Local News Articles

Alderman Says Sewer Services Should be Made Available to All City Residents

November 20, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alderman Shawn Jacobs
Mayor Jimmy Poss

The City of Smithville apparently has no plans for annexation anytime soon, but Alderman Shawn Jacobs wants to make sure areas in the city that currently don't have access to city sewer, be given that opportunity first before any future annexation occurs.

Alderman Jacobs raised the issue during Monday night's city council meeting. "If I'm not mistaken, there are houses in the city limits that don't have sewer. And I know we also have some areas that have requested annexation. What is keeping us from running sewer to the houses that are currently in the city limits that don't have sewer?. I certainly think we should provide them sewer before we start thinking of annexing any other areas that might be requested or specified in our five year land use plan. There may be some grant money available," said Alderman Jacobs.

Mayor Jimmy Poss said he has explored grant possibilities for sewer projects. "I did put in for that very thing. If we get any (grant money) that's what I want to use it for. Somebody, and I've forgot who it was, wanted to know what we wanted and I told them then that we'd like to have some grant money to do a sewer rehab or sewer lines," he said

Mayor Poss said there has been interest in annexing some areas into the city on the west side of town but no plan has been presented. "I do know there was some that were talking about annexation on the west part of town but I haven't heard back on anything positive in that way," said Mayor Poss.

"I just think that before we even consider any kind of annexation, we should be providing sewer to everybody in the city limits," said Alderman Jacobs. "I just wondered by we weren't doing that already," he added.

"The only one I know of is one street (with no sewer) and part of it is in the city and part is in the county," said Mayor Poss.

"There's some houses on Riley Avenue that don't have sewer," said Alderman Tim Stribling.

"You're right. I know now where you're talking about," answered Mayor Poss. "We can look into it and see why (all areas aren't served)," he added.

"They (residents not served by sewer) are paying taxes just like everybody else and we ought to try to provide them (sewer service)," said Alderman Jacobs.

"Yeah, but they don't pay sewer rates," answered Mayor Poss

"But if possible I think we should extend to them the opportunity (for sewer service)," said Alderman Jacobs

"Let us look into that and we'll come back next time," concluded Mayor Poss.

In other business, the aldermen voted to hire James Gohs as a full time employee in the city's sanitation department, now that he has successfully completed his sixty day probationary period.

Meanwhile, Mayor Poss said letters have been mailed to members of the DeKalb Utility District Board of Directors asking for a face to face meeting on a new water contract. Mayor Poss said so far he has not heard back from any of them.

The city aldermen, two weeks ago at the suggestion of Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson, voted to send DUD board members a letter asking for a meeting between the city and DUD to begin face to face discussions.

"DUD has sent us a written proposal/contract asking us what we would like for the contract to be for a long term purchase program of our water," said Hendrixson. "Rather than just go back and forth by letters, I think the board (mayor and aldermen) should have a sit down with their board to just get down to it and figure out what they (DUD) want and if they really want it. I would like permission from the board (aldermen) to send a letter to each of their (DUD) board members asking for a sit down (meeting) to hopefully negotiate a long term contract," he said.

The City of Smithville currently sells water to the DeKalb Utility District for $2.00 per thousand gallons and under terms of the contract, the rate increases by five cents per thousand in January of each year. The two parties entered into the contract in 2004 and it expires in 2014.

Mayor Poss mentioned that the city has erected the new Christmas lights around downtown."We've heard some good comments. We're proud of them. Maybe we can add to them next year. This is a start," he said.

Police Seek Tips in Solving Attempted Robbery and Assault

November 19, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police are asking for your help in solving an attempted robbery and assault.

Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Sunday, November 18 a man and his wife had just returned home from church when a man, wearing dark clothing and a ski mask emerged from behind their residence on Walker Drive and approached the couple. The man threatened to kill them both unless the victim turned over his wallet. The two men got into an altercation and the assailant assaulted the victim, cutting him with what was believed to be a pocket knife. The victim dropped to the ground for his safety and the assailant fled on foot toward the end of the street. He had already left the area by the time police arrived. Police reported that the victim was bleeding from his hands and ears. The assailant was described as a middle aged Caucasian, approximately 5' 7 " weighing about 140 pounds.

If you have information that could lead to an arrest in the case, call the crime tip line at 464-6046. It could mean a reward to you through the Smithville Police Department's Crime Stoppers Program.

Meanwhile, 37 year old Desiree Nichole Ferrell was cited for shoplifting on Monday, November 12.. Ferrell was observed by a Wal-Mart employee taking items and then leaving the store without paying for them. Her court date is December 13.

47 year old Riley Anthony Bullard was cited on Friday, November 16 for driving on a revoked license due to a DUI after an officer spotted Bullard operating a motor vehicle. His court date is December 13

31 year old Jared Scott Atnip was arrested on Sunday, November 18 for a third offense of driving under the influence. He was also cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to the warrant; police were called to check out a vehicle setting in the roadway on Bryant Street. The man behind the wheel appeared to be passed out. His head was slumped onto his chest, his foot was on the brake pedal, the car was in gear and the engine was running. The driver, Atnip, woke up when the officer opened the door and turned off the engine. Atnip had very slow, slurred speech and he could not focus. Atnip was asked to step out of the car so it could be moved out of the roadway. He was very unsteady on his feet. Atnip was arrested for DUI and on his person, police found drug paraphernalia. Upon an inventory of his vehicle, the arresting officer also found a small clear bag containing two pills. Bond for Atnip is $4,500 and his court date is December 5.

52 year old Kelley Lee Hollingsworth was cited for shoplifting on Sunday, November 18. A Wal-Mart employee informed police that Hollingsworth took a clock radio out of the box, concealed it in her pocket and tried to leave the store without paying for it. Her court date is December 13.

29 year old Tina Marie Padin was cited for shoplifting on Sunday, November 18. Padin was observed attempting to leave the Dollar General Store with items in her purse that she had not bought. Her court date is December 13.

Anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that would help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense would be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

Cantrell Charged with Burglaries of a Home, Outbuilding, Church, and Two Vehicles

November 19, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
William Andrew "Andy" Cantrell
Brett Allen Anderson
James Robert Whitaker, III
Cesario Gaspar Cortez
Cindy Armstrong Sherrell Lemons
Desiree Nichole Ferrell

A 44 year old man has been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department after allegedly breaking into a home, an outbuilding, two vehicles, and a church on Sunday, Veterans Day.

William Andrew "Andy" Cantrell of Redman Road Smithville is charged with burglary (4 counts), theft of property under $500, aggravated burglary, theft of property over $1,000, vandalism (2 counts) and introduction or possession of drugs into a penal institution where prisoners are quartered. Cantrell is under a $70,000 bond and he will be in court on November 29.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, November 11, Cantrell allegedly broke into a residence on Big Woods Road by prying open a back door. He also broke a window. Cantrell allegedly stole from the home a 22 caliber H & R target pistol, valued at $400. Cantrell also allegedly broke into an outbuilding at the residence. Entry was made through a window. Once inside he took a four wheeler and burst through the doors of the outbuilding.

On the same day, Cantrell allegedly broke into two vehicles at another residence on Big Woods Road. Both vehicles were unlocked so entry was made by simply opening the doors. Cantrell allegedly tried to steal one of the vehicles. He damaged the steering wheel column around the ignition keyhole as well as the glove box. The total amount of the vandalism to that vehicle was estimated at $1,000. Cantrell allegedly tried to steal the radio in the other vehicle and caused damage to the dashboard around the radio.

Cantrell also allegedly broke into the Old Fashion Free Will Baptist Church on Blue Springs Road. Entry was made through a back door. He allegedly stole a laptop computer, two wireless keyboards, a projector, and a black bag with a total estimated value of $2,200.

After being arrested and taken to jail on Monday November 12, Cantrell was searched by correctional officers and they found on him a small red plastic container with a powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine.

44 year old Brett Allen Anderson of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with vandalism. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court December 13.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 13, a deputy was called to investigate a vandalism at a residence. Upon arrival, the officer saw damage to a door. He spoke to Anderson who admitted to kicking in the door and entering the residence. The home apparently belongs to the landlord of someone Anderson had been seeing. Anderson was arrested on Wednesday, November 14.

20 year old Christopher Thomas Pack of Adams Street, Smithville is charged with underage driving while impaired. He was also issued citations for underage consumption, failure to exercise due care, and failure to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on December 13.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 14, a deputy responded to a one vehicle accident with property damage on Big Rock Road. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with the driver, Pack. According to Sheriff Ray, Pack had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He was acting very nervous. The deputy asked him if he had consumed any alcohol prior to the accident. Pack allegedly admitted that he had been drinking beer. Pack performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and he submitted to a blood alcohol test.

22 year old James Robert Whitaker, III of Tammi Kay Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 16 a deputy responded to a 911 call of a domestic dispute between a father and son at a residence on Tammi Kay Road. After speaking to everyone involved, the officer determined that the son, James Robert Whitaker, III was the primary aggressor. According to Sheriff Ray, Whitaker wanted the keys to the car but his father told him no. Whitaker replied that he would get the keys one way or another. He then grabbed his father's ankle and twisted his foot, knocking him off his feet.

26 year old Cesario Gaspar Cortez of East Main Street, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court November 29. He was arrested on Sunday, November 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on October 7, Cortez came home drunk on Cecil Hale Road and allegedly assaulted his wife by hitting her in the eye with a chopping block and scratching her face with a key. He also pushed her down. Cortez then allegedly put her in a vehicle and carried her to the emergency room of Cookeville Regional hospital for medical treatment. Cortez is being held for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

32 year old Cindy Armstrong Sherrell Lemons of Potts Camp Road, Smithville is charged with simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance (hydrocodone) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $4,000 and she will be in court on November 29.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 18 Lemons was arrested on a state warrant for violation of probation. The arresting officer received consent to search her vehicle and found two hypodermic needles in the driver seat where Lemons had been sitting. The needles were wrapped in a plastic bag which was also covered in tissue paper. While being transported to the jail, Lemons pulled a plastic bag from her pants, with her hands cuffed behind her back. She then opened the bag containing pills, believed to be hydrocodone, dumped them out and started consuming the pills. Lemons was stopped before she could consume them all.

37 year old Desiree Nichole Ferrell of Fiddler's Lane, Smithville is charged with fraudulent use of a debit card and forgery. Her bond is $4,000 and she will be in court on November 29. She was arrested on Monday, November 19.

Sheriff Ray said that on October 15, Ferrell allegedly stole a debit card and went to an ATM machine and withdrew $319 for her own use. Four days later, on October 19 Ferrell allegedly passed a forged check in the amount of $70 at a local market.

The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

Fire Leaves Family Homeless

November 17, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Donny Green

A fire Thursday night left a DeKalb County family homeless.

The Dan Street family, who lived at 5640 Dry Creek Road, lost their home and belongings in the fire. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is now working to meet the immediate needs of the Street family.

Central dispatch received the call at 7:13 p.m. from someone who spotted the flames from a distance and thought it to be a forest fire. But when firefighters arrived, they discovered it was a structure fire. County Fire Chief Donny Green said the home was already too far gone and could not be saved.

According to Chief Green, the Street family had left home around 6:30 p.m. to visit relatives so no one was home at the time of the fire. The cause of the blaze is undetermined.

The home, rented by the Street family, belongs to Jimmy Byford.

Members of the Main Station of the county volunteer fire department and the brush truck responded to the scene along with officers of the Sheriff's Department.

Meanwhile, a fire later that night at 11:57 p.m. destroyed a barn on Cecil Hale Road. Members of the Short Mountain Highway and Blue Springs stations of the County Volunteer Fire Department responded. No one was injured.

Church Receives Chamber Community Improvement Award

November 16, 2012
Church Receives Chamber Community Improvement Award

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce has presented a Community Improvement Award to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 201 South College Street, Smithville for the exterior improvements to their church.

The entire front was redone including brick landing, steps, and planter as well as new railings. New wood chairs, gliders, and swings were also added for outdoor seating in the playground and other areas.

Pictured l-r:

Chamber Board Member Julia Cantrell, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, Pastor Larry Green, Elder Jerry Draper, TN Downtowns Program Steering Committee Member Wade Smith, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams.

Local Emergency Services to Conduct Disaster Drill at Shiroki North America

November 16, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Charlie Parker

If you see emergency vehicles at Shiroki North America today (Friday), don't be alarmed.

Local emergency services are staging a mock disaster there.

Charlie Parker, Smithville Fire Chief and DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency Director, said the drill will be how local officials respond in the event of a major fire at a large industrial building. "We're going to be conducting a disaster drill in Smithville today (Friday). It's a prepared drill training exercise for our local law enforcement, EMS, and fire and rescue personnel. It will also involve DeKalb Community Hospital. We'll conduct this exercise at SW Manufacturing. They have been nice to let us use their facility to conduct the drill. We will simulate a fire at that facility so there will be a lot of emergency vehicles around the SW manufacturing building and moving back and forth between the hospital. We just want to let everybody know that it is a drill. It will go on for a few hours. We'll be practicing emergency operations to get better prepared for emergencies in our county," said Chief Parker.

Nashville Area Men Get Two Years Probation in Break-in at Center Hill Sports Marine

November 15, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dainier Hernandez
Lisyander Morales

Two Nashville area men, allegedly caught trying to break-in to Center Hill Sports Marine on Sparta Highway in June were in DeKalb County Criminal Court Wednesday.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

28 year old Lisyander Morales and 21 year old Dainier Hernandez pleaded guilty to burglary and theft over $1,000. Each man received a two year sentence in each case at 30% but suspended to judicial diversion supervised probation. The sentences against each man are to run concurrently. Restitution of $600 must be paid to the victim jointly and severally by the defendants. Charges of Vandalism over $1,000 and possession of burglary tools were dismissed upon their plea.

A sheriff's department deputy caught Morales, Hernandez, and another man, 28 year old Davier Negron Cabrera committing a burglary and theft at Center Hill Sports Marine on Sparta Highway while doing his nightly patrols, checking on businesses Friday evening, June 1.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that entry was made by cutting through a fenced area on the property. Once inside the fence, the three men entered several boats. Found at the scene were bolt cutters, used to cut the fence. Inside their vehicle, a white Suburban, the deputy found various tools including a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, and binoculars. Items stolen from the boats included sixteen life jackets, two tubes, a knee board, two fire extinguishers, and multi boat ropes. The total estimated value of these items is $1,240.

According to the officer's report, the deputy discovered the burglary in progress while conducting his nightly business checks. While pulling in the parking lot of the business, the officer saw someone inside the gated area, carrying a tube that is normally pulled behind a boat. The man waved at the officer, then dropped the tube. When the deputy stopped and got out of his patrol car, he saw life jackets piled up outside the fence and noticed that the fence had been cut. Bolt cutters were found by the fence. He also spotted a white Suburban parked across the road and heard persons nearby running into the woods. More life jackets were found at the vehicle. After searching the area, the deputy saw one of the suspects in the woods near the Suburban. Two other men were later seen walking along Sparta Highway. All three men were taken into custody.

Cabrera's case has apparently not yet been settled in court.

Two Men Sentenced in Separate Alexandria Burglaries

November 15, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andrew Dalton West
Marv Richardson Cash

Two men arrested by the Alexandria Police Department in separate burglary investigations in January were in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Wednesday.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.

22 year old Andrew Dalton West pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence to serve 30% before his release eligibility date. The sentence is to run concurrently with a Smith County case against him. He was given jail credit from February 18 to November 14, 2012

20 year old Marv Richardson Cash, who was indicted on charges of aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, and vandalism over $500, pleaded guilty to the theft charge in October but appeared for sentencing Wednesday where he was granted judicial diversion for one year. The other charges were dismissed.

Cash was picked up on Friday, January 20 and charged with breaking into a residence on Flemming Street in Alexandria while West was arrested on Thursday, January 26 and charged with burglary and theft at 137 Avant Circle in Alexandria.

In the case involving Cash, Alexandria Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE at the time that police were called to a residence on Flemming Street on January 20 to take a burglary report. "Someone had taken a brick and busted out a window to gain entry. While inside the home, they took a 55 inch LED TV valued at $1,300 and left through the back door. Later in the investigation, an eye witness stated they saw a black male around 6:30 a.m. identified as Marv Cash carrying a large object from the home covered in a blanket. The TV and blanket were later recovered in some nearby bushes." said Chief Collins.

Cash was arrested and charged in the case.

Meanwhile, in the West case, Chief Collins told WJLE at the time that police responded to a call at 137 Avant Circle on Thursday, January 26 to investigate a burglary. "The victim told police that someone had entered their home by cutting a screen and raising a window. While inside, they had taken two car speakers and other miscellaneous objects. While speaking with neighbors, one witness stated they had seen West inside the home going through personal belongings while another witness stated they had seen West around 6:30 a.m. loading the objects into a blue van. Later that morning, West was found and arrested in the case. Some of the items were recovered at the residence where West was staying," said Chief Collins.

In other cases Wednesday, 42 year old Randy Caldwell pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a three year sentence and was fined $2,000. The sentence is to run concurrently with another case against him.

42 year old Anthony Colwell pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to probation.

39 year old Scottie Sykes pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence, split with one year in custody and credit for 358 days of time served.

63 year old Steven M. White pleaded guilty by information to reckless endangerment and received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days. He was fined $350. White will be on supervised probation.

Chamber Announces Christmas on the Square

November 14, 2012
Suzanne Williams

The Christmas season is nearly upon us which means it’s almost time to celebrate Christmas on the Square & The Downtown Renovation Celebration! This holiday event will be celebrated on Thursday, November 29th from 5 PM to 8 PM on the Smithville Public Square.

The Community Chorus will sing from 5:00 to 5:25 PM on the west side of the Courthouse. Boy Scout Troop #347 will have a Flag-Raising Ceremony at 5:25 PM. Then more music from the Community Chorus after the Tree Lighting.

Tree Lighting Ceremony – Held at 5:30 PM on the west side of the Courthouse.

Courthouse Open House – Stop by to visit & enjoy the refreshments & festive atmosphere. Come by and visit the new Chamber office in the Courthouse, Room 201.

A FREE Photo Booth & Christmas DJ Music will be provided by the City of Smithville – Enjoy your favorite holiday music throughout the night plus have a fun, complimentary picture made at the Cosmo Creations Photo Booth located inside the east entrance of the Courthouse.

Downtown Renovation Celebration – Enjoy a walk around town to see all the new improvements to the downtown buildings, inside and out, as well as seeing the progress of the new Open-Air Stage at Evins Park across from the Smithville Post Office.

At the Justin-Potter Library, Children’s Book Author & Illustrator, Shan Burklow, will entertain & read to the children from 6 to 6:30 PM with a chance to win lots of great prizes. And the library will have a special visit from Santa immediately after, so don’t forget to bring your camera!

Inflatables & Train Rides for the Children, if weather permits.

There will be extended hours and Open Houses at several downtown stores, offices, and restaurants. This is a wonderful time for Christmas shopping and having a nice meal downtown.

Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Williams would like to invite everyone to this enjoyable and heartwarming experience – Christmas on the Square & the Downtown Renovation Celebration! For more information, call the Chamber office at 597-4163.

March Parole Hearing Expected for Man Convicted in 2002 DeKalb County Murder

November 14, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christopher Nicholas Orlando
Melvin Eugene Turnbill

A 40 year old DeKalb County man, currently serving a 35 year prison sentence in the fatal shooting of Joshua Murphy in September, 2002, is scheduled for a parole hearing in March, 2013, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction

Christopher Nicholas Orlando, convicted of facilitation of first degree murder, is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee.

Murphy was shot and killed in a secluded area in the Laurel Hill Community at the end of Old Eagle Creek Road on Sunday, September 15, 2002. His body was discovered three days later. Officials said Orlando and a co-defendant, Melvin Turnbill suspected Murphy of stealing methamphetamine.

Turnbill, now 40 years old, pled guilty to facilitation of first degree murder prior to the trial of Orlando and received a twenty five year prison sentence. Under terms of the plea agreement, Turnbill agreed to testify for the state.

After a jury trial, Orlando was convicted and on June 23, 2004, the trial court sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to 40 years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Orlando's motion for a new trial was denied on April 18, 2005. At this hearing, the trial court modified Orlando's sentence to reflect a sentence of 35 years, concluding that the imposed 40 year sentence was inappropropriate.

Turnbill is incarcerated at the Southeastern Tennessee State Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville and will be up for parole in April, 2014, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction.

Orlando filed an appeal but the court of criminal appeals upheld the sentence in August 2006.

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