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November Elections to Include City Wine and Liquor Referendums

August 8, 2016
Dwayne Page

Referendums will be on the November 8 ballot in the City of Smithville including one asking voters to permit grocery stores to sell wine and the other to allow liquor by the drink in restaurants.

The referendums were verified with the number of signatures required to get the questions on the November 8 election ballot. The election commission has approved placing the referendums on the ballot

"A wine at retail food stores referendum may only be called by petition of registered voters in jurisdictions which have held and passed either a referendum to authorize retail package stores or a referendum to authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises," said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.

“Two years ago Smithville voters approved retail package stores, thus making the city eligible for wine at retail food stores,” he said. “To call a wine at retail food stores referendum, a petition must be signed by 10% or more of the registered voters casting a ballot for governor in the last city election.”

In addition, the petition has to be filed with the election commission no later than 75 days before the upcoming November election. That requirement
was also met.

The other referendum seeks to authorize alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in restaurants. Both referendums apply only to the City of Smithville.

“A Retail food store” is defined in the law as a business that derives at least 20 percent of its sales from the retail sale of food and food ingredients and has floor space of at least 1,200 square feet. The law requires that food sales be those types of sales taxed at the lower, 5 percent state rate, rather than the higher sales tax rate applied to sales of prepared food. It appears that this definition will prevent most convenience stores and gas stations from obtaining licenses to sell wine.

If voters approve the sale of wine in grocery stores and or liquor by the drink in restaurants, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission will be the body to issue “ licenses”.

Applicants for wine in grocery stores must submit a certificate from the city, signed by the mayor, stating that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony in the past ten years and that the applicant has a location for their business inside the city limits. If a city fails to issue a certificate to an applicant within 60 days after receiving a written application, the commission will waive the certificate requirement.

Store ownership is not required in order to receive a license, as store owners may enter into franchise or management agreements with licensees. Cities may not limit the number of retail food store wine licenses to be issued in their jurisdiction nor require that applicants reside in the city.

Grocery stores located within 500 feet of package stores may not obtain licenses to sell wine until July 1, 2017, unless the package store owner provides written permission to the commission. Any package store owner who refuses such permission cannot sell those additional items permitted by the law until such time as the grocery store obtains permission to sell wine.

Early Voting Dates Announced for November 8 Elections

August 8, 2016
Dwayne Page
Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton

Early voting for the U.S. Presidential Election and Tennessee General Election will be October 19 through November 3. Election day is Tuesday, November 8

The major Presidential candidates are Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Other candidates for President and electors for President will also be on the ballot.

Sixth District Congressman Diane Black of Gallatin will face Democratic nominee David W. Kent of Cottontown and Independent David Ross of White House. The term is two years.

The 6th Congressional District includes Pickett, Fentress, Cumberland, White, DeKalb, Cannon, Coffee, Wilson, Smith, Jackson, Overton, Clay, Putnam, Trousdale, Macon, Sumner and Robertson Counties and small portions of Van Buren and Cheatham counties.

In the 40th Legislative District, Republican incumbent Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster will be challenged by Democratic nominee Gayla Colvert Hendrix of Smithville. The term is two years. The district is made up of Smith and Trousdale counties and a portion of DeKalb and Sumner counties.

In the 46th Legislative District, Republican incumbent Mark Pody of Lebanon will be running against Democratic nominee Amelia Hipps of Lebanon. The term is two years. The district is made up of Cannon and a portion of DeKalb and Wilson counties.

The City of Smithville will have two referendums including one seeking the sale of wine in grocery stores and the other to allow liquor by the drink in restaurants.

Chancery Court Hearing Set on County's Request for Injunction to Keep Gate off Sunset Drive

August 6, 2016
Dwayne Page

A Chancery Court hearing date has been set on the county’s request for a temporary and permanent injunction to have Robert Grant Manning enjoined from erecting a gate across Sunset Drive in the Belk community.

Chancellor Ron Thurman will hold the hearing Monday, August 22 at 9 a.m. at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

County Attorney Hilton Conger filed the complaint with the Chancery Court on Friday, August 5 to obtain a temporary and permanent injunction on behalf of DeKalb County Road Superintendent Wallace “Butch” Agee, the plaintiff for the county in the case.

In June, the county commission voted to take Manning to court for blocking Sunset Drive with a gate. The county’s position is that Sunset Drive is a county road. Manning apparently disputes that claim.

In the complaint filed by Conger on Friday “Sunset Drive is a gravel road which runs generally north and south through the lands of the defendant (Manning) for a distance of approximately .2 of a mile and has been on the official DeKalb County Road list since January 26, 1998.”

“The defendant (Manning) has erected a gate across Sunset Drive where it intersects with the Allen Bend Road."

“In December 2015, the county demanded that the gate be removed and in January, 2016 the Road Superintendent removed the gate."

“The defendant (Manning) has recently replaced the gate across Sunset Drive and locked the gate with a log chain."

“On August 1, 2016, the Road Supervisor once again with the assistance of the County Sheriff, removed the gate."

“At least one other DeKalb County resident owns property which is served by Sunset Drive."

“Unless restrained the defendant (Manning) will continue to obstruct Sunset Drive."

“Unless this Court issues both temporary and permanent injunction, Plaintiff (County) and its citizens will suffer irreparable harm, the defendant (Manning) will not be prejudiced and the probability of Plaintiff (County) prevailing is great and the injunction will be in the public interest."

The Plaintiff requests the court to issue a temporary injunction and a permanent injunction enjoining the defendant (Manning) from obstructing or in any way impeding access to Sunset Drive .

Manning has not yet filed an answer to the complaint in court.

Shannon Cantrell Unseats Incumbent Scott Cantrell in Tight Property Assessor's Race

August 4, 2016
Dwayne Page
Shannon Cantrell
W.J. (Dub) Evins III
Shawn Jacobs
Josh Miller
Danny Washer
Julie Williams Young
Gayla Hendrix
Diane Black
David Kent
Jason Taylor
Pam Redmon elected new Dowelltown Mayor

By a total of only 54 votes, Republican challenger Shannon Cantrell unseated incumbent Democratic Property Assessor, Scott Cantrell, in Thursday's DeKalb County General Election. Shannon Cantrell carried 10 of the county's 15 precincts and totaled 1,216 votes (51.1 percent) to incumbent Scott Cantrell's 1,162 votes (48.9 percent). Despite losing out on Early and Absentee votes, 533 to 480, Shannon Cantrell more than made up the difference on Election Day, by carrying the precincts at Alexandria, the Church of Christ Annex, Dowelltown, Edgar Evins State Park, Johnson's Chapel, Keltonburg, Liberty, Rock Castle, Snow Hill and Temperance Hall.

“Let me thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am nothing without Him. My family and friends have done so much for me. I appreciate the opportunity from the Republican Party to run. I thank the voters who came out today either way they cast their ballot. We’re pleased with the outcome and we look forward to serving for the next four years. Let me say to Scott and his family I appreciate the race that he ran and for his hard work and dedication. It was a clean race. I’m not going to start naming names but I have family from cousins to brothers and sisters, mom and certainly I want to thank my wife and my children who stand behind me whatever I choose to do. They have done that in this election as well. Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way. We really appreciate it,” said Shannon Cantrell.

“I’d like to thank God for all his many blessings at all times and to all my family who has done so much for me during this campaign and through my life. And thanks to all those who have worked so hard behind the scenes for me. And a big, big special thanks to all who came out and voted for me. I truly appreciate it. I really do. And for my staff in the office, I couldn’t have done the last four years without them. I send out love to everybody,” said Scott Cantrell.

A total of 2,525 voted in the election including 1,402 on election day and 1,123 by absentee or during early voting.

A breakdown of the vote totals in the contested races by precinct can be found here: http://www.wjle.com/election-results

Meanwhile, Fifth District School Board member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III retained his seat, holding off challengers, Barry Mabe and Kevin Hale for a new four year term. Evins carried the Early and Absentee votes, plus the Election Day vote at the County Complex for a total of 169 votes. Mabe was next with 126 votes, while Hale finished third with 90 votes. Mabe carried the Johnson's Chapel precinct in his unsuccessful bid to unseat the longtime incumbent.

Fourth and Sixth District School Board members, Kate Miller and Doug Stephens, were each unopposed in their election bids. Miller received 283 votes to finish out an unexpired term through August 31, 2018 and Stephens was elected to a new four year term with 174 votes.

In the city of Smithville, the three incumbent members of the city council all retained their seats, fighting off challenges from two opponents. Incumbent Shawn Jacobs led the city ticket with 420 votes, followed by fellow incumbents Josh Miller and Danny Washer, who polled 390 and 351 votes, respectively. Challenger Ronald Dale Stanley came up short with 205 votes, while Richard Steinbach tallied 109 votes.

In other local contested races, Democrat Julie Willams Young won a seat on the DeKalb County Commission in the First District, defeating Republican opponent Tom Chandler, 154 votes to 136. Chandler won the Edgar Evins State Park and Temperance Hall precincts, along with the Early and Absentee ballots, but Young dominated Chandler in the Alexandria precinct, 114 votes to 59, which proved to be the difference in the race. Young fills the seat vacated by former First District commission member, Elmer Ells Jr., who recently resigned.

In the First District Constable race, Democrat Jason Taylor won out over Republican opponent, Lee Plummer, 140 votes to 117. Taylor won two of the three precincts on Election Day, which helped overcome Plummer's 36 to 22 edge in Early and Absentee balloting.

Constables in the remaining districts were all unopposed. They included 2nd District —Thomas Theriaque, Republican (201 votes); 3rd District —Travis Bryant; Democrat (229 votes); 4th District —Paul Cantrell, Democrat (237 votes); 5th District —Mark Milam, Democrat (295 votes); 6th district —Carl Lee Webb, Democrat (181 votes); and 7th district — Johnny King, Democrat (201 votes)

Dowelltown has a new mayor. Pam Redmon ran unopposed and received 41 votes in the Municipal Election Thursday. Meanwhile William A. (Butch) Davis was elected Dowelltown alderman. He too ran unopposed and received 37 votes. Another alderman position was to have been filled in the election but no other candidate qualified. The terms are for four years.

The Liberty Municipal Election Thursday saw Dwayne Blair, Todd Dodd, and Jason Ray each win a four year term as alderman. They were unopposed. Blair received 42 votes. Dodd had 45 votes and Ray garnered 46 votes. Joe (J.D.) Bratten was elected alderman to fill a one year unexpired term. He was unopposed and received 55 votes.

In the 40th District State House of Representatives race, Gayla Colvert Hendrix of Smithville defeated Teresa Marion of Smith County in DeKalb County in their bid to earn the Democratic nomination for the November ballot. Hendrix carried all 11 DeKalb County precincts in the 40th District, as well as the Early and Absentee ballots for a total of 448 votes to 102 votes for Marion. The 40th district includes Smith, Trousdale and part of DeKalb and Sumner Counties. Hendrix went on to win the Democratic nomination in the district and will face Republican incumbent Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster in the November General Election. Weaver was unopposed in Thursday's primary election and received 831 votes in DeKalb County.

The 40th District results (District-Wide) according to the Tennessee Division of Elections website are as follows:
Gayla Colvert Hendrix:
DeKalb: 448
Smith: 325
Sumner: 202
Trousdale: 118
Total: 1,093

Teresa Marion:
DeKalb: 102
Smith: 115
Trousdale: 74
Total: 423

Terri Lynn Weaver:
DeKalb: 831
Sumner: 2,248
Trousdale: 376
Total: 4,397

In the 46th District State House of Representative race, Amelia Hipps of Lebanon was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. She received 155 votes in DeKalb County. She will face Republican incumbent Mark Pody of Lebanon in the November General Election. Pody was unopposed for the Republican nomination Thursday and he received 270 votes in DeKalb County.

The 46th District results (District-Wide) according to the Tennessee Division of Elections website are as follows:
Amelia Hipps:
DeKalb: 155
Cannon: 244
Wilson: 1,006
Total: 1,405

Mark Pody:
DeKalb: 270
Cannon: 1,015
Wilson: 3,366
Total: 4,651

In the race for the Sixth District Congressional seat, Republican incumbent Diane Black of Gallatin carried DeKalb County with 769 votes, defeating challengers Joe Carr of Lascassas, Tommy Hay of Monterey and Donald Strong of Crossville. Carr finished second in DeKalb County with 435 votes. Hay was a distant third with 29 votes, while Strong tallied 26 DeKalb County votes.

District-Wide, Black won the Republican nomination with 33,180 votes to 16,699 for Carr. Strong received 1,358 votes and Hay had 950.

In the Democratic Primary for the Sixth Congressional seat, David W. Kent of Cottontown carried DeKalb County with 418 votes, while Flo Matheson of Crossville finished with 135 votes.

District-Wide, Kent won the Democratic nomination for Congress with 7,568 votes to 3,728 for Matheson.

The Sixth Congressional District includes Pickett, Fentress, Cumberland, White, DeKalb, Cannon, Coffee, Wilson, Smith, Jackson, Overton, Clay, Putnam, Trousdale, Macon, Sumner and Robertson Counties and small portions of Van Buren and Cheatham counties.

A breakdown of the vote totals by precinct can be found here: http://www.wjle.com/election-results

Congressman Diane Black to Hold Smithville Town Hall Meeting

August 3, 2016
Dwayne Page
Congressman Diane Black

Congressman Diane Black has announced a series of town hall meetings that will be held throughout Tennessee’s 6th Congressional district during the week of August 8th – 12th.

She will have a Town Hall meeting in Smithville in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse on Thursday, August 11 at 5:00 p.m.

“I believe Tennesseans deserve a representative in Congress who is accountable to them and who listens to their concerns. In that spirit, I will be holding public town hall meetings across our region next week,” said Congressman Diane Black. “At each event, I’ll provide an update on the top issues I hear about from constituents, then we’ll give attendees an opportunity to ask me their questions directly. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new faces as I travel our district to hear from the people I serve.”

Alexandria Community Joins in Prayer on Public Square

August 2, 2016
Dwayne Page
Dusty Desimone of the West Main Baptist Church Delivers Brief Message during Public Square Prayer Service
Jimmy Arms of Upper Helton Baptist Church leads prayer for local law enforcement officers
Alexandria Community Joins in Prayer on Public Square

Members of the Alexandria community joined churches and merchants on the public square Tuesday evening in a prayer service for our police, schools, community, and nation. The event drew a large crowd of concerned individuals.

Dusty Desimone of the West Main Baptist Church moderated the program, delivered a brief message, and offered prayers.

Other local ministers participating in leading prayers were Jimmy Arms of the Upper Helton Baptist Church; David Revelle of Shepherds Fortress Ministries; Ronnie Smith of the New Hope Baptist Church; Thurman Seiber of the Salem Baptist Association; and Josh Brown of Salem Baptist Church.

The program began with a recorded performance of the National Anthem followed by the audience singing along with a recorded rendition of Amazing Grace. After the message and prayers by the ministers, the crowd joined in singing with a recorded version of God Bless the USA.

Youth Soccer League Wants to Lease City Airport Park

August 2, 2016
Dwayne Page
Youth Soccer League Wants to Lease City Airport Park
City recently had to purchase brick home near the airport with grant funds for the purpose of demolition due to FAA regulations

Members of the Center Hill Soccer Club (formerly DeKalb County Youth Soccer League) want to relocate their recreational soccer games from the field at Northside Elementary School to the City of Smithville’s Airport Park.

Russ Hackett, a representative of the league, addressed the Mayor and Aldermen Monday night asking them consider allowing the league to lease the park and develop it for soccer.

“We currently have our recreational games at the Northside field but in the next couple of years we will be losing those fields because of the school systems need for additional space for future construction. We’re looking for a place to have recreational soccer. The airport park will suit our purpose for what we want to do. We would like to level the ground, put in fields and goals, and condition the building. We want to turn it into a real soccer sports complex,” said Hackett.

Currently, the city airport park, which consists of an open field with some children’s playground equipment on it and restroom facilities, is available for all who want to use it. “The field right now is being used on a first come, first served basis. Everybody can use it,” said City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson.

“What I have seen out there is two tee ball teams that religiously use it. A majority of teams that use it are soccer, both youth and adults. And there are occasionally kids out there playing. And we don’t mind stipulating in the lease that other sports leagues can come and use the fields” said Hackett.

“Are you planning to build a building over there,” asked Mayor Jimmy Poss.

“We’re planning on adding on to that building (restrooms),” answered Hackett.

“The problem we’ve got is with the airport. Having buildings erected in the glide zone,” Mayor Poss continued.

“We don’t plan on making it any taller, just wider,” said Hackett

“We’ll have to do some research,” added Mayor Poss

City Administrator Hendrixson said the city could not grant approval until the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics authority is consulted since the area is in the airport’s glide zone. The city has already had to purchase a two story brick home near the airport park which will have to be taken down and the trees around it because of FAA regulations. The home was purchased using TDOT Aeronautics grant funds. The city’s local grant match was 5%.

According to Hackett, the Soccer Club would assume maintenance of the property and remove the playground equipment if the city wishes. The Club would also carry liability insurance for the sporting events.

“What I would like to do is give this proposal to TDOT Aeronautics, being that the park is in the glide zone, and let them look it over. Lets start with the state because they fund a lot of what we have out there. We’ll start with them and hopefully have an answer by the next meeting,” said City Administrator Hendrixson.

Tubbs Charged with Rape

August 2, 2016
Dwayne Page
Walter Kenneth Tubbs

Smithville Police have charged a Murfreesboro man with rape.

64 year old Walter Kenneth Tubbs, formerly of Smithville is accused of raping a woman at her residence on Smith Road Tuesday, July 26. According to the warrant obtained by WJLE, Tubbs allegedly rubbed the woman's breast and then took his hand and put it down her pants. The woman told him to stop immediately. Tubbs then allegedly used force to remove the woman’s pants and underwear and he had sex with her against her will. The whole time the woman told Tubbs to stop what he was doing or she would scream. After the incident Tubbs apologized and pleaded for the woman not to press charges. He also called family members and apologized to them for what he had done, according to the warrant.

Tubbs was arrested Monday at his home and he is under a $50,000 bond. He will make an appearance in General Sessions Court on August 11.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps Addresses Rotary Club

August 1, 2016
Becky Thompson, Chad Colwell, Lindy Jenkins, Chris Griffith, Mr. Cripps, Jim Beshearse, George Oliver, Brenda Cantrell, and Pam Redmon.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps was the guest speaker at the Smithville Rotary Club last Tuesday.

“Mr. Cripps gave us an update on the many great things going on in our school system as well as some of the goals he has for the 2016-2017 school year,” said Rotarian Clint Hall.

“We also look forward to starting an Interact Club this year at DCHS. Mr. Cripps is definitely on the "Energy Bus" and we know great things are ahead for our school system,” he added.

Pictured: L to R, Becky Thompson, Chad Colwell, Lindy Jenkins, Chris Griffith, Mr. Cripps, Jim Beshearse, George Oliver, Brenda Cantrell, and Pam Redmon.

Three Named in Sealed Indictments Arrested

August 1, 2016
Dwayne Page
Brandi Lynn Dorris
Amanda Brooke Washer
James Robert Lee (Jimmy) Fuson
Kathy Irene Miller
Caleb Lee McGhee

Three people named in sealed indictments by the DeKalb County Grand Jury last Monday, July 25 have been picked up by the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said 33 year old Brandi Lynn Dorris of Liberty is indicted for possession of a schedule III controlled substance ( 4-Suboxone) with the intent to sell or deliver on or about December 21, 2015. Her bond is $30,000 and she will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, August 8. Dorris was arrested on Tuesday, July 26.

28 year old Amanda Brooke Washer of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is indicted for Simple Possession of a Schedule VI drug (Marijuana) on or about December 14, 2015. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be arraigned in criminal court on Monday, August 8. Washer was arrested on Wednesday, July 27.

29 year old James Robert Lee (Jimmy) Fuson of Four Seasons Road, Smithville is indicted for theft of property over $500. His bond is $7,500 and he will be arraigned in criminal court on Monday, August 8. He was arrested on Thursday, July 28.

According to the indictment obtained by WJLE, Fuson did knowingly obtain or exercise control over certain property, to wit: $905 the property of Middle Tennessee Outfitters between January 1 and February 23, 2016 with the intent to deprive Middle Tennessee Outfitters of its property, constituting the offense of theft.

Two other people also named in sealed indictments by the grand jury last week have yet to be arrested.

Meanwhile in other cases, 53 year old Kathy Irene Miller of Martin Drive, Liberty is charged with driving under the influence. Her bond is $1,500 and she will make a court appearance on August 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 26 a deputy responded to a reckless driver on Highway 70 from the Dowelltown area. The officer spotted the vehicle and noticed that it crossed the center line several times. He stopped the automobile and spoke with the driver, Miller. Her speech was slurred and she was very unsteady on her feet. Miller submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She also took a blood test.

20 year old Caleb Lee McGhee of Bright Hill Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on August 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 25 McGhee allegedly took a set of cornhole boards valued at $200. He was arrested on Wednesday, July 27.


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