Local News Articles

DeVault Charged with Bringing Drugs into the Jail

September 15, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

A woman, being arrested Wednesday for failure to appear in court and four counts of probation violation, was also charged with introduction of drugs (dilaudid) into a penal institution (the county jail).

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 20 year old Samantha Rene DeVault of Talpha Drive was being taken from the holding area to the jail cell, when she was seen by a correctional officer carrying a pill bottle. When asked what she had in her hand, she shoved the pill bottle in her body cavity. The correctional officer then took DeVault to the bathroom and when DeVault retrieved the bottle, she poured the pills out and took some of them orally. Some of the other pills fell out on the floor. DeVault was then taken to the emergency room of the hospital where she was treated and released. Correctional officers found 25 small yellow pills believed to be dilaudid on the bathroom floor where DeVault had poured out the pills from the bottle. DeVault's bond was set at $50,000 and she will appear in court on September 25th.

In other crimes news, 23 year old Christy Jean Martin of Colvert Lake Road, Smithville was arrested Wednesday after deputies went to her home on Saturday, September 6th to serve a state warrant on her for possession of a schedule II drug (Percocet) and simple possession of a schedule VI drug marijuana. Sheriff Ray says upon a search incident to arrest, officers found 2 yellow pills believed to be percocet and a cellophane wrapper containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in her pockets. Bond for Martin was set at $3,000 and her court date is October 2nd.

35 year old Bruce Mathias of Webb Lane Smithville was charged Saturday with driving under the influence. Deputies found Mathias on Keltonburg Road sitting with his four wheeler in a ditch. Sheriff Ray says upon speaking with Mathias, deputies noticed a strong odor of alcohol and found him to be unsteady on his feet. Deputies performed field sobriety tasks on Mathias which he failed. Mathias told deputies he ran out of gas, but the officers checked the four wheeler and found that it had gas and would run. Mathias also admitted to drinking 5 beers earlier. Mathias was arrested and his bond was set at $3,000. Mathias was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law because he refused to take a blood test to determine the alcohol content in his blood.

22 year old Ivan Guzman Perez of McMinnville Highway Smithville was charged Sunday with public intoxication after deputies found him walking on Banks Pisgah Road intoxicated. Sheriff Ray says deputies tried to perform field sobriety tasks on Guzman but he passed out first. Guzman was so intoxicated he could not communicate with the deputies. Guzman's bond was set at $1000 and he will appear in court on September 25th.

Voter Registration Deadline Approaching for November Election

September 15, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

October 6th is the deadline for new voter registrations in DeKalb County in time for the November 4th elections.

October 30 is the deadline for voters who are already registered in DeKalb County to change their address on their voter registration if they have moved.

The DeKalb County Election Commission encourages people who have moved to keep their address current on their voter registration. Polling places are assigned according to a person's residence.
If you have moved and fail to change it on your voter registration, you will be required to fill out the form on election day and vote at the correct polling place.

Please call 597-4146 if you have any questions.
On November 4th, DeKalb County voters will head to the polls for the Presidential election.

The major candidates are Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Other offices on the ballot include U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives (6th District), and Tennessee House of Representatives (40th District)

Candidates for the U.S. Senate are Republican Incumbent Lamar Alexander and Democratic challenger Robert D. Tuke.

6th District Congressman Bart Gordon will be unopposed.

Three candidates are in the race to succeed Frank Buck in the State House of Representatives, Democrat Cleveland Derrick Bain of Smithville, Republican Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster, and Independent Ray Amalfitano of Dixon Springs

Early voting dates are October 15th through October 30th. Times have not yet been announced.

Three Directors of DTC Board Re-elected Without Opposition

September 13, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Terry McPeak, Greg Rogers, & Charles Dwight Vinson

The three incumbent directors of DTC Communications up for re-election Saturday won without opposition during the annual membership meeting in Alexandria.

Greg Rogers of the Woodbury Exchange received 180 complimentary votes, Charles Dwight Vinson of the Milton Exchange had 174 votes, and Terry McPeak of the Norene Exchange garnered 172 votes.

A total of 202 members voted in the DTC Directors Election on Saturday.

All three directors elected Saturday will serve for three years.

The DTC Communications Board of Directors, in addition to Rogers, Vinson, and McPeak include James H. Dillard, Jr. of Gordonsville, Roy Nelson Pugh of Auburntown, Robert Don Malone of Temperance Hall, David Parker of Woodland, Ronnie Garrison of Smithville, Randy Campbell of Liberty, and Bennie Curtis of Alexandria.

Murfreesboro Man Uses Fake Name to Receive Medical Treatment

September 13, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Eric Zachary Jarvis

A Murfreesboro man has been charged by Smithville Police after using a fake name to receive medical treatment at the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital Wednesday.

Eric Zachary Jarvis, also known as Mark Anthony Brown, of Sulphur Springs Road, Murfreesboro, is charged with forgery, obtaining drugs by fraud, and theft of services. His total bond is $9,500 and he will be in General Sessions Court on the charges October 16th.

The police report states that Jarvis went to the emergency room of the hospital on Wednesday and checked in using a fake name and address in order to receive medical treatment and medication for pain in his side that otherwise would have required a prescription to obtain. According to the report, Jarvis forged a false name (Mark Anthony Brown) to official medical documents.

The arrest warrants state that Jarvis, while at the emergency room, obtained a shot of dilaudid for the pain. During questioning, Jarvis allegedly admitted to being an IV drug user. By using a fake name, Jarvis, who is on probation, apparently thought he could be treated and no one would check and learn his true identity.

Division of Consumer Affairs Prepared to Investigate Allegations of Gas Price Gouging

September 13, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The effects of storm systems active in the Gulf Coast are now being felt by Tennesseans at the gas pump. Prices for fuel have risen dramatically and the State is offering consumers information on how they can report possible price-gouging.

Governor Bredesen Friday addressed the issues surrounding gasoline supply in Tennessee, warning individuals and businesses who engage in gasoline price-gouging that “we will be very tough and very aggressive on people who take advantage of this situation. I hope people do not try to capitalize on the effects of these storms at the expense of Tennesseans, who are already struggling with high gas prices.”

“We are taking this very seriously,” said Leslie Newman, Commissioner for the Department of Commerce and Insurance. “Under Tennessee law, price-gouging is illegal and we will be working with the Attorney General’s office to aggressively pursue anyone who violates that law.”

It was anticipated that gas prices would rise with hurricane activity in the Gulf Coast, where a substantial portion of the country’s gas supply is produced. The Division of Consumer Affairs warns consumers to be on the lookout for potential price-gougers.

Consumers may contact the Division of Consumer Affairs at www.tn.gov/consumer or call at 615-741-4737 or toll-free at 800-342-8385, to report incidences of suspected price-gouging. Consumers will need to provide the name of the gas station, address and the price and grade of the gas being sold. Consumers may also report suspected price-gouging online to the federal government at http://gaswatch.energy.gov/.

Meanwhile, Congressman Bart Gordon has issued a statement on dramatic rise in gas prices

"Throughout the day, already too expensive gasoline prices have been dramatically rising. I have contacted the Tennessee Attorney General and asked him to be especially vigilant in protecting consumers from price gouging.

To help maximize fuel supplies, I contacted the Environmental Protection Agency and asked them to grant the waiver requested by Governor Phil Bredesen to allow retailers to begin selling the fall blend of fuel before the September 15 start date.

After we get through this interruption in supply and increase in price, we need to use every tool available to alleviate the pain consumers are feeling at the pump. That includes maximizing our domestic oil and gas production and working on new energy technologies.

If anyone has specific complaints about fuel prices at an individual location, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Consumer Affairs is the appropriate agency to register their complaint. The public can call this 800-number: 1-800-342-8385 or visit the Consumer
Affairs Web site to make a complaint online at www.tn.gov/consumer."

McMinnville Police Officer from Smithville Facing DUI Charges

September 12, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bryan Officer

A McMinnville police officer from Smithville, who was seriously injured in a pickup truck wreck two weeks ago, while off duty, is facing several charges including driving under the influence.

Bryan Officer has been charged with DUI, possession of a handgun while under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, violation of the open container law, and not wearing a seatbelt. He was formally charged after turning himself in at the Sheriff's Department this morning (Friday).

Officer has reportedly been recovering at home from the injuries he received in the accident, which occurred on Friday night, August 29th on Highway 70 east at Sligo Hill.

Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Officer was traveling west in a 1988 Chevy pickup truck when he failed to negotiate a curve, overcorrected, and overturned. The truck came to rest upright on it's wheels. Officer was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and later transported to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

According to a report in the Southern Standard, McMinnville Police Chief Charlie Sewell is saying that the department will wait until the allegations against Officer move through the system before any action is taken. Officer, who is currently on medical leave, has been working as a patrolman for the McMinnville Police Department for about a year.

Gas Customers Line up to Fill up at the Pumps

September 11, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Gas Customers Line up Late into the Night at Kwik-N-Ezy
Motorists at Mapco Express Wait their Turn at the Pumps

With news reports that the threat of Hurricane Ike hitting the Gulf coast could push gasoline prices to record levels in the coming days, local residents began lining up at local convenience markets Thursday to fill their tanks.

In Smithville, Mapco Express, Kwik-N-Ezy, and DeKalb Market kept busy late into the night with lines of gas customers.

According to news reports, Exxon Mobil Corp., Valero Energy Corp., ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Co. were among the companies halting operations at refineries on the Texas coast, primarily in the Houston area, because of the approaching Hurricane.

Refineries along the upper Texas Gulf Coast account for about one-fifth of the nation's refining capacity. Exxon Mobil's refinery in Baytown, outside Houston, is the nation's largest.

The wholesale price for gasoline produced on the Gulf Coast jumped to record levels between $4 and $5 a gallon Thursday, a spike some analysts attributed to "panic buying" over Ike's potential to disrupt fuel supplies.

The Gulf accounts for about 25 percent of domestic oil production and 15 percent of natural gas output.

School Board Receives TSBA "Board of Distinction" Award

September 11, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Board Receives TSBA Award

The DeKalb County Board of Education has been recognized by the Tennessee School Boards Association for earning the "Board of Distinction" honor.

The award was presented to the Board of Education during Thursday night's school board meeting.

James Mann, a director of the TSBA and a member of the Montgomery County School System, made the presentation.

In his remarks, Mann explained how local school boards become TSBA "Boards of Distinction." "Wishing to spotlight outstanding board performance, the Tennessee School Boards Association created it's Board of Distinction program to recognize the highest standards of performance by a board as a whole."

"This award is one of TSBA's most prestigious. It celebrates the achievements of those boards that have met the challenge of leadership in every area of their board responsibility."

"To be designated as a Board of Distinction, a school board must meet specific requirements in four key areas. Those areas are "planning", "policy", "promotion", and "board development". These areas include such elements as creating five year plans, reviewing and maintaining their policy manual, participating in TSBA district and state meetings, conducting a self evaluation, and participating in achieving and maintaining necessary boardsmanship levels for each member."

Mann added that this is a very prestigious award and not every school board qualifies to receive it. "Your board is among a selected few. On behalf of the Tennessee School Boards Association, I am very proud to present the Board of Distinction Award to the DeKalb County Board of Education."

The award is good for two years and the school board will have to continue to meet the guidelines in order to maintain Board of Disctinction status.

(Pictured left to right: Director Mark Willoughby, John David Foutch, TSBA Director James Mann, Johnny Lattimore, Kenny Rhody, Charles Robinson, W.J. (Dub) Evins III, and Bruce Parsley. Not pictured- Joan Draper who was absent)

Robinson Named Chairman of School Board

September 11, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kenny Rhody, W.J (Dub) Evins III, Charles Robinson

Second District School Board member Charles Robinson was elected Chairman of the Board of Education Thursday night.

The board re-organizes each September, naming a chairman, vice-chairman, and an assistant secretary.

Robinson succeeds Fifth District Member W.J. (Dub) Evins III who has served as chairman for the past year.

Evins was named Vice-Chairman and Third District member Kenny Rhody was elected Assistant Secretary for the year.

Chairman Robinson welcomed Bruce Parsley to the board. Thursday night was Parsley's first meeting with the board as a member from the sixth district. "He brings some experience as a parent and a former student of this school system and I think he will be an asset to the board."

Robinson also congratulated Kenny Rhody for reaching level 4 in the TSBA boardsmanship program. Under the program, board members may work on achievement in meeting certain goals and criteria in moving up to level 5.

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the school board.

Those employed for the 2008-09 school year since last month are as follows:

Penelope Mason, 21st century site coordinator
Joannie Williams, school nurse
Mary Beth Ramsey, teacher, SES
Darnette Hibdon, bus driver
Sherry Williams, substitute custodian
Wanda Bradford, substitute cook
Angela Patrick, substitute cook
Sharon Washer, substitute cook
Elizabeth White, substitute cook

Substitute Teachers:
Ellen Ammons, Guylene Atnip, Suzette Barnes, Rebekah Beck, Jennifer Braswell, Carolyn Caldwell, Nancy Cantrell, Jenny Cantrell, Todd Cantrell, Pat Cook, Donna Davis, Tina Evans
Debbie France, Holly Frazier, Leanne Frazier, Robbie Frazier, Johnna Goff, Doris Graham
Natalie Green, Vicki Haggard, Amber Hawkins, Connie Henry, Darnette Hibdon, Shirley Ingram
Angela Johnson, Kelley Johnson, Jennifer Judkins, Martha Knowles, Milinda League, Mironica Luna, Joel Moore, Eden Nokes, Elizabeth Nolt, Angela Osment, Gayle Pack, Susan Palmer
Krystal Patterson, Iva Dell Randolph, Phyliss Reed, Kimberly Rhea, Tammy Rhea, Beth Rhody, Jessica Sims, Teresa Spencer, Tammy Turner, Wanda Sue Vickers, Tom Werling, Susan West, Helen Wilson, Jean Young, Kim Young, Nancy Young

Anna Johnson was granted a leave of absence as requested

Those who have resigned include Penny Bileyu, Angela Johnson, and Jalene Vanatta

Those who have transferred are:
Diana Moon, sub teacher to educational assistant at SES
Tonya Roberts, SES educational assistant to DWS
Jill Herron, teacher, DMS, replaces Penny Bileyu
Lisa Hale, educational assistant, replaces Jalene Vanatta as secretary at DeKalb West School.

In other business, the board approved one time supplement pay in the amount of $1,000 for full time educators who obtain National Board Certification. That's for the 2008-09 school year.

Director Willoughby says a "differentiated pay" plan is required by the State Department of Education and must be approved by October.

Alexandria Woman Charged with Tenn Care Fraud

September 11, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shelly F. Beene

A DeKalb County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for obtaining prescription medications with TennCare benefits, with the intent of selling the drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 27 year old Shelly F. Beene of Alexandria. Beene was arrested on an indictment accusing her of fraudulently obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the prescription, with the intent of selling a portion of the pills.

"The illegal trafficking of prescription drugs has been a problem in Tennessee, and we are no longer tolerating it in the TennCare program," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "Enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare - and those who buy them - should understand this is a serious crime we intend to prosecute."

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Acting District Attorney General Anthony J. Craighead is prosecuting.

The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 760 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.

Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. "Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."

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