Local News Articles

Young Dancer from DeKalb County Chosen to Perform in Nashville Ballet’s Nashville’s Nutcracker

November 28, 2017
Blair Gipe

Nashville Ballet has selected one dancer from DeKalb County to perform in the youth cast for Nashville’s Nutcracker: Celebrating 10 Years! December 2-23, 2017, at TPAC’s Jackson Hall—Blair Gipe, child of Janice Gipe-Perry, as a Medium Mouse. This year’s youth cast marks the organization’s largest to date, with 296 dancers from School of Nashville Ballet and the community at large performing alongside Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Symphony in the local holiday favorite.

This year’s Nashville’s Nutcracker youth cast members were selected from community-wide, open auditions. Members of the youth cast come from 14 counties throughout Middle Tennessee and Kentucky, including, Cheatham, Christian, Davidson, Decatur, DeKalb, Hopkins, Humphreys, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. They will perform alongside all 54 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional dance company and second company and 60 members of the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s celebrated score.

“We’ve had more than 1,000 young dancers in the Nashville’s Nutcracker youth cast since the production’s debut 10 years ago,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said. “The size of the youth cast has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, so this year we’re debuting a brand-new role, the Dancing Bear Cavalry, which allows us to welcome even more young dancers on stage.”

In addition to the debut of the new youth cast role, Nashville Ballet is celebrating 10 years of Nashville’s Nutcracker with more all-new elements—including snow falling on the audience during the iconic snow scene. Nashville Ballet premiered The Nutcracker in 1989, but the production was reinvented as Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2008 with a unique concept incorporating Nashville’s vibrant past along with new choreography, sets, costumes and on-stage magic tricks. Since then, Vasterling’s original spin on the classic has cemented its place as one of Music City’s most beloved holiday traditions.

Beginning at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville, Clara and her Uncle Drosselmeyer meet a colorful cast of characters from faraway lands. When Uncle Drosselmeyer gifts Clara with a wooden Nutcracker on Christmas Eve, the toy magically transforms to life as a handsome prince and leads her through a remarkable adventure. Clara visits everyone from the Snow Queen to the Sugar Plum Fairy, including the spellbinding characters she met at the Exposition. When Clara finally returns home, the audience is left to decide if it was all just a dream—or not.

Nashville’s Nutcracker is presented by 21c Museum Hotel Nashville, Google Fiber and RJ Young. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at NashvilleBallet.com. A complete performance schedule and more information can be found at NashvilleBallet.com/Nashvilles-Nutcracker-2017.

About Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, including original works by Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2 (a pre-professional training company), provide more than 70,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 to 70.

Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from local, regional and national institutional funders and community partners, as well as hundreds of generous individuals, provide ongoing support of Nashville Ballet’s mission-critical programs.

Jerrells Indicted for Posting Blasphemous Notes at Local Churches

November 28, 2017
Dwayne Page
Laddie Bill Jerrells

A Smithville man who posted offensive and blasphemous notes on the properties of several local churches from May through July has been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury Monday indicted 57 year old Laddie Bill Jerrells of Long Street, Smithville on eight counts of desecration of a place of worship. He was also indicted in separate offenses for resisting arrest and making a false report.

Jerrells was charged in a joint investigation by the Smithville Police and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Departments. He was originally charged on Wednesday, July 5th on twenty four counts including charges of vandalism, disorderly conduct, harassment, and desecration of honored places.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray and Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins, Jerrells went to churches in the City of Smithville and in the county and posted offensive notes on the church properties, either on the front doors, buildings, or signs.

According to the indictments, the incidents occurred on May 13, May 30, June 18, June 22, June 25, June 29, July 3, and July 5 at times when no church services were being held. No particular denominations were targeted.

Smithville Police charged Jerrells for the two cases in the city. The rest of the charges were brought by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department against Jerrells for the incidents at churches in the county.

Although WJLE did not file charges, a similar irreverent note bearing the name of Laddie Jerrells, was posted on the front door of the WJLE studios in July.

On the desecration charges, Jerrells is accused of treating a place of worship with great disrespect by posting irreverent notes on the churches.

In a joint statement, Sheriff Ray and Police Chief Collins said their departments will always strive to keep churches safe and secure so that congregations can worship freely and in peace.

Meanwhile in the resisting arrest case, Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, February 27 a deputy responded to a residence on Long Street to serve an ex parte order of protection on Jerrells. Upon arrival the officer spoke to Jerrells’ daughter outside the home. She was named as a protected person on the order. The deputy then entered the residence, spoke with Jerrells, and read to him the contents of the paperwork on the order of protection. According to the order, Jerrells was to immediately vacate the residence. After being told several times that he had to leave the premises Jerrells refused to cooperate by lying down with his arms behind his head. He would not allow his wrists to be handcuffed. The deputy had to forcibly place Jerrells’ hands behind his back in order to make the arrest. After arriving at the jail, Jerrells continued to be uncooperative while being booked into the facility.

Jerrells was arrested Sunday, December 11, 2016 for filing a false report. Three days before on Thursday, December 8 Jerrells reported to police that his truck was locked and that he could not find the keys. The next morning, Friday, December 9 Jerrells said his truck was missing and reported it as stolen to Central Dispatch. Upon investigation it was discovered that Jerrells had hidden the vehicle and then reported it to be stolen.

tnAchieves Still Needs Nine Mentors in DeKalb County

November 28, 2017
tnAchieves Still Needs Nine Mentors in DeKalb County

tnAchieves, the partnering organization to Governor Haslam’s TN Promise in DeKalb County, is looking for mentors to support the fourth class of TN Promise scholars. DeKalb County still needs 9 mentors by this Friday, December 1st to meet its goal and ensure each student has a local support system.

tnAchieves mentors spend about one hour per month working with a group of students to help eliminate the barriers associated with the transition from high school to college. Mentors remind students of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource and, most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential. The time commitment is small, only about one hour per month, but the impact on the students can be life changing. To learn more and apply you can visitwww.tnachieves.org/mentors/apply.

If you have questions or would like more information please reach out to Graham Thomas at tnAchieves at graham@tnachieves.orgor (615) 604-1306.

Billings Indicted for Attempted First Degree Murder of His Wife

November 28, 2017
Dwayne Page
Andrew Lafate Billings

A DeKalb County man has been indicted for trying to kill his wife in April after she was found by the side of the road in the Ragland Bottom area cut and bleeding from a stabbing.

The Grand Jury Monday indicted 29 year old Andrew Lafate Billings with attempted first degree murder of his wife 19 year old Adriana Billings.

The indictment alleges that "on or about the 4th day of April, 2017 Billings did unlawfully, intentionally, and with premeditation attempt to kill Adriana N. Billings”.

Andrew and Adriana Billings first made news in November, 2016 when they fled to Michigan with their 8 month old child during a wreck investigation in which a meth lab was found in their vehicle prompting a TBI Endangered Child Alert. For that incident, Andrew Billings was also indicted Monday for aggravated child abuse and initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Although charged with Andrew at the time in the meth and child abuse case, Adriana was not indicted by the Grand Jury Monday.

That indictment alleges that “on or about the 10th day of November, 2016 Billings did unlawfully and knowingly initiate a process intended to result in the manufacture of any amount of methamphetamine and that he did unlawfully and knowingly expose Xavier Billings, a child under the age of 8 to the initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine”.

Billings will be arraigned on the charges in DeKalb County Criminal Court December 12.

The warrant taken against Billings at the time of the stabbing stated that "on the 4th of April, 2017, Andrew Lafate Billings did intentionally and knowingly stab his wife, Adriana Nichole Billings numerous times about the upper body. Billings did commit this act with premeditation with the intent to kill Adriana Billings. Adriana was taken by helicopter with life threatening injuries. This offense did occur in DeKalb County".

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the victim was found Tuesday morning, April 4 on Allen Ferry Road off Backbone Ridge Road in DeKalb County.

“At 9:06 a.m. a call came in to dispatch from someone who found a woman on the side of the road bleeding from the throat and said she appeared to have been stabbed.”

“Officers arrived ten minutes later and found the woman lying in a ditch with knife wounds to the neck, face, and hands. The victim was seen by EMS and then airlifted by helicopter. She suffered life threatening injuries,” said Sheriff Ray.

“While doing inventory at the scene, detectives developed Andrew Billings as a suspect and were able to obtain a vehicle description. A BOLO (Be on the lookout) was sent to surrounding counties.”

“The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and District Attorney General’s Office were summoned to the scene by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.”

“White County authorities later received a domestic call in their county and learned that Andrew Billings had gotten into an argument with a family member. A White County detective spotted the vehicle Billings was driving and did a traffic stop at 11:19 a.m.”

“A search warrant was later obtained and executed on the vehicle Billings was driving and officers found blood and a bloody knife with hair on it inside the automobile. Billings was found to have cuts to his hands,” Sheriff Ray continued.

Billings was taken into custody. He was booked in DeKalb County on the attempted first degree murder charge but at that time was being held in White County on a failure to appear in court charge there. DeKalb County had a hold on him after he faced his White County offense.

Meanwhile in the case a year ago, Sheriff Ray said that “On Thursday November, 10th, 2016 the Tennessee Highway Patrol worked a two vehicle accident on Highway 70 east (Sparta Highway). After 3 occupants in one of the vehicles, including the child, had been examined by EMS, the adults fled the scene with the child. During the inventory of the vehicle, the Trooper found what he believed to be a methamphetamine lab. The Trooper took criminal warrants in the case on both of the adults for manufacturing meth and aggravated child abuse”.

After the accident, the Trooper obtained information that the child might have had a medical condition and notified the Department of Children Services.

Sheriff Ray said that at 11:19 p.m. Wednesday night, November 16, 2016 the Department of Children Services came to his office and filed a missing/endangered child report. The Sheriff said his department immediately entered the child into the National Crime Information System which prompted the TBI Endangered Child Alert System.

The Billings’ were found with the child at a residence in Flint, Michigan on Friday, November 18, 2016. They were arrested by the City of Flint Police Department and Xavier was placed in protective custody by the Michigan Department of Children Services.

The warrants against the Billings’ taken at the time alleged that on November 10, 2016 Trooper Sean Tramel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol was working an accident on Sparta Highway and found that Andrew and Adriana Billings knowingly initiated the process of manufacturing methamphetamine inside of their white Nissan Sentra which was involved in the accident while their 8 month old son was present in the vehicle.

While doing a post crash inventory of the car, Trooper Tramel discovered a meth lab in a black nylon bag and in a 40 millimeter ammo can in the back seat. Items discovered were a Visine bottle containing muriatic acid, spa test strips, an open container of Drano, four bottles including three with residue and one with sediment, a quart Mason jar with a clear liquid believed to be Coleman fuel and methamphetamine mix which field tested positive for meth.

New Rules and Regulations Established for Use of County Complex

November 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
New Rules and Regulations Established for Use of County Complex

As of January 1st, new rules and regulations will be enforced for the rental and use of the DeKalb County Complex/Community Center (Mike Foster Multi-Purpose Center).

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the county commission voted to establish the new guidelines for the facility and to create a new full time director position at the complex to enforce them as recommended by the parks and recreation committee.

Those rules and regulations are as follows:

*Fees to be paid in full within 3 days of making the reservation

*Room rental: $50 for (4) hours, $25 for (4) hours non-profits and depending on services will require liability insurance

*Auditorium rental fee for a day: $300
Non-profits & benefits: half price
Example: Booster Clubs, School Fundraisers & Banquets

*Any Theatrical Productions, excluding bands, requesting to have a weekend event utilizing the auditorium may rent the auditorium in the amount of $600 for Monday through Sunday and he/she will relinquish 50% after expenses of any gate money

*Basketball gym rental $20 per hour with a maximum of $100 per day

*All registrations/open meetings to be held in cafe area unless scheduling conflicts

*Members are to be issued a key tag upon membership enrollment to the DeKalb County Complex. Members must have key tag when entering the gym, if not, a $1.00 fee applies. The fee must be paid before the member uses the gym. Non-members pay $1.00 per day for use of the gym

*No outside sports equipment. Complex will provide the equipment

*Common areas are not to be used for teaching, training, or instruction

*County Complex employees are not permitted to teach, train, or instruct during scheduled working hours for monetary gain

*Non-members use of weight room $3.00 per use

*If an instructor rents a room in the county complex and requests use of the weight room the instructor must pay an additional $5.00 per participant for use of the weight room. If the participant is a member, no further fees apply. If participant is a non-member there is a $3.00 fee per use

*Anyone using the weight room must be 18 years of age

*Children 16 or 17 must have a parent release form to utilize the weight room. Anyone under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent to utilize the weight room.

*No children under the age of 12 are permitted in the weight room

*There is no change in the Exercise/Weight room rates. These rates are listed on the membership application as follows.

Family Membership Monthly Rate: $35

Single Membership Monthly Rate: $20

Individual Daily Rate: $3.00

Family Yearly Rate (paid in full up front): $350.00

Individual Yearly Rate (paid in full up front): $220.00

*County Employees and those 62 years and older receive 1/2 price on everything, minus the daily rate.

*We reserve the right to deny any group or organization the use of the County Complex

County To Accept Applications for New Director Position at Complex

November 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
County To Accept Applications for New Director Position at Complex

The county will soon begin taking applications to fill the position of a full time director at the county complex (Mike Foster Multi-Purpose Center).

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the county commission voted 12-1 to create the position. Two part time workers will remain.

Applications and resumes may be submitted to the county mayor’s office through noon December 27th. The county’s parks and recreation committee will review the applications and set up interviews in January. The committee will then make a recommendation to the county commission on whom to hire possibly by the January 22 monthly meeting. The position is expected to be filled by February 1.

Job responsibilities of the director are as follows:

*Overseeing all daily activities, finance and scheduling
*Preparing yearly budget
*Making daily deposits
*Coordinating activities for the county complex
*Booking & renting rooms
*Planning activities for all ages
*Keeping records for complex (attendance, finance)
*Supervising games, events, activities, etc.
*Being responsible for inventory of property
*Working irregular hours, including nights and weekends
*Being responsible for booking classes and getting volunteers to assist with programs
*Scheduling and overseeing employees and volunteers to assist with programs
*Applicants must possess solid computer and people skills
*Be willing to attend training for First Aid, CPR, and perhaps First Responder Classes.

Although the complex is currrently staffed by three part time county employees, it has no one to manage it full time.

“We need a director in place there and we want to put some controls in place to provide a better service for all the citizens of the county. It will also be better for the county. It will really make it a better atmosphere and encourage more people to come out there and take advantage of the facility the county has built,” said Jonathan Norris, fourth district county commissioner and member of the county parks and recreation committee.

Last week the county budget committee accepted a recommendation from the parks and recreation committee to hire a director and to forward the proposal to the entire county commission for its blessing.

Sixth district commissioner Betty Atnip, who cast the only no vote for hiring a director Monday night, asked why the urgency to create the position now since the complex has operated six years without one.

“Because there is a potential for the complex to do better,” answered fifth district commissioner Anita Puckett, who is also a member of the parks and recreation committee.

“I thought it (complex) was doing okay until we had a group who came and wanted to utilize the facility and not pay anything. That’s when it was brought to our attention how neglected the complex truly was. We were able to see that there is no true leadership in overseeing the day to day activities. The neglect is there but we see the potential for more revenue to come in there. We asked (County Mayor) Tim (Stribling) can you show us what was established when it was first developed? There wasn’t anything. It was literally that somebody had hand written guidelines but there hadn’t been anything established like we have developed here. Now there is going to be a direction. There is going to be a director who will be on site day to day and oversee the activities that are being held. They (director) will have specific things we will require of them (him or her) on a daily basis and we want them looking for venues to come in that will generate new revenues from our complex,” said Puckett.

“As for bringing in new venues, events, and encouraging people to come to our complex, in my opinion that falls in with the Chamber of Commerce recommending people to come in and the county mayor’s office. That is part of his job to bring in new people to our county,” said Atnip.

The pay for the director is expected be on the same scale as clerks in other county offices, starting at $25,436 per year at step one or $12,718 for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Norris said the position could be funded without adding new monies to the county budget.

“Looking at the budget and what is already allocated versus what was actually spent in 2016, we think we can do this without any new monies, but obviously that is not a guarantee. We have salaries there now (budgeted) at $54,000. The way we did the math if you added in insurance, retirement and things like that, I think we’re still going to be within that $54,000. We may need to restructure some (county complex) budget line items but I don’t think its going to be any new money,” he said.

Norris agreed with Puckett that a director could help bring more activities and generate additional revenues at the complex.

“Last year the county complex brought in $44,000 against $88,000 in expenses. I don’t think anyone here thinks it (county complex) is going to be a cash cow. That is not its purpose. But it does need to be closer in terms of balancing. I believe that a director, somebody who is there, handling , promoting, and pushing that, is going to be able to increase those memberships and revenues so we have a little bit of an offset of the liability," said Norris.

Thirty Nine Indicted by Grand Jury

November 27, 2017
Dwayne Page

The new term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury convened Monday and returned indictments against 39 people including 11 named in sealed indictments.

Defendants will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Tuesday, December 12.

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Anthony Steven Alley: evading arrest

Jammie Renee Ashford: possession with intent to sell and deliver over 0.5 grams of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia

Andrew Lafate Billings: attempted first degree murder, initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and aggravated child abuse

Riley Anthony Bullard: simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana)

Thomas Patrick Courtney: driving under the influence and unlawful possession of a weapon

Christopher Keith Lane Derrick: driving under the influence, vehicular assault, evading arrest, and violation of the implied consent law

Jessica Denise Dyal: aggravated burglary and theft under $1,000 (2 counts)

Jeffery Allen Flatt: driving under the influence and reckless endangerment

Sonni M. Fullilove: simple possession of schedule VI drug (marijuana)

Mark Alan Goodson: possession with intent to sell and deliver over 0.5 grams of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of the seat belt law, violation of the registration law, and violation of financial responsibility

David Matthew Hill: aggravated burglary (2 counts), theft under $1,000, burglary, and vandalism under $1,000

Laddie Bill Jerrells: desecration of a place of worship (8 counts), resisting arrest, and false report

William Travis Malone: simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine) and simple possession of a schedule II drug (oxycodone)

James Howard Markham: driving under the influence (4th offense) and violation of the habitual traffic offender order

Phillip Andrew Martin: driving on a revoked license (2nd offense)

John Thomas Mason: driving on a revoked license (2nd offense) and evading

Amber Lynn Matchett: simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and failure to stay in lane of traffic

Christopher Alan Medlin: forgery (8 counts)

Terry Wayne Owens: driving under the influence, vehicular assault (2 counts), violation of the implied consent law, failure to exercise due care, violation of the financial responsibility law, and failure to yield right of way.

Winston Alexander Puckett: sexual exploitation of a minor and aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor

Christopher Anthony Shelton: driving on a suspended license (8th offense)

Brandon Lee Starnes: possession with intent to sell and deliver over 0.5 grams of methamphetamine

Brian Franklin Strahan: domestic assault

Melody Ann Thomas: driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane of traffic

Richard Allen Tilly: driving under the influence

Jason Andrew Whitherspoon: worthless check over $2,500

Roy Junior Wilkey: sexual exploitation of a minor

Johnny Reb Williams: aggravated assault

Names of those charged in sealed indictments cannot be disclosed until they are served.

Police Find Convicted Felon with Drugs and Weapon During Traffic Stop

November 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Johnathan Kyle Turner
Crystal Lachelle Thompson
Lee Allen Ferrell
Brandy Nichole Hale
Jason Lee Whitefield
Jason Allen Bates

A motorist stopped by Smithville Police for a seatbelt violation last week was found to be a convicted felon in possession of methamphetamine and a weapon.

30 year old Johnathan Kyle Turner was arrested on Monday, November 20 for possession of a handgun by a felon and he was cited for simple possession, driving on a revoked license, and for no seatbelt.

An officer pulled over Turner due to a seatbelt violation and asked him if he had anything illegal in the vehicle. He handed over a clear bagging containing approximately 1 gram of a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine. Upon further investigation, the officer found a semi-automatic handgun on the passenger side floorboard. A computer check through Central Dispatch revealed that Turner had a felony conviction on October 22, 2012 for promotion of methamphetamine. Turner was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is December 14.

37 year old Crystal Lachelle Thompson was arrested for theft on Saturday, November 4 after being observed by Wal-Mart Loss Prevention employees putting merchandise into her purse, pants and jacket. Thompson was stopped and confronted about the theft as she was exiting the store. Approximately $160 in merchandise was recovered from Thompson and returned to the store. Thompson's bond is $2,000 and her court date is November 30.

27 year old Robert Jacob Hardison was cited on Tuesday, November 7 for having drug paraphernalia and for unlawful possession of a weapon. Police were called to Wal-Mart after an employee found a glass pipe with residue inside a toolbox that a customer was trying to return. Police confronted the customer, Hardison, who said that he forgot about putting the pipe there which he uses to smoke cocaine. Hardison also informed the officer that he had in his possession a 9 millimeter SAR handgun, for which he has no valid gun permit. The gun, which was in Hardison’s waistband, was retrieved by the officer.

29 year old Shannon Gray Gassaway was cited on Tuesday, November 7 for shoplifting. Police responded to the Dollar General Store for a possible shoplifter. Upon arrival, the officer was informed that an employee spotted Gassaway putting items in a diaper bag with the intent to deprive the store of its property. The officer recovered the merchandise and returned it to the store.

24 year old Lee Allen Ferrell was arrested on Saturday, November 11 for criminal trespassing at a residence on Walker Drive where he had earlier been told he was not welcome. When Ferrell returned police were notified but he had left again before the officer arrived. Ferrell was later found walking down the road. He was taken into custody due to the reasonable likelihood that this offense would continue to occur. Ferrell’s bond is $2,500 and his court date is December 7.

Police arrested Ferrell again on Tuesday, November 21 for vandalism after the victim reported on Monday, November 20 that her vehicle had been vandalized by someone who cut all the tires and keyed both sides of her car. She named Ferrell as a suspect due to the fact that she had him arrested on November 11 for criminal trespassing on her property. Police spoke with Ferrell and during an investigation found a knife belonging to him that bore residue of white paint and black tar consistent with that of a tire and the white paint on the victim's car. Ferrell’s bond is $5,000 and his court date is December 14.

31 year old Brandy Nichole Hale was arrested on Sunday, November 12 for domestic assault. According to police, Hale and the victim became involved in a verbal argument that turned physical when she pushed and hit him leaving a red mark on the left side of his face. The victim then shut the garage door, trying to keep Hale out of the house and away from him but in doing so Hale's finger was injured on the door. Hale was determined to have been the primary aggressor and she was taken into custody without incident. Her bond is $2,500 and her court date is November 30.

32 year old Jason Lee Whitefield was arrested on Sunday, November 12 for DUI and cited for violation of implied consent after being found unconscious behind the steering wheel of his vehicle at 576 West Broad Street with the engine running. Whitefield submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks but he refused to take a blood/alcohol test. Police subsequently obtained a search warrant for a blood withdrawal. Whitefield’s bond is $3,500 and his court date is November 30.

41 year old Jason Allen Bates was arrested on Friday, November 17 for domestic assault after police responded to a domestic call and learned that Bates and the victim had gotten into a physical fight earlier and that the victim's hand had gotten cut during the altercation. Bond for Bates is $3,000 and his court date is November 30.

31 year old Adam Daniel Taylor was cited on Saturday, November 18 for shoplifting at Tractor Supply Company after he took items with the intent to deprive the store of its merchandise. His court date is November 30.

Haven of Hope Offers Domestic Abuse Support Group

November 27, 2017
Bill Conger
Haven of Hope

Domestic violence is a crime that hits home physically for a lot of families, but the abuse isn’t limited to punching, slapping, or kicking. It can be mental, emotional, sexual, and even financial. In 2016 alone there were over 70-thousand domestic calls reported to the police in Tennessee.

In DeKalb County the Haven of Hope now offers a domestic abuse support group. To lead the group, Haven Clinical Director Kay Quintero turned to one of their clients who survived her traumatic situation. We’ll call her “Sally” to protect her identity.

“There have been women [attend group] who have been in abusive relationships for 27 years, and the only reason they got out of it was because their partner died. There’s been physical abuse and a lot of sexual abuse. The thread that we all find is that we’ve been manipulated mentally.”

Sally, who escaped to DeKalb County from a state north of Tennessee, suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome).

“One of the therapists saved my sanity [by treating] my diagnosis of PTSD” Sally said. “I’d go out and see a Ford F-150 that looked like my ex’s, and I’d start a full-blown panic attack at the grocery store.”

A few months of therapy, and her life has been turned around. Still, the hellish situation she endured for 13 years remains firmly in her memory. Sally was married to the man she thought was her soul mate. They were well-to-do successful members of the community, but when the couple had their son, Sally says they drifted apart and he started having affairs, so she filed for divorce in 2008.

“Once I filed for divorce is when the abuse was ramped up. He was at the very minimum narcissistic, probably psychopath, what we call Cluster B disorders.”

“The biggest red flag I missed was the complete lack of empathy that he had.”

Though she never sported a black eye or any other wound from domestic assault, she lived in another form of abuse. A stay-at-home mom, Sally had no money and couldn’t afford to leave the house when the bitter legal action began.

“He told me he wasn’t going to give me any of the money and that he was going to file for sole custody so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. He let the accounts go dry. I didn’t have money for groceries. I had to put my lawyer on a credit card. He would come home ranting and raving, trying to get me to settle, trying to make my life difficult.”

“The judge would not remove him from the house. I had to put a restraining order on him in my own home. He could not come into the master bedroom. I pretty much lived in my room for about a year.”

Although Sally wanted to leave her situation, she didn’t have the money to get out.

“I was beside myself mentally,” she explains. “There was no way I could have worked. The city we lived in the nearest one bedroom apartment cost $1,100 a month. I was stuck.”

She says fear is a powerful motivator that prevents victims from leaving the abuse.

“The abusers prey on that. There was another woman in my little town who was going through the same thing. The day she filed to have him evicted from the house she went missing, and he was named as a person of interest. She was never found. I woke up one morning in my home, and I heard a noise outside, and they were dragging the retention pond by my house, looking for her body, which they never found. That hit home for me.”

Frightened, she sent out a secretive email.

“When you have to write an email to all your family and friends and say, ‘I’d never kill myself, and I’d never leave my child. If anything happens to me, he did something. That was probably one of the hardest things I ever did.”

Sally now says she didn’t realize she was the victim of abuse until she removed herself from the situation. Today she is encouraging other women who are dealing with domestic abuse to reach out to the Haven of Hope for help.

The group meets at the Haven of Hope. Call 597-HOPE to find out the days and times for meetings.

Christmas Parades This Weekend

November 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Christmas Parades This Weekend

Santa Claus is coming to town!

The first of three Christmas parades in DeKalb County this holiday season will be Saturday, December 2 when the Smithville Christmas Parade sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department takes place starting at 1:00 p.m. The line up begins at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School. To enter call Jeff Wright at 615-597-6750 or John Poss at 931-349-5598.

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 3 at 2:00 p.m. The line-up will be at 1 PM at Salem Baptist Church. Call 615-464-8085 for more information.

The Alexandria Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. Line-up begins at 1 p.m. on West Main Street. To enter stop by or call the Alexandria City Hall at 615-529-2171 extension 2


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Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

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