Local News Articles

Liberty Woman Charged with Prescription Fraud

May 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department has charged a 33 year old Liberty woman with eight counts of prescription fraud for allegedly phoning in several false prescriptions to a local pharmacy over the last four months.

Cynthia F. Heinz of 160 Clear Creek Road, Liberty is under a $20,000 bond and she will be in General Sessions Court on the charges May 29th.

According to Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins' Jr., Heinz phoned the Walmart Pharmacy in Smithville on January 18th, February 15th, March 14th, and April 28th and ordered prescriptions in the name of a Lebanon doctor for Loritab and Flexeril. With each call, Heinz, would identify herself as the doctor's secretary and provide the doctor's drug enforcement agency number, which police believe she obtained from a previous handwritten prescription issued by the doctor for Heinz' husband, who was a patient of the Lebanon physician.

Hutchins says on May 16th, when Heinz called in another prescription, pharmacists at Walmart became suspicious and contacted police.

The Lebanon doctor did not authorize any of the prescriptions.

Meanwhile, in other cases, 28 year old David Lynn Martin has been charged with vandalism over $500, DUI, and two counts of aggravated assault. Martin was also cited for violation of the implied consent law and reckless driving. His bond totals $13,500 and he will be in court on the charges June 5th.

On May 15th, at South Fork Apartments, Martin allegedly assaulted his wife, Abigail Martin, and his sister-in-law, Lisa Vogel by pulling his wife's car and knocking the two women down with the door of the car. He was trying to drag Mrs. Martin's car off with a chain hooked to his truck.

In the DUI case, Martin was operating a motor vehicle on Miller Road and was stopped for reckless driving. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and was unsteady on his feet. He became violent. No field sobriety tasks were given and Martin refused a blood test.

In the vandalism case, Martin was placed under arrest at South Fork Apartments on Miller Road and when he was put in the patrol car, Martin got violent and kicked out the passenger side door windows of the vehicle valued at over $500.

Officer Matt Farmer arrested Martin and charged him in these cases.

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests in Theft and Drug Cases

May 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested three people on drug charges and one person in a theft case since last Wednesday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies responded to an auto accident on Highway 56 last Wednesday and charged 39 year old Rita Kay Murphy of Old West Point Road, Smithville with driving under the influence after she failed field sobriety tasks. Murphy was also charged with simple possession of marijuana after a marijuana cigarette was found on the dash of her car. Bond for Murphy was set at $2,000 and she will appear in court on May 29th.

Also on Wednesday, 30 year old Charles Morgan Jr. of Rolling Hills Drive, McMinnville
was charged with theft of property. Morgan was a salesman at a car lot in Smithville and was test driving a vehicle a customer was trading in when he stole at least one check out of the customers check book. Morgan took the check to McMinnville where he forged and passed the check for $150. Morgan did admit to the offense. His bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on June 5th.

Deputies responded to an unwanted visitor call on Old Mill Hill Road in Dowelltown on Friday. Upon arrival, officers noticed 46 year old Danny Ray Ponder who was intoxicated and leaning on a porch rail. Ponder did admit to taking 8 Xanax pills earlier. Deputies also found a cut straw and a syringe on Ponder's person. He was charged with public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ponder's bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on June 12th.

Meanwhile, 37 year old David Gerald Vanatta of Snow Street was arrested today (Monday) on a
sealed indictment from the April term of the Grand Jury as a result of the Sheriff's Department's Drug Sting. Vanatta was charged with sale of a schedule II drug (Morphine), delivery of a schedule II drug (Morphine), sale of a schedule III Drug (Hydrocodone), and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone)..Vanatta also was arrested on two warrants for violation of probation. Vanatta is incarcerated under a $12,000.00 bond and his court date for all these offenses is set for this month.

8th Graders Graduate from DeKalb West School

May 18, 2008

Thirty-six students 8th graders are heading to high school after graduating from DeKalb West School May 16.

Students with the highest grade point averages are the following: In Algebra I: Hailey Perry, 101.5 and Alex Meadow, 96.5; In Reading, Austin Willmore, 98.25 and Krystal White, 98; In Spelling, Hailey Perry, 98.25, Dylan Freeney, Nick Henry, and Bradley Pack each with 98; In English: Charley Mount, 98.25, Austin Willmore and Hailey Perry each with a 97.5; In Math, Nick Henry, 96, Austin Willmore, 95; In Social Studies: Nick Henry, 99 and Charley Mount, 97; In Science, Austin Willmore, 97.71 and Charley Mount, 97.04.

Student-voted Citizenship awards were handed out to Hailey Perry and Tevin Owens from Carol Hale’s class and to Charley Mount and Matthew Cain from Melanie Molander’s class. The Citizenship Award is given each year in memory of Brian Clayborn, the son of County Court Clerk Mike Clayborn.

Perry Wins National Award

May 18, 2008

DeKalb West School 8th grader Hailey Perry is one of only 25 students across the nation and 4 in Tennessee to be chosen for the John W. Harris Leadership Award. The National Beta Club recognizes deserving students in Junior and Senior Beta Clubs throughout the country who have served as “an inspiration to all and serve as a motivation to improve the school and community.”

Hailey, the daughter of Todd and Teresa Perry of Dowelltown, is this school year’s President of the D.W.S. Junior Beta Club. Guidance Counselor Bill Conger nominated Perry for the award for her drive, determination, and desire to go the extra mile in serving others. She was presented the award during the DeKalb West School’s 8th grade graduation May 16.

“I have always been really impressed by Hailey’s willingness to be involved in service projects at school,” Conger said. “One example that stands out is the choice she made last year to not only play in the ballgame that night but also to help clean up the school grounds before the opening tip-off. She had a reasonable excuse not to show up because of the other obligation, but she made it happen anyway.”

“I have always been taught to do well and do my best,” Perry said. “I feel better,” Hailey adds about her involvement with service projects in the school and community. It makes me feel more grown-up because I know that I’ve done something to build on my life.”

A student in Carol Hale’s classroom, she has demonstrated her leadership abilities all through her middle school years at DWS as a team player with the Bulldogs basketball team and as 4-H President in her 5th-8th grade years. She is also an active member at her home church, the Longbranch Community Church in Lancaster.

“I think there needs to be clubs like this [Junior Beta] because kids, especially with parents who don’t really care, don’t learn responsibility and values like you would if you were participating,” Hailey said. “I think that if kids got out and did more stuff, they would change and they wouldn’t follow in their parent’s footsteps.”

She leaves her position as Beta Club president with this piece of advice about serving others.

“Work hard and want to do it. Don’t have to be forced to do it. Volunteer all the time.”

Mobile Home Destroyed in Saturday Fire

May 18, 2008

The DeKalb County Fire Department responded to a single wide mobile home fire Saturday afternoon, shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Smithville Highway in the Silver Point Community.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says upon arrival, firefighters found the mobile home fully involved with heavy smoke and flames showing. According to the owner, Eddie Sutton, the family had left the house around 11:00 a.m. and upon returning around 2:00 p.m. found heavy smoke coming from the home. Sutton called 911 to report the fire, but when fire personnel arrived flames were coming from both ends of the trailer.

The mobile home and contents were a total loss. Chief Green says that the owner stated the family had no insurance on their home or contents.

Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Fire Department responded along with the department's tanker truck. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and DeKalb County EMS also assisted on the scene.

Seniors Honored for Academic and Athletic Achievement

May 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

In addition to scholarships, members of the Class of 2008 received other special honors for academic and athletic achievement during Thursday's annual Senior Awards Day Program at DeKalb County High School.

The honor students were recognized including the Class Valedictorian, Nick Winchester and the
Salutatorian, Adam Emerson

Students earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 are as follows: Brittney Armour, Carla Barnes, Alisha Billings, Chase Cantrell, Tyler Cantrell, Joseph Carroll, Brent Collier, Roger Curtis, Justin Duke, Michael Elliott, Lindsy Ervin, Amber Evans, Chase Ferrell, Trey Finley, Grant Goodwin, Josh Gilbert, Lauren Hansard, Natasha Hendrixson, Katie Herman, Jake Hoover, Justin Lattimore, Jacob Moore, Trisha Neiberger, Lacey Parchman, Shaun Reed, Zack Rowland, Colt Stewart, Emily Summers
Cody Thomas, Nique Tubbs, Corey Turner, Anna Marie Walker, GeriAnna Wilson, and Kevin Woodside.

Students earning "High Distinction" with a GPA of 3.6 to 3.79 are as follows: Josh Cantrell, Mykel Cantrell, Dustin Estes, Kayla Fish, Dustin Hood, Dustin Jennings, Steven McCormick, Jessica Paschal, Colton Rhody
Tyler Robinson, and Travis Woodward.

Students earning "Highest Distinction" with a GPA of 3.8 to 4.0 are as follows: Lacey Beshearse, Jessica Dyer, Adam Emerson, Daniel Foutch, Jessica Harney, John Malone, Hope Martin, Tayla Turner, Nick Winchester, Tyler Woods, and Ryan Young

Tennessee Scholars were also recognized.

The Tennessee Scholars Program is designed to recognize students who have maintained good academic, disciplinary and attendance standards. It's also designed to recognize students who take a more rigorous and challenging course of study in high school. They must take challenging classes above and beyond what is required for college entrance and graduation. These students have also volunteered at least 20 hours of community service in our community. Because the Tennessee Scholars Program is designed to be a partnership between the school and business community, the DeKalb County Education Foundation, for the last three years, has provided the medallions given to the Tennessee Scholars.

Tennessee Scholars are as follows: Lacey Beshearse, Kristel Bush, Tyler Cantrell, Josh Cantrell,
Casey Curtis, Justin Duke, Adam Emerson, Lindsey Ervin, Dustin Estes, Chase Ferrell, Trey Finley, Kayla Fish, Daniel Foutch, Tiffany Frazier, Lauren Hansard, Jessica Harney, Natasha Hendrixson, Katie Herman, Dustin Hood, Dustin Jennings, John Malone, Jacob Moore, Bray Page, Colton Rhody, Tyler Robinson, Jennifer Rogers, Colt Stewart, Brian Trapp, Nique Tubbs
Tayla Turner, Justin Vanatta, Anna Marie Walker, Susan Walls, GeriAnna Wilson, Nick Winchester, Tyler Woods, Travis Woodward, and Ryan Young

Other award winners are as follows:

Outstanding Students of America- Tayla Turner
Tennessee 4-H Council- Travis Woodward, Chase Ferrell, and Dustin Hood
Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen- Tayla Turner
U.S. Marines Semper Fidelis- Emily Summers
U.S. Marine-Scholastic Excellence- Adam Emerson and Tayla Turner
U.S. Marine-Distinguished Athletes- Grant Goodwin and Lauren Hansard

U.S. Army National Scholar Athletes- Tyler Robinson and Jessica Harney

Leadership DeKalb- Chase Ferrell and Tyler Woods

English Department Awards- Bridgette Linder, Jessica Dyer, James Gibbs, Alisha Billings, Jennifer Rogers, and Nick Byrge

Business Department Award- Travis Woodward

Motlow Dual Enrollment Math Award- Adam Emerson and Lacey Beshearse

Economics Award- Adam Emerson, Dustin Hood, Travis Woodward, and Tyler Woods

Physics Award- John Malone and Adam Emerson

Database Award- Ryan Young

Journalism Award- Nique Tubbs, GeriAnna Wilson, Brent Collier, James Harden, Shane Mims, and Brelle Seals

Vocal Music Award- Chase Ferrell and Anna Marie Walker

FFA Award- Casey Belcher, Tyler Cripps, Jeff Puckett, Jessica Dyer, Jessica Ray, and Lacey Parchman

FCCLA Award- Corey Turner and Alisha Billings

Student Council Awards- Nick Winchester, Abby Cantrell, Chase Cantrell, Chase Ferrell, Lindsy Ervin, Dustin Hood, GeriAnna Wilson, Tyler Woods, Jessica Harney, and Katie Herman

Chemistry Award- Adam Emerson

Rotary Math- Tayla Turner
Rotary Vocational- Jeremy Eakes

Mrs. Linda Paris' Textile Class presented quilts made by members of the class to the family of the late Debbie Parchman.

Three teachers of the year, chosen by the faculty, were also recognized including Harriett Cantrell, Charlotte Wruble, and Mary Anne Carpenter.

Arrest Made In October Stabbing

May 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

An arrest has been made in the stabbing of Gustaro Sanchez last October.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Warren County Sheriff's Investigators last week were able to capture 24
year old Juan Lorenzo Rodriguez of 500 Skyline Drive McMinnville.

He says Rodriguez attempted to allude law enforcement officers in Warren County and
was charged with other crimes there. Rodriguez was turned over to DeKalb County authorities on Tuesday, May 13th..

Rodriguez is charged in DeKalb County with attempted second degree murder. His bond was set at $2,000,000 and his court date is May 29th.

The warrant states that " On October 28th, 2007 at Pirtle's Nursery on Highway 146 in DeKalb County, Rodriguez did stab Gustaro Sanchez several times in the neck, abdomen, and head and cut him twice across the abdomen and left him for dead. Sanchez was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in critical condition."

Sheriff Ray says the fight was over a female and Sanchez was cut with a knife.

Rodriguez is currently being held in the DeKalb County Jail.

Sanchez was found Sunday, October 28th in the driveway of a barracks where migrant workers reside at Pirtle's Nursery on Short Mountain Road.

According to Sheriff Ray, someone at the barracks heard Sanchez screaming in pain, discovered him lying in the driveway, and called 911

Sheriff Ray says since no one apparently witnessed the attack, authorities were uncertain if the stabbing occurred where Sanchez was found, or if it took place somewhere else and he had come to this location to get help.

He says Sanchez, who has recovered from the attack, suffered numerous stab wounds to his chest, back, and head area. He was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and then flown by Life Flight to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Some Second Grade Classes May Go From SES to NES To Ease Overcrowding

May 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

It appears more likely that the Board of Education, instead of obtaining portable classrooms, may move four-second grade classes from Smithville Elementary School to Northside Elementary School this fall in order to relieve student overcrowding there.

During a School Board meeting last Thursday night, Board member Charlie Robinson recommended that a committee be appointed to do a feasibility study. "We're going to need additional classrooms to meet our Basic Education Program in at least one school in our system. I'm going to suggest that we establish a committee to evaluate the cost of site preparation, which includes electrical, water, and sewer hookups as well as fire code and state building code requirements for the placement of portable classrooms as needed throughout our system. Questions addressed should be the cost comparisons concerning buying, renting, or building this type of classroom. This is a band aid solution. I think it's time. We've got to be pro-active for our next school year."

Board members and school officials have apparently concluded, based on their initial findings, that it would be too costly to either purchase or lease portable classrooms to meet the existing needs. For example, the initial cost to set up portable classrooms is about $8,000, not including hooking up utilities such as electricity and sewer services. The monthly rental fees would be around $1,100 per month. Purchasing new or used portables could be as much as $70,000 or more.

Smithville Elementary School currently has 174 second grade students, divided up into ten classes. State law limits an average class size to no more than 20 per class in grades K-3. Next year, SES is expected to have 205 second graders divided up into possibly eleven classes. By relocating four second grade classes, Northside, currently a 3rd to 5th grade school, would be taking on about 80 more students, which would ease the student overcrowding problem for now at Smithville Elementary

School officials say that while Northside Elementary currently makes use of all it's space, the school can accommodate four second grade classrooms.

Second grade teachers at Smithville Elementary have also apparently been made aware of the plans and some have volunteered to make the move to Northside.

Smithville Elementary School serves as a school for students in kindergarten to second grade, but in recent years has taken on more pre-K classes, made available through state funding. The school currently has four pre-kindergarten classes and one special education class.

Last Thursday night, Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III, referring to relocating second grade students from Smithville Elementary to Northside Elementary said." I personally don't feel comfortable doing that, but if that's our only alternative then that's what we'll have to do to keep from being overcrowded at the Smithville Elementary School. I just don't feel comfortable splitting up the second grade or, for that matter, any grade."

A committee made up of board members Kenny Rhody and Johnny Lattimore, assisted by Board Chairman Evins and Director Mark Willoughby is studying the issue and is expected to report back to the school board at a later meeting with a formal recommendation.

Scholarships Presented to Many Seniors During Awards Day Program at DCHS

May 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Thousands of dollars in scholarships were awarded to members of the Class of 2008 at DeKalb County High School during Thursday's annual Senior Awards Day program.

Colleges, universities, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations presenting awards and their recipients are as follows:

MTSU Scholarships:
$5,000 Neill-Sandler & $2,500 Dr. Sidney & Elizabeth McPhee Scholarship-Lacey Parchman
$12,000 Valedictorian Scholarship-Nicholas Winchester
Full Tuition plus $4,000 Buchanan Fellowship-Adam Emerson

Cumberland University:
$2,000 Academic Scholarship through FBLA- John Malone

Vol State Community College:
$1,350 Athletic (Baseball) Scholarship -Bray Page

Martin Methodist College:
Academic and Athletic (Baseball) Scholarship- Trey Finley

University of Memphis:
Outstanding Music Performance Full Tuition Scholarship- Chase Ferrell

Tennessee Wesleyan College-
$8,000 Athletic (Golf) Scholarship-Grant Goodwin

Tennessee Tech University:
$10,000 Golden Eagle Excellence Scholarship- Lacey Beshearse
$10,000 Golden Eagle Excellence Scholarship- Jessica Harney
$500 Earl McDonald Leadership Scholarship- Hope Martin
$500 Joe Lancaster Family Scholarship (School of Agriculture Faculty and Staff)- Jessica Dyer

Motlow State Community College:
$4,000 Scholarship- Natasha Hendrixson

Nashville Auto Diesel College:
$1,000 NADC High School Select Scholarship- Randy Summers

Maryville College:
$12,000 per year Making a Difference Scholarship - Kayla Fish

$1,000 Leaders and Achievers Scholarship-Tyler Woods

Dr. Warren T. Johnson
$500 Scholarship-Geri Anna Wilson

David Lipscomb University:
$4,000 Scholarship-Dustin Hood

DeKalb Community Hospital:
$500 Scholarship-Abby Cantrell

Smithville Women's Club:
$500 Scholarships- Anna Marie Walker & Mary Williams

Lucille Stewart Memorial:
$2,000 Scholarships- Lacey Beshearse & Ryan Young

Kenny and Kyle Robinson Memorial:
$1,000 Scholarship- Tyler Woods

DeKalb County Scottish Rite:
$1,000 Scholarship-Abby Cantrell

Jeff Garrett Memorial:
$500 Scholarship- Joshua Cantrell

Eddie Crips Memorial:
$1,000 Scholarship- Travis Woodward and Kristel Shumake-Bush

Liberty State Bank:
$1,000 Scholarships- Joshua Cantrell & Daniel Foutch

Tennessee Valley Authority:
$4,000 Scholarship-Tayla Turner

Beecher and Wilma Moss:
$2,000 Scholarship- Hope Martin

Charlene Morrison Johns Memorial:
$500 Scholarship- Tayla Turner, Jacob Moore, & Jessica Harney

DeKalb Funeral Chapel:
$1,000 Scholarship- Chase Cantrell
$500 Scholarship- Dustin Bogle
$500-Scholarship- Tara Young

Love-Cantrell Funeral Home:
$500 Scholarships- Amber Evans & Alisha Billings

Allen Hooper Memorial:
$500 Scholarship- Jacob Moore

Joe Paris Parker:
4 year -$1500 Scholarship at U.T.- Dustin Jennings

DeKalb Farmers Coop:
$500 Scholarship- Jessica Dyer

DCHS Class of 1966:
$500 Scholarship- Colt Stewart

Katherine Conger Memorial:
$1,500 Scholarship- Dustin Hood, Travis Woodward, & Tyler Robinson

First Bank:
$500 Scholarship- Grant Goodwin
$500 James W. Ayers Foundation Scholarship- Grant Goodwin

Smithville Rotary Club:
$500 Scholarships- Jessica Harney and Lacey Parchman
$100 Math Award- Tayla Turner
$100 Vocational Award- Jeremy Eakes

DeKalb Retired Teachers Association:
$500 Scholarships- Alisha Billings & Emily Summers

Tony and Wanda Harts of Yuppies Puppies.com:
$1,000 Scholarship -Tayla Turner

Smithville Business & Professional Women's Club:
$500 Scholarships- Brittney Cantrell & Emily Summers

Leadership DeKalb Alumni Association:
$750 Scholarship- Chase Ferrell
Partial Scholarship- Tyler Woods

DeKalb Republican Women:
$500 Scholarship- Dustin Hood

Agee Oil Company:
$1,500 Scholarship- Natasha Hendrixson

Amvets Post #101:
$250 Scholarship- Nique Tubbs

Amvets Post #101 Ladies Auxiliary:
$250 Scholarship- Lindsy Ervin

DeKalb County Fire Fighters Association:
$250 Scholarships- Dustin Bogle, Justin Duke, & Nick Winchester

DCHS Class of 1969:
$250 Scholarship- Lauren Hansard

DCHS Class of 1962:
$600 Scholarship- Corey Cripps

Middle Tennessee Times:
$500 Scholarship- Colt Stewart & Tayla Turner

Elzie & Nell McBride Memorial:
$500 Scholarship to MTSU- Ryan Young

DeKalb County Soil Conservation District:
$500 Scholarship- Jessica Dyer & Lacey Parchman

Jolly Angels:
$1000 Scholarship- Jake Hoover, Lacey Parchman, Brittney Cantrell, and Hope Martin

$1,000 Scholarship-Jacob Moore and Joshua Cantrell

$500 Scholarship- Alisha Billings
$300 FCCLA Margaret Browder Scholarship-Alisha Billings
$300 FCCLA Elizabeth Chapman Scholarship -Alisha Billings

DCHS Student Council:
$250 Scholarship- Tyler Woods

Gordon Votes to Combat Rising Gas Prices

May 14, 2008

In an effort to bring relief to consumers as gas prices rise to record highs, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon voted for legislation Tuesday (May 13) that would suspend the fill of the nation's Strategic
Petroleum Reserve while oil prices remain above $75 per barrel.

"Gas prices near $4 a gallon are taking a chunk out of people's wallets," said Gordon. "The high prices have forced families to rethink their budgets and make tough choices about where to cut back on household expenses."

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation to halt shipments of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the end of the year as long as prices remain above $75 per barrel. The reserve serves as the nation's emergency oil supply.

Past presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as President George W. Bush, have tapped or suspended fill of the reserve in the past. After such action in 2000, the price of oil
dropped by one-third - from $30 to $20.

"Filling the reserve takes 70,000 barrels of oil off the market each day," said Gordon. "Experts predict this bill could lower gas prices by 5 to 24 cents per gallon. That's not enough and there's
still work to do to provide relief to consumers, but this is a first step."

The reserve, which holds 727 million barrels of oil, is 97percent full.

Gordon said Tuesday's congressional action would be followed by additional House efforts on energy.

"We need a smarter, cleaner energy future for America," said Gordon. "In the coming days, the House will consider legislation to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and we will hold OPEC-controlled entities and oil companies responsible for price fixing," said Gordon.


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