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Senator Alexander Speaks at GOP Reagan Day Dinner

March 22, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Republican Party Chairwoman Mingy Bryant welcomes U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander to the local party's Reagan Day Dinner Tuesday night at the county complex.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said that the Republican Senate majority “kept its promise to repeal the federal Common Core mandate, reverse the trend toward a national school board and restore local control in K-12 education” by fixing No Child Left Behind in 2015. The president signed the law’s replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act, into law on Dec. 10.

Speaking to local Republicans during the DeKalb GOP Party's Reagan Day Dinner Tuesday night in Smithville, Senator Alexander, who is Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said "When I was campaigning for re-election, I told Tennessee voters that if they would re-elect me to the Senate that I would end the federal Common Core mandate and that’s exactly what we did in this Republican Congress. The federal Common Core mandate is history. It's over. Done with. Gone. It's got a stake through its heart. It's up to Tennessee and school teachers and school boards what the academic standards ought to be in our state. That's a good step forward in the right direction," said Senator Alexander.

“The law eliminates the waivers from No Child Left Behind which allowed the U.S. Department of Education to become, in effect, a National School Board for 42 states, including Tennessee. Additionally, the new law strengthens charter schools, providing parents with greater school choice," he said.

Senator Alexander also spoke of the Brussels terrorist attack saying “We are reminded far too often that terrorists remain committed to attacking our way of life through evil acts such as those in Brussels. The American people stand with the people of Belgium today.”

"What happened in Brussels is a real sobering event and it makes even more important the law that we passed this last year on terrorism that allows our government, if it gets permission from a court, to listen in on telephone conversations that might come from Brussels to Smithville or Afghanistan to Nashville and if there is a suspicion that there is a terrorist activity, if we have gotten court approval of the seriousness of it, we should be able to find that out and take some action before a terrible event like that happens in our country. We've already had some but obviously we have people around the world who are so evil that they care nothing about destroying innocent lives," Senator Alexander said.

Asked by the local media prior to the dinner what he thought of President Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senator Alexander said he agrees with the Senate Republican leadership that the vacancy should be filled by the next President.

“This debate is not about Judge Garland. It’s about whether to give the American people a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice.”
After Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said several weeks ago that the Supreme Court vacancy “should not be filled until we have a new president,” Alexander said “I believe it is reasonable to give the American people a voice by allowing the next president to fill this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Under our Constitution, the president has the right to nominate, but the Senate has the right to decide whether to consent at this point in a presidential election year. Sen. McConnell is only doing what the Senate majority has the right to do and what Senate Democrat leaders have said they would do in similar circumstances.”

Asked how DeKalb County voters should view the Presidential race, Alexander said voters should make up their own minds. "I learned a long time ago that Tennessee voters make up their own minds and they didn't elect me to tell them how to vote. I think particularly in Presidential races people should make up their own minds. One thing we Republicans have to remember is that its not enough to nominate somebody that we agree with. We've got to get somebody we agree with and who can get a majority of the voters or Hillary Clinton is going to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice and we're not going to be able to repeal and replace Obama Care," Senator Alexander concluded.

First elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002, Alexander is in his third term having been re-elected in 2008 and 2014. He is also a two term Governor of Tennessee, having been elected in 1978 and re-elected in 1982. Alexander was President of the University of Tennessee from 1988–1991.

In 1991, Alexander was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, from 1991 to 1993. Alexander ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000.

Born in Maryville, Tennessee, Alexander is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and New York University School of Law. He worked as a legislative assistant to Senator Howard Baker and as an assistant in the Nixon Administration in the late 1960s.

Judge Hands Down Sentences Against Three on Drug Charges

March 22, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tammie Michelle Anderson
Sherry Dawn Gibbs
Rickey Wayne Murphy

A woman arrested twice within a month on separate drug charges appeared for sentencing Monday, March 21 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided

44 year old Tammie Michelle Anderson entered a plea by criminal information to sale of schedule VI and II drugs. She received a two year sentence on the marijuana charge and five years in the oxycodone case. The two terms are to run concurrently with each other. Anderson will be on judicial diversion probation after having served 47 days for which she has been given jail credit. She was fined $2,000.

Anderson was charged by Smithville Police for possession of a controlled substance with intent to resale after allegedly purchasing oxycodone pills from 44 year old Sherry Dawn Gibbs on Wednesday, February 3.

Gibbs also entered a plea by criminal information to sale of a schedule II drug in the case on Monday, March 21 and received a sentence of three years all suspended to supervised probation on judicial diversion.

In the earlier case on Thursday, January 7 Anderson was arrested with a co-defendant, 35 year old Rickey Wayne Murphy for sale and delivery of a schedule VI drug (marijuana).

Murphy appeared in criminal court Monday, March 21 and entered a plea in the Anderson case from January and in a separate drug case from July, 2015. He pled to possession for resale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence on judicial diversion probation supervised by TDOC. He also entered a plea to possession of a schedule VI drug for resale and got a two year sentence on judicial diversion probation supervised by TDOC. The two terms are to run consecutively for a total of five years. He was given jail credit for 74 days of time served.

According to Police Chief Mark Collins, the February case against Anderson was made after Gibbs was pulled over in a traffic stop and subsequently charged with sale and delivery of a controlled substance. Gibbs was also cited for traffic offenses including a driver license and light law violation, and for no insurance, which is a violation of the financial responsibility law.

During the traffic stop, Gibbs was found to be in possession of an empty prescription bottle. The prescription for 120 oxycodone was in Gibbs' name and had been filled on that day, Wednesday February 3. After questioning Gibbs, police learned that she had allegedly sold the pills to Anderson for $747.00. Officers recovered the pills after going to Anderson's home to speak with her concerning the incident . They learned that Anderson had allegedly purchased the pills to re-sell.

In the January case, Smithville Police went to Anderson's residence and asked if they could do a search after receiving numerous complaints and information of illegal activity there. Upon receiving consent to search, officers found in Murphy and Anderson's bedroom a bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana weighing 2.5 ounces. A box of baggies was also found close by. The search of the residence further turned up a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana which belonged to 19 year old Charles Nathan Pack. He was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

In the earlier case against Murphy, Smithville Police found drugs and paraphernalia at a residence where Murphy and another man, 36 year old B.J. Brown were residing on Earl Avenue Monday, July 6, 2015.

Acting on complaints, Officers Matt Farmer and Lance Dillard went to the residence and conducted an investigation. After speaking with Murphy, the officers were given consent to search his bedroom where they found 17 1/2 ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, 58 pills thought to be a combination of Suboxone, Phenermine Hydrochloride, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone along with drug paraphernalia.

Brown also gave the officers permission to search his bedroom at the residence where they found one pill believed to be Lyrica and drug paraphernalia.

Neither Murphy nor Brown had prescriptions for the pills discovered in the home.

Brown was cited for simple possession of a schedule IV drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Qualifying Deadline Approaching for August 4th County General Election

March 22, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds potential candidates for the Smithville, Liberty, and Dowelltown Municipal Elections and the Board of Education races that Noon Thursday, April 7th is the qualifying deadline for the August 4th DeKalb County General Election.

Three school board members will be elected on August 4 including one from the 4th, 5th, & 6th districts. The terms are for four years except in the 4th district. The 4th district winner will fill an unexpired two year term.

The following candidates have returned qualifying petitions which have been verified by the election commission:
Kevin Hale in the 5th district
Barry Mabe in the 5th district
Incumbent W.J. (Dub) Evins, III in the 5th district
Incumbent Kate Miller in the 4th district.
Incumbent Doug Stephens in the 6th district

Three Alderman will be elected in the Smithville Municipal Election on August 4. The terms are for four years.

The following candidates have returned qualifying petitions which have been verified by the election commission:
Ronald D. Stanley
Danny Washer( incumbent)
Josh Miller (incumbent)
Shawn Jacobs (incumbent)
Richard Steinbach
Wesley Nokes (petition not yet returned)
Gary Durham (petition not yet returned)

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected in Dowelltown on August 4. The terms are for four years.

The following candidates have returned qualifying petitions which have been verified by the election commission:
William A. Davis for Dowelltown Alderman.
Pam Redman for Dowelltown Mayor (petition not yet returned)

Four alderman seats will be filled in Liberty on August 4.

The following candidates have returned qualifying petitions which have been verified by the election commission:
Eddie Dwayne Blair for a four year term as Alderman
Todd Dodd for a four year term as Alderman (petition not yet returned)
Jason Ray for a four year term as Alderman (petition not yet returned)
J.D. Bratten for a one year term as Alderman (petition not yet returned)

Three Sentenced on Burglary Charges

March 22, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brandi Louise Proffer Brewer
Jessie Eugene Thomas
Paul Carlton Woodcock, Jr.

A 25 year old woman charged in a recent burglary and theft investigation entered a plea Monday, March 21 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

Brandi Louise Proffer Brewer entered a plea by criminal information to burglary and received a three year sentence, suspended to supervised probation. The term is to run consecutive to a violation of probation charge against her in DeKalb County General Sessions Court. Her probation will be supervised by TDOC. She was given 74 days jail credit and she must make restitution to victims in the following amounts: $170, $359, & $120.

Her husband, 27 year old Dustin Matthew Brewer entered a plea by information last month to burglary and received a three year sentence suspended to probation. He must complete the Safe Harbor Treatment Program and make restitution to victims in the following amounts: $359, $120, and $170. Brewer was given 81 days jail credit.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on or about Monday, November 9, 2015 the Brewers allegedly broke into a building on South Tittsworth Road and stole two chainsaws, an air compressor, an air tank, two wrench sets, an Impact socket, a socket wrench, a hammer drill, a jigsaw, and a 12 volt drill. The total value of the stolen items comes to $1,374. Some of the goods were recovered and identified by the property owner.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff's Department detective.

38 year old Jessie Eugene Thomas entered a plea to aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. He received a five year sentence for the aggravated burglary and two years for the theft to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to another DeKalb County case against him. The sentence is to be suspended upon payment of fines, costs, and restitution.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Thomas and a co-defendant 32 year old Terra Elaine Locklear broke into a residence on Dale Ridge Road and took several tools and building materials with a total value of $1,190. During the burglary, Thomas also broke out a window valued at $425. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective. Thomas and Locklear were arrested on Friday, June 26.

Locklear entered a plea last month to aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. She received a sentence of three years for the aggravated burglary and two years in the theft case to run consecutively with each other for a total of five years. The term is also to run consecutively with another case against her. Locklear will remain in the DeKalb County Drug Court Program and she is to make restitution to victims in the following amounts $500 and $425.

40 year old Paul Carlton Woodcock, Jr. entered a plea to burglary and received a two year sentence suspended to TDOC supervised probation

Firefighters Prevent Car Fire from Spreading to Home

March 22, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Although a car parked inside a garage was destroyed, members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were able to keep a fire from causing major damage to a home on Highway 146 south Friday night.

According to Lieutenant Brian Williams fire fighters were summoned to the residence of Thomas Perry at 3190 Short Mountain Highway just before 10:00 p.m. Friday. The residence is a rent home belonging to Larry Summers. Upon arrival firefighters saw heavy smoke and flames coming from a garage where parked inside was a 1992 Honda Accord on fire. While the garage itself is not attached to the house, there is a connecting breezeway.
They could not save the car, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze mostly to the garage area although flames also caused some minor damage to the eave of the house near the second floor.

Perry told firefighters that he returned home after being gone a short time and discovered the fire.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway, Main Station, and Keltonburg stations responded along with a tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and the Sheriff's Department. No one was injured.

Woman Airlifted After Friday Crash

March 22, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

A McMinnville woman was airlifted after a one car crash around 5:00 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 56 south at Sink Creek.

Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Amanda Sowell was north on Highway 56 in a 2004 Acura when the car went off the left side of the road, into a ditchline, and struck a culvert. Sowell was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS and then airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Members of the DeKalb Sheriff's Department and DeKalb County Fire Department were also on the scene.

Sheriff's Department Arrests Federal Fugitive Wanted for Transporting Illegal Aliens

March 21, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jonathan Lee Pedigo
Kevin Jay Stewart
Timothy Allen Presley
Thomas David Williams
Rosalino Francisco-Savastia
Johnny Wayne Boles

A federal fugitive wanted in Corpus Christi, Texas for transporting illegal aliens has been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 29 year old Jonathan Lee Pedigo of Long Lane, Smithville was wanted by U.S. Marshals for a pre-trial bond violation related to the offense of transporting illegal aliens. Officers learned of the federal charge against Pedigo after pulling him over for a traffic offense on Sunday, March 20

"The deputy spotted a black car run a stop sign on Ferrell Road. He stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Pedigo. A computer check for warrants through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) revealed that Pedigo was wanted by the United States Marshals Office for a pre-trial bond violation on a charge of transporting illegal aliens. Pedigo was taken into custody without bond. U.S. Marshals picked him up at the DeKalb County Jail Monday morning," said Sheriff Ray.

In other cases, 28 year old Kevin Jay Stewart of Sparta is charged with theft of property over $1,000, possession of methamphetamine, and a fourth offense of driving while revoked. He was also issued citations for possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession. His bond totals $13,500 and he will make a court appearance April 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, March 9 a deputy was dispatched to Ragland Bottom Motel to check out a car setting behind the building. Upon arrival, the officer observed the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Stewart.

According to the deputy, Stewart was wearing a necklace with a clear container attached which held .8 grams of methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana. A hypodermic needle was found in the cup holder of the car. Stewart was unable to produce a driver license. A computer check revealed that Stewart's license had been revoked in White County for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility on June 5, 2010. He had also been charged with driving on a revoked license on October 1, 2010 and October 13, 2011 in White County and again on March 8, 2013 in DeKalb County.

After a handgun was found in Stewart's possession, a Sheriff's Department Detective conducted an investigation and learned that the gun had been stolen along with three other guns with a total value up to $1,500. The guns had been taken from a home on Four Seasons Road.

55 year old Timothy Allen Presley of Bethel Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on April 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on January 29 Presley had in his possession several construction tools valued at more than $1,000 which he had refused to return to the owner after being asked to do so over several weeks. Tools belonging to the victim found in Presley's possession were recovered. The case was investigated by a Sheriff's Department Detective.

48 year old Thomas David Williams of Sparta is charged with evading arrest. His bond is $25,000. According to Sheriff Ray, Williams intentionally fled from law enforcement in an older model Ford truck on January 12 after the officer activated his emergency lights. Williams was found and arrested on March 10.

37 year old Rosalino Francisco-Savastia of West Broad Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued citations for no insurance and no drivers license. His bond is $1,500.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, March 3 a deputy responded to Sparta Highway where a vehicle was reported to be driving slowly in the wrong lane. Upon arrival the officer observed the vehicle parked in the roadway. He stopped and spoke with the driver, Rosalino Francisco-Savastia who had a strong odor of alcohol on him. His eyes were bloodshot and he was very unsteady on his feet. Field sobriety tasks could not be given due to his condition and language barrier. The officer found an empty six pack of Corona bottles in the passenger side floorboard and an empty Bud Lite can in the back seat floorboard of the vehicle.

47 year old Johnny Wayne Boles of Rocky Road, Alexandria is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $3,500
Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, March 13 Boles was involved in a property damage wreck on Rocky Road in Alexandria. A computer check revealed that his driver license were revoked for driving under the influence. He has two prior offenses of driving on a revoked license in Wilson County.

Lamar Alexander to Headline Reagan Day Dinner Tuesday Night

March 21, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
US Senator Lamar Alexander

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Reagan Day Dinner hosted by the Dekalb County Republican Party. The dinner will be on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at 6:00PM at the Dekalb County Complex.

“Sen. Alexander is a true icon in Tennessee politics and we are fortunate to have him in Dekalb County,” GOP Chair Mingy Bryant said. “As a former Presidential Candidate himself, I know he has some unique insights into our 2016 Presidential Election. Sen. Alexander has also been a strong leader in the US Senate since his election in 2002. He has devoted his life to public service and I look forward to hearing his remarks at the Reagan Day Dinner.”

Tickets for the Reagan Day Dinner are $30 per person. Table sponsorships are also available for $250. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased from Jennifer Winfree at loveboatlovefish@yahoo.com or Mingy Bryant at 615-597-2600. The DeKalb County Reagan Day Dinner is an annual fundraiser to benefit candidates for offices in Dekalb County. Local Republican Candidates in 2016 include Mr. Shannon A. Cantrell, Candidate for Assessor of Property, Mr. Lee Plummer, Candidate for Constable in District 1, and Mr. Tom Theriaque, Candidate for Constable in District 2.

For more information on the Reagan Day Dinner, go to our Facebook Page at DeKalb County Republican Party.

Wilkins to Attend Democratic National Convention as Clinton Delegate

March 21, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Jordan Wilkins
DeKalb Group at District Meeting in Cookeville

DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins will be attending the Democratic National Convention at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in July as a delegate for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Democratic Party officers, delegates and friends of the 6th district met in Cookeville Saturday, March 19 to select delegates to attend the Convention.
Wilkins was elected first male delegate for Clinton. Leonard Steverson from Lebanon was elected as second male delegate. Bonnie Fussell from Portland was elected as first female delegate. Pat Stanton from Lebanon was elected first female alternate.

Meanwhile Michelle Davis from Cookeville was elected as delegate to represent Senator Bernie Sanders.

In addition to Wilkins, others who made up the delegation for Clinton from DeKalb County at the district meeting in Cookeville Saturday were Jimmy and Joyce Poss, Pamela and Jack Anderson, Jerry Comfort, Barbara Comfort, and Billie Ann Tubbs. Jack Barton, Joyce Hendrixson, and Pamela Jordan represented Bernie Sanders.

Morgan Faith Green Crowned Miss Spring Blossom

March 19, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Miss Spring Blossom Morgan Faith Green
Miss Spring Blossom Royalty: 3rd Runner-up and Miss Personality Aspen Nicole Flarity; 1st Runner-up Chloe Colvert White; Miss Spring Blossom and Miss Photogenic Morgan Faith Green; and 2nd Runner-up Destiny Danielle Franklin

Morgan Faith Green is the 2016 Miss Spring Blossom.

Green, the sixteen year old daughter of Suzanne and Jon Harrison of Smithville, won the crown Saturday during the annual pageant sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club. Green was also named Miss Photogenic.

She succeeds last year's queen Tyra Grace Graham, the seventeen year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

First runner-up went to Chloe Colvert White, the eighteen year old daughter of Lou Ann White of Smithville and the late Steve White.

Destiny Danielle Franklin, the sixteen year old daughter of Jennifer Ware of Smithville was second runner-up.

Aspen Nicole Flarity was third runner-up. She is the seventeen year old daughter of Doyle and Cindy Flarity of Smithville. She was also chosen as Miss Personality

The pageant featured four contestants ages sixteen to eighteen.

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