Local News Articles

ARRA Helps Disadvantaged Youth Obtain Summer Jobs

April 17, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Eligible youth are already signing up for the Summer Youth Jobs Program in Tennessee. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is providing $25 million to help provide 12,000 jobs for disadvantaged youth. Summer work will begin in June and end in September for most participants.

"The money provided by the ARRA is helping re-instate a valuable program that will help train, educate and enrich our youth," said Governor Phil Bredesen. "We want the participants in this program to walk away with actual workplace experience that will help to better their future."

This program is available to youth ages 14 to 24 who are low income and have one or more of the following barriers: deficient in basic literacy skills, school dropout, homeless, runaway or foster child, pregnant or parenting, offender, or an individual (including a youth with a disability) who requires additional assistance to complete an educational program or to secure and hold employment.

The total stimulus allocation of $1-million,162-thousand,019 is being awarded in the Local Workforce Investment Area of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, White Counties. The contact persons are Faye Iverlett and
Linda Schuiten at 931-528-1127.

"We feel this program will be a vital tool in putting youth to work and ultimately stimulating the economy," said Commissioner James Neeley. "We also anticipate the program to be beneficial to employers who need the additional workers during the summer months, but due to the tough economic situation cannot afford to hire them."

The current economic downturn is making the possibility of summer employment very difficult for disadvantaged youth. Statistics from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development show the number of unemployed youth since 2007 has more than doubled resulting in more than 45,000 unemployed youth in 2009.

Applications for youth can be picked up at local Tennessee Career Centers or by contacting the Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) Youth Leads. Participants will be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour. The deadline to submit youth applications is Friday, May 15, 2009.

All employers are eligible to participate in this program except those involved with gambling, swimming pools, aquariums and golf courses.

The funding for the Summer Youth Jobs Program is part of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's proposed FY 2009-2010 budget, which is currently being considered by the Tennessee General Assembly.

For more information on the Summer Youth Program and the ARRA please call the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development at 800-255-5872 or go to http://tn.gov/labor-wfd/EconomicFunding.html.

Man Charged with DUI after Accident

April 17, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Two involved in Truck Accident on Holmes Creek Road (Photo Provided by Kevin Adcock)

Smithville Police charged a 34 year old man with a second offense of driving under the influence Friday morning after being involved in a pickup truck accident on Holmes Creek Road (Town Hill).

Jeremy A. Bilbrey is under a $2,000 bond and he will be in court April 23rd.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew reports that at around 1:00 a.m. April 17th on Holmes Creek Road, Bilbrey was operating a motor vehicle and was involved in a personal injury accident. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and did take a blood test. A passenger, Jamie Bullard, was transported to the emergency room of the hospital.

Meanwhile, 30 year old Charlotte A. Myers of Smithville is charged simple possession of a schedule IV and VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officer Bradley C. Tatrow reports that on Thursday, April 16th at 716 Gentry Avenue in DeKalb County, the Smithville Police Department was at the residence checking on the welfare of two twin boys because of suspected substance abuse by the mother. When asked about drug use in the residence, she (Myers) did admit to using drugs and led the officer to her bedroom, and handed him a silver box with two small marijuana roaches, seven small blue pills believed to be xanax in a plastic wrapper, a marijuana crusher, rolling papers, and a pipe with marijuana residue

She will be in court on May 21st.

Smithville Firefighters Make Request for Seven Full Time Paid Positions

April 16, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker Addresses Mayor and Aldermen at Workshop
Mayor, Aldermen, and Secretary-Treasurer Listen to Firefighters Request
Some City Firefighters and Others Attend Workshop-

Smithville firefighters want their all volunteer unit to become a combination department with a few full time firefighters as well as volunteers.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker and other members of the department met with the mayor and aldermen in a workshop Thursday evening in the training room of the new fire hall to formally make the request.

Chief Parker, on behalf of the department, also asked that some extra funds be designated in the budget for training and that the firefighters pay scale be changed.

In the proposal, the firefighters want the city to fund two full time firefighter positions per 24 hour shift, for a total of six positions along with an administrative person.

Chief Parker says the city would be better served by having a combination department. "We're still going to need volunteers for the structure fires and all the big stuff, but we'd like to add a couple of full time people (per shift) to take care of some of the smaller stuff, the alarm calls, the wash downs, and some of the investigation calls which they could do to take some of the pressure off of the volunteers so they could have a little more free time."

"There is a lot of work that goes into making a fire department work. Our firefighters have meetings and equipment checks. They do building maintenance by cleaning, sweeping, moping, waxing, and buffing the floors. They change the filters and light bulbs, clean the toilets, and even paint the building when it needs it. They also put in several hours writing, sorting, entering, and sending reports to state and federal agencies. Then we have fire education and fire prevention programs at the schools, and some civic programs, community events, the Christmas parade, Friday night ball games, and days in the park. We have fire investigations, burn permits, building inspections, and research on fire codes. We have to wash and polish the trucks to make sure they look their best. All this, in addition to fighting fires. Of course, we all have homes and families and real jobs somewhere else."

It's been almost twenty years since the volunteer firefighters pay scale has been changed and Chief Parker says the department would like to see that addressed as well. "For over 19 years, Smithville Firefighters have received $15.00 per call, whether it's one hour or ten hours (on a call). We would like to change our volunteer pay scale to where after two hours (per call), the firefighter would get paid by the hour. We would also like to be able to pay them for some of the additional jobs they perform like factory pre-plans, inspections, and testing equipment."

"We would also like to propose an extra amount in the budget for training. We already have some money (for training), but we need a little more so we can send some people to training classes and also to purchase videos, DVD's, and books to help us meet our ISO rating."

In order to fund this proposal. Chief Parker says the department estimates an expenditure of around $300,000. "We need to match up salaries and make sure everything is in sync with what the City of Smithville already pays other employees. There's benefits and insurance that has to be figured into this that may not necessarily be part of the payroll but it is an expense to the city. So we're trying to get all that figured so that we can actually get a dollar amount to present to the citizens of Smithville. We're proposing roughly $300,000 for all of it to take care of the personnel and also we would have some increased costs in them doing jobs around the city in performance of their duties."

Chief Parker says firefighters believe any possible increase in city property tax rates to fund this request would be offset somewhat by lower homeowners insurance premiums due to better ISO ratings." We went through an evaluation in November from ISO and during this evaluation we were able to lower our class from a seven to a class six rating. Insurance companies use this rating to determine what your premiums are going to be. We were about three tenths of a point from going to a class five. We've already made some improvements and hopefully this fall we'll drop from a class six to a class five. But we really don't want to stop there, we want to continue to go on and see if we can go down to a class four. In doing that, we're going to have to implement a few changes. We're going to have to get some more volunteers or hire some full time personnel. There's a few different ways to go about that (reducing class rating)."

Members of the department, in a prepared statement regarding the ISO evaluation, state that "The ISO evaluation we received (in November) showed us two major areas that we can improve in. One area is under the fire department heading and this involves the number of firefighters we have, their training, and their attendance on structure fires."

"In order for Smithville to get the most credit from ISO, we need to be able to staff two engine companies and one service or ladder company. Engine companies consist of six volunteers or two full time personnel. One full time firefighter equals three volunteers. On our last evaluation our average was 11.4 firefighters per structure fire and this is just short of two engine companies."

"The next area we have to work on is training. ISO requires each firefighter volunteer or full time firefighter to have 20 hours of training per month, 240 hours per year in firefighter skills and this does not include driver training, which is an extra 40 hours per year. Officer training is an extra 12 hours. We also need to provide a library of books, DVD's, and training materials in house for the firefighters to use."

"The evaluation recommends that we do pre-plans and inspections twice a year for all major businesses and industries in town. We should also have a plan of action for a fire. This involves going out to the business, gathering all information, maps, chemical lists, building size and layout, and sorting the information to put it in books or computers so we can access the information at any time."

"The other area we need to work on is water supply. We are in fair shape in this area, but we need to add some fire hydrants in a few key locations and repair or upgrade others. There are also water lines in the city that need to be upgraded or we will need additional fire equipment to take care of those locations. The hydrants are also supposed to be flushed out and pressure readings taken twice per year.'

"The other improvement is a ladder company. Because of three story buildings and the size of some of our factories, a ladder company is recommended. (A new ladder truck is estimated to cost up to $900,000).

"I think we can and should continue to improve our rating. By lowering our class, it will benefit the City of Smithville, our businesses, and industries, as well as the citizens with lower insurance premiums. It may also help attract new industry to our city bringing more jobs."

Speaking for the department, Chief Parker concluded "I know we are in tough times and there is not a lot of extra money, and that us why I am asking the help of the city council to make this work. You can say the only way we can hire these firefighters is to raise taxes, and that will kill the proposal quickly. No one wants to raise taxes, but if we must, then lets show the people the benefits of lower insurance premiums and better fire protection. We need to inform the public and let them decide what is best for them."

The mayor and aldermen indicated that the proposal will be considered as the new budget is prepared but gave no assurances whether it would be funded.

DCHS Class of 2009 to Graduate May 22nd

April 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kesha Staley- 2009 DCHS Valedictorian-
 Kelly Merriman- 2009 DCHS Salutatorian

A total of 166 students at DeKalb County High School will receive their diplomas during graduation exercises Friday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

The program will feature remarks by the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Class President, and Principal Kathy Hendrix. The prestigious White Rose and Citizenship Awards will also be presented to three outstanding members of the class. Diplomas will be presented to each graduate by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. The DCHS Chorus is also expected to perform.

The honor students will also be recognized including the Valedictorian, Kesha Staley and Salutatorian, Kelly Merriman.

Seniors in the top twenty academic ranking from one to twenty are Staley, Merriman, Brooke Pack, Jordon Howe, Anderson Webb, Megan Pack, Rebecca Lawrence, Victoria Bennett, Thomas West, Amanda Reed, Kara Young, Megan Merriman, Jessica Strickland, Krysta Ferrell, Shay Sullivan, Ryan Leiser, Avarie Maynard, Carrie Herrin, Amanda Price, and Tiffany Winchester.

Students earning "Highest Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0 include Rosemary Apple, Victoria Bennett, Nicole Burger, Allison Curtis, Justin Dunaway, Josh Emberton, 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 Sults, Allyson Trapp, and Luke Willoughby.

Members of the DCHS Class of 2009 are as follows:

Preston Thomas Adcock, Russell Whitley Ambrose, Emilee Beth Anderson, Rosemary Neal Apple, Adam B. Arnold, Joshua Caleb Arnold, Emmanuel Arroyo, Cody Ross Atnip, Trista Chantel Atnip

Jessica Bailey, Chelsea Nicole Bain, Linda Sue Bain, James Denton Ball, Kirt Wayne Bandy, Nikki Barrett, Carolyn Annette Bass, Charles O'Brian (Brian) Bates, Zachary Joe Batey, Victoria Lee Bennett, Christopher Scott Bolin, Brittany Lenae Bone, Alli Kristina Bradford, Daniel Jay Brandt, Koby Stanton Bullard, Tiffany Nichole Burchfield, Nicole Clara Burger

Chynna Nicole Cade, Clint Richard Cantrell, Rachael Danielle Cantrell, James Deallen Caplinger, Rebecca Jean Cates, Brittany Nicole Cleveland, Michael Gordon Cockrum, Annie Elizabeth Cook-McSparren, Jessica Lee Cook, Anthony Joshua Cunningham, Elizabeth Elaine Cunningham, Alison Christine Curtis, Benjamin Chad Curtis, John Wesley Curtis,

Jessica Hope Davenport, Dillon Cole Davis, Cory Thomas Dawson, Courtney Nicole DeHoet, Nereyda Garza Delafuente, Corey Tyler Dodd, Justin Alan Dunaway,

Ashmika Shirley Earl, Joshua Lynn Emberton

Macy Celeste Felts, David Thomas Ferrell, Krysta Lynn Ferrell, Shaun Matthew Ferrell, Tayler Marie Foutch, Kiara Nykia Fullilove, Alan Codi Funk

Caleb Bruce Gash, Carla Margaret Gilbert, Justin Lee Goodwin

Jenny Fay Hale, Kayla Brooke Hale, Anthony Wayne Hall, Rickey Dewayne Hall, Travis Glenn Hall, Cody Phillips Hawkins, Hannah Olivia Herman, Samual Louis Herman, Liliana Hernandez, Carrie Elaine Herrin, John Nelson Herriott, Alexander Von Hess, Michael Shane Hickman, Turner Smith Hobby, Jordon Scott Howe, Joshua Johnson, Lisa Darnail Johnson, Stephen Tyler Jones, Amber Lynn Judkins

Lauren Ashleigh Kemp, Mica Brooke Knight, Jackie Renea Knowles, Jonathon Allen Knowles

Dustin Carl Lattimore, Jacob Randall Lawrence, Matthew Lane Lawrence, Rebecca Lynn Lawrence, Ryan Scott Leiser, Joshua Shane Lester, Nicholas Jordan Lester, Megan Lachelle Linder, Anna Katharine Little, Christian Nicole Loftis

Alisha Mae Majors, Kimberly Mae Majors, Jenna Lynn Manning, Shea Matthews, Avarie Elizabeth Maynard, Christopher Paul McCoy, Travis Lane Menix, Kelly Nicole Merriman, Megan Brooke Merriman, Jeffrey W. Miller, Olivia Carol Miller, Susan Jewell Miller, Caleb Lee Minnear, Malinda Sue Mofield, Whitney LaRay Moss

Nathan Neal, Nathan Dallas Nixon, Shanea Marie Nixon, Stephen Dakota Nokes, Stuart Aaron Nunley

Christopher Scott Odom, Megan Alyse Osborne, Brandon Tommis Owen, Holly Rena Owen,

Brooke Elise Pack, Megan Nicole Pack, Stephanie Kaye Page, Justin Aaron Patton, Macrina Perez, Cody Dale Pitt, Corey Brent Poss, Justin Blake Poteete, Shelby Lee Powell, Royce Anthony (Tony) Prater, Amanda Nicole Price, Martha Elizabeth Puckett, Tyler Lee Pyles,

Desiree Nicole Radny, Kirstin Nichole Ramsey, Amanda Michelle Reed, Jessica Gale Richards, Nicole Angela Richards, Crystal Dawn Roden, Francisco Rodriguez, Stephen Michael Rogers, Jordan Shawn Roller, Logan Ray Roller,

Thomas Dalton Silcox, Christopher Joseph Sliger, Kristoffer Alan Smith, Anthony Charles South, Kesha Michelle Staley, Hunter T. Stanfield, Jordan Hunter Stewart, Leslie Nicole Stibil, Jessie Young Strickland, Sonny A. Stults, Shay Nicole Sullivan, Zachary Scott Sumner

John Austin Taylor, Matthew Thomas Tramel, Allyson Faye Trapp, Jalissa Marshay Tubbs

Ashley Leanne Turner

Brittany B. Vickers

Anderson Hudgens Webb, Thomas H. West, Johnny Dakota White, Reba Kaiye Wilkey, Luke Brady Willoughby, Tiffany Shena Winchester

Kara Elizabeth Young, Nikita Carroll Young, and Rebecca Faye Young

Remote Area Medical Clinic Set for Saturday and Sunday

April 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Remote Area Medical Clinic will be held this weekend at the Van Buren County High School in Spencer and people from DeKalb County may attend.

The clinic starts at 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 18th and Sunday, April 19th.

All services are FREE of charge. The clinic is open to anyone, no matter where you live. There are also no income guidelines. All you have to do is show up.

County Mayor Mike Foster says people are urged to come early as tickets will be issued to receive services in anticipation of a large crowd. "In order to assure that you get to see a doctor, they want people to come (to Spencer) on Friday night. They will give out 400 numbered tickets starting at 8:00 p.m. but they advise you to be in line by 6:00 p.m. at the Van Buren County School."

"We've contracted with UCHRA to bus some people up there from here who might not be able to go. In order for us to get people up there and get in line, we're going to leave at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from the old Smithville Food Center shopping center right in front of Ace Hardware. For those who pick up tickets on Friday and Saturday, we will be in that same parking lot at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday morning to take them up there. For anyone else who wants to go, I'd advise you to be there (Spencer) by 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday to pick up tickets for the following day and then to be there before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday to get in line."

" If you have any questions or you want to reserve a seat on the bus be sure to call because we're only going to have enough buses there for the number of people who call. If you don't call, we won't be able to reserve a bus seat. Call our office at 597-5175.

Governor Includes Two Local Bridges in Proposed Bond Program

April 14, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredesen has released a final list of projects to be funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds (Recovery Act), proposed bridge bonds and TDOT's regular funding mechanisms.

Two DeKalb County bridge projects are listed in the bond program, including the proposed replacement of Sligo Bridge on Highway 70 east in fiscal year 2009-2010 and the rehabilitation of Hurricane Bridge on Cookeville Highway in fiscal year 2010-2011.

TDOT also plans to seek additional right of way on Highway 56 south of the DeKalb County line to near Magness Road apparently in it's regular funding budget.

The three-tiered program represents more than 450 projects statewide touching every county in Tennessee. Included in the proposal, which has been presented to the Legislature, are 78 highway and bridge projects in TDOT's Region Two alone.

The Recovery Act is fundamentally about creating and retaining jobs during one of the toughest economic times our nation and state have faced since the Great Depression," said Governor Bredesen. "This three-tiered program represents a record investment in Tennessee's transportation system. The Recovery Act, along with the bridge bonding and TDOT's regular program, will put thousands of Tennesseans to work rebuilding and strengthening one of Tennessee's largest economic drivers, our transportation system."

TDOT's Region Two includes Bledsoe, Bradley, Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Jackson, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren and White counties.

"Not only will these transportation projects help create or save tens of thousands of jobs for Tennesseans, the end result of this investment will be a more reliable transportation system," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "This three-tiered program represents a responsible, balanced and community based approach to transportation. Years of planning and study have gone into each of the projects funded for construction."

39 projects in TDOT's Region Two will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act including a project to reconstruct State Route One/US70-S in Warren County between Centertown and Spring Valley Road which has received strong support from state and local leaders. Tennessee received $572 million in Recovery Act funds. $85.8 million was distributed directly to the state's eleven Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the City of Murfreesboro leaving $486.2 million for distribution by TDOT.

Another 21 bridge repair or replacement projects in Region Two are funded through bridge bonds and 18 are funded through TDOT's traditional Three-Year Multimodal Work Program.

The Legislature is currently considering the transportation budget for approval. TDOT will let to contract all Recovery Act projects in May and June of 2009.

Woman and Child Escape Injury In Monday Morning Wreck

April 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Woman and Child Escape Injury in Wreck

A 17 year old girl and a 10 month old child escaped injury Monday morning in a one car wreck on Highway 56 south.

Trooper Todd Logan of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Ashley Caldwell was traveling north in a 2000 Chevy Malibu when she went off the road and then struck a ditch and a fence. The car came to rest upside down.

According to Trooper Logan, Caldwell claims she lost control of the car after swerving to avoid another vehicle in her lane of travel.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department responded including Rescue #51 and the Keltonburg and Blue Springs Stations along with DeKalb EMS and the Sheriff's Department.

Caldwell and the child, while unhurt, could not get out of the car on their own. Firefighters safely removed them.

Registered Sex Offender Charged with Statutory Rape

April 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Scotty Wayne Neisz

A registered sex offender has been charged with statutory rape of 17 year old girl.

35 year old Scotty Wayne Neisz of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with statutory rape, violation of the sexual offender law and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bond was set at $160,000. He will appear in court on April 23rd.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says on Friday, April 10th. sheriff's department detectives arrested Neisz, a registered sex offender, for allegedly having sex and providing alcohol to a 17 year old female. The girl is the same victim Neisz allegedly had sex with previously when she was 15 years old. Detectives allege that on April 2nd, Neisz went to the 17 year old girl's place of employment, picked her up, rode around, gave her alcohol, and then had sex with her.

In other crime news, Sheriff Ray says deputies were summoned last week to Upper Helton Road where they assisted Alexandria Police on a call. Upon a search incident to an arrest,
officers discovered that 35 year old Sheila Faye Sircy of West Jefferson Avenue, Carthage was in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Deputies also found in Sircy's pocketbook a plastic bag containing marijuana and a pack of rolling papers. Sircy was charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $3,500 and she will appear in court on April 30th.

Last Tuesday, April 7th, deputies spotted a vehicle driving down McMinnville Highway crossing the center line and driving off of the roadway. Officers arrested 31 year old Jason Doyle Newby of South Arrowhead Road, McMinnville for a first offense of driving under the influence. Newby had an odor of alcohol on his person and was very unsteady on his feet. Newby also failed field sobriety
tasks. His bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on April 23rd.

Also on Tuesday, April 7th,officers stopped a vehicle on the Austin Bottom Road near the Cookeville Boat Dock because they had prior knowledge of a failure to appear warrant on the driver of the vehicle. The officer approached the driver, asked for his name, and he responded
with a fake name. The man also had slurred speech and his pupils were pin pointed. He was given field sobriety tasks which he failed. Deputies also found in the man's pocket, a cut hollowed pen with residue. 35 year old Joel Lee Trobaugh of Sunny Point Road, Baxter was charged with criminal impersonation, a first offense of driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended driver's license. Trobaugh's bond was set at $8,000 and he will appear in court on April 30th.

Deputies arrested 52 year old Larry M. Willis of Lancaster Highway,
Hickman on Wednesday, April 8th for leaving the scene of an accident after an investigation into
a mishap that occurred on April 5th on Temperance Hall Road. Willis ran
off the roadway and hit a fence causing damage to it. Willis then fled the
scene. Willis' bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on April 16th.

Deputies received a call of an auto accident on Ferrell Road, Smithville on March 31st. During the investigation, 56 year old Danny Austin Reeder of Bell Street, Smithville told the deputy that he was the driver of the vehicle and that he was forced off of the roadway by another
vehicle. After checking Reeder's story, officers discovered that 36 year old Jan Marie Arnold of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville was the actual driver. Deputies arrested Reeder for filing a false police report and his bond was set at $1,000. He will appear in court on April 16th..
Arnold was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and her bond was set at
$1,000. She will also appear in court on April 16th.

Deputies stopped a vehicle for a traffic offense on Short Mountain Highway, Smithville on Thursday, April 9th and arrested 31 year old Lisa Michelle Porterfield of West Muncey Street, McMinnville for a first offense of driving on a suspended driver's license and possession of drug paraphernalia. When deputies asked Porterfield if she had any illegal contraband on her person, she produced from her bra, two plastic bags that contained hypodermic needles and cut straws. Porterfield's bond was set at $5,000 and she will appear in court on April 23rd. She was also issued a citation for running a stop sign.

39 year old Gregory Eugene Neal of Lee Braswell Road, Smithville was arrested Sunday, April 12th for a first offense of driving under the influence. Deputies received a call of a possible auto accident on Bethel Road, Smithville and upon arrival, noticed Neal using his vehicle to pull another vehicle out of the ditch. Upon speaking with Neal, officers found Neal to be unsteady on his feet. Neal was asked to perform field sobriety tasks, which he failed. Neal stated to deputies that he had been using hydro's and smoking marijuana. His bond was set a $1,500 and he will appear in court on May 5th..

Also on Sunday, April 12th deputies responded to an auto accident on Highway 96, Murfreesboro
Highway. Upon arrival, they found 18 year old Nicholas James Byrge of Skyline Drive, Alexandria in an intoxicated state. Byrge had an odor of alcohol on his person, was unsteady on his feet, and had very slurred speech. He was given field sobriety tasks, which he failed. Byrge was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and his bond was set at $1,500. He will
appear in court on April 23rd.

Two Persons Arrested by Sheriff's Department on Grand Jury Sealed Indictments

April 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tonya Silcox
Kenneth Ray Hendrixson

Two people, named in Grand Jury sealed indictments last Monday, have been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies arrested 37 year old Tonya Gay Silcox of West Main Street, Liberty last Tuesday on 38 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. Detectives say Silcox is accused of stealing credit cards from a family member and using the cards at least 38
times receiving cash or merchandise. Bond for Silcox was set at $10,000.

Meanwhile, deputies arrested 70 year old Kenneth Ray Hendrixson of Bell Street
Smithville Saturday on 5 counts of fraudulently obtaining medical assistance
benefits or TennCare Fraud. Hendrixson's bond was set at $10,000.

Silcox and Hendrixson are among thirty nine defendants, indicted by the grand jury last week, who are scheduled to appear for arraignment in criminal court Monday, April 13th at 9:00 a.m.

Junior High Democratic Party Organized

April 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jr High Democratic Party (Photo by KRenee Photography)

A young group of Democrats have organized in DeKalb County.

Pictured are DeKalb County Democratic Party Chairperson Faye Fuqua and members of the Junior High Democratic Party

(Top Row: Faye Fuqua, Emma Rigsby, Hannah Gaylord, Shauna Taylor, Faith Grubb, Kayla Cook, Brittany Wilkerson, Briana Cutliff, and Jim Judkins.)

(Bottow Row: Eli Gill, Jordan Wilkins, Karem Bain, Makala Dawson) Absent, Keri Sanders

Photo provided by KRenee Photography

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