Local News Articles

Smithville ISO Classification Upgraded

June 1, 2015
Dwayne Page
Charlie Parker

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker shared some good news with the mayor and aldermen Monday night.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is upgrading the City of Smithville's Public Protection Classification rating from a Class 6 to a Class 5/5x effective this summer which could result in lower homeowners insurance premiums for some families. This is the second ISO rating upgrade for the city within the last six years. In 2009, the rating improved from a Class 7 to Class 6.

According to Chief Parker, ISO collects and evaluates information from communities on their fire suppression capabilities. The information is analyzed using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule and then assigns a Public Protection Classification number

"I just wanted to let the board and the citizens know that we received our notice from the ISO a couple of weeks ago that our new Public Protection Classification ISO rating is being lowered. We're going from a Class 6 down to a Class 5/5x which is a new split classification they are doing but it is good news that we are getting our ISO lowered. That does mean that we are making some progress in trying to continue to lower the rate," said Chief Parker.

As the new classification goes into effect, Chief Parker said homeowners are encouraged to check with their insurance carriers to find out if this new ISO rating will reduce their insurance premiums. " Hopefully this will help our citizens get some lower (insurance) rates (premiums) depending upon which company they have. Different companies do different things. Not all companies will go just by the ISO rating. But I have talked to ISO and most insurance companies will purchase information from ISO so they (insurance companies) use it somewhere in their formula. They may not use it here locally but in the corporate offices they use that information. It will eventually lower some rates even if it doesn't directly do so in the first little bit (right away). Some insurance companies will drop (premiums) automatically when the (ISO) rate does. Others may take longer but as our classification gets lower its just going to help the whole fire protection classification for the city. As the new classification takes effect probably in about a month, citizens should check with their insurance companies. The may get (qualify for) lower premiums," said Chief Parker.

In recent years the Smithville Fire Department has made improvements in equipment and services including the addition of a ladder truck. Chief Parker said more improvements are planned. "We have started working, even as early as last year, on some things to improve including training to get it (ISO) rating even lower".

Nominees Sought for FSA County Committee Election

June 1, 2015
Dwayne Page
Donny Green

Donny Green, DeKalb/Cannon County FSA County Executive Director, announces that the nomination period for the 2015 Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee Election is underway. The nomination period continues through August 3, 2015.

"I encourage all producers to participate in the county committee election process by nominating candidates by the August 3 deadline," said Green. "We are counting on as much participation as possible, because county committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We have seen a trend in recent years of increased nominations of minority, beginning farmers, and women producers and we hope that will continue."

Committees apply their judgment and knowledge to make decisions on county commodity price-support loan eligibility, establishment of allotments and yields, conservation programs, disaster programs, employment and other farm program-related issues. Nationwide, there are more than 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to five members who are elected by eligible local producers.

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

Nominees must reside in Local Administrative Area (LAA) for which they are seeking to be elected. For the 2015 Election, the DeKalb/Cannon County FSA County Committee Election will conduct elections in LAA-1 (DeKalb County) and LAA-5 (Cannon County). Below are the descriptions of the LAA's that will be conducting elections this year:
Local Administrative Area # 1, the portions of DeKalb County described as following:
East of a line where Hwy. 146 crosses the Cannon County line; following Hwy. 146 North to Hodges Rd.; thence north to Tabernacle Rd.; following Tabernacle Rd. to Dry Creek Rd.; east of Dry Creek Rd. to Hwy. 70 West; south of Hwy. 70 to Hwy. 96 (Dale Ridge Rd.); thence north to Hwy. 96 to Hwy. 141 (Wolf Creek Rd.) to Center Hill Dam; from Center Hill Dam following Center Hill Lake southwest to include the area south and southwest of the lake to Sligo Bridge; thence following Hwy. 70 East in a westward direction to the intersection of Hwy. 70 and Hwy. 56; thence the area west of Hwy. 56 South to the Warren County line; north of the Warren/DeKalb County line back to Hwy. 146 at the Cannon County line.

Local Administrative Area # 5, the portions of Cannon County described as following:
That portion of Cannon County that lies west of Highway 53 (a state highway that runs south from the DeKalb County line and north from the Coffee County Line).

Individuals may nominate themselves, or others, as a candidate. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based and other organizations in the county where the election is being held before the close of the nomination period, especially groups representing socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Nominations and elections are open to all eligible candidates and voters without regard to race, color, religion, nation origin, age, sex, marital status or disability. The nomination form (FSA-669A) is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections

Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters in LAA's 1 and 5 on November 9, 2015. Completed ballots must be returned, either in person or postmarked, no later December 7, 2015. For more information about FSA county committees, visit the DeKalb/Cannon

Smithville Police Make Arrests, Issue Citations

June 1, 2015
Dwayne Page
Captain Steven Leffew

The Smithville Police Department has issued citations and brought charges against several persons in recent days according to Captain Steven Leffew.

49 year old Wendy Kay Goodman is charged with public intoxication. Sergeant Travis Bryant was dispatched to the area of Restview Avenue on Saturday, May 16 in reference to a person knocking on doors throughout the neighborhood and disturbing the peace by yelling. Upon arrival Sergeant Bryant spoke with Goodman who had a strong odor of alcohol on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. As Goodman didn't live in the area, she was taken into custody for her safety. Goodman's bond is $1,500.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, May 20 Officer James Cornelius responded to a call of a man lying in the road on West Broad Street. Upon arrival he found 41 year old Steven Lee Gebhardt lying in the brush on the south side of West Broad Street. Once Gebhardt was helped to his feet, Officer Cornelius noticed his speech was slurred and that he was unsteady on his feet. Based on Gebhardt's condition he was placed under arrest for public intoxication. His bond is $1,500.

While on routine patrol at Wal-Mart on Saturday, May 23 Officer Andy Snow spotted 20 year old McKynna Smith sitting in her car smoking something from a pipe. The officer parked his patrol car and spoke with Smith asking if she had anything on her or in the vehicle. She voluntarily handed over three plastic baggies of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana totaling approximately. 6 grams along with two pipes and a grinder. Smith was cited for simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance (Marijuana) and drug paraphernalia. Her court date is June 11.

33 year old John Brent Williams is charged with public intoxication. Officer Will Judkins responded to a fight on Sunday, May 24 and upon arrival found Williams in a public place under the influence of an alcoholic beverage to such a degree that he endangered other persons and/or was unreasonably annoying people there. Williams was advised several times to calm down and he was arrested after refusing to comply. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 18.

21 year old Jessie R. Herman was arrested on Monday, May 25 for domestic assault. Corporal Chip Avera and Officer Will Judkins were dispatched to a physical domestic and upon arrival found Herman yelling and cussing at everyone in the house behaving in a hostile and belligerent manner. After an investigation it was determined that Herman was the primary aggressor and he was taken into custody. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is June 18.

27 year old Matthew Allan Pasley was recently cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. During a traffic stop Officers Lance Dillard and Matt Farmer spoke with Pasley, who gave them consent to search the vehicle and his person. The officers found a grinder, rolling papers and a pipe with residue on them. He will be in court on June 18.

19 year old Nathaniel Andrew Chastain was cited by Sergeant Travis Bryant for vandalism on Monday, May 25. After a ball belonging to a neighbor rolled into the door of Chastain's home, he came out of the residence and stabbed the ball with a knife. His court date is June 11.

29 year old Cody Lee Cripps is charged with public intoxication . At approximately 1:30 am on Tuesday, May 26, Cripps was found to be in a parking lot on West Broad Street. Sergeant Travis Bryant observed that Cripps had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Cripps' speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Cripps had previously crawled into the cab of a semi-truck owned by Tennessee Credit. Witnesses said Cripps had been creating a disturbance by yelling and cussing prior to the officer's arrival. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 11.

25 year old Dustin M. Heath was arrested for theft on Tuesday, May 26 after he allegedly entered Broad Street Market and took two 18 packs of Busch beer without paying for them. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 11.

DeKalb Fair Seeks Exhibit Entries

May 31, 2015
DeKalb Fair Seeks Exhibit Entries

The DeKalb County Fair has released the catalog of premium rules for exhibit entries at this year's "Grandpa Fair of the South" set for Monday through Saturday, July 20-25 in Alexandria. This year's theme is "Country Scenes and Beauty Queens".

No matter what you love to do you can compete at the Fair!

Whether cooking, quilting, raising goats, taking great pictures, or having really beautiful tomatoes, you can find the right event for you in the Kenneth Sandlin Exhibit Building.

Just check out the 2015 Fair Catalog (PDF) for complete details. Download the 2015 DeKalb County Fair Rule Book at the link below.


The exhibit building hours:
* 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Monday - Friday
* 4:00PM to 9:00 PM on Saturday

Entry Dates and Times
*Non-Perishable Items ONLY
will be taken in on Saturday, July 11 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Kenneth Sandlin Center

*Perishable Items ONLY
will be taken in on Saturday, July 18 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Kenneth Sandlin Center

For more information about this year's DeKalb County Fair visit http://www.dekalbcountyfairtn.com/

Chamber Presents Milestone Award to Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

May 31, 2015
Chamber Presents Milestone Award to Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce recently presented a Milestone Award to Caney Fork Electric Cooperative celebrating 75 Years of serving DeKalb, Warren, White, and Van Buren counties.

Today Caney Fork Electric has approximately 32,000 members and employs 79 people. Caney Fork Electric's Smithville office is located at 580 East Broad Street.

Pictured l-r:

Front: David Sullivan, LeaAnn Fisher, Andy Estes, Chamber Past President
Julia Vanderpool, Chamber Board Member Kathy Hendrixson, Angel Wood, Jacob Spivey, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, John Chisam, Tina Smartt, Teresa Parker

2nd Row: Brad Davenport, Dalton Foster, Alan Northcutt, Barry Vandagriff, Kyle Thompson

Back: Jason Hobbs, Tim Price, Hunter Sain, Regan Kelsey

Magness Wins People's Choice Award at DeKalb Art Exhibit

May 31, 2015
Dwayne Page & Susan Hinton

Smithville Elementary School first grader Laura Magness was the winner of the People's Choice Award for the DeKalb Art Exhibit held Saturday at the County Complex.

Magness' art teacher is Ms. Carol Tripp.

Meanwhile, Leah Clark of DCHS was awarded for Best of Show

Many DeKalb County students showcased their artistic talents in this annual event sponsored by the Smithville Study Club.







The DeKalb Art Exhibit is sponsored by the Smithville Study Club, President: Mrs. Polly Payne and the DeKalb County School System. Special thanks to art teachers: Carol Tripp, Mike Littrell, and Walteen Parker along with all the parents of the students who submitted art.

Winners will be sent to the Appalachian Craft Center for display. The students can pick up their art at their respective schools.

DeKalb Jobless Rate for April Drops to 6.5%

May 29, 2015
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for April was 6.5%, down from 7.2% in March and below April 2014's rate of 7.3%.

The local labor force for April was 7,250. A total of 6,780 were employed and 470 were unemployed.

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for April was seventh lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:
Clay: 8.3%
Van Buren: 7.4%
Cumberland: 7%
Pickett: 6.9%
DeKalb: 6.5%
White: 5.9%

County unemployment rates for April show the rates decreased in 94 counties and increased in one county.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in April at 4.1 percent, down from 4.4 percent in March. Knox County was 4.3 percent in April, down from 4.6 the previous month. The Hamilton County April rate was 5.0 percent, down from 5.4 in March. Shelby County was 6.2 percent in April, down from 6.7 percent the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for April was 6.0 percent, three-tenths of one percentage point lower than the March revised rate of 6.3 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for April was 5.4 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point lower than the prior 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.

DCHS Outstanding Underclassmen Awarded

May 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
Tyree Cripps and Abby Evans
Rachel Fuson and Matthew Poss
Seth Wright

DeKalb County High School proudly announces the Outstanding Underclassmen of the 2014-2015 school year, a male and female from each grade level.

Freshmen - Tyree Cripps and Abby Evans

Sophomores - Matthew Poss and Rachel Fuson.

Juniors - Seth Wright and Morgan Vickers.

Not pictured is Morgan Vickers, Outstanding Junior girl, who was serving as a DCHS representative attending Girls State at David Lipscomb at the time the awards were presented.

Outstanding Underclassmen are nominated and voted on by the faculty of DCHS. These students stand out due to their academics, involvement in extracurricular activities, and Tiger Pride. Congratulations on this honor!!

School Board Includes New Spending Requests in Proposed Tentative Budget

May 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
School Board
School Board Members

In order to comply with a request by members of the county budget committee to have a proposed spending plan in their hands by the first of the month, the Board of Education Thursday night held a workshop and then met in special session to adopt a tentative budget for the 2015-16 school year. But unless the budget committee approves it as presented, the plan is likely to be changed.

The problem the board faces is that the school system is spending more than it takes in. Last year, the school board had to appropriate about $250,000 from its fund balance or reserves to cover expenses. At least the same is expected again this year even without adding new spending.

Still, knowing that the school system is possibly facing another deficit this year, the board Thursday night voted to add more spending to the proposed budget for next year, based on school needs including some required by the state, which according to Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III would increase the anticipated budget deficit by $475,620.

The proposed budget includes new funding requests for a computer teacher at Smithville Elementary School, Response to Intervention (RTI) teachers at DeKalb Middle School and DCHS, a new janitor position at DeKalb West School, funds to cover extended contracts , a school nurse position, technology upgrades, among other proposed new expenditures. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered framework that schools can adopt to identify and help struggling learners — before they fail.

The board plans to provide members of the county budget committee an explanation as to why the new spending is needed hoping they will come up with the money to fund it.

If the budget committee turns down the proposed school budget, the Board of Education could be forced to make cuts.

Man Charged in Assault Case

May 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Michael Christian Carpenter
Mitchelle Lee Corso
Ashley Leann Frazier
Marco Mendez
Jeff David Weedman
Charles Ryan Riedley
Billy Dale Dobbs
Jimmy Chris Haggard

A man has been charged in an assault on his wife .

30 year old Michael Christian Carpenter of East Main Street, Liberty is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will make a court appearance on June 11.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, a deputy was called to a residence on East Main Street in Liberty for a physical domestic on Friday, May 22. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the victim who said her husband (Michael) struck her about the head and shoulders, knocking her to the ground and threw a large rock at her while she was sitting in a car. The rock hit the driver side windshield causing substantial damage to the glass. The woman recorded the incident on a cell phone and showed the video to the officer. Sheriff Ray said the video corroborated the woman's statements and a copy of the recording was kept as evidence.

The woman's father-in-law had also been charged in the case but the offense against him has reportedly been dismissed in court.

32 year old Jonathan Kyle McCormick of South College Street, Smithville is cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. He will make a court appearance June 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, May 20 a deputy found in McCormick's possession three hypodermic needles and two alprazolam pills (one milligram).

31 year old Henry Burt Turner, Jr. of Martin Drive, Liberty was cited for simple possession on Thursday, May 21. He will be in court on June 11. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy spoke with Turner and during a search, found an alprazolam pill on his person and a small vial containing five diazepam pills.

39 year old Tyrone Dewayne Owens of Shady Drive, Smithville is cited for simple possession of schedule II & IV drugs. He will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, May 22 a deputy found Owens with three pill bottles in his front pocket containing two Oxycontin (20 milligram) pills, three Oxycodone (30 milligram) pills, and twenty six alprazolam (one milligram) pills. Owens had no prescription for any of the pills.

41 year old Kathyerine Michelle Carr of Sparta is cited for simple possession of schedule II drugs. Her court date is June 25. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 23 a detective stopped at a residence on Jacobs Pillar Road to speak with Carr. As she was getting out of her automobile, Carr dropped a syringe containing a yellow substance believed to be dilaudid. She also dropped three morphine pills. She had no prescription for the drugs.

49 year old Mitchelle Lee Corso of Nashville Highway, Liberty is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 11. According to Sheriff Ray, Corso assaulted his wife at their residence on Tuesday, May 19 by throwing a glass steak sauce bottle which hit her in the left forearm area leaving physical markings.

26 year old Ashley Leann Frazier of Big Hickory Court, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, May 19 a deputy was dispatched to the intersection of Short Mountain Highway and Whorton Springs Road in reference to a woman asleep in a ditch. The officer found and awoke Frazier who was asleep in a field beside the road on Short Mountain Highway. Frazier was unsteady on her feet and she had slurred speech. Frazier admitted to having taken medication and drinking about eight ounces of liquor. She was placed under arrest for her safety and that of the public.

22 year old Marco Mendez is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court June 4. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 23 Mendez assaulted his girlfriend by hitting her in the face with his hand, pulling her hair, and pushing her down on the ground.

51 year old Jeff David Weedman of Sparta is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel. Bond for Weedman is $1,500 and his court date is June 25. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 23 a deputy spotted a white Honda Accord leave its lane of travel on Allen Ferry Road. The officer stopped the car and spoke to the driver, Weedman whose speech was slurred. Weedman also had an odor of alcohol on him. According to Sheriff Ray, Weedman admitted to having consumed three beers. After performing poorly on field sobriety tasks, Weedman was placed under arrest.

27 year old Charles Ryan Riedley of Wildwood Drive, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for violation of the open container law, driving on roadways laned for traffic, a violation of the financial responsibility law, simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana), and violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, May 24 a deputy observed a black truck leave its lane of travel multiple times. The officer stopped the truck and spoke with the driver, Riedley who had a strong odor of alcohol on him. Riedley's speech was slurred and he had bloodshot eyes. According to the officer, Riedley admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana. After performing poorly on field sobriety tasks, he was placed under arrest. Riedley refused to submit to a blood test and he could not provide proof of insurance. His first DUI conviction was November 27, 2007 in Rutherford County. During an inventory search of Riedley's vehicle, the officer found an open Bud Lite beer bottle and .1 grams of marijuana.

44 year old Billy Dale Dobbs of Baxter was arrested on Sunday, May 24 charged under a grand jury sealed indictment with manufacture of marijuana. His bond is $20,000 and he will be arraigned in criminal court on June 23.

Jimmy Chris Haggard of Baxter is charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment. He was further issued a citation for violation of the light law (head light out). His bond totals $3,000 and he will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, May 25 a deputy stopped a dark colored SUV for a light law violation. Upon speaking to the driver, Haggard, the officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Haggard's person and that his eyes were bloodshot. Haggard admitted to having consumed seven beers. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was arrested. In the vehicle with Haggard was his friend's eleven year old child. Haggard was charged with reckless endangerment for putting the child's life in danger by driving under the influence with the youngster in the SUV with him


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