Local News Articles

Man Named in Sealed Indictment for Statutory Rape

September 27, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Michael Andrew Heidelburg

A 27 year old Henderson, Tennessee man has been arrested on a sealed indictment returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury in May charging him with statutory rape.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 9/18/2017 Thru: 9/25/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_40.pdf (2.62 MB)

Michael Andrew Heidelburg is under a $2,500 bond and will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Friday, October 6.

The indictment alleges that between the dates of May 1st, 2016 and February 13, 2017, Heidelburg did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engage in sexual penetration of a 16 year old girl with him being at least four years older than the victim, constituting the offense of statutory rape.

Alexandria Again Denied CDBG Grant to Fund New Fire Truck

September 27, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Alexandria's 1981 Fire Truck
Alexandria's 1997 Fire Truck

The Town of Alexandria has again been denied a Community Development Block Grant to purchase a new fire engine.

The city's grant writer for the project, Fay Leonard of Vantage Consulting Services, informed the mayor and aldermen during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night that for the second year in a row the project didn’t score high enough to qualify. “I don’t understand why this fire truck project did not get funded. Only 38% of what was submitted (applications) was able to be funded. I think its just a matter of less available money and more projects,” said Leonard.

The Mayor and Aldermen first voted to apply for the CDBG grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in October 2015. At that time, the total grant project would have been for $331,580 including the city's local matching obligation of $16,580 had the grant been approved.

Plans were to replace the Alexandria Fire Department’s 1981 fire truck with a new custom cab class 1 pumper which might have improved the city's ISO rating.

Although the town is in need of a new fire truck which improved its chances, Leonard cautioned the mayor and aldermen at the time of the first application filing not to get their hopes up too high because so many applicants are always in competition for the grants. "The fact that your fire truck is in such bad condition is going to be helpful to you in the scoring for the grant but it is so competitive. For example for the 2015 cycle, there were 131 of these grants submitted statewide and only 54 were approved because the money just goes so far. About 40% of what was submitted was able to be funded. I am hopeful about it but it is very competitive," said Leonard in October 2015.

The town reapplied for the grant last fall after the first application was denied. Leonard said she learned last week that the project again would not be funded.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, Leonard said the town could again try for a grant to help fund other needs of the city. “There are things you can apply for in the water and sewer department. Its time to go through the process again if that is what is decided to be done. The first thing to do is have a public hearing and discuss all the different needs that the town has and decide what would have the best chance because obviously you can see with only 38% funded this year it is extremely competitive and you would have to go through the process to see what might be the most competitive,” said Leonard.

The Alexandria Fire Department is staffed with volunteers and two fire trucks. The oldest truck, a 1981 model, is on indefinite loan to the city from Wilson County, but would be returned if a new truck were to be purchased. The other fire truck is a 1997 model.

In May, 2015, the city learned that the Insurance Services Office raised Alexandria's Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating from a Class 7 to a Class 4.

State Historical Commission Awards Restoration Grant for Alexandria Landmarks

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Seay Chapel in Alexandria was one of the county's earliest African American churches
East View Cemetery in Alexandria is one of the oldest cemeteries in DeKalb County

The Town of Alexandria is being awarded a grant for $5,400 from the Tennessee Historical Commission State Historic Preservation Office to fund the restoration of the National Register listed Seay Chapel and East View Cemetery.

The grant is one of 32 matching grants being awarded totaling almost $750,000 from the Federal Historic Preservation Fund allocated to non-profits, municipalities, universities and civic organizations across the state to support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources.

Seay Chapel was one of the county's earliest African American churches. Another church group now uses the building to worship. Eastview Cemetery is also among the oldest cemeteries in DeKalb County.

According to Alexandria Mayor Bennett Armstrong, plans are to use the grant funds to repair storm damage to the chapel and to rebuild stone gate columns at the entrance to the cemetery.

“We hope with this grant that we can repair the stone gate to the cemetery. There is one gate with two columns. As for the chapel, when you go all the way through to the back of the church and then turn right, that is where the damage is from a tornado (a few years ago) and that’s where the roof leaks which has caused damage to the ceiling, floor, and toilet area,” he said.

In order to get the grant, the town must come up with a 40% local funding match of about $3,600. A previous $250 donation to the town from the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be put toward the project.

Mayor Armstrong said plans for the restoration will be submitted to the Tennessee Historical Commission for approval and the bids will be sought to do the work.

“These grants are a critical part of the Tennessee Historical Commission’s mission and contribute to the study and protection of Tennessee’s treasured historic places,” said Patrick McIntyre, state historic preservation officer and executive director.

Awarded annually, 60 percent of the project funds are from the Federal Historic Preservation Fund and 40 percent of project funds come from the grantee. Grants are competitive and the Tennessee Historical Commission staff reviewed 51 applications with funding requests totaling approximately $900,000, significantly more than the amount of funding available. Many of the grants are recurring, leaving roughly $250,000 available to award each year.

Grant awards include a wide variety of historic and architectural projects. Examples are $40,000 to help restore the windows at the c. 1885 Moore County Courthouse in Lynchburg and a $12,000 grant to the City of Savannah that will be used to develop a mobile tour application for area historic sites. Other funds will assist in funding preservation planners in all nine of the state’s development districts, in building and archaeological surveys, and design guidelines for historic districts. Several other grants are for the rehabilitation of historic buildings, for posters highlighting the state’s archaeology, and training for historic zoning staff or commissioners.

One of the Commission’s grant priorities is for projects that are in Certified Local Governments, a program that allows the 41 enrolled communities to participate closely in the federal program of historic preservation. Ten Certified Local Government communities were awarded grants this year, including $24,000 awarded to the Metro Historical Commission in Nashville to help fund a cultural landscape plan for Fort Negley. Additional priorities include those that meet the goals and objectives of the Tennessee Historical Commission’s plan for historic preservation. Properties that use the restoration grants must be listed in the National Register.

Northside Elementary School "Green" Added to Property Tax Notices

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Trustee Sean Driver displays the 2017 property tax notice in the green school color of Northside Elementary
DeKalb County property owners will soon be receiving their tax notices for the year 2017 bearing the “Green” school color of Northside Elementary

DeKalb County property owners will soon be receiving their tax notices for the year 2017 bearing the “Green” school color of Northside Elementary. Last year it was DeKalb Middle School “Blue” and two years ago it was DCHS “Black and Gold”.

“Picture the flight of an eagle soaring between Heaven and the tops of the most lush, green layers of the rainforest. That was the vision I received when I thought about what color to use on the new 2017 property tax notices. Since 2015, I started using the colors of our great schools here in DeKalb County and this year is no exception. So when the color “Green” came to mind, I decided to represent the Northside Elementary Eagles for 2017,” said Trustee Sean Driver.

Property taxes will be due and payable starting on October 2, 2017 through February 28, 2018 before any interest becomes due on March 1, 2018.

“Your notice will be the color “Green” on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, with information on the front and back. For 2017, the tax rate stayed the same as the 2016 tax year at 1.8335% of $100.00 of your assessed value,” said Trustee Driver.

The Trustee’s office offers at this time up to 6 different options to pay your property tax:

( 1.) Come in person to the office to pay,

( 2.) Mail in your payment

( 3.) Pay online at www.tennesseetrustee.org, then select DeKalb and follow the instructions to the next screens. The Vendor (Business Information Systems) accepts Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. The Vendor convenience fee of 2.75% on the total tax bill will apply and fees are subject to change for using credit/debit cards. Also, a $2.75 fee will be assessed on an e-check payment of any amount.

(4.) A QR (Quick Response Code) is also on your notice to access the website www.tennesseetrustee.org.

(5.) A Dropbox is located on the outside of the building at the County Complex (County Offices Section) for your convenience after hours or on weekends.

(6.) Partial Payments are accepted and you the taxpayer sets the amount to pay.

“Take a good look at your property tax bill and study what we offer in the trustee’s office and to where the property taxes are being spent on the pie chart on the back of the notice,” Driver said.

Eligible taxpayers may also qualify for the Tennessee State Tax Relief Program.

This program was implemented in 1973 and it has a few changes every year. For the 2017 tax year, you can qualify for Tax Relief if:

(a.) Your DeKalb County home is your primary residence,

(b.) You are 65 years old (or older) as of December 31, 2017, or totally and permanently disabled as by the SSA or another qualifying agency, and

(c.) Your 2016 Annual Income of all persons on the deed and their spouses did not exceed $29,180.00.

“If the State of Tennessee qualifies you for a Tax Relief, then you can receive a rebate up to $124.00 for 2017. You must pay your 2017 tax bill IN FULL to start the application,” Trustee Driver explained.

The State of Tennessee also offers Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans and the surviving spouses of a disabled veteran.

“You must provide proof from the Veteran’s Administration that you have a 100% service-connected disability. You or your spouse will NOT have to report any income to apply as a disabled veteran or the widow or widower of a disabled veteran. If the State of Tennessee qualifies you as a disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, then you can receive a rebate up to $802.00”

“The Trustee’s office will start accepting applications for the Tax Relief Program on October 2, 2017 through April 5, 2018. If you would like to inquire more about a possible tax relief, come by the County Complex in the Trustee’s office at 732 S Congress Blvd-Room 103, Smithville, TN 37166 or call us at 615-597-5176,” Trustee Driver concluded.

Two Men Charged in Theft of Trailer

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged two men in the recent theft of a trailer.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 9/18/2017 Thru: 9/25/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_40.pdf (2.62 MB)

47 year old Billy Joe Derrick of Crossville and 42 year old Kristian James Dupuy of Smithville are each charged with theft of property over $1,000. Bond for each is $10,000. Derrick is also charged with evading arrest. His bond on that offense is $5,000. Both will make a court appearance on October 5.

An officer was dispatched to 468 West Broad Street for a trailer theft on Tuesday, September 19 and was shown video footage of a man who got out of a vehicle matching the description of the automobile used in the trailer theft. Police later spotted the vehicle driving by Bridgeway Motel. An officer followed as the vehicle turned in and stopped at 905 West Main Street. As he approached the automobile, the officer observed that the clothing and appearance of the driver, Kristian Dupuy, matched the image of the man shown in the camera footage. Police mirandized Dupuy and asked him about the trailer. According to the officer, Dupuy admitted that he had assisted in taking the trailer with Billy Derrick who was a passenger in the vehicle. Derrick got out and attempted to flee on foot. The officer shouted for Derrick to stop but he kept running. Derrick was then apprehended by the officer approximately 50 yards from the automobile. Derrick said the reason he ran was because he knew he had warrants against him in other counties.

18 year old Joseph Daniel Morgan of Woodbury is charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell or deliver. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is September 28. On Monday, September 18 a deputy was dispatched to a call on Holmes Creek Road in the area of V.L. Wilson Loop in reference to two suspicious males in the area. Upon his arrival, the officer spoke with Morgan and a juvenile male. During a search for weapons, the deputy found Morgan to be in possession of a clear crystal like substance that field tested positive for 2.1 grams of methamphetamine. He was placed under arrest.

22 year old John Thomas Mason of Smithville is charged with driving while license revoked and evading arrest. His bond totals $5,000 and his court date is October 12. He also has warrants against him for violation of probation and is being held without bond. He will make a court appearance on the VOP offenses October 6. On August 9 a deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop of a white Honda on Short Mountain Highway for running a stop sign but the vehicle accelerated in speed and did not stop. It was later found at 125 Hickory Court. Upon further investigation, Mason was identified as the driver. Through a routine central dispatch check, Mason’s driver license were found to be revoked. Mason was placed under arrest for evading and driving on a revoked license.

23 year old Richard Wayne Norrod of Smithville, an inmate at the DeKalb County Jail, is charged with bringing contraband to a penal institution. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is October 12. On Sunday, September 24 a corrections officer was conducting a pat down search of Norrod when he found a small clear bag in the pocket of Norrod’s shorts which contained two white pills believed to be Hydrocodone. A smaller baggie was also found which held a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine.

44 year old Richard Neal Meyers of Smithville is charged with driving while licensed revoked. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is October 5. On Sunday September 24, a deputy was patrolling on South Congress Boulevard when he saw a vehicle spinning tires in the Hardees parking lot and it continued to spin tires as it exited the parking lot into the roadway. The officer conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Meyers. The deputy learned that Meyers’ license has been suspended since November 2, 2000 for failure to appear in Kentucky and it has never been re-instated. Meyers’ license is currently revoked for failure to satisfy costs or fines in Wilson County with an action date of August 6, 2015.

30 year old Tasha Michaele Spurlock of Ashland City is charged with criminal impersonation and escape. Her bond totals $8,500 and her court date is October 12. On Saturday, September 23 a deputy responded to 475 Colvert Lake Road due to a 911 call. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said her name was Tasha Spurlock and gave a date of birth but a computer check could not match that DOB with anyone. The woman then gave a social security number that came back to a man named Brandon Hardy. At that time, the deputy concluded that she was trying to impersonate someone else and he placed her under arrest. While being detained, Spurlock slipped her handcuffs off and ran away on foot but she was caught shortly after and brought to the jail for booking.

Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration All Youth Judging Day

September 26, 2017
by: 
Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
DeKalb County 4-H members had a successful day at the Tennessee Walking Horse judging contest in Shelbyville. In Back: Clayton Crook, Jenna Cantrell, Creston Bain, Payton Cantrell, and Lily Martin. In front: Shaelee Foster, Caley Taylor, and Ansley Cantrell.

DeKalb County 4-H members recently traveled to the All Youth Judging Day at the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration. The Celebration is a two week event that brings thousands of people from all over the world to Shelbyville, TN. At this open judging contest, youth from around the southeast evaluate beautiful Tennessee Walking Horses for the chance to win cash awards and scholarship money. They also have the opportunity to watch the show that night free of charge.

Eight DeKalb County 4-H members participated in this year’s event. Competing in the Junior Division were Ansley Cantrell, Jenna Cantrell, Shaelee Foster, and Caley Taylor. The Senior team consisted of Creston Bain, Payton Cantrell. Clayton Crook, and Lily Martin. These contestants judged both halter and performance, or riding, classes. The seniors also gave two sets of oral reasons to defend their placings.

The Junior team placed 2nd in the halter division, 4th, in performance and 2nd overall. Individually, Ansley was 7th high individual while Jenna was 5th. There were 13 total teams. The Senior team placed 4th in performance, 9th in halter, and 9th overall out of 15 teams. Most of the team members gave reasons for the first time which is a great accomplishment as well!

DeKalb County 4-H was very well represented in Shelbyville during this competitive, open contest. If you are interested in horse judging or any other 4-H activity, please call 615-597-4945. 4-H is a proud part of UT/TSU Extension. UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments.

Photo Caption

Team: DeKalb County 4-H members had a successful day at the Tennessee Walking Horse judging contest in Shelbyville. In Back: Clayton Crook, Jenna Cantrell, Creston Bain, Payton Cantrell, and Lily Martin. In front: Shaelee Foster, Caley Taylor, and Ansley Cantrell.

Induction Ceremony Held for DWS Junior Beta Club

September 26, 2017
by: 
Bill Conger

The newest class of the DeKalb West School Junior Beta Club was honored during an induction ceremony on Monday, September 18 at the school. Thirty students from 6th through the 8th grades were added to the West school Beta chapter because of their academic excellence and outstanding character.

“Founded by Dr. John W. Harris, the Beta Club has prepared today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders for more than 80 years,” President Summer Crook told the crowd. “From U.S. President Bill Clinton to current professional basketball player Kevin Durant, Beta members continue to lead long after their high school days are behind them.”

Beta students elected Crook to serve as President while Jathan Willoughby was named Vice President, Dawson Bandy, Secretary, Brayden Carter, Treasurer, Lucas Hale, Chaplain, and Alley Beth Cook, Reporter. The club sponsor presented them with medallions to honor their achievement. The officers then showed their leadership skills, conducting the induction ceremony before parents, friends, and faculty.

“We are taught many skills, such as reading and reasoning which are the keys to the locks for all the doors that lead to maturity,” VP Willoughby said in his speech.

The officers talked about the four Beta keys to success—Achievement, Character, Leadership, and Service.

“We know that it is a requirement for Beta membership to own them to some extent, and our candidates have been chosen because they have demonstrated ownership,” said Crook.

The candidates joining the club are Alex Antoniak, Tess Barton, Brayden Carter, Alyssa Crook, Ethan Curtis, Logan Daniels, Carson Donnell, Wil Farris, Presley Finocchiaro, Riley Fuson, Patricia Gassaway, Blair Gipe, Zoi Hale, Brynn Harvey, Ella Hendrixson, Jaxon Humphrey, Cameron Kempton, Jonathan Littleton, Kayleigh Overstreet, Xavier Parker, Lexia Rayl, Hannah Redmon, Maressa Rose, Kolton Slager, Karson Smallwood, Brooklyn Sutherland, Ally Tarpley, Madison Tarpley, Faith Tripp, and Jackson Vantrease.

County Forced to Pay More for Employee Health Insurance

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Commissioners

Due to rate hikes and mandates of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the county is being required to increase the amount it pays toward health insurance for employees under its group plan.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, the county commission voted to spend another $21,450 covering the period of January-June, 2018 to meet the federal mandate in covering 65 county employees enrolled in the plan.

“The county pays $260 per month for each employee who takes insurance. Sixty five people have county insurance. We have to meet the Affordable Care Act. Under the law, the lowest paid full time employee cannot pay more than 9.565% of their salary for insurance. We are going to have to do something to come in line with the Affordable Care Act. If the county went from paying $260 per employee to $315 per month for each employee, then that would satisfy the requirements,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

The county could have chosen to increase its contribution to cover only the 51 employees enrolled in the Limited PPO plan and still been in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, costing the county an additional $16,830, but the commission opted instead to make it apply to all 65 employees.

First District Commissioner Julie Young said the county should start looking for another group plan to offer more affordable insurance

In other business, the County Commission has again rejected a request to post a speed limit on Ragland Bottom Road. Last month the proposal was denied on a voice vote but fifth district commissioner Jerry Adcock said he would have preferred a roll call vote. Monday night Adcock moved that a 25 mile per hour speed limit be posted on Ragland Bottom Road and that a roll call vote be taken. The request to post the speed limit failed 8-3. Only commissioners Adcock, Anita Puckett, and Julie Young voted for it.

Meanwhile action has been delayed on a Board of Education budget line item transfer request to move $25,000 within categories of the school budget to purchase a five acre tract of land adjoining the high school property for development of a new soccer field. Seventh district commissioner Larry Summers moved to table the request until commissioners learn more about the plans directly from the school board or director. Summers’ motion to table was adopted.

County to Partner with Caraustar Recycling

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
County to Partner with Caraustar Recycling

The county is contracting with a recycling company to collect and remove waste paper products including cardboard, newspapers, office paper, magazines, and books.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, the county commission voted to partner with Caraustar Recycling of Nashville. The company will place collection containers at 6 convenience (trash collection) sites and at all 5 schools. The service will be provided at no cost to the county.

The action was taken upon the recommendation of the county commission’s solid waste committee. “We have talked about recycling cardboard for quite a while. We received two proposals. The solid waste committee met in June and you have a proposal they recommended from Caraustar,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

According to the proposal, “Caraustar will partner with DeKalb County to assist with their waste paper removal. Caraustar-Nashville will place Front End Loader (FEL) 7 yard containers in 6 of DeKalb County’s convenience centers and the 5 schools. The containers will be labeled for paper only. Acceptable contents include; cardboard, newspaper, office paper, magazines, and books. A start date will be agreed upon by both parties. Either party may cancel this agreement at any time with a 60 day notice.”

“ Caraustar will provide a pickup route to service 6 DeKalb County convenience centers and 5 schools. We (Caraustar) will place FEL 7 yard recycling containers in a total of 11 sites. All recycling sites will receive 2 containers with the exception of Midway. This lower traffic site will only receive 1 container. No fees wil be charged to DeKalb County for this service”.

“Caraustar will correspond with the attendants at the convenience centers to monitor the volumes. This will determine if we (Caraustar) need to add additional containers for overflow. Our goal is to assist DeKalb County with improving their recycling program by creating a bi-monthly pickup route,” according to the proposal.

The DeKalb County convenience centers and schools selected for this route are as follows:

Snow Hill, Allen’s Ferry, McMinnville Highway, City of Alexandria, Liberty, Midway, DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb County High School, DeKalb West School, Northside Elementary School, and Smithville Elementary School.

The county received another proposal from a local recycling company. Their offer was to pay the county one cent per pound for clean loose cardboard (not mixed with trash) but the county would have had to provide the roll off containers for collection and a truck to deliver the cardboard to the recycling center. The company also offered to pay the county $35 per ton under the market price if the county wished to bale its own cardboard".

“The county doesn’t have a cardboard baler. Under this offer, it would require us (county) to purchase the containers and provide the truck to get them to their site,” said County Mayor Stribling.

“Under the proposal with Caraustar, they will furnish the containers and bring the truck to haul it off at no cost to the county,” added Stribling.

Stribling Re-Elected Chairman of County Commission

September 26, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling
Seventh District Commissioner Larry Summers

County Mayor Tim Stribling was re-elected Chairman of the county commission Monday night.

All members present voted in favor.

Seventh District member Larry Summers was returned as Chairman Pro Tempore.

The county commission must annually elect a chairman and a chairman pro tempore. The commission may elect the county mayor or a member of the body to be the chairman, although the county mayor may refuse to serve. If the county mayor is chairman, he or she may vote only to break a tie vote. If a member is chairman, the member votes as a member, but cannot vote again to break a tie. If the county mayor is not chairman, he or she may veto most resolutions of the county legislative body, but this veto may be overridden by a majority vote. The majority vote that is required for this and the passage of resolutions or other measures is a majority of the entire actual membership of the county legislative body, and not a majority of the quorum, nor a majority of the authorized membership.

The county commission consists of fourteen members, two from each of the seven districts in the county.

The make-up of the county commission is as follows:

Julie Williams Young and Mason Carter from the first district; Jimmy Midgett and Joe Johnson from the second district; Jack Barton and Bradley Hendrix from the third district; Wayne Cantrell and Jonathon Norris from the fourth district; Jerry Adcock and Anita Puckett from the fifth district; Jeff Barnes and Betty Atnip from the sixth district; and Larry Summers and Kevin Robinson from the seventh district. Their terms are for four years and will expire August 31, 2018.

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