was followed by chemo treatments. And last month, I finished my six weeks of radiation. I've been out here to many Relays, but this is the first time I've been on this side. On the receiving side. Cancer is no respector of persons. It happens to infants and it happens to the elderly. And until there is a cure, these Relays are needed to raise money for research, for treatments, and for many other things. I got this beautiful wig (I'm wearing) at no cost to me. And when I went to Cookeville for my radiation treatments, I met with a dietitian who gave me a packet of information, very good information. And I met with a social service worker who gave me two, twenty five dollar cards for gas. Everyone I came in contact with was so kind and caring and I never felt like I was going through this alone. There's a test that can be done now in some situations to determine a recurring level and if this level is low enough, then chemo treatments aren't necessary. This test was made possible through research and was not available as little as three years ago. We're here tonight to celebrate and to honor cancer survivors and to remember our loved ones who have lost the battle. Thank you to Tim, our sponsor. To Casey, Ms Iva dell and to everyone who work tirelessly to make Relay possible. Thank you to everyone who has supported Relay with your donations. And I want to say a special thank you to my family. They have been my support and given me the strength that I have needed to get through this. Thank you to my church family and to everyone who has prayed for me. My prayer is that I can stand here next year and say, "My name is Frances Hedge and I've been a breast cancer survivor since October, 2009. Thank you."

Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's signature event, is a fun-filled overnight experience designed to bring together those who have been touched by cancer. At Relay, people from within the community gather to celebrate survivors, remember those lost to cancer, and to fight back against this disease. Relay participants help raise money and awareness to support the American Cancer Society in its lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a major health issue. During Relay For Life events, teams of people gather and take turns walking or running laps. The events are held overnight to represent the fact that cancer never sleeps. Through the survivors' lap and the luminaria ceremony, the people who have faced cancer first hand are honored, and those who have been lost to this disease are remembered.

Tennessee Firefighters Burn Foundation Helps Send Kids to Camp

June 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Campers Visit DeKalb Fire Department Main Station
Campers Visit DeKalb Fire Department Main Station

Several children spent this past week at Camp Phoenix (Indian Creek Camp in Liberty) thanks in part to the Tennessee Firefighters Burn Foundation, Inc.

The foundation operates and provides funding for a summer camp experience for children who are all burn survivors. Camp Phoenix is staffed mainly by professional and enthusiastic volunteer firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. The camp program provides safe and fun outdoor programs for kids ages 6-17. The goal is to promote healing of the heart and mind, personal enrichment and new friendships."

On Tuesday June 1st, approximately 50 campers spent the afternoon at the DeKalb County Fire Department's main station. They enjoyed a meal and got to see up close, an extrication unit, a deputy sheriff car, ambulance and the fire engines.

County firefighters, a deputy sheriff, paramedics, County Mayor Mike Foster and a UCHRA van driver assisted these campers in having a great afternoon.

For more information about the Tennessee Firefighters Burn Foundation, Inc. visit (http://www.tnfbf.org/)

Truck Overturns Injuring Woman and Child

June 3, 2010
Dwayne Page

A Smithville woman and her two year old daughter were injured Thursday morning when their truck overturned on Highway 288 in the Keltonburg area. The accident occurred about three tenths of a mile east of Green Hill Road and about a mile from the Keltonburg store

Central dispatch received the call at 7:52 a.m.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 24 year old Jennifer Gayle Summers of 1254 Wright Bend Road, Smithville and her daughter, Adison Summers, were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where they were treated, but their injuries were not life threatening.

According to Trooper Jennings, Summers was driving a 2003 Dodge Ram west on Highway 288 when she left the roadway to the right, overcorrected, crossed the center line, then came back across going off the right side of the road again. The truck exited the road sideways and began to overturn. It rolled down an embankment, through a small creek, and rolled back up the other side of the embankment.

Summers was wearing her seatbelt and the two year old was properly restrained in a child safety seat, which may have prevented them from sustaining more serious injuries.

Summers was cited for failing to maintain the proper lane of travel.

Barn Destroyed by Fire

June 2, 2010
Dwayne Page
Fire Destroys Barn belonging to Ray Donald Rusty Webb

Fire Destroys Barn belonging to Ray Donald Rusty Webb

A fire Wednesday morning destroyed a barn at 323 Webb Lane.

Central dispatch received the call at 11:16 a.m.

Captain Mark Young of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department says the barn belonged to Ray Donald "Rusty" Webb.

Members of the Keltonburg and Blue Springs Stations and Tanker Truck #1 of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded.

Captain Young says the barn was destroyed along with contents including a tractor, bobcat, bales of hay, saddles and horse tack. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Spivey Remains Hospitalized after Saturday Wreck

June 2, 2010
Dwayne Page
Three Injured in Saturday Wreck near Sligo (Photo provided by Brad Mullinax)

Three Injured in Saturday Wreck near Sligo (Photo provided by Brad Mullinax)

A 33 year old Smithville woman remains in Chattanooga's Erlanger Hospital after being involved in a one auto accident Saturday afternoon on Highway 70 near Sligo bridge.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Jerri Marie Spivey of 797 Parkway Drive, Smithville was driving a 2000 Ford Focus east on highway 70 when she failed to properly negotiate a curve. The vehicle left the road to the right and entered a ditchline. The automobile then overturned and came to rest on it's top.

Two children, 11 year old Seth Vincent and 12 year old Amanda Vincent, were passengers of the vehicle. They were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where they were apparently treated and released. Spivey was airlifted by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital, where she is now recuperating in a private room.

Trooper Jennings says a rain slick highway may have contributed to the crash along with slick tires on the vehicle. He says there wasn't much tread on the tires.

Those rendering aid on scene were DeKalb County Fire Department's Extrication Team, Midway Engine 63, Johnsons Chapel Engine 68, DeKalb County Sheriff Department, DeKalb EMS and THP.

Nomination Period Underway for FSA County Committee Election

June 1, 2010
Dwayne Page

Donny Green, DeKalb County FSA County Executive Director, announces that the nomination period for the 2010 Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee Election is underway. The nomination period continues through August 2, 2010.

"I encourage all producers to participate in the county committee election process by nominating candidates by the August 2 deadline," said Green. "We are counting on as much participation as possible, because county committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We have seen a trend in recent years of increased nominations of minority, beginning farmers, and women producers and we hope that will continue."

Committees apply their judgment and knowledge to make decisions on county commodity price-support loan eligibility, establishment of allotments and yields, conservation programs, disaster programs, employment and other farm program-related issues. Nationwide, there are more than 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to five members who are elected by eligible local producers.

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

For the 2010 Election, nominees must reside in Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 3 which is described as the area that includes: East of Hwy. 56 South beginning at the DeKalb/Warren county line, following Hwy. 56 in a northern direction to the intersection of Highway 56 and Highway 70; south of Highway 70 East to Center Hill Lake; following Center Hill Lake north and northwest to the Caney Fork River thence to the Smith County line; south of the Smith County line and west of the Putnam County line to the White County line; west of the White County line to the Warren County line; north of the Warren County line following the county line back to Highway 56 South at the DeKalb/Warren County line.

LAA # 3 generally covers the communities of Antioch, Belk, Keltonburg, Jefferson, Four Seasons, Seven Springs, Student’s Home, Bright Hill, Indian Mound, Johnson’s Chapel, Austin Bottom, Rock Castle, Cherry Hill, Wolf Creek, and Edgar Evins State Park.

Individuals may nominate themselves, or others, as a candidate. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based and other organizations in the county where the election is being held before the close of the nomination period, especially groups representing socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Nominations and elections are open to all eligible candidates and voters without regard to race, color, religion, nation origin, age, sex, marital status or disability. The nomination form (FSA-669A) is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/elections.

Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters in LAA # 3 on November 5, 2010. Completed ballots must be returned, either in person or postmarked, no later December 6, 2010. For more information about FSA county committees, visit the DeKalb County USDA Service Center or call 615-597-8225, extension 2.


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