Anderson H. Webb of Smithville graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Biology Pre-Med on May 4 during the Nashville school's spring commencement ceremony.
Anderson, the son of Alan and Lora Webb graduated Magna Cum Laude (with high honors) for maintaining a grade point average of 3.75- 3.949. An active member of the Student Government Association, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Theta Epsilon Tau (Pre-Health Science Organization), and Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Medicine Organization) where he helped charter this organization at Belmont University. He was also inducted into the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Alpha Chi membership is the highest academic honor awarded by Belmont University. Alpha Chi members are nominated by the faculty and must have "outstanding moral character" and display leadership, integrity, and service. Anderson was also on the Dean's List 8 consecutive semesters. He is now a medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Science College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee.
Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fifth consecutive year as one of the top "Up-and-Comer" universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 6,650 students who come from every state and 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university's purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world's needs, a fact made evident in the University's hometown, Nashville, where students served more than 60,000 hours of community service (valued at $450,000) during the last academic year. Belmont is also home to the World Cup champion Enactus team, a group of 42 student leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. With more than 80 areas of study, 23 master's programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.
An Alexandria man, riding a motorcycle, suffered a serious leg injury when he was struck by another motorist Monday afternoon on Lower Helton Road.
55 year old Theodore Joseph Pryjama of Lower Helton Road, Alexandria was treated by DeKalb EMS before being airlifted from the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance. He was reportedly flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.
Lieutenant Randall Maynard of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Pryjama was traveling west on Lower Helton Road on a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle, trying to negotiate a curve, when he was sideswiped by an eastbound 2009 Ford Focus, driven by 27 year old Jennifer Johnson, also of Lower Helton Road.
"As they were negotiating a curve, the car came over on the westbound side, probably about a foot and a half from the center. They sideswiped. She was almost out of the curve and he was going into the curve. After impact, the car continued off to the right side of the road, went into the ditch, and then came back on the roadway and stopped. The motorcycle rider was ejected, traveling about 75 feet staying in the roadway. His motorcycle continued, going off the left side of the roadway approximately 100 feet into the weeds," said Lieutenant Maynard.
He said the accident was not a hit and run. " After the wreck she (Johnson) was trying to call her parents. They didn't answer. She went and got them and came right back," said Lieutenant Maynard.
Pryjama's wife was following behind him on another motorcycle and witnessed the accident. She was not involved in the wreck and was not injured.
Johnson was cited for failing to maintain her lane of travel. There were no signs of alcohol or drugs involved in the accident, according to Lieutenant Maynard.
Members of the Liberty and Temperance Hall Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with officers of the Sheriff's Department.
An open forum to better inform and educate the public about the Federal Affordable Healthcare Act is scheduled for Monday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Community Complex Auditorium at 712 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville.
Oscar Boyd, who will serve as moderator of the program said several public officials will be at the meeting to answer questions. Boyd said everyone is invited as this new law will affect individuals and business owners.
Invited speakers include State Senator Mae Beavers; State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver; Sue Conley, CEO of DeKalb Community Hospital; and representatives of the Tennessee Department of Treasury; Bureau of TennCare; and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
"We intend to educate the public on what is going on with the Affordable Healthcare Act and what it means to you, the individual and to you, the business owner," said Boyd. "We will educate the public on the new health insurance exchanges, IRS laws, and the regulations that go along with all the changes including health insurance and Medicare for seniors." he said
"As our lives will be greatly impacted by this entire Affordable Healthcare Act and the attachments to it, I think it is time for all citizens to be aware of the problems it presents and how to overcome them," said Boyd.
"You are invited to attend this open forum and ask questions. The meeting will continue until all questions have been asked and answered," Boyd concluded.
All are welcome to attend, especially residents of DeKalb and surrounding counties.
The Alexandria Municipal Election is set for Thursday, September 5.
A mayor will be elected to serve a four year term. Jim H. York, Jr. is poised to succeed incumbent Mayor Ria Baker, who chose not to seek re-election. York is the only candidate for mayor.
Three aldermen were to be elected, each to serve a four year term but only one candidate qualified for alderman, Pat Jackson.
No one else qualified by the deadline to be an official write-in candidate.
It will apparently be up to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to make an appointment to fill the two other aldermen positions.
Voting will be Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Kenneth Sandlin Center on the fairgrounds.
Since the election is uncontested, voting will be done by paper ballot. "The law states any municipality with a population of five thousand (5,000) or less may elect to use paper ballots instead of voting machines for municipal elections when there is no opposition for any of the offices involved (on the ballot)," said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.
Altogether, Alexandria has a mayor and six aldermen positions.
Although the 2014 elections are several months away, the first candidate is stepping forward to publicly announce his intentions.
James L. "Jimmy" Poss, a Democrat, plans to be a candidate for the office of County Clerk
Poss has filed with the local election commission office an "Appointment of Political Treasurer" form, a requirement before a political candidate raises or spends money. On the form, Poss named himself as "Treasurer" of his campaign.
In his announcement, Poss said he has a life long affiliation and is a current member of the Bright Hill United Methodist Church. He has been married for 18 years to Jennifer J. Barnes (J.J.) Poss and they have two children, Lane Madison Poss, a Freshman at DCHS and Tanner James Poss, a 7th grader at DeKalb Middle School. Poss is the son of W.J. and Mildred (Bill) Hooper Poss. He has a brother and sister- in-law John Alan and Lori Poss. A sister and brother-in-law Dana and Dewaine Jennings. His grandmother is Pauline Poss Cantrell. Mother-in-law, Linda and husband Willie Moser. Sister-in-law, Lisa Barnes and Father-in-law Tink and wife Beverly Barnes
A graduate of DeKalb County High School, Poss is a licensed Emergency Medical Technician and is a licensed Real Estate Agent. He has also had OSHA/TOSHA Safety training.
For the past 23 years, Poss has been employed by the DeKalb County Ambulance Service and is the DeKalb County Safety Officer. He also works with the Real Estate Team. Poss previously worked for DeKalb Funeral Chapel.
In making his announcement, Poss said he would like the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of DeKalb County in a new role as County Clerk. If elected, Poss said his intentions are to provide courteous and efficient service to the citizens of DeKalb County and to complete County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) training to become a certified county official.
Upon being elected County Clerk, Poss said he would resign his full time employment with the ambulance service and retire his real estate license.
It is likely a primary election will be called by the DeKalb County Democratic Party for May 6, 2014. A May primary establishes the qualifying deadline for Democrat as well as Republican and Independent candidates. As a result, the qualifying deadline for all candidates will be Noon February 20th. Republicans and Independents must qualify at the same time. Republicans usually certify their nominees by Caucus. Qualifying Petitions will be available from the DeKalb County Election Commission on November 22, 2013.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Tennessee. An estimated 900 men, women and children commit suicide each year in our state — more people than are lost to homicide, AIDS or drunken driving.
DeKalb County had five suicides in 2011 for a rate of 26.5 per 100,000 population. That is the most recent statistic available for the county.
In the five years prior to 2011, the suicide rates in DeKalb County were as follows:
Year 2010: seven suicides at a rate of 37.4 per 100,000 population
Year 2009: five suicides at 26.5 per 100,000
Year 2008: nine suicides at 48.1 per 100,000
Year 2007: three suicides at 16.2 per 100,000
Year 2006: three suicides at 16.2 per 100,000
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among youths and young adults ages 15-24 in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 4,607 recorded suicide deaths in our state in the past five years.
According to the Tennessee Youth Risk Behavior Survey published in 2011 by the Tennessee Department of Education, 25.9 percent of high school students — approximately 1 in 4 — surveyed reported experiencing a period of sadness or hopelessness for two weeks or more that was severe enough to pull them away from their usual activities during a 12-month period. One in 7, or 14.7 percent, actually considered suicide during that period. One in 9 (11.1 percent of survey respondents) planned out how they would do it. One in 16 (6.2 percent) actually tried to take their own lives. Of those who attempted suicide, approximately 35 percent required medical attention for injuries related to their attempt.
But while youth suicide gets the most attention from mental health agencies, our state also is dealing with increasing rates of suicide among middle-aged adults hard hit by the recent recession and slow recovery. Also, the ebb of the Middle East conflicts means more soldiers will be trying to reconcile their wartime experiences with civilian life. Many of the soldiers coming back from combat deployments suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network also is concerned about the issue of gun safety as it relates to suicide. Firearms are involved in roughly 600 suicide deaths in Tennessee each year — two-thirds of all suicide deaths reported in our state. Additionally, there are about 25 accidental firearm deaths in Tennessee each year, along with about 1,700 accidental shootings requiring emergency medical attention. As an alternative to potentially onerous gun-control legislation, our agency believes that safe storage of firearms is the answer, and we are currently reaching out to gun shops and firing ranges across the state to promote that ideal.
Our goal is not merely fewer suicides; it is zero suicides. Suicide remains a major and tragic threat to middle-aged adults in our state. When the people of Tennessee need us, we will be there to teach, explain, console and encourage. TSPN is staging several events across the state during September to promote the cause of suicide prevention. For information, visit our website, www.tspn.org. We hope you can attend at least one of these events and join us in the ongoing effort to make zero suicides not just an objective, but a reality for our state.
In the meantime, you can get help for someone who may be feeling suicidal — whether it’s someone you know or yourself — through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Josten’s Renaissance has arrived at DeKalb County!
Renaissance is a nationwide movement designed to recognize and reward academic excellence, participation, and good school citizenship. Educators, parents, and partners in the business community join forces to provide incentives for students to improve grades, attend school, increase school spirit, and eliminate disciplinary incidents.
Melissa Ruch has worked relentlessly for several years to have the program implemented at DeKalb County High School. Assistant Principal Kathy Bryant has coordinated the efforts of faculty, administrators, residents of DeKalb County as well as students of the high school to assist Mrs. Ruch on making this new program an astounding success!
DeKalb County High School has found a partner with DeKalb Community Hospital. The hospital has generously agreed to help support the school’s renaissance program this year. The school will celebrate hard work, commitment, great character, leadership, and participation by involving students, faculty, parents, and the community in sharing the fun and passion for excellence in education!
To kick off this new program on Monday, August 5, all students arrived to a scene quite unique to DeKalb County school systems. As the students made their way to the front of the school, music echoed through the courtyard, and administrators and teachers welcomed the students back and guided them towards the red carpet lined with plants and balloons.
The County is making plans to develop a solid waste transfer station and recycling center possibly within the next year which may be located in the Smithville Industrial Development Park on East Broad Street.
Nothing definite has yet been decided but the Smithville Industrial Development Board and possibly other city officials are expected to be consulted and asked to give approval for such a move.
County Mayor Mike Foster, during the county commission meeting Monday night, said preliminary plans have already been prepared. "We have a set of very early plans but we're continuing to do some work on them. We'll be getting with Jimmy (Mayor Poss), the aldermen, and the Industrial Development Board to talk more about that. All of you on the (county) commission know that we have been working toward this end probably for the last eight or nine years. We have accumulated and allowed to build a fund balance that will be able to build (fund) that (Transfer Station) and a Class III/IV cell and to close most of the (existing) Class I landfill where it is now when its full," said Foster.
Foster said the county could still maintain a class III/IV cell because it is not subject to as many environmental regulations as a Class I cell and it would be mainly for disposal of construction materials. "We plan to go to a Class III/IV cell which is non-household garbage, which could be for construction materials and that kind of thing in the area where we are now (existing landfill location). But we would have a transfer station for household garbage (possibly at Smithville Industrial Park)," he said.
Under a transfer station operation, household garbage would continue to be collected at local convenience centers across the county, then loaded onto trucks and brought to the transfer station, where the garbage would be separated from recyclables and then loaded onto semi trucks and transferred to a landfill site in another county. DeKalb would contract for the garbage to be hauled out of county and for the disposal of it at a certain price per ton. The recyclables would be baled and sold.
According to Foster, DeKalb County would have fewer environmental worries about solid waste and could enhance its recycling capaibilities if it had its own transfer station. "It would be brought in and loaded on a truck and carried to whoever gets the lowest bid for taking the garbage. Right now, it looks like it would be Smith County or down at Murfreesboro. We would avoid much of the environmental liability and in conjunction with that have a recycling center where we could really enhance our ability to transfer and recycle primarily cardboard paper and plastics," said Foster.
Convenience sites would still be required throughout the county and residents could continue to bring their household garbage there or directly to the transfer station.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett joins the DeKalb County Election Commission in reminding citizens that September is National Voter Registration Month. Secretary Hargett is working with county election officials to make eligible voters aware of registration deadlines and requirements, as well as encouraging already registered voters to update their current registration if they have recently changed their address.
“It is important for individuals to register to vote, but it is equally important for voters to verify that their registrations are up to date,” added DeKalb County Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley. “If you have moved, now is a great time to update your address.”
In a concerted effort to remind eligible voters to register or update their voting information before deadlines pass, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has also declared September 24 as National Voter Registration Day. The goal is to encourage voter participation and increase awareness of state requirements and deadlines for voting.
“The right to vote should never be taken for granted,” said Secretary Hargett, who is also president of NASS. “I encourage all eligible U.S. citizens to register if they haven’t already.”
For more information on voter registration options and deadlines in Tennessee, as well as to check your current registration status, visit GoVoteTN.com.
Thirty three persons have been named in sealed indictments handed down by a special called session of the DeKalb County Grand Jury and all but one were the result of a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff's Department into the illegal sale of narcotics and other crimes committed in DeKalb County.
Twenty six of those individuals have now been served with the indictments and arrested. They will appear in DeKalb County Criminal Court for arraignment on Monday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m.
The special session of the grand jury met on Monday, August 19 at the DeKalb County Courthouse.
Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that while the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department led the investigation, the White County Sheriff's Department and Alexandria Police Departments assisted. " My drug detectives along with some of the deputies went out and did controlled drug buys. We also had some help from the White County Sheriff's Department. I contacted Sheriff Oddie Shoupe and he gave me a couple of his drug detectives to assist us in some of the cases. The Alexandra Police Department went with us on a couple of cases. I want to thank Sheriff Shoupe of White County and Chief Mark Collins of the Alexandria Police Department for helping us and working together to get rid of some drugs and get them off our streets," said Sheriff Ray.
Although meth has been on the rise again lately, Sheriff Ray said prescription pills still seems to be the drug of choice among dealers and users. " Even though my department has found meth labs and some other departments here in the county have been able to get meth labs, we're still seeing that the sale of prescription drugs is our number one drug problem. Dilaudid is still a very abused drug here in DeKalb County. It is a pain drug that we see being sold out on the street," said Sheriff Ray.
"Some of the drugs we bought during this controlled drug buy were Dilaudid, Crack Cocaine, Hydrocodone, Xanax, Methadone, Morphine, Roxycodone, Percocet, Mushrooms, and Suboxone. There were two Marijuana grows, a Meth lab, and we worked some burglaries and thefts. There were a total of thirty three individuals charged with various crimes. We charged one man with aggravated exploitation of a minor," said Sheriff Ray.
During this investigation, drug transactions were made at various locations across the county. "We bought drugs or made some kind of drug case in different places. Some of the drug buys were made at locations on Highway 70 east and Highway 70 west all the way to Alexandria. We did some in Alexandria, in Dowelltown, and here in Smithville on Highway 70 east and Sparta Highway. Some were done down Highway 56 south and Highway 56 north on Cookeville Highway. Also down the Short Mountain Highway," he said.
"I want to commend my department on a job well done, especially my drug detectives and the deputies that were able to do the undercover controlled drug buys. We have already started into our next phase to prepare for another one. You'll be hearing from it shortly. We still have a few persons to pick up (arrest from this investigation). We will be serving those indictments and announcing those as we get them," he said.
Meanwhile, if you know of a crime occurring in your community, Sheriff Ray urges you to contact him or call the crime tip line to report it. "My department and I are very committed to the investigation of the illegal sale of narcotics in our county. If you have any information on any crime including drug crimes or burglaries and thefts then we urge you to call our crime tip line which is 464-6400 to report it. You can be anonymous when you report it or you can call me here at the jail and we can talk about it. My number is 597-4935," he said.
"We just want to thank everyone who has called during this last drug round up that we had and also the investigations that we have been doing. We receive a whole lot of tips up here and I appreciate each and every one who calls and gives me some bit of drug information. I ask the citizens of our county to continue to do that. I want you to continue to be our eyes and ears in your communities. If you have any kind of problem like that we want to know about it. We'll try our best to work on it and see what we can get done," Sheriff Ray concluded.
Those indicted who have been served and arrested to date include:
45 year old Brett Allen Anderson of East Bryant Street- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid & Morphine) (2 counts); and Sale of an Illegal Drug in a Drug Free Zone (1 count). His bond is $80,000.
22 year old Joshua Lee Anderson of Short Mountain Highway- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (2 counts). His bond is $40,000.
28 year old Amanda Alice Atnip of Oakley Road, Dowelltown- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (1 count). Her bond is $20,000.
25 year old Brittany Danielle Barnes of Belk Road, Smithville-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Crack Cocaine & Dilaudid, (2 counts); Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug in a Drug Free Zone (2 counts). Her bond is $100,000.
20 year old Natalie Gail Barrett of Smith Road, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule I drug (Mushrooms) (1 count). Her bond is $50,000.
39 year old Gary Lane Hale of Morgan Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.
52 year old Kenny Ray Herman of West Main Street, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Methadone) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.
22 year old Brittany Leanna Mingle of Milligan Lane, Liberty-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule IV drug (Xanax) (2 counts); and Sale & Delivery of a Schedule IV drug in a Drug Free Zone (1 count). Her bond is $50,000.
32 year old Amanda May Hicks of Smith Road, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (2 counts). Her bond is $60,000.
31 year old Halton Wayne Hicks of Jennings Lane, Smithville-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.
51 year old Glenda Kay Lemons of Kendra Drive, Smithville-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (1 count). Her bond is $20,000
36 year old Lisa Michelle Porterfield of Hendrixson Hollow Road, Dowelltown- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). Her bond is $30,000.
56 year old Billy Joe Rigsby of Morgan Drive, Smithville-- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.
28 year old Michael Andrew Snyders of West Main Street, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (1 count). His bond is $20,000.
44 year old Theresa Dianna Tittle of Vaughn Lane, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). Her bond is $30,000.
48 year old Marla Adele Turner of Morgan Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (2 counts). Her bond is $60,000.
43 year old Comer Thomas Vance of Meadowbrook Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count); Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug in a Drug Free Zone (1 count). His bond is $50,000.
40 year old Melisha Renee Martin of Morgan Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (2 counts); Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug in a Drug Free Zone (2 counts). Her bond is $100,000.
27 year old William Carl Fredrick of Earlie Bain Road, Dowelltown-Manufacture of a Schedule VI drug (Growing Marijuana). His bond is $10,000.
38 year old Stephen Jason Moore of Cookeville Highway, Smithville- Manufacture of a Schedule VI drug (Growing Marijuana). His bond is $20,000.
35 year old Jeremy Austin Scruggs of Highland Avenue, Smithville & 30 year old Brandon Jeromie Gurley of Foster Road, Smithville- Co-indicted on charges of Initiation of a Process to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Meth Lab). Bond for each is $50,000.
49 year old Tony Eugene Beasley of Cario Road, Gallatin-Aggravated Burglary & Theft of Property. His bond is $30,000.
21 year old Dakota James Stith of Dry Creek Road, Smithville- Aggravated Burglary & Theft of Property (4 counts). His bond is $120,000.
19 year old Clayton Daniel Gott of Blue Springs Road, Smithville- Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (3 counts). His bond is $30,000.
43 year old David Dwight Caperton of Fox Hill Road, Baxter- Domestic Assault. His bond is $5,000. This case against Caperton was presented to the Grand Jury by a private citizen and not the Sheriff's Department.