Local News Articles

Chili Cook-Off Raises $3,800 for Habitat for Humanity

October 26, 2007

Approximately 400 people again enjoyed chili Friday at Habitat for Humanity’s Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off, which was held on the Courthouse Lawn. “The Chuck Wagon Chili Crew” from the DeKalb County Board of Education took the top honors for Best Chili, with The Inn at Evins Mill following in second place. In the decorating contest, “Great Bowls of Fire” from Bradley Printing successfully defended their title by winning the “Best Decorated” booth award.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor, Habitat board vice president, the event raised a total of $3,800.00, which will be used toward the building of the Gibbs Family Habitat home, which is currently under construction on Adams Street in Smithville. “We were really pleased with the turnout and participation at this year’s cook-off,” said Pryor. “We especially appreciate all the chili teams for their hard work and dedication to this event and to all those who made the delicious baked goods. The bake sale alone raised $857.50 and is vital to the success of this event.” Pryor added, “We’re already looking forward to next year.”

Ten teams participated in the chili cook-off, including “Great Bowls of Fire” from Bradley Printing, “Curves Divas” from Curves of Smithville, “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank, “Chuck Wagon Chili Crew” from the DeKalb County Board of Education, “The Courthouse Crew” from the DeKalb County Courthouse, “Edgar Evins Chili Peppers” from Edgar Evins State Park, The Inn at Evins Mill, “Fire in the Hole” from the Rick and Joanna Webb family, “The Risk Takers” from Jackie Smith State Farm Insurance, and “Sundance Kids” from Sundance Restaurant. The Middle Tennessee Times again had a “Times Tummy Table,” and sold items for post-chili relief, which donations were matched by The Times.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181.

THP Urges Drivers To Help Keep Halloween A Treat For Children

October 26, 2007

Halloween is a fun night for both children and adults, but the Tennessee Department of Safety is urging everyone to take extra precautions, so the evening doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

“We want children, their parents and all drivers to remember that safety must come first,” said Commissioner David Mitchell. “On Halloween, neighborhoods are typically swarming with excited trick-or-treaters. The problem comes when careless or impaired drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle and make it a dangerous night for others on our roadways.”

Alcohol was involved in half of the traffic fatalities on Halloween between 12:00 a.m., October 31, 2006, through 6:00 a.m., November 1, 2006. Once again this year, Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers will be aggressively cracking down on motorists who drive impaired.

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. The number of people in the United States who were arrested for driving under the influence dropped slightly from 2004 to 2005, but the number is still staggering. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, nearly 1.4 million people were arrested for DUI during 2005. In Tennessee last year, 1,287 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. That’s up 1.3 percent from 2005.

“There is no excuse for drinking and driving,” stated Colonel Mike Walker. “Troopers will be working across the state to keep impaired drivers off the road. Make no mistake, if you’re caught driving under the influence this Halloween, you will be under arrest.”

Troopers will be conducting sobriety and driver license checkpoints, as well as saturation patrols in an effort to stop impaired drivers and save lives.

All drivers also need to take extra care on Halloween because there will be a lot of children out in costumes. The CDC reports that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween than any other evening of the year. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about being safe while trick-or-treating.


Tips for Motorists

Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.

Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.

Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents

Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their "trick or treat" activities.

Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.

Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.

Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.

Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for Pedestrians
(children and adults)

Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.

Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.

Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.

When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Climbs to 4.1% in September

October 26, 2007

DeKalb County's Unemployment Rate for September climbed to 4.1%, up from the August rate of 3.7%, but it was still below the rate for September 2006 of 4.9%

The DeKalb County Labor Force in September was 10,330. A total of 9,910 were employed and 420 were unemployed.

Meanwhile, Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September increased from the August rate of 4.0 percent to 4.7 percent, an increase of 0.7 percent. The United States rate was also 4.7 percent for September, an increase of 0.1 percent from August.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for September show that nine counties remained unchanged. There were 82 counties that increased and four counties decreased.

Knox County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 3.2 percent. Lincoln County followed at 3.3. Maury County had the state's highest at 9.4 percent, followed by Marshall County at 8.4 percent.

Knoxville had the state's lowest major metropolitan statistical area (MSA) rate at 3.4 percent. The Nashville-Murfreesboro MSA was 3.7 percent. The Chattanooga MSA was 3.9 percent and the Memphis MSA was 4.9 percent, up from 4.6 percent.

Construction On New Smithville Fire Hall to Begin Soon

October 24, 2007
Dwayne Page

Construction may begin next week on a new 9,200 square foot fire hall for the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker says the new two story addition will connect to the existing fire hall behind city hall. "We're adding on to the existing city hall building. There will be a little space in between. It will be a stand alone building but walkways will connect the two buildings. We will have rooms downstairs for some storage and on the second floor, there will be a large training room, and a living quarters with bedrooms and bunk rooms where hopefully we can have some full time firefighters in the near future. There will be a kitchen area and bathrooms up there. We're trying to set this up for the future and not just what we're needing right now."

"It is going to be a two story building. Each level is 4,600 square feet, or a total of 9,200 square feet between the two floors. It will be a masonry structure on the bottom made of concrete blocks and brick. The main structure will be steel on the inside with brick on the outside all the way around. It's actually going to be little taller than the city hall building is now because of the height of the garage doors. We had to get 14 feet high in order to get the trucks in on the bottom level. We're going to continue to use the three bays that we have there now and we're adding three more bays on to that. These are going to be drive through bays and they will be quite a bit larger where we can accommodate a bigger truck, like a ladder truck for future expansion. We would like to have already had one (ladder truck), but with the constraints of the existing building in size we didn't have any place to put it, and there was no need of having a truck of that expense setting outside. The bays will be roughly about 65 feet long so we could actually park two shorter trucks back to back and take them out, one on each street, Walnut or Main Street. They will be able to enter from one street and drive all the way through the building to the other street."

"As of right now we have four vehicles including two fire engines, a rescue, and a utility or service vehicle. One of those vehicles is setting outside. This new fire hall will allow us to get all four vehicles inside and allow for future expansion."

Chief Parker says the new building will come with a sprinkler system and backup generators. "The new building will be fully sprinkled so it will meet all the new NFPA specs. That's one of the things we're pushing is fire safety and with sprinklers in the building we're setting a good example for the other businesses. It will also have generators so we'll be able to operate in case of power outages. As they're putting the garage doors on the new building, part of the deal is to change the doors on the old building too so they will match. They're needing repair and replacing anyway."

A ground breaking ceremony was held earlier this week and Parker says some work should begin on Monday morning. "That's when they are going to start removing some of the trees and begin tearing up the pavement in the back parking lot, ripping it out and hauling it off."

The new fire hall should be completed by April, if winter weather doesn't slow the project.

Parker says other than taking up some parking places, the construction will not interfere with the operation of the fire department in any way.

The city budgeted $900,000 for the project and J & S Construction got the bid to build the fire hall.

Chief Parker says once the building is finished, the department would like to explore the possibility of purchasing a ladder truck. "We would like to buy a ladder truck. It's expensive but we are in need of it. We have several large factories inside the city. During the devastating fire we had at Moog a couple of years ago, the first piece of outside equipment we called for, some kind of aerial device, was a ladder truck from Cookeville and Monterey. That was the closest one available. We had none in the city or the county. It would be the same thing again if we had another major fire."

"It doesn't have to be a three or five story building. We could use a ladder truck in the downtown area where you can't really get ladders up on those old buildings. There's several places around, not just the factories, where we could use that truck. So after we get the building built, we have a schedule of events and that's one thing we'll try for."

Parker says he believes the city is large enough to have a few paid full time firefighters. "It's a city council and a community decision, but we think Smithville can support some full time firefighters on the job. The way the community is changing and growing and the way that laws and insurance regulations are changing, we need them. We enjoy helping the community but it takes a lot of time."

"We're looking at a combination department, where there would be some full time firefighters. We would still have a large number of volunteers that would do quite a bit of the work, but the full time people, at the fire hall, could leave quicker with the trucks, improving response time. Those paid personnel could be in the truck and enroute when a call comes in. Plus, there are other things they can do as far as pre-planning, checking things ahead of time, and getting some things lined up."

Commission Renews Agreement with Detention Health Care Associates

October 23, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night entered into a new agreement with Detention Health Care Associates to provide inmate medical care at the DeKalb County Jail.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the cost to the county is $89,000, which is $2,000 more than last year, but more services are being offered. "It's the same program that we've been having except they have enhanced it a little bit. We're getting a psychiatrist that can evaluate prisoners here and that will save us a lot of trips taking prisoners to Moccasin Bend. A nurse also comes here 30 hours a week and a doctor will come here occasionally, but the doctor and or psychiatrist also has the ability to look at patients from where he is using a TV communication system, where he can interview them, see what's wrong with them, and diagnose them that way. They literally have a two way television set up to where they can talk to each other, and he can see them, and the nurse would be there and check vital signs and that kind of thing. This year they will pay for all of the prescription and non-prescription medicines and a dentist will be available. It's a better way of budgeting for us because it allows us to know more about what we are going to be spending, though there are still some unknowns because the patient could get injured or sick and we'd have to carry them to the hospital."

The county is responsible for the cost of inmate hospital stays or trips to the emergency room.

In other business, the commission approved a budget amendment, in the amount of $67,150 to relocate the garbage collection convenience site on Highway 56 south.

Foster says the money came to the county from the state settlement on the expansion of the highway. The county paid $45,000 to purchase the property from Lloyd Shores and the rest of the money is being used to develop the site. "We bought 1.6 acres about a half mile north of the old convenience site location. We've got it graveled. Kenny (Edge) came and graveled it and got it rolled. They checked it last week about putting the electrical power back there. I talked to the state today (Monday) about getting a permit for a septic system. We're going to use that trailer we got from FEMA for the building and we'll plumb in a septic system. They've got the water meter already in. They've started putting the fence up. We'll also pour a slab for the compactor to set on. Ernie and Betsy Lynam owned the property at the old convenience site and we had to pay them $9,360 for the slab that was there, because it belonged to them. Hopefully, within another month or six weeks, we'll have it approved and open. It's a big site that has a lot of room. We can do a lot of recycling things there. It's a good location."

The commission voted to enter into an agreement with EMS Consultants to do the billing for the county run ambulance service. EMS Consultants will receive a fee of 6.5% of accounts collected.

County officials had purchased the accounting software from EMS Consultants with the intention of doing the billing in house, but discovered that the job was much more complex and time consuming.

Foster says "The software cost us $12,000. Because they are going to do the billing for us, we will get the $12,000 back, plus we will not need a full time secretary there. We'll still have to do the entries, but we think the EMT's and the director can enter them. We may need a part time person later. EMS Consultants will receive 6.5% for accounts collected. If they don't collect, they don't get paid. They do it for hospitals and other ambulance services and they will help us get our certification from Medicare and TennCare for free. Our overall costs may be a little higher, but we believe they will probably collect more than we would be able to."

The county has been operating the ambulance service since October 1st and Foster says things are running smoothly so far. "It's working pretty well. We still have a few bugs to work out but the good benefit is that we still have the good paramedics and EMTs that we wanted to keep and the county now has some say so over the ambulance service. The ambulance service is now located at the corner of Mountain Street and Meadowbrook Drive in the old Fina Market building.

The county commission also Monday night voted to begin the process of selling the building that housed the former location of the ambulance service on Highway 56 north, the Cookeville Highway. Foster says the money from the sale will be applied to the purchase of the new location.

The commission adopted an inpatient transport agreement granting DeKalb Community Hospital a special billing rate. Foster says "They give us a special rate with their billing and we feel like we should give them a special rate, if they have a patient there that they need to transport, that they have to pay for, which sometimes they do. For the Basic Life Support non emergency transport, the rate will be $150 and $4.00 per mile. For BLS emergency transport, the rate is $175. The rate for Advanced Life Support non emergency is $200, and for Advanced Life Support emergency transport, the rate is $225 and $4.00 per mile." Foster says these fees are very comparable to TennCare rates.

Residents in the River Trace and Billings Road area have requested that speed limits be posted there due to a couple of dangerous places and the amount of traffic on the roads. The county commission voted to ask the state to conduct a speed limit study there.

Foster wants the county and city to form a joint parks committee, which would give local governments a better chance of receiving grants for recreational purposes.

Foster says "In order to apply for any of the recreation and parks grants, we must have a parks committee. If we don't do it with them (city), we may do it next month on our own. It's probably a little premature right now because the mayor needs to talk to the city aldermen, who would need to ratify it. There may be a problem for the city in that whoever is on a city board must reside in the city of Smithville."

"We've got to do one (parks committee) because we've already got some grants in the past for projects that are going to have to be looked at by some people, like some of the ball parks. I know we have a problem with one of the little league fields, concerning some hand rails. We must have a parks and recreation committee to check them for safety, whether we apply for a grant or not, and if we do apply for any further grants, we must have this committee in place. There are some grants out there now, or will be soon, and I think we need to look at them. Some have a pretty high local match and some don't, some are 20% match and some are 50%. If we can do this in conjunction with the city, I think it makes for a better working relationship. With most of the grants, if you do them with two or three entities applying, they score higher on the grant system, and that increases the chances of your getting a grant."

"Possibly by next month, we would like to entertain a recommendation to include the arts, from which we might get some grants through private foundations. A lot of those require no local match. In order to get them we would need an arts commission, possibly made up of visual and performing artists.

The commission voted to tear down the house beside the jail that the county recently purchased to clear for way for parking at the jail and the library.

Foster asked that the house not be torn down and taken to the landfill until the county receives a permit on the new cell at the landfill, because the existing cell is almost full. " If it's okay with you, I'd like for you to authorize us to tear it down, but I'd like to keep that much out of the landfill, if we can for a little while, because we are really holding our breath on this permit. We may be hauling garbage to some other county in the next 30 days if they (state) don't do something. We've been nineteen months waiting on a permit and it usually takes about a year or less."

County Commission Working Toward Establishing Building Code Regulations

October 22, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission has begun the process of formulating regulations for non-agricultural residential and commercial construction under the International Building Code.

The commission adopted three resolutions Monday night, as recommended by the county's building and safety committee, establishing general guidelines for construction, but specific regulations have not yet been established.

The first resolution adopted provides for "governing the condition and maintenance of all commercial property, buildings, and structures by providing standards for supplied utilities and facilities, and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary, and fit for occupation and use".

The second resolution speaks to the "the regulation and governing of construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, location removal, and demolition of one and two family dwellings, multiple single family dwellings, and town houses not more than three stories in height with separate means of egress."

The third resolution addresses the regulation and governing of the design, construction, quality of materials, erection, installation, alteration, repair, location, re-location, replacement, addition to, use and maintenance of plumbing systems.

Each resolution provides for the issuance of permits and collection of fees.

County Mayor Mike Foster says building code regulations are complex but the desire of the commission is to establish rules, under the International Building Codes, that are as "simple as we can make them, that are also legal and binding, to where we can get the desired effect of having construction that is safe, sanitary, and fit for occupation."

According to Foster, "We are experiencing several builders coming in here that are not used to building on these steep lots. Since I've been in office, several houses have either been built on the wrong lots or partially on the wrong lots. There's got to be some safety devices in place to take care of the innocent home owners."

"On these really steep lots, we need to be sure that the developers are building on a solid foundation so the houses don't slide off the hill'. We need to know where the lot lines are before they build a house and that they comply with codes. It's a safety thing for the homeowner."

Foster says the committee will meet again, probably on Thursday, November 1st to continue work on developing proposed regulations and local builders will be invited to attend future meetings to provide some input. He says it may take a couple of months before the committee's work is finished.

The committee's final recommendations will then be presented to the county commission for approval.

Once the regulations are in place, the county will have to hire someone to do the inspections. Building permits would be issued through the Assessor of Property's Office

Foster says "We can't be the guardians of the world, but I think a little bit of oversight is probably due."

Sheriff says Measures Being Taken to Beef up Jail Security

October 22, 2007
Dwayne Page

In the aftermath of last week's jail escape, Sheriff Patrick Ray says measures have been and are being taken to beef up security at the jail.

The county commission, on Monday night, authorized an emergency expenditure of up to $15,000 for the purchase of surveillance cameras for the jail annex as well as the installation of a cage around the duct work to help keep prisoners from trying to escape. The county has applied for a grant, which if approved, could provide up to another $12,000 for more surveillance cameras for the jail.

Sheriff Ray says after interviewing the correctional officers, he has concluded that the escape of four prisoners last Wednesday morning was not the fault of the staff, but of the jail infrastructure. "One of the escapees watched the correctional officer, who was in the tower which overlooks the annex dorm, and every time that correctional officer looked away from the window to do some paper work or whatever, that prisoner would motion for one of the other escapees to start climbing the I-beam."

Sheriff Ray says he has been concerned about jail safety since taking office in September, 2006." I addressed the county mayor and county commission about these concerns. Working together with the county mayor and the commission, we have made improvements to the jail and annex."

"First, we fixed the door locks to the old jail and jail annex. We also had the control panel for the door locks repaired. All has worked well since then."

"Second, we talked about security cameras for the old jail and annex cell areas. The commission approved the bid process and we took bids. There were only two bids. One bid was over $50,000 and the other for $27,500. It has been agreed to try and get funding through a grant from the state to fund this project. County Mayor Mike Foster has filed the grant and we are awaiting a response back from the state to see whether or not we will receive funding. If the funding fails, we will still purchase the cameras at full cost."

"We were also concerned about the exposed support I-beams in the annex where the inmates were climbing the beams to get access to the central heat and air duct work and to the ceiling area of the annex. Since then, we welded steel around the I-beams in order to try and stop the inmates from climbing up the beams, but in this incident, the welded steel failed." (Inmates were still able to climb the beams).

"County Mayor Foster has also appointed a jail committee to inspect the jail and for me to address my concerns to."

"The morning of the escape, we were housing a total of 88 inmates and 35 were in the annex dorm. There are a total of 48 beds in there. Since the escape, we replaced all six of the fiberglass skylights with sheets of metal in the annex. We are in the process of trying to figure out a way to keep the inmates from climbing the I-beams in the annex dorm. We are working with the state jail inspector to make sure we stay within codes for the improvement."

"The safety of the public is of the utmost concern for me, the county mayor, and the county commission. We will strive to do everything we can to take care of these concerns."

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests in Rash of Burglaries & Thefts

October 22, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has apparently solved a rash of recent burglaries and thefts with the arrest of several people.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 19 year old Ricky Workman of Woodland Trail, Hillsboro, Ohio and 19 year old Robert Lydell of South Elm Street, Wallingford, Connecticut are each charged with aggravated burglary after allegedly being caught breaking into a house boat at Center Hill Marina.

Sheriff Ray says on the evening of Sunday, October 14th, one of the boat owners at the marina saw the defendants in a houseboat that didn't belong to them and approached. He was able to detain Lydell until help arrived and an officer caught Workman.

Bond for each is $10,000 and they will be in court November 1st.

29 year old Nicholas Robinson of Village Place, Smithville was charged with theft of property over $5,000 on Saturday, October 20th.

Sheriff Ray says his department received a report on September 26th that three 4 wheelers and a handgun had been stolen from a home on Barnes Mill Road. As the result of the investigation, officers learned that Robinson had possession of two of the 4-wheelers, and that he had stripped them down. According to Sheriff Ray, when Robinson learned he was a suspect, he allegedly took the two stripped down four wheelers and abandoned them in a wooded area on Banks Pisgah Road in an attempt to hide them. Those two 4 wheelers have been recovered.

Robinson's bond was set at $10,000 and he will be in court on the charge November 15th.

20 year old Eric Dickens of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville and 19 year old Brandon Belcher of Miller Road, Smithville have each been charged with three counts of burglary and theft.

Sheriff Ray says the two men allegedly broke into two houseboats at Hidden Harbour Marina and one boat on Casey's Cove Road, where more than $5,000 in goods were stolen including stereos, gas tanks, fishing poles, speakers, tools, etc. Some of the property has been recovered.

Bond for them is set at $80,000 each and they will be in court on the charges November 15th.

26 year old Shaun Hill of Cordell Love Road is charged with one count of theft and two counts of forgery.

Sheriff Ray says Hill allegedly stole checks from the victim, who lives on Bell Street, and passed a forged check, each in the amount of $500, on August 15th and September 26th at a local bank. Hill also allegedly stole an ATM card from the same victim on October 8th and used it to withdraw some money from the victim's account.

Hill's bond is set at $7,500 and he will be in General Sessions Court on the charges November 1st.

Meanwhile, 25 year old Joshua Flatt of North Hampton Circle, Cookeville was pulled over by a county deputy in the early morning hours of October 13th. The deputy, while on patrol, noticed Flatt's vehicle weaving on Highway 70 east, stopped it, and then had Flatt perform field sobriety tasks. The officer determined that Flatt was intoxicated and charged him with driving under the influence. His bond was set at $1,500.

Others with Flatt were also charged including 27 year old Joshua Thompson of Lake Valley Drive, Cookeville; 25 year old William Holley of West 7th Street, Cookeville, and 26 year old William Overstreet of Epperson Avenue, Algood. All three were charged with public intoxication, but Thompson was also charged with driving under the influence by allowance. Thompson, who owns the vehicle, told the deputy that he let Flatt drive because Flatt was not as intoxicated as he was at the time. Bond for Overstreet and Holley is $1,000 each and $2,000 for Thompson.

They will be in court on the charges November 1st.

68 year old James Frazier of Highway 70 Liberty was arrested for driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law during the early morning hours of Friday, October 19th..

Sheriff Ray says a deputy noticed Frazier's vehicle weaving on Highway 70 near Dowelltown and pulled him over. The officer had Frazier perform field sobriety tasks and determined that he was intoxicated.

Frazier's bond is set at $1,500 and he will be in court on the charges November 8th.

Another Successful Weekend for the DCHS Band.

October 22, 2007

The DeKalb County High School Band wrapped up Fall Break with another successful weekend at South Doyle High School in Knoxville. After taking the week off, the band met at the High School on Friday for a few of hours of rehearsal to prepare for the trip. Then early Saturday morning, the band gathered at the High School for one more practice, and then got on the road to Knoxville around 8:00am.

“The week off seemed to do us some good,” Field Commander, Dustin Estes said. And he was not wrong. The band placed second in the class against 6 other bands. Estes continued his three year winning streak by beating out all the other field commanders in class, and in the small division. Dustin outscored all but one field commander in the entire contest. (Large and small divisions).

What’s next? The band now goes into intense rehearsals to prepare for the Division II State competition on November 3rd, their biggest challenge of the year. This year the contest is at Independence High School in Thompson’s Station TN and will include some of the best bands in the state. The band is set to perform in preliminary competition at 11:15am in hopes to perform again later in the night for the finals. The band would like to bring as big of an audience as possible to this show.

“We’d like to publicly invite all Football players, Basketball players, Cheerleaders and any other athletes, coaches, teachers or students to attend this contest with us” Band Booster President Teresa Sullivan said. “Busses will be provided as needed, we just want people to go with us”.

The final two football games of the season are also on the band’s schedule. Oct 26th will be the “Halloween show”. They will perform their normal 2007, “A Night on Broadway” show with a little twist. The band members will dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. This really changes the feel of the show. It’s a lot of fun to perform and watch.

November 2nd will be Senior Night where the school recognizes the Senior, Football Players, Cheerleaders and Band members. This is a special night for not only the seniors but the whole band. The band gets to salute their student leaders for the year. The show that night will be dedicated to them.

The band boosters would like to encourage you to attend at least one of the next few performances. For a complete schedule of upcoming events log onto www.DekalbBand.com.

Smithville Police Receive Reports of Burglary, Theft, and Vandalism

October 19, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department this week received reports of burglary, theft, and vandalism.

Chief Richard Jennings says around 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 18th, officers Matt Holmes and Craig Capps received a call concerning the burglary of an automobile and were dispatched to the Webb House Retirement Center on Jennings Lane where an employee, Phyllis Cantrell, advised the officers that she found a man inside her vehicle as she was preparing to leave work.

According to Officer Holmes' report, " I met with Phyllis Cantrell, who advised me, as she left the building from work and approached the driver side door of her car, she hit the unlock button on her key. When she did so, the back door flew open and a white male, wearing a white shirt exited and ran northbound across the parking lot through the field toward Dearman Street. Ms. Cantrell immediately ran back to the front of the building and called 911. There was no damage determined by myself or the owner. There was a white powdery foot print on the inside bottom door sill of the passenger side rear door indicating the suspect entered the vehicle through the rear passenger door."

The report states that "Officers Holmes, Capps, and County Deputy Jody Johnson followed on foot in the last seen direction of the suspect but were unable to locate him or any clues."

Chief Jennings later went to the scene where photographs were taken of the foot prints and four fingerprints were lifted from inside the vehicle, but the fingerprints were of poor quality and may not be identifiable.

Officers also took a report of a theft of two bicycles at 261 Hayes Street on Wednesday morning, October 17th.

According to Officer Travis Bryant's report, " I met with John Mason and Thomas Harper in reference to some stolen bicycles. They advised that the bikes were discovered missing from their yard at 8:30 a.m. on October 17th. The bikes are valued at $109 and $100.

The bikes were recovered on Thursday, October 18th by the Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Patrick Ray says they were stolen by two of the jail escapees, Jeffrey Hendrix and Larry George, after they left the jail Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, two vehicles belonging to the UCHRA and one owned by Premiere Care were burglarized and vandalized this week at the UCHRA office on West Main Street.

According to Officer Matt Holmes' report, "I met with Mike Baines on Wednesday, October 17th at the UCHRA building on West Main Street who advised me that three vehicles had been broken into. They were parked behind the building. He could not find anything taken from the vehicles.

A 2001 Dodge 35B van, belonging to UCHRA, showed that the medical box had been opened and contents displaced throughout the vehicle.

A 2005 Dodge Caravan, owned by UCHRA, showed the ignition was tampered with and evidence was found in that vehicle.

The third vehicle, a 2000 Ford E350, belonging to Premiere Care, was found to have been tampered with. Information and documents had been displaced throughout the vehicle.


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