Local News Articles

Woman Wanted For Passing Forged Checks In Custody

November 16, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A White County woman , wanted by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for allegedly passing forged checks in the names of a Temperance Hall couple, is now in custody.

40 year old Lisa Kylene Frasier of Luna Road, Sparta is charged with theft and forgery.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says someone recently burglarized the residence of Kenneth and Nadene Carter at Temperance Hall and stole two boxes personal checks from Regions Bank and the Bank of Putnam County in the names of the Carters.

These checks have been passed in DeKalb, Sumner, Wilson, Jackson, Putnam, Smith, Coffee and Warren Counties.

Sheriff Ray says Frasier used a fake drivers license to pass the checks, that has her own picture, and the actual license number of Nadene Carter.

She was arrested Friday in Sumner County.

Flu Vaccine Now Available at DeKalb Health Department

November 9, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Flu season is just around the corner and the DeKalb County Health Department is ready to offer flu shots to area residents. No shortage of vaccine is expected this year and the health department says local supplies will not be restricted while they last.

A mass flu clinic is currently scheduled for Monday, November 20th at the Smithville Church of God Family Fellowship Center from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The Church of God Family Fellowship Center is located at 801 West Broad Street, Smithville beside the Farmers Coop.

\"October and November are often the best months to get the influenza vaccine because that's generally before we begin seeing many flu cases. In Tennessee, flu activity usually peaks in late January, and can peak as late as April, so we will continue to vaccinate residents through the winter, or as long as we have vaccine available, said Elizabeth Burgess, ANP, APRN, BC.

Certain people are at especially high risk of serious illness or death from influenza, especially the elderly and the very young. People who live with or care for those at high risk for serious illness also should be vaccinated to prevent exposing them to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals in the following groups receive the vaccine unless their health care provider has told them otherwise:

Children aged 6 months through 59 months (up to the 5th birthday); pregnant women (or those who will be pregnant during flu season); adults aged 50 years and older (especially those 65 and older); residents of long term care facilities; people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes); all healthcare workers; and household members and caregivers of people in these high risk groups.

In DeKalb County, the cost of the flu shot will be $25.00 for adults and $13.70 for children. Pneumonia vaccine will also be available for $40.00. Payment can be made in the form of cash or check and Medicare, TennCare, and Health Spring can be billed. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. Correct change is preferred. Individuals receiving flu shots need to wear a short sleeve shirt.

For more information about the mass flu clinic, call the DeKalb County Health Department at 597-7599.

Monterey Woman Charged with Drug Fraud

July 10, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Monterey woman was arrested by Smithville Police Saturday and charged with drug fraud.

34 year old Anissa Renee Allison Adams is charged with two counts of drug fraud. Her bond is set at $30,000 and she will appear in General Sessions Court July 13th.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says that on Saturday at approximately 11:45 a.m. he and Officer Loni Defore responded to Family Medical Center Pharmacy to investigate a female who was attempting to obtain Sudogest, a cold medicine, on another person's prescription.

Upon arrival, the officers identified Adams and discovered that she had previously passed the same prescription on June 24th, obtaining Sudogest using another person's prescription.

Body of Nashville Banker Recovered from Center Hill Lake

July 10, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 45 year old Nashville banker lost his life on Center Hill Lake Saturday afternoon.

Dead is David Brian Williams.

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons says Williams was with his family on the lake when he went down while swimming.

TWRA Officer Ben Franklin says the incident occurred in Raccoon Hollow in the Holmes Creek area of the lake. \"He was swimming from one boat to another and went under water in the Raccoon Hollow section of Center Hill Lake between Holmes Creek and Indian Creek.\"

Officers of the TWRA, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and members of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad were summoned to the scene around 3:11 p.m.

Officer Franklin says dragging operations began shortly thereafter and the body was subsequently recovered from the lake. \"The DeKalb County Rescue Squad recovered the body in approximately 17 feet of water. We were very lucky to find him as fast as we did. From the time we got the call until the time we recovered the body was approximately two hours.\"

The Rescue Squad left the scene at 5:14 p.m.

Officer Franklin thanked all those who assisted in the recovery effort. \"Everyone did an excellent job. They were very professional and we appreciate everybody who took part in it from the Rescue Squad, TWRA, Sheriff's Department and the Medical Examiner.\"

Sheriff Emmons says an autopsy would likely be conducted to determine if the man drowned or experienced some medical problem that caused his death.

Williams reportedly helped build Sun Trust Bank's Music Division into a National entity.

In 1990, he moved the Bank's Music Industry Division to Music Row, making it Music Row's first full service branch.

DeKalb County High School Selected for National Redesign Project

July 12, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School is among twenty-seven Tennessee high schools which have been selected to participate in a national initiative to model rigorous and relevant curricula.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $5.6 million to the Council of Chief State School Officers and Successful Practices Network to develop a national coalition of promising high schools. Over three years, these Tennessee schools will identify their greatest needs and develop action plans for increasing the rigor and relevance of the high school experience.

\"Tennessee is embracing an innovative approach to ensuring all students graduate with the knowledge to pursue higher education or a successful career,\" said Dr. Keith Brewer, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Education. \"Not only do we want more students to earn a diploma, we want that diploma to be symbol of true achievement.\"

The Successful Practices Network is national movement founded on the conviction that students learn better when they understand how coursework relates to their life and their future. Each high school will receive training and resources to connect instruction to students' lives and challenge them to meet high expectations. Additional training includes aligning standards, excellence in career technical education, arts education, special education, reading in grades 7-12, small
learning communities and ninth grade academies.

\"Sharing proven strategies provides administrators a wealth of options when deciding how best to meet the needs of their school community,\" Brewer said. \"When educators work together toward the common goal of student achievement, they do so armed with more diverse knowledge and
expertise.\"

The project also fosters collaboration and support amongst the participating high school to help each succeed in the endeavor. An annual model schools conference will draw participating schools from across the country together around the initiative, with a special state-specific session.

Partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education is the Tennessee Business Roundtable, an organization of CEO's working to advance the business climate in Tennessee.

Early Voting Begins For August Elections

July 12, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds you that early voting for the August elections will be held through July 29th.

Early voting hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse next to the election commission office.

In addition to the DeKalb County General Election, voters will be casting ballots in the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries for the offices of Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S.. House of Representatives, State Senate, State House of Representatives, State Executive Committeeman and committee woman.

A referendum will also be on the ballot asking voters to cast a yes or no vote on whether the local option sales tax should be increased from 1.5% to 2.75% which would make the total sales tax in DeKalb County go from 8.5% to 9.75%.

Dowelltown voters will also be electing three aldermen on August 3rd.

Democratic candidates on the ballot running for their party's nomination in the state primary for Governor include Incumbent Phil Bredesen; John Jay Hooker of Nashville; Tim Sevier of Hixon; and Walt Ward of Chattanooga.

Republican candidates for Governor are Mark Albertini of Chattanooga; Wayne Thomas Bailey of Smyrna; Jim Bryson of Franklin; David M. Farmer of Kingston; Joe Kirkpatrick of Nashville; Timothy Thomas of Murfreesboro; and Wayne Young of Cleveland.

Candidates for State Senator, 17th District include Incumbent Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet, unopposed in the Republican Primary; and Democrats Bob Rochelle of Lebanon, and Aubrey T. Givens of Lebanon.

Candidates for State Representative, 40th District include Incumbent Frank Buck of Dowelltown, unopposed in the Democratic Primary; Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster, unopposed in the Republican Primary; and Independent candidate Carl Jones of Macon County.

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, 6th District are Incumbent Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro and J. Patrick Lyons of Bell Buckle in the Democratic Primary and David R. Davis of Brush Creek in the Republican Primary.

Democratic candidates for the U.S Senate are Harold Ford, Jr. of Memphis; Gary G. Davis of Nashville; John Jay Hooker of Nashville; Charles E. Smith of Chattanooga; and Al Strauss of Nashville.

Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are Ed Bryant of Jackson; Tate Harrison of Dayton; Van Hilleary of Murfreesboro; and Bob Corker of Chattanooga.

Candidates in the DeKalb County General Election are as follows:

Democrat Myron Rhody and Republican Patrick Ray for Sheriff and Democrat Anthony (Doc) Green and Republican Sean Driver for Trustee;

Unopposed candidates include Democratic Incumbents County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack; County Clerk Mike Clayborn; Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen; General Sessions-Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook II; and Republican Incumbent Road Supervisor Kenny Edge.

Two county commissioners can be elected from each of the seven districts in the county. County Commission candidates are Democrats Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Charles Griffith and Republican Mason Carter in the first district; Republican Incumbent Bobby Joines and Democrats Jack Barton, and Shane Cook in the second district; Republican Randy Caplinger, and Democratic Incumbents Roy D. Merriman, and Jerry Scott in the third district; Incumbent Democrat Wayne Cantrell and Democrat Chris J. Smithson in the fourth district; Democratic Incumbent John D. Green and Democrat Jeffrey Barrett in the fifth district; Democratic Incumbents Jeff Barnes and Marshall Ferrell in the sixth district; and Democratic Incumbent Larry Summers and Democrat Willie E. Thomas in the seventh district.

In the 13th Judicial District; the candidates are as follows:

Democrat Ronald Thurman and Republican Jerry Burgess of Cookeville for Chancellor; Democratic Incumbent Lillie Ann Sells and Independent challenger David A. Patterson of Cookeville for Criminal Court Judge Part II; Democratic Incumbent Leon Burns, Jr. of Cookeville for Criminal Court Judge Part I; Democratic Incumbent John A. Turnbull of Livingston for Circuit Court Judge Part I; Democratic Incumbent John Maddux of Cookeville for Circuit Court Judge Part II; Democratic Incumbent William E. (Bill) Gibson of Cookeville for District Attorney General; and Democratic Incumbent David N. Brady and Republican challenger Samuel Harris of Cookeville for District Public Defender

Candidates for the School Board are Incumbent John David Foutch in the first district; Incumbent Charles L. Robinson and challenger John Allen in the second district; Incumbent Kenny L. Rhody in the third disttrict; Joan Draper in the fourth district; and Incumbent Johnny Lattimore in the seventh district.

Candidates for Dowelltown Aldermen include Tom R. Duggin, Jr., Joe L. Bogle, Keith Farler; amd Brad Driver. Three can be elected.

Candidates for DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee include Judy A. Slager and Betty Mildred Clayborn in the first district; Peggy Pursell and Dennis Slager in the second district; and Donna Emmons in the fifth district. More than one can be elected in each district.

Democratic Candidates for State Executive Committeewoman, 17th Senatorial District are Jennifer Kyle Bassett of Castalian Springs and Mary A. Patterson of Mount Juliet. Republican candidate for State Executive Committeewoman, 17th Senatorial District is Susan Witcher of Red Boiling Springs.

Democratic candidates for State Executive Committeeman, 17th Senatorial District are David R. Harper of Hartsville and Ben Johnson of Gordonsville. Republican candidates for State Executive Committeeman, 17th Senatorial District are Bob Ousley of Mount Juliet and Albert B. McCall, Sr. of Carthage.

Bredesen Announces Grant Awards for 227 New Pre-K Classrooms Including One At Smithville Elementary School

July 13, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredesen and the Tennessee Department of Education Thursday announced $20 million in new pre-K grants to open 227 new classrooms under the Governor's Voluntary Pre-K for All program.

Ninety-six school systems across the state including DeKalb County will receive funds to open a new classroom for the 2006-2007 school year, providing access to pre-K for 5,000 additional four-year-olds in Tennessee.

Clay Farler, Director of the DeKalb County Pre-K program and Attendance Supervisor, says state funds will be allocated to create a new Pre-K classroom at Smithville Elementary School. With the addition of the new class, DeKalb County will have a total of four Pre-K classrooms, including three at Smithville Elementary School and one at DeKalb West School.

Farler says eligible children must be four years of age by September 30th, and their parents must meet the federal income guidelines.

Each Pre-K class may have up to twenty students. At least sixteen students per class must be enrolled by September 30th in order for the school system to retain available funds for the program.

Bredesen requested that the General Assembly appropriate an additional $20 million in this year's budget for pre-K in Tennessee, increasing total funding for the program to $55 million. With the grant awards announced Thursday, Tennessee's voluntary pre-K program now extends to 88 of the state's 95 counties.

\"I'm extremely pleased that every school system that has applied for pre-K funds has received enough to fund at least one classroom, and I want to thank the leaders of these school systems and their communities for embracing the opportunity to partner in an extraordinary program,\" Bredesen said. \"I especially want to recognize the teachers, who are responsible for maintaining the high quality of Tennessee's pre-K experience.\"

Tennessee has been recognized nationally as having among the highest standards for its pre-K program. In a ceremony in Washington D.C. Thursday, the Tennessee Alliance for Early Education was awarded the \"2006 Pre-K Champion Award\" by the national advocacy group Pre-K Now. Tennessee was one of only four states to receive such recognition.

In June, Education Commissioner Lana Seivers and Office of Early Learning Executive Director Bobbi Lussier addressed state leaders at a national conference where Tennessee's pre-K program was highlighted as a model for other states.

\"Not too long ago, pre-K was not on the public radar in this state,\" Seivers said. \"Today, we are celebrating the breakneck expansion of pre-K classrooms and Tennesseans are aware of the benefits of pre-K because Governor Bredesen has made early childhood education and the future of Tennessee's children a priority.\"

State funding for pre-K has been increased to more than five times the funding level of 2003. When school resumes, funding from excess lottery prize money and increases in state funding will have allowed 527 new pre-K classrooms to open statewide in the past two years.

Governor Bredesen also recognized United Way Thursday for rising to his challenge to help support local pre-K classrooms by securing financial commitments to provide matching funds.

\"In February, I challenged the leadership of United Way to support pre-K by raising the local match for 40 classrooms, and they have moved quickly to exceed that goal, securing financial commitments for 47 new pre-K classrooms,\" said Bredesen. \"This represents a $1.5 million commitment over three years. Public-private partnerships have always been an essential part of our voluntary pre-K program, and I want to express my appreciation to United Way for stepping up to support something so fundamentally important to the education of our children.\"

The Governor encouraged local school systems and pre-K councils to engage the leadership of their local United Way to learn more about funding match opportunities and form relationships centered on the best way for each community to grow the number of pre-K classrooms and meet the needs of parents who want to give their children access to pre-K.

One Person Airlifted Following Friday Morning Accident

July 14, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Five people were involved in a three vehicle accident around 9:15 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 56 north (Cookeville Highway)

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 62 year old Donna Lawson of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown, driving a 1997 GMC Jimmy, was traveling north and slowing to make a left turn into a residence at 3195 Cookeville Highway when her vehicle was rear ended by a northbound 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by 57 year old Kenneth Herman of Bessie Gribble Road, McMinnville. Herman's truck was pulling a utility trailer.

According to Trooper England, the collision caused the Lawson vehicle to cross the southbound lane and make head-on impact with a 1995 Toyota 4 Runner, driven by 44 year old James Todd of Nashville.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene to perform extrication to get Lawson out of her vehicle. She was airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

67 year old Dorothy Smith of Old Mill Hill Road, a passenger of the Lawson vehicle, was taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Todd was also transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Herman and a passenger of his truck, 31 year old Chris Moss of McMinnville, were not transported to the hospital. They were apparently not injured.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway and Cookeville Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and officers of the Sheriff's Department were also on the scene to provide assistance.

Trooper England says the highway was closed to traffic for about two hours during the crash investigation and cleanup.

Election Commission Reports Good Turnout For Early Voting

July 14, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A total of 887 people have cast ballots during the first five days of early voting.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports the following daily voting breakdown: Friday-139, Saturday-148, Monday-84, Tuesday- 131, Wednesday- 145, and Thursday- 240. These numbers also include the mail ballots received.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds you that early voting for the August elections will be held through July 29th.

Early voting hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse next to the election commission office.

Willoughby Updates School Board on Personnel Moves

July 15, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his written report on personnel to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed since the last meeting include Jennifer Rettig Davenport, teacher at DeKalb Middle School; Teresa Sullivan, special education assistant at DeKalb Middle School; Sabrina Kirksey, teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Bill Conger, guidance counselor at DeKalb West School; Amy Raymond, teacher at Northside Elementary School; Amy Pack, teacher at DeKalb West School; and Cynthia Preston, teacher at DeKalb West School.

Transfers include Jennifer Rice, a teacher transferred to Smithville Elementary School; Amy Fox, teacher transferred to Smithville Elementary School; Holly Espinosa, teacher transferred to Northside Elementary School; Jean Young, educational assistant transferred to DeKalb Middle School; Cathy Driver, educational assistant transferred to Northside Elementary School; Rita Leichtfuss, educational assistant transferred to Smithville Elementary School; and Julie Pugh, educational assistant transferred to DeKalb Middle School.

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