Local News Articles

Chamber Announces "Jamboree Project Welcome Mat" Winners

June 25, 2015
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Community Hospital– Winner of People’s Choice Award (Digital Billboard)
Wilson Bank and Trust – Winner of Best Worded Sign (Sign 1)
Wilson Bank and Trust – Winner of Best Worded Sign (Sign 2)
Liberty State Bank – Winner of Most Original Sign (Sign 1)
Liberty State Bank – Winner of Most Original Sign (Sign 2)
Cumberland Insurance – Honorable Mention
First Assembly of God – Honorable Mention

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2015 "Project Welcome Mat" in time for the Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival July 3 & 4.

This year's winners are as follows: People’s Choice – DeKalb Community Hospital; Best Worded- Wilson Bank & Trust; Most Original –Liberty State Bank

The Project Welcome Mat Honorable Mentions include Cumberland Insurance whose sign read “Welcome to you far and near, The Jamboree is finally here. Music, Craft, and Food Galore, It’s Fiddler’s #44” and First Assembly of God whose revolving digital sign message complete with musical notes and fun graphics read “Grab Your Guitar and Tune Your Banjo, It’s off to the Fiddlers’ Jamboree, Getting Ready to Go, Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival, July 3rd and 4th, Ya’ll Come.”

"We want to thank all the businesses and churches for participating in the 14th Annual Chamber of Commerce “Jamboree Project Welcome Mat” contest and using your message signs to welcome Jamboree visitors. It’s vitally important to make sure that our guests know how appreciated and important they are. This year was extra tough trying to decide on the winners," said Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce.

DeKalb Community Hospital received the Chamber’s “People’s Choice” award for helping to promote the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival on the highly visible, digital billboard next to Hardee’s. The beautiful custom artwork reminds locals and tourists alike “That the Jamboree You Love Just Got Better!”

The Chamber of Commerce presented the Project Welcome Mat’s “Best Worded” award to Wilson Bank and Trust for their inventive messages that will most certainly bring a smile to our Jamboree visitors. They creatively used every square inch of their marquee on both sides to get their fun welcome message across to tourists. This year's greetings are: "Welcome Jamboree 44. Music's not all that's in store. Food & Fun. Even a 5K Run" (sign one) and "Welcome Jamboree. Listen, Relax under a tree. Music & Crafts too waiting for you" (sign two)

The Chamber of Commerce presented the Jamboree Project Welcome Mat award for “Most Original” sign to Liberty State Bank providing imaginative messages on both sides of their sign ensuring a warm reception for our tourists. This year's greetings are" Jamboree 44 is Knocking on the Door" (sign one) and "Pickin', Grinnin', Cloggin' Oh How Great! See this & more at Jamboree 44" (sign two)

DeKalb Community Hospital– Winner of People’s Choice Award (Digital Billboard)
Pictured l-r:
Row 1: Chamber Board Member Kathy Hendrixson, Erika Jenkins, Mandy Young, Chamber Board Member Julia Vanderpool, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams
Row 2: Chamber Board Member Shannon Adkins, Chamber President Jeff Crips, Tia Young, Sarah White, Phyllis Good

Wilson Bank and Trust – Winner of Best Worded Sign
Picture – Sign 1
Pictured l-r: WB&T Consumer Lender Alex Woodward, WB&T Adm. Asst. June Keith, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, Chamber Board Members Kathy Hendrixson & Julia Vanderpool
Picture – Sign 2
Pictured l-r: Chamber Board Members Julia Vanderpool & Kathy Hendrixson, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, June Keith, Alex Woodward

Liberty State Bank – Winner of Most Original Sign

Picture – Sign 1
Pictured l-r:
Chamber Director Suzanne Williams; Liberty State Bank Employees: Charlene Adcock, Lisa Garrison, Amanda Green, Annette Jacoby, Denise Barrett, Madison Hayes, Chamber Board Members Kathy Hendrixson & Julia Vanderpool

Picture - Sign 2
Pictured l-r:
Denise Barrett, Chamber Board Members Julia Vanderpool & Kathy Hendrixson, Madison Hayes, Amanda Green, Lisa Garrison, Charlene Adcock, Annette Jacoby, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

Cumberland Insurance – Honorable Mention
Pictured l-r:
Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, Cumberland Insurance employee Kim Kyle, Cumberland Insurance Employee & Chamber Board Member Julia Vanderpool, Cumberland Insurance Employee Glenda Randolph, Chamber Board Member Kathy Hendrixson

First Assembly of God – Honorable Mention

DeKalb Prevention Coalition working to develop plans in addressing prescription drug abuse and other concerns

June 25, 2015
Norene Puckett
Norene Puckett
DeKalb County Prevention Coalition

Community action makes a difference! The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition wants to make our citizens aware of the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and addiction and take action. The mission of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition is to work to promote a safe, healthy and productive environment that prevents destructive opportunities among the youth and adults of our community.

According to the Tennessee Department of Children Services as of June 8, 2015, there were 855 kids in custody in the Upper Cumberland, which is the highest of all areas in the State of Tennessee. DeKalb has 57 children in care. It is reported that 80% of the removals in DeKalb County were due to drug use.

In the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 70% of people who abused or misused prescription drugs got them from a friend or relative, either for free, by purchasing them, or by stealing them (SAMHSA, 2010). A staggering statistic to be sure, especially when we consider that Tennesseans were more than three times more likely to identify prescription pain relievers (e.g. hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, buprenorphine…) as their primary substance of abuse than the national average in 2010 (SAMHSA, 2012). By not properly controlling these medications in our home, we put ourselves and others at risk, which is why the DeKalb County Prevention Coalition wants to help you learn the best way to protect yourself, your family members, and your community.

Burden Spending is spending related to smoking, underage and excessive drinking, illegal drug use and illegal prescription abuse (i.e., healthcare spending, Medicaid/Medicare, child welfare, income assistance, employee assistance, house/homeless assistance, food/nutritional assistance, family assistance, education, mental health, developmental disabilities, public safety (law enforcement), adult corrections, juvenile justice, drug courts and criminal courts). Tennessee’s cost of burden expenditures related to drug and alcohol abuse was $7.4 billion in 2014. Multiply our population (currently 18,723 according to the 2010 census) times the estimated Federal Per-Capita Burden Spending which is $1,133.1 = $21 million dollars per year.

By having a coalition in our County we can be saving $4.60 per dollar spent reducing burden spending. The State can reduce burden spending as much as -$124,504,787.49 just through prevention efforts enacted by county prevention coalitions.

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition is working to develop prevention plans to address the staggering number of children in custody and overall prescription drug abuse, but we need your help. We will be working together, as a community to put activities in place that will reduce non-medical prescription drug abuse at the community level. To move forward in a positive manner, it will take our community coming together and getting actively involved. We will partner with youth, parent groups, law enforcement, businesses, schools, religious and civic groups and healthcare organizations. The next Coalition meeting will be June 30, 2015 @12:00p.m. in the conference room at the Haven of Hope counseling center located at 612 South Congress Blvd. Smithville, TN on the bottom level.

If you would like to have more information, please contact Norene Puckett, Coalition member at 615-215-8690 or at norene.drugcourt@gmail.com.

Special Event Station To Be Held At Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree

June 25, 2015
William Freddy Curtis
Special Event Station To Be Held At Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club will be conducting a Special Event Station during the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree on Saturday, July 4th, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library. Ham radio operators will utilize their skills to contact other amateur (Ham) stations throughout the US and worldwide to publicize and show local support for the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree. These contacts will take place on the following frequencies in the Amateur Radio Bands: 14.280 (USB), 14.045 (CW), 7.275 (LSB) & 7.045 (CW) MHZ. The public is invited to come by and participate in this event. All amateurs in the area are asked to monitor 145.49 MHZ for more information.

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of amateur radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. Call 597-9563 for additional details and information.

Attached Picture Caption = Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station operate under the tent at the 43rd Annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival last year 2014 included: Left to Right - W4WFC ex:KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis and N4LZY – Jerry Elkins. Photo Courtesy of NF9G – Kathy Kujawski.

Three Finalists Remain in Director of Schools Search

June 24, 2015
Dwayne Page
DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps
Supervisor of Special Education Gina Arnold
Michael James Steele, Executive Principal for Statford STEM High School. He is from Spring Hill, Tennessee.

The DeKalb County Board of Education has apparently narrowed the Director of Schools search to three finalists.

During a workshop Tuesday evening, the Board reviewed the applications and resumes received and selected their top three candidates including DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps, Supervisor of Special Education Gina Arnold , and Michael James Steele, Executive Principal for Statford STEM High School. He is from Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Seven persons submitted applications and or resumes seeking the Director of Schools position in DeKalb County. The other candidates who apparently will no longer be considered are Anthony D. Pack of Macon, Georgia; Greg Rockhold of Hobbs, New Mexico; Richard Ronald Rundhaug of Willcox, Arizona; and another candidate who requested to remain anonymous unless she made the list of finalists.

The Board must now decide the next step to take in the selection process. According to the policy, the board must develop selection procedures which shall include, but not be limited to the following:

The interview process for each finalist shall include meetings with various staff and community groups and an interview with the entire board.

Candidates shall be interviewed by the Board in an open session. Only board members will be allowed to ask questions during the interview.

The Board will attempt to select a director by unanimous vote, but a majority of the membership of the Board shall be required for the appointment of a director of schools.

The next workshop is set for Tuesday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m. at the Board of Education building.

Commissioner of Tourist Development Coming to DeKalb County

June 24, 2015
 Commissioner of Tourist Development, Kevin Triplett

The public is invited to attend a ‘Meet and Greet’ to honor the newly appointed Commissioner of Tourist Development, Kevin Triplett. Commissioner Triplett will be visiting Smithville on Wednesday, July 8th at the DeKalb County Complex auditorium from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. After speaking, the commissioner will have a question and answer time. Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, and State Representative Mark Pody will also be in attendance.

County Mayor Tim Stribling and Chamber Director Suzanne Williams urges all county and city leaders, business and community leaders, as well as the general public to attend this important and informative event. “This is a great opportunity to meet our new Commissioner of Tourist Development and to help him be aware of all that DeKalb County has to offer,” says Williams, “Currently, DeKalb County has the third highest tourism dollars in the Upper Cumberland region bringing approximately $39 million dollars to our county and around 4 million visitors annually.”

Everyone is invited for this rare opportunity of meeting and visiting with Commissioner Triplett on Wednesday, July 8th at the County Complex auditorium from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at (615) 597-4163

Three Sentenced in Kidnapping Case

June 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
Jimmy Tolbert (J.J.) Hendrixson, Jr
Casey Joseph Jacobs
Comas Brian Higgins

Three men accused of kidnapping a man and woman and beating them with an axe handle in July, 2014 were sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday, June 23

43 year old Jimmy Tolbert (J.J.) Hendrixson, Jr., 37 year old Casey Joseph Jacobs, and 49 year old Comas Brian Higgins each originally charged with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, entered pleas to lesser charges. Hendrixson received a twelve year sentence after pleading to kidnapping. He is to serve at 35% before parole eligibility. He was given jail credit for 128 days served.

Jacobs and Higgins each entered a plea by information to a charge of aggravated assault. Each received a six year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Corrections to serve at 30%. Both were given jail credit for days served including 339 days for Jacobs and 340 for Higgins.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Hendrixson, Jacobs, and Higgins met their victims at a bridge on the New Bildad Road Friday night, July 18, 2014 and assaulted them with an axe handle. Both victims were then tied up and their mouths were taped shut. The male victim managed to escape and ran to a residence nearby where he called for help. The three abductors then drove the female victim to their home on the Old Snow Hill Road.

"After we got the call, I along with detectives and deputies of the sheriff's department arrived (on New Bildad Road) and found an individual (male victim) who had minor injuries. We took a statement from him and learned who the individuals were who assaulted and tied him up. He told us of a female that had been done the same way. We found her (at residence on Old Snow Hill Road) and took her into safe keeping. We arrested the three individuals responsible," said Sheriff Ray.

The arrest warrants against Hendrixson, Jacobs, and Higgins all alleged that on Friday, July 18, 2014 they held a woman and man against their will. The man and woman were tied up with a rope and their mouths were taped shut. The man and woman had each been assaulted with an axe handle. The woman had several marks on her body from the axe handle and rope. The man suffered bodily injuries causing him to be transported by DeKalb EMS to the hospital where he was treated and released. Neither victim was seriously hurt in the attack.

Sheriff Ray gave no motive for the kidnapping and assault.

Sparta Man Charged with Vandalism and Assault

June 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
David Dee Mabe

A Sparta man was arrested Saturday after causing damage while allegedly trying to break-in to a home on Indian Mound Road and then assaulting an officer while being placed in custody.

58 year old David Dee Mabe of Cedar Creek, Sparta is charged with public intoxication; resist, stop, frisk, and halt; assault; and two counts of vandalism. He was further cited by the THP for leaving the scene of an accident and for failure to exercise due care. His bond totals $12,000 and he will be in court July 16.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday, June 20 a deputy was dispatched to Indian Mound Road for a break-in in progress. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the complainant who said that the suspect (Mabe) tried to gain entry to his residence by pulling on the front door. In doing so, Mabe caused a total of $319 in damage to the door knob and frame. Mabe, who was on the scene, refused to cooperate with the officer. Mabe was found to be very disoriented and staggered when he walked. The deputy also detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mabe's truck. As the officer was trying to arrest him, Mabe resisted by kicking and attempting to tackle the deputy. Mabe was subsequently placed in custody. While enroute to jail, Mabe caused over $500 in damage to the patrol car by repeatedly kicking the back passenger door.

Meanwhile, 34 year old Teodoro Garcia of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 23. He was further issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, June 13 a deputy was dispatched to Short Mountain Highway due to a vehicle accident. The officer spoke with Garcia, who had wrecked the automobile. A computer check revealed that Garcia's license were revoked for DUI in Rutherford County on February 24, 2011. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

49 year old Edward Dale Caldwell of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for not wearing a seatbelt, violation of the registration law, violation of driving on roadways laned for travel, simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia (marijuana pipe). His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court August 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, June 15 a deputy stopped a red truck traveling on Highway 56 north for crossing the white emergency line multiple times. The driver, Caldwell informed the officer that he had taken multiple medications. Caldwell submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also took a blood test. After receiving consent to search, the deputy found 5.2 grams of marijuana in the middle console. A pipe, believed to have been used to smoke marijuana, was also recovered from Caldwell's pocket.

28 year old Johnathon Adam Rice of Oakley Road, Liberty is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance August 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, June 15 Rice walked into the Sheriff's Department for a visit. Rice could barely keep his eyes open. He admitted to having consumed beer and liquor and added that he had smoked marijuana. For his safety, Rice was placed under arrest.

47 year old Tania Mullinax of Smithville Highway, Silver Point is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will make a court appearance June 25. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, June 16 Mullinax assaulted her husband by scratching him around the face and neck area leaving visible marks.

39 year old Amy Jo Scott of Rosewood Lane, Smithville is cited for simple possession of schedule II, IV, & V drugs. She will be in court on July 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, June 10 a deputy went to a residence on Rosewood Lane to serve an arrest warrant on Scott. While there, the officer noticed that Scott picked up and concealed a silver pill container in her hand. The officer retrieved the container and found inside two Lyrica pills, a schedule V drug; one Klonopin, a schedule IV drug; four Ativan, a schedule IV drug, and one Vyvanse, a schedule II drug.

38 year old Randy Douglas Beach of Shady Oak Circle, Cookeville is cited for simple possession of marijuana. He will make a court appearance on July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, June 13 while talking to Beach, a detective spotted a marijuana joint in the door handle of his vehicle, a 1989 Chevy Blazer. During a search of Beach's person, the detective found a small baggie containing marijuana in his front pants pocket.

26 year old Matthew Tyler Hale of Upper Helton Road, Alexandria is cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia (marijuana pipe). He will make a court appearance on August 27. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy stopped a car for a traffic violation Tuesday, June 16 on Nashville Highway. After receiving consent to search, the officer found a pipe and less than a half ounce of marijuana under the passenger side seat of the vehicle. Marijuana (3.6 grams) was found with the pipe. Hale, the passenger, said he knew the pipe was there.

Five days later on Sunday, June 21, Hale was cited for not wearing a seatbelt and for driving on a suspended license. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy stopped a 2000 Chevy Cavalier. The driver, Hale, was not wearing a seatbelt. Hale also could not produce a valid driver's license. A computer check revealed his license were suspended on February 12, 2015 for failure to provide insurance.

Local Man Seeks Permit for Home Brewery

June 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
Alexander William Seitz

A local man is seeking a manufacturer's permit from the DeKalb County Beer Board to establish a Micro or Nano research brewery for the distribution of commercial beer.

Alexander William Seitz of Floyd Drive, Smithville plans to operate the business from his home to be called "Caney Fork Theoretic Ales". His permit application will be considered by the beer board at its next meeting on Thursday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Complex UT Extension Office.

Seitz, a clinical research technician, told WJLE Tuesday that he got the idea for starting his own home brewery after working for two years at Calfkiller Brewing Company in Sparta as a research and quality laboratory manager. "I wanted to bring this home to our county. This will be a nano sized brewery to dispose of artisan beer made during research. I plan to do very small batches and bring back the culture and history of some beers that you don't get to see much in our area. It's a little bit different from your average brewery. It's a research brewery, " he said.

Seitz hopes to market his beer through the Calfkiller Brewing Company and Grass Roots distribution. "Calfkiller owns its own distribution company and its Grass Roots Distributing so I would just sell it to Calfkiller and they would distribute through their distribution company. It would probably be available at one or two restaurants in the Smithville, Cookeville or McMinnville area or wherever I could find a popular audience and then maybe do small bottles from special occasion batches," he said.

If granted a permit, Seitz said he plans to begin operations as soon as possible. "I live on Center Hill Lake and I have a home with a full size basement. My plans are to produce the beer there. A lot of big breweries have started out this way. It allows me to have very close control. I want to take a lot of care and time and it will be a real easy way for me to do that by being right there with it all the time. As soon as I get permitted I am going to start designing. I have already started retrofitting the basement. I also plan to put a special chamber outside to do some open air fermentation," said Seitz.

Although he plans to begin the brewery as a sole venture, Seitz said he may bring in others later. "I will be by myself at first but I would like to find a few other people. I have a home brew group right now. Jason Lemanski of Cookeville is the one person I brew with right now. I would definitely like to find some other interested people if it all pans out," said Seitz.

Seitz moved to DeKalb County almost four years ago from Texas. "My step father moved us here from Texas. He was a musician in a band called the Marshall Tucker Band. We decided to move up here from Texas and I decided to stay I liked it so much," said Seitz.

17th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run Set for July 4th

June 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
 Tecia Puckett Pryor
Fiddler 5K
New Fiddler 5K T-Shirt for 2015

The 17th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will be Saturday, July 4, the weekend of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree. All proceeds from the race will be used in building another Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County.

The race will begin promptly at 7:00 a.m., RAIN OR SHINE. The course begins and ends on Church Street in Downtown Smithville. "We encourage anybody who is interested in doing either the one mile fun run or the 5K which is a 3.1 mile course to go to www.fiddler5k.com where you'll find a printable registration form that provides all the details of registration and a link to online registration," said Race Director Tecia Puckett Pryor.


2015 Registration Form.pdf (160.54 KB)

The direct link to online preregistration is:

Paper registrations must be submitted no later than Monday, June 29. "If you want to register by paper. If you want to print out a form and mail it in or bring it by my office, that needs to be done by Monday, June 29. If you pre-register online you need to do that by midnight Wednesday, July 1. The advantage of pre-registering is that you save $5.00 and you may pick up your packet on Friday evening, July 3 from 5-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Life Enrichment Center on Church Street, which is also the start line for the race. That's a real perk in that you don't have to get up quite as early on Saturday morning, July 4. You'll already have your race bib and t-shirt and you'll be ready to go. But you can still pick up your packet on Saturday morning. You don't have to pick it up on Friday night if that doesn't work for you," said Pryor.

Participants may also sign up on race day."The cost of race day registration is $30 and $25 for those age 18 and younger. Again, for early registration it's $25 for adults age 19 and older and for youth its $20 for ages 18 and younger so you save a little bit of money by pre-registering," Pryor said.

"A few years ago we went to chip timing where you have a chip on your bib and when you cross the finish line it will instantly tell you how fast you did the race. We have a gun start meaning that the start is not chip timed, everybody starts at the same time but the finish is chip timed," she said.

"For our awards, we give an overall male award and a female award for the fastest runners. We also started giving a Masters award a few years ago which is for the fastest male and female age 40 and older. We also give out the top three awards in the age categories of nine and younger, and then go up from there in five year increments. We give ribbons for those categories. For the Fun Run, we only give awards for children who are age twelve and younger. We give overall awards for male and female and then we do the top three. Everybody gets a nice ribbon and the overall winners get medals. We also have some goodies for the first place winners," said Pryor.

"We changed the course a few years ago. The start line is no longer on Highway 56. It starts right across from the Life Enrichment Center on Church Street and goes down town hill by the swimming pool and the golf course, up Riley Avenue by the hospital and then comes up Main Street to the finish. It's a fairly challenging course but it's really a beautiful course with all the trees as you go down town hill and coming up Main Street," she said.

"A lot of kids participate in the One Mile Fun Run and we also have adults that just like to get out to walk a mile and be part of this. The Fun Run stays right in town. It does not go down town hill. We have it really well marked. Both races end right at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. In the parking lot of the funeral home is where we will be on Saturday morning so if you want to register and you haven't by then be there by 6:00 a.m. and we'll get you registered. If you pre-registered and didn't pick up your packet on Friday night then come to the same place, the Love-Cantrell Funeral Home parking lot because that's where we will be set up to start and finish," said Pryor.

Spectators are urged to come out and cheer on the runners the morning of the race. "If you live along the race course, get out and cheer on these runners. It's great when you're out running and you see people out cheering for you," she said.

For more information or copies of paper registrations call the office of Tecia Puckett Pryor at 615-597-7370 or stop by at 312 West Broad Street, Smithville.

Funds raised through the Fiddler 5K support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. "We hope to have a great turnout and raise a lot of money for Habitat. We hope to see everybody on Saturday, July 4," Pryor concluded.

2015 Registration Form.pdf (160.54 KB)

County to Accept Applications for Judicial Commissioner Positions

June 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
Members of County Commission (Older Photo)

The county commission will be looking to appoint judicial commissioners next month.

During Monday night's meeting, the commission authorized the judicial committee to accept and review applications and then make a recommendation to the entire county commission in July. That committee is made up of the General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Mayor, and a representative of the District Attorney General's Office.

County Mayor Tim Stribling informed the county commission that an advertisement will be published seeking applicants for the three judicial commissioner positions through noon July 10. The positions are currently held by Jerry Taylor, Hoyte Barrett, and Taft Hendrixson and their pay is $884 per month.

Judicial commissioners are responsible for the issuance of criminal arrest warrants upon finding probable cause. They are subject to call at all hours of the day and night. Judicial commissioners serve at the pleasure of the county commission and their terms of office can be one year to four years.

Meanwhile, the county commission is in search of a new office for judicial commissioners to write warrants for the public. Sheriff Patrick Ray has given notice to the county mayor that he will no longer provide office space or supplies and equipment for the judicial commissioners as of June 30. After talking with him, County Mayor Stribling said Sheriff Ray has agreed to extend the deadline by one month to give the county more time to find a place.

While the county is considering other location options, Fifth district commissioner Anita Puckett made a motion that a letter be sent to the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen asking for them to provide space at city hall for use by judicial commissioners including the supplies and copier they need. The reason for making the request of the city is because the county funds all salaries of judicial commissioners who write warrants for the public and all law enforcement agencies including the Smithville Police Department. The motion was approved on an 11-0-1 vote. Seventh district member Kevin Robinson, who is employed by the city, passed.

In other business, the commission approved a request for a one year pilot program authorizing the library system to occupy a room at the county complex for a satellite location (Bookmobile) for library outreach, using books and other resources from the Liberty Library which is closing on Friday, June 26 due to lack of activity there. "We are partnering with Motlow for computer classes. We're partnering with UT. We're doing art classes over there. We also want to use this space to get our bookmobile started back up again and do more outreach. We're close to the schools. We're close to the senior centers. We're close to preschools that we can outreach to them with the bookmobile. We can also use that as a satellite center to do our technology. We want to teach people how to use their eReaders, Nooks, etc to download READS programs from the state. We're wanting to do more technology and that room (county complex) would give us that opportunity. We really don't have the space in our library to do that right now," said Library Director Kathy Hendrixson.

The commissioners approved the reappointment of Brenda Hooper and Annette Greek to the DeKalb County Library Board of Trustees for new three year terms.

County Mayor Stribling announced that he was appointing Leslie B. Enoch, II as a commissioner to the Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District.

The commission adopted a continuation budget and tax rate resolution to keep county government operating until a new budget and property tax rate are approved later this summer.

A travel policy was approved for the county highway department which will be the same as used by the state and county. No such policy has ever been established for the highway department and state auditors recommended that it be done.

The commission approved a five year use agreement to allow Motlow State Community College to continue using two rooms rent free at the county complex for a classroom and computer lab.

A one year lease renewal was also approved for the Tennessee Opportunity Programs which operates out of one room at the county complex for $200 per month. The program seeks to empower migrant and seasonal farm workers and other disadvantaged persons to achieve economic self sufficiency by providing services that address their individual needs.

A county fire department 2000 Ford Expedition with 177,000 miles was declared surplus property and will be disposed of through Gov Deals.

Meanwhile, Circuit Court Judge Amy Hollars, as presiding judge of the 13th Judicial District, has sent an open letter to the county mayor and county commission asking them to approve a plan to enhance security at the courthouse. County Mayor Stribling said Sheriff Patrick Ray has been working on some suggestions and a committee may review the concerns and make a recommendation to the entire commission.

Developing a policy and criteria in posting speed limits on county roads is something fourth district commissioner Wayne Cantrell believes the commission should establish. The county often receives requests from the public to post speed limits in their neighborhoods. Cantrell is asking that the issue be discussed more indepth next month. "We're going to have every road in the county posted if we're not careful. I think we need to have some folks go out and look at these (roads) and make sure that they should be posted and make sure that Joe is not mad at his neighbor Jim because he feels like he is speeding down the road or something. We need to have some kind of criteria to post these roads if they even need posting. It's getting pretty expensive too (to post road signs)," said Cantrell.


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