Local News Articles

Applicants Sought For Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

July 31, 2006
Dwayne Page

Low-income households may be eligible to receive between $300 and $500 toward their electric, wood, coal, natural gas, LP gas or kerosene costs from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

UCHRA Executive Director, Phyllis R. Bennett, says the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency administers the program for a fourteen county area in the Upper Cumberland. Applications will be available and clients in DeKalb and Warren counties may apply August 7th through August 18th.

Applicants for LIHEAP assistance must be at or below 125% of the poverty level and must provide proof of all household income. Even individuals receiving benefit checks such as VA, SSI or Social Security will need to submit verification of their award amounts. Applicants must also submit a copy of a utility bill and or propane gas, wood, coal, or kerosene purchases.

Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, LIHEAP provides assistance regardless of age, race, creed, national origin, handicap, or sex. Minorities are encouraged to apply.

Individuals interested in applying for LIHEAP may pick up an application at their local UCHRA office or at their local senior citizens center from August 7th through August 18th between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Appointments may be scheduled with agency personnel for individuals requiring assistance. Energy assistance awards are based on a priority point system and are not first come, first serve.

Tennessee To Launch First Annual Sales Tax Holiday August 4-6 On Back To School Clothing And Supplies

December 31, 1969
Dwayne Page

Tennessee?s first annual sales tax holiday is this weekend and Governor Phil Bredesen is reminding Tennesseans about this long weekend of savings for families doing back-to-school shopping for supplies and clothing. The state?s first annual sales tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 4 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 6.

All the details about the state?s new sales tax holiday are available at a dedicated Web site, www.tntaxholiday.com.

During this designated three-day weekend, consumers may purchase selected clothing, school supplies and computers without paying Tennessee?s state and local sales tax on the items. This holiday also includes purchases of qualified items sold via mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

?Creating this sales tax holiday was one of my goals from the beginning of my administration,? Bredesen said. ?The sales tax holiday positively impacts education, our number one priority. The Aug. 4-6 sales tax holiday will provide tax savings for Tennessee?s working families as they prepare for the school year.?

The Department of Revenue offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the sales tax holiday:

What is a sales tax holiday?

A sales tax holiday is designed to provide relief to taxpayers by instituting a temporary sales tax exemption on certain items for a specific period of time. Tennessee is among 13 other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted sales tax holidays.

What items qualify for the sales tax holiday?

During the holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:
Clothing with a price of $100 or less per item
School supplies with a price of $100 or less per item
Computers with a price of $1,500 or less per item

Does the $100 exemption apply to the first $100 of a school supply or an item of clothing being purchased? In other words, if the selling price of a book or a clothing item is $105, is the first $100 exempt from sales tax?

No. The exemption applies to items selling for $100 or less. If an item sells for more than $100 ($105 in this example), tax is due on the entire selling price.

Is there a limit to the number of items that may be purchased?

There is no limit to the quantity of items that may be purchased as long as the purchase price of each of those items is below the threshold provided in the law.

Is an exemption certificate required to take advantage of the sales tax holiday?

No exemption certificate is required to take advantage of the holiday.

Does computer software qualify for the holiday?

No. While computers with a price of $1,500 or less may be purchased exempt from tax during the holiday, purchases of computer software made separately from the computer are excluded from the holiday and are subject to tax.

If I place an order for a computer on Aug. 1 and pay for it with my credit card, but it is delivered during the holiday, will it be exempt?

No. Qualified items sold to purchasers by mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet shall qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the holiday period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period. Therefore, if the computer was ordered and the credit card was charged during the holiday period, and delivery was scheduled to take place after the holiday, the sale would qualify for the exemption.

Can I buy items out of town or out of state and still qualify for the holiday?

Purchases can be made from Tennessee retailers, including retailers that sell through the Internet or catalog if those items are to be delivered into Tennessee.

Will items purchased for my business be eligible for the tax exemption during the sales tax holiday?

No. The exemption does not apply to items used in a trade or business or to items that are rented. If you make a purchase for an item that is to be used in a trade or business and the retailer does not collect sales tax from you, you are obligated to report this purchase and pay use tax on the item. You may report and pay this on your regularly filed return, or if you do not have a sales tax account, you may report and pay this on a consumer use tax return available on the department's Web site.

DeKalb County Man Charged With Growing Marijuana

July 31, 2006
Dwayne Page

The discovery of several marijuana plants Friday led to the arrest of a DeKalb County man.

Captain Mark Collins of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department says 43 year old Ray Martin has been charged with cultivating and manufacturing marijuana.

Collins says on Friday afternoon he received an anonymous tip that marijuana plants were being grown in pots at 455 Parsley Road off Cookeville Highway. When he went to the scene to investigate, Captain Collins found 18 marijuana plants, 3 to 4 feet tall, in pots next to Martin's residence.

Martin was placed under arrest. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in General Sessions Court on the charges August 17th

Fire Damages Home On Possum Hollow Road

August 1, 2006
Dwayne Page

A fire Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. damaged the residence of John Barber at 125 Possum Hollow Road.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green says a neighbor reported smoke coming from the double wide mobile home.

Green says the DeKalb County Fire Department quickly responded and was able to extinguish the fire. \" Upon our arrival, we found heavy smoke coming from the eaves. We made entry and found fire coming from the living room wall behind an entertainment center. The fire was contained to the wall and a small portion of the attic just above the entertainment center. The remainder of the home received extensive smoke and heat damage. No one was at home at the time of the fire.\"

Members of the Cookeville Hwy, Short Mountain Highway, and Liberty stations of the DeKalb County Fire Department responded along with the department's tanker truck. DeKalb County
Sheriff's deputies were on hand to provide traffic control.

Patrick Ray Elected DeKalb County Sheriff

August 3, 2006
Dwayne Page

The next Sheriff of DeKalb County will be Patrick Ray.

Ray, a Republican, defeated Democratic nominee Myron Rhody in Thursday's DeKalb County General Election by a final count of 2,584 (54%) to 2,159 (45%), a difference of 425 votes.

Ray carried eleven of the sixteen precincts in DeKalb County including Alexandria- 175 to 108, Temperance Hall- 64 to 54, Edgar Evins State Park- 15 to 12, Liberty- 119 to 49, Dowelltown 76 to 54, Cherry Hill- 30 to 11, Courthouse -134 to 131, Johnson's Chapel- 89 to 33, Elementary School- 128 to 123, Blue Springs- 89 to 74, Church of Christ Annex- 163 to 137, and Early Voting- 1,053 to 846. Ray had 43 absentees.

Rhody carried five precincts including Snow Hill- 88 to 82, Middle School 192 to 162, Rock Castle 23 to 22, Belk 75 to 70, and Keltonburg 86 to 70. Rhody had 63 absentees.

Ray, a Chief Deputy under the administration of former Sheriff Kenneth Pack, will succeed incumbent Sheriff Lloyd Emmons on September 1st. Ray currently works for the Warren County Sheriff's Department.

Sean Driver Easily Wins Trustee Office

August 3, 2006
Dwayne Page

Sean Driver won a decisive victory in his race for DeKalb County Trustee Thursday.

Driver, a Republican, defeated Democratic nominee Anthony (Doc) Green 3, 065 (72%) to 1,161 (27%).

Driver carried all sixteen precincts including Alexandria- 217 to 41, Temperance Hall- 82 to 14, Edgar Evins State Park 16 to 5, Liberty- 143 to17, Dowelltown- 101 to 25, Snow Hill- 133 to 25, Middle School- 230 to 79, Cherry Hill- 25 to 11, Rock Castle- 32 to 12, Courthouse- 163 to 77, Johnson's Chapel- 79 to 21, Elementary School- 131 to 93, Blue Springs- 96 to 47, Belk- 69 to 47, Keltonburg- 67 to 60, Church of Christ Annex- 164 to 94, and Early Voting- 1, 253 to 470. Driver had 64 absentees to 23 for Green.

Driver will succeed Bobbie Young as Trustee. Young, who was first elected in 1986 will be completing her fifth term on August 31st.

Referendum To Raise Local Sales Tax Rate Loses At Polls

August 3, 2006
Dwayne Page

When asked in Thursday's election whether the local option sales tax should be increased from 1.5% to 2.75%, DeKalb County voters said \"No\".

The referendum failed by a vote of 1,898 (53%) to 1,646 (46%), a difference of 252 votes.

The question failed in all but three precincts, Liberty, Middle School, and Rock Castle and the vote on the referendum at the courthouse ended in a tie.

County officials say passage of the referendum would have meant more funds for local governments. A majority of the extra revenue would have been earmarked for schools.

The following is a breakdown of the \"For\" and \"Against\" vote by precinct:

Alexandria: 108-for, 115-against
Temperance Hall: 38-for, 53-against
Edgar Evins State Park: 6-for, 16-against
Liberty: 75-for, 72-against
Dowelltown: 44-for, 53-against
Snow Hill: 61-for, 78-against
Middle School: 136-for, 118 against
Cherry Hill: 16-for, 19-against
Rock Castle: 28-for, 19-against
Courthouse: 103-for, 103-against
Johnson's Chapel: 20-for, 77-against
Elementary School: 96-for, 101-against
Belk: 46-for, 49-against
Keltonburg: 46-for, 58 against
Blue Springs: 49-for, 81-against
Church of Christ Annex: 70-for, 114-against
Early Voting& Absentees: 704-for, 772-against

County Commission To Have Seven New Members September 1st

August 3, 2006
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission will have seven new members September 1st.

The new members are Democrats Elmer Ellis, Jr., Jack Barton, Chris J. Smithson, Jeffery Barrett, and Willie Thomas, and Republicans Mason Carter and Randy Caplinger.

The returning members are Republican Bobby Joines and Democrats Jerry D. Scott, Wayne Cantrell, John D. Green, Jeff Barnes, Marshall Ferrell, and Larry Summers.

Democrat Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Republican Mason Carter were elected Thursday in the first district beating Democratic challenger Charles Griffith.

Carter received 251 votes (39%), Ellis had 240 votes (37%) and Griffith got 142 votes(22%).

Here's how the vote breaks down by precinct: Alexandria- Ellis 144, Carter 133, Griffith 93. Temperance Hall- Carter 67, Ellis 42, Griffith 19. Edgar Evins State Park- Ellis 9, Carter 8, Griffith 4. Early Voting- Carter 41, Ellis 38, Griffith 22. Absentees- Ellis 7, Griffith 4, and Carter 2.

Carter and Ellis will succeed Democrats Kenneth Clayborn and Shelie \"Pee Wee\" Askew who did not seek re-election.

In the second district, Democrat Jack Barton and Republican incumbent Bobby Joines were elected Thursday, beating Democratic challenger Shane Cook.

Joines won with 341 votes (41%). Barton received 316 votes (38%) and Cook garnered 171 votes (20%).

Here's how the vote breaks down by precinct: Liberty- Joines 82, Barton 64, Cook 42. Dowelltown- Joines 75, Barton 46, and Cook 33. Snow Hill- Barton 93, Joines 71, and Cook 38. Early Voting- Barton 112, Joines 109, and Cook 54. Absentees- Joines and Cook each with 4 and one for Barton.

Barton will succeed Democrat Frank Thomas who did not seek re-election.

Republican Randy Caplinger and Democratic Incumbent Jerry D. Scott were elected in the third district. Democratic Incumbent Roy D. Merriman lost his bid for re-election.

Caplinger received 415 votes (43%). Scott had 287 votes (30%), and Merriman picked up 252 votes (26%).

Here's how the vote breaks down: Middle School- Caplinger 189, Scott 114, Merriman 108. Early Voting- Caplinger 211, Scott 167, and Merriman 138. Absentees- Caplinger 15, and Scott and Merriman each with 6.

The two nominees in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Districts were unopposed.

Democratic Incumbent Wayne Cantrell received 418 votes and fellow Democrat Chris J. Smithson had 321 complimentary votes in the Fourth District.

Democratic Incumbent John D. Green garnered 313 votes and fellow Democrat Jeffery Barrett had 258 complimentary votes in the Fifth District.

Democratic Incumbents Jeff Barnes had 429 votes and Marshall Ferrell received 366 in the Sixth District.

And Democratic Incumbent Larry Summers had 321 votes and fellow Democrat Willie Thomas received 353 votes in the Seventh District.

Sells, Thurman & Brady Carry DeKalb County

August 3, 2006
Dwayne Page

Lillie Ann Sells, Democratic Criminal Court Judge Part II of the 13th Judicial District, defeated Independent challenger David A Patterson in DeKalb County Thursday, 1,822 (59%) to 1,234 (40%) while Democrat Ron Thurman beat Republican Jerry Burgess locally in the race to succeed retiring Chancellor Vernon Neal.

Thurman received a total of 1,388 votes in DeKalb County (58%) to Burgess' 976 votes (41%)

Judge Sells carried the following DeKalb County precincts: Alexandria- 88 to 62, Temperance Hall- 39 to 24, Dowelltown- 53 to 31, Snow Hill- 55 to 52, Middle School- 116 to 98, Courthouse - 108 to 95, Johnson's Chapel- 51 to 37, Elementary School- 121 to 59, Belk- 60 to 20, Keltonburg- 63 to 28, Blue Springs- 42 to 31, Church of Christ Annex- 118 to 56, and Early Voting 786 to 512. Sells had 45 absentees.

Patterson carried the following precincts: Edgar Evins State Park- 13 to 8, Liberty- 51 to 37, Cherry Hill- 20 to 17, and Rock Castle- 32 to 15. Patterson had 13 absentees.

In the Chancellor race, Thurman carried the following DeKalb County precincts: Temperance Hall 33 to 18, Dowelltown- 31 to 21, Snow Hill- 45 to 41, Middle School- 88 to 76, Cherry Hill- 18 to 15, Rock Castle- 31 to16, Courthouse- 104 to 53, Belk- 39 to 19, Keltonburg- 40 to 26, Blue Springs- 33 to 24, Church of Christ Annex 71 to 47, and Early Voting- 632 to 368. Thurman had 35 absentees.

Burgess carried the following DeKalb County precincts: Alexandria- 59 to 57, Edgar Evins State Park 13 to 8, Liberty- 41 to 27, Johnson's Chapel 46 to 28, and Elementary School- 73 to 68. Burgess had 20 absentees.

In the only other contested race in the 13th Judicial District, Incumbent Democratic Public Defender David N. Brady defeated Republican challenger Samuel Harris in DeKalb County 1,368 to 777

In other unopposed races, Incumbent Democratic Circuit Court Judge Part I John A. Turnbull received 2,124 DeKalb County votes.

Incumbent Democratic Circuit Court Judge Part II John Maddux garnered 1,916 votes.

Incumbent Democratic Criminal Court Judge Part I Leon Burns, Jr. got 2,005 votes in DeKalb County.

Incumbent Democratic District Attorney General William E (Bill) Gibson received 1,955 votes here.

Unopposed county officials, and their vote totals, include:

Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack- 3,671
Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen- 3,597
County Mayor Mike Foster- 3,417
County Clerk Mike Clayborn- 3,375
Road Supervisor Kenny Edge- 3,234
General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Hale (Butch) Cook II- 3,019

Charles Robinson Wins Re-election To School Board

August 3, 2006
Dwayne Page

Second District School Board Member Charles Robinson was re-elected Thursday beating back a challenge from John Allen.

Robinson won with 374 votes (62%) to Allen's 222 votes (37%)

Here's how the vote breaks down by precinct:

Liberty- Robinson 126, Allen 38
Dowelltown- Robinson 61, Allen 42
Snow Hill- Robinson 71, Allen 70
Early Voting- Robinson 111, Allen 70
Absentees- Robinson 5, Allen 2.

Others running for the board of education unopposed and their vote totals include:

First District Incumbent John David Foutch- 347
Third District Incumbent Kenny L. Rhody- 475
Fourth District- Joan Draper- 296.
Seventh District Incumbent- Johnny W. Lattimore- 360

Draper will succeed Keith Garrett who did not seek re-election.


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