Local News Articles

One Airlifted After Pickup Truck Crash

August 15, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two people were involved in a pickup truck crash around 3:34 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 70 just east of Sligo Bridge.

19 year old Joshua Dillehay of Carthage was driving west in a 2000 Dodge Ram pickup truck when he apparently lost control, went off the highway, and struck a rock bluff. Dillehay got out of the truck with only minor injuries. However his 21 year old female passenger, Kendra Hillis of McMinnville was trapped in the truck. Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were called to the scene for extrication. The woman was airlifted from the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga with serious injuries.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Jeremy Wilhite of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Others on the scene were DeKalb EMS , the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and the Midway Station of the DeKalb County Fire Department. The Johnson's Chapel Station of the Fire Department set up the helicopter landing zone.

Willoughby Updates School Board on Personnel Moves

August 14, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby Thursday night updated the school board on personnel moves made since last month.

Those employed for 2008-09 include;

Jennifer Kickliter, Deaf Interpreter
Brittany Lockard, Pre-school Education Assistant
Elena Koplevich, ESL Teacher, Smithville Elementary/DeKalb West School
Tiffany Wheatley, SPED Teacher at Northside
Kenneth Gordon, ESL Assistant at Northside
Scott Rupe, Gifted Teacher at NSE,SES, DWS
Amy Fletcher, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School
Courtney Beaty, Paraprofessional at SES replacing Natasha Vaughn
Cori Sexton, Paraprofessional at DCHS replacing Rob Robinson
Bryan Jones, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School
Lisa Pack, Teacher at Smithville Elementary School
Ashley Garrett, Teacher at Northside Elementary
Natasha Judkins, Teacher at DCHS
Tina Paschal, Paraprofessional at DeKalb West, replacing Shelby Ann Jennings
Elizabeth White, cook, part-time at Northside Elementary
Vicki Sandlin, cook at DCHS

Transfers:

Trent Colwell, transferred to a teacher position at Northside Elementary
Peggy Tramel, transferred to a full-time position at DCHS cafeteria
Tonya Dickens, teacher, transferred to DeKalb West School

Resignations/Retirement:

Shelby Ann Jennings, Paraprofessional at DeKalb West School

Leave of Absence:

Reba Malone, custodian at DeKalb Middle School, as requested.

In other business, the board granted a request from DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix to allow the football, football cheerleading, girls' and boys' basketball, basketball cheerleading, softball, and baseball teams to practice during the fourth block of school each day. The football and football cheerleading teams will practice during the fall semester only. The basketball teams will practice during the 2nd and 3rd nine week periods. The basketball cheerleading, baseball and softball teams will practice during the spring semester only. This is the same schedule that the high school has been following for the last several years.

The board also granted permission for the local FBLA officers and an advisor to attend Camp Clements on the weekend of September 4th-7th. Camp Clements is used for officer training workshops, leadership training, and teambuilding. As State Vice President, Luke Willoughby is required to attend and the local officers are encouraged to attend. Approximately five students have been invited.

Vice Chairman Charles Robinson, who presided in the absence of Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III Thursday night also recognized Sixth District School Board member Linda Fuston, who was also absent. Fuston, who was defeated for re-election last week, will be leaving the school board. Her term expires as of August 31st. "I want to acknowledge an individual who has spent eight years dedicated to the children of this county and that's Linda Fuston. She gave a different perspective to the board. She was a wife, mother, grandparent, and former teacher. Her heart was always for the children of this county. I have a plaque to give to her in recognition of her eight years. She is a good friend. I'll miss her and I think the board will."

Third District member Kenny Rhody added that Linda, who was his kindergarten teacher, "was a blessing to be able to serve with on this board."

Bruce Parsley will take her place starting next month.

The school system has received a Tennessee Tech University Hydroponics Grant in the amount of $4,586 for the growing of plants in water. Students in the program can earn dual high school/college credit.

The board adopted an Extended Learning Program Proposal for the 2008-09 school year to meet the needs of students in individual schools.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Education Pre K-6, says the proposal is to conduct after school tutoring and enrichment programs including "Read Nights' at the libraries and involving parents in activities that will help them help their children at night with their homework.

School System Awarded 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant to Serve At-Risk Students

August 14, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

In recent years, DeKalb County has had a high rate of suicide and teen pregnancy. In an effort to address concerns of at-risk students and their families with after school academic and enrichment activities, the DeKalb County School System has been awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Grant.

The initial award amount for the school system is $216,250 but it could increase to over a million dollars within five years, with no local matching requirement.

The announcement was made during Thursday night's meeting of the Board of Education and the school board voted to implement the program.

Supervisor of Instruction Dr. Carol Hendrix, who was instrumental in the school system getting the grant, says the funding is for $216,250 for a minimum of three years totaling $648,750. She says successful implementation of the grant for three years may extend the funding for two additional years with $432,500 in additional monies. Again, no matching funds from the school system are required.

A prepared written summary of the key elements and overall purpose of the grant, states that the "DeKalb County School System will create five 21st Century Community Learning Centers with school system partners including LEAPS, the Extended Learning Program, and Title I and IV. The ultimate goal of the program is to address the needs of at- risk students and families with academic and enrichment learning activities. Eight objectives including reading/language, mathematics, and science skills development, academic enrichment, art and music enrichment activities, counseling programs emphasizing drugs, suicides, and violence prevention, extended library hours, English of Second Language skills development, and computer literacy for parents, will guide the goal. Along with community partnerships and parents, approximately 1,800 students and 500 parents will be served."

The report provides statistics which support DeKalb County's need for the grant. "The most sobering report came in 2005 when the Center for Disease Control reported that DeKalb County had the second highest suicide rate in the United States between the years 1999-2002 and the highest of any county east of the Mississippi. DeKalb County experienced an average suicide rate of 42.8 per 100,000 people for the four years between 1999-2002 compared with the national average of 10.7% Additionally, the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Health (2006) reports that DeKalb County had the highest suicide rate in the state at 42.15 per 100,000 between the years 2002 to 2005. In 2007, DeKalb County retained the rating with a mortality rate of 93rd out of 95 counties."

"Moreover, the Tennessee Institute of Public Health ranked DeKalb County 90th out of 95 counties in the 2007 Tennessee County Health Ranking. The institute further ranked DeKalb 95th out of 95 counties in teen birth rate per 100,000. The graduation rate at DCHS in 2007 was reported at 76.1 by the State Department of Education and the Tennessee Institute of Public Health ranked DeKalb as 93rd out of 95 counties in graduation rates in the state."

"As in many communities, poverty, violence, and crime are of major concern. Whereas 18% of the overall population lives below the poverty line, 21% of children up to 17 years old live in poverty. Overall, 56% of our students are identified as "at-risk" as defined by their qualifications for the free/reduced school lunch program. It has been estimated that the free and reduced lunch rate could be as high as 65% county-wide if all students eligible completed an application. Additionally, all K-8 schools in the county are school-wide Title I schools.'

"The most recent Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Summary Report in 2007 for DeKalb County reported 273 cases of children from the ages of 11-18 referred to Juvenile Court. The offenses ranging from criminal homicide ( .37%) assault (14.29%), vandalism (4.03%), theft of property (2.20%), possession of alcohol and controlled substances (3.30%), traffic (33.33%), unruly behavior (10.26%), and possession of tobacco products (10.99%)

The needs assessment report states that "The DeKalb County School System has a history of collaboration among and between schools to improve services for students. The 21st Century Community Learning Center will extend that collaboration to include the Smithville First Baptist Church, Appalachian Craft Center, Healing Hearts and STAR. Community based organizations including the County Advisory Board, Juvenile Court Judge, and Tennessee Technological University will provide direction and input into the programs. Among the activities will include "A Drama in Action Club", "Family Read and Math Night", Upwards Basketball, Crafts display at the 38th annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival, and opportunities to improve skills in the classroom for students. Parent participation will be maximized in their children's learning through direct involvement with students and special workshops. Transportation for all students, nutritional, and fitness will maximize the effects of the program."

Dr. Hendrix says the grant funds will help provide transportation. "We can hire bus drivers and we can pay for fuel to transport our students to these after school programs as well as our summer programs. We're partnering with extended contract and Title I to ensure that we have all the needs met in the county for the schools. Last year we met all the needs. We asked the principals what they wanted this year and we are 100% sure we will have the money this year to provide every activity that the principals asked for. There's also another element to this. In the project design, I put a site coordinator in there because this is going to take a lot of wor. So we'll have a site coordinator. Also within the grant, there's going to be enough money to pay teachers close to what they make an hour and we've never been able to do that previously."

The learning centers will be located at the five schools in the county with one satellite site, the Smithville First Baptist Church. Each site will recruit qualified staff from the school served by the program. Transportation will be provided for students to the satellite sites as well as to home at the end of the program. Local school buses and drivers will be employed from the school system to provide safe transportation for children to return home. The school system transportation policy concerning parents picking up children at school will also be utilized to allow parents to transport children home if they desire.

Under the program, Reading/ Language, Math, and Science tutoring will be utilized to strengthen student's classroom performance. Tutoring will be offered at all sites from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Various programs including Math Fun for Young Children, Math Explorer and Science Families will be utilized in the programs for students at Northside Elementary, DeKalb Middle, and DeKalb West School.

A "DeKalb Scholars Club" will provide activities in the areas of math, science, and reading in grades 3-12 at Northside Elementary, DeKalb Middle, DCHS, and DeKalb West School. Activities will include Lego Mindstrom, Destination Imagination, Debate Team, Chess, Literacy Circles/Reading Club, and Mastery Speller which are unique opportunities for many students to learn and develop leadership activities. These will be offered from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during the regular school week and competitions will be held on Saturdays during the summer at times to be determined.

Research indicates that participating in recreational activities is associated with higher levels of self-esteem, and motivation, and overall psychological well-being. Additionally, participation in athletics have shown a positive association with academic achievement and increased parental involvements. Specific recreational activities will include tennis, partnership golf (includes parents and students), Karate and Upwards Basketball for students from all sites.

The Appalachian Center for Crafts will provide after school and summer art activities for students and access to artists who are in residence at the craft center. Students will display crafts at the Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival next year as a result of working at the Crafts Center. Art and Music students will also attend Laketoberfest at Lakeside Resort and Educational Complex sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Additionally, keyboarding will be offered to approximately 20 students in grades 3-8.

The Drama in Action Club will be developed for young thespians in grades 6-12. This club will meet two days a week from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. for a 10 week period twice a year. Music activities will be incorporated into the program. Through arts integrated literacy instruction, students will find reading and writing more meaningful. At-risk students show the greatest gains, therefore, at least 50% of students deemed at-risk by classroom teachers will be chosen to participate in the drama club. Each school will be limited to 40 students during each 10 week period.

In addition to the counselors at each school working with students during the day, two after school programs will be utilized to address drug suicide and violence prevention. "Too Good for Drugs and Violence" is recognized as a successful research based curriculum designed for grades K-12 that offers counseling, universal prevention, service learning projects, and parent conferences. This program will be offered from 3:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. three days per week for students age 12-18. The "Strengthening Families Program" will involve two-7 week cycles for two to two and a half hours per session. Sessions will be at a time accessible for both students and children. This program will be accessible for both middle school students and their families at two sites, DeKalb Middle and DeKalb West School.

Healing Hearts of Tennessee will collaborate with the school system and provide three programs entitled "Child-Parent-Relationship (CPR) Training, After School Teen Group, and Healing Hearts Mentoring Program". The CPR classes will teach skills and techniques proven effective for helping communicate with and discipline their children more effectively. This involves 10 sessions' classes for two hours in length with no more than eight individual's participation. The first series of classes is projected to be offered one night a week during the fall and a second series during the spring.

After School Teens Groups is for students 13-18 . These groups, one for boys and one for girls, will target students who have a history of behavioral, emotional, or truancy problems and or involvement with the DeKalb County Juvenile Court. This group will have no more than 10 students per group meeting for eight weekly sessions. The licensed counselor will be the same gender as the participants in the group.

The Healing Hearts Mentoring Program is designed to match at-risk youth with a mentor/role model. The role of the mentor is to help guide another individual's development.

"Family Read Night" and "Family Math Night" will be conducted at four of the five sites including DeKalb West, DeKalb Middle, Northside Elementary, and Smithville Elementary Schools expanding library hours for four days a week from 7:00 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. and from 3:00 p..m until 6:00 p.m. Librarians and teachers will involve parents in learning skills for reading and use of the library. Parents will be given specific times to read and work on math skills with their children during this program.

The Smithville First Baptist Church will serve as a satellite center for all school sites. The church is building a Life Enrichment Center which is slated to be completed soon. The goal of the church is to be community service oriented. The center will have a gym, classrooms, and a stage for cultural activities and other events. The church will provide four programs including a Reading Program deigned for elementary school children who need assistance in reading skills. The program will meet on Tuesdays immediately after school until 5:00 p.m. Volunteers from the church will work with children on specific skills according to needs assessment. Certified teachers will monitor the program.

English of Second Language will be offered at the church for all school children of any age. It meets weekly from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. teaching English proficiency to speakers of other language. Snacks and recreation will be provided.

Upwards Basketball, a youth-league basketball program will be developed at the church for all school age children. The goal of this program is to teach character along with skills for basketball. Dates and times have not yet been established for this program even though it will be in the evenings and on Saturday mornings.

5th Quarters is an event which will be available at the church for high school students on Friday nights after home football games. Music and refreshments and social time will be part of this program.

In the needs assessment report, DeKalb County Juvenile Judge Bratten Cook, II was quoted as saying at a meeting discussing the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, "If we don't begin providing after school programs both in academics, recreation, and the arts, we are going to continue to lose students by the tons as I see every week in my court."

Officials say the tragedies of the county are preventable through expanded programs in elementary and secondary schools.

The report says " A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, in 2007 found that regular participation in high quality after school programs is linked to significant gains in standardized test scores and work habits as well as reductions in misconduct and risky behavior. Making the transition from after school to full service or community schools is a long-term project. DeKalb County is ready for the challenge."

County Firefighters Respond to Tuesday Blaze

August 13, 2008

Firefighters from the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, Blue Springs, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 2766 Cookeville Highway Tuesday around 12:30 p.m.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says the owner, Chris Smithson, and others were working in the metal construction building when they discovered a large fire and reported it to DeKalb 911.

When firefighters arrived, the building was fully involved with heavy smoke and flames showing. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to a nearby residence.

A pickup truck and ATV, owned by Smithson, were among the items destroyed in the fire.

DeKalb County Sheriff's deputies and DeKalb EMS provided assistance at the scene. Chief Green says the cause of the fire is currently undetermined and is under investigation. No one was injured during this incident.

Smithville Man Injured in One Car Accident

August 12, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
One Man Injured In Wreck

A Smithville man was injured in a one car accident Tuesday afternoon on Allen's Ferry Road.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Daniel S. Sardar of J.E. Evins Avenue was driving north on Allen's Ferry Road in a 1999 Buick Sentry when he failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, struck a fence post, and traveled a few more yards before coming to rest in a ditchline off the road in front of Mount Holly Cemetery.

Sardar was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

County Commission Set to Act on New $33-Million Budget

August 12, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The budget committee of the DeKalb County Commission put the finishing touches on the proposed budgets for all departments Monday night in preparation for approval by the commission later this month.

The total budget for all departments comes to $33-million 181-thousand 306 dollars.

The current property tax rate is $1.70 per $100 of assessed value. The new certified rate after reappraisal or the latest Current Value Update (CVU) is $1.4599 but the commission plans to round it off to $1.46 after a public hearing.

The $1.46 cent tax rate will generate about the same amount of local tax dollars as the $1.70 prior to the CVU. Each cent of the tax rate generates $42-thousand 181 after a 5.25% delinquency rate is figured into the equation.

The proposed rate breaks down as follows:

County General- 55 cents (net estimated collection- $2-million 319-thousand 985)
General Purpose Schools- 49 cents (net estimated collection- $2-million- 066-thousand- 896)
Debt Service- 20 cents (net estimated collection- $843-thousand 631)
Highways/Public Works- 3 cents (net estimated collection $126-thousand 545)
Solid Waste Fund- 19 cents (net estimated collection $801-thousand 449)

Total Tax levy: $1.46 per $100 of assessed value. Total net estimated collection $6-million 158-thousand 506

County Mayor Mike Foster says the overall budget is similar to last year's with a few exceptions, including about a $600 pay raise for full time employees.

The sheriff will be authorized to use money from his drug fund to hire an investigator. This is money generated from drug cases, such as the sale of seized vehicles, etc. The sheriff will also get to hire another deputy and a correctional officer, and to pay for it, he has agreed to keep five more state prisoners, which will generate additional state reimbursement or board bill funds for housing state inmates.

Sheriff Ray says he has the minimum number of jailers required, but if a jailer has to be off from work, it creates comp time and overtime issues, which he wants to avoid. He says another jailer would ease the problem.

The highway department gets three cents of the property tax rate and County Mayor Mike Foster says because of the amount of money each cent of the tax rate generates, "He (Kenny Edge) will get $13,000 in extra money (for the road department) above what he has been getting. The budget committee has recommended that the county help him (Edge) to buy a front end loader for the rock crusher, which means that the (county) would borrow the money to do a seven year note on that purchase. He (Edge) would pay $13,000 on the note each year (from his budget) and the (county) would pay $20,000 a year. That would free up a little extra money in his budget so that he could do some more road paving work."

The highway department is primarily funded from state gasoline tax revenues, with the exception of the 3 cent property tax rate and a mineral severance tax.

Foster says work will proceed on the development of a new cell site at the landfill now that the state has issued a permit for the facility. "The county borrowed the money almost three years ago in anticipation of getting this (permit) and it took almost three years to get the permit approved by just going through the process. We are actually about to make the third payment on that even though we don't have the landfill cell up and running. They have been doing some work on it. They basically have the road cut in and to grade. They've got one of the berms ready to sow. Bids were taken on the 5th to bid out the process of doing the cell, which hopefully will serve the county for six or seven years. It will be paid off in three more years. That's one of the things we try to do is for ever how long the life of a project is, we want to be sure it's paid off, so that we're not paying long term debt for something that's already expired it's usefulness"

Total budgets for each department are as follows:

County General- $5-million 919-thousand 200

Highways- $2-million 131-thousand 630

Debt Service- $1-million 275-thousand 724

General Purpose Schools- $17-million 678-thousand 485

Central Cafeteria- $1-million 175-thousand 305

General Capital Projects- $483, 332

Local Purpose Fund- $2-million 154-thousand 885

Drug Control- $50, 315

Courthouse/Jail Maintenance- $61, 001

Solid Waste- $2-million 251-thousand 429

Total appropriations: $33-million 181-thousand 306

The beginning fund balance as of July 1st, 2008 was $10-million 21-thousand 030

The projected fund balance as of June 30th, 2009 is expected to be $7-million 922-thousand 632.

The county commission is expected to consider passage of the new budget on Monday, Agust 25th at 6:30 p.m. during the next regular meeting at the courthouse.

York Charged with Filing False Report of Fatal Stabbing

August 11, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Phillip Wesley York

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Sunday charged a 41 year old man with filing a false report after reporting a fatal stabbing, which did not occur.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Phillip Wesley York of Lake Motel Smithville called 911 and reported to central dispatch that he had witnessed a murder.

After deputies arrived at York's residence, York told a story of a 17 year old who had stabbed someone to death.

He said the 17 year old then ran off and hasn't been seen since. Deputies investigated and learned that the parents of the person, to whom York was referring, does not have a 17 year old daughter. Deputies discovered that York's story was bogus. York was heavily intoxicated at the time.

York was arrested for filing the false report and his bond was set at $5,000. He will appear in court on August 21st.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 54 year old Danny Lee Atnip was arrested Wednesday at Mt Herman Church on Dry Creek Road.

Sheriff Ray says Atnip was found to have a syringe and a straw containing a yellow powdery substance believed to be dilaudid. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and his bond was set at $1,000. Atnip's court date is August 21st.

Chamber Presents Community Improvement Award

August 10, 2008
Jason Ray Home

The Chamber of Commerce recently presented a Community Improvement award to Jason Ray for extensive renovations done on his beautiful Liberty home.

The Bungalow / Craftsman style home was built in 1918 by J. M. Bradley on land purchased from M. E. Ray, a descendant of current owner Jason Ray.

The property, which had fallen into major disrepair, was acquired by Ray in 2007. With the help of his father, Ted, Jason has restored the home back to the showplace it once was.

The home was the first in the area to have electric lights (powered by a Delco battery) and indoor plumbing.

(Pictured from left: Amy Lockhart; Ted Ray; Jason Ray; Ricky Barrett, contractor; Liberty Mayor Edward Hale; Chamber Director Suzanne Williams)

School Board Makes Adjustments to Proposed Budget

August 9, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education met in special session Friday evening and adopted the proposed budget for schools for the 2008-09 fiscal year, after making some adjustments.

The board reduced expenditures from the original proposed budget by $270,821. Total expenditures projected for 2008-09 in the new revised proposed budget are $17,678,485. Total projected revenues are $17,085,275, a shortfall of $593,210.

In order to balance the proposed budget, the school board proposes an appropriation of $555,500 from Basic Education Program (BEP) Reserves and $37,710 from Technology Reserves. The local property tax rate for schools would not be increased.

The original proposed budget included projected revenues of $16,979,885. That figure is now $ 17,085, 275. School officials say the state has okayed adding $105,390 to the budget from other sources including $83,000 from the BEP program, $6,100 from other state revenues, $4,000 from the Job Training Partnership Act, and $12,290 from Public Law 874.

The proposed school budget includes funding in the regular instruction program for three new teaching positions in the system as needed based on student enrollment, along with a new gifted teacher position in the special education program, a new position in the vocational education program, an additional school nurse along with a new part-time clerical position to support the school coordinated health program, and a new clerical position for the guidance department of DeKalb County High School.

A one time bonus of $200 per certified employee is included in the proposed budget and support staff would get a 2% pay raise along with any step increases as per the school system's salary scale. The budget also reflects increases in teacher salaries by degree advancement and years of experience.

The budget also includes projected increases due to inflation, including an increase for health insurance, electricity, supplies and materials, textbooks and fuel.

The proposed school budget will now be presented to the budget committee of the county commission for a recommendation before it goes to the entire commission for approval later this month.

Sheriff's Department Looking for Marijuana

August 8, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, in cooperation with the Warren County Sheriff's Department Marijuana Eradication Team, conducted a helicopter fly over of portions of DeKalb County Friday morning.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says over 50 marijuana plants were seized. "Patches of marijuana were found in Alexandria and single plants were found in Liberty. The plants have been destroyed."

Sheriff Ray encourages anyone having knowledge of drug manufacture or drug use to call him at 597-4935 or call the Drug and Crime Tip Line at 464-6400. You may also email him at sheriffray@dtccom.net. All calls are kept confidential.

Sheriff Ray says signs of someone growing marijuana outdoors could be:

"cleared areas in thickets for sunshine, usually around small branches and creeks

"people entering the woods with plastic plant slats, water jugs, buckets, fertilizer, gardening tools, moth balls to detour animals and camouflaged chicken wire to hide the plants from aircrafts such as the helicopter

"frequent visits into fields and woods without any reasoning.

Indoor grows are now a popular way of growing marijuana. Some signs you may want to look for of someone growing marijuana in indoor grows are:

" Rental buildings (residential and commercial) are often used so criminals avoid damage to their own property. This results from the high humidity levels and alterations to the property to accommodate the grow operation.

"Tenants may be reluctant to allow landlords to inspect their rented property and/or make arrangements to meet landlords away from the property to pay rent and/or discuss problems.

"Prior history of premises. Residence and/or commercial premises have been used as marijuana grow operations in the past. Many of these rental properties are known among the criminal element as having been used for growing marijuana then repeatedly used again.

"House or utilities obtained under assumed names with payment made in cash.

"Unexplained and unreasonably high utility bills.

"Tenants never taking furniture or groceries into the house.

"Residents may only be in the home occasionally for short periods of time.

"People access the residence only through the garage.

"Water lines and/or electrical cords running to the basement or outbuilding.

"Residence or outbuilding has unusual amount of roof vents or exhaust fan noises.

"Condensation forms on windows due to high humidity levels inside. Humidity inside a grow room is approximately 65% with temperatures ranging between 80 to 90 F. These conditions manifest themselves through condensation on windows. This may also result in lack of snow on the roof in winter.

"Unusual amounts of steam coming from vents in the house in cold weather.

"Skunk-like odor of growing marijuana can occasionally be detected outside. Also, the odor of moth balls, chlorine, manure, soap and/or air freshener is frequently utilized ways of trying to mask the smell of the operation.

"Electrical equipment inside creates humming sounds. Some electrical components in an indoor operation create humming sounds similar to a transformer on a hydro pole.

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