Local News Articles

DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department Awarded Federal Grant

September 6, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $241,410 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Operations and Safety Grant, U.S. Representative Bart Gordon announced.

"Many communities struggle to maintain EMS and firefighting services," said Gordon, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "Even though demands of EMS providers and firefighters have increased tremendously over the years, the resources they depend on to provide their life-saving services have not.

That's why Congress initiated the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is similar to the highly successful COPS program that put more than 100,000 new police officers on the nation's streets."

Chief Donny Green said the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding award to purchase 44 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA's), or commonly referred to as "air packs", which will allow for four SCBA?s at each of the 11 stations across the county. These SCBA's cost a little more than $5,000 each.

Green added "Our county budget simply could not afford us to buy this essential safety equipment. The SCBA's currently used by the department's 77 volunteer firefighters are not NFPA compliant and do not offer the most up-to-date safety features that our volunteers deserve. The delivery of these SCBA's will allow our department to be in compliance and provide a higher degree of safety for our 77 volunteer firefighters."

Fire Burns Hay Field

September 6, 2007
Dwayne Page

A fire Wednesday burned a hay field belonging to Grady Ray on Wright Bend Road in the Belk Community.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says firefighters received a call around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday that a hay field was on fire and that the blaze was getting dangerously close to structures in the area.

Members of the Keltonburg and Belk Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the brush truck and the Tennessee Division of Forestry.

The hay had been cut and mowed but had not yet been raked.

The fire burned the entire twelve acre hay field as well as an acre of an adjoining pasture.

The blaze got close to a barn and house but fire fighters were able to put it out before causing any damage to them.

Green says the fire may have started from the heat or a spark created by the using of the mowing equipment.

No one was injured.

Police Department Applicants Interviewed

September 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

Three applicants to fill vacancies in the Smithville Police Department were interviewed Tuesday afternoon at city hall by Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Vice Mayor/Alderman Steve White, and Smithville Police Department Officer in Charge, Steven Leffew.

Randy King, Joey Jones, and Steve Cowan have expressed an interest in being hired by the city as a police officer.

King, originally from Grundy County, now lives in Warren County and is currently out of law enforcement, working for a company in Jasper. He began his law enforcement career in Tracy City, where he became certified. For financial reasons, King left law enforcement and went into business for himself, before taking a job in Jasper. King was among the top ten in his class when he completed the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Jones, a resident of White County, is also a certified officer and has worked for thirteen years for the White County Sheriff's Department.

Cowan, who lives at Brush Creek, is a certified officer and is currently employed as a security officer for UMC Medical Center in Lebanon. He formerly worked for over 18 years in security at Tennessee State University, and spent a year and a half working for the Smith County Sheriff's Department, before becoming employed at UMC.

Mayor Hendrixson says a decision on hiring some new officers could come soon and would have to be approved by the aldermen at the next regular meeting.

Meanwhile, Mayor Hendrixson says the police department is planning to change the working schedule of it's officers to twelve hour shifts.

Alexandria City Election Set for Thursday

September 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

Three Aldermen will be elected Thursday, September 6th in the Alexandria City Election.

Voting will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Kenneth Sandlin Center at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds.

The official slate of candidates for this election, in addition to the write-in candidacy of Barbara (Bobbie) Crawford include Derrick Baker, Sheila Clayborn, Maureen Tubbs, and James R. Walker.

Crawford's name will not be printed on the ballot. Anyone who wants to vote for her will have to "write in" her name. The voting machines that will be used allow the voter to do this on the machine rather than requesting a paper ballot. According to Tennessee Election Laws paper ballots are only to be used in an emergency situation when voting machines are not available for use.

A total of four people voted early for this election including three by personal appearance and one by mail.

Enrollment In School System Down by 21 Students Compared to Last Year

September 4, 2007
Dwayne Page

Student Enrollment in the DeKalb County School System, after the first month of school, is down by 21 students compared to this same time last year.

Clay Farler, Attendance Supervisor, told WJLE Tuesday that system-wide, DeKalb County has an enrollment to date of 2,945, compared to 2,966 after the first month of school last year.

Enrollment is down by 13 students at Smithville Elementary School, down by one student at DeKalb Middle School, down by 16 students at Northside Elementary School, and down by 6 students at DeKalb County High School. Enrollment at DeKalb West School is up by 15 students.

Farler says one reason the enrollment number may be down at DCHS is because of the addition of the adult high school. Those attending the adult high school are not counted in the enrollment at DCHS.

The enrollment numbers include students in the four Pre-K classes at Smithville Elementary and one Pre-K class at DeKalb West School, all of which are not yet filled.

The enrollment numbers after the first month of school for 2007 and 2006 at each school are as follows:

DeKalb County High School-
Year 2007- 819
Year 2006- 825

DeKalb Middle School-
Year 2007- 527
Year 2006-528

Northside Elementary-
Year 2007-527
Year 2006-543

Smithville Elementary School-
Year 2007-645
Year 2006-658

DeKalb West School-
Year 2007-427
Year 2006-412

Early Voting Begins Monday for DTC Director Election

September 4, 2007
Dwayne Page

Early voting will be held Monday through Wednesday, September 10th-12th for the DTC Communications Director Election.

The annual meeting will be held on Saturday, September 15th at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria.

Directors will be elected in four exchanges, including the Auburntown (464), Gordonsville (683), Temperance Hall (548), and Woodland (765) exchanges.

Incumbents Roy N. Pugh, Robert Don Malone, and David Parker are running unopposed in the Auburntown, Temperance Hall, and Woodland exchanges, respectively.

The Gordonsville exchange is represented by two candidates: Incumbent James H. Dillard, Jr. and David A. Watson who qualified by petition.

Voting for directors will take place at the cooperative's annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 15 and during early voting Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 10-12.

Hours and locations for early voting include:
Early Voting Hours
Mon., Sept. 10 - Noon to 7 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 11 - Noon to 7 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 12 - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Early Voting Locations
Kenneth Sandlin Building, DeKalb County Fairgrounds, Alexandria
Gordonsville Clinic/DTC Conference Room, 126 JMZ Drive, Gordonsville
DeKalb County Courthouse, Room 100, 1 Public Square, Smithville
DTC Training Center (former Woodbury phone store), located beside the DTC Customer Service Center, Woodbury

On Saturday, Sept. 15, gates to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria will open at 11:45 a.m., with voting from noon until 4 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 4 p.m. or once the last person in line at that time has voted.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

For questions regarding membership and voting guidelines, refer to the by-laws section included in the current DTC phone directory, or call DTC at 615-529-2955.

Three Involved In Serious Traffic Accident Making Recovery

September 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

A week after being involved in a serious traffic accident on Banks Pisgah Road, three persons have been released from the hospital and are making a recovery.

Lieutenant Brian Lawson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 18 year old Kerrie Neal of Lee Braswell Road, Smithville was traveling south on Banks Pisgah Road last Tuesday evening in a 1994 Chevy pickup truck when she crossed the double yellow line and struck a northbound 1993 Nissan pickup, driven by 39 year old Lisa Evon Crowe of Parkhurst Road, McMinnville. Lieutenant Lawson says the crash occurred as both drivers were trying to negotiate a curve in front of the Banks Cumberland Presbyterian Church near Bethel Road.

According to Lieutenant Lawson, both Crowe and Neal were airlifted along with a passenger of Neal's vehicle, 17 year old Billy Gene Anderson of Page Drive, Smithville.

Two were flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga and one to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

All three have since been released.

Lieutenant Lawson says Crowe, who was the most seriously injured, suffered a broken finger, broken bones in her hand and two broken ribs.

Neal was cited for failure to keep the proper lane of travel and Anderson was cited for not wearing a seatbelt.

Four Arrested by Sheriff's Department

September 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested four people last week on charges ranging from drug offenses to aggravated assault, DUI, and disorderly conduct.

27 year old Amanda Mae Riley of Bright Hill Road Smithville was charged last week with sale and delivery of a controlled substance. Riley was a passenger in a vehicle, pulled over on a traffic stop. When the deputy asked Riley if she had any illegal drugs on her person, she produced two pill bottles containing Hydrocodone, Lorazepam, Xanax, and other drugs. Her bond was set at $40,000 and her court date is September 20th.

On Saturday night, Deputies received a call about a disturbance at a residence on Bright Hill Road. On the way to the call, deputies stopped persons in a vehicle on Bright Hill Road believed to be involved in the disturbance.

Deputies found 32 year old Leon Ramirez Santos of South College Street Smithville under the influence of alcohol. Santos and another suspect who was in the vehicle with him, 27 year old Victor Manuel Cruz of Kendra Drive, Smithville, were questioned.

When Deputies arrived at the residence they found a man identified as 24 year old Olmos Mora Gerardo of Church Street, Smithville being detained in a bedroom by other people at the residence.

Upon an investigation, deputies found that Cruz had assaulted a 21 year old man with a baseball bat at the residence by beating him on the head.

Gerardo and Santos were also causing trouble there. The victim, whose name is being withheld, was airlifted from the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Cruz is charged with aggravated assault and his bond is $10,000. Santos is charged with DUI and disorderly conduct and his bond is $3,500. Gerardo is charged with disorderly conduct and his bond is $2,500. All three will appear in court September 27th.

Sheriff's Department Joins HELP Program in Delivering Bottled Water

September 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the DeKalb County H.E.L.P. Program delivered bottled water last week to elderly and others in need.

H.E.L.P. Program Coordinator Wanda Poss says "The H.E.L.P. program, which stands for Helping Elderly Live Productively, is funded through donations to help our elderly and people in need. We have decided to furnish bottled water which this program has paid for. Sheriff Patrick Ray and I delivered approximately 50 cases of water Tuesday."

Sheriff Ray expressed his support for the program. "I was very excited to be apart of this very needed program. People in our communities, especially our elderly, are having a tough time due to the extreme heat and lack of well water. I feel this program is a very beneficial tool in helping our citizens."

Poss says the next program will be the Christmas meals for the Elderly.

Habitat Restore Seeks Merchandise Donations

September 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Restore of DeKalb County's affiliate chapter of Habitat for Humanity will open in late September and is ready to start accepting merchandise.

Restores are retail businesses which specialize in the sale of new, used and recyclable products which are given to Habitat but are not used in construction of Habitat homes. The store provides all members of the community an opportunity to support Habitat for Humanity's mission through their patronage and donations. Once established, the Restore will become an important source of funding for Habitat for Humanity's home building projects in DeKalb County.

The Restore will need start-up inventory of usable building materials and supplies, wooden furniture, doors,windows, cabinets, working appliances and tools, and related items. At this point, we cannot accept upholstered furniture, opened paint, any hazardous materials, computers or yard sale items.

For more information about donating, volunteering your time or the Restore project, leave a message at the Habitat for Humanity phone number, 215-8181, or contact Mike Antoniak, 536-5885.


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