Local News Articles

Britney Campbell Chosen for Mid-State Band

December 8, 2008
Britney Campbell

For the fourth year in a row, Britney Campbell, a sophomore at DeKalb County High School, has been chosen to represent Middle Tennessee in its most prestigious musical ensemble, Tennessee’s Mid-State Band.

On Saturday, December 6th, Britney traveled to McGavok High School in Nashville to audition for Mid-State, which selects its musicians from the Middle Tennessee area based on the students’ level of musical ability. At the senior high level, any 10th – 12th grade student in Middle Tennessee can audition. During the audition process, each student is tested in three general areas of musicianship. Students are asked to perform a prepared piece of music, which is a song that has been rehearsed prior to the audition date. Students are also required to demonstrate their ability in playing scales, a basic pattern of musical notes. They are also tested on sight-reading skills, which displays the ability to perform a song without having to rehearse it.

Among the hundreds of clarinet players in grades ten through twelve who auditioned for this event, Britney placed nineteenth chair in the Bronze Band, Mid-State’s third ranking band.

In January 2009, all the students who made the Mid-State Bands will rehearse in Murfreesboro. Students will only have a couple days to prepare for a concert, which will be held at Middle Tennessee State University. DeKalb County High School’s Band Director, Jonathan Wright, says, “It is a wonderful experience for all involved students because they get an opportunity to play with the most talented and motivated students from all over the middle Tennessee area.”

In addition to playing clarinet in the high school band, Britney also plays percussion in the DCHS Winter Drumline, DC-1 Percussion. This ensemble is completely extracurricular, and meets twice a week in the band room to prepare for an indoor show to be performed in 2009.

Britney is the daughter of Mike Campbell and Kimberly Houk of Smithville. Britney's dad says, "This was her first year to try out in the senior high division and I am very proud of her. She works really hard for this every year.”

Former 3-D Financial Loan Officer Indicted on Forgery and Theft Charges

December 8, 2008
Dwayne Page
Sari Bailey

A former loan officer at 3-D Financial of Smithville has been named in a sealed indictment charging her with eighteen counts of forgery and one count of theft over $1,000.

53 year old Sari Bailey of Antioch Road, Smithville, who was arrested Friday, is accused of issuing $4,100 in loans, using the names and personal information of previous 3-D Financial customers without their knowledge, and keeping the money for herself. She also allegedly forged a company check and passed it at a local bank for $1,500 and kept the money.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, who investigated the case, says with each fraudulent loan issued, Bailey would apparently use the funds from it to either pay off or make a payment on the previous loan.

Bailey allegedly forged loan agreements using the names of six different persons in amounts of $100, $200, and $300 on seventeen occasions from April 27th, 2007 to October 30th, 2007.

The investigation began last fall after the office manager of 3-D Financial reported to police that three company checks were missing and that one of them had been cashed for $1,500 but the money was not returned. Chief Jennings says the fraudulent loan scheme was uncovered as a result of that investigation.

The indictment alleges that on and between April, 2007 and October, 2007, Bailey did forge and pass one check and seventeen loan agreements with a total net loss of approximately $2,893 on accounts with the intent to deprive 3-D Financial of said property, constituting the offense of theft over $1,000.

Her bond is $25,000 and she will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 15th.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested two persons since Friday for driving under the influence.

37 year old Thomas Wayne Wallace Jr. of Jamestown was charged Friday with driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a loaded weapon, and possession of a loaded weapon while intoxicated.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputes spotted a vehicle that was parked in the roadway on Highway 70 East. Upon inspecting the vehicle, officers found Wallace passed out in a fetal position with the vehicle running and in gear. They determined that Wallace was under the influence of alcohol after he failed field sobriety tasks. Upon taking an inventory of Wallace's vehicle, officers found a loaded handgun under his seat. Wallace's bond was set at $3,000 and he will appear in court on December 18th.

Meanwhile on Saturday a county deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 70 for weaving from side to side in the roadway. Sheriff Ray says 28 year old Steve Ross Merriman of Snow Hill Road Dowelltown was found to be the driver of the vehicle. Deputies noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. Merriman was asked to perform field sobriety tasks. He was also asked to give blood to determine any alcohol content in his body. Merriman refused to consent to both the sobriety tasks and blood test. Deputies placed him under arrest for driving under the influence. Merriman's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on January 8th.. Merriman was also issued a citation for violating the implied consent law.

DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders Win TSSAA State Championship in non-building.

December 8, 2008
DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders- TSSAA State Champs

The DeKalb County High School Basketball Cheerleaders are the 2008 TSSAA State Cheerleading Champions in non-building.

The TSSAA State Cheerleading Championships were held at Murphy Center at MTSU on Saturday.

Coach Walteen Parker says "We started working on our routine in November. This is our third State Championship." The squad members are Rosemary Apple, Captain; Jessica Cook, Captain; Alison Curtis, Captain; Caroline Carter; Kendra Foutch; Amanda Ours; Perri Carter; Camry White; Tiffini Hendrixson; Allyson Judkins; Corabeth Rhody; Sydney Robinson, and Ashlee Whitehead.

Coach Parker was also presented the Coach's Achievement Award, which is awarded to the State Champion.

Town of Liberty Shares Plenty of Christmas Cheer

December 7, 2008
Dwayne Page
Float for DeKalb Fair Little Miss Kacie Malone and Court Win First Place at Liberty
NewsChannel 5 Meteorologist Lelan Statom-Grand Marshal of Liberty Parade

The sights and sounds of Christmas were on display Sunday during the annual Liberty Christmas Parade sponsored by Liberty State Bank and the town of Liberty.

Lelan Statom, meteorologist of NewsChannel 5 served as Grand Marshal. The parade also featured floats, the DCHS band, horseback riders, vintage automobiles, tractors, and Santa Claus among many other attractions.

An entry featuring the DeKalb County Fair Little Miss Kacie Malone and her court, Monica Carlton, Makenzie Brooke Poss, and Graci Starnes won the float competition and the Liberty United Methodist Church float took second place.

Kevin Bandy won first place for best vintage automobile in the parade with his 1925 Ford T model.

Terry and Trisha Bullard won second place

In the tractor category, first place went to W.J. (Dub) White and Joe Vickers, Jr. took second place.

Jared Pyles was awarded first place in the miscellaneous category while Justin Johnson received second place.

Prizes were awarded by the Town of Liberty and Liberty State Bank.



Smithville Christmas Parade Ushers in Yuletide Season

December 6, 2008
Dwayne Page
Liberty United Methodist Church-First Place Float Winner
Parade Grand Marshal DCHS Football Team

The town of Smithville was the scene of a yuletide celebration Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds lined the downtown streets for the annual Smithville Christmas Parade.

As always, the parade featured floats, vintage automobiles, motorcycles, local kings and queens, scouts, horseback riders, the DeKalb County High School Fighting Tiger Band, among many other entries. Of course, the highlight of the parade was the appearance of Santa Claus who rode into town on a fire engine tossing candy left and right to everyone along the parade route.

The Grand Marshal of the Smithville parade was the DeKalb County High School Football team. This year's squad finished the season 9-3 and notched the school's first ever state football playoff victory.

The Liberty United Methodist Church won first place in the float competition.

The Smithville Church of God took second place for their float and Girl Scout Troop #343 received third place.

The Spirit Award, presented by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club, went to Wal-mart for their float.

The Smithville Parade is sponsored each year by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department.


Smithville Police Urge Businesses to Check for Counterfeit Bills

December 5, 2008
Dwayne Page

Local business owners and operators are urged to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills, especially $100 and $20 bills that may be circulating.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings says a man went to DeKalb Community Bank Wednesday to change a $100 bill but the teller discovered that it was a counterfeit. The man then asked the teller to check other bills in his wallet and found that he had fourteen $20 bills that were also counterfeit for a total of $380 in fake money.

The man said he had also given a $20 bill to a female relative, which police learned also proved to be counterfeit. The woman tried to pass the bill at Save-A-Lot on Wednesday.

Chief Jennings says police do not believe the man or his female relative knew the bills they had were counterfeit, so no charges have been filed against them.

However, Chief Jennings adds that since neither police nor the man who had the bills knows where they came from, there could be more circulating, so he is urging all business people to beware.

Officers Randy King and Travis Bryant filed reports in the case.

Smithville Police have charged 32 year old Eric James Garner with two counts of simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. His bond totals $3,000 and he will be in court on the charges December 18th.

On November 28th, Officer Travis Bryant responded to 2638 Allen Ferry Road to a possible domestic. After speaking to Garner, who said he was having problems with his wife, Officer Bryant obtained consent to search and found in the residence a pill bottle containing five blue pills believed to be Clonazepam. Officer Bryant asked Garner if he had been taking anything and he stated "not today", but that someone had given him some pills. He produced a pill bottle that contained 750 mg of methocarbamol which is a muscle relaxer. The bottle contained 19 pills.

In other cases, 28 year old Heather Starr Trapp is charged with theft of property under $500. Her bond is $1,000 and she was due to appear in court Thursday.

Officer Scott Davis responded to Save-A-Lot on November 24th where Trapp was accused of taking a package of baby wipes and a package of disposable razors. She allegedly hid the items on her person and left the store without paying for them.

34 year old Kyle Russell Hill is charged with filing a false report. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court December 18th.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. filed the charge stating that Hill falsely reported the theft of several items from his home at 835 Dry Creek Road on November 26th including a class ring, necklace with a horseshoe pendant and a horseshoe ring. Upon further investigation, it was learned that Hill had gone to a pawn shop on October 14th and pawned two items and on October 17th he pawned the other items.

47 year old Alton Ray Hinsley is charged with theft of property under $500 and public intoxication. His bond totals $2,000 and he was to have appeared in court Thursday.

Officer Scott Davis responded to a call at Wal-mart on November 25th where Hinsley allegedly put on a pair of boots and walked out of the store without paying for them. The boots were valued at $59.00. Hinsley was also intoxicated. He had an odor of alcohol on his breath, his speech was slurred, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He was unsteady on his feet.

36 year old Ricky Shannon Nokes is charged with theft under $500, possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance. His bond totals $5,500 and he will be in court December 11th.

Officer Scott Davis responded to Wal-mart on November 25th where Nokes was observed putting several items of store merchandise on his person and attempting to leave the store without paying for them. The items were valued at $48.93.

Upon a search incident to arrest, Officer Davis found a straw containing a powdery residue in his front pocket. Nokes also had a pill bottle clutched in his hand containing six hydrocodone pills. He had no prescription for the pills.

Nokes also had a key chain with a silver pill holder and inside the pill holder was a baggie containing an unknown white substance, which later was field tested and shown to be meth.

Irvine and Silcox Named in Sealed Indictments

December 5, 2008
Dwayne Page
Tonya Silcox
Heather Irvine

Two persons named in sealed indictments returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury this week have been arrested.

31 year old Heather Irvine of Sparta Highway has been arrested on a sealed indictment charging her with one count of simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Oxycodone), simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) less than one half ounce, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $10,000 .The offenses allegedly occurred on January 6th, 2008. The case was investigated by the Smithville Police Department.

Meanwhile 37 year old Tonya Silcox of West Main Street, Liberty was arrested on a sealed indictment charging her with fifteen counts of forgery and one count of theft of property over $1,000.

Silcox is accused of forging checks on fifteen occasions bearing the names of either Larry or Lori Nellist in various amounts during the months of July, August, September, and October.

The indictment on the theft charge alleges that on and between July and October 2008, Silcox forged and passed fifteen checks with a total face value of approximately $3,326 on accounts with the intent to deprive Larry and Lori Nellist of their property, constituting the offense of theft over $1,000.

The case was investigated by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Irvine and Silcox will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 15th.

Holiday Fun Enjoyed by Many during "Christmas on the Square"

December 4, 2008
Dwayne Page
Brownie and Santa Brownie
Fluty and the Flutones
Aaron and Thea Tippin
County Officials at Courthouse Open House

Many shared in the fun of "Christmas on the Square" Thursday evening downtown Smithville.

County officials greeted visitors at the courthouse and served refreshments during the annual open house while others got a chance to see the newly renovated Healing Stones/Lifeworks building for the first time, where most of the night's entertainment and special activities were held. The Kiwanis Club and Leadership DeKalb greeted visitors at their booths while Thea Tippin, Susie Guerin, and Fluty and the Flutones showcased their musical talents with songs of the season.

Several stores also stayed open extended hours to accommodate holiday shoppers and many took advantage of the opportunity to have their pictures made with Santa by Double J. Photography and to have free family portraits by Studio Six Limited.

Justin-Potter Library also took part in the celebration featuring magician Bruce Amato & his "Holiday Magic" show.

More holiday events are scheduled for this weekend including the Smithville Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 6th at 1:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 11:00 a.m. at Smithville Elementary School. To enter the parade, call John Poss at 597-1135 or Jeff Wright at 597-6750.

Meanwhile, the Liberty Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 7th starting at 2:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 1:00 p.m. on the west end of town. There will be four categories for prizes and giveaways after the parade. Santa will be riding into town to greet the public and to visit with the children. Santa will also bring his reindeer plus other animals for everyone to enjoy petting so bring your camera or have Santa's elves take your picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. For more information call 615-536-5101.

The Alexandria Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 13th at 2:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 1:00 p.m. on the Jim Curtis Highway or West Main Street. Call for more information at 529-2171.

Several churches in the areas are also presenting special Christmas programs this month.

The Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church presents the 4th annual Living Christmas Tree on December 6th and 7th at 6:30 p.m. This year's performance is entitled "Hallelujah, Jesus is Born" with new songs and a light show. Come and join us for a time of Praise and Worship and Celebration for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Watch as the 25 ft Christmas tree comes to life with inspirational music and light. Everyone is Welcome!

Covenant Baptist Church will present "You Can't Cancel Christmas" and "Virgil's First Christmas" on Sunday, December 14th at 5:00 p.m. Everyone is invited.

Join the congregation of the Keltonburg United Methodist Church as they present the annual LIVE Nativity. Drive by or walk through the stable and rediscover the true miracle of Christmas. Join LIVE animals, shepherds, angels, and the holy family as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The stable scene will be located at the church at 5612 Keltonburg Road on Sunday, December 21st from 6:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be available in the fellowship hall. For more information call 597-5682 or 597-5835. Take highway 56 south to highway 288. Follow highway 288 for 3.4 miles to the second church on the right.

A Christmas Drive-Thru at the Liberty United Methodist Church will be December 17th &18th from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The drive-thru will feature different scenes of the Life of Christ from the Prophet Isaiah, the birth, the boy Jesus, to His miracles. Come celebrate the TRUE Meaning of Christmas. Keep Christ in Christmas. Follow the signs from Highway 70, turning beside the DeKalb Lodge in Liberty. The church is located on Church Street.

The Brush Creek Baptist Church presents the "Life of Christ"....A drive thru with (14) different scenes with live animals & people depicting Jesus' life from the birth in the Manger to His return ...You never have to leave your vehicle....at 26 School House Circle, Brush Creek. To be held Saturday and Sunday, December 6th & 7th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For additional information, please call 615-683-6311 or 615-444-7972.

Angel Tree Project Needs Your Support

December 3, 2008
Dwayne Page

Your support is needed to make this year's Angel Tree Project successful.

Laura Stone says hundreds of angels remain and time is running out. "It's going extremely slow. We had 767 kids this year, our largest group ever, and when I was calling around to all the banks who have the angels, I was really taken aback at how many were left. I don't think we even have half of our angels taken yet so we have plenty more to choose from and the deadline for that is Friday, December 5th. We do take money. We will take donations and shop for those people. If you can take an angel that's the best thing, but if you can't we'll be glad to shop but right now we've got several hundred angels left. If we don't get those angels taken, then hopefully, we'll have enough money raised where we can at least buy them something because we want to make sure that everybody gets something."

Be sure to pick up an angel at any local bank and return a gift for that child by Friday, December 5th.

Downtown Building Renovated for Community Events

December 3, 2008
Dwayne Page
Bobby McCormick, Mike Foster, Pat and George Bullard (Photo by Suzanne Williams)

DeKalb County now has a building available for non-profit groups to have special community events, thanks to George and Pat Bullard of the Lifeworks and Healing Stones Foundation.

An "Off the Beaten Path Studio" Reception and Exhibition was held Tuesday evening at the newly renovated building formerly owned by Lavelle Smith and located on the north side of the public square, next door to the Chamber of Commerce office.

After purchasing the property from the Smith family, the Bullards started a renovation of the building, which has recently been completed. "Pat and I were driving around and saw Lavelle's building, which we had taken notice of for years. There were some folks here working with a project called "Empty Bowls" and we were looking for a place for them to have a studio in a public setting, so we found this building and later talked to Will Smith, Lavelle's son and then to Mrs. Smith and the family agreed to sell it to us and that's really how it came about," according to George Bullard.

"That was the inspiration for the beginning of this building, because of our interest in the "Empty Bowls" Project and our partnership with the state craft organization. We were already working up here with the Butternut Valley UT project so the artists of Smithville, we already knew. But it's now evolved into something quite different. It will be what the community wants it to be, primarily starting with the craft artists, but really the kind of thing we welcome are community oriented non-profit efforts", said Pat Bullard

County Mayor Mike Foster, who donated some of his time to help project manager Bobby McCormick in the renovation, says the building is something of which the community can be proud. "It's about 5500 square feet, about 105 feet by 50 feet. There's also a little green space off to the side of the building behind the Chamber building. It's kind of a unique green garden space that adds to it. It's really a pretty building and I'm happy to donate my time to them to help do this because they (Bullards) have done a lot of really good things for the community and we appreciate that so much."

George Bullard says both he and Pat want to thank Foster and McCormick for their help. "It wouldn't have gotten done without Mike and Bobby. They have built it for us. Bobby has been here everyday and has really helped to shepherd the thing along. We're really grateful for that."

For more information concerning the use of the new Healing Stones/Lifeworks Building, contact Project Manager Bobby McCormick at 597-5418.


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