Local News Articles

Linn Crowned Fairest of the Fair

July 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Linn Crowned Fairest of the Fair

20 year old Nicole Linn of Smithville was crowned the 2008 Fairest of the Fair on opening night of the DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria Monday night.

Linn, daughter of Leo and Doris Linn, succeeds the retiring Fairest of the Fair, 19 year old Courtney Curtis of Smithville, daughter of Brett and Sherree Curtis.

First runner-up in the pageant was Jessie Strickland of Alexandria, the 17 year old daughter of Jerry Strickland and the late Melissa Strickland.

Second runner-up was Trista Atnip of Smithville, the 17 year old daughter of Jonathan and Twana Green and Barry and Veronica Atnip. Trista Atnip was also named Miss Photogenic.

17 year old Rosemary Apple, daughter of Nick and Claire Apple of Smithville was the Third Runner-up.

19 year old Wendy Michelle Scott of Smithville was named Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Kathy Scott and the late Billy Ray Scott.

There were six contestants in the pageant.

Man Accused of Stealing from his Neighbor Charged with Burglary and Theft

July 21, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested an elderly man last week who is accused of stealing from his neighbor.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 73 year old G. L. Waynick of Park Land Drive, Smithville was charged Thursday with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Waynick allegedly went into a residence on Dogwood Place, which is in the Lake View Mountain Estates area, without the owner's consent. The residence is a weekend home and is not occupied at all times. Waynick owns a rent home beside of the Dogwood Place residence. Waynick would allegedly remove items such as a washer, a dryer, a stove, and under pinning from the residence and give them to his renters. The stolen items have been recovered. Waynick's bond is set at $10,000 and will appear in court on July 31st..

Meanwhile, in other cases, 43 year old Roxanne Hendrixson of West Green Hill Road, Smithville was charged Friday with public intoxication at the DeKalb County Jail. Hendrixson is serving 44 days on weekends due to a prior charge. Hendrixson was checking into the DeKalb County Jail to serve her weekend when a correctional officer noticed that she was under the influence. Hendrixson was arrested and her bond was set at $1,000. Hendrixson's court date is August 14th.

72 year old Joseph C. Edge of Creek Road Smithville was charged Saturday with six counts of theft of property under $500. Edge was caught on video surveillance cameras at a local market on Highway 70 West pumping gas and driving off at least six times in the last six months without paying for the gas. Edge was questioned and did admit to pumping the gas and leaving without paying for it. Bond for Edge was set at $15,000 and his court date is August 7th.

One Killed and Others Injured in Boating Accident on Center Hill Lake

July 20, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 44 year old Pleasant View woman lost her life and several others were injured in a boating accident on Center Hill Lake Friday night.

Dead is Tamera “Tammy” Coombs

According to the TWRA, Mrs. Coombs, her husband Tommy Coombs, and two of their relatives, a man and woman, were aboard a 19 foot runabout boat drifting on the lake in an area known as Buoy Point, which is the long peninsula of Edgar Evins State Park, when the accident occurred.

At around 9:00 p.m. a 23 foot ski type boat, reportedly operated by Stephen Maggart of Brentwood, apparently struck the rear and then went over the top of the Coombs vessel, killing Mrs. Coombs, and injuring the others on board.

The Maggart boat then apparently left the scene. According to reports, Maggart dropped off the two passengers who were with him, a male and female, so they could get medical treatment. Officers on a pontoon boat, searching the area, eventually made contact with Maggert on the lake. Both Maggert and Mr. Coombs later submitted to a blood alcohol test, as required of all operators in accidents involving serious injury or death.

All surviving passengers of the Coombs boat, along with the body of Mrs. Coombs, were brought from the scene of the accident by boats to ramp 2 at Edgar Evins State Park. One of them was taken by ground ambulance to Cookeville Regional Medical Center and was later airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Another victim was airlifted by a helicopter ambulance that landed at the park. A third victim was transported to an area hospital by another ground ambulance.

With the investigation continuing, TWRA Officers have not commented on the cause of the crash.

Among those assisting the TWRA in the aftermath of the accident were members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb and Putnam County EMS, and Edgar Evins State Park rangers and employees.

Mrs. Coombs was reportedly an administrative assistant at Sycamore Middle School and Mr. Coombs is a former city alderman in Pleasant View.

DeKalb Firefighters endorse five candidates

July 19, 2008

The DeKalb County Firefighters Association has voted to endorse five of the nine candidates running for the 40th State Legislative seat being vacated by long-time representative, Frank Buck.

The Association announced Friday they would endorse Democratic candidates, Gayla Hendrix, Cleveland Derrick Bain, Steven Cantrell and Jeff Barrett, along with Republican, Terry Lynn Weaver. Those who did not receive the Firefighters' endorsement were Democrats, Sarah Marie Smith and Carl (Hix) Jones, and Republican, Nicky Rittenberry.

The Firefighters Association sent each candidate a questionnaire to survey them about specific concerns about how volunteer firefighters could better be prepared to assist citizens, according to Association President, Shawn Puckett. Weaver, Hendrix, Bain, Cantrell and Barrett all completed and returned the survey.

"Having the opportunity to review these candidates' answers and comments allowed our Association's members to understand how these candidates feel about the volunteer fire service," Puckett said, while also pointing out several of the candidates - including two not endorsed by the Association - recently attended a fire department fish fry, while three of the candidates worked in the food both at the Jamboree. "We would like to take this opportunity to thank the candidates that attended these events," Puckett added.

Weaver, Hendrix, Sircy, Bain and Smith all attended the fish fry on May 31st, while Smith, Weaver and Bain all helped in the fire department food booth at the Jamboree. Weaver also attended a breakfast fundraiser at the Midway Fire Station.

The Association was established in 2002 with the purpose to foster and promote a better understanding among members, elected and appointed officials, and the public. The DeKalb County Firefighters Association has approximately 70 members.

Smithville City Council to discuss golf course, pool Monday night

July 18, 2008
Tom R. Duggin & Dwayne Page

The Smithville City Council will meet in regular session Monday night at City Hall, and will consider a mostly light agenda. The council will discuss the future of Smithville Golf Course and the Municipal Swimming Pool. Jimmy Lewis, the current tenant at the golf course and pool, recently notified the council that he plans to terminate his lease with the city, due to, as Lewis put it in his letter to the council, "trouble making a profit due to a number of reasons." He added, "The most important concerns are the amount of the lease payments and the swimming pool."

Lewis originally had the golf course and swimming pool leased until 2012 at a rate of $2,500 per month. Under an amended agreement, Lewis was granted an extension of his lease through 2017 at the same rate of $2,500 per month, with a five year renewal option as a consideration for his commitment " to expend the sum of one hundred thousand dollars in order to dig a second well, to install a sprinkler system for the fairways, and to purchase golf carts". The monthly rate could have been renegotiated in 2017.

Last December, Mayor Hendrixson vetoed a city council vote to amend last year's budget and spend $215,000 to purchase and install a sprinkler system at the golf course. The aldermen failed to override the veto on a 3 to 2 vote.

The council will also discuss playground specs for the Smith Road Park, Monday night, and any other business properly brought before the council.

WJLE plans live coverage of Monday night's City Council meeting at 7:00 p.m.

UCHRA announces Low-Income Energy Assistance

July 18, 2008

Low-income households may be eligible to receive between $300 and $375 through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) toward their electric, wood, coal, natural gas, LP gas or kerosene costs, announced Phyllis Bennett, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency Executive Director. UCHRA administers federally-funded LIHEAP in fourteen counties of the Upper Cumberland, including DeKalb County.

Applications will be available and households in DeKalb County may apply August 11th through August 22nd.

Applicants for LIHEAP assistance must be at or below 125 percent poverty level and must provide proof of all household income. Even individuals receiving benefit checks such as VA, SSI or Social Security will need to submit verification of their award amounts. Applicants must also submit a copy of an electric bill and/or a bill for propane gas, wood, coal, or kerosene purchases.
Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, LIHEAP provides assistance regardless of age, race, creed, national origin, handicap, or sex. Minorities are encouraged to apply.

Interested individuals may apply at their local UCHRA office August 11th through August 22nd between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The local office is located at 527 West Main Street in Smithville. No client will be denied an opportunity to fill out an application; however, applications received after August 22nd will be placed on a waiting list in the event additional funds become available at a later date. Energy assistance awards are based on a priority point system and are not “first come, first serve”. Individuals requiring assistance with completing their applications may schedule appointments with agency personnel.

Woman injured in single-car accident

July 16, 2008
Tom R. Duggin

A woman was injured in a single-car accident, Wednesday morning, at 6121 McMinnville Highway.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that Mary Wright of Keltonburg Road, Smithville, was traveling northbound on Highway 56 in a Chevrolet Corsica, when her automobile left the roadway and struck a tree. Wright had to be extricated from the vehicle by members of the local volunteer fire department, and was taken from the scene by helicopter to Vanderbilt Hospital for treatment of her injuries, which included several broken bones and trauma.

Members of both the Keltonburg and Blue Springs Fire Departments rendered assistance on the scene, along with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Meanwhile, a second traffic accident was reported on Allen’s Ferry Road, Wednesday morning, which caused a power outage in portions of Smithville. No further details about that accident are available at this time, but officials of Smithville Electric System were on the scene for a while after the clean up making repairs to a power pole.

Smithville mother and daughter arrested for shoplifting in Cookeville

July 16, 2008
Tom R. Duggin

Two people from Smithville were arrested in Cookeville, Saturday afternoon, on felony shoplifting charges. The Cookeville Herald Citizen reports that 60 year old Charlene Poss, and her daughter, 24 year old Terry Lynn Poss, both of Poss Road in Smithville were taken into custody by Cookeville police after they allegedly stuffed two large purses full of items from Kohl's department store on West Jackson Street in Cookeville. The two allegedly removed the store tags from the items, which included clothing, jewelry and other items. The items removed from the store had a total estimated value of $1,139.

Cookeville Police officers Donna Revis and Jeremy Lintz were dispatched to the store to investigate, and the store security officer told the officers that he had confronted Terry Lynn Poss, while Charlene Poss was still in the store dressing room. According to the police report obtained by the Herald-Citizen, the daughter knocked on the dressing room door and told her mother to "come out, we're in trouble."

The security officer told the officers the two entered the store carrying large handbags that looked empty, and that because of that, they were observed by video while they shopped. The report stated the two women's purses appeared flat and empty as they were observed going into the dressing rooms, but Terry Lynn Poss' purse appeared full upon leaving the dressing room. At that point, the security officer stopped her and the investigation began.

When police officers conducted their in-store investigation, they found discarded store tags and found that even though the two women were allegedly trying to steal numerous items of clothing, each had several hundred dollars in cash.

Both women taken to a Putnam County jail, and will appear in General Sessions Court there on the charges, August 4th.

Officer's quick actions help prevent major mishap on town square

July 15, 2008
Tom R. Duggin

What appeared to be a routine traffic mishap on the Public Square, Tuesday morning, almost turned into a major disaster. However, quick action by Smithville Police Lieutenant Steven Leffew kept the incident from becoming much more serious than it was.

Chief Richard Jennings said it all started as a rather routine traffic accident on the north side of the Public Square, but ended up with Lieutenant Leffew stopping a runaway vehicle from possibly running into Regions Bank on the south side of the square. Chief Jennings said the original mishap occured when a tractor-trailer truck was stopped to apparently unload heavy construction equipment, which was being used to work on the former Lavelle Smith building on the north side of the square. 35-year-old Brad Driver of Smithville ran into the back of the trailer in his 2003 Mercury car. Driver was taken from the scene to DeKalb Community Hospital by DeKalb EMS for treatment.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Leffew had called for a wrecker to assist at the scene, but as the tractor-trailer driver was beginning to pull off, he started dragging the lodged vehicle. Leffew yelled for the truck driver to stop, and Driver's vehicle dislodged and began rolling downhill around the square. Leffew tried to stop the vehicle but the doors were locked since the vehicle contains a device that automatically locks the doors once the vehicle is in gear.

The Mercury struck an SUV-type vehicle parked at Cantrell's Jewelry and that vehicle then struck a parked Lincoln, which belonged to Imogene Cantrell. The Mercury continued on toward the south, heading straight toward Regions bank. Lieutenant Leffew got into his patrol car and pulled in front of the Mercury, causing him to absorb the hit, but his actions brought the vehicle to a halt before it reached the bank building.

"It (Driver's Mercury) would have hit the bank building," said Chief Jennings. "He (Leffew) did the right thing."

No other injuries were reported at the scene.

Sheriff's Dept. Reports Several Arrests

July 14, 2008
Tom R. Duggin

Sheriff Patrick Ray of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department reported several recent arrests, on Monday.

Sheriff Ray said 18 year old Clinton Lane Cope of Midway Road was arrested on Wednesday, July 9th, on Highway 70 East at the Gentlemen’s Club after deputies were stopped by a security guard. The security guard advised deputies that a subject was trying to sneak into the club. Deputies found the subject to be Cope. Upon talking with Cope, they found him to be under the influence of alcohol, as they detected a strong odor of alcohol on his person, blood shot eyes and Cope was unsteady on his feet. Cope admitted to deputies that he had been drinking whiskey. While deputies were doing a pat down search of Cope, they found a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be Marijuana. Cope was charged with Under Age Consumption and Simple Possession of Marijuana. Bond was set at $2,000.00 and Cope will appear in court on the charges on July 24th.

24 year old Jose Martinez Mendez of Colar Street in Tracy City, Tennessee, was arrested on Thursday, July 10th, after he was involved in a single auto accident on Highway 70 East. Mendez could not produce deputies a driver’s license, and after a computer check, there was no evidence of Mendez ever having a license. Mendez was arrested for no driver’s license and was written a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no car insurance). Bond was set at $1,000.00, and Mendez will appear in court on the charges on July 16th.

28 year old Felipe Pinon of Adcock Cemetery Road Smithville, was arrested on Thursday, July 10th, after being involved in an automobile accident on Vaughn Lane in Smithville. Pinon could not produce deputies a driver’s license and after a computer check, there was no evidence of Pinon ever having a license. Pinon was arrested for no driver’s license and was written a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no car insurance). Bond was set at $1,000.00, and Pinon will appear in court on July 16th.

Meanwhile, 42 year old Shannon Lynn Newby of Anthony Avenue, Smithville, and 30 year old Amy Janette Lawson of Haley Road, Smithville, were arrested on Thursday, July 10th, for theft of property over $500.00 and theft of property over $1,000.00. Newby and Lawson allegedly went to a home on Jacob’s Pillar Road on or about Monday, July 7th, and stole a 5x8 foot tilt utility trailer with a three-drawer tool box containing assorted tools. The trailer and tools were valued at $1,100.00. Then on Wednesday, July 9th, the two went to a residence located on Short Mountain Highway and stole a 5x11 foot utility trailer with a high tailgate valued at $900.00. Both trailers were taken and sold to another individual in DeKalb County. Detectives received a tip on the trailers and who stole them. Both trailers were recovered. Bond for both Newby and Lawson was set at $50,000.00 each, and both will appear in court on July 17th.


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