Local News Articles

Pody and Carfi Now Look Toward General Election

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

The stage is now officially set for the General Election next month to determine who will fill the remaining months of the unexpired term of State Senator Mae Beavers.

Republican Mark Pody and Democrat Mary Alice Carfi each won the nomination for the office in Tuesday’s primaries. Both were unopposed. One of them will be the winner in the General Election set for December 19. District-wide, Pody received 2,562 votes in the GOP primary while Carfi garnered 1,283 votes in the Democratic primary. Six counties make up the 17th State Senatorial District including DeKalb, Cannon, Wilson, Clay, Macon, and Smith

In a very light turnout, (287 voters) Pody received 172 votes in the GOP primary in DeKalb County. Carfi got 111 votes from DeKalb County in the Democratic primary.

The breakdown is as follows:

Pody 172
Carfi 111

Absentee plus early voting:
Pody 93
Carfi 56

Election Day:
Pody 79
Carfi 55

DeKalb County Election Day Results by precinct:
Pody 12
Carfi 7

Pody 6
Carfi 1

Pody 2
Carfi 0

Pody 10
Carfi 5

Carfi 5

Pody 4
Carfi 0

Carfi 7
Pody 5

Pody 7
Carfi 1

Pody 3
Carfi 3

Pody 7
Carfi 0

Carfi 9
Pody 0

Pody 9
Carfi 4

Pody 5
Carfi 5

Pody 3
Carfi 2

Carfi 6
Pody 5

District Wide totals:
DeKalb 142
Cannon 188
Clay 93
Macon 168
Smith 300
Wilson 1,641

DeKalb 111
Cannon 60
Clay 44
Macon 54
Smith 187
Wilson 827

Police Charge Woman For Lying About Assaulting Her Ex-Boyfriend

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tavia Gayle Cantrell
Matthew Allen Gilles
Justin Glynn Vandergriff
Darrell Wayne Newby

A woman who lied to police claiming she assaulted her ex-boyfriend causing serious injuries has been charged with filing a false report.

19 year old Tavia Gayle Cantrell was arrested on Saturday, October 28. According to the warrant, Cantrell called 911 and made an official report of hurting her ex-boyfriend and leaving him in a near dead state. According to Cantrell, after he attacked her she assaulted him which left him alive but not well. A subsequent investigation revealed that Cantrell had been at his residence earlier but that she had left of her own accord and without incident. Officers located Cantrell’s ex-boyfriend and he was found to be ok. Police charged Cantrell after discovering she had lied to them which tied up emergency resources. Her bond is $6,000 and her court date is November 16.

21 year old Katelyn Michelle Walz was cited for theft of property on Thursday, October 26. Police responded to Dollar General Store where it was discovered that Walz had taken some items and concealed them in her purse. The merchandise was recovered and returned to the store. Her court date is November 16.

18 year old Nikolas Blake Agee was cited for trespassing on Friday, October 27. Police observed Agee hanging out in the parking lot of Hardees after being informed numerous times that he was not allowed to do so. He will make a court appearance on December 5.

31 year old Matthew Allen Gilles was arrested on Saturday, October 28 for violation of bond conditions. According to police, Gilles violated his bond conditions by being at a residence with his victim with whom he is to have no contact. The bond conditions took effect September 29. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is November 9.

26 year old Justin Glynn Vandergriff was arrested on Saturday, October 28 for a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 16. Police observed Vandergriff driving a vehicle east on West Broad Street. Knowing that his drivers license are revoked, the officer stopped Vandergriff who confirmed that his license were still revoked for a DUI. The officer had already cited Vandergriff on September 21 for the same offense (driving on revoked). Vandergriff was taken into custody due to the likelihood that he would continue to drive. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is November 16.

41 year old Darrell Wayne Newby was arrested on Sunday, October 29 for public intoxication and cited for vandalism. Police responded to a report of a possible intoxicated man walking down Allen’s Chapel Road. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Newby who said he didn't know where he was or how he got there. Newby was unsteady on his feet and couldn't keep his balance. The officer also learned that Newby had bent a mailbox till it broke in half and continued walking. Due to his safety and that of others Newby was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is November 16.

36 year old Lillian HSU was cited for theft of property on Thursday, November 2. The day before, on Wednesday, November 1 HSU was at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), went to the cash register, and informed the store associate that he needed to go to his vehicle and retrieve a gift card. On his way out the door he took a 6 foot table to his vehicle. After he returned HSU informed the associate that he wanted to purchase the table along with other items he had. Once he made the purchase HSU left the store taking another table to his vehicle. After the associate and store manager realized that HSU had taken another table without paying for it they went outside and took down his license plate number and filed a report with the police department. Upon investigation, the detective reviewed surveillance video and later cited HSU for theft of property. His court date is November 16.

DESA to Deliver Thanksgiving Meals to Needy

November 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
DESA to Deliver Thanksgiving Meals to Needy

The DeKalb Emergency Services Association (DESA), in partnership with local businesses and volunteers, will be preparing and delivering Thanksgiving Meals to the needy or underserved on Thursday, November 23.

"We feel that this is just another way our local emergency service providers can serve our community. If you or a family member needs a hot meal on Thanksgiving Day, please call one of the numbers listed below to be added to our delivery list. We will need your address, phone number, and number of persons in your household. The meals are scheduled to be delivered between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon," says Association President Blake Cantrell.

DESA will accept names of persons requesting meals through Friday, November 17.

To get your name on the delivery list, call 615-390-0297 or 615-712-4286 or 615-390-0189.

Additionally, if you want to support this community project by donating food items or volunteering your time to prepare meals and/or make deliveries, you can contact any of the phone numbers above.

DCHS Fundraiser set for Coach Jerry Foster at HOF Games

November 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Coach Jerry Foster

Friends of long time teacher and former DCHS girls basketball Coach Jerry Foster are asked to show their support for him next week during a special fundraiser.

All proceeds from admission and concessions at the DCHS vs Boyd Christian Hall of Fame basketball games Tuesday, November 14 will go to the Jerry Foster Cancer Fund.

Coach Foster was recently diagnosed with Lung Cancer.

“We are trying to help him in his time of need. Please support this fundraiser. We will have a WHITE OUT that night. If you bought a Coach Foster T wear it and if not make sure to wear white. Thanks for your support and can’t wait to see everyone at the game,” said DCHS Lady Tiger Coach Danny Fish.

The girls game tips off that night at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boy's game.

Man Arrested After Threatening Store Clerk

November 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Lonnie Lynn Wheeler

A would be customer of a local convenience market has been arrested after he pulled a knife in a threatening manner after discovering the store had closed and the clerk wouldn’t let him in.

41 year old Lonnie Lynn Wheeler is charged with aggravated assault, vandalism, resisting arrest, and violation of the ignition interlock device. His bond is $12,500 and his court date is November 16.

Smithville Police report that on Thursday, November 2 an officer was called to Kwik N Ezy after a man threatened the store clerk with a knife. The employee reported that after the store was closed and the doors were locked a man showed up wanting inside. The man became upset when he was not allowed in and pulled a knife from his pocket making a slashing motion across his throat before waving goodbye. The man’s actions caused the store clerk to fear for her life.

According to police, the man (Wheeler), got on a black motorcycle and went across the street to Mapco Express where an officer confronted him in that store. Wheeler was asked if he had any weapons. Wheeler responded by placing his hands in his pockets. The officer ordered Wheeler to remove his hands from his pockets and again asked him if he had any weapons on his person. Wheeler replied that he had a knife. After the officer instructed him to turn around so that he could secure the knife Wheeler became belligerent and got loud. And when asked to step outside and to produce his identification, Wheeler started cussing and became more hostile toward the officer. After threatening to head butt the officer, Wheeler lunged toward him but was restrained on the hood of the patrol car. Wheeler continued to resist by trying to kick the officer several times. After being placed inside the backseat of the patrol car Wheeler kicked out the back passenger side window.

According to police, Wheeler has a DUI conviction from March 6, 2014 and is under a court order to keep an ignition interlock device on his vehicle and to have a valid driver's license. The motorcycle that Wheeler was operating did not have an interlock device on it which invalidated his license.

Five Local Families Evacuated Due to Flooding

November 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Home in Dowelltown surrounded by flood waters
Truck caught in rising creek water in Liberty

Heavy rains overnight caused flooding problems in DeKalb County forcing five families from their homes. No one was injured.

Dustin Johnson, Captain of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad said the first call came in at around 3 a.m. from central dispatch reporting that someone on Main Street in Dowelltown was caught in their car by rising waters. “By the time we got there that person had made it out of their car and back to the house. But we had to go back later and evacuate them from their home. From there we got another call on County House Road off McMinnville Highway where a family needed to be evacuated from a trailer. Afterwards, we came back to Dowelltown where we helped a total of four families from their homes on West Main Street,” said Johnson.

The Dowelltown United Methodist Church opened it doors to provide shelter to the evacuees and the American Red Cross arrived to offer them assistance.

The local rescue squad and Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker were assisted by members of the TWRA and the Warren, Smith, and White County Rescue Squads who were called to provide mutual aid support. Although there were no home evacuations in Liberty, at least three vehicles were caught in the flood waters.

“According to the National Weather Service DeKalb County had from 4-6 inches of rain in just a few short hours,” said EMA Coordinator Parker. “Many county roads were impassable and there was street flooding in the Smithville area and on Highway 56 south. Members of the sheriff’s department, EMS, Smithville Police Department, local firefighters, county highway department and TDOT crews either came out or were available to provide assistance if needed. Although the water is now receding there are still some problem areas especially on county roads at Temperance Hall, Hickman, and Dowelltown along Smith Fork Creek,” said Parker.

Parker advises motorists to continue to exercise caution.

Election Day Has Arrived in State Senate Primary

November 7, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mary Alice Carfi
Mark Pody

Although the outcome is already known today (November 7) is election day in the 17th Senatorial District Special Primary.

Two candidates are seeking to fill the remaining months of the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers, who is now running for Governor.

Mark Pody is unopposed for the Republican nomination. Mary Alice Carfi is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The general election will be December 19.

Voting at all fifteen precincts in the county will be today from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Only 147 of the 10,084 active voters in DeKalb County took advantage of early voting for today’s primary

Thursday was the last day for early voting.

“We knew the turnout would be low because this phase of the balloting was a primary and neither candidate was opposed. In addition, people are just not accustomed to voting in odd-numbered years,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “As for election day, the turnout may be a little better, but far below the normal number of voters.”

But election officials are anticipating a larger turnout for the General Election, which is set for December 19th.

“Because the candidates will be squaring off against each other, we anticipate a better turnout for the General balloting, Stanley said. “And the fact that election day is so close to Christmas, we anticipate a much better turnout for early voting.”

New Animal Shelter Takes In 25 Animals on First Day in Business

November 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter Director Megan Moore and President Marsha Darrah

The first day of operation for the new DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter Monday proved to be a busy one.

“Today was our first day open officially and we took in 25 animals,” said Megan Moore, Director of the local shelter who addressed the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.

The shelter initially began taking in strays from people who had already been in contact with the coalition needing to re-home those animals.

“Our hours are Monday through Friday from Noon until 4 and Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. Our adoption fees are $90 for unaltered dogs with a $50 refundable deposit included and $40 for altered dogs. Cats are $30 for unaltered and $20 for altered cats. We do take cats. We are a limited intake shelter but we will intake as long as we have room. We’re not going to euthanize for space or time spent. We have a wait list and when an animal gets adopted we’ll call the next person on the list. Right now we have multiple litters. We have puppies about four days old. Hopefully they will continue to do well with their moms. We also have kittens that are still nursing. If we have any issues with that we’ll need to find foster homes,” said Moore.

More donations and volunteers are also needed. “We accept donations including food, cat litter, blankets, towels, etc. We also ask for monetary donations for the surrender of a pet or a stray. We have a part time guy (James Wilkerson) and he is doing great but we need volunteers to help. Hopefully we’ll get more volunteers there on a daily basis. If you would like to volunteer you can drop by the shelter and pick up an application. Our address is 186 Transfer Station Road,” said Moore.

Customers will soon be able to see what the shelter has to offer through “Pet Finder” and “Adopt a Pet” and a “Pet of the Week” will be featured on Facebook.

As for a grand opening, Moore said that date will be set once the engraved bricks, purchased by supporters of the shelter are laid in the front of the building around the walk way.

City officials said the old shelter on Smith Road will soon be demolished now that the new shelter is open.

Security Camera Helps Sheriff's Department Catch Jeep Thief

November 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
Billy Eugene Cook

A man has been charged with theft of property over $1,000 after he was caught on camera stealing a 1998 Jeep Cherokee.

48 year old Billy Eugene Cook of Toad Road, Dowelltown is under a $20,000 bond and his court date is November 16.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, November 5 a deputy was called to a residence on Nixon Way where a woman reported her vehicle stolen.

Video from a security camera showed Cook entering the property, getting in the vehicle and driving away. Cook was later found at Evans Manor Apartments with the keys to the stolen vehicle in his pocket. He was placed under arrest.

Three Arrested During Probation Search After Officers Find Drugs

November 6, 2017
Dwayne Page
Christopher Allen Scruggs
Angela Jean Atnip
Levi Thomas Felton
Crystal Dawn Barber

Two people were found with methamphetamine, pills, drug paraphernalia, and prohibited weapons last week after officers showed up at a residence on Page Drive to serve a warrant and to conduct a probation search. Another person there was also taken into custody.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_46.pdf (3.39 MB)

39 year old Angela Jean Atnip of Green Hill Road and 42 year old Christopher Allen Scruggs of Page Drive Smithville are each charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Klonopin). Both were also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Atnip was further charged with criminal impersonation and Scruggs has an additional citation for possession of prohibited weapons. Bond for Scruggs is $30,000 and $11,500 for Atnip. Scruggs will make a court appearance on November 9. Atnip will be in court on December 7.

The third person, 22 year old Levi Thomas Felton of Bethel Road, Smithville is charged with filing a false report and illegal possession of a weapon. He was further cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond totals $9,000 and his court date is December 7.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, November 1 deputies went to Scrugg’s residence on Page Drive to serve a warrant on Atnip. Upon arrival the officers first spoke with Felton who told them he was alone there. However Scruggs and Atnip were found in the home. Atnip was trying to hide under a bed. She identified herself to officers as Angela Walker and gave an erroneous birth date and social security number. After a computer check revealed the information was false, Atnip was positively identified by a photo ID.

While conducting a probation search, deputies found in the bedroom of Scruggs and Atnip seven grams of a crystal like substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine. The meth was found in two separate bags packed among several smaller baggies. Forty six blue round pills believed to be Klonopin were also found in the bedroom along with a glass straw.

Scruggs had in his possession four knives, each with blades exceeding four inches. Eleven hypodermic needles, a spoon, and four pipes were also found along with $251 dollars which was confiscated as suspected proceeds from illegal drug sales.

During the search officers discovered a pistol in the couch where Felton had been sitting before being ordered by deputies to stand. Also found in Felton’s hoodie was a methamphetamine pipe containing a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine.

In a separate case, 41 year old Crystal Dawn Barber of Pumpkin Hollow Road, Liberty is charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale or delivery. She was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Barber's bond is $5,000 and her court date is December 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, November 2 deputies went to Barber’s home to serve a warrant. During a subsequent probation search, Barber was found with a cigarette pack containing 1.1 grams of a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine. Four glass pipes and several syringes were also found in the home containing a white substance believed to be methamphetamine.


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