Local News Articles

Dowelltown Man Charged with Child Abuse

April 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
Barrett Clay Tipton
Willie Ray Murphy
James Nathaniel Pettit
Veronica Lucille St. Hilaire
Les Paul Miller

A Dowelltown man has been charged with child abuse for allegedly smacking and leaving a bruise on a four year old youngster.

27 year old Barrett Clay Tipton of Circle Drive, Dowelltown is under a $10,000 bond and he will make a court appearance on May 5.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday, April 16 Tipton allegedly inflicted injury on a four year old at his residence on Circle Drive by smacking the child in the face with enough force to knock the youngster to the ground. A few days later during an interview, officials of the Department of Children Services noticed bruising on the left side of the child’s face. When they asked the youngster what happened to cause the bruising, the four year old said Barrett did it. The alleged assault was also captured on video.

34 year old Willie Ray Murphy of West Bryant Street, Smithville is charged with resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, April 2 a deputy went to Walmart to arrest Murphy on a Smith County warrant for violation of probation. As the officer placed Murphy under arrest, he tensed and tried to pull away from the deputy. He was taken into custody and transported to the jail.

21 year old James Nathaniel Pettit of Locust Street, Alexandria is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on May 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, April 23 a deputy responded to a residence on Locust Street due to a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Pettit and his wife. Pettit was determined to have been the primary aggressor in that he laid on the woman, restricting her movements and then kicked her out of bed. He also allegedly broke the door to a closet where she had been hiding when calling 911.

32 year old Veronica Lucille St. Hilaire of Dry Creek Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended or revoked license. She was further cited for no insurance, violation of the implied consent law, violation of the open container law, for her automobile lacking a vehicle identification (VIN) number, and for criminal impersonation. She is under a $5,000 bond and her court date is May 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, April 24 a deputy responded to Highway 70 at the old Spinners Diner location where someone was found slumped over the steering wheel of her vehicle in the roadway. Upon arrival the officer found that EMS personnel had already arrived and were talking to St. Hilaire. Her speech was slurred and she was unaware of her whereabouts. Inside her vehicle, the deputy found an open bottle of vodka in a cup holder next to the driver’s seat. An empty vodka bottle was found in the back seat. St. Hilaire did not have a valid driver license. A computer check confirmed that her license were revoked for a previous driving under the influence offense. St. Hilaire refused to submit to a blood test. Her vehicle did not have a VIN number plate on the dashboard showing proper registration. She also falsely identified herself to the officer as Monica Gonzales.

27 year old Les Paul Miller of Barnes Mill Road is charged with being a fugitive from justice. His bond is $500,000. He will make a court appearance on April 28. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, April 24 a check of warrants revealed that Miller is wanted in Michigan on an outstanding warrant for being a parole absconder. Miller was placed under arrest.

Lebanon Man Swindles Local Businesses

April 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
Greg Keith Oxendine

A Lebanon man who claimed to have a t-shirt printing business and swindled hundreds of dollars from five local businesses and a member of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has been charged with six counts of theft.

59 year old Greg Keith Oxendine was arrested on Wednesday, April 20 and he will make a court appearance on May 5. Oxendine was brought here after being incarcerated in another jail for similar offenses.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Oxendine’s crime spree locally took place in October, November, and December 2014 when he went to B&G Supply, Sue’s Taxidermy, Center Hill Nursery, Turtle’s Bar & Grill, AEI Recycling, and a member of the DeKalb County Fire Department and collectively swindled a total of $1,723.90 from them.

In each case, Oxendine purported to have a printing business and took orders and down payments for caps, t-shirts, and hoodies but he never produced the merchandise and wouldn’t answer calls when the victims tried to contact him by phone.

Local Business Targeted for Illegal Sunday Sales of Alcohol

April 26, 2016
Dwayne Page

Acting on complaints of illegal Sunday sales of beer, the Sheriff’s Department cited an employee of Maggie’s Landing Sunday, April 24 after she sold an alcoholic beverage to someone working undercover.

50 year old Lisa Sowell Dulley of Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville was issued a citation for unlawful sale of alcoholic beverages.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, the undercover operative entered Maggies Landing Sunday where Dulley allegedly sold him an alcoholic beverage. After making the purchase, he left the business with the beverage.

Dulley’s court date is May 26th.

Child's Death Under Investigation

April 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Mason Snyder

The death of a 20 month old boy is under investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney General's Office.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and EMS responded to a stranded motorist on Highway 70 Saturday evening where they found an unresponsive child in the vehicle.

The child, Mason Snyder, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

The case remains under investigation and no arrests have been made.

27 year old Les Miller, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, was taken into custody on Sunday on unrelated charges of being a fugitive from justice out of the state of Michigan. He is under a $500,000 bond.

County Mayor declares May 1-7 Small Business Week

April 25, 2016
Tim Stribling and Suzanne Williams

Contributing to a national celebration of small businesses, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling has signed a proclamation declaring Small Business Week in DeKalb County to be May 1 through May 7, 2016.

Communities all across the nation and the Upper Cumberland are joining together to celebrate the wonderful contributions made by small businesses to their communities. Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, was on-hand to witness the signing. Williams stated “Small businesses are the life-blood of our community and the chamber makes every effort possible to assist them in succeeding.”

Williams and Stribling recently started a partnership with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Tennessee Tech University to encourage growth and development of the DeKalb county business community. John Woodard, Assistant Director of the center stated, “We are so excited to be working in DeKalb County! Our center believes we can bring a lot to the table to assist the local community and provide guidance to small business owners.”

Woodard and his team are organizing the first annual Upper Cumberland Small Business Week, which is offering several events for small business owners throughout the Upper Cumberland and encouraging communities to shop local for Mother’s Day, graduations, etc. Mayor Stribling commented, “It is really great to see programs like these that are willing to support our communities and encourage growth of our local economies. I am really excited to see what all the TSBDC can offer our community in the future.”

Individuals wishing to find out more information about and register for the events are encouraged to explore the event website: www.tsbdc.org/ucbizweek or contact the TSBDC’s TTU Center at 931-372-3648.

Relay for Life Set for May 6

April 24, 2016
Dwayne Page
Relay for Life Set for May 6

From its remarkable yet humble beginnings, the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life has grown into a national, even international, phenomenon. Starting in 1985 with only one event, today more than 4 million people in over 20 countries raise much needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement.

At Relay for Life, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime.

This year's theme is ““Paint Your World Purple”

Come share the Relay experience at Green Brook Park on Friday, May 6 and take pride in knowing that you are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten the lives of our loved ones or claim another year of anyone's life.

The 19th annual Relay for Life begins with musical entertainment at 5:00 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. featuring personal testimonies from cancer survivors and then a Survivors' Lap, during which those who have survived the struggle circle the track together to help everyone celebrate what has been achieved against cancer.

As the sun sets, Luminaria bags lining the track illuminate the night and then a hush falls over the event as Relay participants, survivors and caregivers gather together for a Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.

As participants walk the track lined with Luminaria bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss.

Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more Luminaria bear the names of those lost to the disease.
Teams take turns doing laps, but there must be one member from each team on the track at any given time during the relay event. There is a lot of fundraising as well, through concessions, games, and other activities.

As volunteers and donors, your efforts support research, education, advocacy, and services that allow the American Cancer Society to offer help and hope to people across the country when they need it most. By joining together at Relay, we celebrate life, friendship, and an opportunity to work to defeat cancer for future generations.

For more information, please contact Marlene at 931-235-6286 or visit www.relayforlife.org/dekalbtn.

DeKalb Prevention Coalition Invites You to Hear Rodney Williams

April 23, 2016
Dwayne Page
Rodney Williams

Sober Living Services in collaboration with the DeKalb Prevention Coalition will host speaker Rodney Williams Monday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m. in the History Room of the DeKalb Community Center. This a free event and open
to the public.

Williams is an ordained pastor, author of the book, Club Meth to Christ, and founder of Club Meth to Christ Ministries. His goal is to help those who struggle with the devastating bondage of addiction experience lasting freedom. Rodney lived as a drug addict and alcoholic for over twenty years of his life but that all changed the night he was set on fire in a crystal meth lab explosion. That night he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and from that point on Rodney began following Jesus. Rodney entered the Home of Grace drug rehabilitation program after months of skin grafts and burn treatments then wrote the book Club Meth to Christ. He then obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from the University of Mobile. Rodney was pastor to a small congregation in South Mississippi for eight years before entering full time evangelism. Rodney’s story has been featured on the 700 Club, Pacific Garden Mission’s radio drama, Unshackled, and American Family Radio. He has spoken at countless evangelical and secular events using his story to warn audiences about the danger of drugs and give hope to those trapped in the bonds of addiction. Rodney and his wife, Jennifer, live in South Mississippi with their four children.

Visit http://www.clubmethtochrist.com for more information.

1986 DCHS Tigerettes Reunite

April 22, 2016
Dwayne Page
1986 DCHS Tigerettes Reunite
DCHS Tigerettes Past and Present
Coach Danny Bond and 1986 Tigerette Dionndra Foster with cake

Nine members of the 1986 DCHS Tigerette fast pitch softball team reunited Friday afternoon at the Danny Bond Field to commemorate the 30 year existence of the program.

Following the game between this year’s DCHS Tigerettes and Warren County, each member of the 1986 inaugural team was recognized including Patty Redmon Hale, Tammy Billings Eaton, Dionndra Foster, Tammy Hayes Reynolds, Tracie Webb Baker, Christie Poss Hart, Michelle Gard Roller, Vickie Hayes Gwynn, and Gena Hayes Cripps. They were joined on the field by their Coach Danny Bond, who is the only coach in the history of the program. Other members of the 1986 team unable to attend were Tina Waggoner Woodall, Tonia Foster Pack, Beth Hale Gill, Christie Frazier Young, and Lori Pugh Hall.

Other DCHS Tigerette Alumni also joined the 1986 team on the field for photographs along with the 2016 team.

1986 Tigerettes: (Kneeling) Patty Redmon Hale and Tammy Billings Eaton; (Middle Row) Dionndra Foster, Tammy Hayes Reynolds, Tracie Webb Baker, and Christie Poss Hart; (Back Row) Coach Danny Bond, Michelle Gard Roller, Vickie Hayes Gwynn, Gena Hayes Cripps

Bly Accused of Committing Domestic Assault with a Belt

April 22, 2016
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a man with committing a domestic assault with a belt.

32 year old Steven Bly was arrested on Monday, April 18. Police were dispatched to a residence for a domestic assault. Upon investigation it was determined that Bly had struck the victim with a belt in the area of her left side near the ribs and stomach. Injuries were visible and consistent with the use of a belt. Bond for Bly is $2,500 and his court date is May 12.

25 year old Stephanie Bequette was cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug on Friday, April 8. While investigating a possible DUI, police found 4 partially smoked marijuana cigarettes in Bequette's vehicle after receiving consent to search.

41 year old Autumn Danielle White was arrested on Sunday, April 10 for driving while revoked and she was cited for speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, and violation of the open container law. Police initiated a traffic stop of White’s vehicle and while speaking with her, officers observed an open container of Smirnoff in the front seat. A computer check revealed that White's driver license were revoked. Her bond is $1,500.

41 year old Wendy Strahan was arrested for public intoxication on Monday, April 11. After being called to East Side Inn for a possible domestic, police were informed that the incident amounted only to a verbal argument. But upon further investigation it was discovered that Strahan had been drinking and that she had been causing an annoyance to the surrounding tenants. She was taken into custody. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is May 21

33 year old Ashley Jerome Ferrell and 22 year old Katelyn Luann Goodwin were cited for shoplifting at Wal-Mart on Wednesday, April 20. Police were contacted after Goodwin was observed taking a Zippo lighter from the store. As officers confronted Ferrell and Goodwin, Dispatch informed them that Ferrell had an active warrant for his arrest. During a search of Ferrell a Dremel tool belonging to Wal-Mart was found on his person. Ferrell and Goodwin will make a court appearance on May 26.

March DeKalb Unemployment Rate Drops to 5%

April 22, 2016
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for March was 5% and down from the February rate of 5.3% and below the rate for March, 2015 of 7.2%.

The local labor force for March was 7,420. A total of 7,040 were employed and 370 were without work.

Jobless rates for March among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:

Pickett: 6.6%
Clay: 6.6%
Jackson: 6.2%
Fentress: 5.7%
Van Buren: 5.6%
Cumberland: 5.5%
DeKalb: 5%
Overton: 4.9%
White: 4.5%
Smith: 4.3%
Putnam: 4.2%
Cannon: 4%
Warren: 4%

County unemployment rates for March 2016 show the rates decreased in 92 counties, increased in one, and remained the same in two counties.

For the month of March, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.1 percent, down from February’s rate of 3.3 percent. Knox County was 3.4 percent in March, down from 3.6 the previous month. The Hamilton County rate was 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 in February. Shelby County was 4.7 percent, down from 4.9 percent the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for March was 4.5 percent, down four tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for March was 5.0 percent, up one tenth of a percentage point from the previous month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.


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