Local News Articles

Perfect Weather for First Day of Fiddlers Jamboree

July 5, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Community Chorus Performing Patriotic Tunes for 4th of July
Mae Beavers, Mark and Marcia Estes of Thailand, and Terri Lynn Weaver
Mae Beavers with Loretta Amberson of Tucson, Arizona
Mae Beavers, Dr. Mitchell Tatum, and Terri Lynn Weaver

Performers picked, sang, and danced all day Friday until the wee hours of Saturday morning during the first day of the 43rd annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival

The weather could not have been better with sunshine, low humidity, and very pleasant temperatures during the day followed by a clear cool evening.

State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver presented flags to persons who traveled the greatest distances from outside the state and the country to get here. Loretta Amberson of Tucson, Arizona received a Tennessee State flag while Mark and Marcia Estes of Thailand and formerly of Smithville were presented a United States flag. Dr. Mitchell Tatum received a Tennessee Blue Book for being the first in the audience to correctly answer a question about how many candles would be on a U.S. birthday cake this 4th of July. The answer is 238.

Jack Barton, Jamboree Coordinator also presented a plaque to WJLE Manager Dwayne Page in honor of the local radio station's 50th anniversary and its 43rd year of broadcasting the Fiddler's Jamboree "LIVE". Page accepted on behalf of station owner Leon Stribling who was unable to attend. Several present and past staff members joined Page on stage to receive the award including Ralph Vaughn, Elaine Rigsby, Dean Estes, Dennis Stanley, Tom Duggin, Nick Nokes, and Dale Carroll.

Following a Jamboree welcome and introduction of local public officials, the Smithville-DeKalb County Community Chorus entertained the crowd.

Preliminaries were held in sixteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo):
First Place- Christiana Joneikis of Shreve, Ohio
Second Place-Chloe Shreve of Nashville
Third Place-Sierra Ivie Tomlin of Springfield

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Gary Giles of Franklin
Second Place-Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Third Place-Katie Huntley of Loretto

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
First Place- Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Second Place-Jacob Campbell of Smithville
Third Place-Kris Jamison of Waverly

Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet)
First Place- Ivy Phillips and Chloe Shreve of Chapmansboro
Second Place- The Chunns of Greenbrier
Third Place- Gray and Rothwell of Smyrna

Dobro Guitar:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Elijah Jenkins of Wilder
Third Place-Robbie Harris of Rockvale

Mountain Dulcimer:
First Place-Tyler Andal of Nashville
Second Place-Christiana Joneikis of Shreve, Ohio
Third Place-Lynsey Nixon of Woodbury

Hammer Dulcimer:
First Place-Beth James of Newport
Second Place- Pamela Sanders of Sparta

Novelty Event:
First Place-Wailin Wood of Nashville
Second Place-Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Third Place-Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville

Autoharp:
First Place- Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg
Second Place-Bill Rothe of Estill Springs
Third Place-Bettye Kash of Cookeville

Gospel Singing (Solo):
First Place-Amanda McKenney of Cullman, Alabama
Second Place- Elizabeth Koegler of Smithville
Third Place-Sierra Ivie Tomlin of Springfield

Country Harmonica:
First Place-Wailin Wood of Nashville
Second Place- Ken Tenpenny of Murfreesboro
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

Old Time Banjo:
First Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville
Second Place- William See of Frankewing
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

Youth Square Dancing:
First Place-Main Stage Fusion of Springfield
Second Place- Main Stage Revolution of Smyrna
Third Place- Main Stage Explosion of Springfield

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
First Place- New Hickory-Sandi Kay and Cassie Kay of Lebanon
Second Place- The Chunns of Greenbrier
Third Place- The Jenkins Family of Wilder

Mandolin:
First Place-Tyler Andal of Nashville
Second Place- Elijah Jenkins of Wilder
Third Place- Tyler Martelli of Chattanooga

Old Time Fiddle Band:
First Place-Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Second Place- DeKalb County Hilltoppers of Dyersburg
Third Place- Flat Creek String Band of Shelbyville

The Fiddler's Jamboree resumes at 9:00 a.m. today with preliminaries in the following categories:

Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over); Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over); Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over); Bluegrass Banjo; Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39); Flat Top Guitar; Contest Fiddle for the Neil Dudney Award; Bluegrass Band; Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over); and Square Dancing (4 Couples-8 Total Dancers).

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back tonight to compete for first, second, and third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.

The Jamboree Blue Blaze Award will be presented at 11:00 a.m. to recognize a musician that is actively cultivating a love of bluegrass music. Darrin Vincent, of the award winning bluegrass gospel band, Dailey and Vincent is this year's recipient.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held this afternoon during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

WJLE will broadcast the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

In addition to music and dancing competitions onstage, the Fiddlers Jamboree also features dozens of crafts displayed along the downtown streets, plenty of delicious foods for sale at local food booths, and lots of shade tree picking under tents around the town square.

Tuesday is the Deadline for Voter Registration for August Elections

July 3, 2014

With early voting for the August 7 elections around the corner, local residents are reminded that Tuesday, July 8 is the last day to register to vote. The same deadline applies to those who want to register as a property rights voter for the Smithville Municipal Election.

“If you are not registered but want to participate in the August 7 elections, then Tuesday (July 8) is the last day you can register in person at the election office,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “Our office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday and we’ll be available to process those last minute registrations.”

In regards to property rights voting, the Smithville City Charter states that “any person owning property within the corporate limits of the municipality and residing outside such limits but within DeKalb County may register to vote in municipal elections, if such property is of a residential lot size of not less than thirty-five hundred (3500) square feet or any person owning a commercial property of any size as long as there are not more than two persons per deed in either property classification.”

In addition, the charter states “Such nonresident shall furnish to the proof of ownership and lot size and location by submitting a copy of the municipality’s tax notice or such other document deemed acceptable by the .

Because of the lengthy ballot, voters are encouraged to take advantage of early voting in order to avoid possible long lines at the polls on election day.

Voters are also urged to study the sample ballot in advance before coming to the polls. You can view the sample ballot by clicking the PDF link below:

DelalbTN-PG14-NewspaperTyposFixed.pdf (107.55 KB)

Early voting begins July 18 and the last day is August 2. All Early Voting will be in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse. The hours are as follows:

Mondays-- 1 p.m.to 6 p.m.

Tuesdays-- 9 am. to 1 p.m.

Wednesdays-- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursdays-- 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Fridays-9.a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturdays- 9 a.m. to Noon

Locally, voters will be electing a Sheriff, Road Supervisor, General Sessions Judge, County Mayor, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, and Trustee along with all fourteen county commissioners, five school board members, and three persons to fill vacant constable positions.

In the 13th Judicial District, voters will elect five judges, a District Attorney General, and a District Public Defender.

Smithville and Dowelltown will be having municipal elections August 7. In Smithville a mayor and two aldermen will be elected. Three aldermen will be elected in Dowelltown.

Across the state, Democrats and Republicans will be choosing party nominees for Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representatives (Congressmen), State Senators, and State Representatives, along with State Executive Committeemen and women. Primary winners will face off in the November Tennessee General Election.

Voters in August also will be asked whether or not to retain several state judges

Special Event Station To Be Held At Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree

July 2, 2014
Special Event Station To Be Held At Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club will be conducting a Special Event Station during the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree on Saturday, July 5th, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library. Ham radio operators will utilize their skills to contact other amateur (Ham) stations throughout the US and worldwide to publicize and show local support for the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree. These contacts will take place on the following frequencies in the Amateur Radio Bands: 14.280 (USB), 14.045 (CW), 7.275 (LSB) & 7.045 (CW) MHZ. The public is invited to come by and participate in this event. All amateurs in the area are asked to monitor 145.49 MHZ for more information.

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of amateur radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. Call 597-9563 for additional details and information.

Attached Picture Caption = Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station operate under the tent in the rain during last year, 2013, at the 42nd Annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival included: Left to Right - KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis, NN9J – Steve Kujawski, and N4LZY – Jerry Elkins. Photo Courtesy of NF9G – Kathy Kujawski.

Family Member Says Reckless Driver Involved in Two Accidents Suffered Medical Condition

July 2, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Reckless Driver Crashes into Utility Pole
Douglas and Angel Ferrell Injured in Crash on Broadstreet

A 47 year old Smithville man is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving after being involved in two traffic accidents Wednesday morning.

According to Corporal Travis Bryant of the Smithville Police Department, Douglas Ferrell was traveling in the outside eastbound lane on Broad Street in a 1994 Mercury when he crossed over into the inside eastbound lane and sideswiped a 2003 Nissan Sentra, driven by 23 year old Macy Nokes of Smithville, who was traveling east. The accident occurred near the high school.

Corporal Bryant said Ferrell failed to stop due to the accident and continued driving eastbound.

According to Police, Central Dispatch reported receiving calls from witnesses who saw the car traveling recklessly at speeds up to 70 miles and hour and weaving in and out of his lane.

Smithville Police Officer Matt Farmer said the second accident occurred near B & G Supply as Ferrell, still traveling east, crossed all lanes and went off the left side of the highway, crashing into a utility pole. Both Ferrell and his wife 42 year old Angel, a passenger, were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation.

Ferrell's wife phoned WJLE Wednesday afternoon to explain that Mr. Ferrell suffered a medical condition " a seizure" while driving which was the reason for the erratic driving and the cause of the accidents.

NHC Smithville receives grant for helping reduce unnecessary hospital transfers

July 2, 2014
NHC Smithville receives grant for helping reduce unnecessary hospital transfers

NHC Smithville was recently awarded a grant for successful implementation of the INTERACT program. INTERACT stands for Interventions to Reduce Acute Hospital Transfers and NHC Smithville has successfully implemented the core strategies of the program. The grant was the result of collaboration between Vanderbilt and National HealthCare Corporation.

According to the INTERACT website, “INTERACT is a quality improvement program designed to improve the early identification, assessment, documentation, and communication about changes in the status of patients in skilled nursing facilities. The goal of INTERACT is to improve care and reduce the frequency of potentially avoidable transfers to the acute hospital.”

“We know from experience that unnecessary transfers to the hospital can result in a challenging situation for the patient and hospital, especially with complicated cases of dementia, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia,” said Melody Anderson, Director of Nursing. “If we can identify and treat a condition before it results in a transfer to the hospital, the patient gets the appropriate care and overall costs are drastically reduced. The INTERACT assessment and communication tools are helpful because they give practitioners consistent, informative data to help treat the patient as early as possible.”

“These grant funds will go towards training and equipping our nurses and CNA’s with the necessary resources to help reduce unnecessary hospital transfers,” said Clint Hall, Administrator. “We are committed to improving the quality of care for patients in DeKalb County and the surrounding communities.”

NHC Smithville offers inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care for patients of all ages. For more information about NHC Smithville, visit www.nhcsmithville.com or call (615) 597-4284. For more information on the INTERACT program, visit www.interact2.net.

Jury Convicts Man of Child Rape

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jose Juan Reyes

A 31 year old man indicted for raping an eight year old boy between November 2012 and March 2013 stood trial and was convicted by a jury Tuesday, July 1 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

It took the jury of six men and six women only half an hour to find Jose Juan Reyes guilty on the charge of rape of a child. Although they could have, the jury imposed no fine. Judge David Patterson, who presided over the trial has set a sentencing date of July 28 for Reyes. He will remain incarcerated without bond until that hearing, either in the DeKalb County Jail or the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

According to Gary McKenzie, Deputy District Attorney General, one of the prosecutors in the case, Reyes could be facing up to 40 years in prison for this conviction. "He is looking at a range of punishment and it begins at 25 years and goes all the way up to 40 years. The maximum he's looking at is 40 years. One thing about this charge if you are convicted it is a 100% sentence, which means if he gets a 25 year sentence, he has got to serve 25 years. He will not be eligible for parole. I am very pleased with the verdict. I think the jury did an outstanding job of listening to the proof and all the evidence in considering it and returning a verdict," said McKenzie.

WJLE was the only media present covering the trial

According to McKenzie, Reyes was a trusted friend of the boy and his family prior to this incident and he had been renting a room in the home of the child's aunt. "Jose was an acquaintance of the aunt. Somehow there was a friendship. He asked to rent a room and it kind of went from there. It (offense) occurred at the aunt's home, which was off the McMinnville Highway in DeKalb County. That's where it took place," said McKenzie.

The child, who has just turned ten years old, testified Tuesday that he was at his aunt's home when Reyes committed the act while the two of them were alone in Reyes' bedroom.

Although the child did not immediately report the incident to his aunt, he did relate it to his grandmother later while at her home. According to the grandmother's testimony Tuesday, "He came to me upset. I told him I believed him. I confronted Jose but he denied it. He (Reyes) cried and begged saying he would not hurt him (child). I said yes you did," she testified.

When the boy's mother learned of the incident, she took him to the sheriff's department to report it, according to the grandmother.

Mike Billings, who was a detective for the sheriff's department at the time, testified that after meeting with the child and his mother, he contacted the Department of Children Services and later went to Reyes' home. "The sheriff and another detective and I went there and knocked on the door. He (Reyes) opened the door and said I know why you are here. He (Reyes) said he knew of the allegations made against him," he said. Reyes was then taken to the sheriff's department and mirandized (read his rights). According to Billings, no interpreter was needed to communicate with Reyes because he spoke in English.

During his testimony, Billings read a statement which he wrote down as Reyes verbally gave it to him. In the statement Reyes allegedly admitted to putting on a condom and committing partial penetration of the boy.

As a result of the investigation, Reyes was indicted in April 2013 for the rape of a child.

Reyes chose not to testify during the trial.

In his closing remarks to the jury Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong said Reyes violated the trust of the boy's family and stole his childhood. "He (Reyes) was a trusted friend of the family. He fostered and grew that relationship with his victim. He gained his trust and friendship and for what? To satisfy his own desires. He used that friendship and trust to destroy the childhood of a young man and he'll (child) never get that back," said Strong.

Allison West, Assistant District Public Defender, said the state had not proven its case of rape. In her closing comments to the jury, West said the boy himself described the incident as "touching" and that is not "rape". Touched, ladies and gentlemen. That's (the child's) words. That is not rape of a child. Rape (according to the statute) is unlawful sexual penetration. There is no testimony here today of penetration. There is no testimony (from the child) that this happened. There is testimony that contact happened. Touching. Sexual contact is an entirely different statute and an entirely different crime than the one that is charged and that the state says happened here today. Again, looking at the law, aggravated sexual battery is unlawful sexual contact when the victim is less than 13 years of age. Ladies and gentlemen, if the state has proven anything at all here today through the witnesses they have put on, it is aggravated sexual battery. It is not rape of a child," said West.

In response, McKenzie told the jury that the state had shown that the child was raped by Reyes. "He (victim) did not say "touch". There is one thing he (Reyes) wants more than anything else in this courtroom and that is for you to lessen his responsibility. Do you think that applies to our victim? Do you think there is some way we can lessen the hurt that occurred to that little child? Don't lessen his (Reyes') responsibility and don't let misleading statements in front of you about what the victim said help do that. Listen to the (judge's) instructions and what he will say to you is that "Sexual penetration" is "however slight". You have the victim in this case telling you what he did and you have the defendant's own words of what he did and both of those things mirror each other. They're both describing the same event," said McKenzie.

During the child's testimony Tuesday, a "utility dog" was brought in the courtroom to be near the youngster and put him at ease. McKenzie said it was the first time for such a practice in this judicial district. " Some refer to the dog as a therapy, utility, or facility animal but the purpose for the dog is when you have a child that young on the witness stand and they're having to relive such a traumatic event, having the dog there helps that child focus his attention on the dog and allows the child to open up and be able to talk and answer questions that are asked to him. That's very important. He (child) did a really good job of opening up and Assistant D.A. Strong and I are very pleased to be the team to have utilized the dog for the first time in this district," said McKenzie.

The child also drew praise from District Attorney General Randy York for his courage in testifying. "I am very pleased with the verdict. In these kind of cases, I'm always impressed with the overwhelming courage that is displayed by a young victim to come forward, take the witness stand, and look the jury and defendant in the eye and say this is what happened. I am also impressed with the work of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department including Sheriff Ray and (former detective) Mike Billings and the work that Assistant D.A. Strong and Deputy D.A. McKenzie did. Finally, let me say this was the first case in the history of this district where we had used a utility dog. I think it's the second case in the State of Tennessee. I'm pleased with the work of the Child Advocacy Center and Jennifer Wilkerson. It all comes together and I'm really satisfied with the result," said General York.

"We were pleased with the investigation of the sheriff's department to get all these details together which made such a strong case and I think that's why we had a verdict that came back so fast," added McKenzie.

In addition to this conviction, Reyes faces a rape charge involving another young child in a separate case along with charges of criminal exposure to both victims to HIV.

Drug Defendants and Others Sentenced

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Leon Burns, Jr.

Several drug defendants and others were sentenced last Tuesday, June 24 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

Many of the cases were the result of undercover drug investigations by the Sheriff's Department.

48 year old Sandra Atnip pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year suspended sentence in each case to run concurrently. She was fined $2,000.

52 year old Glenda Kay Lemons pleaded guilty to attempted delivery of a schedule III drug and received a two year sentence all suspended to probation. Her probation will be supervised by TDOC for one year and then she will be on good behavior probation. She was fined $2,000.

31 year old Terra Locklear pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a schedule III drug and one count of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received three years in one case and four years in the other to run concurrently for a total of four years. Locklear was granted judicial diversion and will be on probation. She was fined $2,000 and ordered to make restitution of $57 to the sheriff's department.

22 year old Brandon Lee Atnip pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule III drug and received a three year sentence. He was granted judicial diversion and must pay a $2,000 fine.

51 year old Berna Barnes pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to good behavior probation. She was fined $150.

47 year old Roger Rapp pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000. Rapp was given jail credit from April 12 to June 24, 2014.

30 year old Christopher W. Miles pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence. He was given credit for time served and will be on probation for the balance of the term. Miles was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $80 to the sheriff's department.

31 year old Brandon Smith pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. Smith was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $40 to the sheriff's department.

31 year old James Todd Qualls pleaded guilty to amended promotion (meth) and received a four year sentence, suspended to probation. He was fined $2,000 and given two days jail credit.

24 year old Emily Claire Garrett Anderson pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III drug. She has been granted Judicial Diversion for a period of two years. Her probation will be supervised by TDOC and she must pay a fine of $2,000. Anderson was given two days jail credit.

50 year old Scott Allen Ferrell pleaded guilty to sale and delivery of a schedule II drug. He received a four year sentence in each case to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other for a total of four years and concurrently with two other cases against him including a violation probation. He was fined $2,000. Ferrell will turn himself in at the jail on July 18.

49 year old Marla Turner pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a five year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation. She was fined $2,000. The term is to run concurrently with another case against her. Turner is to make restitution of $120 to the sheriff's department.

29 year old Amanda Atnip pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a schedule III drug and two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a three year sentence in one case and four years in each of the other two cases. All are to run concurrently for a total of four years. She has been granted judicial diversion. Atnip was also fined $2,000 and ordered to make restitution of $55 to the sheriff's department.

Carl Martin pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence on state probation. He was fined $2,000.

31 year old Michael Ray Reeder pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule VI drug for resale. He received a two year sentence on state probation. He was fined $2,000.

56 year old Tommy Redmon pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II drug and received a two year sentence as a range one offender to be served on probation. He was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $60 to the sheriff's department.

47 year old Howard Mayo, Jr. pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule III drug and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000.

32 year old Ricky Shannon Pollard pleaded guilty to delivery of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. Pollard was granted judicial diversion. He was fined $2,000.

43 year old Richard Scott Adams pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and introduction of contraband. He received a five year sentence in each case, all suspended to supervised probation to run concurrently with each other. Adams is to make restitution to the sheriff's department. He was given jail credit from October 21, 2013 to May 20, 2014.

32 year old Duane Edlao pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule VI drug for resale and received a one year sentence. He was granted judicial diversion and fined $2,000. Edlao's probation will be unsupervised after six months.

32 year old Lori A. Lewis pleaded guilty to passing a forged prescription and received a two year sentence on state probation. She was granted judicial diversion.

Meanwhile in other cases, 45 year old Shannon E. Tayes pleaded guilty entered a plea by information to reckless driving and received a six month sentence, all suspended to probation.

20 year old Skyelar Patrick pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a four year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He must complete domestic violence counseling.

61 year old Virginia Presnell pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and received a six month sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She has requested judicial diversion.

55 year old Rickey Lynn Devault pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and received a six month sentence on probation. His probation will be supervised for only three months if court costs are paid and then on good behavior probation.

Smithville Aldermen Adopt New City Budget

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

Smithville property taxes and water and sewer rates will remain the same for another year.

The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday morning voted unanimously to adopt the new 2014-15 budget on second and final reading following a public hearing.

The new budget totals $6-million 504-thousand 600 dollars. Under the new spending plan, the property tax rate will remain the same at .6490 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Water and sewer rates are to remain the same. City water customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are $7.50 per thousand gallons. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District remains at $2.67 per thousand gallons.

City sewer customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons plus the flat usage rate of $3.62.

Hourly and salaried city employees will get a 1.5% cost of living pay raise except for police officers who are due to get a raise under the eight step wage scale for all hourly employees in the department.

The aldermen voted to give the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad an additional $2,000 just for this year to help them finish their new building near Greenbrook Park. The city annually budgets $1,500. This year, the rescue squad will get $3,500 from the city. The idea was proposed during the last meeting two weeks ago by Alderman Tim Stribling.

Since the city did not spend it's budgeted amount for paving, $150,000, an amendment was adopted reflecting that in the 2013-14 budget. Because of that , the actual general fund deficit by the end of this fiscal year 2013-14 (June 30th) should be less than the projection of $365,112, according to City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson. "We took out $150,000 we had put in for paving which isn't going to happen before July 1. When you take that out and a few other things we have the projections down to a little over $200,000 in the red for this fiscal year but we have a good cash surplus in the general fund and water and sewer," he said. The city has budgeted $100,000 for street paving in the new budget

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $1,002,000 but $904,000 of that is for airport projects, which are largely funded by grants.

Specific projects are as follows: Legislative- $5,000; Parks and Recreation- $5,000; Public Works-Buildings and Grounds (unspecified)-$10,000; City Hall Building (Unspecified) $10,000; Fire Protection (Pagers) $10,000; Street Department (Unspecified) $25,000; Police Department (Police Car)$28,000; Animal Shelter-$5,000; and Airport-Lighting Rehabilitation $427,500, Fuel Farm $330,500, Hangar Door $50,000, and Land Acquisition $96,000 for a total of $904,000.

According to Hendrixson, a home near the airport is in the flight path and will eventually have to be removed. The state provides grant funds to the city to help acquire the property. "There's a house (currently being rented by the owner) on Allen's Chapel Road that is in our flight path according to the FAA. The state funds monies to municipalities to go out and acquire properties (such as this). We'll have to demolish the house once it's been acquired through the state and it will become city property. The state is in the appraisal phase and then the property has to be surveyed," said Hendrixson.

Proposed water and sewer fund capital outlay expenditures include $55,000 for a water service truck, $150,000 for sewer plant improvement design fees, $410,000 for the automatic meter readers project, which will be funded largely through a loan/grant program

Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

Monday Night Crash Under Investigation

July 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Man Injured in Crash on West Broad Street near Baker's Body Shop
Tims Truck Service Pulls Polaris Ranger ATV up from Steep Embankment on Mountain View Drive
State Troopers and Tims Truck Service Inspect Damage to Polaris Ranger ATV

A one vehicle accident Monday night remains under investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

The mishap occurred on West Broad Street in the yard of a residence near Baker's Body Shop. The operator of an SUV left the highway and crashed into a utility pole.

Sergeant Brad Tatrow said the driver of the SUV was 59 year old James Einfeldt of Smithville.

DeKalb EMS and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also at the scene. Einfeldt was later airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Meanwhile in a separate accident, five people escaped serious injury during the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning when their 2014 Polaris Ranger ATV went off the road in Lakeview Mountain Estates and overturned down an embankment.

Trooper Chris Delong said the ATV, driven by 33 year old Jordan Howell of Murfreesboro was traveling north on Mountain View Drive when his LED lights went out. As he looked back in search of another light source, the All Terrain Vehicle went off the road in a curve. Four of the five persons on board were thrown from the ATV.

Passengers included 35 year old Jason Myatt of Bowling Green, Kentucky, 36 year old Justus Carter of Shelbyville, 40 year old Beverly Camp of Eagleville, and 32 year old Hannah Pulvers.

DeKalb EMS treated some of them at the scene. None were seriously injured but Camp was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle.

Trooper Delong said Howell was cited for operating an ATV on the roadway. Trooper Bobby Johnson assisted Trooper Delong at the scene.

Man Charged with Burglarizing Same Home Twice

June 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bobby Floyd Duggin
Elizabeth Ann Chalfant
 Zachary Alexander Walker
Jan Marie Winchester

A man who allegedly broke into the same residence twice within nine days has been arrested by the Sheriff's Department.

49 year old Bobby Floyd Duggin of Pea Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of theft of property over $500, and one count of theft of property under $500. His bond totals $16,500 and he will be in court July 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday June 7, Duggin allegedly broke into a residence on Lodge Street in Liberty through a kitchen window and took $450. The second offense occurred on Monday, June 16 at the same home and entry was made through the same kitchen window. Duggin allegedly stole $600. The cases were investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

Meanwhile, 32 year old Elizabeth Ann Chalfant of Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with forgery. Her bond is $50,000 and she will be in court on July 10.

Sheriff Ray said Chalfant allegedly passed twelve checks from a checking account without the victim's permission from May 12-29. The total of the twelve checks was $5,387. The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

19 year old Zachary Alexander Walker of Hodges Road, Smithville is charged with public intoxication and domestic assault. He was also issued a citation for underage consumption of alcohol. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court July 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on June 23, a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Short Mountain Highway in response to a report of an intoxicated juvenile. Upon arrival the officer made contact with Walker, who was outside the residence screaming at family members. Walker had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he admitted to having been drinking. A woman there reported that she and Walker got into an argument while he was in the residence and that he slapped her in the face and knocked her down. As others tried to get Walker outside, Walker punched her in the face. She had a bruise and knot on her upper right cheek bone. Walker was determined to be the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest.

41 year old Jan Marie Winchester of Forrest Avenue, Smithville is charged with assault. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on July 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, June 26 an officer was dispatched to the Dry Creek swimming hole in response to a fight in progress, Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with Winchester and another woman who had been fighting. After speaking to several witnesses and both parties involved, the officer determined that Winchester was the primary aggressor. She was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

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