Local News Articles

King Retires as General Manager of Caney Fork Electric Coop

September 12, 2007

Hubert A. King, III, General Manager, of Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, Inc. has announced his retirement after 35 years of service effective December 31, 2007.

On October 8th, Mr. King will commence his accumulated and earned leave and William S. (Bill) Rogers, Assistant General Manager, will assume responsibilities on that date as the General Manager on an interim basis.

Mr. King has served as General Manager of the cooperative for the past eleven years of his tenure with the cooperative. His deep understanding of working with people has led him to excel in steering the cooperative to a higher level of quality service to the membership. In his time of service to the cooperative, a new highly technical two way automated meter reading system was being installed. Many other upgrades to the cooperative’s system occurred during this time including improvements to three of the cooperative’s offices.

King has served as a board member of the Warren County Industrial Board, was a member of the McMinnville Noon Rotary Club, a board member of Central Service Association headquartered in Tupelo, MS, a board member of the United Utility Service located in Kentucky, and a board member of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association. He also held numerous committee positions with the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

The Board of Directors of Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, Inc. and it’s employees wish to thank Hubert for his many years of dedicated service to the cooperative and it’s membership.

Linder Airlifted After Monday Afternoon Wreck

September 10, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 20 year old man was injured in a one car wreck Monday afternoon on the Old Snow Hill Road near Dowelltown.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Brandon Keith Linder of Smithville was driving a 2005 Nissan Sentra west on the Old Snow Hill Road when he failed to properly negotiate a curve, left the road on the north side, overturned once, and came to rest on the driver side up against two trees.

According to Trooper England, a school bus driver passing by saw the car and reported the accident.

Linder was extricated by members of the DeKalb County Fire Department's Extrication unit. The Liberty Fire Station was also on the scene and helped set up the helicopter landing zone on Highway 70.

Linder was airlifted by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Trooper England says Linder had no drivers license

State Lawmaker Charged in DeKalb & Wilson Counties

September 10, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Democratic State Representative Rob Briley of Nashville, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been charged with DUI, evading arrest, and vandalism, among other traffic offenses as the result of incidents in DeKalb and Wilson Counties on Saturday afternoon.

The first involved a "hit and run" in DeKalb County around 4:31 p.m.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE Monday that the 40 year old Briley was eastbound on Highway 70 at Dowelltown in a 2005 Nissan Xterra SUV when he rear-ended an eastbound 2007 Chevy Colorado pickup truck, driven by 56 year old John P. Mitchell of McMinnville.

Passengers with Mitchell were 50 year old Janice Mitchell and 9 year old Sabrina Flanagan both of McMinnville.

Briley was traveling alone.

No one was injured in the accident.

According to Mitchell and another witness, Briley made a U-turn in the highway after the collision and fled the scene going west toward Watertown.

Mitchell said he pulled into the turning lane after the accident, but when he saw the driver of the other vehicle was not going to stop, he drove to the shoulder of the road, where he parked and called 911 to report the hit and run.

Trooper England says a plastic cover over the front bumper came off of Briley's vehicle during the crash and clung to the ball of the trailer hitch on Mitchell's truck.

After Trooper England learned that Briley was arrested in Watertown and that his vehicle fit the description of the one involved in the hit and run, he took the bumper cover found at the crash scene to Watertown and matched it with Briley's Xterra.

Trooper England says he went to the Wilson County Jail, where Briley was taken after his arrest in Watertown, and issued him citations for failure to give immediate notice of an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, a separate citation for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, and following to closely.

Briley will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on the citations December 5th.

After the hit and run in Dowelltown, Briley was pulled over by Watertown Police Officer Ricky Lucy, Jr. for traveling 72 mph in a 45 mph zone

In addition to being charged with evading arrest, Briley allegedly failed three field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI. He also allegedly refused to take a blood or breathalyzer test and was charged with violation of the implied consent law.

Watertown Police say they found a bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey as well as various prescription drugs inside Briley's SUV.

In Lucy's report, Briley listed taking anti-depressants as a medical reason for not being able to perform the field sobriety tests, saying they made him "dizzy."

The state lawmaker was later charged with vandalism by Wilson County authorities after he allegedly damaged a door to a patrol car by repeatedly kicking the door and window frame as he was being taken to jail.

Sheriff Ray Warns Residents To Beware of Scam

September 10, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Patrick Ray is warning DeKalb Countians about a recent scam.

According to Sheriff Ray "Victims in the County have been calling me about receiving checks in the mail and a letter telling you to deposit the checks, how much money to keep, and where to forward the remaining money. One victim had gotten e-mails and telephone calls from the scammer." Sheriff Ray says "This is a scam, so do not cash the checks. The checks are no good and you could be responsible for paying the money back. Some of the checks have been up in the thousands of dollars. If you receive one of these checks, you may contact me or someone from my office or simply destroy the checks by tearing them up. Our office has contacted the F.B.I. about this scam."

Meanwhile, in other crime news, On Monday, September 3rd, 47 year old Mike Alton Baugh of Atelia Drive, Antioch, Tennessee was arrested on Highway 70 west for 2nd offense DUI, Violation of the Implied Consent Law, Driving on a Revoked Driver's License, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Violation of the Open Container Law, Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Baugh and a female passenger were in a 1998 Dodge pickup truck towing a pontoon boat traveling west on Highway 70 West. Baugh and the passenger started throwing each other's belongings out of the windows of the vehicle. Baugh suddenly jerked his vehicle around to make a u-turn in the middle of the road when the pontoon boat he was towing came off and landed in a private drive. Baugh returned to where his items where thrown out, retrieved the items, and left his passenger beside of the pontoon boat. Baugh fled the scene and was eventually stopped in Liberty. Baugh was intoxicated and had in his possession a small amount of Marijuana, hemostats, a pair of alligator clips, and a half bottle of wine. A check of Baugh's license revealed it was revoked due to a DUI. Baugh's truck was also seized. Bond was set at $6,000 and he is to appear in General Sessions Court October 10th.

52 year old Larry Dale Lepley of Miller Road Smithville was charged Wednesday, September 5th with Violation of The Sexual Offender Act. Lepley's listed address was checked and deputies found out that he had moved and failed to report his new address. Bond for Lepley was set at $10,000 and his court date is September 20th.

26 year old Julie Elaine Moore of Cookeville Highway Smithville was charged Friday, September 7th with 2 counts of forgery. Moore took two stolen checks and passed them at a business in Liberty. The checks were in the amount of $100.00 each. Her court date is September 13th and her bond is $10,000.

19 year old Samantha Rene Devault of Highland Drive Smithville was arrested Saturday for Theft of Property over $500.00. Devault stole three diamond rings, valued at over $500.00 from a residence on Shady Drive Smithville. The rings have been recovered. Her bond was set at $10,000 and her court date is October 11th.

On Sunday, September 9th , deputies were dispatched to Jacobs Pillar Road Smithville in answer to a call of a suspicious vehicle setting in the middle of the road. When Deputies arrived, they found 26 year old Luis Alberto Villanunva passed out in the vehicle. Villanunva's vehicle was running, in gear, and Villanunva had his foot on the brake. Villanunva was arrested for DUI 1ST offense and Driving without a license. His court date is October 4th and his bond is $1,000.

Center Hill Team Makes Recommendations To Ensure Dam's Safety

September 9, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

An independent team of engineers has reviewed planned repairs to Center Hill Dam and made key recommendations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to U.S. Representative Bart Gordon.

The recommendations made by the peer review panel include an immediate reduction in the water level at Center Hill Lake to reduce pressure on the dam.

"The Corps should take every reasonable precaution to protect the lives and property of those who live downstream of Center Hill Dam," said Gordon. "While the Corps tells me a dam break is unlikely, the results would be devastating."

Last month, Gordon went to the dam and met with Corps officials regarding the planned repairs. The $240 million, six-year rehabilitation will involve the addition of grouting to voids where seepage is occurring in the earthen dam. Installation of a concrete cut-off wall into the rock foundation of the dam will provide another level of defense against future seepage.

Problems with seepage have been a problem at Center Hill Dam since its completion in 1951. The most recent rehabilitation to the dam occurred in 1992, when grouting was added to combact seepage.

"Addressing the seepage problems will greatly enhance safety for the Middle Tennesseans who live downstream, as well as for the many people who visit the lake each year," said Gordon. "While the rehabilitation will cause temporary headaches, the end result will be a safer place for recreation and residence."

While Corps officials say there is no immediate danger of the dam failing, they are monitoring the seepage so that emergency actions could be taken to lessen the possibility of a catastrophic breach occurring.

A catastrophic dam failure could result in significant damage and loss of life if water from Center Hill Lake were to flood downstream communities.

The Corps is planning to hold public meetings later this year in downstream communities and is working with the Department of Homeland Security to provide residents with maps depicting potential flooding in the event of a failure at the dam.

A copy of the full peer review report is available at the Corps' web site at www.Irn.usace.army.mil/CenterHill.

Baker, Clayborn & Tubbs Elected Aldermen in Alexandria

September 6, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Derrick Baker, Shelia Clayborn, and Maureen Tubbs were elected Aldermen during the Alexandria Municipal Election Thursday.

Clayborn led the ticket with 74 votes (31.6%) followed by Baker with 72 votes (30.7%) and Tubbs with 52 votes (22.2%).

Barbara (Bobbie) Crawford, a write-in candidate, received 17 write-in votes on the machine and one vote by paper ballot.

James R. Walker received 15 votes.

A total of 91 people voted in the election including 86 on election day and five during early voting.

DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department Awarded Federal Grant

September 6, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $241,410 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Operations and Safety Grant, U.S. Representative Bart Gordon announced.

"Many communities struggle to maintain EMS and firefighting services," said Gordon, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "Even though demands of EMS providers and firefighters have increased tremendously over the years, the resources they depend on to provide their life-saving services have not.

That's why Congress initiated the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is similar to the highly successful COPS program that put more than 100,000 new police officers on the nation's streets."

Chief Donny Green said the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding award to purchase 44 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA's), or commonly referred to as "air packs", which will allow for four SCBA?s at each of the 11 stations across the county. These SCBA's cost a little more than $5,000 each.

Green added "Our county budget simply could not afford us to buy this essential safety equipment. The SCBA's currently used by the department's 77 volunteer firefighters are not NFPA compliant and do not offer the most up-to-date safety features that our volunteers deserve. The delivery of these SCBA's will allow our department to be in compliance and provide a higher degree of safety for our 77 volunteer firefighters."

Fire Burns Hay Field

September 6, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A fire Wednesday burned a hay field belonging to Grady Ray on Wright Bend Road in the Belk Community.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says firefighters received a call around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday that a hay field was on fire and that the blaze was getting dangerously close to structures in the area.

Members of the Keltonburg and Belk Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the brush truck and the Tennessee Division of Forestry.

The hay had been cut and mowed but had not yet been raked.

The fire burned the entire twelve acre hay field as well as an acre of an adjoining pasture.

The blaze got close to a barn and house but fire fighters were able to put it out before causing any damage to them.

Green says the fire may have started from the heat or a spark created by the using of the mowing equipment.

No one was injured.

Police Department Applicants Interviewed

September 5, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three applicants to fill vacancies in the Smithville Police Department were interviewed Tuesday afternoon at city hall by Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Vice Mayor/Alderman Steve White, and Smithville Police Department Officer in Charge, Steven Leffew.

Randy King, Joey Jones, and Steve Cowan have expressed an interest in being hired by the city as a police officer.

King, originally from Grundy County, now lives in Warren County and is currently out of law enforcement, working for a company in Jasper. He began his law enforcement career in Tracy City, where he became certified. For financial reasons, King left law enforcement and went into business for himself, before taking a job in Jasper. King was among the top ten in his class when he completed the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Jones, a resident of White County, is also a certified officer and has worked for thirteen years for the White County Sheriff's Department.

Cowan, who lives at Brush Creek, is a certified officer and is currently employed as a security officer for UMC Medical Center in Lebanon. He formerly worked for over 18 years in security at Tennessee State University, and spent a year and a half working for the Smith County Sheriff's Department, before becoming employed at UMC.

Mayor Hendrixson says a decision on hiring some new officers could come soon and would have to be approved by the aldermen at the next regular meeting.

Meanwhile, Mayor Hendrixson says the police department is planning to change the working schedule of it's officers to twelve hour shifts.

Alexandria City Election Set for Thursday

September 5, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three Aldermen will be elected Thursday, September 6th in the Alexandria City Election.

Voting will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Kenneth Sandlin Center at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds.

The official slate of candidates for this election, in addition to the write-in candidacy of Barbara (Bobbie) Crawford include Derrick Baker, Sheila Clayborn, Maureen Tubbs, and James R. Walker.

Crawford's name will not be printed on the ballot. Anyone who wants to vote for her will have to "write in" her name. The voting machines that will be used allow the voter to do this on the machine rather than requesting a paper ballot. According to Tennessee Election Laws paper ballots are only to be used in an emergency situation when voting machines are not available for use.

A total of four people voted early for this election including three by personal appearance and one by mail.

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