Shannon A Cantrell Assessor of Property
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Josh Miller

Local News Articles

TDOT Lets Bids for Highway 70 Resurfacing Project

February 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation plans to resurface Highway 70 from Dowelltown to Smithville.

A bid letting was held Friday, February 12.

Two bids were received for the project. Hudson Construction Company submitted a bid of $615,420. Strawser Construction Incorporated's bid was for $703,102.

The project calls for the resurfacing (microsurfacing) on U.S. 70 from the Dowelltown City Limits to the City Limits of Smithville.

TDOT has not yet announced when the project will get underway.

Donors Urge to Support Blood Drive March 1

February 16, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

During Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to join in its lifesaving mission by giving blood.

A Blood Drive will be held in Smithville on Tuesday, March 1 from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 201 South College Street.

Since 1943, every U.S. president has designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the Red Cross helps people down the street, across the country and around the world.
The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Donors of all blood types are needed to help accident and burn victims, patients undergoing organ transplants, those receiving cancer treatments and others who rely on blood products.

Make an appointment to become a hero to patients in need by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Bullard Accused of Stealing from Family

February 15, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jennifer Lynn Bullard
Richard Leon McDaniel

A woman accused of stealing a scanner and shotgun from relatives has been charged with theft of property.

32 year old Jennifer Lynn Bullard of Midway Road, Smithville is under a $2,500 bond and she will be in court February 25. Bullard was arrested on Tuesday, February 9.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, January 26 Bullard allegedly took a Uniden scanner valued at $80 and a New England 410 shotgun valued at $150 from a residence on Midway Road. The scanner belongs to her father and her brother owns the shotgun. Bullard allegedly admitted to taking the items.

The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

40 year old Richard Leon McDaniel of Hayes Ridge Road, Lancaster is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court February 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, February 11 McDaniel allegedly assaulted his girlfriend by shoving her into the wall which caused an injury to her face. He also allegedly tried choking and pointing a knife at her saying he was going to kill her.

26 year old Jason Kyle Shepherd of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is cited for resisting arrest and simple possession of a schedule III and IV drug. His court date is February 25.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 29 Shepherd was being arrested for an outstanding warrant when he failed to comply with law enforcement demands that resulted in a struggle. Shepherd was in possession of seven alprazolam and two suboxone pills.

30 year old Joshua Lynn McCowan is cited for driving on a suspended license and simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine). He will be in court on March 3.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, February 10 a deputy observed McCowan operating a motor vehicle on Broad Street in Smithville. The officer made a traffic stop knowing that McCowan's license were suspended. A computer check confirmed his license to be suspended for driving on suspended. A pat down search revealed in McCowan's possession a bottle with two green capsules believed to be morphine.

Freeman Urges Democrats to Unite for Upcoming Elections

February 14, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bill Freeman with DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins
Bill Freeman, Democratic Mass Meeting Guest Speaker, County Mayor Tim Stribling, DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins, Amelia Hipps, Candidate for State Representative, and State Representative John Ray Clemmons of Hillary for America Campaign. Not pictured: Michelle Davis, a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign

Nashville real estate businessman and Democratic fundraiser Bill Freeman Saturday challenged the party faithful to unite for 2016 to elect Democrats to office including the White House.

Freeman, who ran a strong but unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Nashville last year, was the keynote speaker for the DeKalb County Democratic Party Mass Meeting.

Freeman, a supporter of President Obama is now backing Hillary Clinton for President. "I am a lifelong Democrat. I've been involved in dozens of Democratic races around the state. I was an early supporter of President Obama. I started supporting him when he was a State Senator. I helped him in his U.S. Senate race. I helped him in both of his Presidential elections. I have served for five years as a national co-chair of OFA which is his (Obama's) signature organization," said Freeman in an interview with WJLE.

"We have a clear choice of continuing on this path that the President has laid out for us. When he (Obama) took office the unemployment rate was 12%. It has now dropped to 4.9%. The DOW was at 7,000 points. It's now at about 16,000 points. When you have jobs and business growth that helps everyone and that's what we've had. But he (Obama) has also done such a great job socially and engaged so many people in this process," he said.

"One of the things I talked about today is the hundreds of thousands of young people who have gotten engaged in this election as a result of Bernie Sanders. I am a Hillary supporter but I so much appreciate what Senator Sanders is doing in engaging young people and getting them involved in the process. I think that will ultimately help us in November whoever the Democratic nominee is," Freeman continued.

As for state politics, Freeman said even though Republicans hold most offices, Democrats are on their way back to power. "We're behind right now but the Republicans are doing all they can do to help us with some of the issues they are concentrating on and I think we're on the comeback trail,".

Although the race is still two years away, Freeman may make a run for Governor. "I am more concerned about us electing the right Governor and electing a Democrat for Tennessee than I am me being a candidate. I am wide open. I hope the right candidate comes along. Someone that I can get behind who will carry the banner for Democrats for Tennessee. But I am not ruling out taking a look at it. That's probably a year away for me. I am more concerned right now with this election cycle and who we put in the White House," Freeman concluded.

Bill was born and raised in Donelson, TN along with his five sisters where he attended public schools. He attended high school at Peabody Demonstration School (now University School) before going on to the University of Tennessee.

Bill’s career in real estate began as a teenager, when he held a summer job as a maintenance man and grounds keeper at family-owned apartment complexes. At 16, he became the youngest person in the country to graduate from the Realtors’ Institute and receive the GRI designation, and at 17, he acquired his first piece of income producing real estate.

Prior to founding Freeman Webb, Inc., Bill was director of Downtown Urban Development for the Metropolitan Nashville Development and Housing Agency (MDHA). He also spent four years as a real estate securities sales representative with Freeman Brothers Realtors.

Bill serves as Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc., a real estate investment, management and brokerage company he co-founded with partner Jimmy Webb in 1979. Bill and Jimmy met at Nashville’s Junior Chamber of Commerce over 35 years ago and they have grown Freeman Webb into one of the area’s most successful full-service real estate companies.

Today Freeman Webb has about 500 employees and manages over 15,000 apartment units. Their first employee is still with the company and many others have been with Freeman Webb for 15, 20 and even 25 years. Freeman Webb has been recognized for three consecutive years as a “Best Place to Work.”

A strong supporter of charitable and community organizations, Bill currently serves on the board of directors of the Nashville State Community College Foundation and has served on the boards of the Tennessee State University Foundation, the Nashville Area YMCA, the Nashville Public Television Council and Children’s House.

An alumnus of the Leadership Nashville program (1979-1980), he has served as commissioner of the Nashville Convention Center and on the board of The Tennessee Housing Development Agency. He was named Man of the Year by the Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1977.

Bill was chosen as one of Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 Power Leaders in Commercial Real Estate. He was also honored as one of the five American Diabetes Association’s 2014 Fathers of the Year..

Bill enjoys spending time out at his farm and training his two hunting dogs, labs Paddy and Pitch. He is an elder at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, where he and his family have been going for over 30 years.

Bill is a devoted husband to his wife, Babs Tinsley Freeman, father to their three sons, Bob, Harvey and Mike, and grandfather to Bob and Rachel’s two daughters.

Meanwhile Michelle Davis, a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign spoke at the Mass Meeting Saturday along with State Representative John Ray Clemmons for the Hillary for America Presidential Campaign.

Assessor of Property and Constables Speak at Democratic Mass Meeting (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell, Democratic Party Chair Jordan Wilkins, and Constables Mark Milam and Travis Bryant at Mass Meeting Saturday. Other Constable candidates were unable to attend

Although their names are on the March 1 ballot and people are already voting, Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell and Constables Travis Bryant and Mark Milam officially announced their candidacies for re-nomination by the DeKalb County Democratic Party Saturday.

All three spoke briefly during the party's mass meeting held at the DCHS Cafeteria. Milam is Constable in the 5th district and Bryant serves the 3rd district.

Cantrell is seeking his second four year term as Assessor of Property. He is unopposed in the March 1 primary but he will have a Republican opponent, Shannon Cantrell in the DeKalb County General Election on Thursday, August 4.

"I just want to thank everybody that supported me during my first campaign that I went through. I am very humbled to say thank you and I am very appreciative of being unopposed through this first one (primary). But it don't mean I've got my guard down. I want to thank each and everyone who supports me and stands behind me," said Cantrell.

"It's an honor to stand up here today. I've seen many of you around the community for the past 10 years since I've been here. It's been a very good experience for me and being a Constable for DeKalb County has also been a good experience. I'd appreciate all the support I can get. It's my first time running on the Democratic ticket. I hope I can do as good by you as I tried to do for the past couple of years since I was elected as an Independent," said Bryant.

"I count it an honor and privilege to stand here again today for the seventh term. I want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me in the past. I look forward to this election this year. I'm thankful to everyone who has stood behind me and voted for me for the last six terms. I've tried to help everyone in DeKalb County and I look forward to it again. I ask everyone for their vote and support," said Milam.

Other Democratic Constable candidates who were unable to attend Saturday's Mass Meeting are Jason Taylor in the 1st district, Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district. All are unopposed in the March 1 primary. Taylor will have a Republican opponent, Lee Plummer in the August 4 DeKalb County General Election. There is no Democratic Constable candidate in the 2nd district. The Republican nominee, Tom Theriaque will be unopposed in August.

DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins read announcements from Smithville Aldermen Danny Washer and Shawn Jacobs, who plan to seek re-election in the August 4 city election. Neither Washer nor Jacobs were able to attend Saturday's meeting. Although Washer and Jacobs are Democrats, they will not run as Democrats in the Municipal Election. The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen positions are non-partisan.

Lebanon Democrat Announces Plans to Run for Pody's Seat (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins with Amelia Hipps

A Democrat will be in the race for State Representative in the 46th district this year.

Amelia Hipps of Lebanon announced her candidacy during the DeKalb County Democratic Mass Meeting Saturday at the DCHS Cafeteria. She plans to seek the Democratic nomination in August for the seat now held by Republican Incumbent Mark Pody of Lebanon. Pody is also seeking re-nomination by the GOP in August.

The qualifying deadline is April 7.

The race will be decided in the November General Election.

Hipps is currently a part time public information officer for the Wilson County School System and she has been involved in the newspaper business.

"My husband and I moved here 10 years ago when I took over the job as the managing editor of the Lebanon Democrat. I spent a little over 25 years in the newspaper business as editor and reporter at small community newspapers throughout the southeast including Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. I left about four years ago. We started our own business covering the General Assembly for small community papers that couldn't afford to send somebody up there. I also covered the General Assembly for TNReport.com and I have also worked for the other newspaper in Lebanon The Wilson Post covering the General Assembly and county government. I got out of all of it when the opportunity came up to go to work for the school system which is what I do now. I am the Public Information Officer on a part time basis for Wilson County Schools. I also do publicity for a couple of other clients," said Hipps.

After passing up an opportunity to run two years ago, Hipps decided in January to get in the race this year. "In January I decided the time was right. This is the time to go do it. I am here to tell you I am here to win. We need more Democrats in the General Assembly. We need a balance of voices in the General Assembly," she said.

Hipps criticized Republicans in the State Legislature for lack of attention to local issues. "Your tax dollars pay their salaries. When they spend most of their time dealing with issues that don't have to do with the 46th district, simply passing resolutions on national issues to support the national party, do you think that's good use of your tax dollars? I want to change that," she said.

"I want to listen to you. I can't make you a promise that every legislative endeavor I will 100% succeed at. That's unrealistic. But what I can promise you is I will be your voice for the residents of DeKalb County who are in the 46th district. The things you need to move your county forward I will be your voice at the General Assembly if you will elect me. I ask you to come out and work with me. Let's get some more Democrats in the House," Hipps concluded.

The 46th district includes all of Cannon County and a portion of Wilson and DeKalb Counties.

Miller First to Qualify for Smithville Municipal Election

February 13, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Josh Miller

Incumbent Alderman Josh Miller is the first candidate to qualify for the Smithville Municipal Election in August.

Three Smithville aldermen are to be elected on Thursday, August 4. The terms are for four years.

Three others have been issued petitions for Aldermen including Gary Durham and Incumbents Shawn Jacobs and Danny Washer.

The qualifying deadline for the Smithville Election is Noon April 7.

Loretta Billings Sharritts earns Doctor of Naturopathy

February 12, 2016
by: 
Kaye Fedak
Loretta Billings Sharritts

Trinity School of Natural Health in Warsaw, Indiana announces the graduation of Loretta Billings Sharritts from their Doctor of Naturopathy program. Dr. Sharritts graduated from DeKalb County High School, Smithville, Tennessee; Madison College, Madison, Tennessee; College of Mount St Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio; and earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing at Andrews University, Berrin Springs, Michigan. She is the daughter of the late Clyde and Ora Billings.

She plans to continue her mission in helping people to maintain their health and prevent illness through teaching, writing, lectures, and individual health counseling. She resides in Tequesta, Florida and is active in the health ministry at the Jupiter Seventh Day Adventist Church in Jupiter, Florida.

Trinity School of Natural Health is a non-profit educational institution whose courses focus on the integration of the body, mind and spirit within a nondenominational Christian framework. Their philosophy is that when the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the whole person are developed, true health can be achieved. Their courses are designed to support the integration of all three.

Naturopaths teach natural ways to enhance health, promote optimal wellness and encourage longevity. The Naturopathic approach is holistic and focuses on maintaining wellness, with an emphasis on disease prevention.

Evins Qualifies for Board of Education Election

February 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
W.J. (Dub) Evins, III

An incumbent school board member is the first to qualify for the August Board of Education Election

W.J. (Dub) Evins, III of the fifth district will be in the race for re-election.

Three school board members will be elected on August 4 including one from the 4th, 5th, & 6th districts. The terms are for four years.

Others who have obtained qualifying petitions to date are:

Kate Miller in the 4th district

Barry Mabe in the 5th district

Doug Stephens in the 6th district.

The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7

Surveillance Photo and Video Released in Liberty State Bank Robbery (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Surveillance Photo and Video Released in Liberty State Bank Robbery

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has released a surveillance photo and video of the gunman entering Liberty State Bank Wednesday morning

Sheriff Patrick Ray is hoping the public can be of assistance in helping catch the robber.

As shown in the photo and video, the gunman was wearing a black jacket and hoodie as well as a mask . According to Sheriff Ray, the mask appears to be either a skull bandana or a neoprene face mask.

If you know of someone who owns this type of mask or bandana or if you are a business owner who has sold one recently, please contact the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department at 615-597-4935.

The gunman, believed to be a man, ran into the bank shortly after 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, approached a female teller, and displayed a weapon. The teller complied with the robber's demands and the gunman fled the bank with cash. No one was injured.

Another person in the bank at the time witnessed the crime and called authorities at 8:07 a.m.. The robber appeared to be a white male, five feet, six inches to five feet, ten inches in height, wearing a black jacket with a hoodie on it.

A deputy was on the scene within five minutes of the initial call. Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell responded to assist.

The case remains under investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the FBI.

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