Local News Articles

Another Driftwood Fire at Dismal Bridge

June 15, 2011
Dwayne Page
County Firefighters Battle Debris Fire at Dismal Bridge

For the second time since September, someone has set a fire which spread to the debris and driftwood underneath the Dismal bridge on the Alexandria to Dismal Road over Smith Fork Creek

Central dispatch received the call at 5:10 a.m. this morning (Wednesday)

County Fire Chief Donny Green said members of the Main Station and the Liberty and Cookeville Highway stations rushed to the scene upon receiving the call and when they arrived, firefighters found a blaze coming from under the bridge. "We found where three campfires had been set near the bridge and it appeared one of them spread to the debris underneath the bridge. A witness who was at the creek fishing overnight saw a suspicious vehicle in the area. We have a description of that vehicle and the Sheriff's Department is investigating at this time," said Chief Green.

Green said this bridge poses a particular problem with accumulating debris. "As we get heavy rainfall the debris comes up under the bridge and accumulates. A fire like this can then cause a lot of damage to the bridge. It also causes a lot of problems for us (firefighters) because we have trouble getting to it with our equipment. We do have a floating pump that we set up this morning to get water out of the creek to extinguish the fire," said Chief Green.

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge, who was also on the scene, said he will contact the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who may have to inspect the bridge to determine if there is any structural damage.

The bridge remains open.

Woman held at Knifepoint During CarJacking at Silver Point, Suspect Remains at Large

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page
Lisa Mackie (WKRN Photo)
Store Surveillance Photo of Carjacking Victim (WKRN Photo)

A man who held a woman at knifepoint during a carjacking in the Silver Point community Tuesday morning remains at large.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the man, described as being bald, in his 30's, was last seen wearing Levi blue jean shorts and a yellow shirt. The victim, after escaping from the vehicle, was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

According to Sheriff Ray, the suspect walked up to a home in the Silver point community of DeKalb County, where a woman, Lisa Mackie, was outside doing some garden work. The man told her that he had run out of fuel and needed a ride to the gas station. The woman gave him a ride to one of the businesses near Interstate 40 but as she drove in, the man pulled a knife, pointed it at her throat, and ordered her to keep driving. The woman immediately got out of the car and the suspect took control of the vehicle and drove north on Highway 56 a short distance before he wrecked the car. The man then turned the car around and drove back into DeKalb County where he wrecked the vehicle again at Captains Point Road. The man then got out of the car and fled on foot.

Putnam and DeKalb County officers rushed to the scene immediately after the incident and conducted a ground search. They also made contact with some of the residents in the area to alert them.

Sheriff Ray said the suspect's car was found at the intersection of Lafever Ridge Road and Highway 56 north at Silver Point.

If you have information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect call 911 or Central dispatch at 215-3000. If you believe you have seen the suspect, do not confront him.

Michael Mathis Overall Winner of Third Annual Relay for Life 5K

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page
Denise Hackett Photo

Michael Mathis was the overall winner of the third annual "Relay for Life 5K and One Mile Fun Run held Saturday morning in Smithville to benefit the American Cancer Society. He ran the course in 19 minutes and 38 seconds, a new course record.

Doris Graham was the overall winner among females. Her time was 27 minutes and 36 seconds.

In the One Mile Fun Run, Macey Hedge took first place, finishing the course in 8 minutes and 35 seconds.

Fifty seven runners took part in the event, which originated and ended at Greenbrook Park, This year's Relay raised $1,250.

5K winners are as follows:

Youth ages 12-18
1st place- Bryson Greer: 36:12

Women ages 19-29
1st place- Natalie Ivy: 29:12
2nd place- Casey Agee: 29:36
3rd place- Allie Hacket: 29:42

Men ages 19-29
1st place-James Ivy: 20:17
2nd place- Josh Miller: 24:29
3rd place- Matt Stephens: 26:57

Women ages 30-39
1st place- Melissa Ruch: 29:17
2nd place- Deana Ruth Cantrell:29:37
3rd place- Christy Moore: 33:57

Men ages 30-39
1st place- Michael Mathis: 19:38 (new record)
2nd place- Travis Crouch: 20:13
3rd place- Rolando Navarro: 22:31

Women ages 40-49
1st place- Doris Graham: 27:36
2nd place- Beth Stephens: 37:20
3rd place- June Keith: 41:30

Men ages 40-49
No runners in this category

Women ages 50-59
1st place- Joan Barrett: 32:09
2nd place- Judy Adcock: 39:03
3rd place- Barbara Wall:42:19

Men ages 50-59
1st place- Lonnie Swope: 24:41
2nd place- Jerry Adcock: 26:37
3rd place- Joe Hackett: 30:11

Women ages 60 and over
1st place- Judy Tatanis: 37:43
2nd place- Janice Cochran: 44:23
3rd place- Frances Netherton:53:34

One Mile Fun Run
1st place- Macey Hedge: 8:35
2nd place- Cheryl Vance and Angela Miller:16:04 (tie)

UCHRA Announces Program Policy Changes

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page

The State of Tennessee Department of Human Services recently announced a policy change regarding the application process through UCHRA’s county offices for families and individuals applying for energy assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and for emergency assistance through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

For both programs the current contract year, which began July 1, 2010 and would normally end June 30, 2011, will be extended an additional three months to end September 30, 2011. Clients who were served during the July – June period will not be eligible to apply again until October 1, 2011. During the three-month period from July 1 – September 30 applications will be accepted only from eligible households that were not served during the previous 12-month period.

“This is a significant change in policy,” stated Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director. “These programs have operated on a July – June year since UCHRA began administering them in the early ‘80s, and I believe they have always been awarded based upon the State fiscal year.”

According to the Department of Human Services the reason for the change is that the Federal fiscal year is October 1 – September 30, and funds for these programs are appropriated for that period. DHS feels that planning and coordination of both LIHEAP and CSBG will be improved by aligning the LIHEAP and CSBG funding with the Federal fiscal year.

“We are concerned about getting word of this significant change out to the public, and especially to households that are used to being able to apply for LIHEAP and/or CSBG beginning July 1,” said Lee Webb, UCHRA Community Services Director. “UCHRA is doing everything possible to circulate this information to everyone affected.”

Anyone having questions regarding this policy change may contact the DeKalb Countyoffice located at 527 West Main Street, Smithville, TN 37166, or phone (615) 597-4504. For more information on programs available in your county, go to www.uchra.com/dekalbcounty.html.

Qualifying Deadline Approaching for Alexandria City Election

June 14, 2011
Dwayne Page

Noon Thursday, June 16 is the qualifying deadline for the Alexandria City Election.

No one has qualified to run so far.

The City of Alexandria will conduct an election September 1, 2011 for the purpose of electing three aldermen.
The seats up for election are currently held by Derrick Baker, Darrell Dixon and one currently vacant seat.

Qualifying Petitions can be picked up at the DeKalb County Election Commission Office in Room 104 of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Smithville.

The last day to register to vote in the Alexandria election is August 2

Local Businesses Urged to Participate in 10th Annual Project Welcome Mat

June 13, 2011
Liberty State Bank participates in Project Welcome Mat
Liberty State Bank Two Sided Sign Welcoming Jamboree Visitors

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all local businesses to help welcome visitors to the 40th annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival by participating in the 10th annual "Project Welcome Mat"

Businesses having changeable signs or marquees are asked to post welcome greetings for our Jamboree visitors. The wording may be only a simple "Welcome to the Jamboree" or as elaborate as you choose. Executive Director of the Chamber, Suzanne Williams, says, “With thousands of visitors coming into town, every effort should be made by the local merchants to show our guests that we appreciate them and welcome their business. The program has been successful over the past years with many businesses participating. Let's keep on showing folks how friendly the DeKalb County / Smithville area can be!”

All businesses may participate in "Project Welcome Mat." There will be recognition awards in 3 categories: "Best Worded," "Most Original" and the "People's Choice Award." Plaques will be presented to winners along with media recognition.

If your business would like to participate in the contest, email the Chamber at dekalbtn@dtccom.net or call 597-4163. Wording should be in place no later than Friday, June 24, 2011.

County Crime News

June 13, 2011
Dwayne Page
Clay Andrew Bain
Elizabeth Rochelle Bradshaw
Richard Neal Meyers
William Joseph Post
Tonya Gail Brennan

In his latest update on crime news, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that 19 year old Clay Andrew Bain of Lakeview Drive, Smithville was issued a citation on Monday, June 6 for driving on a suspended license. Less than an hour later Bain was caught driving again and arrested for driving on a suspended license. Bain was further charged with simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance (Hydrocodone) and cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and simple possession of drug paraphernalia (marijuana pipe). He will appear in court on June 30. His bond totals $5,000.

Sheriff Ray reports that Bain pulled up to DeKalb County Jail in his truck. A deputy, having knowledge that Bain's drivers license were suspended for traffic violations, issued a citation. The officer then advised Bain to leave the truck where it was parked and not to be driving it. About thirty five minutes later, Bain got into his truck and drove it across the public square to another parking spot. Bain was placed under arrest. Upon conducting a pat down search at the jail, the arresting officer found a marijuana pipe and a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in Bain's pocket along with five pills believed to be hydrocodone.

27 year old Elizabeth Rochelle Bradshaw of Halls Hollow Road, Smithville is charged with resisting arrest. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court on June 16.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Tuesday, June 7 a deputy went to Bradshaw's residence to arrest her for violation of probation stemming from a case in another county. After receiving consent from the property owner to search the home, Bradshaw was found hiding in a bedroom closet. After being discovered, Bradshaw then tried to run out of the room and refused to comply with the officer's commands to stop resisting arrest. She was eventually placed in custody.

38 year old Richard Neal Meyers of Hickory Place, Smithville was charged on Tuesday, June 7 with a seventh offense of driving on a suspended license. Meyers was also issued a citation for failure to yield to a stop sign. His bond totals $7,500 and he will be in court June 15.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy while on routine patrol noticed that a vehicle failed to yield to a stop sign at Lakeview Drive on Highway 56 north. The officer stopped the automobile and asked the driver, Meyers, for his license. Meyers told the deputy that he did not have a license because they were suspended. A computer check revealed that Meyers' license were suspended for failure to satisfy citations in other counties.

39 year old William Joseph Post of Ditty Road, Cookeville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on June 16.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Saturday, June 11 a deputy was dispatched to the Austin Bottom boat ramp to check on a possible traffic accident. Upon arrival, the officer saw a man lying in the road beside of a vehicle that was in a ditch. While speaking to the man, Post, the deputy detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His speech was slurred and when he stood, Post was very unsteady on his feet. Complaining of chest pains, Post was taken by ambulance to the emergency room of the hospital. After being released, Post was placed under arrest for public intoxication.

While at the Austin Bottom boat ramp, the officer was informed that three other persons had been in the vehicle and pointed toward the woods. When the deputy shined a light toward the woods, he saw a male and female in the tree line, unclothed and engaging in sexual activity. The officer advised them to get dressed. The female, 47 year old Tonya Gail Brennan of Medlen Road Baxter, got dressed and came toward the officer but the man ran away. Upon speaking to the woman, Brennan, the officer noticed that her speech was very slurred, she was unsteady on her feet, and she had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Brennan was charged with public intoxication. She was further cited for indecent exposure. Her bond totals $1,500 and she will be in court on June 16.

DeKalb Young Democrats Attend State Convention

June 13, 2011
Emma Rigsby, Jordan Wilkins, Eli Gill

DeKalb Young Democrats attended the Tennessee Young Democrats' State Convention held in Lebanon on Saturday, June 11.

Members attending were Jordan Wilkins--President; Eli Gill-- Vice President; and Emma Rigsby---Secretary/Treasurer.

Wilkins ran for and was elected to the 6th Congressional District Representative seat for males. He was also appointed to be Chairperson of the Tennessee Young Democrats' High School Outreach Caucus.

Rigsby ran for and was elected to the 6th Congressional District Representative seat for females. She was also appointed to serve as a member on the High School Outreach Caucus.

Gill was appointed to serve as a member of the High School Outreach Caucus.

Officials said DeKalb County has excellent representation at the State Level in the Young Democrats' organization.

Joyce Hendrixson, ex-officio advisor to the DeKalb County Young Democrats, accompanied the Young Democrats to the convention.

The DeKalb Young Democrats wish to thank James Hale for his sponsorship of the Young Democrats' participation in the State Convention.

(Pictured above left to right: Emma Rigsby, Jordan Wilkins, and Eli Gill)

13th Annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run Set for July 2nd

June 12, 2011
Dwayne Page
2010  5K Winners: Christopher England of Atlanta (pictured with son). Also pic

The 13th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will be Saturday, July 2nd, the weekend of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree. All proceeds from the race will be used in building the 4th Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County, which will be constructed this fall.

The race begins promptly at 7:00 a.m. rain or shine on Highway 56 north in front of the Family Medical Center. The race ends on Church Street.

Christopher England of Atlanta, Georgia was the 2010 overall winner of the 5K. He completed the course in 17:54. England also holds the course record at 16:30 in 2008.

Sara Terashima of Richmond, Indiana was the 2010 overall winner for females. She finished the course in 20:53.

Caroline Payne of Gainesville, Florida holds the course record for females at 20:02 in 2004.

A new category was created last year for the male and female masters. Lee Piccirillo of Murfreesboro was the overall winner in the male masters. His time was 19:23.

In the female masters, Lisanne McLaurine of Liberty was the overall winner. Her time was 24:07

Tate Chumley of Murfreesboro was the overall winner of the 2010 One Mile Fun Run. His time was 7:15

Macy Hedge of Smithville completed the course in 7:38, the best among females.

A total of 365 runners competed in the 2010 race including 283 in the 5K and 82 in the One Mile Fun Run, which was the second largest in the 12 year history of this race. The 2009 race was the largest with 387 participants.

The following is a short video clip of the 2009 Fiddler 5K race

The 2011 Registration for the 5K or Fun Run is as follows:

Adults rates (over 18)
Adults Pre-Race: $20
Adults Day of Race: $25

Youth rates (18 and younger)
Youth Pre-Race: $15
Youth Day of Race: $20

Re-registration options:
Pre-register online at www.active.com until June 29th midnight

Pre-register by mail by printing a form at www.fiddler5k.com and sending the form along with your payment to: P.O. Box 750, Smithville, Tennessee 37166. Pre-registration forms must be received in the mail by June 27th. Shirts are only guaranteed for those pre-registered. For more information call 615-597-7370

Race Day Check-In Times:
Pre-registered: 6:15 a.m.
Race Day Registration: 6:00 a.m.
Please bring a completed registration form with you

5K awards:
Overall and Master (40 plus) male and female finishers
Top three male and female finishers in the following age divisions:
9 and younger
75 plus

Fun Run Awards:
Overall male and female finishers age 12 and younger
Top three male and female finishers age 12 and younger

Race Perks and other information:
Pre-registered participants will receive a commemorative microfiber shirt. All participants will receive free refreshments and be eligible for door prize giveaways before the awards ceremony

The Course is certified and R.A.C.E. Nashville will be managing timing. Strollers are welcome and at the start line, should line up at the rear. No pets allowed. 5K course is open for 60 minutes.

All proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

England Earns Doctor of Optometry Degree

June 12, 2011
Laura Elaine England

Laura Elaine England, O.D., of Smithville, TN was among 119 students recently awarded the Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in Memphis. She has been accepted and will continue her education in a residency program from BVA Advanced Eye Care in Edmond, OK.

A graduate of Tennessee Tech and DeKalb County High School, Dr. England is the daughter of Brian and Janet England of Smithville, TN. Grandparents are Neil and Emma Jean Dudney, and Tom and Cheryl England of Smithville, TN.

Optometrists are independent, primary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases/disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures, as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions.

Southern College of Optometry was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 1932. SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education.


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