Local News Articles

Liberty and Alexandria Spread Christmas Cheer

December 5, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

The annual Christmas Parades in Liberty and Alexandria were held Sunday afternoon and many turned out to share in the fun and excitement and for the chance to win prizes.

Lelan Statom, meteorologist at NewsChannel5 and his family served as Grand Marshal of the Liberty Parade. Both parades of course featured floats, the DCHS band, horseback riders, vintage automobiles, and Santa Claus among many other attractions.
(SEE THE VIDEO OF THE LIBERTY CHRISTMAS PARADE HERE)

In Liberty, the Dowelltown United Methodist Church won the float competition.

Eric Peterson of Smithville received first place for his 1957 Chevy truck in the category for vintage automobiles

Eli Johnson and Layne Hale of Liberty won first place in the miscellaneous category for their entry with the theme "Fired up for Christmas"

In Alexandria, DeKalb Community Bank won first place with their float. Zack and Ethan Martin took second place and the Malone's Chapel Baptist Church received third place.
(SEE VIDEO OF ALEXANDRIA CHRISTMAS PARADE HERE)

For vintage cars, Doyle Slager won first place for his 1960 Chevy Impala. Charles Barry received second place for his 1982 Corvette, and Joseph Overstreet won third place for his entry.

Charles Caplinger won first place for vintage trucks with his 1957 Chevy Cameo. John Johnson took second place for his 1965 Ford F-100 and Kevin Bandy received third place for his 1925 Model-T.

For tractors, Dustin Dillehay took home first place for his 1953 John Deere 60, Steven Cook received second place for his 1944 Farmall H, and Ayden Wood won third place for his 1942 Farmall B.

(CHECK BACK SOON FOR PHOTO GALLERIES OF BOTH PARADES)

Smithville Christmas Parade Helps Kick Off Holiday Season

December 4, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Calvary Baptist Church Wins Float Competition and Spirit Award
Whorton Springs Baptist Church Wins Second Place
DeKalb Community Bank Wins Third Place
Grand Marshals Mr. and Mrs. DeKalb County

The Smithville Christmas Parade helped put folks in a festive mood Saturday.

Hundreds gathered along the parade route, which extended from Smithville Elementary School, down South Congress Boulevard, and around the public square. The weather was sunny and pleasant.
(CLICK THE "MORE PICTURES" LINK BELOW THE PHOTOS ON THE RIGHT TO SEE PHOTO GALLERY)

The annual parade, sponsored by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, featured decorative floats, vintage automobiles, local kings and queens, boy and girl scouts, veterans, horseback riders, horsedrawn wagons, the DeKalb County High School Fighting Tiger Band, local law enforcement , firefighters, DeKalb EMS, Rescue Squad, among many other entries. Of course, the highlight of the parade was the appearance of Santa Claus who rode into town on a fire engine tossing candy left and right to everyone along the parade route. Jerry Tramel and Kay Quintero, named Mr. and Mrs. DeKalb County served as the Grand Marshals.

The Calvary Baptist Church, complete with a real live camel, won first place in the float competition and also took home the "Spirit Award", sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

The Whorton Springs Baptist Church received second place.

Third Place went to DeKalb Community Bank

DeKalb GOP Nominates Mason Carter to Run for Assessor of Property

December 3, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mason Carter

The DeKalb County Republican Party has nominated a candidate to run for Assessor of Property in the August General Election.

Mason Carter, a first district county commissioner, made his announcement official Saturday morning during the local GOP convention held at the courthouse. Delegates to the convention nominated him without opposition.

Carter and his wife Pamela reside in the Temperance Hall community. He worked with DTC Communications for some thirty years before his retirement.

In making his announcement, Carter said "I come before the Republican Party asking for your support and that you would allow me to run for Assessor of Property for DeKalb County. I just appreciate everybody's support and if there is anything I can do just let me know. I appreciate it."

Carter was elected to the county commission from the first district in 2006 and he was re-elected in 2010.

No other candidate came before the delegation.

DeKalb County voters will be electing an Assessor of Property and Constable from each of the seven districts in the county during the General Election next August.

The Democratic nominees for these offices will be chosen in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary on March 6th.

Democrats and Independents have until noon Thursday, December 8th to become qualified to run.

State Releases 2011 Report Card on DeKalb County Schools

December 2, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The 2011 Report Card on DeKalb County schools shows overall academic progress, according to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, still two schools were placed on the "target" list and another made "School Improvement 2" for falling short of No Child Left Behind benchmarks in certain subgroups.

The Tennessee Department of Education Friday released complete results from the 2011 state Report Card. The report includes district- and school-level data on a variety of indicators, from student achievement and growth on standardized tests, to attendance and behavior.

Director Willoughby; Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7-12; Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for pre-K through 6th grade; and Lisa Bell, Data Analysis Leader met recently with WJLE to explain the data.

According to the report card, DeKalb Middle School made the "Target" list because the sub-group of students who are economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities failed to meet the necessary benchmarks for the year in the subject of math.

DeKalb West is a "Target" school because the sub-group of students with disabilities failed to meet the benchmarks in reading and language arts.

Northside Elementary is listed as "School Improvement 2" due to the sub-group of students who are economically disadvantaged failed to meet the necessary benchmarks in reading and language arts.

DCHS is in "Good Standing", according to the Report Card. However ACT scores "took a dip" this year, according to Director Willoughby. The state now requires mandatory ACT testing of all juniors, not just college bound students..

County wide, the school system made "Good Standing" status in grades 3-8

Schools and districts must meet performance standards in 37 categories at each grade span to be deemed in "good standing" under the federally mandated No Child Left Behind law.

DeKalb County is not required to implement any new programs to address concerns at the "Target" schools based on the report card . However, after school tutoring programs were offered this past year at Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary due to their "School Improvement 1" status in the 2010 report card, according to Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for pre-K to 6th grade. "This year we had to offer the supplemental education services, after school tutoring for those two schools. It came through Title I federal monies," she said.

Director of Schools Willoughby told WJLE that DeKalb County is by no means alone for schools on the state's radar. According to Willoughby, a total of 841 schools out of 1,662 across the state are either on a "Target" "School Improvement 1 or 2", or "Reconstruction" list. However, if the state's request is granted for a federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind Law, all of the schools in DeKalb County will be in "Good Standing" by meeting all the new guidelines for growth.

The Tennessee Department of Education is seeking to scrap the complicated means of measuring school progress under NCLB for a more straightforward plan that lays out how much progress schools must make each year.

Under the current Adequate Yearly Progress measure outlined in the federal law, schools are expected to show 20 percent gains per year. The expectation is pushing hundreds of schools across the state into the failing category.

In its request for a waiver from the controversial No Child Left Behind law, the state Department of Education says it's reasonable to expect gains of 3 to 5 percent per year in the number of students proficient in math and reading, but not 20%. Willoughby said he agrees with the state's position. "Should that waiver be approved then there would not be any schools in DeKalb County that are on the "Target" lists because the gains of growth are going to be more realistic like five or six percent per year rather than expecting us to have a twenty percent growth in a year. Twenty percent growth in a year is a pretty high goal to have. So having the goal as five or six percent is a more realistic goal," said Willoughby

With more workloads being placed on teachers in the classroom, Director Willoughby said he is proud of the job our local educators are doing, as well as the student progress that's been made.. "We're really proud of the Achievement scores that our students have made. Our students are achieving well and they are making gains. We're real proud of our students and we're proud of our teachers. There's more eyes on teachers statewide. Our teachers are working really hard and DeKalb County is a good place to go to school. When your children graduate from DeKalb County, they will graduate with a good education and they can be successful," said Willoughby.

The following is a summary of the DeKalb County School System Report Card for 2011 from the Tennessee Department of Education:

The graduation rate of 91.2%, maintained from 2010 is above the state
Attendance for K-8 was 95.8%, up from 93.9%
Promotion Rate for K-8 was 99.7%
Attendance at DCHS was 95.2%, up from 94.5%

In grades 3-8, the county received ALL "B"s for Academic Achievement in the areas of Math; Reading/Language Arts; Social Studies, and Science. The county exceeded state scores in the areas of Reading/Language Arts and Science. The county matched state scores in Math and Social Studies. For 5th, 8th, and 11th grade Writing, the county received ALL "A"s

Tennessee Value Added Assessment Scores (TVAAS), which measures academic growth over a three year period, shows that the county's Math score in grades 3-8 improved from a "D" to a "C" and Reading from a "C" to a "B". Social Studies maintained a "C" and Science fell from a "C" to a " D"

DCHS:
Achievement writing scores improved from 2010 going from 4.1 to 4.2. Scores. Reading and Language Arts Achievement exceeded the state by 2%. Math exceeded the state by 3%

TVAAS (Growth)
End of Course (EOC) Math, English, and U.S. History all maintained one year's growth while above average growth was shown in Science/Biology.

DeKalb's ACT scores are down from 2010.
Since the implementation of the law regarding mandatory ACT testing of all juniors, DeKalb County has seen a decline in ACT scores. When compared to the state, DeKalb County's ACT scores (three year averages) are within one point except for Math.

Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for 7-12, told WJLE that efforts are underway to improve ACT results. "We're doing lots of review. We've got some academic coaches in and helping. Ms.
(Kathy) Hendrix (DCHS Principal) also has some incentive type things in place. We're doing everything we can to get that (ACT scores) up," said Cripps.

A comparison of Academic ACT Achievement scores for 2009, 2010 and 2011 are as follows:

Composite:
Year 2009: 20.8
Year 2010: 18.5
Year 2011:17.9

English:
Year 2009: 21.2
Year 2010: 17.8
Year 2011: 17.5

Math:
Year 2009: 19.1
Year 2010: 17.6
Year 2011: 17.3

Reading:
Year 2009: 21.2
Year 2010: 19.3
Year 2011: 18.0

Science/Reasoning:
Year 2009: 21.0
Year 2010: 18.7
Year 2011: 18.1

DeKalb Middle School:
A "C" was maintained in Reading and Math Achievement while Social Studies improved from a "C" to a "B". Science received a "B, down from an "A" in 2010. DMS was at or above the state in every academic area except in Math.

TVAAS (Growth)
Comparing 2010 to 2011, DMS improved in every core academic area and grade level in 2011. For example, 8th grade Science had a -10.8 for growth last year. This year it is 6.4. However, the three year average of Math gives DMS a "C". Reading and Language Arts received a "D", Social Studies dropped from a "D" in 2010 to an "F", and Science a "D". Math improved from a "D" in 2010 to a "C" for 2011

DeKalb West School:
An "A" was maintained in all academic areas and exceeded the state. Writing improved from a 4.4 in 2010 to 4.5 in 2011 for both 5th and 8th grades.

TVAAS (Growth)
While the report card assigned a "D" in the area of math, every grade improved markedly in growth for 2011. An "A" was maintained in Reading and Social Studies fell from a "B" to a "C" while Science gained from a "C" to a "B"

Northside Elementary School:
A "C" was maintained in the area of Math and Reading/Language Arts as well as a "B" for Science and Social Studies. NES exceeded the state at 4.2 in Writing which is an "A" on the state Report Card.

TVAAS (Growth)
Although Math received a "D" for the three year average, NES had significant growth in 2011. In 2010, 4th grade Math had a -5. In 2011, the growth had improved to 4.6. Fifth grade also gained from -4.0 to a 2.1. NES received an "A" in Reading and Social Studies growth and a "C" in Science

Smithville Elementary School has the same report card and standing as Northside Elementary since it is a feeder school to Northside.

DeKalb County Schools had an Average Daily Membership of approximately 2,844 students. There were 193 teachers and 10 administrators in the system. The pupil expenditure for this Report Card is $7,666. The state per pupil expenditure is $9,084.

Peanut Butter Recall Affects UCHRA Commodities

December 2, 2011
by: 
Randy Wilder, Community Outreach and Resource Development Manager

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture/ Commodity Distributions issued a statement to the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) involving recalled Hampton Farms peanut butter. Specific lots of Hampton Farms brand peanut butter distributed to agencies and participants in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (Commodities) in Tennessee are being recalled. Hampton Farms issued a recall for the product because it was not manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices. This peanut butter was distributed in Tennessee through USDA and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. To date, no one has become sick or been injured because of this product.

The recalled peanut butter was distributed during the month of November 2011 and has the following identifying information: Brand name-Hampton Farms; Product-Smooth Peanut Butter; Size- 18 ounce jars; Best used by date: 10/19/2012; Production lot Number-878.

If the peanut butter received through commodities matches the information above, contact the local UCHRA DeKalb County office at (615)597-4504 for further information and instruction on discarding and replacement of the peanut butter.

If your peanut butter does not match the identifiers listed above, then there is no need to be concerned or take action.

If you need additional information, please contact Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s central office at 931-528-1127 or Tennessee Department of Agriculture 615-837-5162 or Terry.Minton@tn.gov.

Undercover Drug Investigation by Smithville Police Department Results in Grand Jury Sealed Indictments

December 1, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Randy Caldwell
Ben Pascal
Teresa Beasley
Timothy Lawson
Keith Clifford Lafreniere

An undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department has resulted in grand jury sealed indictments against five people.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said 41 year old Randy Caldwell, 24 year old Ben Pascal, 45 year old Teresa Beasley, and 41 year old Timothy Lawson have all been served with the indictments and will appear in criminal court for arraignment on Monday, December 12. One other person has yet to be served.

The investigations were conducted by Detectives Matt Holmes and Brandon Donnell with an informant making the drug buys. A TBI agent worked with the detectives in one case.

Caldwell is charged with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance.

The indictments allege that on August 18 and 19, Caldwell sold and delivered Hydromorphone, a schedule II controlled substance.

Pascal is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. He is indicted with a co-defendant for allegedly selling and delivering dilaudid, a schedule II controlled substance on August 25.

Beasley is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. Her indictment alleges that she sold and delivered Hydromorphone, a schedule II drug on August 26. The alleged drug buy took place at City Walk Apartments.

Lawson is charged with three counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance in a drug free school zone.

The indictments allege that Lawson sold and delivered morphine on July 27, August 4, and August 23. The alleged drug buys took place at the City Walk Apartments, located near Smithville Elementary School.

Meanwhile 23 year old Brandon Matthew Byford, not part of the drug investigation, has been arrested by Smithville Police for harboring a fugitive, resisting arrest, and possession of a prohibited weapon for allegedly trying to hide Lawson in his City Walk apartment.

Detectives Donnell and Holmes went to City Walk Apartment Monday, November 28 to serve the indictments on Lawson but no one came to the door, even though they saw who they thought was Lawson inside. After forcibly entering, the detectives found Lawson who was hiding in the apartment. They also arrested Byford. Police said Byford tried to resist and he had brass knuckles in his possession. Byford is under a $7,500 bond and he will be in court on December 15.

18 year old Keith Clifford Lafreniere, II was indicted Monday on a rape charge. The case was investigated by Detective Matt Holmes of the Smithville Police Department.

The indictment alleges that on May 26 Lafreniere did intentionally or knowingly engage in unlawful sexual activity with a 12 year old girl and that it was accomplished by the use of force or coercion constituting the offense of rape.

The incident allegedly occurred at a residence on West Main Street. DNA evidence was collected at the scene. Lafreniere, who was identified as a suspect, was later charged in the case. He will appear for arraignment in criminal court on Monday, December 12.

Meanwhile in other cases, 34 year old Amy Jeanette Lawson is charged with theft over $500, criminal trespassing, and a second offense of driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $17,500 and she will be in court on December 15.

A Smithville Police Officer was recently called to Food Lion. The store manager said that a customer claimed that another woman, later identified as Lawson, had come up to her in the store and began talking. Before leaving, Lawson allegedly swiped the woman's wallet, which contained up to eight hundred dollars. Lawson then left the store, got in her car, and drove away. The victim followed after Lawson and caught up with her on Dearman Street. Lawson allegedly gave back the wallet but there was no money in it. Lawson then drove to Jewel's Market, where police confronted her. While there, the officer was notified that Wal-mart called to report that Lawson had been in the store earlier that day trying to return a cell phone, when she was not supposed to be there. Lawson had previously been barred from the store. Walmart filed a criminal trespassing charge against her. Lawson was arrested and brought to the police department but while she was being held, Lawson slipped out of her handcuffs and darted out the door. Police apprehended her at North Webb and Congress Boulevard.

57 year old Terry Wayne Owens is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $3,500.

Chief Caplinger reports that police went to Owen's residence on Smith Road after someone there phoned 911 and hung up. Upon arrival, police learned from a woman there that she and Owens became involved in an argument which turned physical with him allegedly assaulting her. He was taken into custody.

27 year old Daniel Ray Wilson was cited for shoplifting on Thanksgiving Day. Wilson allegedly put several items in his pockets, totaling over $87 from Walmart trying to conceal them. He will be in court on December 11.

34 year old Eric Heflin was stopped for a traffic (light law) violation on Wednesday, November 23. He was also cited for violation of the open container law. He will be in court on January 3.

UPDATED: Fifty Six Indicted by Grand Jury

December 1, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

Fifty Six people were indicted by the regular term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday including twelve who were named in sealed indictments. All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 12 at 9:00 a.m.

WJLE had originally reported on Tuesday that 40 were indicted but several names were inadvertently omitted from the list. The following is a complete list of all those indicted including those named in sealed indictments who have been served:

Andrew Anderson (sealed indictment)- Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor

David Anderson, Travis Rich, Jessica Bogle, Amy Ford, and Tammy Jones: co-indicted on charges of Initiation of meth, manufacture of meth, promotion of meth, and criminal trespassing

Jessie Robert Adcock- Auto burglary and theft over $1,000

Shannon Anderson- Aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Dickie Bain- Theft under $500 (2 counts)

Dickie Ray Bain and Mark Goodson- Theft over $1,000 and false report

Teresa Beasley (sealed indictment)- Sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance

Steven Darrell Bly- Aggravated burglary and violation of an order of protection

William H. Bogle, Jr.- Harassment ( 2 counts)

Kevin Brooks- Theft over $1,000

Randy Caldwell (sealed indictment)- Sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (2 counts)

Chasity Carter- Theft under $500

Anna Faye Colburn- possession of a schedule II, III, and VI controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law.

Terry Collins- Theft over $1,000

Tammy Currie- Aggravated burglary (4 charges) and theft under $500 (4 charges)

William Corey Dickens- Theft over $1,000 (2 counts)

David Dixon- Possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and violation of an order of protection.

Jessica Dyal- Theft under $500

Amy P. Ford- Possession of a schedule III controlled substance

James Goodman- Manufacture Methamphetamine

Tiffany Greer- Aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Shaun Hill- Aggravated burglary (3 charges) and theft over $1,000 (3 charges); and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Jill Marie Jones- Prescription Fraud (2 counts)

Terry Wayne Knowles- Driving on a suspended license

Keith Clifford Lafreniere,II- Rape

Roxanna Landis- Possession of paraphernalia and public intoxication

Timothy Lawson (sealed indictment)- Sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance in a drug free school zone (3 counts)

Robert Justin Luna- Initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine

Wanda Carol Mathis- Sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance

Daniel Lee Mayo- Possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale, driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law.

Coty McCormick-aggravated assault

Kenneth Moore-Rape of a child

Melinda Murphy- Theft under $500 and fraudulent use of a credit card

Steven Osment (sealed indictment)- Hindering a secured creditor

Ben Pascal (sealed indictment)- Sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance

Lisa Porterfield-Hindering a secured creditor

Richard Raby- Burglary (2 charges), theft over $1,000

Joseph E. Selby- Sexual battery

Danny Lee Smithson- Driving on a revoked license (4th offense)

Terry Ray Story- Domestic Assault

Bradley Shane Redmon- Assault

William Ray Roller, Jr and Kathy Ann Roller- promotion of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale, possession of a schedule III controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia.

James Walter Stringer (sealed indictment)- Rape of a child (3 counts)

David Anthony Taylor- Driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, driving on a suspended license, assault, and indecent exposure

Michael Glen Thomas- Driving under the influence

Amy Rachel Vanatta and Michael Shane Wilcher (sealed indictment)- Unlawful photographing (of an adult)

Matthew Wilbur- Sale and delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale, and possession of paraphernalia

Paul Willingham-Aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000

Kenneth Adam Wright- Driving under the influence (2nd offense), and Violation of the implied consent law

Anderson Indicted for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

November 30, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andrew Justin Anderson
James Walter Stringer

A Smithville man has been named in a sealed indictment returned by the Grand Jury Monday on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

21 year old Andrew Justin Anderson of Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor.

The indictments allege that "on or about the 9th day of June, 2010, Anderson did knowingly promote, sell, distribute, transport, or exchange material that included over 100 images of a minor engaging in sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive, constituting the offense of sexual exploitation and aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor"

His bond is $150,000 and he will be in court on Monday, December 12.

In a separate case, 34 year old James Walter Stringer of Church Street, Liberty is named in a sealed indictment charging him with three counts of rape of a child. His bond is $200,000 and he will be in court on Monday, December 12.

The indictments allege that twice between March 10 and April 2 and again on April 21, Stringer allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a twelve year old girl constituting the offense of rape of a child. This case was investigated by the Smithville Police Department.

Meanwhile, 47 year old Steven Dale Osment of Will Daniel Road, Woodbury is named in a sealed indictment on a charge of hindering a secured creditor. His bond is $10,000 and he will appear for arraignment in criminal court on Monday, December 12.

40 year old Amy Rachel Vanatta and 39 year old Michael Shane Wilcher both of McMinnville were co-indicted on a charge of unlawful photographing (of an adult). Bond for each is $10,000 and they will appear for arraignment in court on Monday, December 12.

THP Investigates Two Wrecks Near Sligo Bridge Tuesday

November 30, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Timothy Wayne and Pamela Gail Turner escape serious injury in truck crash
Another View of Turner's Truck

Two people were involved in a pickup truck accident Tuesday afternoon on Highway 70 just east of Sligo bridge.

Central dispatch received the call at 12:15 p.m.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 43 year old Timothy Wayne Turner was driving east on Highway 70 in a 1999 Ford Ranger when he tried to negotiate a curve. The truck went off the left side of the highway, entered a ditchline and rolled onto its side.

Turner got out of the truck under his own power. His wife, 50 year old Pamela Gail Turner was removed from the vehicle by DeKalb EMS and members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Team..

She was by taken by ambulance to DeKalb Community Hospital but she was not believed to have been seriously hurt.

In addition to the county's extrication and rescue team, members of the Midway station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene. Trooper Jennings said Mr. Turner was cited for failure to maintain lane of travel.

Two hours later, another wreck occurred at the same location. Central dispatch received the call at 2:26 p.m.

Trooper Jennings said 22 year old Troy William Hammons was going east in a 2001 GMC Sierra when his truck went off the left side of the road and into the ditchline. His vehicle did not roll over. After the crash investigation, a wrecker pulled him out and Hammons was able to drive away. He was not injured.

County Giving Serious Consideration to Developing Solid Waste Transfer Station

November 29, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Overton County Solid Waste Transfer Station (Photo by David McDowell)
Overton County Recycling Center (Photo by David McDowell)
Inside Transfer Station (Notice Open Top Semi Truck Trailer to Right)
Baler for Recycling (Photo by David McDowell)
Baled Cardboard (Photo by David McDowell)
Baled Plastic(Photo by David McDowell)

County Mayor Mike Foster and five members of the county commission took a trip to Livingston last week to get a first hand look at Overton County's solid waste transfer station. During Monday night's county commission meeting, members who made the trip indicated that they were impressed with the operation and seemed to be open to the idea of developing a transfer station in DeKalb County once the current Class I landfill has reached its capacity within the next two or three years.

Under a transfer station operation, household garbage would continue to be collected at local convenience centers across the county, then loaded onto trucks and brought to the transfer station, where the garbage would be separated from recyclables and then loaded onto semi trucks and transferred to a landfill site in another county. DeKalb would contract for the garbage to be hauled out of county and for the disposal of it at a certain price per ton. The recyclables would be baled and sold.

Foster, during the Monday night meeting and in an interview with WJLE Tuesday morning, explained how Overton County's operation works. "We went up there to look at their transfer station and recycling center. We're also going to look at two or three others. In Overton County they do about twelve thousand tons a year (household garbage) and we do about fourteen thousand tons a year. They had a building there (for the solid waste transfer and a shed for storing bales of recyclables). They bring their solid waste into a centralized location, dump it and segregate it. The rest of the main garbage they load onto a truck and haul it to a commercial site and pay a fee for dumping it in there. They don't have the environmental liability of running a landfill. We're looking at this option due to all the environmental rules we have to go by," said Foster

"We were impressed with how clean the thing was (Overton County Transfer Station) and how well managed it was," said Foster. They use some inmate help to go through the materials. They contract with a hauler that backs a semi truck in. The top of the truck sets level with the floor that you dump on to. The garbage is then loaded onto the truck and its hauled away to a landfill site that is contracted to dispose of the garbage", he said.

According to Foster, DeKalb County would have fewer environmental worries about solid waste, if it had its own transfer station or contracted with some entity or company to provide the service. "Right now (at the landfill) we have to put a 40 mil plastic liner over the entire mound of dirt when you're through as well as a 60 mil liner underneath it and then you have to put dirt on top of all that. The costs have just gone through the roof in the last three or four years so we're going to look at the option of doing that (transfer station). We may still want to run a class III/IV cell that doesn't require that (so many regulations) which would be mainly for construction materials and things like that and not household garbage," said Foster

"If we do that (develop a transfer station) we don't have the expense of building a new (Class I landfill) cell which is so expensive because now you have to put a rubber liner under and over it. These environmental issues are overpowering and you have a lot of liability there," In addition, environmental regulations require the county to monitor old landfill sites for several years after they have been closed.

Should the county develop a transfer station, Foster said it would be situated on about a four acre site somewhere in the county. "Ideally it would be better if it were centrally located but we would have room at the (existing) landfill. We would also probably want to keep a Class III/IV cell for construction materials. We've got two or three years to make this decision," said Foster.

Convenience sites would still be required throughout the county and residents could continue to bring their household garbage there or directly to the transfer station. "We would still have some convenience sites out in the county but maybe not as many. Right now we have twelve sites. We would still have to turn in to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) how much we bring in, how much we recycle, and what we dispose of. We'd probably go to mainly compactor cans (at convenience sites) where you can get eight or ten tons of garbage in one can rather than the open tops. Then you bring it (household garbage) into a transfer station. Dump it out. You have people there that pull out the cardboard, the metal, the plastics, and some of the things that you can recycle and then you dump the household garbage into a semi truck. You pull the recyclables out and put them in boxes and take them to another shed and bale them into bales of about 1300 pounds apiece. Meanwhile the garbage you put in that semi truck, you pay some landfill to take it and dispose of it that way you don't have to have a Class I landfill. So its hauled and disposed of, then you bale your recyclables and put them into a storage shed until you get enough for a load or two and sell them to some agency or company that buys it (recyclables)," said Foster.

The county commission Monday night voted to seek a grant to purchase a new baler for reclying purposes. "As we talked about Monday night, we're applying for a grant to get a baler where we can get back into this (recycling) process. Before we had contracted with two different guys, but they fell on hard times when cardboard went to twelve dollars a ton. It costs probably $75 (a ton) to handle it and bale it. We got out of that business because they were supplying the balers. Now that its back up to a good price, I think we can get back into it," said Foster

In the meantime, Foster said he and members of the county commission plan to visit other counties that have transfer stations. "We're probably going to go to Crossville soon. We'll also probably go to Woodbury. Crossville has a transfer station but they don't own it. Its owned by a subsidiary of Waste Management and they built the transfer station. Cumberland County just brings their garbage there and dumps it. They then pay them (Waste Management) a fee to handle it from that point on. We want to look at both scenarios so we can figure out which one best suits us. Depending on the costs involved, I personally would rather do the subsidiary where somebody else builds the facility and we just carry materials to them. That way we would not be out that initial cost. There's a lot of good benefits to that. They would have more experience in running that than we would so it just seems like a better fit," said Foster.

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