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Local News Articles

County Firefighters Respond to Garage Fire

July 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Fire Chief Donny Green

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to a garage fire around noon Monday on Dale Ridge Road.

County Fire Chief Donny Green said a passing motorist spotted smoke coming from Edward Maynard’s detached garage and alerted him as well as Central Dispatch.

According to Chief Green, the fire started shortly after Maynard, who had been mowing, placed his riding lawn mower back in the garage and then went in his house.

When firefighters arrived they saw heavy smoke coming from the garage, which sets only a few feet from Maynard’s home. Chief Green said flames were starting to penetrate the ceiling of the garage into the loft but firefighters were able to bring the fire under control before it spread. The riding lawn mower was destroyed, but the garage, though damaged, was saved.

No one was injured.

Members of the Main Station and Liberty Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and Sheriff’s Department.

School Board Asked to Address Inequities in Supplement Pay for DCHS Coaches

July 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Board Members meet with DCHS Quarterback Club
School Board Asked to Address Inequities in High School Supplement Pay for Coaches

The DeKalb County Board of Education is being asked to address inequities in supplement pay particularly for the football, basketball, and cheer coaches at the high school.

Members of the DCHS Quarterback Club addressed the school board’s athletic oversight committee during a meeting Monday night concerned that the current supplement pay plan does not reward coaches for their value in contributing to the success of their sports programs and for the pride they help instill in the community.

Last month, the school board voted to move $5,000 within categories of the proposed 2016-17 budget to help rectify the inequities for these coaches, whose supplements rank below those in other counties in the district and across the state. While the board has not yet voted on how the extra money would be divided, under consideration is a proposal to give the high school head football and boys basketball coaches, Steve Trapp and Lynus Martin an additional $2,000 and for the high school football and basketball head cheer coaches to each get an extra $500. The new girls basketball coach at DCHS would not get a raise since he has just been hired.

But football boosters say while the board’s move is a step in the right direction, more should be done.

Under the current system, high school head coaches earn a $5,000 supplement per year. Assistant coaches get $2,785 or $2,400 for non-employee assistants. Cheer head coaches receive $835 per year.

Boosters say these sports demand practically a year round commitment from coaches and for the time and effort put in to prepare for each season, they should be compensated accordingly

For example, they point out that Coach Trapp has received the same supplement pay, $5,000 a year for the last twelve years, the same as his predecessor in 2004.

“Coaching is not merely showing up with your team on game day. It is an ongoing process of teaching self-discipline that includes development of life skills; not just athletic skills. Every coach has an opportunity to be a life coach. We are asking our school board members to show meaningful commitment towards recruiting and retaining quality coaches who commit and dedicate themselves to making a difference,” said Donny Green, speaking on behalf of the Boosters.

The Boosters have proposed a new pay plan for the School Board to consider which would require a total increase in budgetary funding of $16,620. This proposal only addresses proposed supplement pay increases for high school football, basketball, and cheer coaches and their assistants and would not affect the pay of coaches or assistants in other sports.

“When comparing supplemental coaching pay across our district, football, basketball, and cheer in DeKalb County rank near the very bottom. In contrast, cross country, golf, tennis, and soccer coach supplemental pays rank # 1 in the district. We need to value all of our coaches in a fair manner,” said Green.

Under the proposal, Boosters asked that the supplement for the high school head football and basketball coaches be increased from $5,000 to $8,000 per year each and that the pay for their assistant coaches (4 for football and 2 for basketball) each be increased from $2,785 ($2,400 for non-employee assistants) to $3,500 each. Supplement pay for the high school football and basketball cheer coaches would go from $835 to $2,500 but it would have to be divided among the head cheer coaches and their assistants.

“Our proposal is simply to accomplish fairness by recognizing and rewarding the value contributed to the success of our sports programs, the image of our school, and pride in our community,” Green said.

Board members acknowledged that the current pay plan for coaches is flawed but contend the problem can’t be fixed overnight. While not signaling whether they favored the Boosters’ plan, members of the School Board say they are committed to working toward a viable solution over the next few months while offering a $5,000 “band aid” approach in the meantime.

Dowelltown Man Charged with Statutory Rape

July 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Nathan Joseph Gohs
Mark Allen Thomas
Clay Andrew Bain

A 20 year old Dowelltown man is charged with two counts of statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a 16 year old girl who is now pregnant.

Nathan Joseph Gohs of Dale Ridge Road is under a $20,000 bond and his court date is July 14.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said from June to July, Gohs allegedly had sex with a 16 year old girl twice at a residence on Students Home Road.

48 year old Mark Allen Thomas of Woodbury is charged with aggravated assault and failure to appear. His bond on the assault charge is $2,500 but he is being held without bond for the separate offense of failure to appear. He will make a court appearance July 14. Sheriff Ray said that on February 25 Thomas allegedly assaulted his sister by hitting her in the face with the handle of a hammer causing redness around the left eye and cheek.

24 year old Clay Andrew Bain of Lakeview Drive, Smithville is charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault, and resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search. He was also served with warrants for violation of an order of protection and violation of probation. His bond totals $19,500 but he is being held without bond for violation of probation. His next court date is July 14.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 24 Bain rammed his automobile into another vehicle forcing it off the roadway into a ditch and putting the driver in danger of serious bodily injury. Bain then became irate and tried to fight the other driver. A deputy came upon the scene and stopped to separate the two men. Bain was ordered to get back in his vehicle and turn the engine off. Instead, Bain drove away.

Bain was also served later with a warrant for intentionally coming about a woman at her residence on Friday, June 24 who has an active order of protection against him through November 12.

Two Arrested on Meth Charges

July 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shannon Lynn Newby
Jessica Lauren Shaffer

A man and woman are facing drug charges after Sheriff’s Department detectives found items used to make methamphetamine in the trunk of their car during a probation search.

50 year old Shannon Lynn Newby of Anthony Avenue, Smithville and 25 year old Jessica Lauren Shaffer of Juniper Lane, Smithville are each charged with promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine. Newby was further issued citations for simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine and methamphetamine) and for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). Shaffer was cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and a schedule II drug (methamphetamine).

Bond for each is $25,000 and they will appear in court on July 14.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, July 7 two detectives conducted a probation search of Newby and Shaffer and found in the trunk of his car, two-18 ounce cans of crystal drano, one bottle of brake fluid, one gallon of Coleman camp fuel, four ice compress cold packs, 30 hypodermic needles, and a blue funnel. All these items are known to be ingredients to produce methamphetamine.

Detectives also found in Newby’s possession .04 grams of methamphetamine, five-60 milligram morphine pills, and .3 grams of marijuana. Found in the floor board of the car was a marijuana cigarette believed to be Schaffer’s and inside her cigarette pack was .1 gram of ice (methamphetamine).

Counselors Available to Assist with Insurance Enrollment

July 11, 2016

The DeKalb County Health Department invites you to receive free, face-to-face assistance with applying for health insurance. Your local county health department has a certified application counselor available to assist with applying for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Affordable Care Act plans, TennCare and CoverKids.

Individuals and families may receive help applying, looking at different health insurance plans and enrolling. All health insurance offered through the Marketplace meets the minimum essential coverage requirements.

Counselors will help you learn about plans for which you qualify based on your income and the number of people in your household. You must apply for Marketplace plans during the open enrollment period beginning in November 2016 and running through February 2017.

You may qualify for a special enrollment period if any of the following happen to you outside of the open enrollment period: losing existing health insurance; moving; getting married; or having a child. You have 60 days from the time of the event to qualify for a special insurance enrollment! Get help throughout the year from your local health center with enrolling in a special enrollment period.

You may also receive assistance with applying for TennCare or CoverKids any time throughout the year.

Call the DeKalb County Health Department today to see about scheduling an appointment.
Megan Kinslow, Certified Application Counselor
DeKalb County Health Department
(615) 597-7599

Boy Scouts Soar to New Heights with Two Eagles

July 11, 2016
by: 
Bill Conger
James Mathis (left) and Nate Sherwood (right) were presented the Eagle award, the highest honor in Boy Scouts at a special ceremony in June
(Left to right) James Sherwood, Will Sherwood, Nate Sherwood, and Jen Sherwood. (Nate's brother, Jim, just received the Eagle award at the end of last year.)
(Left to Right) Will Mathis (brother), Richard Mathis, Eagle Scout James Mathis, and Mary Mathis.

Two members of Boy Scout Troop 347 recently reached the climactic chapter of their scouting career when they received Scouting’s highest honor. Nate Sherwood and James Mathis earned the Eagle Scout award. They were acknowledged for the remarkable accomplishment at the Eagle Court of Honor Sunday, June 12 at Smithville First Methodist Church.

Sherwood is the son of Scout Master’s Will and Jen Sherwood, and Mathis is the son of Richard and Mary Mathis. For his Eagle project, Sherwood cleared overgrowth and cleaned directional signs around Center Hill Lake. Working with the Corps of Engineers for approval, Nate was able to help 4 million visitors have better visibility of creeks and landmarks from the water when they are enjoying the lake. Sherwood started his 11 year venture in scouting as a Tiger Scout, and earned his Arrow of Life award as a Webelo. So far he has earned 35 merit badges as a Boy Scout.

For James’ Eagle Scout project, he planted bushes around the stage at the park next to the Smithville Fire Department. Mathis joined Cub Scouts in 2005, the same year as his friend, Nate, and earned his Arrow of Light in 201.

In other news, 13 boys and 2 adult leaders experienced the great outdoors for summer camp June 19-24 at Camp Craig on the Boxwell Reservation in Gallatin. Jonathan Birmingham, Zackary Cantrell, Carter Dias, Friedrich Dodge, Sebastian Dodge, Jake Ramsey, Cody Robinson, Arthur Sullivan, Jacob Williams, Caleb Taylor, Gavin Conger, Brandon Sabotka, and Darren Waggoner dodged the bugs, enjoyed swimming, fishing, and other activities. Assistant Scout Masters David Robinson and Bill Conger supervised the trip.

Some of the boys took on the challenging high adventures in the C.O.P.E. program. C.O.P.E. stands for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience and comprises a series of outdoor challenges, beginning with basic group initiative games and progressing to more complicated low-course and high-course activities. Scouts also worked on a variety of merit badges including cooking, camping, weather, forestry, music, leather/woodcarving, electricity, digital technology, first aid, and a variety of other activities.

While at camp, elections were held for new troop position. Jonathan Birmingham was chosen as Senior Patrol Leader while Darren Waggoner was named Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Jacob Williams will serve as Chaplin while Arthur Sullivan is the Assistant Chaplin. Friedrich Dodge was chosen as the Order of Arrow Leader.

Named to the position of Patrol Leader were Arthur Sullivan and Cody Robinson while Zackary Cantrell was elected as Assistant Patrol Leader for the Raccoons. Will Stephens will serve as Quartermaster, and Caleb Taylor will be his assistant.

Bain Charged with Evading Arrest

July 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police arrested 24 year old Clay Andrew Bain last week for evading arrest.

An officer was dispatched to South College Street on Wednesday, July 6 due to a suspicious person and Bain was found near the intersection of College and Bryant Streets. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department informed the police officer that Bain had several active warrants against him. When the officer told him that he would have to be taken into custody, Bain attempted to flee and refused to comply with commands to stop. Police caught him shortly afterward. Bain’s bond is $3,500 and his court date is July 28.

39 year old Shannon E. Taylor was arrested on Friday, July 1 for resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search. According to Police, Taylor refused to comply with an officers verbal command to not enter a relative’s residence for fear that Taylor would attempt to cause a family member harm. Taylor had to be physically restrained. Bond for Taylor is $2,500 and her court date is July 21.

19 year old Shawn Anthony Newhouse was cited on Friday, July 1 for disorderly conduct. Police responded to a location on Webb Street during the Fiddler's Jamboree and discovered that Newhouse was engaging in a fight with others and creating a hazardous and physically offensive condition for those around him including children who were present. His court date is July 21.

39 year old Michelle Lee Gurley was cited on Friday, July 1 for shoplifting. Gurley was observed by Wal-Mart employees concealing items in her purse with the intention of depriving the store of its property. Her court date is July 14.

Slow Poke Law Takes Effect

July 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Slow Poke Law went into effect in Tennessee on July 1.

It is designed to keep someone from "camping out" in the fast lane of a highway with three or more lanes.

The law says the fast lane - the one on the far left - is to be used only for overtaking and passing another vehicle.

Those found in violation of the new law are subject to paying a $50 fine.

Bill Summary

This bill prohibits a person from operating a vehicle in the passing lane on an interstate or multilane divided highway that has three or more lanes in each direction, except when overtaking or passing a vehicle that is in a non-passing lane. A violation will be a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine only of $50.00.

The Slow Poke Law will not apply:

(1) When the volume of traffic does not permit the vehicle to safely merge into a non-passing lane;

(2) When inclement weather or an official traffic control device makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane;

(3) When obstructions or hazards exist in a non-passing lane;

(4) When avoiding traffic moving onto the highway from an acceleration or merging lane;

(5) When highway design makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane to exit or turn left;

(6) To authorized emergency vehicles engaged in official duties; or

(7) To vehicles engaged in highway maintenance and construction operations.

Watertown Man Airlifted After Motorcycle Crash

July 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Watertown Man Airlifted After Motorcycle Crash
Billy Mark Judkins was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb West School where he was airlifted by a helicopter ambulance.

A Watertown man was airlifted after a motorcycle crash Saturday on Highway 70 between Dowelltown and Liberty.

According to Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 50 year old Billy Mark Judkins was riding a 2002 Victory motorcycle heading east when he failed to negotiate a curve, went off the left side of the highway, and struck an embankment.

Judkins was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb West School where he was airlifted by a helicopter ambulance.

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Liberty Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, and Constable Mark Milam were also on the scene.

5th annual Earl Judkins Golf Classic Set for Saturday, July 30

July 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The 5th annual Earl Judkins Golf Classic will be held Saturday, July 30 at Smithville Golf Course to raise money for 4 year old Karly Campbell who was diagnosed with leukemia in February. She is the daughter of Alex and Marly Campbell of Smithville.

The event is hosted by the Cantrell Cancer Benefit Foundation and all proceeds will go directly to benefit Karly and her family. “Karly was diagnosed this year but is on the up and up from what her parents tell us but that doesn’t mean she is done with treatment. She is still going to be going through some pretty rigorous tests just to make sure she is in the clear so we want to help her out as much as we can,” said Caroline Cantrell.

The golf classic began five years ago to help families who have been affected by cancer. “We are looking to serve families who have been affected by cancer. Cancer has hit our family a couple of times pretty hard. We know how hard it is to struggle and we want to just help those families,” said Tyler Cantrell.

Those wishing to be served must first apply. A committee then reviews the applications and selects a recipient each year. The man for whom the classic is named, the late Earl Judkins, was an avid golfer and a cancer patient.

“Our family was affected by cancer five years ago with my sister the late Amy Miller so we know how hard it is for families. My great uncle Earl Judkins, the man for whom the classic is named passed away several years ago from colon cancer,” said Tyler.

Previous recipients of the benefit golf classic were Amy Miller, Chrissy Means, Gracie Dezarn, and Edith Johnson McReynolds.

This Golf Classic begins with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. The entry fee is $60 for an individual golfer or $240 for a team of four. (Includes 18 holes with cart and meal-mulligans can be bought prior to the shotgun start). Lunch will be provided. Door prizes and a raffle will be available but no cash prizes.

“We’re looking for any golfer. It doesn’t matter if you are a scratch golfer or a soon to be pro. Its a four man team. You can bring your own team but if you don’t have a team we can put you with anybody. We are just looking to benefit this little girl and her family,” said Tyler.

The entry deadline is Friday, July 15. The format is a 4-person A,B,C,D, Scramble/Own Team-Best Ball. For more information contact Tyler Cantrell at tcantrell@cosma.com. Like them on Facebook at Cantrell Cancer Benefit Foundation or Phone 1-931-239-5948 or contact the Smithville Golf Course to sign up at 615-597-6648. Donations may be made to the Cantrell Cancer Benefit Foundation. Mail to 625 Foster Road, Smithville, TN 37166 or bring them by Center Hill Cross Fit.

Meanwhile, a Cross Fit competition will be held the weekend before the golf classic which will also serve as a benefit for Karly. Call or email to get more information.

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