Local News Articles

Two Arrested on Grand Jury Indictments for Rape of a Child

August 7, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Homer Lee Nunley
Freddy S. Stringer

Two people were arrested Wednesday on sealed indictments returned from the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 70 year old Homer Lee Nunley of Belk Road Smithville was arrested on a sealed indictment for rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery. Nunley is accused of raping a child and the aggravated sexual battery of a child under 11 years of age on July 6th, 2008. Bond for Nunley was set at $150,000 and he will appear in Criminal Court on August 18th for arraignment. Sheriff Ray says Nunley was convicted in Florida on April 9th, 1991 on a charge of sexual battery of a child by an authority figure. Nunley is currently registered here in DeKalb County on the TBI’s sexual offender registry.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 34 year old Freddy S. Stringer of Smith Road Smithville was arrested on a sealed indictment for rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, and incest. Stringer is accused of rape, sexual battery, and incest of a child under 11 years of age between October 5th, 2007 and November 23rd, 2007. Stringer's bond was set at $300,000 and he will appear in Criminal Court for arraignment on August 18th.

Final Slate of Candidates Set For DTC Election of Directors

August 6, 2008

The final slate of candidates is set for DTC Communications’ election of directors next month.
Directors will be elected in three exchanges, including the Milton (273), Norene (286), and Woodbury (563) exchanges.

Incumbents Charles Dwight Vinson, Terry McPeak, and Greg Rogers are running unopposed in the Milton, Norene, and Woodbury exchanges, respectively.

Voting for directors will take place at the cooperative’s annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 13. Gates to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria will open at 11:45 a.m., with voting from noon until 4 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 4 p.m. or once the last person in line at that time has voted.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

Thursday, Sept. 4, will be the last day to make changes to your membership for the 2008 election.

For questions regarding membership and voting guidelines, refer to the by-laws section included in the current DTC phone directory, or call DTC at 615-529-2955.

More than 60 People Indicted by Grand Jury

August 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

More than 60 people were indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday and Tuesday including ten who were named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in criminal court on Monday, August 18th at 9:00 a.m.

The following persons indicted and their charges are as follows:

Donna J. Harry & Charles W. Harry, Jr.- driving under the influence (2nd offense), DUI per se, and simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance

Jeffrey W. Burton- theft over $500 x 2 and theft over $1,000

Randy M. Hobbs- evading arrest on foot, possession of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale, and drug paraphernalia

James S. Leduc- aggravated burglary and theft over $500 x 2 & worthless check x 8

Wendell L. Gibbs and James S. Leduc- burglary and theft over $10,000

Edward L. Judkins, Jr.- theft over $1,000

Joey P. Phelps- burglary and theft over $500

Warren Brandon Glasby- vehicular assault x 2, reckless aggravated assault x 2, driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of the seatbelt law, violation of the registration law, and violation of the financial responsibility law.

Warren B. Glasby, Ernest Hill IV, and Amy R. Ford- aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, theft over $500, vandalism, and criminal trespass.

Amy R. Ford- simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance

Royce Duane McCrary- driving on a revoked license (5th offense), speeding, seatbelt violation, financial responsibility, failure to maintain lane of travel, and another charge of driving on a revoked license (5th offense)

Michael Todd Jones- vehicular assault, reckless aggravated assault, driving under the influence (2nd offense), DUI per se, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), possession of a schedule IV controlled substance x 2, seatbelt violation, registration law, and financial responsibility law.

Scottie Hendrixson- driving on a suspended license (1st offense) and violation of the financial responsibility law

Thomas D. Vickers- driving under the influence (3rd offense), simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, and violation of the financial responsibility law

Brandon C. Bias- driving on a suspended license (1st offense), violation of the seatbelt law, violation of the financial responsibility law, and felony escape

Roy Lyndell Layne- auto burglary, theft under $500 x 2, attempted theft over $1,000, possession of burglary tools, possession of a handgun to go armed, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault

Danny R. Certain- driving under the influence (2nd offense), DUI per se, and violation of the open container law

Milton A. Rodriguez- domestic assault

Thomas M. Hatcher, Jr.- driving on a revoked license and unlawful carrying of a weapon

Annie Lee Helton- driving under the influence (2nd offense) and violation of the implied consent law

Joshua W. Goff- driving on a suspended license (3rd offense)

Daniel R. Wilson- driving under the influence (1st offense) and violation of the implied consent law

Leonardo Rodriguez- sexual battery

Danny R. Ponder- drug paraphernalia

Danny Ray Ponder- public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia

Johnny W. Trapp- driving under the influence (5th offense) 2 charges, violation of the open container law 2 charges, violation of the implied consent law 2 charges, and violation of the habitual offender order 2 charges

Curtis Lee Adams- driving under the influence (1st offense) 2 charges

Ricky L. Devault- driving under the influence (3rd offense)

Freddy S. Stringer, Jr.- driving on a revoked license (5th offense), 2 charges

April L. Anderson and Allan Lester- auto burglary and theft over $500

Crystal L. Thompson- simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance

John Charles Deck, Jr. and Crystal S. Deck- burglary and theft over $10,000

Harold G. Blackwell- false report

Clinton J. Maples- public intoxication

Lisa M. Pyles- theft under $500

Kelly Ann Gibbs- drug paraphernalia

Patricia D. Hicks- driving under the influence (1st offense), violation of a traffic control device, violation of the open container law, and violation of the implied consent law

Darryl W. Cantrell- possession of a schedule III drug and drug paraphernalia

Vicky Marsh Ferrell- assault x 2

Stacy S. Silcox- driving under the influence (1st offense), DUI per se (over.20), and speeding

20 year old Amanda B. Washer- public intoxication, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, and drug paraphernalia

Johnny L. Devault- driving under the influence (1st offense), evading arrest with a motor vehicle, and violation of the implied consent law

Brian D. Brannon- driving under the influence (2nd offense), resisting arrest, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, violation of the implied consent law, violation of the open container law, and violation of the registration law

Marco A. Perez- driving on a revoked license (1st offense) and violation of the financial responsibility law

David E. Driver- violation of the motor vehicle habitual offender law and driving on a revoked license (3rd offense)

Megan A. Lann, Somer Abdalla, and Jason R. Chapman- criminal simulation and passing counterfeit bank bills as currency.

Eric W. Tramel- auto burglary, theft under $500, and forgery x 2

Eight Sentenced in Criminal Court Monday

August 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Eight people were sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday.

Judge David Patterson presided.

46 year old Linda Lawson Barrett West pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a five year sentence in each case to run concurrently. The sentence was suspended with nine months to serve. She will then be on supervised probation for the balance of the sentence. She must make restitution of $100, perform 100 hours of community service work and pay a $2,000 fine.

33 year old Earnest P. Barnwell pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. The burglary charge was dismissed. He received a four year sentence committed to time served. He will be on TDOC probation. Barnwell must perform 100 hours of community service work and pay restitution. He was given credit for 255 days of jail time served.

33 year old Tabatha Shantell Murphy pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale. All three cases are to run concurrently. She was granted judicial diversion for a period of three years . She will be on TDOC probation. Murphy must make restitution of $188 to the Sheriff's Department, perform 100 hours of community service work, and pay a $2,000 fine. She was given jail credit of 25 days.

21 year old Kara L. Funk pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule VI controlled substance. She was granted judicial diversion for a period of one year. She will be on supervised probation by DOC and must perform 100 hours of community service work. Funk must also pay restitution of $120 to the sheriff's department and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and follow the prescribed treatments. This sentence is to run consecutive to a judicial diversion sentence in another case against her.

26 year old Christina Johnson pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale. She received a two year sentence, all suspended to time served. She was fined $2,000.

41 year old Barry Ford pleaded guilty to a second offense of driving on a revoked license. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on supervised probation. He was fined $50.

41 year old William Ray "Tojo" Cantrell pleaded guilty to theft of property over $500 and two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. All the cases are to run concurrently. He received a total of five years in these cases to serve in the Tennessee Department of Corrections. He must make restitution of $120 to the sheriff's department and pay a $2,000 fine. He was given jail credit of 186 days. The five year sentence is to run consecutive to a violation of probation against him in which he must serve the balance of a six year sentence on a previous drug conviction. Cantrell will have to serve a total of eleven years.

25 year old Renee Fields pleaded by information to reckless driving and received a six month sentence, all suspended to probation and a $50 fine.

DTC Communications To Refund $500,000 To Members

August 5, 2008

The Board of Directors of DTC Communications announced it is refunding $500,000 this month in capital credits to members.

DTC ranks among the highest in the state in member refunds.

The capital credit refunds are issued to current and former members who paid for service in 1998 from DTC Communications. DTC’s unique structure as a member-owned cooperative gives it the option, based on its financial strength, of offering these capital credit refunds.

“Given the current economic conditions, we are especially pleased to be able to continue our history of refunding capital credits for the fifteenth consecutive year, bringing the total refunds for this period to more than $19 million,” said Leslie Greer, CEO.

“Members who have moved or changed their names since 1998 should contact our customer service office with the updated information. We want to make sure everyone receives their refunds in a timely manner.”

Current and former members of DTC who paid for service during 1998 should receive checks by the end of August. Members’ checks will be based on what they paid that year. Therefore, the amounts will vary from member to member. For more information about capital credit refunds, please call 615-529-1999.

County Commission to Consider Passage of New Budget Soon

August 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission is expected to adopt the budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year this month.

Total expenditures in the proposed budget come to $33-million 452-thousand 127.

The current property tax rate is $1.70 per $100 of assessed value but the new certified property tax rate, following reappraisal or Current Value Update, is $1.4599, which is expected to generate about the same amount of local tax revenue as the $1.70 rate

County Mayor Mike Foster says the county commission may vote to round off the new tax rate to $1.46. "The assessed value of property, as a result of the CVU, went to $445-million 187-thousand 839. One cent of the property tax rate at $1.46 generates $44,518 or $42,181 after the county figures in a tax delinquency rate of 5.25%."

The new proposed property tax rate would break down as follows:

County General- 55 cents
General Purpose Schools- 49 cents
Debt Service 20 cents
Highway Department- 3 cents
Solid Waste- 19 cents

Foster says no property tax increase is needed this year because of revenues generated by the local option sales tax increase, which was approved by the voters last year. Plus, he says all county departments concluded the 2007-08 fiscal year under budget by from 10 to 20%, which has saved the county some money.

The proposed county general budget includes funds for an employee pay raise of about $600 for the year. Foster says this would help offset a 17% increase in their insurance premiums.

He says more money is also included in the budget for gasoline and diesel fuel.

The county budget committee will meet again on August 11th to make some final revisions before making a formal recommendation for passage of the budget to the county commission.

Gibson Receives Citizen Appreciation Award

August 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Frank Gibson, Executive Director of Tennessee's Coalition for Open Government, received Smithville first ever "Citizens Appreciation Award" during Monday night's city council meeting.

The award was presented to Gibson by Alderman Tonya Sullivan.

In making the presentation, Alderman Sullivan stated that "Smithville is honored this evening by the presence of Frank Gibson, a distinguished state leader who has devoted his career to opening government action to the inspection of every citizen"

"The executive director of Tennessee's Coalition for Open Government, Mr. Gibson, perhaps more than any other single State leader, has been the driving force behind the formation and implementation of Tennessee's current Sunshine Law."

"Following a forty year career as a reporter and editor of The Tennessean, including a 12 year stint in Washington D.C. as the paper's political editor, our guest chaired the Tennessee Press Association's Freedom of Information Committee, and is it's first and only receipient of the TPA Presidents Award."

"A graduate of the University of Tennessee and an Army vet, Mr. Gibson is a past national president of the Society of Professional Journalists and chaired the group's First Amendment Education campaign. As a humanities Fellow at the University of Michigan, he studied First Amendment law and southern history."

"He retired in 2005 to run TCOG, an influential leadership organization that works to improve and preserve public records and sunshine laws. His most recent appointment was to represent the Tennessee Press Association to the Advisory Committee on Open Government. Thanks to his courageous leadership, the sun shines with increasing brightness on Smithville's municipal government."

‘In recognition of your dynamic leadership and consistently courageous commitment to the rule of law and open government, it is my honor to present you with this plaque commemorating your service and to present you with Smithville's first ever Citizens Appreciation Award.'

"I would like to thank you for the encouragement that you have offered the city of Smithville. You have led by example! Open government is important to every citizen."

TDOT to Repair College Street Bridge

August 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced plans to make repairs to the College Street Bridge (Veteran's Memorial Bridge) in Smithville apparently due primarily to collision damage caused by large trucks that have hit the bridge.

Plans are to replace Beam "C" in Span "3" and to repair damaged beams in Spans "2" & "3".

Construction work could begin as early as mid-October. It should take about a month to complete the project.

TDOT officials say there is an eight inch water main attached to the underside of the bridge along side Beam "C". Since Beam "C" in Span "3" is being replaced, the state is requesting that the water main be relocated. There are also telephone, cable, and electric lines running parallel with the bridge on the right side and also perpendicular to both the abutments. TDOT does not anticipate the utility lines being involved in any way.

Turnout for Early Voting Greater in Macon and Smith Counties than DeKalb

August 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Democratic and Republican voters in DeKalb, Macon, and Smith will be selecting nominees for State Representative on Thursday.

The winners of the primaries will face off in the November General Election.

The turnout for early voting has been significantly higher in both Macon and Smith Counties than in DeKalb County.

Macon County reported early voting totals of 1,813 including 788 in the State Democratic Primary and 838 in the State Republican Primary.

In Smith County, 1,268 voted early including 873 in the State Democratic Primary and 352 in the State Republican Primary.

A total of 795 voted early in DeKalb County including 586 in the Democratic Primary and 151 in the Republican Primary.

Like DeKalb County, Macon and Smith have other races on their ballots that could be contributing to greater voter interest there, in addition to the State Representative races.

Home Owner Spots Man Breaking Into His House

August 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 29 year old man, apparently trying to break into a home Saturday, was later arrested after the owner of the residence saw him coming in the house and called authorities.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Antonio Cruz of West Broad Street Apartments is charged with aggravated burglary and no driver's license.

According to Sheriff Ray, Cruz allegedly went to a residence on Whorton Springs Road, apparently thinking the owner of the house was not at home. Cruz cut a screen out of a door to gain entry and was partially through the door when the owner saw him. Cruz immediately left the residence and the home owner called authorities. Cruz was later spotted by county deputies in a vehicle on Whorton Springs Road and they stopped him. Cruz was identified and he had no driver's license. Bond for Cruz was set at $12,500 and will appear in court on August 21st.

Meanwhile, in other cases 27 year old Brian Randell Pack of West Main Street Smithville was charged Tuesday, July 29th with six counts of forgery. Sheriff Ray says through an investigation, county detectives discovered that Pack allegedly passed six checks at a Smithville business between the dates of June 29th through July 25th 2008 totaling $550.00. Bond for Pack was set at $30,000 and he will appear in court on August 14th.

38 year old Royce Avon Foster of Jacobs Pillar Road Smithville, and 43 year old Ricky Estes and 39 year old Tony Edge, both of Whorton Springs Road Smithville, were charged Thursday, July 31st with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Ray says the three were arrested after they allegedly entered a barn on Jacob's Pillar Road in Smithville and took a 1959 Ford car without the owner's consent on July 25th. County detectives recovered the stolen vehicle in Cannon County at Pelham's Scrap Yard before it was crushed. Bond for each was set at $50,000 and they will appear in court on August 14th.

44 year old Darrell Ray Ramsey of Jack Hudson Road Sparta was stopped Friday, August 1st by county deputies on Highway 70 for a traffic violation. Sheriff Ray says upon speaking with Ramsey, officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he had bloodshot eyes. Deputies administered field sobriety tasks but Ramsey failed them. He was charged with a 2nd offense of driving under the influence. Ramsey has a previous DUI offense in DeKalb County, in October, 1997. Bond for Ramsey was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on September 4th.

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