Local News Articles

Tennessee Scholars Honored at DCHS

May 17, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

DCHS Students in the Tennessee Scholars Program were honored Friday during Senior Awards Day .

These students have met all requirements for the Tennessee Scholars Program. The Tennessee Scholars program encourages students to take a more rigorous and challenging course of study in high school. Students graduating as Tennessee Scholars have to maintain good academic, disciplinary, and attendance standards as well as volunteer in the community. Tennessee Scholars also choose to take rigorous courses beyond what is required to graduate.

The DeKalb County Education Foundation has generously provided the Tennessee Scholars Medals for the past four years.

The following students graduating as Tennessee Scholars are:

Preston Adcock, Russell Ambrose, Emilee Anderson, Rosemary Apple, Chelsea Bain, Charles Bates, Victoria Bennett, Nicole Burger, Chynna Cade, Brittany Cleveland, Jessica Cook, Allison Curtis, Courtney DeHoet, Ashmika Earl, Josh Emberton, Macy Felts, Krysta Ferrell, Taylor Foutch, Caleb Gash, Jenny Hale, Olivia Herman, Carrie Herrin, Jordan Howe, Amber Judkins, Lauren Kemp, Matthew Lawrence, Rebecca Lawrence, Josh Lester, Nick Lester, Anna Little, Avarie Maynard, Kelly Merriman, Megan Merriman, Jeff Miller, Olivia Miller, Mindy Mofield, Whitney Moss, Megan Osborne, Brooke Pack, Megan Pack, Stephanie Page, Corey Poss, Justin Poteete, Amanda Price, Amanda Reed, Jessica Richards, Francisco Rodriguez, Logan Roller, Kesha Staley, Jessica Strickland, Shay Sullivan, Anderson Webb, Luke Willoughby, Tiffany Winchester, Kara Young, and Nikita Young.

DCHS Seniors Recognized for Academic Achievement

May 17, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Several members of the Class of 2009 received special recognition for academic achievement during Friday's Senior Awards Day Program at DCHS.

The awards and the students receiving them are as follows:

Valedictorian- Kesha Staley
Salutatorian- Kelly Merriman
The President's Volunteer Service Award- Megan Merriman

US Marines
Semper Fidelis-Zach Batey
Distinguished Athlete- Shay Sullivan
Scholastic Excellence-Kelly Merriman

US Air Force
Math & Science Award-Ryan Leiser
Technology & Education Award-Rebecca Lawrence
Student Athlete-Krysta Ferrell

US Army Reserves
National Scholar Athlete-JJ Herriott
National Scholar Athlete-Victoria Bennett

English Department Awards -
Rebecca Lawrence, Emille Anderson, Hunter Stewart, and Kayla Hale

Business Department Award-Luke Willoughby
College Trigonometry Award-Nicole Burger
College Algebra Award-Josh Emberton
Advanced Algebra / Trigonometry Award-Nikita Young
Chemistry II-Anderson Webb
Physics-Jordon Howe
Physics-Victoria Bennett
Honors Database Crook-Kelly Merriman
Honors Vocal Music- Carolyn Bass, Annie Cook-McSparren, Beth Cunningham, Macy Felts,
Carrie Herrin, Amber Judkins, Lauren Kemp, Nicole Loftis, Macrina Perez, Allyson Trapp,
Jalissa Tubbs, Reba Wilkey, Nikita Young, Ashley Turner

FFA- Josh Arnold, Brian Bates, Justin Dunaway, Nathan Nixon, Sonny Stults, Thomas West
FCCLA Lucille Ferrell Award-Beth Cunningham

TN 4-H Council- Megan Pack, Brooke Pack, Victoria Bennett, Megan Merriman, Luke Willoughby, Macy Felts, Kara Young, Carla Gilbert, Nathan Nixon, Amber Judkins

Rotary Math Award- Kelly Merriman $100.00
Rotary Vocational Award- Dillon Davis $100.00
Forensic Science-Alison Curtis
Forensic Science- Jordon Howe
Diagnostic Medicine-Alison Curtis
Anatomy & Physiology-Jordon Howe
Health Science Ed-Kesha Staley
DAR Good Citizen Award-Russell Ambrose
Government/Economics-Kesha Staley

Biology 2-Jordon Howe

Students earning "Highest Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0 in alphabetical order are:

Rosemary Apple, Victoria Bennett, Nicole Burger, Allison Curtis, Justin Dunaway, Josh Emerton, Macy Felts, Krysta Ferrell, Caleb Gash, Carrie Herrin, Jordan Howe, Matthew Lawrence, Rebecca Lawrence, Ryan Leiser, Avarie Maynard, Kelly Merriman, Megan Merriman, Jeff Miller, Megan Osborne, Brooke Pack, Megan Pack, Amanda Price, Amanda Reed, Kesha Staley, Jessica Strickland, Shay Sullivan, Anderson Webb, Thomas West, Tiffany Winchester, and Kara Young.

Students earning "High Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.79 include Russell Ambrose, Adam Arnold, Corey Dodd, Cody Hawkins, Dustin Lattimore, Josh Lester, Anna Little, Malinda Mofield, Nathan Neal, Brandon Owen, Corey Poss, and Nikita Young..

Those earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 include Preston Adcock, Emilee Anderson, Kirt Bandy, Carolyn Bass, Brian Bates, Chynna Cade, Courtney DeHoet, Kayla Hale, John Herriott, Shane Hickman, Turner Hobby, Amber Judkins, Lauren Kemp, Alisha Majors, Kimberly Majors, Whitney Moss, Justin Poteete, Jessica Richards, Francisco Rodriguez, Stephen Rogers, Logan Roller, Sonny Stults, Allyson Trapp, and Luke Willoughby.

Indian Creek’s Acteens Sponsor Drive

May 17, 2009
Acteens of Indian Creek Baptist Church

The Acteens of Indian Creek Baptist Church recently volunteered their time and efforts to support DeKalb County Habitat for Humanity.

These young ladies displayed posters, made announcements and encouraged church members to donate household items, furniture, building supplies and other items to Habitat's ReStore Thrift/Building Supplies Store.

Shane Miller helped the effort by transporting the items to the Restore .Donated items will be sold with profits going toward the construction of Habitat's next house.

The ReStore is a retail business operating as a fundraising arm of DeKalb County's Affiliate Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The store is located at 415 Miller Road. Store hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 until noon.

If your organization would like to help, please contact Habitat at 615-215-8181.

Pictured standing from left are: Sue N. Puckett-Jernigan, Acteens Leader; Keeli Bullard, Karissa Nolton, Mary Anne Carpenter, Assistant Acteens Leader; and Dana Cantrell Miller. Seated from left: Reddy Munagala and Brianna Nolton.

Scholarships Awarded to DCHS Seniors

May 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Seniors Receiving College Scholarship Awards
DCHS Seniors Receiving Scholarships from Civic Organizations

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships were awarded to members of the Class of 2009 at DeKalb County High School during Friday's annual Senior Awards Day program.

Representatives of colleges, universities, the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marines, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations made the presentations.

Victoria Bennett received one of the largest scholarship awards of the day, a $96,000 Athletic & Academic Scholarship to play fast pitch softball at Cumberland University.

Other scholarship awards are as follows:

MTSU Scholarships:
$13,600 Academic Service Scholarship-Anna Little
$8,000 Provost- Alison Curtis

University of Tennessee at Martin:
$14,000 McWhorter Freshman Scholarship- Courtney DeHoet
$6,000 Deans Scholarship-Courtney DeHoet

Tennessee Tech University:
$10,000 Valedictorian Scholarship- Kesha Staley
$16,000 Academic Service Scholarship- Kelly Merriman
$16,000 Academic Service Scholarship- Kara Young
$750 Tommy Burks Memorial Scholarship- Kesha Staley
$10,000 Golden Eagle Excellence- Cody Hawkins
$12,000 Academic Service Scholarship- Brandon Owen
$8,000 Vice President's Scholarship- Rebecca Lawrence
$600 Phi Delta Kappa- Kelly Merriman
$4,000 Admission Academic Award- Brooke Pack
$750 Tommy Burks Memorial Scholarship- Krysta Ferrell
$4,000 Academic Service Scholarship- Krysta Ferrell
$1,000 Ag Foundation Scholarship- Krysta Ferrell
$4,000 Academic Service Scholarship- Megan Merriman
$2,000 Christine Burks Scholarship- Megan Pack

Motlow:
$4,000 Scholarship- Corey Poss

University of Tennessee at Knoxville:
$6,000 UT Volunteer Scholarship- Jordon Howe

Belmont:
$64,000 Athletic/Academic Scholarship- Shay Sullivan
$20,000 Merit Scholarship- Anderson Webb

Carson-Newman:
$7,500 Academic Scholarship- Luke Willoughby
$2,000 Forensic Speech & Debate Team Scholarship- Luke Willoughby

Vol State Community College:
$3,000 ABC Group Foundation Scholarship- Tayler Foutch

Military Enlistments:

U.S. Army Reserves-
$82,000 to James Ball

U.S. Navy- Koby Bullard, Brian Bates, John Curtis, Stuart Nunley, and Matt Tramel. The value of the college scholarship they're receiving exceeds $75,000

U.S. Marines-
$80,000 to Emmanuel Arroyo

$8,000 Federal Mogul Corporation Scholarship- Brooke Pack

$8,000 DTC McAllen Foutch Scholarship- Shay Sullivan
$350 Chuck Felts Memorial- Macy Felts
$500 DeKalb Soil Conservation District- Justin Dunaway
$1,000 Kyle & Kenny Robinson Memorial-Victoria Bennett
$250 Class of 1969- Josh Emberton

$1,500 Agee Oil Scholarship- Avarie Maynard

Charlene Morrison Johns Memorial-
$500 each to Rosemary Apple, Carrie Herrin, Megan Merriman, Jeff Miller, and Shay Sullivan

DeKalb Fire Fighters Scholarship-
$500 each to Corey Poss, Rebecca Lawrence, and Kelly Merriman

$1,000 Jolly Angels in memory of Jake Hoover- Megan Merriman
Jolly Angels- $1,000 each to Jessica Strickland and Nicole Burger

$500 Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Scholarship- Matthew Lawrence

$500 DeKalb Republican Women- Amanda Reed

Liberty State Bank Scholarships-
$1,000 each to Jeff Miller and Rebecca Lawrence

$500 Jeff Garrett Memorial- Chynna Cade

Smithville Business & Professional Women's Club-
$500 each to Trista Atnip and Olivia Miller

Love-Cantrell Funeral Home-
$500 each to Kesha Staley and Tayler Foutch

$500 Alan Hooper Memorial- Anderson Webb

$250 AmVets Scholarship- Preston Adcock
$250 AmVets Auxiliary- Chynna Cade

DeKalb Funeral Chapel-
$500 each to Amber Judkins, Matthew Lawrence, and Krysta Ferrell

$6,000 CIC Scholarship- Corey Poss

$500 First Bank- Avarie Maynard

Smithville Rotary Club-
$750 each to Anderson Webb, Russell Ambrose, and Courtney DeHoet

$1,000 Scottish Rite- Kayla Hale

$500 DeKalb Community Hospital- Courtney DeHoet

$500 Class of 1966- Hunter Stewart

Middle Tennessee Times-
$500 each to Victoria Bennett and Jessica Strickland

$1,000 NADC High School Select- Dillon Davis
$1,000 NADC Scholarship- Dillon Davis

$500 DeKalb Farmers Coop- Krysta Ferrell

Lucille Stewart Memorial-
$2,000 each to Megan Pack and Justin Poteete

$500 Elzie & Nell McBride Memorial- Jessica Richards

$750 Leadership DeKalb- Tiffany Winchester

$200 FCCLA- Shanea Nixon

$250 DCHS Student Council- Brooke Pack

$1,000 Comcast Leaders and Achievers- Russell Ambrose

Eddie Crips Memorial Scholarships- Nicole Richards, Megan Pack, and Brooke Pack

$2,000 Beecher & Wilma Moss- Caleb Gash

DeKalb Retired Teachers-
$500 each to Jessica Strickland and Nikita Young

Smithville Women's Club-
$500 each to Jessica Strickland and Amber Judkins
$250 Bill Radcliff Scholarship- Luke Willoughby

$1,000 Castle Heights Military Academy Alumni Scholarship- Anderson Webb

$250 Courtney Pirtle Memorial- Shanea Nixon

$500 Hunter Davis Memorial- Dillon Davis

$2,000 Georgia Career Institute- Olivia Miller

$500 Sheriff's Association Scholarship- Chris Odom

(Top picture- first row, left to right): Megan Merriman, Kesha Staley, Krysta Ferrell, Shay Sullivan, & Victoria Bennett, Kara Young, Brooke Pack, Alison Curtis;
(Second row, left to right): Megan Pack, Luke Willoughby, Corey Poss, Dillon Davis, Brandon Owen, & Cody Hawkins
(Third row, left to right): Jordon Howe, Anderson Webb, Shanea Nixon, Rebecca Lawrence, Courtney DeHoet, & Taylor Foutch

(Bottom Picture-First row, left to right) Kelly Merriman, Megan Merriman, Kesha Staley, Krysta Ferrell, Victoria Bennett, Avarie Maynard, Macy Felts, Nikita Young, & Nicole Burger

(Second row, left to right) Matt Lawrence, Jeff Miller, Russ Ambrose, Corey Poss, Rosemary Apple, Brooke Pack, Megan Pack, Amanda Reed, & Trista Atnip

(Third row, left to right) Amber Judkins, Jessie Strickland, Anderson Webb, Shanea Nixon, Rebecca Lawrence, Courtney DeHoet, Taylor Foutch, Caleb Gash, & Justin Poteete

(Fourth row, left to right) Chynna Cade, Shay Sullivan, Carrie Herrin, Tiffany Winchester, Jessica Richards, Kayla Hale, Preston Adcock, Justin Dunaway, & Dillon Davis

Click this link to see photos from Awards Day.
www.luton.us/dchs/dchs.html

Sullivan's Indicted in April Shooting at their Home

May 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Matt Sullivan
Mandy Sullivan

24 year old Matthew Randall Sullivan, who was wounded in a shooting at his own home last month on Mountain View Drive, has been charged with reckless endangerment and aggravated assault for threatening the man who shot him.

His bond is $100,000.

Sullivan's estranged wife, Mandy Sullivan, has also been charged with filing a false report, tampering with evidence, and fabricating evidence. Her bond is $50,000

The cases against both Matthew and Mandy Sullivan were presented to a special session of the Grand Jury on Monday.

The shooting was reported to 911 at 3:24 a.m. on Saturday, April 18th.

After the shooting, Sheriff Patrick Ray says his department was contacted and upon arrival, officers found Sullivan in a wooded area behind the residence.

DeKalb EMS arrived on the scene and a Life Force Helicopter was summoned to airlift Sullivan to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. A helicopter landing zone was set up on Highway 56 north in the Buckner's Chapel Church area. Sullivan was treated and released a short time later.

Sheriff Ray says through interviews and evidence that was collected at the crime scene, the shooting appeared to have been justified. "Through interviews with the victim and witnesses at the scene, it appears that Sullivan assaulted one man at the residence and then kicked a bedroom door open where another man, female and two small children were present."

"The man in the bedroom was then approached by Sullivan, who was holding a large knife, and witnesses state that Sullivan began to try and assault the man with the knife. The man, in fear of his life and the safety of the other people in the room, shot at least one round from a 38 caliber pistol which hit Sullivan's right arm and chest area, exiting his back. Sullivan then left the residence and went out side."

According to Sheriff Ray, prior to the shooting, Mr. Sullivan had gotten arrested by the Smithville Police Department for driving under the influence. "He bonded out of jail and found out that Ms. Sullivan had some people (two men) at her residence that he was not fond of. Sullivan and his wife (Mandy) had been separated for about a week and a half."

"He (Matthew) arrives at the residence, goes in and assaults one of the guys pretty badly. He (Matthew) then winds up getting a butcher knife and threatens the other man in the house. The victim stated that he actually jabbed at him one time with the knife and when he jabbed again, he (victim) shot him (Matthew) in self defense."

"Our evidence at the crime scene shows that the victim was actually the shooter."

After the shooting, his (Matthew's) wife (Mandy) goes back in, moves evidence around in the home, hides the knife, takes the gun, unloads it, throws away the spent round, and keeps the other one, hiding it from the officers while they were there. She also gave some false statements, covering for her husband."

Board of Education Adopts Tentative Budget

May 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education, by a vote of 5 to 2, adopted a tentative budget for the 2009-2010 school year Thursday night which is expected to be presented to the county mayor's office Friday, May 15th.

Board members Kenny Rhody, Johnny Lattimore, W.J. (Dub) Evins III, Joan Draper, and Bruce Parsley voted for it. Board member John David Foutch and Chairman Charles Robinson voted no.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby calls it a "bare bones" budget since the school system is having to use BEP reserves and federal stimulus money to balance it. There are no local pay raises for employees in the budget, except for the step increases under the pay scale. The budget does includes a one percent increase in health insurance matching for all employees participating in the program.

A few "positions" are being eliminated under the general purpose budget, but the jobs will be saved thanks to the school system's allocation of federal stimulus dollars, which will be used to fund them.

The school board is not asking for a property tax increase this year, but Director Willoughby did not rule out the possibility that the board might have to ask the county commision for more money, should the system run short for fuel and utilities later in the year.

More capital outlay funds are already being requested in order to obtain two portables, one at the high school, and another for either the high school or DeKalb West School to address overcrowding concerns

In a statement to the board and the public, Willoughby said " the 2009-2010 General Purpose Budget before you tonight is again a bare bones budget."

"This year, as in prior years, we have a shortfall in Revenues over Expenditures and have used our reserve funds to balance the budget in order to prevent requesting a tax increase. As the Director of Schools, I am very concerned about the financial impact this will have on the school system if we continue this practice. I fear that our reserve funds will soon be depleted and we will have no money in the bank."

"We are also using funds from the School Sinking Fund (Local Option Sales Tax) as yearly operating revenues. Originally, this fund was established to fund capital outlay projects for the school system (for items such as new roofs) to avoid the need for notes or bonds. In 1995-96, we received $210,000 from this fund. We are now using $1,538,150. This too is a concern. Our buildings must be maintained. It is anticipated that we will need to replace school roofs at DeKalb Middle and DeKalb West in the next few years. The county will need to consider funding for these items as well."

"We are eliminating positions in the General Purpose Budget due to insufficient funds. This will allow our system to use the Federal Stimulus Money to retain these positions for the next two years. This is only a temporary fix. After two years, we will need to fund the positions in General Purpose again with local revenues."

"I would like for everyone to clearly understand that the DeKalb County School System will need additional local revenue, although we are not requesting this for the 2009-2010 school year, it will be needed soon in order to meet the educational needs of the children of DeKalb County."

"I would also like to remind you that should such items as fuel, insurance, and electricity increase, there may be a need for the Board of Education to request additional funding from the county commission."

The county commission's budget committee will now study the school system's proposal and could make changes of it's own, before final passage by the full commission later this summer.

In other business, the High School and Jr. Pro Football programs are seeking permission from the Board of Education to build a new field house for the Tiger football program.

Darrell Gill of Jr. Pro Football formally made the request on behalf of Tiger Coach Steve Trapp during the school board meeting Thursday night. Trapp could not attend due to a scrimmage game involving his team.

Gill said the new fieldhouse would be built with high school football and Jr. Pro funds and that the school system would not be asked for any money. He added that most of the construction would be done with volunteer labor.

The new fieldhouse, a 50 x 70 foot block exterior structure with a metal roof, would be located near the existing facility between the practice field and playing field. It would be for the Tiger football program complete with a dressing room area, locker room, training room, utility room, showers and bathrooms, an office for the coach, and two dry storage areas, one of which would be for the youth football league.

Gill says during the football season, visiting high school teams could use the locker room section of the old building to dress and other local football programs could make use of the existing fieldhouse as well including the middle school, youth football, and high school soccer teams.

The school board's facilities committee will meet next Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. at the high school football field house to determine if there are legal or liability issues. The board will then meet in special session on Thursday, May 28th to formally approve or deny the request.

Supporters say they want to have the building finished by the time football season gets underway this fall.

Meanwhile, sealed bids are being accepted for the sale of a new house, recently constructed by students in the DCHS Carpentry Class.

The house, located at 140 Evergreen Lane, Smithville, has approximately 1,652 square feet of living area with an attached 528 square foot 2-car garage, master bedroom with master bath and walk-in closet, utility room with half bath, kitchen with eating area, and downstairs den area. The upstairs includes two bedrooms, sitting room, and full bath, 12 x 20 deck, 2 central heat and air gas units, gas hot water heater, 5' x 22' front porch, concrete driveway, hardwood flooring in the living room and den area, tile in the bathrooms and kitchen, and carpet in the bedrooms.

The minimum bid is $140,000. Bids are to be mailed or delivered to the DeKalb County Board of Education,110 South Public Square, Smithville in a sealed envelope clearly marked as a "Bid" and will be received until 4:00 p.m. June 11th. The house can be viewed by appointment only. Call the Board of Education to request a viewing at 615-597-4084.

The sealed bids will be opened at the next school board meeting at 7:00 p.m. on June 11th.

School Board Honors Retiring Teachers

May 14, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Retiring Teachers Judy Fuson, Wayne Fuson, and Vicky Terrell

Three long time DeKalb County teachers are retiring at the close of the school year.

Wayne Fuson, Judy Fuson, and Vicky Terrell were honored at a reception Thursday night following the Board of Education meeting at the cafeteria of DeKalb County High School.

Wayne Fuson is completing 35 years as a teacher at the DCHS Vocational School. Judy Fuson has taught for a total of 30 years, most of that time at DeKalb County High School. Vicky Terrell, an educator at DeKalb Middle School, has taught for 20 years.

Teachers who recently attained tenure status were also honored including William Conger, Misty Franklin, Shelly Jennings, Sabrina Kirksey, Kristy Lasser, Michael Littrell, Rolando Navarro, Elizabeth Pafford, Rebecca Oliver, Amy Raymond, and Amy Young. Some of these teachers were unable to attend Thursday night's meeting.

Meanwhile Kelly Jo Birmingham has resigned as assistant band director. She will continue to serve as music teacher. Jennifer Agee has resigned as an educational assistant.

Meanwhile, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby announced that he has employed the DeKalb County Support Staff for the 2009-2010 school year.

He presented the list of employees to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed at DeKalb County High School are:

Rena Adcock- Cook, Richard Bullard- Custodian, Kathy Chapman-Cook, Kenderly Cripps- Guidance/Records Clerk, Annette Davis- Educational Assistant, Debbie Eaton- Educational Assistant, Regina Estes- Secretary, Beverly Ferrell- Educational Assistant, Dena Haugh- Educational Assistant, Faye Hendrix- Vocational Secretary, Jerry Herman- Custodian, Melissa Hicks- Cook, Helen LaFevre-Cook, Rita Leichtfuss- Educational Assistant, Deborah Magness- Bookkeeper, Rhonda Merriman-Educational Assistant, JoAnn Pittman-Custodian, Brian Reed- Educational Assistant, Denise Rutland- Custodian, Ray Robinson- Custodian, Vicky Sandlin- Cook, Rachel Seal- Educational Assistant, Cori Sexton- Educational Assistant, Sharon Washer- Cook, Suzanne Williams-Educational Assistant, Jamie Wright- Guidance Clerk, and Debbie Young-Cafeteria Manager.

DeKalb Middle School:

Rita Beshearse- Part Time Library Assistant/Part Time Cafeteria Monitor, Heather Blankenship- Educational Assistant, Helen Burt- Cook, Helen Cantrell-Cook, Fay Gilreath- School Bookkeeper, Connie Haggard- Cook, Truitt Hale- Custodian (medical leave of absence), Murinna Herman- Custodian, Barbara Hibdon- Cook, Rita Johnson-Cook, Samantha Lester- School Secretary, Reba Malone- Custodian, Diane Mason- Educational Assistant, Paulette McDonald- Educational Assistant, Lisa Norton- Educational Assistant, Julie Pugh- Educational Assistant, and Eldon Vanatta- Cafeteria Manager, .

Smithville Elementary School:

Brent Arnold-Educational Assistant, Austin Bain-Custodian, Jimmy Barnes- Custodian, Wendy Bowling- Educational Assistant (medical leave of absence), Pauline Braswell- Educational Assistant, Barbara Ann Ervin- Cafeteria Manager, Darlene Evans-Educational Assistant, Jennifer Gay- Educational Assistant, Crystal Gordon- Educational Assistant, Betty Griffith- Educational Assistant, Jean Hayes- Cook, Vickie Jefferies- Educational Assistant, Melinda Lattimore- Educational Assistant, Brittany Lockard- Educational Assistant, Sara Lomas-Custodian, Pat Milam- Part Time Cafeteria Monitor/Substitute Custodian, Tera Mooneyham-Educational Assistant, Diana Moon- Educational Assistant, Dori Mooneyham- Educational Assistant, Freeda Pedigo- Cook, Rhonda Pelham- Secretary/Receptionist, Amelia Phillips- Cook, Lori Poss- School Bookkeeper, Brenda Rigney- Educational Assistant, Teresa Spencer- Educational Assistant, Beverly Starnes- Cook, Peggy Sutton- Educational Assistant, Wayne Taylor- Custodian, Tammy Tyler- Cook, Annie Walker- Educational Assistant, and Celia Whaley- Educational Assistant,

Northside Elementary:

Vickey Atnip- Educational Assistant, Emma Jean Bandy- Cook, Suzanne Bradford- Educational Assistant, Clay Bumbalough- Custodian, Betty Cooper-Cook, Amme Cantrell- Educational Assistant, Heather Cornelius- Educational Assistant, Gail Crips- Secretary, Evril Cubbins- Educational Assistant, Regina Daw- Cafeteria Manager, Rebecca Ervin- Cook, Starr Ferrell-Educational Assistant, Kenneth Gordon- ESL Assistant (English as Second Language), Phyllis Hallum- Educational Assistant, Thelma Martin- Educational Assistant, Denise Merriman-Cook, Angie Moore-Educational Assistant, Rebecca Moss- Educational Assistant, Lynn Pichey-Custodian, Jo Dean Redmon- Lunch Monitor, Linda Sorrell- Educational Assistant, Diane Trapp- School Bookkeeper, Diane Trapp- School Bookkeeper, Kim Violet- Custodian, and Elizabeth White- Cook

DeKalb West School:

Holly Bain-Educational Assistant, Betty Boss- Educational Assistant, Brenda Beth Cantrell-Educational Assistant, Donna Driver- Cook, Dorothy Duggin-Custodian, Tina Edwards- Educational Assistant, Ruth Frazier- Custodian, Pauline Frazier- Custodian, Shelly Gibson- Educational Assistant, Lisa Hale- Secretary, Donna Hale- School Bookkeeper, Nancy Mulloy- Cook, Faye Nixon-Cook, Tina Paschal- Educational Assistant, Elizabeth Redmon-Educational Assistant, Tonya Roberts- Educational Assistant, Kristi Sullivan- Educational Assistant, Linda Vickers- Cook and Georgia Young-Cafeteria Manager.

County Wide Positions:

Chandra Adcock- School Nurse, Jenean Bain- Bus Assistant, Sandra Billings- Substitute Bus Assistant, Wanda Bradford- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Benita Byars- School Nurse, Charles Cantrell- Substitute Custodian, Cindy Childers- Coordinated School Health Assistant, Bettye June Dodd- Bus Assistant, Kelly Driver- Part-Time Physical Therapist, Sharon Farler- Substitute School Nurse, Julie Fitts- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Greg Frasier- Computer Technician, Melissa Fuson- Substitute School Nurse, Theresa Garrison- Part-time Occupational Therapist, Billy Golden- Maintenance Worker, Rhonda Harpole- Library Assistant -half time at Smithville Elementary School and half time at Northside Elementary School, Darnette Hibdon- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Terry Hicks- Maintenance Worker, Earl Jared- Maintenance Supervisor, Freda Johnson- Bus Assistant, Mary Joines- Bus Assistant (Medical Leave of Absence), Eddy Roy Judkins- Maintenance Worker, Teresa Miller- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Brad Mullinax- Technology Director, Jean Neal-Bus Assistant, Shirley Ours- Special Education Secretary, April Odom- Attendance Clerk, Angela Patrick- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Melissa Pirtle- Food Service Bookkeeper, Jo Dean Redmon- Part Time Custodian- Brian Reed- Alternative School Assistant, Tammy Rhea- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Joyce Robinson- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Jennifer Roller- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Teresa Sullivan- Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School and DeKalb West School, Glynn Taylor- Substitute Bus Assistant, Ricky Todd- Substitute Custodian, Kimberly Turner- School Nurse, Pam Turner- Substitute School Nurse, Barbara Vanatta- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jamie Vickers- Secretary/Bookkeeper Central Office, Joannie Williams- School Nurse, Jeanette Young- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, and Rita Young-Attendance Clerk at Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary School.

Transportation:

Peggy Pursell- Transportation Supervisor, Orlando Guzman- Mechanic, and Rick Holcomb- Mechanic.

The following are bus drivers:

Harold Ashford, Karen Adkins, Dwayne Cantrell, Dwayne Cornelius, Dinah Cripps, Elaine Davis, Debbie Eaton, Julie Fayette, Marshall Ferrell, Starr Ferrell, Linda Fowler, Bill Fowler, Lynn Griffith, Judith Hale, Darnette Hibdon, Melissa Hicks, Michael Kingsbury, Kimberly Lawson, Angela Lawson, Bobby Martin, Ronald Merriman, Jimmy Mullican, Linda Gail Pack, Walter Phillips, Faye Pollard, Jimmy Poss, Tony Poss, Peggy Pursell, J.T. Pursell,, Bobby Taylor, and Mark Violet.

Substitute bus drivers are: Danny Bond, Cathy Driver, Julie Fitts, Tina Fletcher, Daniel Lawson, B.J. Thomason, and David Turner.

Grand Jury Indicts 24 in Undercover Drug and Theft Investigations

May 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray and Deputy Brandon Donnell Preparing to Book Riley Anthony Bullard in Wednesday Night Roundup

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department spent much of Wednesday night rounding up defendants named in sealed indictments returned by a special session of the Grand Jury on Monday.

The defendants were arrested and brought to the main station of the DeKalb County Fire Department on King Ridge Road to be booked.

The State of Tennessee Department of Revenue, Drug Tax Enforcement Division, was also on hand collecting drug taxes from some of these defendants.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says the Grand Jury returned 162 count sealed indictments involving twenty four defendants as the result of an undercover investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Department, which has been underway since last fall. " They are charged with drug trafficking crimes and several of the defendants are charged with theft crimes. All the drug defendants are considered active dealers in their communities."

"During our investigation we bought prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, dilaudid, oxycontin, and a new drug we've seen come out called roxycodone, which is the same thing as oxycontin, it's just not time released like oxycontin. We also bought marijuana."

"We had a couple of defendants who were charged in theft crimes at the Four Seasons Boat Marina and at an impound lot of a local wrecker driver. They broke in there and stole some radios and other equipment. Some of them also busted out the front glass of some businesses around the City of Smithville."

"This operation is my administration's way of showing the citizens of DeKalb County that we are serious about dealing with the drug problem here. We're also serious about the burglaries and thefts that we have here in the county. I made a pledge to the citizens and voters that I would help put people in jail that deal in drugs and keep them off the streets and out of the reach of children."

"We've already started our next phase of drug investigations so we'll probably be taking more warrants at a later date. We also have some more theft and burglary cases that the criminal detectives are working on that also could possibly turn into sealed indictments such as these."

The following are names of defendants in this investigation who have been arrested so far:

32 year old Dana Michelle Bullard of Prater Road Smithville- possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale and delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000

20 year old Timothy (Tyler) William Patrick of the Loop, Smithville- one count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and one count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000.

31 year old Brandy Egerton of Page Drive Smithville, charged with auto burglary and vandalism under $500. Her bond is $10,000.

19 year old Amanda Brook England of A.B. Frazier Road Smithville- 4 counts of auto burglary, 13 count of burglary, 8 counts of vandalism under $500, 6 counts of vandalism over $500, 8 counts of vandalism over $1,000, 5 counts of theft of property under $500, 1 count of theft of property over $500, 5 counts of theft over $1,000, 1 count of sale and 1 count of delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone). Total bond $150,000

21 year old Troy Lee Cunningham of A.B. Frazier Road Smithville- 4 counts of auto burglary, 13 counts of burglary, 8 counts of vandalism under $500, 6 counts of vandalism over $500, 8 counts of vandalism over $1,000, 5 counts of theft of property under $500, 1 count of theft of property over $500, 5 counts of theft over $1,000, 1 count of sale and 1 count of delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone). Total bond $150,000

34 year old Brad Elliott Johnson of Village Place Smithville- 2 counts of sale of schedule II drug (Oxycontin), 2 counts of sale of schedule II drug (Roxycodone), and 4 counts of delivery of a schedule II drug. Sheriff Ray says these sales were made in a drug free zone. When deputies picked up Johnson, they found a tube containing a white residue. Johnson was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnson's total bond is $101,000 and he will appear in court on the possession of drug paraphernalia charge on May 28th.

40 year old William Andrew (Andy) Cantrell of Redmon Road- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000

43 year old Tammy Denise Miller of Author Hillis Road ,Woodbury- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000.

36 year old Arthur (Art) Lee Dawson Jr. of Grand Avenue, Smithville 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $150,000.

21 year old Priscilla L. Roberts of Students Home Road Smithville- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000.

21 year old Coty L. McCormick of West Main Street Smithville- 2 counts of sale of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and 2 counts of delivery of a schedule VI drug. Upon being arrested, McCormick was found with marijuana on his person. He was further charged with possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) for resale Total bond $90,000.

Detectives took state warrants on 20 year old Melissa Gail Andrews for simple possession of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) after she was found to have the pill on her person. A search warrant was executed at the West Main Street home in Smithville Thursday morning (May 14th) and detectives found more marijuana there. Andrews was further charged with simple possession of marijuana as a result of the search warrant. Andrews’ total bond was set at $4,500 and she will appear in court on May 28th..

40 year old Michael (Waterhead) Lee Lawrence of Springfield- 2 counts of sale of schedule II drug (dilaudid) and 2 counts of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000.

32 year old Jimmy Lane Estes of Jacobs Pillar Road Smithville- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000

42 year old Ritchie Lee Bennett of Old Temperance Hall Road Lancaster- manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana). Total bond $50,000.

34 year old Billy Wayne Crook Jr. of Blue Springs Road Smithville- manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana). A marijuana cigarette was found on Crook’s person as he was being arrested. He also resisted arrest when officers tried to take him into custody. Total bond is $57,500. Crook will appear in court on the resisting arrest and simple possession charges on May 28th.

43 year old Riley Anthony Bullard of Prater Road Smithville- possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale and delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000.

48 year old Nickey Reese Cantrell of Short Mountain Highway- possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale and delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000.

19 year old Travis Allen Bogle of Eagle Creek Road Smithville- 1 count of vandalism under $500 and 1 count of auto burglary. Total bond $10,000.

Most of these defendants will appear in criminal court for arraignment on May 22nd.

Smithville Police Officer Wins Bench Press Competition

May 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Officer Nathan Estes, during his off time from work, recently competed in a Bench Press competition near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Estes says he was among approximately ninety people from across the nation who participated in the annual event, which is held at New Rhodes, Louisiana

As winner of the Fire and Police Division, Estes says he won a sword and $400 which he donated to Saint Mary's Catholic Church in New Rhodes to help support their charity work in the area. "My first lift was 485 pounds. The second lift was 495 and my third lift was 510. I was successful in all of them."

Federal Stimulus Money and BEP Reserves Needed to Balance School Budget

May 12, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The proposed new school budget for next year calls for the elimination of several positions due to insufficient funds, but employees of the school system need not to worry, because federal stimulus money will be used to fund those positions. BEP reserves will also be used to help balance the school budget.

In an informal workshop session Monday night, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby met with all members of the school board to discuss the proposed budget for the 2009-2010 school year. The board must act on the tentative spending plan during Thursday night's regular monthly meeting because by law, the budget must be in the hands of the County Mayor by Friday, May 15th.

Willoughby says the new budget calls for no local property tax increase for schools. There will also be no local pay raises for employees next year, other than the regular step increases on the pay scale. Teachers and support staff will step up according to the existing salary scales. Willoughby says there has been no official word from the State of Tennessee regarding teacher salary increases for 2009-2010 and no additional dollars are currently in those line items of the new budget. There is a 1% increase in health insurance matching for all employees participating in the health insurance program.

Willoughby says while cuts have been made in many areas of the budget, there is a request for another $50,000 (going from $300,000 to $350,000) in capital outlay spending to help fund two portable classroom buildings to address overcrowding at the high school and possibly at DeKalb West School. Each portable contains two classrooms and a bathroom.

Total anticipated revenues for schools for 2009-2010 comes to $17-million, 079-thousand 422. Total expenditures were originally projected to be $17-million, 822-thousand, 740, a difference of $743,318. But the proposed expenditures have now been adjusted down to $17-million 565-thousand, 005, reducing the shortfall to $485,583.

Willoughy says eliminating the following positions from the general purpose school budget will reduce local spending by $257,735 but those jobs will be preserved by using federal stimulus money to fund them. However, when the federal stimulus expires in a couple of years, the school system will once again be faced with having to fund those positions.

The specific proposal is as follows:
Eliminate 2 positions (teachers) from Regular Instruction (budget line Item 71100-116)- $101,000
Eliminate 2 positions (teachers) from Special Education (71200-116)- $77,825
Eliminate 1 position (speech pathologist) from Special Education(71200-171)- $40,000
Eliminate 2 positions (educational assistants) from Special Education (71200-163)- $25,000
Eliminate 1 part/time position (job coach) from Special Education (71200-189)- $10,000
Reduce expenditures from Special Education (contracted services) (71200-399)- $14,760
Eliminate 1 position from Transportation (72710-189)- $7,650
Correction in anticipated expenditures( 72710-338)- $31,500

Again, by making these reductions in local spending, the difference in total expenditures over revenues is reduced from $743,318 to $485,583. Willoughby says this amount can be offset to balance the budget by making one time expenditures from BEP reserves.

The school board will meet to discuss the budget and several other issues Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at the cafeteria of DeKalb County High School. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

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