Local News Articles

Liberty Man Charged with Felony Theft

August 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Andrew Duane Maynard

A Liberty man, accused of stealing from Wal-mart, has been arrested by the Smithville Police Department.

26 year old Andrew Duane Maynard of Maynard Road, Liberty was picked up on Tuesday, August 10th for felony theft. Detective Matt Holmes made the arrest. On Monday, August 9th, Officer Matt Farmer took a report of a theft from Wal-Mart. A Loss Prevention associate at the store had still pictures and video of the suspect taking items out of the store on three different occasions through the Garden Center. The pictures showed the suspect sliding the items under the gate. He then drove his truck around and picked them up. After identifying Maynard as a suspect, Detective Holmes and Deputy Jodie Johnson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department went to Maynard's home but the officers were told that he was not there, that he had gone to town. Maynard was later seen pulling away from a dumpster site on Hwy 70 West. Deputy Johnson spotted Maynard and initiated a traffic stop. Maynard was questioned about the thefts and he admitted to taking the items. He said that the items were at his house. Stolen merchandise from Wal-Mart valued at approximately $3600 was recovered at Maynard's residence by Chief Randy Caplinger, Detective Holmes and Deputy Johnson. Bond for Maynard is $5,000 and his court date is August 19th.

62 year old Helen Faye Self of Wade Street was named in a grand jury sealed indictment on August 2nd charging her with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance. She was arrested by Officer Matt Farmer. Bond for Self is $20,000 and she will appear for arraignment on Monday August 16th in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

22 year old John David Anderson of Cookeville Highway was arrested on Tuesday, August 10th for DUI. According to the warrant, Officer James Cornelius observed a vehicle on North Congress Boulevard that appeared to be traveling faster than the posted limit. Upon getting behind the vehicle he noticed it swerve over the dividing lines several times. After stopping the vehicle and speaking with the driver, Anderson, Officer Cornelius noticed his speech to be slurred and he had poor motor skills. He submitted to several field sobriety tasks but he performed poorly. Anderson was unsteady on his feet. He submitted to a blood alcohol test. Bond for Anderson is $1,500 and his court date is August 26th.

47 year old Lou Ann Self Cantrell of West Main Street was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia on Tuesday, August 10th Officer Randy King received a tip about drug paraphernalia and illegal narcotics at 215 West Main Street. He was invited into the residence and Ms. Cantrell admitted to having paraphernalia there. Four syringes were found. Cantrell will appear in court on August 26th.

26 year old Jeffrey Edward Dawes of Miller Road was arrested on Friday, August 13th for driving on a suspended license. Officer David Phillips saw Edwards speeding on Foster Road and initiated a traffic stop where he was cited for speeding. A check of his license through Central Dispatch revealed them to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation. Bond for Dawes is $1,000 and his court date is October 13th.

27 year old April Lynn Anderson of Tramel Branch Road was arrested on Friday, August 13th for driving on a suspended license Officer David Phillips saw Anderson speeding on East Broad Street and initiated a traffic stop where she was cited for speeding. A check of her license through Central Dispatch revealed them to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation. Bond for Anderson is $1,000 and her court date is September 8th.

Anyone having any information on a crime is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

DeKalb County's Preliminary High School Graduation Rate at 90.6%

August 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jonathan Fontanez

The DeKalb County High School graduation rate continues to improve.

Jonathan Fontanez, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, told members of the board of education Thursday night that according to the state, the preliminary graduation rate is 90.6%. "The state has released our preliminary graduation rate and I want to put the emphasis on the term ‘preliminary' as the state is conducting last minute calculations of appeals on our students. The preliminary graduation rate that we have received at this time is 90.6%, which indicates that 90.6% of our students are graduating from high school. That is well above the track that we are mandated by the federal government to be on and compared with other school districts across the state, we are fairing very well additionally. I look for this preliminary graduation rate to actually be adjusted just a bit to the better as a result of some additional appeals that we submitted based on requirements, etc."

Fontanez adds "We have some wonderful programs in place that our teachers are utilizing that are being quite effective with our students. Our students are working very diligently. They're working very hard on their academics and our teachers are doing a fantastic job of teaching new and more rigorous contact standards that are assessed by new and more rigorous assessments. The curriculum is not a slouch curriculum. It is one of the top curricula in the nation, so our students are fairing very well and we want to commend all of our teachers and students and we know our parents are playing a huge role in that as well with the community support that we have. We appreciate the support of the school board as well."

Meanwhile, DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix is urging students needing credit recovery to take care of that as soon as possible. " I'd like to encourage all parents to talk to their daughters and sons and if they need credit recovery, any after school help, we have this available for them."

" We had a lot of students who waited until the spring semester last year and we were overflowing with students out there trying to get everything done. They need to get started on it right away so they can get this completed and go on with the rest of their schedule without having to re-take some classes because after so long if they haven't gotten their credits made up, we'll put them back in the class even though they should have gotten their credit recovery done in a certain period of time. If they fool around and don't get that done, we have no choice but to put them back in those classes. So we want the parents to talk to them and if you can, get them out there. We have transportation available. Ms. Crook will be there starting Monday in the morning at seven o'clock so we have after school help in the morning and afternoon. We have people there til five o'clock everyday and Mr. Ferrell is there until six p.m."

'We also have on-line classes and some distance learning classes. If your child's ACT test results haven't been up to where it needs to be, we actually probably could get them enrolled in an ACT prep class, which we don't currently have there but we could do that through our distance learning program. We have all kinds of things out there for them if they will take advantage of it."

School Board Reluctantly Approves New Budget

August 12, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education reluctantly adopted the 2010-11 budget for schools Thursday night, as approved by the county commission Tuesday night.

Even though the budget includes $10,768 more local money than the board of education had requested, school board members were upset that the county commission had reduced the property tax rate for schools from 49 cents to 48 cents per $100 of assessed value. And since one cent of the tax rate generates $47,023 in local money or $44,320 with a 5.75% delinquency rate figured into the equation, board members say that's how much more the school system would have had this year, had the one cent reduction not been made. That extra money, they say, could have been used to hire another teacher.

For that reason, the school board initially voted 5 to 1 to reject the school budget. Seventh district board member Johnny Lattimore made a motion to pass it and first district member John David Foutch offered a second to the motion. But during the roll call vote, Foutch voted no along with fellow board members W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Kenny Rhody, Bruce Parsley, and Board Chairman Charles Robinson. Lattimore voted yes and fourth district member Joan Draper was absent.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby then asked that the board members to take a recess apparently to explain to them that they had little choice but to adopt the spending plan, since schools can't operate without a budget. After the break, another vote was taken. Lattimore again made the motion to pass the budget and Foutch again offered a second to the motion. This time Foutch voted yes along with Lattimore, Rhody, and Robinson. But Evins and Parsley again voted no. So the budget was adopted 4-2.

Evins says this is not the first year that the county commission has cut the property tax rate for schools and re-allocated it to other departments of county government. According to Evins, several years ago, about two thirds of the county property tax rate was allocated for schools and the sinking fund (local option sales tax fund) which is also for schools, was used only for capital outlay expenditures, the way it was meant to be. Today, he says only about a third of the property tax rate goes to schools, and the county commission is using $1.5 million of the sinking fund for school operation plus over $500,000 for debt service. And while the tax rate for schools is decreasing, Evins says the tax rate for the county general fund has increased by twenty cents within the last two years, going from 55 cents to 75 cents.

When the sales tax referendum was approved by the voters in May 2007 raising the local option sales tax rate in DeKalb County from 1.5% to 2.75%, Evins says the public was told by county officials that the extra money derived from the increase would go to schools. And while the school system did receive the extra sales tax funds, the property tax rate for schools was cut by an equal amount, essentially putting schools right back where they were. "The sales tax referendum was passed with the understanding that the money was going to schools, but an equal or greater amount of money was taken away from the schools by reducing our property tax rate sixteen and a half cents and debt service by two cents, which makes eighteen and a half cents."

County Mayor Mike Foster insists that before the sales tax referendum was passed it was explained to the public that property tax payers would be getting an overall 19 or 20 cent property tax break, if the referendum were approved " That was the intent. It was the design that the sales tax would take the place of part of the property tax rate for schools. We made that clear in the (public) meetings and when it (referendum) was voted on and that's exactly what has been done."

Evins also pointed out that even though the school budget is more than $18 million, the 48 cent tax rate generates $2,127,365. The rest is from state and federal sources.

In order to balance the budget this year, the school board is expected to appropriate $712,000 of the local school system's share of state Basic Education Program (BEP) reserves as one-time expenditures and $58,476 of Technology Reserves.

Last year, the school board used federal stimulus funds to fund several positions that might have been eliminated due to insufficient funds. But since stimulus funds were only guaranteed for two years, board members are concerned about what might happen next year, if those funds are gone.

In other business the board of education approved a request for the DeKalb County Little League to make some improvements of their facilities.

In a letter to Director Mark Willoughby, Jonathan Norris, President of the DeKalb County Little League, explained why the improvements were needed. "We have nearly 300 kids in our program and we are severely limited on playing fields for them. We are wanting to build another game field in an existing area that we are currently using as a practice field. This would, of course, be at no cost to the DeKalb County Board of Education and would be fully funded by the DeKalb County Little League, board members, and donors to our program. The only actual addition to the existing property required would be a new fence to regulate the boundaries of our field and possibly lights in the future, as our funds allow."

The board voted 5-1 to grant approval for DeKalb County High School to charge student fees in certain courses. Board member Bruce Parsley voted no.

The requests were made by teachers in the Nutrition and Foods and the Science, Family and Consumer Science classes as well as PACE (a transition class for the Freshman Academy) and the E4TN on-line class which benefits students seeking to earn dual credit for high school and college. (To read more about this issue click the following link to read last month's school board story http://www.wjle.com/news/2010/school-board-consider-request-student-fees...)

The board approved a request by DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix to allow the football, basketball, softball, and baseball teams to practice during the fourth block of school each day. The football team will practice during the fall semester only. The basketball teams will practice during the second and third nine week periods. The baseball and softball teams will practice during the spring semester only. This is the same schedule that the high school has been following for the last several years.

Approval was granted for the DCHS girls soccer team to attend a tournament at Franklin County High School in Winchester September 18th-19th.

In his monthly written update on personnel, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby reports that the following personnel have been granted a leave of absence as requested:

Amanda Brown, DCHS teacher
Dorothy Duggin, DeKalb West School custodian
Sabrina Kirksey, Northside Elementary School teacher
LeVaughnda Midgett, Smithville Elementary School teacher
Amanda Mullinax, DeKalb West School teacher
Penny Smitty, DeKalb Middle School teacher
Amy Tobitt, DCHS teacher
Betsey Walker, Northside Elementary Special Education teacher


Jan Alexander, DeKalb Middle School teacher
Pat Allen, DeKalb West School teacher
Betty Boss, DeKalb West Educational Assistant
Betty Hickey, Smithville Elementary teacher
Eddie Judkins, Maintenance
Kathy Lawrence, DeKalb West teacher
Larry Steffee, DCHS teacher
Mary Summers, Food Service Supervisor, as of August 31st


Betty Cooper, Northside Elementary cafeteria employee
Tonya Dickens, Smithville Elementary School Special Education teacher
Megan Hardin, DeKalb West School teacher
Rebecca Oliver, DCHS English as a Second Language teacher
Lori Page, DCHS teacher
Jennifer Peek, Smithville Elementary Pre-K teacher
Diane Trapp, Northside Elementary Bookkeeper

New Hires:

Shawn Baker, DeKalb West School teacher
Jenny Cantrell, DeKalb West School teacher
Karen Caplinger, Northside Elementary Bookkeeper
Jennifer Cowan, Smithville Elementary School Special Education Educational Assistant
Andrew Dixon, DCHS teacher
Jason Farley, DeKalb Middle School teacher
Denise Graham, DeKalb West School teacher
Melissa Hale, Northside Elementary teacher
Lisa Hull, Northside Elementary teacher
Cathleen Humphreys, DeKalb West School teacher
Ben Johnson, DCHS Special Education teacher
Angela Johnson, Smithville Elementary teacher
Jennifer Judkins, Smithville Elementary English as a Second Language teacher
Ginda Kilgore, DCHS Special Education Educational Assistant
Leah Magness, DeKalb Middle School teacher
Jennifer Martin, Northside Elementary Educational Assistant
Shayln Morgan, DCHS teacher
Holly Owen, Smithville Elementary Special Education Educational Assistant
Sara Parker, DCHS Counselor
Mary Ann Puckett, DCHS teacher
Allison Rigsby, Smithville Elementary School Pre-K teacher
Judy Rose, Northside Elementary Educational Assistant
Kristen Strickland, Smithville Elementary teacher
David Turner, Substitute bus driver
Vicky Walker, DeKalb Middle School Educational Assistant
Elizabeth Wiegele, DCHS Special Education teacher
Kathryn Wisinger, DCHS English as a Second Language teacher
Aaron Young, Maintenance


Lisa Bell, data analysis to new position
Heather Blankenship, Northside Elementary Special Education Educational Assistant to replace an employee who transferred
James Carroll, DCHS Custodian to a full time position
Wendy Colvert, Smithville Elementary teacher to Special Education Pre-School
Christie Driver, School Nurse (Funding Source Change Only)
Jason Farley, Northside Elementary Educational Assistant, employed as a teacher
Beverly Ferrell, DCHS Educational Assistant (Funding Source Change Only)
Amy Fox, half time Special Education Compliance Monitor and half time Instructional Leader (Funding Source Change Only)
Lori Isabell, Northside Elementary teacher
Anna Johnson, Smithville Elementary teacher, from Title IIA to TitleI (Funding Source Change Only)
Dwight Knowles, bus driver, now a full time driver
Mike Lambert, DeKalb Middle School Custodian, to a full time position
Penelope Mason, Site Coordinator from a 12 month to an 11 month position
Adrianne McCormick, Smithville Elementary teacher, to K position
Rebecca Moss, Northside Elementary Educational Assistant (Funding Source Change Only)
Pam Sanders, DeKalb West Special Educational teacher
Linda Sorrell, DCHS Educational Special Educational Assistant (Funding Source Change Only)
Teresa Spencer, Smithville Elementary Special Educational Assistant (Funding Source Change Only)
Suzanne Williams, DCHS Educational Assistant (Funding Source Change Only)

DeKalb Libraries Getting a Technology Upgrade

August 12, 2010
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Library Director, Managers, and Librarians

The public libraries in DeKalb County are upgrading to a web-based automation system

Kathy Hendrixson, Director of DeKalb County Libraries at Justin Potter, says this new system will give patrons and staff the best access to library resources while keeping costs down. "We're updating our automation system, upgrading to a web based system. This is going to be a great asset, not only to the library, but to the patrons who will be using it. We hope to utilize today's technology so that patrons and staff have the best access to library resources while keeping costs down."

"The switch to this new system will require a change over a period of time. The staff will also have to be trained so on Friday and Saturday, August 13th & 14th the only thing the three libraries will be doing will be checking books in and out. That's the only thing we will be able to do because we're going to be actually changing over probably next week. We will be closed next Monday through Thursday, August 16th-19th for training and to start the implementation of this new system. Like anything else, you have to be trained and learn the system before you can put it to the public, so that's what we'll be doing next week. We're going to ask the public to bear with us but it will be a great asset to them once it gets up and running."

"A lot of things are coming with this new system. It will tie all three libraries together, Alexandria, Liberty, and Justin Potter in Smithville. Once we get the website up and running, patrons can log on and see what we have in each library."

" We're also going to have new library cards. That will be implemented within a few weeks. Patrons will get a new library card with a bar code and it will be on a key chain to make it easier to carry.

Hendrixson adds that the patron ID cards may be used at all three library locations but you must register at each library. As always, books checked out at a library must be returned to that same library.

Tentative timeline: Friday, Aug. 13th thru Saturday Aug. 14th - Librarians will only be able to check items in and out. Patrons must bring library card to check out items.

·Monday, Aug. 16th thru Thursday, Aug. 19th – Libraries will be closed.

·Friday, August 20th - Libraries will re-open with new system.

Alexandria Library News
Alexandria Library will have new hours effective August 9th: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 12 – 5 pm, and Saturday 9 am – 2 pm .

Meanwhile Justin Potter Library's Book Sale continues through August 27th. There are books, movies, and magazines available at a very low price. Come by and see what they have. For additional information, please call the library at 615-597-4359.

The Alexandria Library, 109 Public Square, will have a book sale beginning Monday August 23 - Friday September 17. The library hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 12 - 5, and Saturday 9 - 2. Everything 25 cents and under.

(Pictured front row left to right are: Cheryl Runyon, Alexandria Branch Manager, Kathy Hendrixson, Director DeKalb County Libraries, Helga Thompson, New Liberty Library Branch Manager, Back row: Larry Bean, retiring Liberty Library Branch Manager, and Rochelle Turner, Librarian at Justin Potter Library.)

"Happy Days Celebration" to benefit Habitat for Humanity

August 12, 2010
Debi and the Doo-Wops

A "Happy Days Celebration" to benefit Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will be held on Saturday, August 21st from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. downtown Smithville.

Debi and the Doo-Wops from Lebanon will open the Sock Hop at 7:00 p.m. inside the 303 Building. The Doo-Wops will perform the classic songs of the 1950s which followed by dance contests, cake walks, hula hoop competition, and prizes for the best dressed couples along with a live auction and concessions. All proceeds will go to Habitat. Admission will be $5 per person.

Earlier in the day, a classic car show will be featured from 2:00 until 6:00 p.m. on the public square downtown. Live entertainment will be performed on two venues during the same time; on an outside stage and inside the 303 Building. Those attending will be treated to Country, Rock, Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues, tribute artists such as Frank Sinatra and Garth Brooks, and the DeKalb County Community Chorus.

The DeKalb County High School Band will begin the Happy Days Celebration at 2 p.m. with a performance on the Courthouse Square. Additionally, inflatable toys and games will be available for children.

For more information, call 597-2082.

(Featured in the above photo: Debi & the Doo-Wops….Debi Lancaster, Lynn Winfree, Kay Parker, Anita VanHook, Prissy Deffendall)

Middle Tennessee Electric's Annual Meeting set for August 21st

August 11, 2010
Ken Griffith
Dan Smith

Middle Tennessee Electric's Annual Meeting will be held Aug. 21 at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro - Hotel and Conference Center located next to The Avenue shopping center.

"This year's theme is built around energy efficiency and conservation," MTEMC Vice President of Communications and Member Services Chris Jones said. "We can't change the increasing costs of fuels used to produce power and purchased power costs, but we can use less energy and be more wise in our energy usage decisions."

The meeting, which will begin at 7:30 a.m., will feature the crowning of a new Miss MTEMC and include a used truck giveaway.

Two candidates, Ken Griffith and R. Dan Smith, are in the running to fill a vacant seat on the board of directors in District 4B (Wilson County)

Griffith is the owner and a photographer at Griffith’s Studio and Frame Gallery in Lebanon. He and his wife, Jeanie, live in Liberty. He’s a deacon at Salem Baptist Church, a Salem Cemetery Fund board member, past secretary of Music City Professional Photographers and a member of Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, Burrell’s Presidential Circle and Tennessee Southeast Professional Photographers.

Smith is a farmer and 48-year member. He and his wife, Vondie, live in Lebanon. He’s an Agriculture Hall of Fame member since 2009. The MTEMC Director has formerly served as secretary for four years and has served as secretary, vice president and president of Wilson Farmers Co-op, past president of Tennessee Farmers Co-op and on the Advisory Committee for Bank for Cooperatives in Louisville, Ky. He is president of the Wilson County Farm Bureau Board and a member of the Church of Christ.

The meeting gives members an opportunity to vote on the MTEMC Board of Directors, sit in on a business session, receive a free health screening and be eligible for a number of door prizes, including a 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck.

As always, the Miss Middle Tennessee Electric beauty pageant is part of the day's events. Twenty-seven contestants ages 16-21 will compete for the title. The winner will have her choice of $1,000 cash or a trip to Washington D.C. as part of the Rural Electric Youth Tour, valued at $1,200. The first and second runners-up also earn prizes.

As part of its bylaws, MTEMC has held a members' meeting every year since the not-for-profit cooperative was organized in 1936 by a group of Middle Tennessee citizens. The organization has grown to become one of the largest electrical cooperatives in the country. MTEMC has a membership of approximately 185,000 residences, businesses and industries in Rutherford, Williamson, Wilson, Cannon and surrounding counties.

Members who can't make it to the meeting but who wish to vote on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee candidates may vote at their local offices. Voting at the Franklin, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna and Woodbury offices will be Aug. 16-20 from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

For more information, call MTEMC's Communications and Member Services Department at (615) 494-1545.

G.E.D. Classes to Begin August 23rd

August 11, 2010
Dwayne Page
Betty Hickey

Interested in obtaining a G.E.D.?

A G.E.D. program is offered free in DeKalb County to anyone age eighteen or older. The classes meet at Smithville Elementary School and are taught by Betty Hickey and volunteer Tom Werling. Classes begin Monday, August 23rd.

Hickey says the G.E.D. classes meet on Monday and Wednesday at Smithville Elementary School starting at 4:00 p.m.

"We have open enrollment. That means we accept people all year long from August when we start until the end of June. We shut down during the month of July. All of our classes are free because we are considered public education but the testing center charges a fee of $55.00 and you have to go to McMinnville or Cookeville to take your test. The Smithville Rotary Club and DeKalb Community Bank helps with this fee.

"When you come, the first thing we do is give a test. That test gives us a grade level in reading, math, and English. From there, we can work with you, one on one, because our classes are usually pretty small. After we get your grade levels, then we can help you one on one with the areas you are low in until you are ready to go take your exam. The areas that you are tested in are science, social studies, reading, math, and English, which includes an essay. One good thing about the test is that you can go take your exam and you don't have to pass all subjects at once. You can pass what you can, come back to us, and we'll help you through the areas that you may be having more difficulty in."

For more information call 597-5404.

County Commission Honors Eagle Scout Layne Mathis

August 11, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster Congratulates Eagle Scout Layne Mathis

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution honoring Eagle Scout Layne Mathis, son of Ricky and Donna Mathis.

County Mayor Mike Foster read the resolution "Whereas, it is fitting that the DeKalb County Commission and the DeKalb County Mayor should announce their pride, respect, and honor in the young people of our community who so capably fulfill their requirements and duties to reach lofty goals and levels of achievement.

Whereas, Layne Mathis has performed the years of tasks to work his way to the highest honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America. Layne Mathis has worked to a level achieved by a very select few and has earned the Eagle Award.

Whereas, the DeKalb County Commission and the DeKalb County Mayor wish to thank Layne Mathis, his family, other scouts who helped and his leaders for the honors they have brought to themselves and DeKalb County.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the DeKalb County Commission that August 10th, 2010 be officially named Eagle Scout Layne Mathis Day. Be it further resolved that this accomplishment be spread across the records of this meeting and preserved as a lasting part of our appreciation to Eagle Scout Layne Mathis."

Foster added "He worked at the T-ball field to build a play set and put a fence around it for the younger kids who were not playing T-ball to have a safe place to play. He took donations for his project at the T-ball field and hired himself out to work in concession stands for parents who donated to the play set. He supervised the project and helped with the installation. His favorite Merit Badge was law. He took it seven times at Tennessee Tech and MTSU during Merit Badge Universities. His favorite activities were camping and canoeing. He was a cub scout before he was a boy scout. Layne also enjoys playing football for the DeKalb County Tigers."

In other business, the county commission voted to post speed limits on three county roads in the fourth district based on a recommendation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

County Mayor Foster says residents in those areas asked that speed limits be established. "I've got three roads that have been recommended to be approved for speed limits, based on THP input. These are recommended from the planning commission to discuss speed limits on Ford Road, Lakeview Heights, and Mountain View Road. Ford Road is off of the road that goes to Austin Bottom. Lakeview Heights is near Cookeville Boat Dock, and Mountain View is off of Lakeview Mountain Estates.

The way this worked, we had a letter from the people who live on those roads recommending that this be done. It's not just one person who makes the recommendation, it has to be everybody on the road. They make the recommendations to the planning commission and then the planning commission makes a recommendation to the county commission, and then the highway patrol checks the roads and recommends a safe speed."

The county commission also reappointed Wayne Cantrell and Elmer Ellis, Jr. to the 911 board. Their terms will expire August 3rd, 2014.

Site summaries are not yet complete by J & S Construction on the Town and Country Shopping Center complex, but the county commission Monday night authorized advertising the invitation to bid the renovations of the complex, once those summaries are finished. County Mayor Foster says since the county commission doesn't meet again in regular session until September 27th, he and members of the commission felt it best to take this action now so that the project can be expedited before the cold weather months arrive. The project will be bid in two sections, one for the administrative and the other for the recreation portion of the facility.

County Commission Adopts Budgets totaling more than $36 Million

August 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Commissioners Larry Summers and Wayne Cantrell
County Commissioners Marshall Ferrell, Bobby Joines, Jack Barton
County Commissioners Jerry Scott, Mason Carter, Elmer Ellis, Jr.
County Commissioner Jeff Barnes

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted budgets for all county departments for the 2010-11 fiscal year and set the property tax rate at $1.46 per $100 of assessed value, the same as last year.

The vote was 9-0. Members voting in favor were Elmer Ellis, Jr., Mason Carter, Bobby Joines, Jack Barton, Jerry Scott, Wayne Cantrell, Jeff Barnes, Marshall Ferrell, and Larry Summers. Members absent were Randy Caplinger, Chris Smithson, Jeff Barrett, John Green, and Willie Thomas.

Total appropriations come to $36-million 181-thousand 801 dollars.

The new budget includes a $400 pay raise for full time county general employees and a twenty five cent per hour increase for part time workers. Members of the county commission will get a $900 per year increase in pay. Each commissioner currently receives $900 per year for attending regular meetings. That will go to $1,800. In addition to the pay hike for regular meetings, the commissioners who meet in committee will receive a $35 increase in pay per meeting.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the budget includes increases in contributions toward benefits including employee and dependent insurance, retirement contributions, workers comp, etc.

Funds are included in the budget for the sheriff's department to make the transition from part time to full time for four deputies who serve as court officers. Under state law, the department is required to have only full time POST certified courtroom officers.

The budget includes money to fund an animal control officer, at least on a part time basis, to pick up stray dogs and cats.

The county will continue to fund "flaggers" at Hurricane bridge on weekdays to control traffic and weight loads across the bridge until the state begins construction work there. The county is expected to receive state grant funds to recoup at least part of the costs of the "flaggers".

The county will not be offering discounts this fall for property owners who pay their taxes in October or November but local property tax relief of up to $50 will be available for those who qualify for the state property tax relief program.

The county is seeking a grant to fund the purchase of a tanker truck and turnout gear for the volunteer fire department. Ten thousand dollars has been budgeted for local matching funds if the grant is approved.

Capital projects fund expenses include:

Ambulance- $75,000 (retro fit an ambulance with new chassis)

Furniture and fixtures (shopping center building)- $100,000 to buy equipment, computers, tables, chairs, appliances,etc.
The county has already been awarded a grant to buy seven or eight new computers for the building; a $15,000 grant for the new senior citizens center to help furnish the kitchen with tables, etc; and a $15,000 grant to finish up the new archives, adding shelves, etc. at the shopping center complex.

Patrol cars or any vehicle needed and grant match for fire department tanker truck- $77,500

Other equipment- $40,000 (fund set aside to help replace fire truck in the future-money to be added to the fund each year)

Building construction- $3,000,000 (Foster says this amount is the balance of the money left from the $5,000,000 the county borrowed to purchase the shopping center complex and to refinance existing debt.) "This ($3,000,000) is what's left after the county paid off the $750,000 for the shopping center building that we bought, paid the county back. We paid off all the notes that the county had including school notes and re-did them at a 3.08% rate, and paid off fire trucks that we bought because the state had condemned two of ours. That's what's left ($3,000,000) in that fund to do work on that building (shopping center) but it may not necessarily all be spent."

Building construction for the Farmer's Market- $50,000 to help match the $80,000 grant to develop the new farmers market.

Solid Waste equipment- $135,000 to purchase a roll back truck and a used front end loader

Other construction- $30,000 for an extra retention pond at the landfill

The local property tax rate will remain the same, without an increase, at $1.46 per $100 of assessed value. The tax rate breaks down as follows:

County General 75 cents, up by 8 cents from last year and up by 20 cents from two years ago
Highway/Public Works- 3 cents
General Capital Projects- 8 cents, up by 1 cent from last year
Debt Service-12 cents, down by 8 cents from last year
General Purpose Schools- 48 cents, down by 1 cent from last year

One cent of the tax rate generates $43,920 in local money with a 5.75% delinquency rate figured into the equation. Here's how much each fund is expected to collect from local property tax dollars:

Net Estimated Collections:
County General- $3,324,007
General Purpose Schools- $2,127,365
Debt Service- $531,841
Highways/Public Works- $132,960
General Capital Projects- $354,561
Total Tax Levy- $6,470,735

Total Estimated Revenues:
County General- $6,069,149
Highways- $1,931-102
Debt Service-$556,407
General Purpose Schools-$17,269,428
Central Cafeteria- $1,346,000
General Capital Projects-$420,938
Local Purpose Fund-$2,150,000
Drug Control- $36,910
Courthouse/Jail Maintenance-$70,405
Solid Waste-$1,375,116
Total: $31,225,454

Total appropriations for each fund are as follows:
County General- $6,328,134
Highways- $2,109,381
Debt Service- $1,138,412
General Purpose Schools- $18,029,136
Central Cafeteria- $1,408,500
General Capital Projects- $3,511,566
Local Purpose Fund- $2,144,184
Drug Control- $36,003
Courthouse/Jail Maintenance- $64,755
Solid Waste- $1,400,231
Total- $36,181,801

The beginning Fund Balance for all funds combined (available money) to start the fiscal year July 1st, 2010 was $11,895,282. The ending fund balance by June 30th, 2011 is estimated to be $7,531,880.

The ambulance service budget estimates expenditures to be $1,138,558 for the year and projected revenues for the operation are projected to be $948,424 including $925,000 in patient charges, a difference of $190,134. Foster says that while revenues have been exceeding expectations the EMS operation is still not operating at a break even point. However, he points out that a few years ago when the county contracted with others to operate the ambulance service, it was paying out $160,000 and buying ambulances each year.

The budget for schools comes to over $18 million including local, state, and federal funds. The property tax rate for schools will be trimmed by one cent from 49 cents to 48 cents per $100 of assessed value. Foster says the one cent reduction will not adversely affect the school system. The school board, in it's budget request, asked for $33,000 in extra local funds over last year. Foster says since one cent of the tax rate generates more money than last year due to growth, the school system will actually be receiving more than ten thousand dollars over and above it's request.

In addition to the $2-million 127-thousand 365 for schools generated by the 48 cent tax rate, the county commission is transferring $1-million 540 thousand from local purpose tax fund (sinking/sales tax fund) to help operate schools this year along with $580,534 to fund the school debt service for payment on the Northside Elementary School and roof at Smithville Elementary School. The state BEP allocation for schools is $12-million 508-thousand dollars.

The school budget includes a $400 increase per certified position and a 25 cent per hour increase for all support staff positions along with the step increases per salary scales and adjustments for degree advancement per salary scales.

The budget also includes one new special education resource teacher for DeKalb County High School to help meet the new diploma requirements. One of the current school nurse positions and two special education assistants, under this budget, will be funded from general purpose schools, rather than federal as they have been in the past. One part-time special education vision teacher position will become full time under this budget.

Three cents of the property tax rate, $132,960, helps support the county highway department along with a mineral severance tax, $25,000, Other than that, Foster says all of the county road department's budget is funded by state allocations, mostly state gas tax revenues.

The landfill budget has increased this year, primarily due to increases allocated for costs associated with post closure of former landfill sites. The increase in that category alone is going from $60,000 to $200,000. Depreciation expense is increasing from $25,000 to $120,000. Foster says another manned convenience site is being developed at the landfill and funds have been included to cover more man hours at some of the other convenience site locations.

The solid waste fund does not receive any property tax money. A total of $601,715 in local funds to support solid waste are derived from payment-in-lieu of taxes, local option sale taxes, hotel-motel tax, bank excise tax and wholesale beer tax. Sixty five thousand dollars is budgeted as projected revenues from tipping fees.

The commission also adopted a resolution making appropriations of $123,735 to the following non-profit organizations:

DeKalb Sparks Softball- $150
Upper Cumberland Development District- $3,411
Tennessee Division of Forestry-$1,500
DeKalb County Rescue Squad- $11,500
Plateau Mental Health-$7,180
Families First-$750
Senior Citizens Program-$23,962
DeKalb Soil Conservation District-$28,097
DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce-$20,000
Genesis House- $1,500
Prospect Incorporated-$12,500
Upper Cumberland Human Resources-$1,200
Double Creek/Other Child Welfare Services- $3,000
UCHRA Assessment-Homemaker Aide, etc-$8,985

Dues and memberships:
Upper Cumberland Tourism Association- $300
Tennessee County Services Association- $1,223
Tennessee County Officials Association- $1,985
Tennessee County Sheriff's Association- $1,200
Tennessee County Commissioners Association- $1,350
Upper Cumberland Development District- $2,508
Association of Tennessee Valley Governments- $400
Total dues and memberships- $8,966

Two Men Arrested After Deputy Finds Meth Lab Components during Traffic Stop

August 9, 2010
Dwayne Page
Robert Douglas Tedrow
Mark William Green
Virginia Kay Jones

Two men were arrested on drug charges by the Sheriff's Department Friday, August 6th after being stopped for a traffic violation on Highway 70.

34 year old Robert Douglas Tedrow of Hiwassee Road, Lebanon and 30 year old Mark William Green of Stoutown Road, Blaine Tennessee are each charged with manufacture of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine), simple possession of a schedule II drug (cocaine), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond for each is $28,500 and they will be in court on August 19th. Tedrow was also issued a citation for violation of the seat belt law.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says after stopping Tedrow's vehicle for the traffic offense, the deputy walked up to the vehicle and noticed a two liter bottle on the back floor board. The bottle contained a milky substance. Suspecting that the men had components of a shake and bake meth lab in the vehicle, the officer asked for and received consent to search. In the vehicle, the deputy found a blue bag with a spoon wrapped in plastic that contained a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine. Five used needles were also found along with other components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Meanwhile in another case, 25 year old Scotty Randall Hendrixson of McMinnville was charged on Friday August 6th with driving on a suspended license. He was also issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance) and violation of the vehicle registration law for having the wrong tags on his vehicle.. Sheriff Ray says a deputy responded to an accident with property damage on New Home Road in Dowelltown. A computer check of his drivers license revealed they were suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Warren County earlier this year. He also had Cannon County charges against him from cases in 2008. His bond totals $2,000 and his court date is August 25th.

48 year old Virginia Kay Jones of Holloway Road, Smithville was named in a grand jury sealed indictment last week for TennCare Fraud. She was arrested on Thursday, August 5th. Her bond is $2,500 and she will appear for arraignment in criminal court on August 16th.


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