Local News Articles

Planning Commission Yet to Act on Site Plan for Proposed KFC/Taco Bell

September 7, 2011
Dwayne Page

Although plans are in the making for the return to Smithville of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and Taco Bell , a combo restaurant, the Smithville Planning Commission has not yet acted upon a site plan for the project.

Wallace Caldwell, Chairman of the Planning Commission told WJLE that during the regular monthly meeting last week, the issue was on the agenda but since the site plan was not ready to be submitted for consideration, action was tabled until the next meeting.

"It was on the agenda but we just tabled it until the next time we meet (October) or if they have a special called session on it, said Caldwell.

"Right now the plans have not been submitted to the Smithville Planning Commission for approval for them to start any construction at the present time. There are a few preliminary things that they have to work out with the surveyors so we (planning commission) are at the place right now where they (KFC) are wanting to come here but we don't yet have the plans to look over to okay for them to go ahead and start their construction," said Caldwell

"With a site plan what we have to look for is to make sure they (KFC) have the adequate space for parking spaces required per square footage of the building, etc. We have to make sure there is adequate parking and that they have proper access to the highway, utilities, etc," said Caldwell

The proposed property for the business is located at East Broad Street and Oak Street near the former Estes Furniture Company and car wash locations. No land transaction on the property has yet been recorded at the Register of Deeds Office.

According to the deed restrictions on the site, currently owned by Tyree & Taylor Properties, LLC, "The property will not be used for restaurant or food service purposes for a period of 20 years from the date of December 26th, 1991, the effective date of the restrictive covenant granted to McDonald's Corporation by the Grantor. The term "food service purposes" means any retail business that provides a place where meals can be bought and eaten such as a McDonald's Restaurant." That restriction expires December 26, 2011.

Murfreesboro Man Charged with Domestic Assault

September 6, 2011
Dwayne Page
Sladen Anthony Shagun
Zachary Nathaniel Hale
Daniel Ray Anderson
Joel Thomas Hayes
Cory Matthew Huffman

A Murfreesboro man was arrested Saturday after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at Floating Mill campsite.

29 year old Sladen Anthony Shagun of Manchester Pike, Murfreesboro is charged with public intoxication and domestic assault. His bond totals $6,000 and he will be in court on September 22.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, a deputy was called to investigate a domestic violence complaint at the Floating Mill camp site on Saturday, September 3. After speaking to everyone involved, the deputy determined Shagun had assaulted his girlfriend, hitting her about the face with his fist. She had a swollen left eye, her nose was bleeding, and she had bruising on her right arm from an earlier assault that day. Upon speaking with Shagun, the officer noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person.

24 year old Zachary Nathaniel Hale of Meadowbrook Drive is charged with a first offense of
driving under the influence. He was also issued citations for improper passing, violation of the implied consent law, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on September 22

Sheriff Ray reports that on Tuesday, August 30, Hale was operating a vehicle on Highway 56 south near the Mystick Market when he passed an officer on a double yellow line. Hale's vehicle was also weaving on the roadway. After stopping the automobile, the officer spoke with the driver, Hale, and detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. Hale was asked to step out of the vehicle and to perform field sobriety tasks. Hale had slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. Hale performed poorly on all tasks. Hale refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, saying he would fail it. He admitted to drinking beer. A glass pipe was also found during the investigation which contained what is believe to be marijuana residue

51 year old Daniel Ray Anderson of Duck Pond Road, Sparta is charged with a second offense of driving on a suspended license and failure to appear in court. He was also issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court on September 22.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Tuesday, August 30 a deputy stopped a vehicle on South Mountain Street, Smithville and informed the driver, Anderson that he had a capias or bench warrant against him. The bench warrant was for failure to appear in court February 3, 2010 on another charge of driving on a suspended license. The officer asked to see his license but Anderson said he thought they were suspended. A computer check revealed the license were suspended for failure to satisfy a citation on October 23, 2007 in Putnam County. He also had a prior charge of driving on a suspended license against him in Warren County.

33 year old Santos Menchu of Short Mountain Road, Smithville was issued a citation on September 1 for speeding, traveling 46 miles per hour in the 25 mile per hour zone at DeKalb West School; no drivers license; and violation of the financial responsibility law. He will be in court on September 22. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy spotted a vehicle traveling through the 25 miles per hour school zone at a high rate of speed. Menchu's speed was confirmed by radar. A computer checke revealed that Menchu only had an ID and no insurance.

33 year old Joel Thomas Hayes of Bobby Hayes Road, Dowelltown is charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and a first offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on October 6.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, September 2, a deputy saw a vehicle weaving while pulling a trailer on Highway 53 in Liberty. The vehicle crossed the center line three times and twice on the fog lane. The officer pulled over the automobile for failure to maintain the proper lane of travel. The deputy spoke to the driver, Hayes, and noticed that his speech was very slurred and his eye lids looked to be very heavy. Hayes submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. Hayes did submit to a blood alcohol drug test. Hayes was arrested for DUI and upon an inventory of the vehicle, the officer found two hollow ink pens containing residue; and a black plate with a white powdery substance. Hayes had in his possession prescription pills for oxycodone.

20 year old Cory Matthew Huffman of Northfield Boulevard, Murfreesboro is charged with a first offense of driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a schedule VI drug for sale and delivery; and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. He was issued a citation for violation of the light law. A total of four hundred dollars in his possession was also seized by the officer as evidence. Huffman's bond totals $10,000 and he will be in court on September 29

Sheriff Ray reports that on Sunday, September 4, a deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 70 east for violation of the light law (head light out). Upon speaking with the driver, Huffman the officer noticed that he had red watery eyes. The deputy also detected a strong odor consistent with the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Huffman submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. Huffman did submit to a blood alcohol drug test. Huffman gave the deputy consent to search and the officer found in a cloth bag, several plastic baggies containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, and a small black digital scale. The approximate weight of the marijuana was 2.3 ounces.

Body of Child Recovered from Center Hill Lake

September 5, 2011
Dwayne Page
 Elizabeth Grace Hathaway
TWRA among others conducted search for missing child
Rescue squad and others searching for child near where she was last seen

A Labor Day outing on Center Hill Lake turned tragic for a Murfreesboro family Monday as the body of 10 year old Elizabeth Grace Hathaway was recovered from the lake around 6:15 p.m. near their houseboat at Hidden Harbor Marina. The child, who was not wearing a life jacket, was the victim of an apparent drowning, although an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that members of the Rutherford County Special Operations unit, using a sonar device, pinpointed the location of what they suspected was the body. Divers then went down and found the body of the child in about forty feet of water.

The body was near the back of the family's houseboat, which was docked at the marina. Witnesses reported having seen the child on the deck of the boat around 8:30 Monday morning, shortly before her disappearance.

After the family discovered her missing, they called 911 and the search effort began. Not knowing at the time whether the child had fallen into the lake or had wandered away from the houseboat and into the woods a search by ground and water was initiated and conducted throughout the day.

Searchers checked the woods and roads in the immediate area as well as vehicles parked in the vicinity. Any houseboats docked at the marina that were open or occupied were also searched.

DeKalb 911 placed automated reverse calls to residents in the area asking them to be on the look out for the child.

Among those taking part in the search either by ground or on the lake were members of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, the Sheriff's Department, DeKalb EMS, Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker, the DeKalb County Fire Department's Search and Rescue Team, the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers, the Putnam County Rescue Squad and Dive Team, and the Rutherford County Special Operations unit and divers.

Special thanks to DeKalb Market and other individuals who supplied food and water to the searchers and to Hidden Harbor Marina for their assistance.

DeKalb County Election Commission Informs Voters of New Law

September 5, 2011
Dennis Stanley

The Tennessee General Assembly recently passed a law to make the elections process more secure. Beginning in 2012, voters must present identification bearing their names and photographs in order to vote, just as if they were
boarding an airplane or cashing a check.

The process is simple: voters who do not have valid photo IDs may obtain free photo IDs for voting from any participating Department of Safety driver service center across the state. And voters over the age of 60 who
have driver's licenses without photos and no other form of valid photo IDs for voting may have their photos added to their licenses free of charge.

County election commissions are making efforts now to get the message out about the changes well in advance of the 2012 elections.

"Our staff is prepared to help voters learn about the new requirements, and, if necessary, how to get a photo ID," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. "We will do our best to ensure every voter is informed in plenty of time."

Examples of acceptable photo IDs, even if expired, include: a Tennessee driver's license with a photo, a United States passport, a Department of Safety photo ID, a United States military photo ID, a state-issued handgun carry permit, or any other photo ID issued by the federal or state government, except college student IDs.

"Local election administrators are working hard to prepare voters and poll workers," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "I am confident this law will be beneficial and can be implemented smoothly."

Some citizens will be exempt from the new law, including: absentee voters, residents of nursing homes or assisted living centers who vote at the facility, people who are hospitalized, people who have religious objections to being photographed and those who are indigent and unable to pay for photo IDs. Voters who do not bring photo IDs to the polls may vote with provisional ballots that will be counted if they return to their local election commission office and present a valid photo ID within two business days of the election.

For more information about the voting requirements, contact the DeKalb County Election Commission at 597-4146 or call Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections, or Andrew Dodd, Elections Specialist, in the state Division of
Elections at 1-877-850-4959.

Kidman Puckett Named DCHS Homecoming Queen

September 4, 2011
Dwayne Page
Kidman Puckett
DCHS Homecoming Queen and Attendants

The 2011 Homecoming Queen at DeKalb County High School is Kidman Dawn Puckett

A senior, Puckett is the 17 year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett of Smithville

The Homecoming Attendants are:

Senior Attendants are Johnna Rochele Roller, the 16 year old daughter of John and Michele Roller; and Taylor Marie Cantrell, the 17 year old daughter of Jeff and Renea Cantrell

Junior Attendant-Zoe Elaine Whaley, the 15 year old daughter of Celia and Scott Whaley of Smithville.

Sophomore Attendant-Sarah Elizabeth Edwards of Liberty, the 15 year old daughter of Tena and the late Clay Edwards..

Freshman Attendant-Haley Marie Hale, 14 year old daughter of Chad and Melissa Hale of Smithville.

Spirit week activities will be held September 6 -9 at DCHS. The Homecoming Parade will take place Friday afternoon and the Tiger Homecoming Football game will be at 7:00 p.m. September 9 against White County. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game.

(Bottom photo: top row left to right: Haley Hale, Zoe Whaley, Sarah Edwards; Bottom Row left to right: Taylor Cantrell, Kidman Puckett, and Johnna Roller)

Some Students Not Compliant with Immunization Law Could be Denied Admission to School

September 3, 2011
Dwayne Page
Dee Anna Reynolds

DeKalb County school officials are reminding parents of children in kindergarten and seventh grade whose shot records are not up to date that those students will not be allowed to attend class after a specified date unless they have the correct immunizations.

Under state law, "No children shall be permitted to attend any public school...until proof of immunization is given the admissions officer of the school". The new Tennessee Department of Health immunization rule went into effect July 1, 2010

School Health Coordinator Dee Anna Reynolds told WJLE Friday that letters are being sent to parents of students who have not yet complied with this law. "Right now we're in the process of notifying parents via letter, if their child's immunization record is not up to date. That is for seventh graders and kindergarten students at DeKalb West, DeKalb Middle, and Smithville Elementary School," said Reynolds.

"The bulk of those immunizations that aren't current and up to date are at the middle school. This comes in with the new Tennessee Department of Health immunization rule that went into effect July 1. That is for children entering seventh grade to have a second varicella shot, which is the chicken pox shot, unless they can show that they have had the chicken pox and they have immunity to the chicken pox, then they don't need to have that second shot. Students also need to have a booster shot called the TDAP immunization (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis vaccine)," said Reynolds

"Students who are not compliant and are receiving their first letter of notification have until September 16 to get compliant to get those immunizations. If not, then those students will not be allowed to come back to school after September 16. A few students have received a first or second letter and those students will have until September 9 to get compliant or they will not be allowed to come back to school after September 9. If you have questions, call the board of education at 597-4084," said Reynolds.

For those who have received a notification letter from the school system of non-compliance, you may obtain the required immunizations free of charge at the DeKalb County Health Department on Thursday, September 8 or Tuesday, September 13 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

County Beer Board Delays Action on Potentially Controversial Permit Application

September 2, 2011
Dwayne Page
Jewel Redmon Addressing Beer Board (seated Dick Knowles and Mack Harney)
Beer Board members Jim Stagi, Frank Thomas, Harrell Tolbert
Beer Board members Mack Harney, Robert Rowe, Edward Frazier

Jewel Redmon will have to wait another month before he knows whether he will be able to sell beer at the old Pop's Market location on Cookeville Highway, a vacant store building he bought several weeks ago and has been refurbishing.

The DeKalb County Beer Board met Thursday night to consider the beer application, filed in the name of Viva Gail Johnson for the business to be known as Jewel's Market and Pizza, but the board deferred action until October 6th after discovering an error in the public notice published in a local newspaper. The address of the store building is 600 North Congress Boulevard. The address published in the notice was 7592 McMinnville Highway. A new public notice will be published giving the accurate address and the date, time and place of the next meeting.

DeKalb County has a rule forbidding the sale, storage and manufacture of beer and like beverages within 2,000 feet (or some lesser distance) of schools, churches, and other places of public gathering.

The problem in this case is that Redmon's store may be too close to the new First Assembly of God Church which was recently constructed on Highway 56 north.

According to Redmon, the store building is seventy feet short of meeting the distance requirements, measuring "as the crow flies" but he said it is in compliance if the measurement is taken by way of the highway.

Redmon said he believes the property ought to be grand fathered since the store building had long been there before the church and because of the fact that the former owner of the store had a beer license. The business, however, has been closed for several months and the license of the former owner has since expired. Redmon claims the board should take into consideration that the store property was tied up in bank foreclosure proceedings involving the former owner and no one could have bought the store and sold beer during that time. Redmon believes he should not be penalized because of that situation.

Redmon further claims that he has improved the value of the property and that even his closest neighbors to the store location don't object to his selling beer

And as for the distance requirement, Redmon pointed out that another store across the road (Village Market) is licensed to sell beer and that business is even closer to the church than his establishment. Beer board members explained that Village Market is in the city and Smithville has different distance regulations than the county.

Board members voted to ask county attorney Hilton Conger to render a legal opinion on this license application at the next meeting, which will be held on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse.

Members of the DeKalb County Beer Board are Harrell Tolbert, Frank Thomas, Dick Knowles, Jim Stagi, Mack Harney, Robert Rowe, and Edward Frazier.

Man Dies in Truck Crash

September 2, 2011
Dwayne Page

A DeKalb County man lost his life early Friday morning after his Chevy 2500 crashed into a tree on private property off Dry Creek Road.

Dead is 49 year old Timothy "Tadpole" Adcock

Central dispatch received the call at 2:39 a.m.

According to Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Adcock, who died at the scene, was found in his truck which apparently had crossed a field and wrecked in the tree line of a wooded area.

The incident remains under investigation.

Dixon Elected Alexandria Alderman Unopposed

September 2, 2011
Dwayne Page

Darrell Dixon was elected alderman Thursday in the Alexandria Municipal Election.

That is not surprising since his name was the only one on the ballot. Dixon received a total of twelve votes, including ten on election day and two absentees.

Three aldermen were to have been elected but no one else qualified to run. It'll apparently be up to the Alexandria Mayor and Board of Aldermen to appoint persons to fill those other two positions along with a third aldermen seat, which has been vacant for several months.

The Alexandria city government is made up of a mayor and six aldermen. Each term of office is for four years.

4-H members learn food safety, culinary skills

September 2, 2011
April Martin

Grilling is considered one of America’s favorite past times. What could be better than a juicy steak for dinner?

The 4-H outdoor meat cookery contest held each year teaches 4-H member not only how to grill meat to perfection, but also the importance of food safety, teamwork, and food presentation.

Recently, after weeks of practice learning to start fires in a grill and being able to judge a meat’s doneness, 12 DeKalb County 4-H members entered the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest. Each 4-Her was given two hours to set up their own grill, start a fire, grill their meat, and prepare an appetizing platter presentation along with their teammates.
Congratulations to 4-Hers who recently competed in the regional 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest held at the Wilson County fairgrounds.

Nate Sherwood, Nathaniel Theriaque, Elliott Cook, and Wyatt Martin were on the junior high team which placed 9th in the region. Nate placed 4th in the chicken grilling division; Wyatt placed 8th in the pork grilling division; Elliott placed 5th in the lamb grilling division, and Nathaniel placed 10th in the beef grilling division.

Casey Vickers, Morgan Vickers, Preston Cripps, and Justin Bass were on a separate junior high team. Their team placed 10th in the region. Casey placed 3rd in the beef category and Morgan placed 8th in the lamb category. Justin placed 12th in the chicken grilling division and Preston placed 7th in the pork grilling division.

The Senior team members included Elizabeth Sanders, Riley Young, Hunter Collins, and Kayley Green and they placed 4th in the region. Riley placed 1st in the chicken grilling division; Kayley placed 3rd in the pork grilling division; Elizabeth placed 4th in the lamb grilling division; and Hunter placed 5th in the beef grilling division.

The University of Tennessee Extension offers all its programs to everyone in the county. For more information about 4-H or other Extension programs, feel free to contact us at 597-4945 or find us on Facebook under UT Extension – DeKalb County.


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