Local News Articles

DeKalb Democratic Primary to be held March 6

October 7, 2011
Dennis Stanley

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary will be held in conjunction with next year's Presidential Preference Primary and one county-wide and seven district races will be on the ballot.

The local election commission voted Thursday night to accept the request by the local Democratic Party to hold its county primary in conjunction with the March 6 Presidential Preference Primary. At that time, the party
will select its' nominees for Assessor of Property and Constable for all seven districts.

"Now that the election has been called, petitions can be picked up for all of the offices on the March ballot," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. The qualifying deadline is NOON, December 8, 2011. The same
qualifying deadline will apply to the Republican Party nominees (chosen by caucus) and Independent candidates.
Stanley noted there are special circumstances relating to petitions for Constable.

"Any petition we issue for Constable will be subject to the adoption of a reapportionment resolution by the DeKalb County Commission designating the county district lines based upon the 2010 census population," Stanley
said. "The petition may become invalid upon the adoption of reapportionment and a new petition may be required to gain access to the ballot. It is the responsibility of the person in whose name the petition has been issued to verify the validity of his/her petition after the reapportionment resolution has been adopted."

Jewel's Market & Pizza Denied Beer Permit

October 6, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

Jewel's Market & Pizza will not be allowed to sell beer.

On a vote of 5 to 2, the DeKalb County Beer Board Thursday night voted to deny the application of Viva Gail Johnson for an on and off premises permit to sell beer at Jewel's Market & Pizza at 600 North Congress Boulevard because the store is within 2,000 feet of the new First Assembly of God Church

Board members Frank Thomas, Harrell Tolbert, Robert Rowe, Jim Stagi, and Mac Harney all voted to deny the application. Bazel Dick Knowles and Edward Frazier voted to grant the permit.

Frazier said he felt it was discriminatory not to grant the permit, when the store had been licensed to sell beer in the past under a previous owner.

County Attorney Hilton Conger, who was asked to render a legal opinion, said the problem in this situation is that a survey shows the store within two thousand feet of the church, and under regulations established by the county commission in October 1939, no business can be licensed to sell beer if it is within 2,000 feet of a school, church, or other place of public gathering. "That's been the rule here in the county ever since (1939). Counties can change that and make it less than 2,000 feet but DeKalb County has never chosen to do that," said Conger.

As for how the distance is to be measured, Conger said the state supreme court ruled more than fifty years ago in a Sullivan County case that the distance is to be measured in a direct line from building to building or "as the crow flies" "That was settled by the supreme court in the case of Jones versus the Sullivan County Beer Board. That was decided in 1956. The court said that the measurement is to be made in a direct line, the nearest point to the nearest point. From the building to the building. I've seen a survey in this one (Jewel's Market & Pizza). In fact I think Mr. Redmon showed me the survey and its within 2,000 feet," said Conger.

The store, formerly known as Pop's Market, had been licensed to sell beer under a previous owner, but the store later went out of business. The church was built during the time that the store was out of business. According to Conger, after the store had been out of operation for more than six months, it could no longer be grandfathered to sell beer with a new owner. " The exception provided is that if the previous permit holder at the location had not been out of business for more than six months, a church is built or moves in (within 2,000 feet), and someone then purchases the business, it would be grandfathered in. But it is my understanding that (in this case) it had been at least two years since there had been a permit there. At any rate, it had been more than six months," said Conger.

Jewel Redmon, who now owns the store, asked the beer board to take into consideration the fact that because the property was tied up in bankruptcy proceedings, neither he nor anyone else could have purchased the store within the time period that it could have been grandfathered. Redmon said he should not be penalized because of circumstances over which he had no control.

Conger said the law does not make exceptions for such circumstances."The question that Mr. Redmon had raised was would there be an exception under the circumstances for this one since the property had been tied up in bankruptcy for a period of time. I don't think there is an exception for that in the statutes. It just says that if there hasn't been a permit holder there within the last six months, then they're not grandfathered in, "said Conger.

When asked to respond, Redmon said "the property was seized by the government for taxes. Nobody could have gotten a beer license there. There should be exceptions under the circumstances. It should be exempt. There's nobody here objecting. She (Johnson) has to have a product to sell that's what people want. So I think the board should take under consideration that it was seized by the government for taxes. No one could have done business there. That's our opinion," said Redmon.

Extension Office Offers Pesticide Card Recertification Classes

October 6, 2011
by: 
Michael Barry
Michael Barry

In the past, several DeKalb County farmers have received private applicator training in the safe handling of pesticides and have been certified and or re-certified every three years. This is to ensure that they are updated on safety measures as required by the Environmental Protection Agency, particularly in the use of restricted products. These farmers must have the card in hand to purchase and use these products, according to Michael Barry of the DeKalb County UT Extension Office.

The re-certification process requires viewing an hour long video of updated information and reviewing the subjects in addition to a pre-test and post-test. Once they receive the record of those having been trained, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture issues a new card to the farmer. Cards must be renewed before October 21.

There is no fee from TDS for a new card, but there is a fee of $15 for the training. Several training meetings have been scheduled over the next couple of weeks to get current cardholders re-certified. Once re-certified, the card will be good until 2014.

The re-certification classes are only available to those who have a current Private Applicator card. For those folks who have never been certified in pesticide application, they must go through the initial certification class. The initial certification video is about four hours long. The training fee is $30 and the TDA collects a $10 card fee. Anyone wishing to have this training should contact Michael Barry of the DeKalb County UT Extension Office and set up a time for the viewing and testing process.

The re-certification classes will be held at the UT Extension Office at 722 South Congress Boulevard in the new county building across the highway from Food Lion. Farmers need to attend only one of the re-certified classes. The re-certification classes will be Monday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, October 13 at 1:00 p.m.; Monday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m.; and Monday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m.

If you are planning to attend a particular class, please call and register by phone. If you need further information or would like to register to attend a re-certification class, call the Extension office at 597-4945.

Still Missing

October 5, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dr. William Coltharp

Nothing new yet in the disappearance of a Nashville surgeon who went kayaking on Center Hill Lake Sunday and hasn't been seen since.

TWRA Officer Tony Cross told WJLE Tuesday night that the search will resume Wednesday. "Recovery operations are still underway. We haven't made any discoveries of any kind. In addition to the TWRA and Corps of Engineers, still several members of the Rescue Squad have been on the scene along with Charlie Parker of Emergency Management, and members of the Sheriff's Department. The Coffee County Rescue Squad has been down there doing some night time sonar to see if they can locate anything," he said

Divers have not been used primarily because no one knows for sure where the man may have gone in the lake. Officer Cross said the area being covered is deep and wide. "Its not specific enough. Its such a huge area. We're not pinpointed to where the victim might have gone down. It's a little over a mile from the area where he was last seen to where we found the boat," he said.

So what happened to Dr. William Coltharp? "Mr. Coltharp actually came to the lake late Sunday afternoon to do a little kayaking alone. He launched his boat somewhere around five to six o'clock we don't know exactly when but in that area of time. He was actually seen by a couple of construction workers from the bridge project. He was seen paddling down stream right in the area of the lower ramp at Hurricane bridge just before dark on Sunday, " said Officer Cross.

"When he didn't return home later that night, his wife phoned 911 and they (central dispatch) got in touch with us (TWRA). About 2:30 a.m. or so on Monday morning, we began a search to see if we could find Mr. Coltharp and his kayak. Between five and five thirty a.m. Monday morning, we found the kayak., which was overturned just over a mile downstream from the lower Hurricane bridge boat ramp. The paddle was actually found three quarters of a mile even further downstream a little later in the day. We also found a life jacket, a personal flotation device underneath the kayak when we righted it. Since that time, we've been just trying to do some dragging in the area around and below the boat ramp and where the overturned kayak was found. The problems that we are encountering are that its such a huge area of deep water. We don't know how much current there was that evening. Just the wind itself can push anything such as a kayak along pretty good. So we really don't know where he might have overturned or whatever happened," said Officer Cross.

Smithville Water Treatment Plant Renovation Almost Completed

October 4, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Water Treatment Plant
W&O construction worker installing new high service pump at water plant

The Smithville Water Treatment plant renovation is almost completed.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson, during Monday night's city council meeting, reported to the aldermen that the project may be finished within a month. "Our water plant is about 95% complete. I think the cleaning of the floor, the resurfacing of the floor and several clean up things down there is about all they have to do,"he said

Secretary -Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson added "to date we have spent $2,399,000 out of $2,592,000 so there's roughly $193,000 remaining. A total of $433,892 have been paid back to us (city) through the CDBG grant. So we're getting close to being done," he said

Mayor Hendrixson said "The water plant is state of the art. All of you need to see that. But the flooring, they're resurfacing the terrazzo floor and it's going to look good. It already looks good. Hopefully by the next meeting or definitely by this time next month, it will be completed," he said.

Work began in August, 2010 by the W&O Construction Company of Livingston, who was awarded the construction bid in February 2010 by the board of aldermen at a cost of $2,542,000. The city was awarded a $500,000 community development block grant administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help fund the project. But the bulk of the funding, $2,342,000 was appropriated from the city's water and sewer fund surplus.

The project at the water plant included the installation of new high service pumps; new electrical breaker boxes, new storage tanks, new automated water filter control panel, new chlorinator, new liquid fluoride feeder system, the addition of a new standby generator, among many other renovations and improvements.

Mayor Hendrixson said the city did not have to borrow the money because there were sufficient funds in the city's water and sewer fund reserves to support the project.

In other business, the Smithville aldermen Monday night approved an amendment on second and final reading following a public hearing updating a section of the zoning ordinance to provide for residential uses within the B-3 Commercial Zoning District.

Mayor Hendrixson said "there is quite a bit of interest in some of the vacant buildings downtown being turned into residential units. Our zoning ordinance does not address that so we need an amendment to that. It has been passed by the planning commission".

The proposed ordinance reads as follows: "Now therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of Smithville, that the following sections shall be amended in the Smithville Zoning Ordinance:

Section 106.10.1
"After public notice and hearing, subject to appropriate safeguards and conditions, the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) may permit construction of a new building or rehabilitation of an existing building in the Central Business District for Residential or Mixed Commercial-Residential Use. In reviewing applications for such uses or conversions of buildings, the Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the overall effect of the proposal to the area and surrounding properties so that there will not be a detrimental effect to the stability and viability of the Central Business District. In making this determination, this board must evaluate the availability of utilities, number of units proposed, city's capacity to respond effectively to emergencies, and availability of off-street parking".

Section 106.10.2
" The following conditions must also be met:
A. Submit site plan and floor plans for BZA review.

B. Provision of some off-street parking spaces for new residential construction that meets the parking requirements for the R-3 Residential Zoning District. Parking for existing structures being rehabilitated/converted to a residence shall be provided on public lots if none are available on site

C. Landscaping of the property if new residential construction

D. Minimum square footage of dwelling units of 650 square feet for one-bedroom unit, 900 square feet for a two-bedroom unit, 1100 square feet for a three-bedroom unit.

E. All new residential construction shall meet R-3 requirements on number of units and setbacks

F. Adherence to requirement of the 2006 International Residential Code and later amendments/updates."

Meanwhile the board adopted on first reading proposed ordinance #435. This is an ordinance abandoning the roadway on the southside of the South Mountain Street and Adams Street intersection. Second and final reading will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Mayor Hendrixson explained that "its on the south side of the South Mountain Street and Adams Street intersection. Its something that was never built. Its known as the Johnson/Turner addition. It happened in the 1940's but it has never been built.

The proposed ordinance reads as follows: "Whereas the Mayor and Aldermen are aware that the roadway shown on the southside addition of the Johnson/Turner addition dated May 4, 1945 has not been improved nor improved as a roadway since the construction and improvement of Adams Street.

Whereas, no landowner adjoining the roadway shown on the southside of the Johnson/Turner addition dated May 4, 1945 will be land locked by virtue of the abandonment of said roadway.

Whereas the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have concluded that it is in the best interest of the City of Smithville to abandon the roadway shown on the southside of the addition of the Johnson/Turner addition dated May 4, 1945

Now, Therefore be it ordained as follows: Section 1, the City of Smithville does hereby abandon any right, claim, easement, fee, or intent otherwise in the portion of said southside roadway from the South Mountain Street easterly intersection to the present construction of the Adams Street intersection.

Section 2 This ordinance shall take effect upon second and final reading"

City to Construct Sidewalk on Portion of Anthony Avenue Near Walmart

October 4, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
City to Build Sidewalk on portion of Anthony Avenue near Walmart

A sidewalk will be constructed on the west side of Anthony Avenue from Morgan Drive to the entrance of Walmart to give pedestrians a safer place to walk going to and from the store.

The Smithville Aldermen voted to appropriate the funds for that project during Monday night's city council meeting.

During the September 19 meeting, Alderman Shawn Jacobs asked again for city officials look into putting in a sidewalk on at least one side of Anthony Avenue near Walmart to keep people from walking in the street, going to and from the store. Jacobs said it is a safety concern, especially at night if pedestrians are wearing dark colored clothing, making it more difficult for motorists to see them.

During Monday night's meeting Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the project will be started soon and it is expected to cost around six thousand dollars. "We've been out there and looked at that. What we think needs doing is on the west side of Anthony, which will disturb not but one driveway. Actually it won't disturb the driveway, but we won't have to go across but one. From the entrance into Walmart off of Anthony Avenue up to Morgan Drive, that's where all the traffic is. On the other end there is concreted drains and that end is not used for walking anyway. The main use for walking is from the entrance of Walmart to Morgan Drive. We have looked at that and decided that we can probably build that and start right away with buying maybe about four thousand dollars worth of materials. The whole thing will cost approximately six thousand dollars if we count our in-house labor and equipment. I think that will be a good thing. We will start on that as quickly as possible," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Meanwhile, in other city business Monday night, Mayor Hendrixson asked that David Bain be hired to replace Hoyte Barrett, who retired in June as supervisor of the sewer rehab crew. Mayor Hendrixson said Bain has filled that position since Barrett has been gone "but is not receiving the same pay for it, which is a dollar and something and hour more than what he is making now. David is doing a good job. I would like to ask for a motion for him to fill that position, vacated by Hoyte," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Alderman Steve White responded, "I thought we would take some applications and do some interviews"

Mayor Hendrixson answered, "I've had him and three more (employees) that said they might be interested, but one didn't have his Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and one of them has already quit. If you want to interview the two, you can," said Mayor Hendrixson.

White replied,"That would probably be better"

Alderman Gayla Hendrix then asked "Is there anything in place about advertising the position for an amount of time before hiring someone for it?"

Mayor Hendrixson said "If we don't have any applications, and we have stacks of applications down there right now for people that we hire, but if we don't have any applications we will always advertise. But we need to do in-house on promotions. I think that's what ordinance 287 says we'll do. So I'll try to get that one and the other one lined up and we'll try to do an interview but Mr. Bain has already been doing this job since June," said Mayor Hendrixson.

The aldermen voted to hire two employees in the police department who have completed their 60 day probationary period. Mayor Hendrixson said both Lawrence Avera and Steven Barrett, are certified officers. Avera was hired July 21 at $12.06 cents an hour. His pay will increase to $13.48 per hour. Barrett was hired on July 22 making $12.06 per hour. His pay will increase to $13.48 per hour.

On another issue, Alderman Danny Washer asked that something be done about the roof of city hall, which has sprung some leaks. Mayor Hendrixson said "We'll get someone to look at it and see what needs to be done. I don't know that we need a whole new roof maybe we just need some repairs," he said

October Proclaimed National Chiropractic Health Month

October 4, 2011
Taft Hendrixson signs proclamation with Dr. Robert Atnip and his wife Guylene
Mike Foster signs proclamation with Dr. Robert R. Atnip with wife Guylene

County Mayor Mike Foster and Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson each signed proclamations Monday proclaiming October 2011 National Chiropractic Health Month locally.

Dr. Robert R. Atnip and his wife Guylene were on hand for the occasion.

The proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the use of technology such as personal computers, smart phones and other handheld
devices has rapidly increased over the past 20 years;

WHEREAS, such equipment can involve hours of sitting in the same place, holding the body in
strained positions or using repetitive motions that lead to inflammation and pain;

WHEREAS, inactivity and poor posture can cause back pain; neck strain, which can lead to
neck pain and headaches; and pain in other parts of the body;

WHEREAS, back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to a physician and accounts for about $50 billion in health care costs per year;

WHEREAS, repetitive stress injuries from texting and computer use are increasing, as well, and cause about 28 percent of the workforce to miss days on the job;

WHEREAS, musculoskeletal injuries in general are one of the biggest workplace health and safety
problems in American industry today;

WHEREAS, Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are health care providers who focus on the whole person and have particular expertise in the prevention and care of musculoskeletal injuries;

WHEREAS, DCs are also experts in ergonomics and can teach those who use technology frequently how to prevent injuries such as back pain, neck pain and repetitive strains;

WHEREAS, National Chiropractic Health Month serves as a reminder to all DeKalb County
citizens of the importance of being "TechnoHealthy" by using technology safely and making time to rest, exercise and engage in other wellness-enhancing activities;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Smithville and DeKalb County officially join with
the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in proclaiming the month of October 2011 as National Chiropractic Health Month.

Prisoner Charged with Vandalism at the Jail

October 3, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jeffery Lynn Sanders
Johnny Michael Howard
Joshua Lionel Jones
 Don Diamond Groshon
Robert Lewis Judkins

A prisoner has been charged with vandalism after allegedly causing some damage at the DeKalb County Jail.

37 year old Jeffery Lynn Sanders of Lincoln Street, Smithville, is charged with one count of vandalism over $500 and one count of vandalism over $1,000 at the jail. Sanders is under a $20,000 bond and he will be in court on October 6.

Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that on Sunday, September 25, Sanders broke a fire sprinkler head, flooding the jail cell. The value of the damage was $500. The next day, Monday, September 26 after being placed in a holding cell, Sanders allegedly cracked a shatter proof glass window.

46 year old Tonya Elaine Caldwell and 87 year old Velma McGuire of Cill Street, Smithville are each charged with filing a false report. Bond for each is $5,000 and they will be in court on October 13

Sheriff Ray reports that on Sunday, September 25, an officer was at the residence of Velma McGuire at 713 Cill Street to serve a warrant on Brittany Barnes, McGuire's great granddaughter. Both Caldwell and McGuire told the officer that Brittany was not there. While officers were searching the residence, Brittany was seen exiting the home through a window. She was later found in the residence with Caldwell, who is Brittany's mother.

31 year old James Travis Bouldin of McCorkle Hollow Road, McMinnville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court October 13.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday, September 28 Bouldin was seen walking in the road on Highway 70. He was unsteady on his feet. The officer who stopped to investigate noticed that Bouldin had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and his speech was slurred. He was arrested for his own safety.

48 year old Johnny Michael Howard of Billings Road, Sparta is charged with aggravated assault. He is under a $40,000 bond and he will be in court October 6.

According to Sheriff Ray, Howard assaulted a female at his home on Wednesday, September 28, cutting the side of her face and left hand with a knife. The woman had to undergo treatment at the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital.

31 year old Joshua Lionel Jones of Hodges Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000 and burglary. Jones is under a $10,000 bond and he will be in court November 17.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Monday, September 19, Jones allegedly entered a barn on Dale Ridge Road and stole scrap metal, valued at over $1,000. He then allegedly sold the stolen items to a local scrap yard.

39 year old Don Diamond Groshon of Page Drive, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $15,000 and he will be in court October 6. He was arrested on Saturday, October 1

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, September 18 Groshon allegedly placed a handgun to his girl friend's stomach and grabbed hold of her, bruising both of her arms. He also allegedly had possession of the gun while arguing with his girlfriend's sixteen year old son. The warrant states that Groshon has broken her ribs in the past.

Meanwhile, a Smithville man was recently charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest in Cannon County.

The Cannon Courier reports that Robert Lewis Judkins of 400 Judkins Lane, Smithville, is scheduled to make
his initial appearance in Cannon County General Sessions Court on October 4.

Judkins allegedly pushed Cannon County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Smith while the deputy was attempting to gain entrance into a home on Short Mountain Road on September 22.

Deputy Smith was escorting a representative of the Department of Children's Services to the residence to conduct a welfare check. Judkins was released on $1,700 bond.

The deputy did not report any injuries.

Coach Howard Corder Dies

October 3, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Howard Corder

A former DeKalb County High School basketball coach died Sunday in Monticello, Kentucky.

Dead is 80 year old Howard Lowe Corder

He served as coach of the Lady Tiger basketball program at DCHS from 1985 to 1994.His overall record at DCHS was 146-112. He coached the Lady Tigers to the Region semis in 1993, which was the last year the program won a post-season game until 2010.

Corder was the son of the late Herbert and Lillian Corder.

He is survived by: his wife, Katy Corder of Monticello, KY; step children, Frank Upchurch of Monticello, KY, Cindy Prestage of Madison, MS, Julie Rosson of Waveland, MS, and Holly Buckman of Lebanon, KY; and 7 grandchildren. He is also survived by: 1 sister, Joanne Corder of Waynesburg, KY; along with a host of family and friends who mourn his passing.

After graduating from Wayne County High School, he went to Cumberland Junior College. He was then called to service in our local National Guard. After he was discharged, Howard enrolled in the University of Kentucky and earned his BA Degree in Health and Physical Education and a minor in Biological Sciences. Howard returned to the University of Kentucky to earn his MA Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.

The family will receive friends on Monday, October 03, 2011 from 5 – 9 p.m in the chapel of the Marvin S. Hicks funeral home in Monticello, Kentucky.. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11 am at the First Christian Church with Bro. Joe Tipton officiating. The body will lie in state at the church from 9 am - 11 am on Tuesday. Burial will be in Elk Spring Cemetery. Military honors will be performed by DAV Chapter 105.

Missing Man on Center Hill Lake Identified as Dr. William Coltharp of Nashville

October 3, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Rescue Squad Conducting Dragging Operations
Dr. William Coltharp -WKRN TV Photo

A search is underway in the Hurricane bridge area on Center Hill lake for a Nashville physician who reportedly went kayaking Sunday.

The man has been identified as 55 year old Dr. William Coltharp, a cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

Central dispatch received the call at 1:19 a.m. Monday morning from the man's wife who reported that she has not heard from her husband since Sunday at around 6:00 p.m. He apparently put in on the lake at Hurricane on Sunday afternoon. His SUV was found parked at the Hurricane bridge boat ramp. An overturned kayak was found about a mile downstream from there.

Members of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, TWRA, Corps of Engineers, DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department are all on the scene. Some are on the lake. Others are conducting a ground search.

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