Local News Articles

Mother Suffers Broken Ribs After Allegedly being Assaulted by her Son

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
John Thomas Bailey
Charles Elmer Burrage, III
Carl Everett Martin
Patsy Lynn Estes
Ramiro Garza, Jr
Cindy Lynn Griffith

A Smithville man has been arrested after allegedly assaulting his mother resulting in her suffering broken ribs.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

46 year old John Thomas Bailey of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $6,000 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 24 a deputy responded to a residence on Short Mountain Highway for a possible domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Bailey and his mother. She told the officer that her son, Bailey had pushed her down several times inside the residence. Bailey’s mother was taken by DeKalb EMS to the emergency room of the hospital where she was found to have a scrape on her knee and broken ribs. Bailey was arrested the following day, Friday November 25.

47 year old Charles Elmer Burrage, III of Redmon Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $4,500 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 25 Burrage admitted to assaulting his son by punching him in the head several times causing swelling and bruising.

54 year old Carl Everett Martin of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 27 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Cookeville Highway in reference to a possible domestic. The officer spotted a woman walking along Cookeville Highway. He stopped and spoke with her. The woman said she and her husband, Martin had gotten into an argument and that he grabbed her by the neck and tried to strangle her. The woman had red marks on her neck and said she had difficulty breathing after the assault.

44 year old Patsy Lynn Estes of Highland Drive, Smithville, a prisoner in the DeKalb County Jail, is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $3,500 and her court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 13 Estes and another female inmate could be seen arguing on the jail’s video surveillance. Estes approached the other inmate and forced her into a corner where they began to fight. It was determined that Estes was the primary aggressor. The victim had red marks on her neck where Estes had tried to choke her.

40 year old Ramiro Garza, Jr. of Capshaw Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 16 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Capshaw Road in answer to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that she and her boyfriend, Garza had gotten into an argument and that he grabbed her by the arms and threw her to the ground. When she got up, Garza again grabbed her by the arms and slammed her into a door. She had red marks on her arms.

46 year old Cindy Lynn Griffith of Hickory Way, Antioch Tennessee is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. She was also issued citations for driving on a revoked license, violation of the open container law, and violation of financial responsibility (no insurance). Her bond is $3,000 and her court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 25 a deputy was dispatched to a possible drunk driver traveling on Highway 70 in a small gray truck. The officer spotted the vehicle and Griffith was found to be the driver. She was unsteady on her feet and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Griffith refused to submit to sobriety tasks but admitted to being intoxicated. She could not provide proof of insurance and found in the vehicle were several open bottles of beer. A computer check revealed her license were revoked for a DUI offense against her on February 27, 2012. She was placed under arrest.

Family left Homeless by Saturday Night Fire

November 28, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire destroys home of James Michael “Moose” and Becky Nokes at 677 Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown.
Family left Homeless by Saturday Night Fire

A Saturday night fire destroyed the home of James Michael “Moose” and Becky Nokes at 677 Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown.

Central dispatch received the call at around 9:00 p.m.

“The residents called 911 and reported their basement was on fire. Upon our arrival, heavy smoke was observed coming from the basement and the first floor of the home,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“Firefighters entered the basement but the fire, heat, and smoke were too intense to reach the basement area where the fire had already begun to breach the first floor. Firefighters had to resort to a defensive attack to protect nearby exposures, three parked vehicles outside the basement door, and a detached garage,” Chief Green continued.

“The residents were able to safely escape the home, taking only a few personal items with them but the home and remaining contents were destroyed,” he said.

The Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Main Stations responded along with the department’s tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

“The residents say they noticed the power flicker a few times, heard a loud pop, and then the power went completely out. When they went to investigate, the residents discovered the fire in the basement,” said Chief Green.

“Although no official determination of the cause of the fire has been made, it is suspected to have started in the electrical breaker box in the basement,” he concluded.

Three Vehicles Involved in Saturday Wreck

November 27, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Three Vehicles Involved in Saturday Crash

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was called to the scene of a rear end crash involving three vehicles Saturday evening on Highway 83 (Allen Ferry Road).

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson, 40 year old Melanie Stansberry of Smithville was traveling west on Highway 83 (Allen Ferry Road) in a 2001 Chevy Tahoe when she was forced to stop due to another vehicle having stopped in front of her. Behind Stansberry was a 2012 Chevy Equinox, driven by 66 year old Betty Davis of Smithville who was also traveling west. Following behind Davis was a westbound 2006 Kia Spectra, driven by 38 year old Joey Redmon of Smithville.

“Ms. Davis was slowing in her travel lane when Mr. Redmon failed to stop, striking Davis’ vehicle in the rear knocking her into the rear of Mrs. Stansberry’s automobile. Mr. Redmon stated his vision was obstructed by the sun which caused him to strike Ms. Davis’s vehicle. Mr. Redmon was transported to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Mr. Redmon was issued citations for failure to exercise due care and financial responsibility,” said Trooper Johnson.

Neither Davis, Stansberry or her passenger, 46 year old William Stansberry were injured.

Joshua Isaac Melton Injured in Rollover Crash

November 26, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joshua I. Melton Injured in Rollover Crash

A 35 year old Smithville man was injured after losing control of his 2003 Ford Explorer on New Home Road (State Highway 83) Saturday afternoon. The vehicle overturned on its top.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Joshua Isaac Melton was traveling east when his vehicle went off the right side of the highway into a ditch, hit a fence and then overturned on a road sign before coming to rest on its top.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s extrication and rescue team were called to the scene to help free Melton who was trapped in the vehicle. He was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was also on the scene.

Melton was later airlifted from the hospital to Vanderbilt Hospital

Midnight Fire Destroys Portion of Mobile Home

November 26, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green

A midnight fire Friday destroyed a portion of a mobile home at 3620 Cookeville Highway .

The owner and resident, Debra Caldwell, escaped unharmed.

“Just before midnight (Friday) we were called to 3620 Cookeville Highway to a mobile home fire,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“Upon our arrival, we found half of the structure fully involved with other nearby structures threatened. The owner, Debra Caldwell, was at home and her dog awoke her. Caldwell then heard her smoke alarms sounding. The house became filled with smoke but Caldwell managed to escape with her purse and her dog. She went next door to her mother’s house and had her mother call 911,” Chief Green continued.

Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, and Main Stations responded along with the County Fire Department’s tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and Sheriff’s Department.

“Another person rented half of the trailer but he was out of town for the holiday weekend,” added Chief Green.

“Approximately half of the trailer was totally destroyed and the remaining portion received extensive heat and smoke damage. The fire caused no damage to any nearby structures,” he said.

“Mrs. Caldwell and her dog suffered some smoke inhalation but Mrs. Caldwell refused medical treatment and transport by EMS”.

“The fire began in a kitchen area but the exact cause is under investigation,” Chief Green concluded.

"Love Lights A Tree" Fundraising Campaign Underway

November 26, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
"Love Lights A Tree" Fundraising Campaign Underway

The American Cancer Society invites you to make a special donation in honor or in memory of a loved one during the Christmas holiday season through "Love Lights a Tree". A special memory board will be erected on the south side of the courthouse that will list the names of loved ones being honored and remembered.

The DeKalb County Unit of the American Cancer Society seeks your support in the "Love Lights a Tree" fundraising campaign to raise money for research to find a cure as well as cancer education and patient services. Donations may be made throughout the holiday season. The persons you honor or remember do not necessarily have to have suffered from cancer.

The names are in "honor of" and in "memory of" for a donation of five-dollars per name. Forms may be obtained at the local banks. For more information, contact Ivadell Randolph at 615- 597-5296, Lynda Luna at 615- 597-5837, Renee Cantrell at 615-684-2688, or Gail Taylor 615-597-5936

County to Make a Decision on Cherry Hill Community Center

November 25, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Cherry Hill Community Center

Since the election commission closed the Cherry Hill precinct some members of the county commission have expressed an interest in selling the property. But in order to do that the county will have to file an application with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to remove a deed restriction and purchase the 0.24 acre lot.

More than three decades ago, the state deeded the lot to the county at no cost but included a provision that requires the county to use the property “ for public purposes for the benefit of DeKalb County citizens”. The county later built a community center on the lot and still owns and maintains the facility although no one uses it anymore.

“At one point, it served its purpose but interest in the community center has declined to the point where no individual or group uses it anymore. The county maintains and upkeeps utilities, mowing, etc of the entire facility at taxpayer dollars with no use by its citizens. The building is also in need of repair. In the summer of 2011 there was an effort from several individuals in the community to revive the center but there was not enough interest. They made a web page when they tried to revive it. They had tee shirts printed up. They had meetings and tried to have a barbeque to raise money but there was no interest. That was the last organized effort by the community dealing with the center. We have had nobody call wanting to rent or use it,” County Mayor Tim Stribling told the county commission during a committee meeting Tuesday night.

“I looked on the property data map and it still shows the (Cherry Hill Community Center lot) on the state right of way. I called the Department of Transportation in Chattanooga and they looked back on the deed. Although the state deeded it to us (county), DeKalb County did not buy the property. Since the land must be used for public purpose for the benefit of citizens of DeKalb County according to the deed, we will have to go through the process of filing an application to the state and go before the excess land committee to ask for the deed restriction to be removed. In order to do that the property will have to be appraised and we will have to purchase the property. Not the building but the lot. While the property belongs to the county, we can’t sell it because of the deed restriction. The state will send somebody out to look at the lot and if it’s valued at under $10,000 they will do an appraisal. If it’s valued at over $10,000 they will get an independent appraiser. They will only appraise the lot, not the building,” said County Mayor Stribling.

The county commission will discuss the issue again during the regular monthly meeting Monday night, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

October DeKalb Jobless Rate at 5.8%

November 25, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for October was 5.8%, down slightly from 5.9% in September and well below the 6.3% rate for October, 2015.

The local labor force for October was 7,580. A total of 7,140 were employed and 440 were unemployed.
Jobless rates for October among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Jackson:7.2%
Clay: 6.2%
Van Buren: 6%
Cumberland:6%
DeKalb: 5.8%
Pickett:5.7%
Fentress: 5.6%
Overton: 5.4%
White:5.2%
Warren: 5.1%
Putnam: 5%
Cannon:4.7%
Smith: 4.4%
Macon:4.4%

County unemployment rates for October 2016 show the rates decreased in 80 counties, increased in seven, and remained the same in eight counties.

For the month of October, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.7 percent, decreasing from 3.9 percent the previous month. Knox County was 4.1 percent in October, down from 4.3 percent in September. The Hamilton County rate was 5.0 percent, decreasing from 5.1 the previous month. Shelby County was 5.7 percent, also decreasing from 5.8 the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for October was 4.8 percent, increasing two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for October was 4.9 percent, decreasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Landowners At Odds Over Request to Close Portion of Taylor Lane

November 24, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andy Redus addresses County Commission
Janice Martin addresses County Commission

Two landowners are at odds over whether a portion of a county road in the Wolf Creek area should be closed.

Andy Redus is asking the county commission to close 1,085 feet of the end section of Taylor Lane where he has a part time residence.

Taylor Lane is located near the intersection of Wolf Creek Road and the Buffalo Valley Road-Medley Amonette Road. Redus, who lives out of the county, said he wants to install a gate to restrict access to his private property for public safety concerns. “My residence is not a full time residence. I have no way of telling what’s going on there all the time,” Redus told the county commission during a committee meeting Tuesday night. Redus wants to keep out sightseers, trespassers, and litterers. He has already obtained permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an adjoining landowner, to erect the gate provided the Corps has access.

Janice Martin, who also has property on Taylor Lane, is opposed to the closure because an old cemetery is located on the road inside the area where Redus wants to put the gate. Although the cemetery has been there for over a century and is unkept with overgrowth Martin said the road should remain open for anyone who wants to visit there. “This road is not only to my cemetery back there that’s family, there are other people in this county I have talked to who own businesses that have people buried in that cemetery. This is not just the two graves that you can see (stones showing) because the markers (of the other graves) are not there now. It’s a very old cemetery,” said Martin in addressing the county commission.

The DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission held a public hearing in September where Martin voiced opposition but voted to recommend to the county commission that Redus’ request be approved subject to the right of access of visitors to the cemetery located at the end of Taylor Lane and that a hammerhead turnaround which meets with the approval of the Road Supervisor be developed at the expense of Redus.

Martin said the turnaround is not large enough especially for emergency vehicles. “I am totally opposed to closing the road. Andy knew when he bought the property what he was buying. We own both sides of the road all the way back passed that area. I’m within 50 feet of the turnaround so I will have to use that turnaround on a daily basis. I took one of our hay wagons behind my vehicle back there and I could barely get turned around. It is very hard to do. I may also build another house within 50 feet of this property so I will have to have access to fire trucks, ambulances, or other emergency vehicles that would have to come in there. They would have to use this turnaround,” said Martin.

Redus claims the turnaround is large enough and provided pictures showing where he turned around there with a pickup truck pulling a sixteen foot trailer.

Redus said he would provide a key to Corps officials for access to Corps property and make access available to others requesting entry to the cemetery by opening the gate himself remotely from his phone.

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the County Commission is expected to vote on a resolution recommended by the planning commission, which if approved, would grant Redus’ request to close 1,085 feet of the end section of Taylor Lane with the aforementioned conditions.

The meeting will be Monday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

DeKalb West Student to Compete at National Junior Beta Club Finals

November 23, 2016
by: 
Bill Conger
Garrett Hayes
DWS Junior Beta Club at Convention

For the first time in DeKalb West School’s history, a student will be advancing to the national finals of the Junior Beta Club. 8th grader Garrett Hayes, the DWS Junior Beta President, won second place this week at the Tennessee Junior Beta State Convention in the Visual Arts category of Color Photography. Hayes is the son of Alan and Lesa Hayes.

Thirty-six Junior Beta members left Nov. 20 for a two-day stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to compete in a variety of academic, arts and crafts, and other contests. The theme was “Betas: Above and Beyond.”

Also representing DeKalb West in the academic competitions were Jaden Johnson in Math, and Brayden Antoniak, Science. Breanna Cothern, Abby Lawson, Riley Overstreet, and Nathaniel Crook were quizzed on 12 books that they read for the Book Battle contest. The Tower of Power team consisted of Aniston Farler, Madison Martin, Aly Griffith, Brett Walker, and Matt Nokes. The contest is designed for students to use innovative problem solving techniques and engineering concepts to create a straw tower that supports a tennis ball for one minute. Members of the Living Literature team were Bralin Moss, Jathan Willoughby, Lydia Willoughby, Lucas Hale, Dawson Bandy, Nathaniel Crook, Brayden Antoniak, and John Ellis. They created a set from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and they had the task of standing still like wax figures to recreate the piece of literature for viewers to see. Isaac Brown, Alley Beth Cook, Lynsey Ellis, and Nathan Dace made up the DWS Quiz Bowl team. For “Spotlight Your Club,” Alex Moreno, Kortnee Skeen, Lacey McMillen, and Kyndal Cox put their creative skills to the test to devise a tri-fold board that would demonstrate what the DWS Junior Beta Club is like focusing on the convention theme, “Betas: Above and Beyond.” Representing the club in the Scrapbooking contest were Gracie Griffin, Emma Damron, Summer Crook, and Bonnie Hale. Levi Driver sang “Little Drummer Boy” in the Special Talent contest. In the area of Visual Design, Emma Martin entered Sketching, Lydia Davenport, Black and White Photography, Kaia Howard, Recyclable Art, and Breanna Cothern, Sculpture.

“I am proud of our students,” said Bill Conger, DWS School Counselor and Junior Beta Sponsor. “They represented us well in the competitions and with their behavior at the convention. They’re always striving to be the best at DeKalb West.”

Amanda Mullinax, Jessica Antoniak, and Nadina Martel also sponsor the club.

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