Local News Articles

Jamboree Board Adopts New Policy on Use of Stage

October 31, 2007
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree Board of Directors has adopted a new policy on the use of the stage during the annual festival.

According to Frank Buck, attorney for the Jamboree board, "The Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival Board met on October 25th and adopted a policy that applies to all persons, clubs, and organizations."

The policy states that " Due to continued growth and time constraints, the Jamboree Board has noted that we cannot offer stage time to any organization or group in the community wishing to perform, other than paid contestants, during the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. This applies to contestants or groups on Thursday night."

WJLE's Mike Cantrell Dies

October 31, 2007
Dwayne Page

Popular WJLE personality Mike Cantrell has died.

He passed away Tuesday at the V.A. Hospital in Nashville after a long bout with illness including lung cancer.

Mike was the night time announcer on Sunday's, Monday's, Wednesday's, and Thursday's hosting a Gospel music call-in request program.

Mike always enjoyed hearing from his listeners and for many he was more than just a radio announcer, he was their personal friend. He had a special bond with them and when he became so sick he couldn't return to work, several of his friends would often call the radio station to try to find out about his condition.

Mike not only loved playing music on the radio, he enjoyed writing and performing. He authored a couple of inspirational books, including one called "His Loving Touch" and he penned several songs and recitations, many of which he recorded and often played on his radio program, like "The Clown" and "The Old Farmer", among others.

Prior to his employment at WJLE, Mike worked as an assistant manager at K-Mart in McMinnville.

Three Alleged Drug Dealers Nabbed by Sheriff's Department

October 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, acting on a tip, has arrested three alleged major drug dealers.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says on Saturday, October 27th, detectives received information that 31 year old
Gregory W. Hallback of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville, 26 year old Kenneth Lee Bain, and 23 year old Amanda Gail Bain of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown were bringing in a load of dilaudid from Nashville.

According to Sheriff Ray, "Detectives located a vehicle which belonged to Hallback and stopped it on Highway 70 at the city limits of Smithville. Detectives found hypodermic needles on Amanda Bain. She told detectives that when Hallback saw them behind his vehicle, he gave her the hypodermic needles and told her to put them in her pants because the police would not search a woman there. Kenneth Bain also had one and one half dilaudid pills inside a small container hidden in his sock."

"After transporting all three back to the Sheriff's Department for further questioning, Officers learned that Amanda Bain had taken a metal container from Hallback when they saw the detectives and she inserted it in her body cavity. When Detectives retrieved the metal container, it contained 102 K-4 dilaudid pills."

All three were charged with possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for sale and delivery and Kenneth Bain was also charged with possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Amanda Bain was further charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and introduction of drugs into a penal institution.

Bond for both Kenneth and Amanda Bain was $55,000 each and Hallback's bond was set at $52,500. The court date for all three is November 15th.

Meanwhile, in another case, 19 year old Jonathon Dewayne Adcock of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown was charged on October 22nd with driving on a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving an unregistered vehicle, and simple possession.

Sheriff Ray says "a county deputy, while on patrol, observed a vehicle on Old Mill Hill Road without a license plate. The deputy turned around and saw the vehicle pulling into a driveway which was at the owner's (Adcock's) residence. The deputy asked Adcock for his driver's license and learned that it was suspended. Adcock told the officer that the title to the vehicle was in his residence and when the deputy entered the home to take a look at it, he smelled marijuana. The officer also noticed a box containing marijuana lying on the living room table. Adcock was then arrested. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 8th.

33 year old Robin Clark Green and 37 year old Julie Anna Bogle were arrested Wednesday, October 24th at their residence at Adamson Branch Road, Liberty.

Sheriff Ray says "On July 17th, deputies and authorities from Children Services went to a residence on Evins Mill Road, Smithville where Green and Bogle were living. Officials found Bogle's 12 year old daughter living there at the home with Green who is a registered sex offender and didn't have permission to be around the 12 year old child."

"A warrant was issued for Green and he has been on the run ever since. Deputies had information that Green and Bogle had moved to Adamson Branch Road in Liberty and they had attempted to locate Green on numerous occasions at that address. Bogle told officers that she had not seen Green and did not know of his whereabouts."

"On October 24th, deputies went back to the residence on Adamson Branch Road and when they approached the front door, Bogle opened up and then quickly shut the door, informing Green that deputies were there to arrest him. Green then fled out a back door of the residence, but the officers stopped him. As they were trying to handcuff Green, he resisted by fighting with the deputies, not allowing them to cuff him. Green also had in his possession marijuana and rolling papers."

"The officers then returned to the residence and attempted to arrest Bogle for harboring Green. Bogle also resisted, but was finally cuffed and transported to the DeKalb County Jail."

Green is charged with violation of the sex offender law, evading arrest, resisting arrest, simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Green's bond is at $18,500 and his court date is November 22nd.

Bogle was charged with criminal responsibility for conduct of another and resisting arrest. Her bond is $5,000 and her court date is November 22nd.

In another case, Sheriff Ray says on October 24th, 23 year old Michael Brandon Redmon of McMinnville Highway was found to have in his possession on Hurricane Ridge Road, a stolen vehicle out of Warren County.

"Deputies recovered the vehicle and brought Redmon to the DeKalb County Jail for questioning. Upon a search of Redmon's socks and shoes at the jail, he was found to have a small amount of marijuana in one of his socks."

Redmon was arrested locally for introduction of drugs into a penal institution. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is November 8th. Other charges are pending locally.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray says working cooperatively with the Smithville Police Department, two people were arrested on theft charges last Wednesday.

"On October 24th, the Sheriff's Department received a call about a theft on Vaughn Lane. After deputies arrived and talked with the victim, they were advised that 22 year old Nickey Eudene Reece Jr. of Miller Road Smithville and 24 year old Warren Brandon Glasby of Poss Road, Smithville stole items out of a vehicle on Vaughn Lane."

"Deputies informed Smithville Police about the suspects and within minutes, city officers found the two in the parking lot of Reece's apartment complex. The stolen items, including stereo equipment and a cell phone, were found in Glasby's vehicle. DeKalb County detectives also found another cell phone that was reported stolen from a local restaurant in Smithville."

Glasby and Reece were charged with two counts of theft of property and one count of burglary. Bond for both is $22,500 each and their court date is November 15th.

Smithville Police Have Busy Week

October 29, 2007
Dwayne Page

In addition to pending charges against 18 year old Lillian Sosa in the death of her newborn Friday night, Smithville Police have filed more reports of thefts, vandalism, assaults, and have made at least one drug arrest within the last week.

Chief Richard Jennings says 21 year old Travis Summers is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law.

Officer Randy King, in his report, states that "On October 24th, at 10:56 p.m., I stopped Summers for failing to signal a turn onto South Mountain Street. He was driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. While I was writing the citations, Officer Craig Capps did a routine sweep of the outside perimeter of the vehicle. K-9 Astro (dog) indicated to possible drug location. K-9 Astro alerted by scratching. Upon a search, Officer Capps found a small amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Summers was then placed under arrest. After returning to the police department, he was advised of his rights and made a statement to myself and Officer Capps that he had smoked about three hours before and did not wish to have blood taken for testing."

Summers is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on the charges December 6th.

Meanwhile, Officer Matt Holmes, in his report regarding a vandalism and theft, states that, I met with an employee of the El Gato car lot at 429 East Broad Street who advised me that he had come into work on the morning of October 22nd and noticed four cars of the car lot had been tampered with."

"Vehicle # 1, a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix was setting on blocks and all four wheels were gone. The right front window was broken out on vehicle # 2, a 1997 Ford Taurus, but nothing was taken. The left side wheels were taken off vehicle #3, a 1999 Mercury Cougar, and the left side of the car was set up on blocks. The right side back window of vehicle #4, a 1996 Dodge Dakota extended cab, was broken out and a radio was missing. The employee advised me that he did not know who might have committed the offense. The total damage was around $890.00"

On October 22nd, Officers Travis Bryant and Matt Holmes responded to 1275 South Mountain Street in regard to a stolen vehicle. Officer Bryant's report states that "I spoke with Richard Teachout who advised that his car, a 1997 Honda Civic, was parked in his driveway at about 10:00 p.m. on October 21st and when he came out, he noticed the car was missing at about 10:00 a.m. on October 22nd." Teachout stated that he did not loan the car to anyone, but added that the vehicle was for sale. The car is valued at $4,890.

In another case, 42 year old Wendy Kay Goodman is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $25,000 and she will be in court on the charge December 6th.

According to the warrant, Goodman assaulted Mark Koch at 624 Restview Avenue on October 22nd by stabbing him in the chest with a knife causing him to have to go to the hospital emergency room for treatment.

Meanwhile, 22 year old Krista D. MaHaney is charged with assault. She and another woman, Diane Hale reportedly got into a fight at the emergency room of the hospital on October 21st. Police say it appeared that MaHaney was the aggressor.

MaHaney's bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on the charge November 15th.

Sosa Charged with Second Degree Murder in the Death of her Newborn Son

October 28, 2007
Dwayne Page

18 year old Lillian Elizebeth Sosa of Talley Road, Smithville is in the DeKalb County Jail, charged with second degree murder in the death of her newborn baby on Friday night.

Sosa's bond is set at one million dollars.

She will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Courton Thursday, November 8th, unless a bond reduction hearing is held earlier.

Sosa was released from the Cookeville Hospital today (Monday) after undergoing emergency surgery Saturday.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings held a press conference with local and Nashville media Sunday afternoon to provide more details about the case and the investigation that led to Sosa's arrest.

Chief Jennings says Sosa, an Hispanic who speaks little or no English, has only been in this country for about a month and lives with relatives at 342 Talley Road, Smithville. She was recently employed as a waitress at the El Rancho Restaurant at 1101 West Broad Street, Smithville and had only worked there one day last week and for an hour and a half Friday, before leaving the restaurant after giving birth to the child and dumping it in a ladies restroom trash can.

According to Chief Jennings, Sosa apparently locked herself in the ladies restroom of the restaurant and gave birth to the child, possibly between 7:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. She then came out of the restroom, told her boss that she needed to leave because she was sick, and called for someone to give her a ride home. Sosa's aunt reportedly came to the restaurant and picked her up.

Jennings says the child was discovered around 9:20 p.m. by a waitress, Karla Leon, who went into the ladies rest room to clean up, as staff were preparing to close the restaurant for the night. Leon then reported her discovery to the manager and they called 911. "The officers arrived and talked to the restaurant manager, Alfredo Villa. He said that the baby was discovered when one of the employees was cleaning up the restroom at the end of the business day. Customers had already left the restaurant when she discovered the body."

"In talking to Mr. Villa, we found out that they were very busy that night. They had probably 40 or 42 people in the restaurant during that period of time. We tried to pinpoint the exact time this might have happened and in talking to Mr. Villa we found out that between 7:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. was when they were really busy. During that period of time, there was a female customer who complained that she couldn't get in the ladies rest room for about 20 minutes because the door was locked. Eventually, whoever was in there left, and she (female customer) went in to use the rest room and saw blood spots on the floor, on the toilet, and in various places. Mr. Villa sent a waitress, Karla Leon in to clean the rest room. She went in and cleaned it up with bleach."

"They closed the restaurant around 9:20 p.m. and Mr Villa told Karla to go back into the rest rooms to clean them again. When she went in to the women's rest room to clean it up, she noticed that the trash can was a lot heavier than normal. She reached into the trash can, which had a flip top lid on it, looked in and saw a baby's foot sticking up through the towels in the trash bag. She told the manager and they immediately called 911."

Agents Billy Miller and Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were notified and joined the Smithville Police Department in the investigation later that night, and after interviewing employees, decided they needed to talk to Sosa.

After discovering where she lives, Sheriff Patrick Ray went to the address on Talley Road and picked her up around 4:00 a.m. Saturday. She was brought to the Smithville Police Department, where she was interviewed by the TBI agents.

During the questioning of Sosa through an interpreter, agents determined she was a likely suspect in the case and took her to DeKalb Community Hospital for an examination. The emergency room doctor found that she had recently given birth and suggested that she undergo emergency surgery, because she had suffered some potentially life threatening complications during the delivery.

Sosa was then transported to the Cookeville Hospital early Saturday morning. She came through the surgery fine and is expected to be released Monday, after which she will be taken into custody and charged in the case.

A guard is posted at the hospital around the clock to make sure she dosen't leave before she is released.

Chief Jennings says the baby was sent to Nashville for an autopsy. The infant, a male, fully developed child, weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 19 inches long. He says it appears the mother carried the child about eight months.

The exact time of death hasn't been determined, but Chief Jennings says it is believed that the infant was still alive when he was found. " I have a statement from one of the EMT personnel, who stated that when he was getting the child out of the trash can and preparing to transport him to the hospital, he believed he could see the baby's chest rising and falling slightly and believes the child was breathing. However, sometime either during the transport or after the child got to the emergency room, he was pronounced dead. Judging from the condition of the body, there were no marks on the child. He appeared to be perfectly normal. There was no evidence of trauma. The only thing that we discovered was that the umbilical cord was not cut, it was pulled apart."

Man Critically Injured In Stabbing

October 28, 2007
Dwayne Page

An Hispanic man was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville early Sunday morning after being stabbed numerous times.

The man, believed to be in his early 20's, was found in the driveway of a barracks where migrant workers reside at Pirtle's Nursery on Short Mountain Road.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, someone at the barracks heard the man screaming in pain, discovered him lying in the driveway, and called 911 around 2:15 a.m.

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

He says the man 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. He is listed in very critical condition.

Sheriff Ray says authorities believe they know the identity of the victim, but won't release his name until they can confirm it.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Willie Thomas to Run for Assessor of Property- Timothy (Fud) Banks Seeks Re-Election

October 27, 2007
Dwayne Page

Incumbent Assessor of Property Timothy (Fud) Banks has qualified to seek re-election. Banks will be a candidate for the nomination in the February 5th DeKalb County Democratic Primary.

He will face opposition from Seventh district county commissioner and Smithville alderman Willie Thomas, who has also qualified to run for Assessor of Property.

Meanwhile, three people have qualified to run for constable in the primary.

Thomas was elected to the county commission from the 7th district in August 2006, and was elected alderman in the Smithville Municipal Election in June of this year.

Banks was first elected Assessor of Property in 1996 and will be seeking his fourth term.

Meanwhile, Mary Thomason has qualified to run for constable in the seventh district, Cantrell Jones will be a candidate for constable in the sixth district, and Incumbent Mark Milam will seek re-election as constable in the fifth district.

DeKalb County Democrats will nominate candidates for the offices of Assessor of Property and Constable in each of the county's seven districts on Tuesday, February 5th.

DeKalb County Administrator of Elections Lisa Peterson says Democratic and Independent candidates for Assessor of Property and Constable may qualify with the Election Commission now through the deadline of noon December 13th.

Democrats will qualify for the February 5th Primary while Independents will qualify for the August 7th, 2008 DeKalb County General Election.

DeKalb County Republicans select their nominees for the DeKalb County General Election by convention, rather than a primary, but GOP candidates for Assessor of Property and Constable must also be qualified to run for the August Election by noon December 13th.

The DeKalb County Republican Party is scheduled to hold a meeting Saturday, November 3rd at 10:00 a.m. at the courthouse to give potential local GOP candidates an opportunity to publicly announce their intentions.

Chili Cook-Off Raises $3,800 for Habitat for Humanity

October 26, 2007

Approximately 400 people again enjoyed chili Friday at Habitat for Humanity’s Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off, which was held on the Courthouse Lawn. “The Chuck Wagon Chili Crew” from the DeKalb County Board of Education took the top honors for Best Chili, with The Inn at Evins Mill following in second place. In the decorating contest, “Great Bowls of Fire” from Bradley Printing successfully defended their title by winning the “Best Decorated” booth award.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor, Habitat board vice president, the event raised a total of $3,800.00, which will be used toward the building of the Gibbs Family Habitat home, which is currently under construction on Adams Street in Smithville. “We were really pleased with the turnout and participation at this year’s cook-off,” said Pryor. “We especially appreciate all the chili teams for their hard work and dedication to this event and to all those who made the delicious baked goods. The bake sale alone raised $857.50 and is vital to the success of this event.” Pryor added, “We’re already looking forward to next year.”

Ten teams participated in the chili cook-off, including “Great Bowls of Fire” from Bradley Printing, “Curves Divas” from Curves of Smithville, “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank, “Chuck Wagon Chili Crew” from the DeKalb County Board of Education, “The Courthouse Crew” from the DeKalb County Courthouse, “Edgar Evins Chili Peppers” from Edgar Evins State Park, The Inn at Evins Mill, “Fire in the Hole” from the Rick and Joanna Webb family, “The Risk Takers” from Jackie Smith State Farm Insurance, and “Sundance Kids” from Sundance Restaurant. The Middle Tennessee Times again had a “Times Tummy Table,” and sold items for post-chili relief, which donations were matched by The Times.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181.

THP Urges Drivers To Help Keep Halloween A Treat For Children

October 26, 2007

Halloween is a fun night for both children and adults, but the Tennessee Department of Safety is urging everyone to take extra precautions, so the evening doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

“We want children, their parents and all drivers to remember that safety must come first,” said Commissioner David Mitchell. “On Halloween, neighborhoods are typically swarming with excited trick-or-treaters. The problem comes when careless or impaired drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle and make it a dangerous night for others on our roadways.”

Alcohol was involved in half of the traffic fatalities on Halloween between 12:00 a.m., October 31, 2006, through 6:00 a.m., November 1, 2006. Once again this year, Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers will be aggressively cracking down on motorists who drive impaired.

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. The number of people in the United States who were arrested for driving under the influence dropped slightly from 2004 to 2005, but the number is still staggering. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, nearly 1.4 million people were arrested for DUI during 2005. In Tennessee last year, 1,287 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. That’s up 1.3 percent from 2005.

“There is no excuse for drinking and driving,” stated Colonel Mike Walker. “Troopers will be working across the state to keep impaired drivers off the road. Make no mistake, if you’re caught driving under the influence this Halloween, you will be under arrest.”

Troopers will be conducting sobriety and driver license checkpoints, as well as saturation patrols in an effort to stop impaired drivers and save lives.

All drivers also need to take extra care on Halloween because there will be a lot of children out in costumes. The CDC reports that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween than any other evening of the year. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about being safe while trick-or-treating.


Tips for Motorists

Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.

Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.

Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents

Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their "trick or treat" activities.

Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.

Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.

Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.

Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for Pedestrians
(children and adults)

Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.

Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.

Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.

When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Climbs to 4.1% in September

October 26, 2007

DeKalb County's Unemployment Rate for September climbed to 4.1%, up from the August rate of 3.7%, but it was still below the rate for September 2006 of 4.9%

The DeKalb County Labor Force in September was 10,330. A total of 9,910 were employed and 420 were unemployed.

Meanwhile, Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September increased from the August rate of 4.0 percent to 4.7 percent, an increase of 0.7 percent. The United States rate was also 4.7 percent for September, an increase of 0.1 percent from August.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for September show that nine counties remained unchanged. There were 82 counties that increased and four counties decreased.

Knox County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 3.2 percent. Lincoln County followed at 3.3. Maury County had the state's highest at 9.4 percent, followed by Marshall County at 8.4 percent.

Knoxville had the state's lowest major metropolitan statistical area (MSA) rate at 3.4 percent. The Nashville-Murfreesboro MSA was 3.7 percent. The Chattanooga MSA was 3.9 percent and the Memphis MSA was 4.9 percent, up from 4.6 percent.


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