A strong earthquake that rattled parts of southern Illinois and Indiana early Friday morning was felt in DeKalb County.
The quake, given a preliminary magnitude of 5.4, occurred about 6 miles from Mount Carmel, Illinois, 66 miles from Evansville, Indiana and about 131 miles east of St. Louis, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It took place about 2 miles underground and struck about 4:36 a.m.
The State Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that would add vehicular homicide as a result of the driver's intoxication and aggravated vehicular homicide to offenses requiring mandatory sentencing. The bill requires those convicted to serve 100 percent of the sentence imposed by the court, less sentence credits earned, which assures that at least 85 percent will be behind bars.
The bill was sponsored after the death of David Hudson, of Piney Flats, who was hit crossing a Johnson City street in December by a man whose blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. The man, who was charged with vehicular and aggravated vehicular homicide, had four previous DUI convictions dating back to 1989.
Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) who also support the measure said, “We must get these repeat offenders off our roads. We have several bills before our General Assembly this year that would provide comprehensive reform of our DUI laws.”
The federal Income Tax Refund Offset program is paying off for thousands of Tennessee children.
The Department of Human Services has intercepted 20,000 tax refunds totaling more than $26 million so far this year. Those numbers are expected to double in coming weeks, as non-paying parents file their income tax returns.
The state works with several federal agencies, including the IRS, to intercept tax refunds from parents who owe, but are not paying their child support. Any parent who owes more than $500 on his or her child support case is subject to the federal Income Tax Refund Offset program.
Several people were sentenced by Judge David Patterson under negotiated settlements in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday.
23 year old Travis Tramel pleaded guilty to failure to appear and received six months on supervised probation to run consecutive to any other sentence against him.
31 year old Andy Certain pleaded guilty to simple possession and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve. The fine was waived. The case is to run concurrent with a violation of probation against him. He was given credit for 112 days of jail time served.
24 year old David M. Caldwell, charged with theft over $1,000, was granted judicial diversion for a period of three years. He will be on supervised probation and must perform 100 hours of community service work. He must also make restitution of $1,500 jointly and severally with the co-defendants in the case.
Sheriff Patrick Ray is warning you to be careful about how you advertise items for sale from your homes, such as motorcycles, ATV's, and vehicles because it could entice thieves to steal them when you are unaware or away from home.
The DeKalb County Republican Women's Club hosted the Fifth Annual Lincoln Day Dinner Friday night at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.
Two long time party leaders, Walter Burton and Ernest Ray were recognized for their devotion and service.
Burton is a former DeKalb County Republican Party Chairman, a former Volunteer Firefighter, and he is a member of the Smithville Industrial Development Board. Burton is owner and operator of Voyager Carpets.
Ray is a former teacher, principal, and Superintendent of Schools.
Both were presented plaques by party treasurer Dennis Stanley.
Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey was the keynote speaker at the dinner.
Ramsey talked about recent Republican gains in the State House and Senate and issues over which Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill disagree, including how to address Illegal Immigration.
The State Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) held a special committee meeting this week to hear a resolution that would set up a special committee to investigate the removal of William E. Gibson from the office of District Attorney General of the Thirteenth Judicial District by the Tennessee. The Thirteenth District includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White Counties.
Sponsor of the resolution, Senator Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) told Chairman Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and members of the committee, “improprieties have occurred. “They are clear and undisputed,” he said.
The State Senate and Local Government Committee has approved legislation to cut off economic and community grant money to any Tennessee city that might declare itself a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens. The bill aims to deter the creation of any local zones where aliens could live illegally in the state.
Sanctuary communities are a danger to the public because illegal immigrants who commit crimes are able to repeat their offenses instead of being dealt with by immigration officials,” said Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet). “San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and many more localities are evolving into ‘city-states.’ They've sprung up all over the country, declaring their independence from the rule of law. During a time when our borders are being used as gateways for terrorists and other illegal activities, there is no reason for knowingly providing illegal aliens with sanctuary from prosecution.”
One of the candidates for State Representative has pulled out of the race.
Citing personal reasons, George McDonald of Riddleton has withdrawn as a candidate for the Democratic nomination to succeed Frank Buck
That leaves seven Democrats, two Republicans, and one Independent candidate.
Democrats hoping to win their party's nomination on August 7th include Cleveland Derrick Bain of Smithville, Jeff Barrett of DeKalb County, Steven K. Cantrell of Smithville, Gayla C. Hendrix of Smithville, Carl (Hix) Jones of Westmoreland, Dean Sircy of Westmoreland, and Sarah Marie Smith of Carthage.
Candidates seeking the Republican nomination for State Representative on August 7th include Nicky Rittenberry of Lafayette and Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster.