Local News Articles

Online Registration Now Required for Tennessee Hunter Education Course

January 2, 2013

Registration for a Tennessee Hunter Education course will be required to be made online beginning Jan. 1, 2013 on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website.

On the TWRA website, those wishing to register for a class will click the “register for a hunter education class” link. Once clicking the link, there will be directions to search for hunter education classes closest to your area.

Registration must be completed prior to the starting date of a class to ensure a spot in a particular class. For those persons without computer access, they are encouraged to visit a local library or call a TWRA regional office for further assistance.

Advance registration provides more time for instructors to devote to students. It also provides a quicker method for the registration process.

Man Airlifted After Suffering Burns from Fire

December 31, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ricky Lawrence airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital

A resident of 639 Crestlawn Avenue received burns to his arm Sunday morning after he fell asleep in a chair that caught fire from a lit cigarette.

Ricky Lawrence was treated by DeKalb EMS and then transported to the DeKalb Middle School parking lot where he was airlifted by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Central dispatch received the call at 7:37 a.m. and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb EMS, and Smithville Police responded.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker told WJLE that the chair was the only thing in the house that was damaged in the fire. The small blaze was quickly extinguished and the chair was removed from the residence and taken outside.

Lawrence apparently had fallen asleep in the chair while holding a lit cigarette. The chair caught fire and he received burns to his arm.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called out again Sunday night to a car fire at the city park on Martin Street. The car was destroyed. The cause remains under investigation.

Four Arrested in Recent Domestic Assault Cases

December 31, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mark Denver Young
Joe Wayne Pack
Amy Carole Young
Anthony Doel Atnip
Jordan Thomas Adams

A man, his ex-wife, and her father were all charged with domestic assault last Thursday, December 27 after a child pick up incident turned ugly.

31 year old Mark Denver Young of McMinnville Highway, Smithville; his ex-wife, 32 year old Amy Carole Young of Steeple Chase Drive; and her father, 57 year old Joe Wayne Pack of Rolling Acres Road are each under a $1,500 bond.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Amy Young and her father, Pack came to Mark Young's residence to pick up her children. A confrontation ensued and Young assaulted Pack by punching him in the face several times with his fists, causing cuts and bruises to his eye and face. Both Young and Pack hit each other several times in the face and head, causing injuries to both. Sheriff Ray said that Amy Young got into a confrontation with her ex-husband, Mark Young and hit him in the head several times with a rubber hammer, causing injuries. Mark Young had to go to the emergency room for treatment.

All three will be in court January 31.

Meanwhile, a local man was arrested twice last week after allegedly assaulting a woman on Wednesday and then attacking his nephew, three days later

32 year old Anthony Doel Atnip of Johnson Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with two counts of domestic assault. He was first picked up on Wednesday, December 19. His bond is $3,500 on that charge and he will be in court on January 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, December 19 a deputy responded to a complaint of a physical domestic on Banks Pisgah Road. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with Atnip and a woman. The officer saw that she had a busted lip, scratches to her face and a bruise on her jaw. The deputy also noticed hair on the floor that had apparently been pulled from the woman's head. She told the officer that Atnip was intoxicated and that he started beating her after becoming irate over missing coins. The officer determined that Atnip was the primary aggressor. The deputy also observed that Atnip had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and was very angry.

Three days later, on Saturday December 22, Atnip was arrested again for domestic assault against another person. His bond on that charge is $15,000 and he will be in court on January 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 22, a deputy responded to Johnson Chapel Road to a complaint of a domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to a female who said her brother, Atnip, had gotten into a verbal argument with her son which turned physical. Atnip punched him in the face on the right side causing bruising and swelling. Atnip admitted to hitting him. It was determined that Atnip was the primary aggressor.

27 year old Jordan Thomas Adams of Allen Street, Smithville is charged with evading arrest. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court January 17. He was arrested on Thursday, December 20.

Sheriff Ray said that Adams had been on the run since September 12 after he fled from drug court. "After running out of drug court, Adams was spotted about an hour later at a location on Holmes Creek Road.When the deputy got out of his vehicle, Adams started running. The officer yelled for him to stop, but he kept running. Adams has a hold on him from drug court," said Sheriff Ray.

39 year old Freddy Sylvester Stringer of Church Street, Liberty is charged with a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $7,500 and he will be in court January 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday December 29, Stringer, operating a vehicle, pulled up beside an officer at DeKalb Market. The officer knew that Stringer's license were revoked and placed him under arrest. A computer check confirmed Stringer's license were revoked for driving under the influence in 2004. On December 12, 2012 Stringer was issued an arrest warrant for driving on a revoked license, which is still pending in court. Another offense was filed against him on September 28, 2007. According to Sheriff Ray, Stringer has five convictions against him for driving on a suspended license from June 17, 1996 to April 10, 2004.

DeKalb Community Hospital Welcomes New Surgeon

December 31, 2012

“General Surgeon Kenna Williams, M.D. has joined the medical staff at DeKalb Community Hospital this month, and we are very pleased to have her on our surgical team” Chief Executive Officer , Sue Conely explains. “She will be on campus on Thursdays and is currently seeing patients at the Medical Specialty Office. “

“In addition to the usual types of general surgery, including skin lesions of all types, gallbladder, bowel surgery and hernia surgeries, Williams has a specialized interest in breast surgery, both benign and malignant breast disorders. She is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. We are thrilled to have another surgeon with this type of specialty here at DeKalb Community Hospital, ” says Nancy Trapp, Surgical Services Director.

Williams was raised in Memphis and graduated from Central High School there in the center of what the locals call “midtown.” After receiving a BA in Biology from University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, she went to work for Dr. Robert Summitt, her longtime mentor and dean of the medical school at U.T.

“I first went to work in the genetics lab and was taught to do tissue culture and karyotyping or chromosome analysis, then worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital doing the same genetic analysis on tumor biopsies from children with cancer,” Dr. Williams said of early career. I decided to go further and applied to medical school, was accepted, and graduated with my MD degree in 1986.”

Dr. Williams started surgical residency training there in Memphis at the UT medical units and finished in 1991. Since then, she has been in the private practice of general surgery in Murfreesboro, Cookeville, and Pulaski. Dr Williams is a Board-certified general surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Both she and her staff are committed to delivering the best care possible for patients. “Our office is a always ready to go the extra mile to take good care of you,“ Dr. Williams said, “and we are happy to be working with DeKalb Community Hospital because they are so committed to delivering excellent care.”

Dr. Williams has a farm in Putnam County since 1995 and enjoys the quiet wooded hillsides of middle Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland Plateau. She is no stranger to a commute and admits that she loves the Tennessee backroads.

To get more information about General Surgeon Kenna Williams, M.D. contact: Shalyn F. Eaton LPN, Medical Specialty Office-Clinical director at DeKalb Community Hospital at (615) 215-5250.

About DeKalb Community Hospital:

Beds: 71, Fully accredited by The Joint Commission

Services: 24-hour Emergency Care, Medical/Surgical Care, Intensive Care Unit, General Surgery, Clinical Laboratory, Sleep Services, Diagnostic Imaging services include X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Mammography and Nuclear Medicine. Physical and Occupational Therapy, Respiratory Therapy Pulmonary Function Testing, Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Stress Testing, EEG’s, Pulmonology, Oncology Clinic and Infusion Center, Cardiology, Urology, Orthopedics, Gastroenterology and Ophthalmology

Website: dekalbcommunityhospital.com

New Sligo Bridge Project Still on Hold

December 31, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jennifer Flynn

The Tennessee Department of Transportation still does not have the go ahead for right of way acquisition for the new Sligo bridge.

WJLE contacted TDOT Thursday and in response, Jennifer A. Flynn, Regional Community Relations Officer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation replied with the following message by email. "I spoke with Chief Engineer/Deputy Commissioner Paul Degges about the Sligo Bridge. He told me that TDOT has redesigned the bridge project to take into account the Marina's concerns and provided the redesign to the Marina. We have not yet been able to finalize any transaction at this time, but we remain optimistic that we can come to a settlement that is satisfactory to all parties. That's all there is to tell at this point. If I hear of any news on the progress of the project, I will certainly let you know," wrote Flynn

State Representative Mark Pody, who was in town Friday, December 21, said he is hopeful that the new Sligo bridge project can be let for bids during the first quarter of 2013, pending a new lease agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Sligo Marina.

Pody, in an interview with WJLE, said any new agreement between the parties should address granting TDOT the right of way to proceed with the project. The marina's current lease with the Corps is due to expire next month.

Degges told WJLE in August that the state had redesigned plans for the proposed project hoping to address concerns to the satisfaction of Sligo Marina.

Degges has said one of the major concerns is that the marina owners want the state to pay for "potential loss of business"to them during the construction of the bridge. The problem is the state cannot legally pay for those types of damages. "They're wanting to be paid for some things. In particular, he (lessee) wants to be paid for some potential loss of business due to loss of some of his parking and the impact of construction. Under state law in Tennessee, we (TDOT) are prohibited from paying those types of damages" said Degges.

DeKalb Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.9% in November

December 29, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's jobless rate for November dropped to 6.9%, down from 7.5% in October and well below the 8% rate recorded for November 2011.

The local labor force for November was 9,540. A total of 8,890 were employed and 650 were without work.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was fourth lowest among the fourteen counties of the Upper Cumberland Region.

Here's how they ranked from highest to lowest:

Pickett County: 11.2%
Van Buren County: 10.7%
White County: 10.6%
Clay County: 9.6%
Warren County: 8.8%
Jackson County: 8.5%
Fentress County: 8.3%
Cumberland County: 7.8%
Macon County: 7.3%
Overton County: 7%
DeKalb County: 6.9%
Smith County: 6.4%
Putnam County: 6.4%
Cannon County: 5.8%

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for November show the rate decreased in 91 counties, increased in one, and remained the same in three.

Tennessee's unemployment rate for November decreased to 7.6 percent, down from the October revised rate of 8.2 percent. The national unemployment rate for November 2012 was 7.7 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than the October rate.

The state unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 5.2 percent, down from 5.9 percent in October. Davidson County was 5.7 percent, down from 6.5 percent. Hamilton County was 6.4 percent, down from 7.3 percent, and Shelby County was 7.8 percent, down from 8.7 percent in October.

Dowelltown Man Trying to Outrun State Trooper Found with Meth Lab Components

December 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jesse Comer Harris
Harris' 2000 Dodge Neon towed by JR Motors

A Dowelltown man, trying to outrun a state trooper in a Thursday night pursuit, was found with meth lab components after he ran his car off the Old Snow Hill Road.

33 year old Jesse Comer Harris is charged with aggravated assault, evading arrest in a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law for refusing a blood test, and tampering with evidence. His bond totals $85,000 and he will be in court on the charges February 21. Harris is on parole for being a violent offender.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE Friday that the incident started around 7:10 p.m. Thursday after he stopped Harris' car for erratic driving, weaving, and suspicion of driving under the influence. " I tried to stop a 2000 Dodge Neon on Highway 70 west just west of DeKalb Market," said Trooper Jennings. "The car pulled over like any other traffic stop. I made a passenger side approach, opened the passenger door, made eye contact with the driver. He pulls it down in drive and takes off at a high rate of speed, jerking the door out of my hand. At that point I ran back to my patrol car and gave pursuit to chase after him. We go Highway 70 west a short distance. He turned left over to the Old Snow Hill Road. I radioed DeKalb County and advised them that I was in pursuit down the Old Snow Hill Road. The sheriff was in the area along with Officer Jeremy Taylor. The sheriff set up at the end of old Snow Hill Road in the Dry Creek area. He (Harris) saw the blue lights I guess and figured something was up so he drove to the right off the roadway (at the foot of the hill) out into a field, crashed into a creek, and almost overturned the vehicle. At that point, he jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. I chased him on foot through the creek and up into a wooded area around the creek where I found him laying down in the weeds and hiding. He was eating his marijuana, trying to get rid of the evidence. I went back and found a bag that he had pitched out in the creek that contained numerous items used to manufacture and process methamphetamine," said Trooper Jennings

Harris was not injured and refused treatment by EMS. He was arrested and taken to the jail for booking.

Aldermen Give Final Approval to 24/7 Beer Sales and On Premises Permits for Restaurants

December 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Wallace Caldwell Speaks Against Changes in Beer Ordinance

The Smithville Aldermen, by a 3 to 2 vote, adopted an ordinance amendment on second and final reading Thursday night to allow off premises permit holders to sell packaged beer twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Eligible restaurants will also be allowed to apply for an on-premises permit to sell beer with meals in their establishments.

During a special meeting, Aldermen Danny Washer, Gayla Hendrix, and Jason Judd Murphy all voted in favor of making the changes. Alderman Tim Stribling and Shawn Jacobs voted against it. Mayor Jimmy Poss let the vote stand without casting a veto. Had he done so, four alderman votes would have been required to override it. Mayor Poss still has until the next meeting to veto, should he change his mind.

(PLAY VIDEOS PARTS 1 & 2 BELOW OF THURSDAY NIGHT'S CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON BEER VOTE)

The vote came following a public hearing. A crowd of interested citizens, both for and against the ordinance amendment gathered in the meeting room of city hall to witness the vote. Only residents, property owners, and business owners of the City of Smithville were permitted to speak as per procedures adopted by the council in a 2008 resolution.

Those speaking out against the ordinance amendment were Wallace Caldwell, Michael Pinegar, Bobby Thomason, Bernard Houk, Bill Shaw, and W.J. White

Faye Fuqua spoke in support of the aldermen voting to make the changes.

Up until now, the city has prohibited beer sales on Sunday, Christmas Day, and other nights from midnight til 6:00 a.m. and has forbade restaurants from having an on premises permit to serve beer.

A total of twelve city businesses are licensed to sell beer in Smithville including Walmart, Food Lion, Dollar General Store, Mapco Express, Kwik-N-Ezy, Jewel's Market (South Congress Boulevard), Village Market, South Congress BP, West Broad BP, Eastside Citgo, El Mariachi, and Mercadito Chabelita.

Wallace Caldwell of Anthony Avenue, in his remarks, said he was disappointed that a majority of the council has taken this position on beer when a majority of city voters have already voted twice this year against liquor sales. He also asked the mayor to veto the action of the aldermen in approving these changes. "I think that I speak for several of the people in Smithville. If not I speak tonight for myself," said Caldwell. " Mayor, I'm very disappointed in the vote of the majority of this council. We, the people of Smithville have voted and said "no" to liquor by the drink in two referendums and no liquor stores. That we didn't want it in our city. Some of the same people may have voted for these people that have voted to allow beer sales twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and on Christmas Day and also now want to drink it in establishments. They're being told what you want don't always matter. I know that some of you may think that liquor and beer are two different things. Well, I've always said you can paint stripes on a mule and call it a zebra but its still a mule. So call this what you want. It's still alcohol by the drink. The main things that these people want when they consume either liquor by the drink or a beer is alcohol. Will this be the first step in getting liquor by the drink against the wishes of the majority of the voters of Smithville by saying we're losing thousands of dollars in taxes? We already drink beer so now let's drink liquor. I think we've gotten by pretty good without all the tax dollars we say we're losing. The sponsor of this bill, if it was so important, why was it not put on the agenda?. Why was it just brought up at a meeting to where it was not placed on there that even the local radio station did not know that it was to be presented. Are we going to discuss items of this nature among ourselves and all of a sudden out of the blue bring up only at a meeting where the public has no advance notice? Mr Mayor I'm asking you if this ordinance is passed that you would use your power of veto to bring to a vote that each council person will have to either vote no or yes on this matter. Also I ask everyone listening by way of radio and in this room tonight to pay attention to how each person votes on this. I thank you for your time," said Caldwell.

Michael Pinegar of Dearman Street, said he ran the numbers and concluded that the additional tax revenue expected to be generated by making these changes doesn't amount to a whole lot. "We keep hearing all the time how much revenue this county and city is losing on account of beer sales. I put together some figures concerning this proposed tax revenue dealing with these extension hours," said Pinegar. "Basically you're adding six hours to each convenience store and on restaurants, since they are not available to sell it now, I based it on Cookeville. I put down that they would be allowed probably sixteen hours. Most restaurants are not even open that length of time. For a convenience store, we're talking about 3120 hours additional sales during a year. A restaurant would be 5,024 hours. I looked in this week's circulars which came in my mail. I picked out six beer prices. Of those six beer prices I came up with an average of $1.15 per 12 ounce can. That's what I'm basing these figures on. I've also rounded up the tax rate to three percent instead of the 2.75% which it actually is. As far as the restaurants, I checked with some of those in Cookeville. The average 12 ounce cup of beer brought $2.50. At the three percent rate, that means the city gets seven and a half cents. If they sell 500,000 cups of beer, the city would get $37, 500. They would need to sell 85 beers per hour to reach that goal. So I believe with the figures I've got, they should pretty well reflect the maximum revenue that can be brought in during this time period. The city would get a combined total of $54,750 total additional revenue if one million additional beers are sold. They would have to average selling 240 beers per hour to achieve this amount," said Pinegar.

"I also have some figures that come from the Tennessee Highway Patrol that show city police investigate three times as many crashes as the sheriff's departments or THP. On their website, the latest statistical data they had was from 2003 to 2006. Alcohol related crashes rose three percent during that time and accounted for 40% of traffic deaths. Injury crashes accounted for 28%. Property damage crashes over $400 accounted for 71%. DeKalb County, during that same period, we ranked number 32, which placed us in the top one third of all counties for crashes. We had twenty three people killed which was 5.75 per year. There were 1980 total crashes, which averaged 495 per year. There were 577 injury crashes, which averaged 144 per year. There were 1380 damage crashes of over $400, which equaled 345 per year. THP also states that the largest percent of crashes happen on weekends. Friday (18%), Saturday (13%), and Sunday (10%) for a total of 41 percent of all crashes. DUI statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among persons ages three through 33. Approximately 50% of all children killed in a motor vehicle crash are victims of an alcohol related crash. These additional accidents and the domestic issues which I believe would also occur with this additional one million beers would overshadow this small amount of $50,000 we would receive in additional tax revenue with the increase in police calls and personal property damage. Therefore, I think if the council votes for this, it must have some other reason or something else on their mind instead of increasing the revenue for the city," said Pinegar.

Bill Shaw of Jennings Lane, a Baptist minister, expressed his opposition mostly on biblical grounds. "I'm appalled that alcohol has been brought up so soon," said Shaw. " I don't have anything against you. But I hope and pray you'll realize what you're doing. I know what alcohol can do. When I say alcohol, I'm talking about liquor and beer. Not only drugs. I know what it can do to home. I know what it does to families. Children are involved. You're city is involved. You're going to be putting more pressure on all your law enforcement. I was appalled when I read that it was (being done in part for tourism) and I appreciate tourists coming through our town. But they (tourists) are not the ones who voted for you. The people of Smithville are the ones who put you in this office. I don't have any animosity but I hate the devil's work and I know what it does. It's a sin either way you want to look at it. He that puts a drink to his neighbor's lips is not wise. In the book of Galatians, the sixth chapter, it says " Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap". May God bless you," said Shaw.

Bernard Houk, pastor of the Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church, said he didn't want anyone to have to sit in a restaurant beside someone drinking beer. "Thursday night is our visitation night for our church,' said Houk. "The young people come to church and then we go to the nursing home and different places to visit those who are sick and shut in. When we finish visiting we'll go to McDonald's or somewhere and I'll buy ice cream or on some occasions we'll go to Los Lobos or Peking and we have supper. It bothers me really bad to think that I might take them down there as pastor to either one of those restaurants or any other in Smithville and somebody may be drinking a Bud lite at the next table three feet away from the kids when I preach to them that they shouldn't drink. Its offensive to me. I don't want to sit in a restaurant and someone drinking beer right next to me and my grandchildren. I watched the video of the last meeting and the person that made the motion and the one that seconded the motion, I voted for them. I grew up with them. But if I could vote again today I'll tell you right now I would have to reconsider my vote because of the intentions of this vote that is being made. I think its property value. Your property is worth more if you can promise somebody that they can sell beer if they buy it. Most of us here are smart enough to figure that out. I ask you don't pass this. You can do it. You can run it right through over us. Please don't expose our children to this," said Houk.

Bobby Thomason of J.E. Evins Avenue, pastor of the Covenant Baptist Church, asked the alderman to put the issue before the voters in yet another referendum "I stand in opposition to this. My deepest concern is for our citizens of this city that we live in," said Thomason. " Not only our city but our county also. We have dear children. We watch over to protect our children and not put anything before them that would harm or hurt them and take their lives. A lot of times we're not successful in that. We lose a lot of young lives to different things. I stand opposed to this because its not about the dollar to me. Our city I think is in pretty good shape. I think when we let the dollar overrule our moral needs and our lives then we're in piddling business. We need to stand up for what's right. I urge you with all of my heart, for our citizens, for our children, for our grandchildren. For a better community we don't need alcohol. We need a lot more love. We need a lot more understanding. I would ask this council that with something of this importance that you would put it to the city voters for all of the people of the city to vote on. This is not life or death. We can make it without the tax dollars. We have so far. If its voted in, so be it. If its voted down, so be it. But let your community that elected you do so," said Thomason.

W.J (Dub) White of Carter Street said the city should focus more on fighting drugs than loosening restrictions regarding the sale of beer. "I've come tonight to ask this board to turn this down because the people has voted it (liquor) down two times in the last six months," said White. " Surely you all can see that we need to be fighting drugs in place of having more alcohol. We need to put our time into figuring out how to get rid of drugs and keep our young people off drugs in place of giving them more alcohol for them to drink," said White.

Faye Fuqua spoke in defense of the aldermen who voted for making the changes. "I'm very concerned that there is some Phariseeism and some legalism and this type of thing in this decision tonight or in this presentation from the group here," said Fuqua. "We're all concerned about what goes on in our community but I think we can strain at a nat and swallow the camel. I believe that most of us have no problem in going to Cookeville or to Nashville and having dinner in a restaurant, Applebee's, Logans, there are many places that we're all very comfortable in. This board has carefully studied and is looking out for the welfare of our community and looking out from the business perspective part of it. I would hope that they would know that there are some of us who are committed Christians, committed to the church that do not think that this is shameful. We're very concerned that you who have represented us so well and have studied the issues and have taken this vote that you would have to come here tonight and hear these kinds of remarks. There are those of us who do not feel this way and understand where you're coming from,' said Fuqua.

Two Charged with Allowing Teens to Get Drunk at Party

December 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Treva June Hartman
Bryan Luke Vollrath

A 48 year old woman has been arrested for allowing her underage granddaughter and four teenage friends to get drunk during a party at her home three days before Christmas.

Treva June Hartman is under a $10,000 bond on charges of aggravated child endangerment and domestic assault. She will be in court on January 17. Each of the juveniles including a 13 year old girl, two 15 year old girls, a 15 year old boy, and a 17 year old boy have each been cited for underage consumption.

Meanwhile, 20 year old Bryan Luke Vollrath of McMinnville, who admitted to bringing liquor to the party and sharing it with the teenagers, is charged with aggravated child endangerment. His bond is $7,500 and he will be in court on January 17.

Another man at the party, a 19 year old, is also cited for underage consumption.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Thursday that on Saturday December 22, Smithville Police officers were called to Hartman's residence on West Bryant Street to investigate a possible domestic complaint. Upon arrival, the officers found Hartman along with five juveniles and two adults under age 21 who were all intoxicated. According to Chief Caplinger, the 13 year old girl and 17 year old boy were so drunk that they had to be transported to the emergency room of the hospital for treatment.

Hartman, who allegedly took several shots of liquor with the teenagers, was charged with aggravated child endangerment for placing the kids in danger of serious bodily injury by knowingly allowing them to consume alcohol. Hartman is also accused of assaulting one of the teens. "After speaking with everyone there, it was determined that Hartman had assaulted one of the juveniles," said Chief Caplinger. "The juvenile had physical marks on her body. The others (at the party) said she became upset, entered the room where the child was and started kicking her. The child had several scratches on her," said Chief Caplinger. As a result of this incident, Hartman was charged with domestic assault.

"Vollrath admitted to detectives that he brought alcohol and multiple bottles of liquor to the party at the residence and shared it with the juveniles, knowing their ages. His actions placed the juveniles in danger of serious bodily injury," said Chief Caplinger. As a result, Vollrath was charged with aggravated child endangerment.

Meanwhile in other cases, 23 year old Brittany Bell was charged Christmas Day with driving under the influence. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on January 17.

Chief Caplinger said that Bell was found passed out behind the wheel of an automobile at Kwik-N-Ezy. She had the car keys in her hand. The arresting officer had difficulty waking her up. She had an odor of alcohol on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. Bell performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and she submitted to a blood test.

64 year old Jack Hayes is charged with driving under the influence and cited for violation of the implied consent law. He will be in court on January 17.

Chief Caplinger said on Thursday, December 27 an officer spotted Hayes' vehicle speeding on West Broad Street and pulled it over on Bell Street. Hayes had an odor of alcohol on his person. He was unsteady on his feet. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks but refused to submit to a blood test.

In other cases, Chief Caplinger reports that 33 year old Michael Todd Jones is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and two counts of simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax and Valium). His bond totals $30,000 and he will be in court on January 17.

According to the police report, Sergeant Bradley Tatrow, on Monday, December 17 received a dispatch of a possible drunk driver and spotted a vehicle matching the description on Highway 56. Sergeant Tatrow observed the vehicle fail to maintain his lane of travel by going across the yellow line into the southbound turning lane. He pulled over the vehicle on Church Street and the driver was found to be Michael Jones. Upon speaking to him, Sergeant Tatrow noticed Jones' speech was very slurred. He was very clumsy and slow retrieving information. Jones was asked to exit the vehicle and perform field sobriety tasks. Jones was very unsteady on his feet and he performed poorly on all sobriety tasks. Jones submitted to a blood alcohol test. His prior DUI offense was on March 10, 2005, While performing field sobriety tasks, Jones bent over to tie his shoe and Sergeant Tatrow noticed a small metal vial appear behind his right foot. The vial was not there before and was almost touching his foot. Found inside the vial were eight white pills believed to be Xanax and two blue pills believed to be Valium.

19 year old Zachary L. Bennett is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on January 10.

Police report that on Friday, December 14 Patrolman Stephen Barrett responded to West Main Street in the area of the hospital to check out a complaint of a man jumping out in the roadway in front of vehicles yelling, screaming and beating on the vehicles. Upon arrival, Officer Barrett found the man, Bennett, in a field across from the hospital. Bennett had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were glazed over and he was very unsteady on his feet. Bennett admitted to drinking Budweiser beers. At this time, Bennett was placed under arrest for his being a nuisance to the public and for his safety. Bennett was further issued a citation for underage consumption.

27 year old Jonathon David Thomas is charged with Violation of Community Corrections and
Evading Arrest. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on January 10

According to police, Patrolman Stephen Barrett was dispatched to a Snow Street home on Saturday, December 15 in reference to a complaint of strong chemical odors coming from the residence. Upon arrival, Officer Barrett made contact with the owner the home, advised her of the complaint, and asked if he could come in and look for any illegal substances. The home owner allowed Officer Barrett and a county deputy to enter the residence to look around. While inside, the officers made contact with Thomas who had a warrant against him with a hold without bond. Thomas was then taken into custody on that warrant. As the deputy was walking him outside to the patrol car, Thomas pulled away and took off running. At that point, Officer Barrett saw the deputy fall on the ground. Officer Barrett ordered Thomas to stop running and then he deployed his X-26 Taser in order to take Thomas into custody.

Drug Court Clients and Their Children Treated to Christmas Party

December 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shawn Jacobs

Drug court clients and their children were treated to a Christmas party earlier this month.

Shawn Jacobs, Coordinator of the DeKalb County Drug Court, wishes to thank all those who made the party possible. "On December 11 the Blue Springs Old Fashion Free Will Baptist Church hosted a party for our drug court clients and their children," said Jacobs. "The church was very gracious to provide the location in their fellowship hall for the party itself. The great thing about it was the church also got the number and ages of the children and the church members went out and bought gifts for all of the children of our drug court clients. I want to thank the church for doing that and for being so gracious and generous during this holiday season," he said.

Jacobs said special thanks goes to DTC Communications for providing the main dish at the dinner. "We had a pot luck meal that night as part of the party. We all brought a dish but I want to thank DTC Communications for a substantial donation in providing the ham, which was the main dish," said Jacobs. "We needed somebody to step up and do that. We called DTC and they were glad to do that so they provided us a very generous donation as our main dish. We want to thank DTC Communications for doing that," he said.

Judge Bratten Cook, II lined up entertainment for the party. "We had a really nice time at the party," said Jacobs. "The kids enjoyed it and I think the clients did as well. Our drug court judge, Bratten Cook, who is also the General Sessions/Juvenile Judge brought in Little John the Magician. He performed his show for everybody in attendance and I think the adults enjoyed that just as much as the kids did. We want to thank Judge Cook for doing that," he said.

"Since the party we want to thank the Philippi Church of Christ. They have provided a lot of food baskets for folks all over the community. They provided a number of food baskets for some of our clients in drug court who have extended families who we thought needed the extra help this time of year. We want to thank the Philippi Church of Christ for that," said Jacobs.

"Drug court is a really good thing. It helps folks out. We try to get them off drugs and back on their feet into a productive life and its so nice to see the community embrace drug court and see the generosity of the folks in DeKalb County who really stepped up and helped us provide a Merry Christmas for our drug court clients," Jacobs concluded.

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