Local News Articles

Belmont Women's Golf Places Third at Murray State; Sullivan Finishes Third Individually

September 19, 2012
Shay Sullivan

The Belmont women's golf team finished in third place at this week's Drake Creek Invitational hosted by Murray State at the Drake Creek Golf Club in Murray, Kentucky.

The Bruins posted a team score of 318 in Tuesday's final round to finish in third place with a 54-hole score of 919. Central Arkansas won the team title with a score of 906, while Arkansas State placed second at 911.

Belmont had three players finish among the top-20. Junior Shay Sullivan, who led the tournament after day one, finished in third place. She posted a 79 on Tuesday to finish with a three-round score of 223. Her third place finish tied a career-best for the Smithville, Tennessee native. Senior Janet Steen tied for 13th place at 229, after carding an 80 in the final round. Sophomore Sydney Hudson shot a 81 on Tuesday to finished tied for 19th place at 232.

Other Belmont finishers from the tournament included: sophomore Evin Edens (T-26th, 236) and senior Patricia Masick (T-50th, 255)).

Junior Morgan McQuary competed as an individual to finish tied for 50th at 255.

The women's golf team will take almost a month off before returning to action on October 15-16 when they compete at the Austin Peay Intercollegiate.

DeKalb Reigns Supreme at State Fair

September 19, 2012
Crowns for a Cause
Taneah Cantrell
Tyra Graham and Shan Burklow

DeKalb County was represented by an impressive number of contestants at the Tennessee State Fair Pageants earlier this month. Due to the massive turn out, DeKalb County Fair will be awarded a plaque and a $500 Cash Prize for showing the most overall county support at the state fair pageants in Nashville. The award ceremony will take place at the Tennessee State Fair Convention in January 2013. Several crowns and titles were awarded to contestants that currently reside in DeKalb County. The State Fair Pageants also hosted a crown ceremony so that beauty queens across Tennessee could donate their crowns to children of Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital so that they, too, can be 'Queen for a Day. In a heartwarming swell of emotion, queens from ages 4 to 70 gave away 65 crowns as well as raising $1,740.00 to purchase additional crowns for the children. The crowns will be delivered in late September.

"We were amazed at the number of queens that came out to support the two day event," Pageant Director Shan Burklow remarked, "Crowns for a Cause received enough money to not only allow every sick little girl to be 'Queen for a Day', but they are also purchasing fire hats for all the little boys along with a visit from the Nashville Firefighters to salute them as 'Hero for a Day'. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude to all of the beauty queens as well as their friends and family for making this small idea such a huge success! I wish I could thank each one of them in person."

Having been born severly premature, blind, and weighing only 2 pounds 6 ounces, Burklow has experienced Vanderbilt Hospital firsthand. When asked what she plans to do next, Burklow smiled, "I was very happy to support a cause that is very dear to me. I am thankful for the support of my family, and especially my hard working sister (Beth Chandler). I want to continue to pay it forward in any way that God sends me the ability. If we all try and do one small good deed a day...well, that would really be something!"

Contestants placing from DeKalb County include: TN State Queen Supreme Overall - Tyra Graham, the 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville, TN / Tennessee Top Model Queen - Taneah Cantrell, the 16 year old daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville, TN / Miss Sweetheart Queen - Addison Grace Oakley, the 11 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley of Liberty, TN / Little Miss Princess First Runner-Up Arlene Kirby, the 8 year old daughter of Jesse and Shauna Kirby of Smithville, TN / Fourth Runner-Up Addison Jean Puckett, the 8 year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett of Smithville, TN / Little Miss Third Runner-Up Isabella Faith Rackley, the 4 year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville, TN / Junior Fair Princess Second Runner-Up - Tyra Graham, the 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville, TN / Third Runner-Up - Taneah Cantrell , the 16 year old daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville, TN / Fourth Runner-Up - Liz Abigail Qualls, the 14 year old daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp of Smithville, TN. Other optional awards were given to various other DeKalb contestants including Madison Brooke Dawson, Ashley Medlin, Addison Jean Puckett, Maeloree Kirby, Sophia Angeletti, Alexis Atnip, Makayla Shea Funk, and Sydney Jayann Robinson. (see photos)

(Captions in blue - pictured from left to right)

Photo 1: Queens across TN donate their crowns during a ceremony at the TN State Fair Pageants.
Photo 2: Tennessee Top Model Winner - Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, TN
Photo 3: TN State Queen Supreme Winner Overall - Tyra Graham of Smithville, TN with Pageant Director Shan Burklow of Dowelltown, TN
Photo 4: Crowns for a Cause Queen Emily Burklow of Dowelltown, TN donates her crown
Photo 5: Tyra Graham of Smithville, Hope Stephens, Avalon Huddleston, Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, and Liz Qualls of Smithville, TN
Photo 6: Madison Little, Dorothy Montanye, Ryleigh Street, Ava Lowe, and Isabella Faith Rackley of Smithville, TN
Photo 8: Abby Sholar, Danielle Dildine, Queen Addison Oakley of Liberty, TN, Lexi Caldwell, and Christina Sisco
Photo 9: A group of donating queens celebrating after the crown ceremony including: Ashley Medlin and Taneah Cantrell of Smithville.

DeKalb Trustee's Office to Accept Partial Tax Payments

September 19, 2012
Dwayne Page
Sean Driver

DeKalb County property taxpayers may make partial tax payments for the 2012 tax year

According to Trustee Sean Driver, the total bills of county taxpayers may be divided into monthly payments over two to five months or the office will accept any amount the taxpayer wants to pay toward their balance as long as the total tax bill is paid by February 28, 2013.

Driver said partial payments relieves the stress of taxpayers having to come up with the entire tax payment in one lump sum. It is especially helpful to elderly people and those on fixed incomes.

The plan, approved by the state Comptroller of the Treasury, does not include provisions for partial payment on any 2011 payment delinquencies. If any partial payments have been made, penalties will be assessed only against the unpaid balances.

According to Driver, if the total base tax is not paid on or before February 28, penalties and interest will be applied on the remaining balance on March 1.

He added that partial payments may still be made after the March 1 delinquent deadline and taxpayers may continue to make partial payments until the taxes are turned over to the Chancery court the following year.

Taxpayers who take advantage of the partial payment option will be issued a receipt showing the amount paid and the balance owed. However, no notification of partial balances owed will be issued before the February 28 deadline.

Driver reminds taxpayers that they may still pay their taxes in the trustee's office in person, by mail, online at tennessetrustee.com or through the State of Tennessee Tax Relief Program.

For more information, call the Trustee's Office at 597-5176 or stop by the office at 732 Congress Boulevard Smithville, room 103.

Smithville Municipal Judge Hilton Conger Gets New Term

September 18, 2012
Dwayne Page
Hilton Conger

Smithville Municipal Judge Hilton Conger will serve for another two years.

The aldermen Monday night approved Conger's reappointment during the city council meeting. The City Judge, who was once elected by city voters to an eight year term, now serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, appointed to a two year term. His salary is $1,000 per month.

Conger was last elected as City Judge in 1998. He was named to his first appointed term in 2006 and he was re-appointed in 2008 and 2010.

After changes were made in the City Charter a few years ago, the City Court's jurisdiction was reduced to mostly minor traffic offenses and city ordinance violations. The court now convenes usually once per month.

Conger's new term runs through August 31, 2014.

Meanwhile, in an effort to curb the spread of mosquitoes, the Smithville Aldermen Monday night took action requiring property owners to keep stagnant water from accumulating on their properties.

The council adopted on first reading an amendment to the property maintenance regulations under the municipal code regarding stagnant water.

Under the proposed amendment, "It shall be unlawful for anyone to knowingly allow any pool of stagnant water to accumulate and stand on their property without treating it so as to effectively prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. Also it shall be unlawful for water to accumulate in tires that are stored outside on their property. Approved methods to treat this stagnant water to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes shall be the responsibility by owners of said tires on residential and commercial property."

Second and final reading will follow a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

School Bus Stranded During Flash Flooding

September 17, 2012
Dwayne Page
School Bus Stranded on Dearman Street During Heavy Rains
Facebook Photo from Contributor Shows Flooding on College St at Greenbrook Park
Facebook Photo from Contributor Shows Flooding at Highway 56 & 70

A bus, loaded with 32 students heading home from elementary after school programs, became stranded in a flash flood on Dearman Street Monday afternoon.

M2U00838 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Central dispatch received the call at 6:01 p.m. from someone reporting that the bus had slid off the road. The side doors to the bus were heavily damaged but neither the driver, Gayle Pack, nor any of the students aboard were injured. The students, who exited through the rear emergency door of the bus, were loaded onto another bus which was called to the scene. Because of the rising flood waters, the DeKalb County Rescue Squad was summoned to assist in transferring the students from one bus to the other. Members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on site along with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and other school administrators.

Director Willoughby told WJLE that it may morning after the water recedes before its known for sure what happened. "There was a lot of flash flooding in the area. We're not exactly sure what happened. But its evident that the door was hit. The water was probably twelve to fifteen inches deep right there. It could have washed out a place in the road and the bus front tire may have hit a hole and caused the damage to the door. The important thing is that no one was hurt. The bus driver handled the situation really well," said Willoughby.

Charlie Parker, Smithville Fire Chief and DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator, said much of the flash flooding Monday afternoon was in the Smithville area. "We had several places where water was up and over the road including College Street, Meadowbrook Drive, Dearman Street, Bright Hill Road, and down at the intersection of Highway 56 & 70 near DeKalb Tire and Service we had to detour traffic around for a little while because the drains just couldn't handle it. We've had a lot of water everywhere even out in the county on Turner Road and Jacobs Pillar Road. We had houses on Short Mountain and College Streets where water flooded basements. There were no evacuations other than in a couple of cases on Turner Road where residents, who had water coming up to their porches, decided to leave their homes on their own until the water receded," said Parker.

Director Willoughby said he appreciates the support of the community in responding to this emergency. "We had individuals from the community, parents and volunteers who came out there to help transfer those students from one bus to the other. They just wanted to make sure everything was okay. We also had law enforcement officers, the rescue squad, and EMA coordinator Charlie Parker and his crew. We want to thank everybody for going above and beyond. It's what communities are about and our community did an outstanding job. They just jumped in and did what was needed. I just want to say thank you to all those folks who helped out," said Willoughby.

Dowelltown Man Charged with Incest

September 17, 2012
Dwayne Page
Billy Ray Baker
Randall Johnson
Jenadiah Ray Barnes

A 65 year old Dowelltown man has been charged with incest after allegedly admitting to having sex with his niece.

Billy Ray Baker is under a $50,000 bond and he will be in court October 5. Baker was arrested on September 10

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, September 6, a girl came to the Sheriff's Department and reported that Baker, who is her uncle, had raped her. Upon further investigation, a criminal detective from the sheriff's department contacted Baker who admitted that he had sexual relations with his niece but that it was consensual. Baker was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

49 year old Randall Johnson of LaFever Ridge Road, Silver Point was arrested on Thursday, September 13 for being a fugitive from justice. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court on September 20.

Sheriff Ray said that a deputy went to Johnson's residence after authorities in Noble County, Indiana contacted local authorities to report that Johnson was wanted for possession of marijuana and for failure to appear and that he was believed to be in DeKalb County. Johnson was found, taken into custody, and brought to the jail for booking.

33 year old Jenadiah Ray Barnes of Brush Creek is charged with six counts of forgery. His bond totals $18,000.

Sheriff Ray said that Barnes allegedly passed six forged checks at Prichard's Foods in Alexandria in the amounts of $135 and $100 on June 22, 2011; $135 and $160 on June 24, 2011; and $225 and $225 on June 29, 2011 The name of the victim was forged on the checks without authorization.

The warrants were taken out against Barnes on September 2, 2011. Barnes was arrested on September 10, 2012. The reason for the delay in his arrest on these charges was because he had apparently been held until now in another facility on other offenses. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the sheriff's department.

25 year old Jennifer Ann Ferrell of Dowelltown is charged with filing a false report. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court on September 20.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 12 a deputy went to Regions Bank on the public square in Smithville to serve a warrant on Matthew Baker, who had earlier been spotted in the bank. The deputy searched the bank but couldn't find Baker. Ferrell, who works as a cleaning lady in the bank, told the deputy that Baker was not there. Later, as a security officer was locking up the bank, Baker emerged from inside. He told the officer that he had hidden in the ceiling tile. Ferrell was charged because she allegedly lied to the deputy about Baker's being in the bank, according to Sheriff Ray.

49 year old Johnny Michael Howard of Billings Road, Sparta is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on October 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday September 12, Howard was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 when he was stopped by an officer who had prior knowledge that Howard's license was revoked. A computer check confirmed that his license were revoked for driving under the influence on February 1, 2012 in Cannon County. Howard was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Murfreesboro Man Charged in Burglary of Vehicles at Four Seasons Marina

September 17, 2012
Dwayne Page
Timothy Ray Featherstone
Joseph Daniel Richardson

A Murfreesboro man, who allegedly broke into four vehicles parked at Four Seasons Marina in July, has been picked up in Georgia after an investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

44 year old Timothy Ray Featherstone is charged with four counts of burglary, one count of theft under $500, two counts of theft over $500, one count of theft over $10,000, and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He was arrested on September 12. His bond totals $200,000 and he will be in court September 20.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on July 29, Featherstone allegedly broke into four vehicles parked at Four Seasons Marina at 327 Marina Drive. Items were taken from each vehicle including credit cards, which Featherstone used at Walmart in Smithville.

In one of the auto break-ins at the marina, Featherstone allegedly broke out the back glass and stole diamond jewelry, costume jewelry, a watch, bangle bracelets, a purse and wallet, $100 in cash, shoes, clothes, suitcases, phone chargers, flat iron, and an Ipod with a total value of $21,575

At a second vehicle, entry was made by breaking out the front passenger window. Featherstone allegedly stole a leather coach purse, coach wallet, checkbook, black leather pouch, makeup, credit cards, gift cards, and $250 in cash with a total value of $605

Entry to a third automobile was made by breaking out a sliding glass window. Taken were ten Nintendo DS games, money pouch, $10 in change, coupon book, miscellaneous and children toys and books with a total value of $415

Featherstone allegedly entered a fourth vehicle by breaking out the front passenger side window. He allegedly took a brown Fossil wallet, $140 in cash, and credit cards with a total value of $175.

Sheriff Ray said that on the same day, July 29, Featherstone used a stolen credit card to purchase numerous items from Walmart in Smithville totaling $657. He returned to Walmart later that day and spent $352, again using a stolen credit card.

According to Sheriff Ray, criminal detectives of the sheriff's department began an investigation and developed Featherstone as a suspect. His image was captured on the store surveillance cameras at Walmart. Featherstone's information was entered into the National Crime Information Center computer system after which he was found in Georgia. Featherstone has been extradited back here to face the charges. Sheriff Ray said more arrests are forthcoming from this investigation.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 31 year old Joseph Daniel Richardson of Liberty is charged with aggravated burglary, two counts of forgery, theft of property over $1,000, and possession of a prohibited weapon. His bond is $30,000 and he will be in court on October 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on July 20, Richardson allegedly broke into a home on Cedar Street in Liberty. Entry was made through the garage. Richardson allegedly stole from the home, a 20 gauge and 12 gauge shotgun, muzzleloader, and pellet rifle, a gold diamond ring, gold class ring, and several other pieces of jewelry, along with a blue pyrex totebag with a total value at over $1,000.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Sheriff Ray said that Richardson is also accused of passing forged checks at the Stop N Buy on Highway 70 at Liberty on three occasions earlier this month.

According to Sheriff Ray, Richardson allegedly passed at the Stop N Buy a forged check in the amount of $55 on Monday, September 3; another forged check for $60 on Friday, September 7; and still another forged check for $60 on Saturday, September 8.

On Friday, September 14, when detectives went to Richardson's home on Church Street in Liberty to question him, they found a pair of brass knuckles in between the mattress in Richardson's bedroom, after he gave the detectives consent to search. Richardson admitted that the brass knucks belonged to him.

Groundbreaking Held for Fourth Habitat Home in DeKalb County

September 17, 2012
Dwayne Page
Groundbreaking Held for Fourth Habitat Home in DeKalb County
Habitat for Humanity Breaks Ground For New Partner Family Home

A ground breaking celebration was held Sunday afternoon for the fourth Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County.

Committee and Board members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County and the new partner family, Melba Vinca and her grandchildren Bradley Mullican, Cayton Lance, and Justin Lance gathered for the brief ceremony at the future site of the home on Hayes Street in Smithville.

habitat from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Nolan Turner, President of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, said construction may begin this week. "Construction will begin this week. We will get the footer dug and poured and after three or four days setting we'll lay the blocks then hopefully two weeks from Friday we will be starting the framing. I understand a crew we've got coming in will have it under roof in three days. They'll come back the next weekend and do the electric work and possibly the plumbing. They are professionals, This is what they do all the time and this is their volunteer work. Some of them are local but they build these log homes and they're out of state a lot. If weather goes right we should be very close if not completed by Thanksgiving. The home is a 1,050 square foot house plus the porch. It will have three bedrooms and a bath and a half," said Turner.

During Sunday's ground breaking ceremony, Turner made welcoming remarks and introduced the partner family..

Dr. John Carpenter, minister of the Smithville First United Methodist Church and Bright Hill United Methodist Church led the attendees in the Responsive Reading and prayer. After the groundbreaking, Dr. Carpenter closed the ceremony with prayer.

This is the fourth Habitat home in DeKalb County. Two of them are on Adams Street. The third is on Hayes Street.

To qualify, applicants must: (1) have lived in DeKalb County for at least one year; (2) be willing to partner with Habitat to realize dreams of home ownership; (3) currently occupy inadequate or substandard housing; (4) demonstrate the ability to pay a mortgage; and (5) fall within Habitat's income guidelines.

All applications will be reviewed and considered by Habitat's Family Selection Committee before a partner family is selected. The partner family will work with Habitat on construction of their home and to develop the skills necessary for successful home ownership. Construction labor is provided by Habitat volunteers, and some materials are donated by Habitat supporters, as well.

Traffic Stop Results in Citations Against Three for Drug Offenses

September 16, 2012
Dwayne Page
Randy Caplinger

Three people are in trouble with the law for drug offenses after Smithville Police stopped their car for a simple traffic violation earlier this month.

Chief Randy Caplinger said 26 year old Margie Grace Drennan was arrested on Saturday, September 8 for simple possession and she was cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to the warrant Drennan was a passenger in a vehicle, driven by 23 year old Kerrie Lynn Neal, which was stopped for a light violation. A check for warrants showed Drennan had an outstanding warrant against her from Davidson County. Ms. Drennan was placed under arrest. She told the officer that she had some methamphetamine in her pocket and a small amount of meth was recovered. The officer also found marijuana and rolling papers.

Neal was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia after a needle was recovered from her purse. Meanwhile another passenger, 23 year old Porsche Lynn Batey was cited for simple possession after pills were found in her possession. Drennan, Neal, and Batey will be in court September 20.

In other cases, 22 year old Fernando Colunga was arrested on Sunday, September 9 for driving under the influence. According to the warrant, Colunga, operating a motor vehicle, was stopped for failure to maintain his lane of travel. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and his eyes were glazed over. He submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. His court date is September 20..

32 year old John Keith Hale was arrested on Sunday, September 9 for aggravated assault. According to the warrant, Hale and the victim got into an argument. When the victim started inside his apartment, Hale hit him across the back with a metal ball bat. Hale's court date is September 20.

37 year old Crystal Alice Turner was cited on Sunday, September 9 for shoplifting, simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Turner was stopped in the Wal-Mart parking lot for suspicion of shoplifting. Turner gave police permission to search her purse and merchandise from Wal-Mart was found there along with a schedule II drug and paraphernalia. Her court date is September 20

28 year old Michael Brandon Redmon was arrested on Sunday, September 9 for evading arrest and criminal trespassing. According to the warrants, Smithville Police received a call about Redmon being at J. R. Motors, property belonging to Jewel Redmon. Michael Redmon had earlier been told to stay off the property and police were informed to arrest Redmon if they saw him on this property. When an officer approached Redmon, he began running. The officer yelled stop, this is the police, but Redmon kept running. He was later picked up on South College Street.

34 year old Charles Montez Turner was arrested on Monday, September 10 for theft of property over $1,000. According to the warrant, Turner allegedly took a 1994 Chevrolet Camaro, on Sunday, September 9 belonging to the victim without her consent. The victim told police that she had told Turner that he could not take the car but he left in the car anyway. His court date is September 20.

42 year old Morris E Knowles was arrested on Thursday, September 13 for violation of an order of protection and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Upon arrest drug paraphernalia was found on Knowles' person. His court date is October 11

Meanwhile anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

DTC Members Reject Proposed Bylaw Amendments

September 15, 2012
Dwayne Page
DTC Directors Bennie Buck Curtis, Ronnie Garrison, and Randy Campbell

Members of DTC Communications (DeKalb Telephone Cooperative) voting during the annual meeting Saturday soundly defeated three proposed bylaw changes which were on the ballot. The meeting was held at the fairgrounds in Alexandria.

By a vote of 231 to 62, voting members said no to making those three changes in the bylaws as recommended by the DTC board of directors.

Meanwhile, the three incumbent DTC board members running without opposition, were each re-elected to a new three year term Saturday.

Ronnie Garrison of the Smithville exchange received 231 votes. Randy Campbell of Liberty had 207 votes, and Bennie Curtis of Alexandria garnered 197 votes.

Had the proposed bylaw amendments been approved by the membership, former employees and close relatives of current employees and directors would not have been eligible to serve as a member of the DTC Communications Board of Directors. Another proposed amendment sought to hold the annual meetings at such location within the service area as the Board of Directors may designate before each and every meeting. All three proposed bylaw changes were defeated together in one vote.

In addition to Garrison, Campbell, and Curtis, other members of the DTC board are Charles Dwight Vinson of Milton, Roy Nelson Pugh of Auburntown, Greg Rogers of Woodbury, James Dillard, Jr. of Gordonsville, Terry McPeak of Norene, Jimmy Oakley of Temperance Hall, and David Parker of Woodland.


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