Local News Articles

Schools Re-Open Tuesday January 2nd

December 30, 2006
Dwayne Page

The winter break is almost over for students and teachers.

They will return to the classrooms Tuesday to begin the third nine week session of schools.

The remainder of the calendar reveals that schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15 and for President's Day, Monday, February 19.

The spring break will be April 2 - 6.

Schools will be closed Friday, March 16 and Friday, May 11.

Students will not attend on Thursday, May 24. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend.. The last day of school will be Friday, May 25. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be given to the students.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, March 13 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, February 1 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Thursday, January 4 and Thursday, March 8.

Competency testing at DCHS will be February 13-16.

Gateway testing at DCHS will be May 1-3. Gateway test makeup will be May 4.

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

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 23-27.

Sheriff's Department Makes Two Drug Arrests On New Year's Eve

January 1, 2006
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested two people on drug charges on New Year's Eve following an undercover investigation.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says county officers went to the home of 52 year old Eddie Lattimore at 3785 Pea Ridge Road to execute a search warrant following an extensive investigation of Lattimore and surveillance of his home on suspicion of drug dealing.

Both Lattimore and 35 year old Tonya Silcox of West Main Street, Liberty were arrested at the scene. Officers found some dilaudid, oxycontin, syringes, and seized more than $7,400 in cash

Lattimore, described by Sheriff Ray as a well known drug dealer in the Pea Ridge community, is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (syringes), sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid), sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (oxycontin), and unlawful possession of a weapon. Authorities found a 9 millimeter pistol in an outbuilding on Lattimore's property.

Sheriff Ray says Lattimore, already a convicted felon, is currently on parole on similar drug convictions.

Silcox is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid) and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is currently on probation on similar drug convictions.

Sheriff Ray says officers found an uncapped bloody needle with drug residue in Silcox's pants along with some dilaudid.

Lattimore's bond is set at $525,000 and Silcox is under a $28,500 bond.

Both will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on January 11th.

Sheriff Ray says he plans to notify the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Department of Alcohol- Tobacco and Firearms, and the Tennessee Department of Parole about the arrest of Lattimore. Silcox will also likely be charged with violation of probation.

Defore Named Smithville Police Officer of the Month

December 30, 2006
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Officer Lilani Defore has been recognized as \"Officer of the Month\"

Defore is a three year veteran of the Smithville Police Department assigned to the Patrol Division. She is also the department's Domestic Assault Coordinator and reviews all domestic assaults, sexual assaults, and child abuse cases.

Defore is originally from Texas but has been a resident in the area for over thirteen years.

The commendation, signed by Smithville Police Chief Thomas J. Stufano, Mayor Taft Hendrixson, and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks, states that \"On behalf of the City of Smithville Police Department I would like to commend you for your recent actions and diligent efforts in your capacity as Police Patrol Officer. Your determination and diligent efforts and participation in the recent investigation of a sexual predator resulted in the arrest of an individual that has caused hardship and mental anguish on young children. Due to the graphic nature and sensitivity of this type of crime your compassion, professionalism and expertise enabled the victim and the residents of our city to feel that justice has been served. Your impressive actions in this case are a credit to your professionalism as a Smithville Police Officer.\"

\"Additionally, your excellent work in traffic enforcement for the month of December has shown the motoring public that driving safety within our jurisdiction is a priority. Your work ethic and tenacity during the month of December has shown your true commitment to the citizens we serve and your fellow officers.\"

\"Last, your self initiation and strong interpersonal skills have shown favorably on the Police Department and our City Leadership. I appreciate your input and current performance and for that you are hereby formally recognized and commended with a copy of this Commendation becoming apart of your permanent personnel record for all to see.\"

\"Congratulations on a job well done.\"

Defore says \"I wanted to make a difference in someone's life who needed help. By being a police officer, I can interact with a lot of people in various situations and the friendships I have developed over the year's here in Smithville has satisfied that dream.\"

Alexandria Police Arrest Silver Point Man On Drug and DUI Charges

January 2, 2007
Dwayne Page

Alexandria Police made a drug arrest after a routine traffic stop on Friday.

Chief Mark Collins says 25 year old Patrick N. Blevins of 533 Anderson Ridge Road, Silver Point is charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia (pipe), and driving under the influence (4th offense).

Chief Collins says officers Chris McMillen and Cody Jenkins stopped Blevins vehicle on Highway 70 in Alexandria on a traffic offense. As Blevins got out of his automobile, the officers detected a strong odor of what they thought was marijuana. They conducted a field sobriety test and placed Blevins under arrest.

The officers found a small bag of marijuana and a pipe used to smoke drugs.

Two other arrests were made in a separate investigation on New Year's Eve.

Chief Collins says 31 year old Travis Pinkerton of Watertown was pulled over in a routine traffic stop and charged with driving on a suspended license. Another man with Pinkerton was arrested. He was wanted on charges in Cannon County.

Police Chief Announces Reassignments Within The Department

January 10, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Thomas J. Stufano says there have been a few re-assignments to better serve the needs of the citizens of Smithville and provide increased coverage within the department. The following Officers will assume their new duties effective immediately.:

K-9 Sergeant Steve Deffendoll from Road Patrol Supervisor to Detective Sergeant in charge of Investigations

Officer Lilani Defore from Patrol Officer to Drug K-9 Officer/ Sexual Assault Coordinator

Officer William Elliott from Patrol Officer to Investigator/Seizure Specialist

Officer Mac Judkins from Patrol Officer to Patrol/Traffic Officer

Officer Mark Milam to School Traffic Officer and Officer Johnny King to School Traffic Officer

Police Make Arrests for DUI and Domestic Assault Over New Year Holiday Weekend

January 3, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police made several arrests over the New Year holiday weekend.

Chief Thomas J. Stufano says \"On December 30th Smithville Police arrested Walter Hartman of 303 Manhill Road, Dowelltown on the charges of DUI and Reckless Endangerment. This is the 5th DUI arrest for Hartman. Police observed Hartman driving his Ford Thunderbird at a high rate of speed on Cookeville Highway near Northside School crossing the centerline multiple times. When the vehicle was finally stopped and the officer approached, a 9 year old female, who was sitting in the passenger seat, crawled across the driver's seat frantically yelling \"Please help me\" to the officer. The officer immediately identified the smell of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the vehicle and asked the driver to get out of the vehicle. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the juvenile was the adopted daughter of the driver and was in fear due to Hartman's reckless driving. Hartman had to be held against the vehicle as he was too inebriated to stand. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the DeKalb County Jail. He was placed under $15,000 bond. Hartman's vehicle was confiscated under the state's Drug and Alcohol forfeiture act.

A second DUI arrest was made on New Year's Day when Francisco Soto Perez of 232 Orchard Lane of McMinnville was confronted by another driver who claimed that Perez almost ran into his vehicle. Smithville Police responded to a reported disturbance in the Exxon Gas Station parking lot. Officers discovered that Perez smelled of an alcoholic beverage, slurred his speech and admitted to drinking and driving. Perez was arrested and processed and remanded to the DeKalb County Jail under a bond of $1,500

On New Year's Eve Smithville Police Officers responded to 307 White Street regarding a domestic complaint. Upon arrival officer's discovered that 19 year old Daniel Lee Clien had been drinking heavily and kept a female companion from leaving the residence. Officers found that the female tried numerous times to exit from a rear bedroom window only to dragged back by Clien which left bruises on the female. Clien damaged numerous items in the residence including phones which were ripped out of the walls and glass which was broken from items being thrown about. Clien was arrested for domestic assault and underage drinking and was transported to the DeKalb County Jail under a $3,500 bond.

Smithville Police are committed to actively investigating and prosecuting drivers who are DUI. The Police Department asks that everyone help eliminate drinking and driving in our area.

County Firefighters Snuff Out New Year's Day Chimney Fire

January 4, 2006
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Volunteer Firefighters were summoned to the home of Royce and Alicia Curtis at 1472 Lower Helton Road on New Year's Day.

Chief Donny Green says the Curtis' called for help after noticing smoke from the fireplace coming back down the chimney into the house. The area around the chimney was also very hot.

By the time firefighters arrived, the house had filled with smoke and fire could be seen around the chimney where it emerges from the roof.

Green says firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and all the fire damage was confined to the immediate area around the chimney. However, he says the entire home received significant smoke damage.

No one was injured.

Members of the Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Short Mountain Highway Stations responded along with a tanker truck.

DeKalb EMS and officers of the Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Cantrell Injured In One Car Crash

January 4, 2007
Dwayne Page

70 year old man was injured in a one car crash Wednesday night on Keltonburg Road, State Highway 288, just three tenths of a mile east of Highway 56.

Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Lellon M. Cantrell was driving east on Keltonburg Road in a 1986 Pontiac four door car when he went off the right side of the road and clipped a utility pole. The wreck caused a power outage for many residents and businesses in the area for at least an hour or more.

Cantrell was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and he was later airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Sergeant Prater was assisted at the scene by members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, DeKalb EMS, and the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Team.

DeKalb County Schools To Receive $96,880 Grant For After School Programs

January 4, 2007
Dwayne Page

Governor Bredesen, Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Frank Buck announced today a $96,880 grant to DeKalb County Schools for after-school programs for the 2006-07 school year funded by unclaimed lottery prize money. The Lottery Education After-school Programs (LEAP) is geared toward public or non-profit agencies to expand or develop after-school programs serving at least 50 percent at-risk students for an average of 15 hours a week. The LEAP program has provided approximately $21.2 million in grants to date.

\"These programs provide quality learning opportunities and a safe haven for thousands of Tennessee students after school hours,\" said Governor Bredesen. \"They provide our schools with additional resources to reach at-risk students and to improve their overall achievement. I am very aware of the high cost and challenge of providing services for at risk students, especially in urban districts, and I intend to work closely with the General Assembly to continue making progress in this area.\"

The General Assembly passed new legislation this year for a second after-school grant program, the Test Preparation Pilot Project. This program is designed to provide ACT/SAT preparation, academic tutoring and study skills for at-risk students. Each site may serve no more than 60 seventh- through ninth-grade students for an average of 15 hours a week. The project will begin with six sites ? one urban and one rural in each of Tennessee?s three grand divisions. Each site will receive $50,000 a year for three years.

?Students need quality programs to engage them after school and help reinforce the learning that goes on during the school day,? Senator Beavers said. ?These grants will have a long term impact of the quality of life in our towns.?

?Not every child has the opportunity to receive extra help and enrichment after school,? Representative Buck said. ?These after school programs will give our children the boost they need to succeed in school and in life.?

Goff Arrested On Drug Charges By Smithville Police

January 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police arrested a 25 year old man on drug charges Wednesday.

Chief Thomas J. Stufano says Joshua Goff of 816 Gentry Avenue is charged with sale and delivery of narcotics.

He says \"The case started after concerned citizens notified police that possible illegal drug activity could be occurring at 816 Gentry Avenue. There were reports that numerous cars and people on foot would frequent the residence at all hours of the day staying only for minutes after contacting someone there and then leaving. Smithville Police setup a surveillance of the property for four days validating the information after 40 cars were observed stopping in this fashion. After other investigative information was obtained officers entered the residence during an ongoing drug transaction and arrested Goff for the illegal sale of narcotics. Illegal schedule II narcotics and cash were recovered during the raid. Goff was arrested and transported to the DeKalb County Jail with a Bond of $10,000.\"

Chief Stufano says Smithville Police appreciate the continued support and vigilance the public is providing in helping law enforcement eradicate the selling of illegal narcotics in Smithville. The Police Department is committed to actively investigating all complaints of illegal drugs in our community.


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