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Local News Articles

Dowell Charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine and other Offenses

May 9, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fred Dowell, Jr.

A local man faces charges of illegal possession of drugs and a weapon after being arrested by Smithville Police.

Chief Randy Caplinger said 54 year old Fred Dowell, Jr. of 344 Smith Road is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance ( four grams of crack cocaine), unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia (homemade crack pipe), and a third offense of driving on a revoked license. Dowell was also issued a citation for failure to maintain proper lane of travel.

After receiving several complaints of possible drug trafficking from Dowell's home, Detective Matt Holmes reports that Smithville Police executed a search warrant there on Tuesday, April 12th. When officers arrived they found four other men in the home, but not Dowell. Police also found a set of scales, some drug residue, and hidden inside a desk drawer was a semi-automatic pistol. A warrant was then drawn up charging Dowell with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Detective Holmes said Dowell is a convicted felon in a previous criminal case in Putnam County.

Eleven days later, on Saturday April 23rd, Officer Brad Tatrow stopped a green Dodge truck on Bright Hill Road for a traffic violation. Dowell was the driver. A check of his license revealed them to be revoked. A search of his vehicle yielded a bag containing about four grams of crack cocaine and a homemade crack pipe. Dowell was placed in custody and charged in the cases. His bond totals $9,500.

Smithville Police Charge McMinnville Woman with Prescription Fraud

May 9, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jill Jones

A 36 year old McMinnville woman has been charged with two counts of prescription fraud after obtaining drugs on two separate occasions from a local pharmacy using another name.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said Jill Jones is currently incarcerated in Warren County where she has been charged with ten counts of prescription fraud there.

Detective Matt Holmes reports that on Thursday, April 21st, Jones telephoned a local pharmacy, stating that she was a secretary for a doctor's office in McMinnville. Jones placed an order for prescriptions of Loratab and Xanax in the name of Sarah Ward. Jones later showed up at the pharmacy and purchased the prescriptions,identifying herself as Ward.

On Monday, April 25th, Jones called in another prescription order for Sarah Ward, this time for hydrocodones and Phentramine. Jones again showed up at the pharmacy to pick up the order using an ID number. Later, the pharmacist became suspicious and called the McMinnville doctor's office to verify the order and learned that had it not been authorized by anyone there.

The pharmacy then notified Smithville Police. Officer James Cornelius took the initial report in the case.

­DeKalb County Receives Technology Grants for Libraries

May 9, 2011

­­­­­­DeKalb County is one of more than 70 communities across Tennessee that will receive grants to upgrade technology at rural libraries.

These grants, which total more than $1.2 million, are the product of a partnership between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development in a quest to strengthen rural communities by developing libraries.

The county will receive $16,076 to be used at the Alexandria Branch Library and another $16,076 to be used at the Justin Potter Library.

“Libraries in rural areas play an especially important role in connecting citizens with the resources and opportunities that are oftentimes isolated to urban areas,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “These grants will go a long way toward providing vital access to computers and the Internet, which is particularly helpful in some of the areas that were hit the hardest by the recession.”

Grants may be used to cover costs for computer equipment, new training, educational opportunities, Internet access and other enhancements approved by the USDA.

“These grants will help people access information on employment opportunities, job training, small business development and education here in DeKalb County,” said state Sen. Mae Beavers. “This will help level the playing field in the job market and eliminate the need for some people to drive to big cities to get Internet access.”

“When people have trouble getting Internet connections or cannot afford a home computer, our public libraries fill a void,” said state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver. “Our community is extremely grateful for the help of the Office of the Secretary of State, ECD and USDA Rural Development.”

A Look at the Tennessee Legislature

May 9, 2011
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

The following is a legislative update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver:

As the free-spending ways of Washington sink our nation further into debt, a resolution was passed that calls on Congress to follow Tennessee’s model.

The measure simply encourages the U.S. Congress to return to the founding principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility to rein in spending. Additionally, the resolution advises Congress to follow the example set by Tennessee of balanced budgets and responsible spending cuts to provide a stable environment for the State.

This legislation is a direct reflection of the will of Tennesseans. Our citizens are tired of seeing their hard-earned tax dollars being wasted in Washington on bailouts, giveaways, and out-of-control entitlement programs. We are simply sending a message to Washington to get its fiscal house in order. If they need a model of how to do that, all they need to do is look to Tennessee. We have navigated these rough economic times by maintaining a balanced budget, keeping taxes low, and reining in burdensome government regulations.

In addition I am proud of the efforts of the Republican leadership in Congress and support them and want them to continue fighting for more reductions so our country can flourish.”

Constitutional Amendment Regarding Abortion Advances in House

On Wednesday, the House Majority moved the legislation that will amend the State's Constitution. SJR 127 is a constitutional amendment that, when passed, will bring the Constitution of the State of Tennessee back to a position of neutrality regarding abortion. Once again, SJR 127 enjoys bi-partisan support.

The amendment is intended to restore to the people of Tennessee, acting through their elected state representatives and state senators, their rightful authority to regulate abortion, all within federal constitutional limits. “This amendment restores protections for citizens through common sense measures regarding a very personal matter in the lives of many women. It is important to note this amendment does not outlaw or criminalize abortion. SJR127 simply restores the authority of the people acting through their elected officials, to legislate abortion. Our State has a strong record of protecting life and this amendment will forever enshrine that principle in our Constitution.”

Many Members fought for the passage of the constitutional amendment for several years, but their efforts were blocked in subcommittees. The process for amending the State's Constitution is a long one. Joint resolutions must pass one General Assembly by a majority, which was accomplished last year for this bill. In the subsequent General Assembly, it must be passed by two-thirds, before finally being put to the voters in the next gubernatorial election.

House Protects Teacher Pay

On Wednesday, the Majority passed legislation that protects teacher pay from reductions in Tennessee. While local school boards and municipalities face tight budgets along with other government agencies, Members of the Majority are committed to making sure our valuable teachers are protected from budget cuts.

The legislation, House Bill 367, simply prohibits any local education agency from lowering teacher salaries, without a corresponding change in the teacher's duties, or lowering the amount spent for teacher benefits from one school year to the next.

Teachers need to know we support their hard work in the classroom and this bill shows that. I am committed to giving a voice to all teachers and this legislation ensures our educators can rest assured we will fight to make sure their salaries are never reduced.”

House Closes Criminal Code Loophole

The General Assembly has been vigilant when it comes to protecting the rights and security of victims. Recent news reports have shown an alarming trend with violent criminals taking advantage of a loophole in Tennessee’s legal code.

HB 401 creates a “good faith exception” to the Exclusionary Rule so courts will have a legitimate alternative to allow evidence to be heard in a case and sets out a clear definition so there will be clarity on the issue.

Criminals and defense attorneys have taken advantage of this loophole for years causing violent offenders, including murderers, to be released because of small clerical errors. In an effort to protect society and honor victims, I am proud to say we have closed this loophole.

New Legislation Slams the Door on Looters

HB 1946, known as the “retail theft” bill, provides a new offense whereby courts may require a criminal to perform public service as designated by the court. The offender would be required to perform at least the number of hours of public service necessary to satisfy the fine assessed by the court at minimum wage.

Simply put, this bill was crafted to crack down on looters. These are some of the most despicable criminals who hurt families in their time of most need. Instead of just throwing them behind bars, this legislation ensures they are put to work rebuilding our communities and doing hard work to make up for their unacceptable crimes. Let us continue to keep those families in our prayers who have been affected by last month’s horrible tornadoes.

Major Protection for Tennessee Workers Passes House

During the mid-week, the House enacted HB 1747, a major protection for Tennessee’s workforce. In basic terms, the legislation ensures the Volunteer State’s workforce will never face intimidation or coercive tactics by unions who are forcibly trying to unionize factories or workshops.

The bill ensures all employees, who want to select a bargaining representative for their workplace, may utilize a secret ballot – a core principle of American voting tradition.

Secret ballot voting is a basic American value that we must protect. No citizen should be forced to join a union or pay dues to a union just to have the opportunity to work and provide for their family. For the last five years, unions have spent millions of dollars across the country to pass bills that effectively eliminate employees’ rights. With this legislation, we are forever ensuring those horrid tactics will never be a reality in Tennessee.

Smithville Swimming Pool to Re-Open Soon

May 7, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool is expected to re-open soon.

Workers for Langley and Taylor of Nashville have been doing the repair work on the pool. On Friday, they were putting down white marcite plaster, a white cement mixed with crushed marble, troweled to a smooth finish.

Smithville Swimming Pool to Open Soon from dwayne page on Vimeo.

The work is expected to be completed within the next week.

Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident

May 6, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jarrett Manning Injured in Motorcycle Accident (woman pictured not involved)

A 27 year old Smithville man suffered injuries Friday afternoon in a motorcycle accident on West Broad Street in front of DeKalb Community Bank.

Smithville Police Officer Matt Farmer said that Jarrett Manning was operating a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle traveling west on Broad Street as a Ford F350, driven by 56 year old Kirt Martin of Smithville, was pulling out onto the highway from the bank parking lot attempting to go east.

According to Officer Farmer, Manning claims he saw the truck pulling out and applied his brakes trying to avoid a collision. Manning came off the motorcycle and it slid into the front of the truck. Manning's body also struck a portion of the truck and he came to rest in the street. Manning was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. He reportedly suffered fractures in his pelvis in two places, his hip, and his leg in a couple of places.

Martin, the driver of the truck, was not injured.

Roses to Close Saturday

May 6, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Roses to Close Saturday
Smithville Roses to Close

Fifteen months after opening for business in Smithville, Roses is closing.

Saturday, May 7th will be the last day in business according to signs posted on the front doors of the store.

The store manager also confirmed for WJLE that the store will not re-open after it closes for business Saturday night at 9:00 p.m.

In a November 2009 news release on the company website, the Henderson based Variety Stores, a subsidiary of Variety Wholesalers, Inc. a discount retailer, announced it would open a 30,000 – square-foot Roses store, a unit of the company's retail division, in Smithville at 750 South Congress Boulevard in the former location of Pamida.

The store held it's grand opening on February 25th, 2010

City and county leaders said they are saddened to learn that Roses is leaving town.

DeKalb Community Bank Provides Donation for Food Pantry

May 5, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Clark Oakley (right) presents donation to Pat Zornow (left)

DeKalb Community Bank helped provide a supply food for local families and individuals in need recently through a donation to Smithville’s Second Harvest Food Pantry, which is sponsored by and housed at First United Methodist Church on North 4th Street.

DCB Regional President Clark Oakley presented the contribution to pantry representative Pat Zornow, FUMC Pastor Dr. John Purdue and a number of the volunteers who help operate the food pantry. The Second Harvest Food Pantry distributes food every two weeks to those in need.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to the food pantry, or if you are in need of help from this ministry, please contact the church at 597-4961.

DeKalb Community Bank, Member FDIC, is an office of Wilson Bank & Trust in Lebanon, Tenn.

County Firefighters Save Home on Henley Hollow Road

May 5, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

County firefighters saved the home of Diane Shifrin of 1995 Henley Hollow Road near Alexandria this morning (Thursday).

Central dispatch received the call at 5:03 a.m.

Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that Ms. Shifrin was awakened by smoke and discovered a chimney fire. She initially tried to put out the fire herself, but gave up, called 911, and escaped from the home unharmed.

Members of the Liberty, Main Station, and Tanker Truck from the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded. Chief Green said the fire got into the attic and then burned through the ceiling into the living room, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze there. Although the fire was extinguished, smoke spread throughout the house.

Community Leaders Seek Support for DeKalb County Clean-Up Campaign

May 4, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County Executive’s office would like to invite residents across the county to participate in the DeKalb County Clean Up campaign on Saturday, May 14th. This event will be held in conjunction with the Keep American Beautiful initiative going on across the country. This organization’s mission revolves around a core belief that beauty is a silent but powerful force that makes communities safer, healthier and more livable.

Mike Foster, Suzanne Williams, and Jen Sherwood on Chamber Chat from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, would like to remind everyone that DeKalb County’s peak tourism season is about to begin, so now is a great time to start getting things spruced up for our coming visitors. According to Williams, “I think we are all aware of the value and importance of beautification in our communities to attract newcomers and tourists to our area and to maintain a stable and growing economy.”

To get a head start on clean up, dumpsters will be set up at highly visible and convenient locations a few days prior to the main event. Dumpster locations will be at the Dowelltown Community Center, Liberty Community Center, Alexandria City Parking Lot (behind square), and the Shopping Center parking lot (close to DeKalb Ace Hardware), 702 South Congress Blvd., Smithville.

County Executive Mike Foster says, “We would like for people to come out and help clean our communities and roadways. Folks are welcome to pick their own locations to clean, or we will be glad to assign a safe place for each person to participate.”

DeKalb Clean Up volunteers are asked to come to the Chamber office located at 301 North Public Square, Smithville on May 14th between 9 AM and 11 AM to sign-in and pick up the provided trash bags, rubber gloves, bottles of water, and hand sanitizer. For early sign-up, you can stop by the Chamber anytime during regular office hours before May 14th to pick up supplies. Or if stopping by is not convenient, call the Chamber office at 597-4163 to be counted as a DeKalb Clean Up volunteer -- just give your name and the general area where you will be working. Whether you’re beautifying your street, a highway, a park, ball field, a stream, or your own home, what a difference we can make through working together!

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