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Local News Articles

Local Man Charged in Shoplifting Case

April 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department arrested a Smithville man in a shoplifting case last week at Walmart.

22 year old Brian Allen Bly is charged with theft of property involving merchandise. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on April 16th.

Officer Travis Bryant reports that "On April 9th, I was at Walmart with the manager reviewing video when one of the employees advised us by radio that there was a male opening up items without paying for them. I made contact with the male, identified as Bly, and asked him where the item was that belonged in the packaging (turkey caller) He stated that he dropped it on the shelf in an aisle. He then led us back to where he said he had laid it down (under a sleeping bag) That's when I observed him remove an item from his pocket and place it on the shelf (turkey caller). I then placed him under arrest and did a search of his person and recovered the rest of the items from the packaging."

35 year old Juan A Miranda is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court April 16th.

Officer Scott Davis reports that he responded to a domestic complaint at 215 Short Mountain Highway on April 8th. Upon arrival and speaking with the complaintant, Officer Davis learned that Miranda had allegedly threatened his wife and to do harm to himself. They were in a verbal argument on April 7th & 8th. According to Officer Davis, Miranda admitted to making the threats to his wife.

32 year old Juan Silva Cruz of Smithville is charged with a first offense of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving without a license.. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court April 16th,

Officer Nathan Estes reports that on April 6th he responded to an accident on Foster Road where the driver had left the scene. The car was off the road in a field. Upon an investigation, police learned that the driver, Cruz, had gotten a ride to his home on Forrest Avenue. He was found at his home. Cruz had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He had the keys to the vehicle in his pocket. He had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Cruz submitted to a Breathalyzer test. The result was .215. He could not produce a drivers license. A computer check revealed that he did not have a license.

25 year old Kenneth A. Applegate of Lebanon is charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law.. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on April 23rd.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew reports that on April 7th he responded to a motor vehicle accident on Highway 56 south in Smithville. Upon arrival, Lieutenant Leffew found Applegate to be very unsteady on his feet and he had slurred speech. Applegate admitted to the officer that he had been drinking moonshine. Applegate refused to submit to field sobriety tasks and blood alcohol tests.

Smithville Restaurant Extensively Damaged by Fire

April 11, 2009
Dwayne Page
Smithville Firefighters at Ashburns Alley Cafe (Photo by Greg Bess)

A fire Friday night caused extensive damage to Ashburn's Alley Café on Walnut Street, downtown.

The Smithville Fire Department was called to the scene around 7:50 p.m. and stayed there until around 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

According to Fire Chief Charlie Parker, someone from a business across the street spotted the fire and reported it.

Chief Parker says there was fire, smoke, and water damage to the inside of the building.

Some smoke seeped through to adjoining buildings, but the fire did not spread.

Chief Parker says the origin of the fire appeared to have been electrical in nature, but the exact cause has not officially been determined.

The restaurant was closed at the time of the fire. No one was there and no one was injured.

(Members of the Smithville Fire Department wish to thank Donna's Country Kitchen and Mapco Express for providing them food and coffee while they were on the scene of the fire)

Fallen Tree on West Broad Street Causes Widespread Power Outage

April 10, 2009
Dwayne Page
Fallen Tree Causes Power Outage-
Downed Tree Snaps Utility Poles
Workers Use Chainsaws to cut Tree that downed Power Lines

A fallen tree on West Broad Street snapped four utility poles and left many homes and businesses in Smithville and parts of the county without power for several hours Friday evening.

Charlie Parker, Smithville Fire Chief and DeKalb County Emergency Management Coordinator, says the tree fell after the severe storms had passed. The first reports of power outage to Central Dispatch came around 5:13 p.m.

The Smithville Police Department closed West Broad Street from near Juniper Lane to Anthony Avenue and re-routed traffic as workers of Smithville Electric System, Caney Fork Electric, the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Comcast, and the City of Smithville worked to clean up the debris and restore electric and Cable TV service.

The power outage was widespread across the city and parts of the county forcing many stores and restaurants to close early for the day and with red lights out at two of the city's major intersections, Smithville Police and DeKalb County deputies stood by to direct traffic at West Broad and Congress Boulevard and at South Congress and Bryant Street.

Severe storms rumbled across the midstate Friday afternoon spawning tornadoes, and producing high winds, heavy rains, and some hail. DeKalb County was placed under tornado warnings at least twice during the day but according to Parker, there were apparently no reports of tornado touchdowns in the county and no widespread storm damage.

Smithville Police Department Hosting Internet Safety Class

April 10, 2009
Dwayne Page
 Investigator Jerry Hutchins Jr and Police Chief Richard Jennings

The Smithville Police Department will be hosting an Internet Safety Class on Thursday, April 16th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the city hall community room upstairs. The program will be presented to parents and children of all ages.

Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. says the program will illustrate the dangers of on-line predators, provide on-line safety tips, and show how someone can track individuals with limited information. The dangers of taking pictures and posting them on-line will also be discussed.

Hutchins and Jennifer Wilkerson, the Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Child Advocacy Center will be the featured speakers.

Chief Richard Jennings says there is no cost to attend and everyone is invited.." The Smithville Police Department wants to put on informative classes and seminars to help the public. I want everyone to come out and hear what Jennifer Wilkerson has to say. She also has other presentations that she puts on that's geared for teachers and high school students. Other topics of programs she puts on are child abuse, peer pressure, child abuse prevention, speaking out against child sexual abuse, and the topic of rape." Those issues however will not be addressed in this seminar Thursday night.

DeKalb Co. Receives $7K Grant to Help Homeless

April 10, 2009

As the economic downturn continues, the rate of both homelessness and hunger has increased in Middle Tennessee and across the country. Congressman Bart Gordon announced today that DeKalb County has been awarded a $7,422 grant to help people in need of food and shelter.

“The money allocated today will help to expand DeKalb’s existing program,” explained Congressman Gordon. “Not only can the funds be used for food and shelter purposes, but they can also be used to provide one-month assistance with rent, mortgage and utility payments to prevent evictions, and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions.”

The America Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law on February 17th, provided funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP) National Board Program. ESFP’s objectives are to allocate funds to the neediest areas; to ensure fast response; to foster public-private sector partnerships; to ensure local decision-making; and to maintain accountable reporting.

If you have any questions about the grant DeKalb County received, you can contact the DeKalb County Help Center at 615-597-5175. Funds were allocated on the basis of a formula that took current population, unemployment and poverty into account.

Gordon added, “I am confident that grants like this, in addition to the job creation components and federal grant programs that received funding from the Recovery Act, will pull Middle Tennessee and the rest of the country out of this recession and back on the track of economic prosperity.”

For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the programs that received funding, visit Congressman Bart Gordon’s “Economic Recovery Center” at

Director of Schools Hires Professional Personnel for 2009-2010

April 9, 2009
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has signed contracts with the Professional Personnel for the 2009-2010 school year.

Willoughby presented a list of the employees to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Certified personnel at each school are as follows:

DeKalb County High School-

Angie Anderson, Danny Bond, Amanda Brown, Kevin Burchfield, Boyd Cantrell, Harriett Cantrell, Jeanine Cantrell, Mary Anne Carpenter, Patrick Cripps, Dixie Crook, Jared Daniels, Linda Dean, Deborah DePriest, Donna Emmons, Marshall Ferrell, Tina Fletcher, Amanda Fuller, Judy Fuson, Wayne Fuson, David Gash, Marie Hill, Susan Hinton, Sonja House, John Isabell, Lori Isabell, William Jennings, Natasha Judkins, Dylan Kleparek, Brad Leach, Lynus Martin, Lori Barnes Myrick, Rolando Navarro, Jenny Norris, Scott Odom, Rebecca Oliver, Lori Page, Shelly Painter, Walteen Parker, Linda Parris, John Pryor, Rebecca Purdue, Joey Reeder, Leslie Rice, Melissa Ruch, Frederick Sanders, Daniel Sebers, Peggy Semmes, Larry Steffee, Amy Tobitt, Steve Trapp, Chris Vance, Michael Whitefield, Carol Williams, Jonathon Wright, Charlotte Wruble, Melvin Young, and Kathy Hendrix.

Northside Elementary School-

Joyce Alexander, Rebecca Baugh, Lisa Bell, Marla Beshearse, Kelly Birmingham, Kathy Bryant, Linda Bush, Wendy Colvert, Trent Colwell, Michael Crockett, Amanda Dakas, Alisha Day, Holly Espinosa, Jerry Foster, Ashley Garrett, Carrie Gottlied, Amy Green, Amanda Griffith, Jennifer Griffith, Cynthia Hale, Jessica Hale, Patty Hale, Karen Jacobs, Shelly Jennings, Sabrina Kirksey, Kristy Lasser, Lisa Mabe, Amanda Mathis, Libby McCormick, Pamela Miller, Louise Owen, Judy Redmon, Amy Raymond, Bethany Rigsby, Melissa Roysdon, Scott Rupe, Tammy Sims, Jama Todd, Carol Tripp, Cheryl Vance, Julie Vincent, Betsye Walker, Ginger Wenger, Tiffany Wheatley, Sandy Willingham, and Gayle Redmon.

DeKalb West School-

Pat Allen, Doris Cantrell, Jeanna Caplinger, William Conger, Kim Crook, Martha Damron, Genrose Davis, Tonya Dickens, Tonya Ellis, Janet England, Lesa Hayes, Lindsay Holmes, Ricky Hendrix, Regina Kent, Kathy Lawrence, Michael Littrell, Shelia McMillen, Melanie Molander, Tammy Payne, Debra Poteete, Cynthia Preston, Lori Pryor, Cynthia Pulley, Joyce Robertson, Susan Robinson, Pam Sanders, Lori Sexton, Jane Watson, Vicki Wilson, Amy Young, and Danny Parkerson.

Smithville Elementary School-

Sharon Anderson, Ana Bain, Renee Beaty, Kelly Birmingham, Kim Brown, Vickie Burton, Beth Cantrell, Laura Carter, Layra Crook, Trena Curtis, Sue Driver, Vicky Duke, Wanna Foster, Kelli Foster, Misty Franklin, Tina Gash, Amanda Hardiek, Vicky Hawker, Bradley Hendrix, Holly Hendrix, Mary Henny, Betty Hickey, Anna Johnson, Karen Knowles, Carrie Lee, LeVaughnda Midgett, Margaret Nichols, Christina Ontiveros, Lisa Pack, Beth Pafford, Jane Parsley, Kristy Parsley, Jennifer Peek, Mary Pugh, Lori Purnell, Jane Ramsey, Amanda Rhoady, Carol Sampley, Carol Tallent, Jan Thomas, Janet Trapp, Carol-Ann Tripp, Fay Turner, Sherian Waggoner, Janet Woodward, Crystal Young, Christie Young, and Dr. Billy Tanner.

DeKalb Middle School-

Joey Agee, Josh Agee, Jan Alexander, Ashley Barnes, Pat Barnes, Lori Cloyd, Lisa Craig, Lisa Cripps, Tena Davidson, Nancy Dillon, Jenny Elrod, Sabrina Farler, Amy Fletcher, Lori Hendrix, Jill Herron, Tom Hill, Bryan Jones, Michelle Jones, Gail Kirksey, Taleen Lambert, Michael Lewis, Michael Littrell, Debra Moore, Rebecca Oliver, Joy Parker, Karen Pelham, Anita Puckett, Joyce Robertson, Candice Scrabro, Penny Smitty, Lori Sexton, Tonya Sullivan, Kitty Thomas, Tad Webb, Jennifer West, and Randy Jennings.

Central Office Staff-

Gina Arnold, Katherine Ballard, Michelle Burklow, Clay Farler, Dr. Carol Hendrix, Dr. Danielle Collins, Dee Anna Persinger, and Mary Nelle Summers

County Wide-

Amy Fox, Judy Malone, and Lori Rogers.

DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix updated the school board on recent activities at her school.

In other business, Director Willoughby recommended that the following teachers be granted tenure because they have successfully completed the statutory apprentice period of three years as required for tenure:

William Conger, Misty Franklin, Shelly Jennings, Sabrina Kirksey, Kristy Lasser, Michael Littrell, Rolando Navarro, Elizabeth Pafford, Rebecca Oliver, Amy Raymond, and Amy Young

Meanwhile, Amy Fox has been transferred to a full time special education compliance/federal programs literacy coach.

Michael Hawkins, a teacher at DeKalb County High School, and Vickie Terrell, teacher at DeKalb Middle School are retiring. DCHS teacher and girls basketball coach Mike Shockley has resigned.

The board voted to seek state approval to extend the utilization of two 66 passenger school buses with twelve years of service for this year. The buses will have to be inspected at least every six months, if the state grants approval of the request. The buses, which are currently out of service, would be used for substitute buses.

Meanwhile, the DCHS BETA Club was granted permission to attend the National BETA Club State Convention at Gaylord Opryland April 13th through April 15th

The Junior Class of DCHS was granted permission to have the Prom off campus at the Cedarvine Manor in Lebanon on April 24th from 8:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

The board granted permission for a school bus to be used to transport 4-H'ers to the Sub-Regional Project Achievement Day in Cookeville on May 12th and to the Regional Clover Bowl Contest in Cookeville on May 15th. Both events will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

The school board also approved two budget amendments and will request the county commission to do the same.

One amendment is to appropriate $6,000 in additional state revenue for the Model Dropout Prevention Grant Program, including $4,000 for teachers and $2,000 for instructional supplies.

The other amendment is to appropriate $414,198 from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Energy Efficiency Loan Program to improve energy efficiency in the school system as approved in the Energy Loan Application.

Board Chairman Charles Robinson, at the beginning of the meeting, called for a moment of silence in remembrance of the late Billy Colwell "Janitor Billy" who was a custodian at DCHS.

National Weather Service to Conduct Storm Spotter Class in Smithville

April 9, 2009
Dwayne Page
Charlie Parker

Interested in Weather? Become a National Weather Service Storm Spotter!

A free training class will be held in Smithville on April 22nd at 6:30 p.m.that will teach people how to properly identify and report significant weather phenomena and contribute to public safety. The class will be held in the community room of the Smithville City Hall building.

Even with sophisticated technology like radar and satellites, The National Weather Service still needs ground truth information from trained weather spotters throughout the year.

Charlie Parker, DeKalb County Emergency Management Coordinator and Smithville Fire Chief, says you will learn about how thunderstorms work, how to identify cloud features associated with microbursts and tornadoes, visually estimate wind speeds, and how your reports tie in to warnings and advisories issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). In addition, you will learn about all of the services available from the NWS. "Mr. Tom Johnstone of the National Weather Service is coming to DeKalb County to conduct a storm spotter class. The whole community is invited. No registration is required. Just show up that night. The class is approximately two hours long and it involves familiarizing everybody with the weather including when conditions are right for tornadoes. You will become a certified storm spotter and you will be given a phone number you can call and report to the National Weather Service from your areas. We encourage anybody interested in weather to come to this class, from a novice to emergency personnel. It's a really interesting class. We want to get DeKalb County certified as a storm ready county and in doing that we must have these storm spotter classes. We have people scattered out around the county that would be able to help us in the event of a storm. If they see funnel clouds or tornadoes that pop up they could report it."

Adult volunteers are community minded individuals, who understand that they play an essential role in providing storm information to the National Weather Service. Anyone can be a spotter.

Judge Patterson Hands Down Sentences in Criminal Court

April 8, 2009
Dwayne Page

Judge David Patterson handed down several sentences Monday in Criminal Court.

25 year old Warren Brandon Glasby pleaded guilty to vehicular assault, driving under the influence, aggravated burglary, and theft over $500.

Glasby received a total of six years on these charges, all on probation except for 48 hours to serve in the DUI case, pay a $365 fine and lose his license for one year.. This sentence will also run consecutively with another case against him. His probation will be supervised by community corrections and he must successfully complete an alcohol and drug assessment, make restitution totaling $2,100 to the victims, and pay $250 to the economic crime fund.

39 year old Walter R. Redmon pleaded guilty to three counts of theft under $500. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run concurrently with each other and with another sentence against him in the General Sessions Court.. He must serve his sentence in the county jail and pay restitution totaling $3,325 jointly and severally with a co-defendant. He was given jail credit from September 24th, 2008 until now.

25 year old Brandon Tallent pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a two year sentence, all suspended to DOC probation. The case is to run consecutive to a DeKalb County General Sessions sentence against him which he is now serving but concurrently with any other sentence. Tallent must make restitution of $50 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, perform 100 hours of community service, and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment.

38 year old Comer Vance pleaded guilty to two counts of theft over $500, two counts of theft under $500, and shoplifting. He received a total of four years with 180 days to serve. The sentence will run consecutive to a sentence against him in Warren County. Vance will be on DOC probation supervised by community corrections. He must make restitution to the victims and make a contribution to the economic crime fund. Vance was given jail credit from September 24th to now.

Grand Jury Tours County Jail

April 8, 2009
Dwayne Page

The members of the Grand Jury were given a tour of the DeKalb County Jail Monday.

According to the brief report issued by the grand jury, "the Jail was found to be well maintained and in good working order. Sheriff Patrick Ray was very cooperative and informative. He seemed very compassionate towards the well being of the inmates and concerned with budget management."

The report was signed by all members of the DeKalb County Grand Jury and the DeKalb County Grand Jury Foreman.

Teachers Preparing for TCAP Tests

April 7, 2009
Dwayne Page

Students in grades 3-8 will be taking the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Achievement Test this month.

Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7 to 12 and Testing Coordinator, says TCAP testing is conducted each spring. "The Achievement Test is a timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Student results are reported to parents, teachers, and administrators later in the year."

"Testing dates for this year are April 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, & 22nd. This year the state allowed six consecutive school days to be used for testing instead of the usual five days which allowed our school system to have a weekend between subjects allowing students to rest between tests."

"On April 15th, we'll have Reading and Language; on April 16th, we'll have Math, and then April 17th will be a makeup test day for those two areas as well as any tests that special education students take. April 20th will be Science; April 21st, Social Studies; and April 22nd will be the final makeup test day."

"The TCAP Achievement Test includes only Criterion-Referenced items for students in grades 3 through 8 in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies."

"Criterion-Referenced items measure a student's performance according to specific standards, rather than to the performance of other test takers. The Achievement Test assesses student performance on items directly aligned with the State Curriculum Content Standards. Performance information is grouped by Reporting Categories. Each Reporting Category measures student performance on items linked to specific State Performance Indicators. The TCAP Achievement Test Reports provide information in terms of three Performance Levels: Below Proficient, Proficient, and Advanced."

"A brochure created to assist parents in understanding the reports they receive after their student has taken the TCAP Achievement Test will be sent to each parent along with specific scores."

Dr. Hendrix adds that there are specific things parents can do days before the testing to assure that the students do well. "See that your child is rested and eats a good breakfast, see that your child arrives at school on time and is relaxed, and encourage your child to do the very best possible. If your child is sick, I would send my child to school (on testing day), I'd wait until one of the make-up days. These are just some of the things parents can do to assure that their child does well on the tests."


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