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US Postal Service to Adjust Hours at Dowelltown and Liberty

March 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
Notice Posted at Dowelltown Post Office
Dowelltown Post Office
Liberty Post Office

Several months after reducing the daily operating hours in a cost saving measure, the U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to tinker with the schedule again at the Dowelltown and Liberty Post Offices, effective Saturday March 21.

This time the move is being done not to further reduce retail window hours but to adjust them to comply with recent updates to collective bargaining agreements, according to David Walton spokesman for the Tennessee District of the U.S. Postal Service. The Smithville and Alexandria Post Offices will not be affected.

"The Dowelltown and Liberty Post Offices are adjusting their hours because of recent updates to our collective bargaining agreements and transportation network changes," Walton told WJLE.

Still, postal customers might find these new hours less convenient for them.

Notices have been posted at both locations but no public hearings will be held this time. "Public meetings were held when we reduced hours at these offices. However, in this case we’re not reducing any hours, only making minor adjustments to the current retail hours," said Walton.

New hours effective March 21:

Dowelltown Post Office
8:00 a.m. to 11:30 and 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday (Currently morning hours are 8-11 a.m. and afternoon hours are 12:30- 3:30 p.m.)
8:00 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday (no change)

Liberty Post Office
7:45 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:45 p.m. Monday thru Friday (Currently afternoon hours are 1:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Monday-Friday)
7:45 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday (no change)

Last year the Postal Service changed both the Dowelltown and Liberty Post Offices from a full eight hours to six hours a day at the retail windows with no change in Saturday hours. A similar plan was enacted earlier at the Alexandria Post Office.

Benefit Scheduled for Family of Two Year old Child Who Died Tragically Sunday

March 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
Kayden Ray Fults
Kayden Ray Fults

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a benefit spaghetti dinner and silent auction for the family of two year old Kayden Ray Fults, who died Sunday after apparently suffering an injury in a fall from a bunk bed at his Smithville home. The child was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital where he passed away.

Fults is the son of Mark Johnson, a DeKalb County Firefighter from the Short Mountain Station, and Kaycie Lynn Fults.

Funds raised from this benefit will help with the funeral expenses.

The event is set for Saturday, March 21 from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Complex at 712 South Congress Boulevard. The price is $6.00 at the door or tickets may be purchased in advance for $5.00 each. Any and all donations including items for the silent auction will be accepted and greatly appreciated. Dinner will include spaghetti, salad, bread, drink, and dessert of your choice.

All proceeds collected will go directly towards paying for funeral expenses.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please send a check or money order to: Woodbury Funeral Home, 504 W. Main St, Woodbury, TN. 37190. Please make sure to note in the memo that donation goes to Kayden Ray Fults funeral expenses.

For more information or tickets please contact: Robin Summers (615-605-9783) or Chief Donny Green (615-464-7176)

In addition to his parents, Kayden is survived by siblings: Landon & Adrian Fults, Karlee & Joshua Johnson, Brooklyn Barnes all of Smithville; Grandparents: Jacky Fults of Smithville, Melissa Foster (Kenny) Young of Shelbyville, Kathy Johnson (Rick Hindsley) of Smithville; Great Grandparents: Viola Foster of Woodbury; Martha Fults of Smithville; Carmine Bain of Dowelltown; Special Cousins: Matt, Angie, Jacob & Emma Campbell of Woodbury; Uncles and Aunts: Cody & Tyler Fults of Shelbyville, Mary Johnson of Woodbury, Fairy Johnson of Smithville and Angela Ferrell; Cousin: Bridget Fults.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Bobby Johnson and great grandfather, Roy Fults and Max Foster.

Funeral Services will be 2 pm Friday at the Chapel of Woodbury Funeral Home with Bro. Greg Mitchell officiating. Interment will follow in the Hale Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 4 pm to 8 pm Thursday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Woodbury Funeral Home to help the family with funeral expenses.

Sheriff Looks to Strike Better Deal with Corps for Lakesite Patrols

March 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

For three decades the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with and compensated the county to provide extra sheriff's department patrols at designated lake sites during the summer.

The Corps is proposing to continue the partnership this year but Sheriff Patrick Ray is concerned that the number of patrols and rate of compensation has been dropping over the last couple of years.

Sheriff Ray met with the county commissioners in an All-Committees workshop on Thursday, February 19 and with the commission's emergency services committee Monday night, March 2 to discuss the issue further.

According to Sheriff Ray, while no contract has yet been presented for approval by the commission, the Corps is proposing 219 patrol periods this year from May 4 through September 7 which includes five lake sites. The county would receive a total of $35,040 to provide the service. That is down from the 229 patrol periods in 2014 and 236 in the year 2013. The Corps rate of compensation to the county has also declined going from $37,760 in 2013 to $36,640 last year.

"The last two years we've lost about $2,720 because of them reducing the amount of days (patrol periods) but salaries and gas have gone up. We get $32 per place (lake site) we go to and it's 68.5 miles from the jail to run them all and right back. So like in this year's budget if we thought we were going to get $36,640 we're not going to get that this year we'll get $35,040, that's $1600 difference," said Sheriff Ray.

The sheriff's department must only use full time POST certified officers to conduct the patrols during designated time periods specified by the contract.

During Monday night's meeting the emergency services committee recommended that Sheriff Ray ask the Corps to increase the rate of compensation from $32 to $40.50 per lake site in the proposed new contract which would be $202.50 per patrol period or $44,347 for the year.

City Expects Results of New Water Cost Study Soon

March 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
Hunter Hendrixson

The City of Smithville is expected to receive a report soon from a North Carolina company which is doing another water cost study.

City officials want more up to date figures on how much it costs to produce water so they can determine whether another rate increase to the DeKalb Utility District is justified.

"I talked to the firm out of Charlotte, North Carolina who is doing our water rate study. I think they are about done. He's got a verbal report but not a numerical report. I've been waiting for a couple of months so hopefully we'll know here by the next meeting what they have assessed our water rates (to be). Then we can assess our situation," said City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson during Monday night's meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

In January, 2014, the city increased the rate it charged the DUD to purchase water to $5.00 per thousand gallons. But DUD challenged the increase in Chancery Court and during a hearing a year ago in Cookeville, Chancellor Ronald Thurman ordered the city to reduce the water rate to the DeKalb Utility District from $5.00 to $2.67 per thousand gallons, which a 2013 water study found to be the city's actual cost to produce water at that time.

Chancellor Thurman granted a DUD motion for a temporary injunction barring the city from continuing to impose its $5.00 rate until the city gives proper notice to DUD and justification for raising the rate above $2.67 per thousand gallons. The rate has remained in place since that ruling.

But according to Hendrixson, the DUD has made an adjustment in minimum usage to its own customers. "I've been asked if we have raised our water rates, which we have not (raised rates) to our city customers and not to DUD since about a year ago whenever the judge (made his ruling).
I think there has been some confusion. I don't think they (DUD) have raised their water rates but they (DUD) lowered their minimum from 2,000 gallons to 1,500 gallons. It's a rate adjustment without raising the rates," he said.

Meanwhile, DUD is still pursuing plans to build its own water treatment plant and will apparently continue to purchase water from the City of Smithville until it can produce its own supply. "Concerning DUD, I have been asked several times in the last month or two where they're at. I have no idea. I know they have not broken ground. They are still purchasing (water) from the City of Smithville and they probably will be for a while," said Hendrixson.

Man Serving 32 Year Prison Term for Child Rape Denied New Trial

March 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
Jose Reyes

A 32 year old man who stood trial last summer and was convicted of raping an eight year old boy was denied a motion for a new trial in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday.

Jose Reyes is serving a 32 year prison term. He was accused of raping the boy between November 2012 and March 2013.

The trial was held on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in DeKalb County Criminal Court and it took the jury of six men and six women only half an hour to find Reyes guilty of the crime.

According to prosecutors in the case, Reyes was a trusted friend of the boy and his family prior to this incident and he had been renting a room in the home of the child's aunt. That is where the crime is alleged to have occurred.

Judge David Patterson held a hearing on the motion for a new trial Friday.

Representing Reyes, Assistant District Public Defender Allison Rasbury West argued Friday that her client is entitled to a new trial. In her motion filed with the court, West cited the following factors:

*The evidence introduced at trial was insufficient to convict Mr. Reyes of the offense of rape of a child.

*The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's "Motion to Continue the Trial Date" in order to continue to attempt to locate a defense witness

* The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's motion in limine, requesting that the Defendant's written statement be excluded at trial because it is irrelevant

* The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's motion in limine, requesting that the use of the Child Advocacy Center dog be prohibited. (The dog was allowed in the courtroom during the testimony of the victim to make him feel more at ease)

* The trial court erred in denying Mr. Reyes's motion to suppress the written statement in this case.

*The trial court erred by sentencing Mr. Reyes to 32 years instead of the minimum 25 years in this case.

*The trial court improperly overruled the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment in this case based on a superseding indictment changing the date (s) of offense and therefore denying the defendant sufficient notice of which date(s) he should be prepared to defend against.

*The trial court erred by denying the defendant's motion in limine to exclude any mention of the defendant having sexual relations or watching pornography in the presence of the alleged victim

*The trial court erred by denying the defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal; and

*The trial court erred by considering a victim's statement introduced at the sentencing hearing that included references to HIV, herpes, and gonorrhea, when no evidence of such diseases was presented at trial.

In response to the motion for a new trial, Assistant District Attorney Greg Strong, stated the following:

*Evidence introduced at trial was entirely sufficient to convict the Defendant of Rape of a Child. The jury found the proof sufficient, and the verdict was approved by this court.

*The Court did not err in denying the Defendant's Motion to Continue. At the time of the trial, this case had been open for well over one year, and as such the Defendant had sufficient time, through the use of an investigator, to locate and subpoena all necessary witnesses.

*The Defendant's written statement acknowledged his role in the perpetration of this offense, and was wholly relevant in the trial of this matter. The Court made no error in this ruling.

*The Court made no error in allowing the use of the dog belonging to the Child Advocacy Center. The Court gave a specific instruction to the jury pertaining to the dog, and was clear with both the Defendant and jury that the dog was available for use by any party throughout the trial.

*No error was made as related to the Defendant's statement.

*A sentence of 32 years was appropriate in this case, given the enhancement factors the Court found applicable.

*The Court's denial of the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss was proper. The State superseded the original indictment to include a date range, rather than a specific date, and this in no way prejudiced the Defendant.

*The Court's denial of the Defendant's Motion to Exclude Testimony was proper. The Court made findings in the record to support this ruling, and found that the probative value of this testimony outweighed potential unfair prejudice.

*The Court properly denied the Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal. Viewing the proof at trial in a light most favorable to the State, this ruling was proper.

* The Court made no error in considering statements made at the sentencing of the Defendant.

West is expected to file a notice of appeal on behalf of Reyes.

Man Wanted in Missouri Arrested by Sheriffs Department

March 3, 2015
Dwayne Page
George William Rogers, II
 Daniel Ray Anderson
Travis Joe Davenport
Bobby Dean Porterfield
Paul Jerome Grizzle
James Bertland Blankenship, III
McKay Lindon Gray

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested a man last week wanted in Missouri.

35 year old George William Rogers, II of Potts Camp Road, Smithville is charged with being a fugitive from Justice. His bond is $25,000 and he will be in court March 5. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday, February 28 Rogers was arrested on a warrant from Missouri for violation of probation. He will be extradited to Missouri.

55 year old Daniel Ray Anderson of Dry Creek Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of a fourth offense of driving on a suspended license. He was further issued a citation for violation of the registration law, violation of the financial responsibility law, and for not wearing a seatbelt. His bond totals $12,500 and he will be in court March 12.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, February 23, a deputy spotted Anderson driving a motor vehicle. Knowing that Anderson had prior warrants against him, the officer stopped his automobile. A computer check confirmed his license were suspended. He was placed under arrest and brought to the jail for booking. Anderson has three previous driving on suspended charges against him on August 30, 2011, June 22, 2009, and November 26, 2006.

In the other DSL case against Anderson, Sheriff Ray said that on May 5, 2014 a deputy was dispatched to a two vehicle crash on Blue Springs Road. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Anderson, who was apparently involved in the accident. The deputy checked his license and found them to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Putnam County on May 3, 2001. Anderson left the scene of the accident before the officer could take him into custody.

23 year old Travis Joe Davenport of Eagle Creek Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court May 21. He was further issued a citation for his vehicle having a brake light out. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, February 23 a deputy stopped a gray Jeep traveling on Highway 56 south for a traffic violation (brake light out). The officer spoke with the driver, Davenport who admitted he did not have a valid license. A computer check confirmed that his drivers license were revoked on April 17, 2014 for failure to satisfy fines in a criminal offense in Warren County. He was placed under arrest.

47 year old Bobby Dean Porterfield of Richland Road, Murfreesboro is charged with a fourth offense of driving on a revoked license. He was further issued a citation for violation of the responsibility law (no insurance) and a violation of the light law. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court March 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, February 23 a deputy stopped Porterfield's vehicle on Highway 70 for having a tail light out. While speaking with the officer, Porterfield admitted that he did not have a drivers license. A computer check revealed that Porterfield had at least three previous charges for driving on a revoked license.

48 year old Paul Jerome Grizzle of Sugar Tree Knob Road, Liberty is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, February 24 a deputy was dispatched to Short Mountain Highway in response to a domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who said that her boyfriend, Grizzle became intoxicated and violent. She claims Grizzle pushed her over a chair in the living room, pushed her into the railing on the porch outside, and then pushed her into the corner of a building while she was trying to get help. The woman said she was afraid that Grizzle might assault her again after the officer left. Grizzle was placed under arrest.

49 year old James Bertland Blankenship, III of McMinnville is charged with simple possession of a schedule II drug dilaudid. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court March 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, February 26 a sheriff's department detective went to Banks Pisgah Road to serve a warrant. While there, the officer spoke with Blankenship who consented to a search of his person and vehicle. Inside Blankenship's pants pocket, the detective found three hypodermic needles. Blankenship also had a small plastic baggie in another pocket containing three and a half dilaudid pills. He was placed under arrest. Meanwhile, 44 year old Jefry Vincent Overall of McMinnville was cited for simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine) arising from the same incident. He will be in court March 5. According to Sheriff Ray, Overall was in a vehicle which was searched. Found inside the automobile was a pill bottle bearing Overall's name. The bottle contained one morphine fifteen milligram pill and two oxycodone thirty milligram pills. Overall could not produce a prescription for the pills at the time.

20 year old McKay Lindon Gray of Antioch Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court April 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, February 26 a deputy saw Gray operating a motor vehicle. Knowing that Gray's license were revoked, the officer stopped his automobile. A computer check confirmed that Gray's license were revoked for a DUI in 2013. Gray had also been cited twice that year, once for driving on a suspended license and driving on a revoked license. He was placed under arrest.

Liquor Ordinance Receives Final Approval

March 2, 2015
Dwayne Page
Aldermen Jason Murphy, Gayla Hendrix, and Danny Washer

Smithville Aldermen Monday night took the final step toward authorizing liquor sales with the passage of an ordinance on second reading to amend the Municipal Code by establishing regulations for package stores in the city.

The vote was 3-0. Aldermen Danny Washer, Gayla Hendrix, and Jason Murphy all voted in favor. Aldermen Shawn Jacobs and Josh Miller were unable to attend the meeting.

Before the vote, Mayor Jimmy Poss opened a hearing for public comments but no one spoke either for or against.

As adopted on second and final reading, regulations are established for persons to make application for a certificate of compliance. Applicants could be required to appear before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to provide information as to their application.

Applications would be referred to the police chief for investigation and to the city attorney for a review (background check), who then would submit their findings to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen within thirty days. Once an applicant receives a certificate of compliance from the city, he or she must then send it to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission as part of the state requirements in making application for a liquor license.

Other conditions set forth in the proposed ordinance before a certificate of compliance could be issued are as follows:

An applicant must have been a resident of the city for the previous two years or a citizen of the county for three years. Anyone in a partnership must also meet the residency requirements.

No applicant convicted of a felony within ten years of filing an application could be issued a certificate.

There would be no limit as to the number of stores that may operate but no retailer shall operate, directly or indirectly, more than one liquor store in the city.

Liquor stores could only be operated in locations zoned for that purpose.

No store could be located in a space of less than 1,500 square feet and the store buildings must be of a permanent type construction.

Liquor stores would be required to keep in stock a minimum $150,000 inventory

Entrances must be on the ground floor, with only one main entrance. If a store is on the corner of two streets, a door opening may be maintained on each such street.

No liquor sales would be permitted for consumption on the premises.

No radios, amusement devices, or seating facilities would be allowed
In no event would a liquor store be permitted within 400 feet of any hospital, school, church, or other place of public gathering. The distances are to be measured in a straight line from front door to front door. If there is no building on the place of public gathering, the distance would be measured from front door of the liquor store to the nearest property line of the public gathering location.

The ordinance authorizes inspection fees and civil penalties for violations.

DeKalb County High School Brings home several Awards

March 2, 2015
DCHS FBLA Chapter Competes in Regional Competition

The DCHS FBLA chapter competed in regional competition recently. The following were the winners at Regional Conference who are eligible to compete at state conference in April.

1st place
Nicole Atkins: Securities and Investments
Reagan Taylor: Database Design and Applications
Kelsey Hedge: Health Care Administration

2nd place:
Katie Willoughby and Taylor Ellis: Global Business Team

3rd place:
Destiny Franklin: Computer Applications
Luke Green: Personal Finance
Hannah James: Public Speaking II
Sahara Lafever: Health Care Administration
Max Pafford, Braxton Pugh, and Kirkland Smallwood: Management Decision Making Team
Susan Webb: Public Speaking I

4th place:
Eli Cross and Katie Parker: Hospitality Management Team
Christian Ellis: Spreadsheet Applications
Bailey Redmon: Introduction To Business Communication
Heather Scott: Job Interview
Kamien Sparks: Cyber Security

5th place:
Julia Little: Public Speaking II
Anna Malone, Keely McKay, and Hailey Walker: Marketing Team

And, Braxton Pugh was elected as the 2015-2016 Regional Treasurer for Region 5. He will serve in this role for the entire region.

Norrod Pleads "No Contest" to Child Sex Charges

February 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Jared Norrod

A 39 year old McMinnville man indicted on child sex charges was sentenced to fifteen years in prison Friday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge David Patterson presided.

Jared Norrod entered a no contest (best interest) plea to charges of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual battery by an authority figure, especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, and incest. He received a nine year sentence for especially aggravated sexual exploitation and six years for aggravated sexual exploitation to serve consecutively for a total of fifteen years. Norrod also received a three year sentence for incest and a three year term for sexual battery by an authority figure to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with the other two sentences. Again, Norod's total sentence is fifteen years. After serving his term, Norrod will be under lifetime supervision.

Norrod was named in a sealed indictment in April 2014 by the DeKalb County Grand Jury charging him with two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, four counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, and incest.

Norrod was charged with having sexual contact with two juveniles between the ages of 13 and 18, one of them being a relative, taking pictures of juveniles engaging in sexual activity, having such photographs in his possession, and uploading them to a computer.

Norrod was represented by attorney Brad Hornsby of Murfreesboro.

Winter Weather Causes Metal Roof to Collapse at Edgar Evins Marina

February 27, 2015
Dwayne Page
Winter Weather Causes Metal Roof to Collapse at Edgar Evins Marina

A combination of ice, freezing rain, snow and wind from winter storms last week caused a metal roof over a portion of the dock at Edgar Evins Marina to collapse.

Although the roof fell on top of several boats docked there, marina owner Kaye Tuggle said none of them sank and she is hopeful that once the metal is removed, all they will find is cosmetic damage.

After an insurance inspection, Tuggle said she will be hiring contractors to begin repairs.


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