Local News Articles

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.

Parades and Other Activities Planned to Usher in Christmas Season

November 13, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Three Christmas Parades Coming Soon

Plenty of activities have been planned to celebrate the arrival of the Christmas season in DeKalb County.

It all begins Sunday, November 25 with the Alexandria Christmas Parade. The line-up begins at 2:00 p.m. and no later than 2:30 p.m. The parade gets underway at 3:00 p.m. First, second, and third place awards will be presented for best floats, trucks and cars (one group), and tractors. A drawing for prizes will be held after the parade. Food and craft booths may be set up on the square during the parade. All local pageant winners are urged to participate along with church and civic groups, scouts, high school bands, local law enforcement and emergency services, enter your vintage automobiles and tractors, and all horseback riders and horse drawn wagons are welcome, plus more. To enter call 615-948-4829, 615-948-6486, or call the Alexandria City Hall at 529-2171.

The Smithville Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 1st at 1:00 p.m. Line-up begins at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School. To enter floats or other entries, contact Jeff Wright at 597-6750 or John Poss at 597-1135. No call needed to enter vintage automobiles or horses and wagons.

The Liberty Christmas Parade will be Sunday, December 2. The line- up begins at 1:00 p.m. at Salem Baptist Church. The parade begins at 2:00 p.m. Call Liberty State Bank for more information.

Meanwhile, Christmas on the Square & Renovation Celebration will be held in downtown Smithville on Thursday, November 29 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. featuring a tree-lighting ceremony, Justin-Potter Library activities, Santa, Christmas shopping downtown, and much more.

Woman Accused of Pickpocketing

November 13, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Callie Howell
Eric Wayne Tramel

Smithville Police arrested a woman last week for allegedly pickpocketing.

32 year old Callie Howell is charged with theft of property. Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Tuesday, November 6, Howell allegedly walked up to the victim at a residence on Short Mountain Highway where he was working in the yard. Howell told him his pocket was sticking out and she reached in to fix it Later, the victim noticed that his wallet was missing. During the investigation, a detective went to Ms. Howell's residence and there he saw the victim's wallet on the kitchen table. Bond for Howell is $1,500 and she will be in court on November 15

Meanwhile 21 year old Ray Darnell Underwood was cited on Wednesday, November 7 for simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. Police were dispatched to Bell Street in reference to trespassers. While central dispatch was checking for warrants, the officer did a frisk search for weapons. Underwood put his hand in his pocket and when told by the officer to remove his hand, a small baggy containing a green leafy substance fell onto the ground.

27 year old Eric Wayne Tramel was cited for shoplifting on Thursday, November 8. An officer responded to Wal-Mart to check out a possible shoplifting and while speaking with the suspect, Tramel, merchandise began falling out of his jacket. His court date is December 6.

35 year old Crystal R King was arrested on Friday, November 9 for theft of property and she was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Police were dispatched to Rite Aid Pharmacy on a shoplifting call. Upon arrival, two Rite Aid Associates told the officer that a woman identified as King had just left in a car. The associates pointed out the car to the officer and informed him that King tried to leave the store with some merchandise but when confronted, she threw the items down and ran. After stopping the vehicle, police found King in possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on November 29.

63 year old Mary Louise Harris was arrested for DUI on Friday, November 9. According to the warrant, Harris was operating a motor vehicle which crashed into the Court House steps. She was very disoriented and unsteady on her feet. Harris was unable to do field sobriety tasks because of her intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is December 6.

27 year old Eric Wayne Tramel was arrested on Sunday, November 11 for aggravated burglary, simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance and evading arrest. Warrants state that officers responded to a residence due to a burglary in progress. Police spoke to the victim who said that a man had forced his way into the home, chased his wife out the back door, and then locked them out. During the investigation, central dispatch received a call of a man fitting the same description at another residence down the street. The officers ran down the street and made contact with the man, later identified as Eric Tramel. Police ordered Tramel to remove his hands from his pockets. Tramel complied but acted as though he was pointing a gun. Tramel was told to get on the ground but as more commands were given, he got up to run. After he refused police commands to stop, Tramel was tased. Found in his pocket were a box cutter and pills. Tramel had no gun. Bond for Tramel is $16,500 and he will be in court on November 29.

49 year old Robert Todd Williams was arrested on Sunday, November 11 for domestic assault. The warrant states that Williams and a family member got into a verbal argument and Williams threw a small table hitting the victim in the right arm, cutting the victim's arm causing it to bleed. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is November 29.

39 year old Jeffery Sanders was arrested on Monday, November 12 for simple possession, resisting arrest and he was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. 36 year old Lonnie Lynn Wheeler was also arrested in the case for stop, halt and frisk and he was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. The warrants state that police responded to the area of Riley Avenue and Golf Club Drive where two men were going door to door asking for gas and becoming irate with the homeowners. The officers made contact with the men, Sanders and Wheeler. One of the officers noticed that Sanders appeared to be trying to hide something in the waistband of his pants. For the officer's safety, Sanders was patted down and told to place his hands flat on the hood of the patrol car. Sanders kept moving his right hand to the gap between the hood and windshield and refused to place his hand flat on the hood. Sanders also tried to resist arrest by lying down on his hands. He was subsequently handcuffed. Police found drug paraphernalia around the waist of his pants. Officers also found a small baggie of a white powdery substance, believed to be methamphetamine in the area where Sanders was cuffed. Wheeler was confronted by police at a residence Golf Club Drive. Wheeler was standing by a vehicle at the driver's side rear door, which was open. He had something in his hand. The officer ordered Wheeler to show his hands. Wheeler refused to comply and proceeded to walk around the back of the vehicle to the other side. The officer then saw Wheeler throw something which was later found to be a hypodermic needle. Bond for Sanders is $5,500. Wheeler's bond is $3,500. They will be in court on November 29.

Meanwhile, anyone with information on criminal activities is asked to please 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 will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

Infinity Athletics Stunners Bring Home Grand Championship

November 13, 2012
The Infinity Athletics Storm and Stunners

The Infinity Athletics Storm and Stunners had another successful weekend at Municipal Auditorium. The show team, Storm put on another spectacular performance, while the Stunners brought home 1st Place and Grand Champion. Both teams will be performing during some upcoming high school basketball games during halftime. They will be competing in the Nationals competition in Atlanta, as well as some more regional competitions early in 2013.

Pictured are:
Top (L-R) Rachel Rhody, Katherine Malone, Chloe Sykes, Leah Davis, Alley Sykes, Coach Avarie Maynard
Middle (L-R) Coach Jennifer Sykes, Kailey Herron, Kaitlyn Fish, Zoe Cripps, Keegan Martin, Preston Summers
Bottom (L-R) Elaina Turner, Braelyn Teachout, Peyton Norris, Hannah Trapp

Not Pictured: Malia Stanley, Shaunta Koegler, and Natalie Snipes

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