Local News Articles

DeKalb County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud

June 6, 2008

A woman from DeKalb County has been charged with TennCare fraud related to selling prescription drugs in Macon County that were paid for by TennCare.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 24-year old Jamie Kay Hatcher, of Smithville. The arrest was the result of a joint effort with the 15th Judicial District Drug Task Force. She turned herself in at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

An indictment accuses her of fraudulently obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone on two separate occasions using TennCare to pay for the prescriptions, and then selling a portion of the pills.

“The illegal trafficking of prescription drugs is a problem we’re dealing with in Tennessee, just as other states try to tackle the problem,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “But in TennCare, people who participate in selling drugs paid for by taxpayers should understand that we are vigorously enforcing the state laws we’ve worked for that make this a serious crime.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson is prosecuting.

The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of almost 700 individuals for TennCare fraud, with over $800,000 paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $75 million, according to latest figures.

Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud".

DeKalb County Fair to Feature New Events

June 4, 2008
Dwayne Page
Off Road Challenge

DeKalb Fair to Present New Event-Tennessee Off Road Challenge

The DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria will be held Monday through Saturday July 21st through July 26th.

The fair will feature at least two new events this year, the Tennessee Off-Road Challenge and Tennessee Top Model Audition for females ages 15 to 29.

Fair Manager Jeff McMillen says the Tennessee Off-Road Challenge will be Monday night during the fair at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilltop Arena. "It's these four wheel drive vehicles that climb rock and we'll have a 200 foot obstacle course for those type vehicles. We're expecting it to be a good event and a big event. Hopefully, it'll turn out to be a weekend event instead of a Monday night event eventually."

DeKalb Idol will be back this year. Audition nightly at the DeKalb Idol Tent from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. to compete in the final competition Saturday night for $300. A brand new "People's Choice" voted on by the audience compete's for a $100 cash prize.

Participants in fair pageants (Fairest of the Fair, Junior Fair Princess, Little Miss and Mister, Miss Sweetheart, and Little Miss Princess) may register on-line at www.studiosixlimited.com or www.dekalbcountyfair.us or you may register in person at the fairgrounds on Saturday, July 19th.

Parents wishing to register their children in the baby and toddler shows may obtain an application on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us. Just print off the form and send it in or stop by
the Smithville Review for a registration form.

The fair will feature lots of delicious foods and many commercial, agricultural, and women's exhibits.

The Kenneth Sandlin Center will be open Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Non-Perishable exhibits ONLY will be accepted Saturday, July 12th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and all Perishable exhibits ONLY will be accepted Saturday, July 19th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Exhibit rule books are available at your local Post Office, Library, Chamber of Commerce, Liberty State Bank, DeKalb Community Bank or at www.dekalbcountyfair.us or www.dekalbtn.com.

Enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village featuring Blue Grass music, LIVE bands, Karree Phillips, a Bassoon Concert, Southern Dreams Band, Al Mahan, Karaoke, Clogging and Square Dancing, Terri Lynn Weaver, Meet Elvis, Bluegrass Express Cloggers, Tae Kwon Do Demonstrations, Martial Arts Demonstration, Krystal Marie, Jubal's Cry, Crossfire Band, the Country Giant Band, the DCHS Band, the Saturday Nite Two Step and more!

Every night is T-shirt night! Wear any DeKalb County Fair T-shirt from ANY YEAR and ask for your ticket to win great BONUS PRIZES during the $1,000 cash giveaway each night at 9:00 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion. Request tickets at the gate.

The following events are scheduled:

Monday, July 21st: National Anthem at 5:45 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion; T-Shirt Preview at 5:50 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; Cattle Show at 6:00 p.m. at the grandstands ; Off-Road Challenge at the Hilltop Arena at 6:30 p.m.; Junior Fair Princess Pageant at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Fairest of the Fair Pageant at the Lions Club Pavilion. $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m. and announcement of DeKalb Idol winners at the Pavilion.

Tuesday, July 22nd: 4-H Lamb Cooking Demonstration; the Little Mr. and Miss Pageant at 6:00 p.m. followed by David Turner and Friends at the Lions Club Pavilion; Go-Cart Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Arena; and a Horse Show at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m. and announcement of DeKalb Idol winners at the Pavilion.

Wednesday, July 23rd: Little Miss Princess Pageant at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Pageant at the Lions Club Pavilion; Four Wheeler and Motorcycle Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Arena; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m. and announcement of DeKalb Idol winners at the Pavilion.

Thursday, July 24th: Senior Citizen Day activities at 9:00 a.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; 4-H Chick Chain Show at 5:00 p.m. at the barn; Junior Goat Show at 6:00 p.m. at the barn; a Baby Show at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Vintage Fashion Show at the Lions Club Pavilion; and Lawn Mower Racing at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Arena; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m. and announcement of DeKalb Idol winners at the Pavilion.

Friday, July 25th: WSMV Channel 4 Snow Bird from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Toddler Show at 6:00 p.m. followed by Tennessee Top Model at the Lions Club Pavilion; an Antique Tractor Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Arena; and a Demolition Derby at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m. and announcement of DeKalb Idol winners at the Pavilion.

Saturday, July 26th: A Horse Shoe Tournament at 3:00 p.m. at the barn; and a Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Arena: DeKalb Idol Final Competition at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion followed by Gospel Singing; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m.

One thousand dollars in cash will be given away each night, Monday through Saturday and you must be present to win. If no one presents the winning ticket within three minutes, the money will be saved and given away on Saturday night in increments of $1,000. Your fair admission ticket is your ticket for the cash drawing.

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available each night for $16.00.

Admission to the fair is $3.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us or www. dekalbtn.com.

Pedigo Injured in Wednesday Morning Wreck

June 4, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 20 year old Smithville man was injured in a wreck around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday on Dale Ridge Road.

Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Roy Pedigo of Kendra Drive was driving north in a 2005 Chevy Colorado when he went off the road, over an embankment, and struck a tree.

Pedigo was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

DeKalb County Appraised Property Values Updated by State

June 3, 2008
Dwayne Page

If you have received a card in the mail within the last few days that resembles a property tax bill, look a littler closer. What you have is actually a notice of a Tennessee Assessment Change Notice regarding your property.

DeKalb County is among nine other counties in Tennessee undergoing a current value update (CVU) for the 2008 tax year.

When a county is on a six year reappraisal cycle, such as DeKalb County, a current value update is required in the third year of the cycle. This update is applied to those subgroups within the county that have fallen below current market value. Therefore, some properties appraised values may or may not increase in a CVU. Additions and or improvements to your property since the last reappraisal cycle can affect how much you pay in property taxes.

The notice you have received shows the appraised and assessed values for property tax purposes for your property. The assessed value is a percentage of appraised value determined by state law according to the classification of the property (residential, commercial/industrial, farm, or public utility). A local tax rate is then applied to the assessed value to determine the amount of taxes due.

Once reappraisal is completed in the cycle, the state reduces the property tax rate in the cities and county to a new certified rate to generate the same revenues as the previous tax rate. Local governments can set property tax rates higher than the certified rates following public hearings.

DeKalb County's property tax rate, currently at $1.70, will go to a new certified rate of $1.45. Smithville's rate will drop from 68 cents to 62 cents and the rate for Alexandria will go from 85 cents to 76 cents per $100 of assessed value.

For more information call 597-5110. You may also file an appeal with the DeKalb County Board of Equalization which will meet June 9th through June 20th from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the courthouse.

Aldermen Adopt New Budget on First Reading

June 2, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday night adopted on first reading the proposed 2008-2009 budget.

The vote was 3 to 1 in favor. Aldermen Cecil Burger, Steve White, and Jerry Hutchins, Sr. voted in favor while Alderman Willie Thomas voted no. Alderman Tonya Sullivan was absent.

The new budget totals $6-million 041thousand 360 dollars. Under the new spending plan, the property tax rate will remain the same at 68 cents per $100 of assessed value until the aldermen consider approval of the new certified tax rate, which will be 62 cents as the result of property reappraisal.

The new budget calls for the water and sewer rates to remain the same. City water customers will continue to pay $3.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $3.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are 50% higher. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District is $1.80 per thousand gallons but will increase to $1.85 for January 1st, 2009 sales.

City sewer customers, under the new budget, will continue to pay the flat usage rate of $3.62 plus $3.25 per thousand gallons thereafter.

Water tap fees for customers inside the city limits is $400 for a three quarter inch water line and the sewer tap fee is $400 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, the fees are cost plus 10%. For customers outside the city limits, water tap fees are $525 for a three quarter inch line and $525 for a four inch sewer line. Again, if the lines are larger, then the fees are cost plus 10%.

The proposed budget calls for city employees with up to four years of service to get their automatic step pay increases as defined in the wage scale plus a 4.3% cost of living increase. City employees with more than four years of service, who have topped out on the wage scale will only get the 4.3% cost of living increase.

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $949,000. Specific projects are as follows: Financial Administration- $7,500 including $5,000 for a computer upgrade and $2,500 unspecified; Parks and Recreation- $25,000 unspecified; Public Works/Buildings and Grounds- $15,000 unspecified; City Hall Building Alteration per ADA- $10,000 including $5,000 for handicapped rehabilitation and $5,000 unspecified; Fire Protection- $10,000 unspecified; Street Department- $40,000 including $10,000 for downtown beautification and $30,000 unspecified; Police Department- $14,000 unspecified; Swimming Pool- $10,000 for capital repairs; Airport- $810,000 unspecified (grant funds); Animal Shelter- $5,000 unspecified; Sanitation Fund- $5,000 and Drug Fund- $5,000 unspecified.

Proposed water and sewer fund Fixed Asset Additions: 2 trucks- $10,000; an update of sewer plant equipment- $40,000; an update of the water plant and engineering fees- $300,000; a sewer rehabilitation camera-$20,000. Debt repayment-principal: bonds- $210,000

Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

Second and final reading action will follow a public hearing at the meeting on Monday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Wreath Laid to Commemorate Confederate Memorial Day

June 2, 2008

Wreath Laid to Commemorate Confederate Memorial Day

June third is Confederate Memorial Day in Tennessee, a "special day of observance" as declared in the Tennessee Code Annotated and as proclaimed by Gov. Bredesen. To honor the patriotic troops who served the Confederacy with honor and distinction, the Savage-Goodner Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans in DeKalb County has placed wreaths to mark the occasion at the Confederate monument on the south side of the DeKalb County Courthouse, the grave of the Unknown Confederate Soldier in the Smithville Town Cemetery, and at the John Hunt Morgan Confederate Monument on the public square in Alexandria.

The designation of June third as Confederate Memorial Day stems from that date being the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America. This year holds special significance as it marks the 200th anniversary of the distinguished statesman's birth. Events are being held all over the South in recognition of one of the truly great political servants of his generation.

Most people do not know about the greatness of the man who would ascend to the Confederacy's highest office. For example, American history books do not tell of Jim Limber, a young mulatto slave boy whom Davis' wife, Varina, rescued from an abusive slave owner. The Davises informally adopted young Jim, who took the Davis family name. He resided with the family until the end of the War between the States when Union soldiers forcibly took Jim away. The Davises spent much of the rest of their lives trying to locate their adopted son, but what happened to him remains a mystery. Such is the "true" history of the South that is almost always left out of the history books.

Suspect in Hit and Run Forced off the Road during Pursuit after Sideswiping Deputy's Patrol Car

June 1, 2008
Dwayne Page

A Smithville man, allegedly involved in a hit and run, was arrested Saturday night after he sideswiped a patrol car while trying to get away in his car and then had to be forced off the road by the officer in pursuit.

49 year old Robert "Bobby" Turner of Smithville is charged with a second offense of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, evading arrest, and reckless endangerment. Total bond was set at $21,500 and his court date is June 19th. Turner also received a
citation for violation of the implied consent law.

A warrants check on Turner also revealed that he was wanted on outstanding charges in Conway, South Carolina for a failure to appear on a 2nd degree burglary charge. The Sheriff's Department will also be seeking a Fugitive from Justice warrant here in DeKalb County.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says DeKalb County Central Dispatch, at 5:28 p.m. Saturday, received a call
about a hit and run driver at the intersection of Dry Creek Road and Game Ridge Road, Smithville. The caller stated that someone had hit their vehicle and a male subject who was driving, gave the caller an insurance card and then fled the scene. A county deputy, Roger Whitehead, spotted the hit and run vehicle at the intersection of Short Mountain Road and Whorton Springs Road. Deputy Whitehead was able to get the vehicle stopped and as he
approached the car, Officer Whitehead noticed the driver of the vehicle, Robert "Bobby" Turner, appeared to be under the influence. Deputy Whitehead asked Turner to turn the engine
off but Turner cursed at him. In an attempt to turn the vehicle off before Turner could drive off, Officer Whitehead reached in the vehicle but Turner said he was leaving and pulled off. Officer Whitehead then returned to his car in an attempt to pull Turner over again.

Trooper Shannon Brinkley, who investigated the sideswiping incident, said Officer Whitehead got in pursuit and tried to pass Turner's car on Whorton Springs Road to get him stopped, but Turner intentionally sideswiped Whitehead's patrol car. According to Trooper Brinkley, Officer Whitehead, in order to stop Turner and in the interest of public safety, used his patrol car to force Turner's vehicle off the road. Turner's car went through a wire fence and stopped in a field off the road. Turner was taken into custody. Trooper Brinkley said Officer Whitehead did what he had to do under the circumstances. No one was injured.

33 year old Misty Lee Felton of Young Ridge Road, Smithville was charged Tuesday with a first offense of driving while intoxicated. Sheriff Ray says deputies responded to an automobile accident near Felton's residence. Officers administered field sobriety tasks which she failed. Bond for Felton was set at $1,500 and she will appear in court on June 12th.

36 year old Don Diamond Groshon of Cookeville Highway was extradited Wednesday on a sealed indictment from the April Grand Jury. Sheriff Ray says Groshon was indicted on a charge of hindering secured creditors over $10,000.00. Groshon was stopped in Stephens County, Georgia for a traffic violation and upon a warrants check by that Department; he was arrested on the DeKalb County charge. Groshon's bond was set at $10,000.00 and his court date is June 6th.

43 year old Joseph John Muse of Short Mountain Highway was arrested Thursday for a second offense of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. Sheriff Ray says deputies responded to a domestic call on Highway 70 East. While officers were enroute, the complainant advised that the individuals had left and provided a description of the vehicle. Upon a stop of the vehicle, Muse was found to be intoxicated and had a suspended driver's license. Muse was also written a citation for violation of the implied consent law after he refused an alcohol/blood test. Bond for Muse was set at $4,000 and his court date is June 19th.

Sheriff Ray says deputies also noticed in Muses' vehicle a lot of new craftsman tool. A
county detective was then contacted. Detectives learned that Muse and a female went to the Sears store in Warren County and wrote several large checks for 3 refrigerators, 3 air conditioners, 2 television sets, 3 tool boxes, a zero turn lawn mower, and a large amount of hand tools.

Local detectives were able to recover most of the items in DeKalb County. Warren County Detectives will be seeking other charges there.

Meanwhile, on Saturday 45 year old Brain Scott Cannon of Peeled Chestnut Road, Sparta was
arrested for a third offense of driving under the influence. Deputies responded to an automobile accident on Wright Bend Road and found Cannon to be under the influence. Cannon submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Cannon was arrested and bond was set at $4,500. He will be in court June 12th

Three Sentenced on Drug Charges in DeKalb County Criminal Court

May 30, 2008
Dwayne Page

Three people were sentenced by Judge Leon Burns, Jr. on drug charges in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday.

33 year old James H. Patton IV pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a five year sentence, all suspended to department of corrections probation except for 30 days on weekends with one year of probation to be supervised by community corrections. Patton was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $260 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. He must also perform 100 hours of community service work.

20 year old Frank Hart pleaded guilty to simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days to be served on supervised probation. He was fined $250 and must perform 25 hours of community service work.

47 year old Jerry Lee Price pleaded guilty to facilitation to deliver a schedule III and IV controlled substance and received a two year sentence on TDOC probation in each case to run concurrently. He was fined $2,000 and he must perform 100 hours of community service work.

Eight People Involved In Three Vehicle Wreck Near Hurricane Bridge

May 27, 2008
Dwayne Page

Eight people were involved in a three vehicle wreck Monday night around 7:40 p.m. on Highway 56 north near Hurricane Bridge, including an off duty Smithville Police Officer, who was in his personal vehicle.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 39 year old Julie Ann Rogers of Murfreesboro was driving south in a 2005 Jeep Liberty when she failed to negotiate a curve, slid across the road, and struck a northbound 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix head-on, driven by 26 year old Travis K. Bryant of Algood, an off duty Smithville Police Officer. Meanwhile, after the initial crash, a 2000 Chevy Tracker, driven by 19 year old Jacob Kyle Walker of Cookeville, rear-ended Bryant's car.

Rogers and her son and daughter, 9 year old Phillip Hall and 13 month old Alana Hall were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. The baby, who was in a child safety seat, was not hurt. The boy suffered burns to his face when the air bag in front of him deployed. Mrs. Rogers was also injured. They were treated and released from the hospital.

Bryant and a passenger of his car, 21 year old Darla Emberton of Smithville were taken by DeKalb EMS to Cookeville Regional Hospital.

Walker and passengers of his truck, 21 year old Joshua Benton Ragland and 20 year old Grant Matheny Cooper all of Cookeville were not injured.

Trooper Jennings says Rogers was charged with failure to maintain the proper lane of travel and violation of the financial responsibility law.

Walker was charged with violation of the registration law, violation of the financial responsibility law, a drivers license violation, and consumption of alcohol under age 21.

Cooper was also charged with consumption of alcohol under age 21.

SUV Goes Over Embankment on Big Rock Road

May 27, 2008
Dwayne Page

Click image to enlarge.

Four people were injured Monday afternoon around 4:45 p.m. when the 1997 Ford Explorer they were in went off Big Rock Road and over a steep embankment.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 43 year old David Spencer Vaughn of 714 South College Street was driving north in the Ford Explorer, going too fast, and failed to properly negotiate a curve. The SUV went off the road to the left, but Vaughn overcorrected, causing the vehicle to go back across the road and overturn. The SUV went off the right side of the road and rolled approximately 150 to 200 feet down an embankment, before coming to rest upright on it's wheels in the hollow below.

42 year old Michelle Paiva-Nunez, her 14 year old son, Keith Clifford Lafreniere II, and 43 year old Ellis Dywane Mullins, all of 715 Long Street, were passengers of the Ford Explorer.

According to Trooper Jennings, Vaughn, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected as the SUV began to overturn. The passengers were restrained.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Extrication Team and DeKalb County Rescue Squad were on the scene along with DeKalb EMS.

Firefighters had to pry open one of the doors to the vehicle to get to Paiva-Nunez, who was trapped.

Because of the steep climb back up the hill to the road, a basket and rope were used to carry Paiva-Nunez. The other two, Mullins and Lafreniere, apparently made it back up under their own power.

All except Vaughn were transported from the scene by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. Vaughn initially refused treatment and was taken to the DeKalb County Jail, where he was charged with driving under the influence, felony reckless endangerment, violation of the implied consent law, not wearing a seatbelt, and violation of the financial responsibility law. His bond is $12,500. Vaughn was later released and taken to a Nashville hospital for treatment, after complaining of pains.

The crash was investigated by Troopers Dewaine Jennings and Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Meanwhile, a 24 year old man was injured in another wreck Monday night around 9:45 p.m. at a different location on Big Rock Road.

Trooper Todd Logan of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Brandon Taylor of Smithville was driving a 2003 Chevy Silverado pickup truck south when he went off the road.

According to Trooper Logan, Taylor claims he was blinded by the bright lights from an oncoming vehicle as he came around a curve, causing him to go off the road and some 20 feet off an embankment.

Taylor was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated and released.


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