Local News Articles

State Audit Report Released On Town of Alexandria

July 21, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Comptroller's office has issued an investigative audit report on the Town of Alexandria for the period of July 1st, 2002 through October 31st, 2004

John G. Morgan, Comptroller of the Treasury for the State of Tennessee, in a letter to city officials writes, \"The audit was limited to the operations of the police department, the fire department, and the acquisition and disposal of surplus property acquired through state and federal programs. However, when warranted, this scope was expanded.\"

\"The purpose of our audit was to determine the extent of the city's compliance with certain laws and regulations.\"

\"The investigative audit revealed that the former fire chief, Eddie Tubbs, had made cash withdrawals amounting to $2,612 from a fire department bank account for no legitimate municipal purpose.\"

\"This matter was referred to the district attorney general. In April 2006, the DeKalb County Grand Jury indicted Eddie Tubbs on one count of Theft over $1,000 and one count of Official Misconduct.\"

On July 7th, Tubbs appeared before Judge Lillie Ann Sells in DeKalb County Criminal Court and was granted pre-trial diversion, a type of probation, for a period of two years in a negotiated settlement with the District Attorney General's Office. Under terms of his probation, Tubbs must make restitution to the Alexandria city government in the amount of $1,916 and perform 100 hours of community service.

Morgan writes, \"The findings and recommendations in this report also relate to those conditions that we believe warrant your attention. All responses to each of the findings and recommendations are included in the report.\"

Dennis Dycus of the State Division of Municipal Audit, in the report, states that \"Our examination also resulted in findings and recommendations related to the following:
1. Required procedures for confidential funds transactions not followed by police department
2. Apparent noncompliance with federal and state surplus property regulations
3. Inadequate control over fixed assets and other property
4. Confiscated drugs not adequately accounted for
5. Required court approval not obtained for use of confiscated property
6. Daily collection reports not prepared and deposit slips not itemized
7. Duplicate, prenumbered receipts not issued for each collection

The following is a summary of the audit report:

1. ISSUE: Unaccounted for cash and improper charges.

Town officials became aware that Don Eddie Tubbs, who at the time was an alderman and the town fire chief, had maintained an Alexandria Fire Department bank account that was not part of the town records. Officials determined that Mr. Tubbs had withdrawn $896 in cash from that account with no explanation. Town officials also found that Mr. Tubbs had apparently charged gasoline totaling $472 for his personal vehicle on the town account at Prichard's Foods. Also, officials determined that a cash collection of $170 apparently made by Mr. Tubbs was never turned over to the town for deposit into a town bank account. Officials determined that Mr. Tubbs received the benefit of $1,538 in town funds that he was not entitled to. Mr. Tubbs agreed to, and did repay the town for those funds. However, when auditors obtained more complete records of the Alexandria Fire Department bank account, they discovered that there were additional questionable cash withdrawals totaling $1,716. Therefore, the total amount of Mr. Tubbs apparently unauthorized benefits was $3,254.

During an interview with auditors, Mr. Tubbs denied using town money or credit for personal gain or benefit. He indicated that the cash withdrawals were used primarily to buy four pagers at an approximate cost of $1,600. He provided auditors with the name of the vendor and salesman who sold the town the pagers. However, when contacted by auditors, the salesman indicated his company had not sold any pagers to the Town of Alexandria during the entire year in question. Auditors were unable to substantiate any legitimate use for Mr. Tubb's cash withdrawals. Mr. Tubbs told auditors that he wanted to pay back to the town what he owed.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. FINDING: Required procedures for confidential funds transactions not followed
by police department.

Confidential funds transactions were not always properly documented through the use of prescribed forms. Records of undercover drug fund usage were disorganized and incomplete. Auditors were unable to account for $1,392 in excess cash left over after undercover drug purchases. In addition, cash from undercover funds were used to make non-confidential purchases, including the purchase of an assault rifle, travel, and training expenses. Undercover cash should be used only for those transactions for which confidentiality is required. All non-confidential expenses should be made consistent with statutes, policies, and procedures governing the payment of normal operating expenses.

RECOMMENDATION:
To properly account for confidential funds, such funds should be handled in accordance with the \"Procedures for Handling Cash Transactions Related to Undercover Investigative Operations of County and Municipal Drug Enforcement Programs.\"

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur. We understand the procedures for handling cash transactions related to undercover operations and drug enforcement programs and those procedures are being followed.

Police Chief:
I agree. All confidential fund transactions will be properly documented on the appropriate forms as prescribed by Tennessee Code Annotated. Any and ALL transactions will be documented on the appropriate forms as well as keeping proper receipts with names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

2. FINDING: Apparent noncompliance with federal and state surplus property
regulations.

The town obtained a utility boat as surplus property from the State of Tennessee, Property Utilization Division, pursuant to Section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act, as amended. When the state auditor observed the boat on town property during the course of this audit, there were no registration numbers or other tags or marks to identify ownership of the boat. Although the former mayor and the former police chief both offered to auditors anticipated uses for the boat, those uses did not serve a present need for law enforcement activities at the time it was obtained. After it was determined that the boat had not been used for law enforcement activities, the boat was returned to the state Property Utilization Division. An agreement between the town and the State of Tennessee, Property Utilization Division, dated June 12, 2003, spells out the conditions the town must meet when obtaining surplus property. The contract states, in part: Property available under this agreement is for the use of authorized program participants; not for speculative or possible future use. Property may not be obtained for the purpose of sale, lease, rent, exchange, barter, to secure a loan or to otherwise supplement
normal budgets. It appears that the town obtained property through this program for which it had no immediate need.

RECOMMENDATION:
In order to remain eligible to participate in the surplus property program, the town should comply with all provisions of their agreement with the Property Utilization Division.

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur with the recommendation above.

Police Chief:
I agree. The Alexandria Police Department will only obtain vehicles and/or property for which there is an immediate need.

3. FINDING: Inadequate control over fixed assets and other property.

Officials did not require adequate internal control over the municipality's fixed assets and high-risk, moveable property. The municipality obtained items such as vehicles, cameras, bayonets, a telescope, and refrigerator-freezers from federal and state surplus property
programs. However, the former recorder did not maintain complete, updated records of such items. The municipality did sell items at auction, including vehicles. However, accounting records were often not available to determine which vehicles were sold, to whom those vehicles were sold, and the selling price of the individual item. Many of these items were not permanently marked to indicate the municipality's ownership. Because some items purchased from state and federal surplus property programs lacked serial numbers or other unique identifying characteristics, auditors were unable to conclude that all such property was accounted for. In addition, the municipality's files did not include documentation of an annual physical inventory.

RECOMMENDATION:
To better control and account for individual fixed assets and high-risk, moveable property, the recorder should maintain complete, updated records of those items in accordance with the Internal Control and Compliance Manual for Tennessee Municipalities. Officials should require that each of the items is permanently marked or tagged to indicate the municipality's ownership. When surplus property is disposed of, complete, accurate records documenting that disposal should be maintained. In addition, officials should require that an annual physical inventory of the fixed assets and of the high-risk, moveable property is performed and documented.

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur with the recommendation and since we have a different person in the office and also a city recorder, we're sure the recommendation will be followed.

Recorder:
I concur with the recommendation. It will be followed.

4. FINDING: Confiscated drugs not adequately accounted for.

The police department maintained custody of drugs and drug paraphernalia seized
pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated. However, the Department did not follow the procedures set forth in state statutes for the disposal of those items. In addition, the police department did not follow procedures required by Tennessee Rules of Evidence. Our investigative audit revealed that the former police chief did not maintain a complete, updated inventory of evidence. Evidence was not adequately labeled. Auditors found that several items of controlled drug evidence were kept in a file cabinet in the former police chief's office and that records were insufficient to determine the disposition of several drug items seized as evidence. Finally, applicable seized drugs and drug paraphernalia were not destroyed annually as required by state law.

RECOMMENDATION:
To comply with state statutes and to alleviate the responsibility for safeguarding property not needed as evidence, the police chief should ensure the annual inventory and destruction of applicable seized drugs and drug paraphernalia. Procedures set forth in Section 53-11-451, Tennessee Code Annotated, should be followed for the disposal of such property. All drug evidence should be adequately tagged or marked and stored in a secure place with restricted access.

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We agree with the above recommendation. Since the city has a new police chief, things of this matter have been taken care of. The police chief keeps accurate records.

Police Chief:
I agree. All evidence shall be properly tagged and a chain of custody will be kept. All evidence will be secured in a double-locked closet and locker whereas I have the only keys. Evidence will be disposed of in accordance with the state laws.

5. FINDING: Required court approval not obtained for use of confiscated property.

Auditors noted that the former police chief apparently combined confiscated marijuana from several drug seizures into one large, unlabeled bag of marijuana. The police chief stated that the marijuana was to be used in a controlled drug sale. However, auditors could not locate any documentation to support this assertion. Auditors were also unable to determine that all this marijuana was accounted for. In addition, the police department failed to obtain the required court order prior to using seized property in the drug
enforcement program. Tennessee Code Annotated, requires that the police department obtain permission from the court of jurisdiction to use seized property in the drug enforcement program.

Findings and Recommendations

RECOMMENDATION:
The police chief should ensure that all confiscated drugs are adequately accounted for. In addition, the police department should obtain court approval prior to using any confiscated property.

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur. We understand the police chief we have now is doing everything according to the books. He seems to have everything in order to the best of our knowledge.

Police Chief:
I agree. All confiscated drugs will be accounted for and drugs used for any police department activities will only be done with prior court approval and be well documented.

6. FINDING: Daily collection reports not prepared and deposit slips not itemized.

The former recorder did not prepare daily collection reports summarizing the amount and source of all cash collected each day. In addition, deposit slips did not always list each check included in the deposit.

RECOMMENDATION:
To better account for collections, each day the cashier should prepare a detailed report of that day's total collections and the source of those collections. To help document that all collections are deposited intact, the totals of each daily collection report, corresponding Town of Alexandria
prenumbered receipts, and related bank deposit should agree. Municipal personnel should itemize deposit slips and list each check separately.

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:

We concur. The city clerk is doing everything correctly now with daily collection reports, prenumbered receipts, and bank deposits that all agree. She's doing a great job trying her best to do everything correctly.

Recorder:
I concur. Daily collection reports, prenumbered receipts, and itemized deposit slips are now being used.

7. FINDING: Duplicate, prenumbered receipts not issued for each collection.

Municipal employees or officials who received collections for the municipality did not issue a duplicate, prenumbered receipt for each source of revenue including collections for the drug fund.

RECOMMENDATION:
To better account for all revenue, the employee or official who receives collections should issue a duplicate, prenumbered receipt for each source of revenue. The duplicate receipt should provide adequate details to identify the revenue.

Findings and Recommendations

MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE:
Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:

We concur and this is being taken care of. All money coming into the municipality is being issued a duplicate prenumbered receipt for each source of revenue. All record from what source.

Recorder:
I concur. We have prenumbered receipts that are issued for all money coming into the municipality and also for each source of revenue.

DeKalb County School Registration Set For August 4th

July 22, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will reopen Friday.

Registration for all DeKalb County students will be Friday, August 4 from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. That will be an abbreviated school day.

Monday, August 7 will be an administrative day at all schools and all teachers must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Students will not attend.

The first full day of school for all students will be Tuesday, August 8

All teachers will report to their individual schools Wednesday and Thursday, August 2 & 3 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each day.

Sixth grade registration and orientation will be held at DeKalb Middle School on Thursday night, August 3 for all 6th grade students. All 6th grade students must attend. Orientation begins at 6:00 p.m. in the school auditorium and 6th grade will not attend school on Friday, August 4th.

Election Day Has Arrived

August 2, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County voters will elect a new Sheriff and Trustee and decide several other races on Thursday.

Voting at all sixteen precincts in DeKalb County begins at 8:00 a.m. August 3rd and ends at 7:00 p.m.

WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. at the courthouse. Election results may also be viewed on-line at www.wjle.com.

The Election Commission has an announcement for all the voters in the 3rd District who vote at DeKalb Middle School on election day. The room normally used for voting is the old gym. There is no air conditioning in the gym and voting has been moved to another room at the Middle School. The room does have an outside door on the front of the building to the right of the main entrance. Look for the large signs that say \"VOTE HERE\".

In addition to the DeKalb County General Election, voters will be casting ballots in the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries for the offices of Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S.. House of Representatives, State Senate, State House of Representatives, State Executive Committeeman and committee woman.

A referendum will also be on the ballot asking voters to cast a yes or no vote on whether the local option sales tax should be increased from 1.5% to 2.75% which would make the total sales tax in DeKalb County go from 8.5% to 9.75%.

Dowelltown voters will also be electing three aldermen on August 3rd.

Voters will also be asked to vote \"yes\" or \"no\" on the retention of twenty seven State Supreme Court and Appellate Court Judges from across the state.

Democratic candidates on the ballot running for their party's nomination in the state primary for Governor include Incumbent Phil Bredesen; John Jay Hooker of Nashville; Tim Sevier of Hixon; and Walt Ward of Chattanooga.

Republican candidates for Governor are Mark Albertini of Chattanooga; Wayne Thomas Bailey of Smyrna; Jim Bryson of Franklin; David M. Farmer of Kingston; Joe Kirkpatrick of Nashville; Timothy Thomas of Murfreesboro; and Wayne Young of Cleveland.

Candidates for State Senator, 17th District include Incumbent Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet, unopposed in the Republican Primary; and Democrats Bob Rochelle of Lebanon, and Aubrey T. Givens of Lebanon.

Candidates for State Representative, 40th District include Incumbent Frank Buck of Dowelltown, unopposed in the Democratic Primary; Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster, unopposed in the Republican Primary; and Independent candidate Carl Jones of Macon County.

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, 6th District are Incumbent Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro and J. Patrick Lyons of Bell Buckle in the Democratic Primary and David R. Davis of Brush Creek in the Republican Primary.

Democratic candidates for the U.S Senate are Harold Ford, Jr. of Memphis; Gary G. Davis of Nashville; John Jay Hooker of Nashville; Charles E. Smith of Chattanooga; and Al Strauss of Nashville.

Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are Ed Bryant of Jackson; Tate Harrison of Dayton; Van Hilleary of Murfreesboro; and Bob Corker of Chattanooga.

Candidates in the DeKalb County General Election are as follows:

Democrat Myron Rhody and Republican Patrick Ray for Sheriff and Democrat Anthony (Doc) Green and Republican Sean Driver for Trustee;

Unopposed candidates include Democratic Incumbents County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack; County Clerk Mike Clayborn; Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen; General Sessions-Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook II; and Republican Incumbent Road Supervisor Kenny Edge.

Two county commissioners can be elected from each of the seven districts in the county. County Commission candidates are Democrats Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Charles Griffith and Republican Mason Carter in the first district; Republican Incumbent Bobby Joines and Democrats Jack Barton, and Shane Cook in the second district; Republican Randy Caplinger, and Democratic Incumbents Roy D. Merriman, and Jerry Scott in the third district; Incumbent Democrat Wayne Cantrell and Democrat Chris J. Smithson in the fourth district; Democratic Incumbent John D. Green and Democrat Jeffrey Barrett in the fifth district; Democratic Incumbents Jeff Barnes and Marshall Ferrell in the sixth district; and Democratic Incumbent Larry Summers and Democrat Willie E. Thomas in the seventh district.

In the 13th Judicial District; the candidates are as follows:

Democrat Ronald Thurman and Republican Jerry Burgess of Cookeville for Chancellor; Democratic Incumbent Lillie Ann Sells and Independent challenger David A. Patterson of Cookeville for Criminal Court Judge Part II; Democratic Incumbent Leon Burns, Jr. of Cookeville for Criminal Court Judge Part I; Democratic Incumbent John A. Turnbull of Livingston for Circuit Court Judge Part I; Democratic Incumbent John Maddux of Cookeville for Circuit Court Judge Part II; Democratic Incumbent William E. (Bill) Gibson of Cookeville for District Attorney General; and Democratic Incumbent David N. Brady and Republican challenger Samuel Harris of Cookeville for District Public Defender

Candidates for the School Board are Incumbent John David Foutch in the first district; Incumbent Charles L. Robinson and challenger John Allen in the second district; Incumbent Kenny L. Rhody in the third district; Joan Draper in the fourth district; and Incumbent Johnny Lattimore in the seventh district.

Candidates for Dowelltown Aldermen include Tom R. Duggin, Jr., Joe L. Bogle, Keith Farler; amd Brad Driver. Three can be elected.

Candidates for DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee include Judy A. Slager and Betty Mildred Clayborn in the first district; Peggy Pursell and Dennis Slager in the second district; and Donna Emmons in the fifth district. More than one can be elected in each district.

Democratic Candidates for State Executive Committeewoman, 17th Senatorial District are Jennifer Kyle Bassett of Castalian Springs and Mary A. Patterson of Mount Juliet. Republican candidate for State Executive Committeewoman, 17th Senatorial District is Susan Witcher of Red Boiling Springs.

Democratic candidates for State Executive Committeeman, 17th Senatorial District are David R. Harper of Hartsville and Ben Johnson of Gordonsville. Republican candidates for State Executive Committeeman, 17th Senatorial District are Bob Ousley of Mount Juliet and Albert B. McCall, Sr. of Carthage.

Three Year Old Child Struck By Motorist

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A three year old child was injured around 8:00 p.m. Sunday evening after being struck by a car on Morgan Drive.

The child, Kason Redmon, of 716 Gentry Avenue, was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

In the accident report, Officer Marcus Caldwell says 19 year old Mindy C. Magouirk of 718 Gentry Avenue was driving east on Morgan Drive in a 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity when she struck the child.

Officer Caldwell, in the report, stated that \"Upon my arrival, I noticed this 3 year old lying in the lawn of 724 Morgan Drive with his father, Jeffery Redmon, kneeling over him. I noticed the child was crying. Medical care was rendered to the child until EMS arrived.

Magouirk, in her statement to police, said \" While driving, I noticed a neighborhood kid at 429 Morgan Drive and waved at her. When I looked back at the road, I saw a child but could not stop in time.\"

According to the report, the child's father, Jeffery Redmon, ran to his son after hearing him scream, picked him up out of the road, and placed him onto the lawn of 724 Morgan Drive.

One Person Injured In Monday Morning Shooting

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

One person was injured in a shooting around 5:30 a.m. Monday morning at a residence on Jacobs Pillar Road.

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons says the victim was not seriously injured.

No names have yet been released.

Emmons will not reveal the suspected reason for the shooting nor the circumstances surrounding it at this time.

There have apparently been no arrests

Rice Chosen Fairest Of The Fair

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

18 year old Whitney Nicole Rice of Smithville is the 2006 DeKalb County Fairest of the Fair.

Rice is the daughter of Brenda and the late Bobby Rice.

She succeeds the retiring 2005 Fairest of the Fair Jodee Leigh Stults, the 18 year old daughter of Kenny and Tavia Stults of Dowelltown.

The first runner-up in the Monday night pageant was Tara Joan Griffin, the 19 year old daughter of Mike and Tammy Griffin of Alexandria. Griffin was also named Miss Congeniality.

The second runner-up was Christen Ashley Hale, the 18 year old daughter of Craig and Evelyn Hale of Liberty.

Apple Crowned Junior Fair Princess

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The 2006 Junior Fair Princess of the DeKalb County Fair is 15 year old Rosemary Apple of Smithville, daughter of Nick and Claire Apple.

She succeeds the retiring 2005 Junior Fair Princess, Leslie McCollum, the 17 year old daughter of Jennifer and Bobby Simpson of Alexandria.

The first runner-up in the Monday night pageant was Keshia Poss, the 15 year old daughter of Byron and Robin Poss of Smithville.

The second runner-up was Keely Hix, the 12 year old daughter of Elisa and Lee Oliver of Gordonsville.

12 year old Taylor Marie Cantrell of Smithville was named Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Jeff and Renea Cantrell.

LeAnn Rimes Appears At DeKalb Fair Monday Night For Music Video Shoot

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Fair had a special visitor Monday night.

Recording artist LeAnn Rimes and a video crew were on the fair grounds, both during and after the fair, shooting scenes for a new music video to be released soon.

The video production featured Rimes amid fair attractions and on rides while children and other locals were included in some of the scenes.

Rimes has sold more than 37 million records, won two Grammys and received numerous industry awards.

LeAnn's Curb debut, Blue, made her a star at thirteen, racking up a record-setting 123,000 sales in its first week on its way to more than eight million purchases, and earning her two Grammy Awards, including the first Best New Artist distinction ever won by a country artist. Her follow-up, You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, made history by releasing at number one in three Billboard categories ? country, pop, and contemporary Christian. Her next three albums topped the country listings too, while her singles made equally deep impressions; one, \"How Do I Live\" (1997), lodged for an unprecedented eight months at number one en route to more than two hundred weeks on the country singles charts.

Rimes' new project called \"Whatever We Wanna\" was released internationally on June 5th and marks her ninth studio album. Among the songs included on this collection of new material is the hit single \"And It Feels Like\" and a stellar duet with Brian McFadden on \"Everybody's Someone\".

Man Injured In Monday Morning Drive By Shooting

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

One person was injured in a drive by shooting around 5:30 a.m. Monday morning at his residence on Jacobs Pillar Road.

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons says the victim, Wayne Hicks, was taken by a private vehicle to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated and released. Emmons says Hicks was nicked in the knee, either by bullet fragment, a piece of shattered glass or some other object, but the wound was non life threatening.

According to Sheriff Emmons, Hicks was outside the residence at the time of the shooting.

The cause is still under investigation, but is believed to have been drug related.

No arrests have been made.

Alexandria Mayor Resigns

July 24, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Almost a year after being elected Alexandria Mayor, Clara Lee Vantrease has called it quits.

She officially submitted her resignation Monday morning, citing personal reasons for the decision.

Vantrease, a former city employee, ran unopposed for mayor in September, 2005.

She told WJLE Monday night that while she loves Alexandria and the people of the town and enjoyed serving them, she felt it was time to step aside and let someone else take over who might do a better job.

Alderman and Vice Mayor David Cripps is now the acting Mayor of Alexandria.

Others on the council are Aldermen Charles Griffith, James Keyes, Eddie Tubbs, and Sarah Walker.

Alderman Roy Scott also resigned on July 18th, citing personal reasons for his decision.

Pages

Follow Us


facebook.jpg

News Feed
feed.png

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree