Local News Articles

Three Arrested by Sheriff's Department in Recent Theft Investigations

March 31, 2008
Dwayne Page

Three people were arrested Saturday by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department as the result of recent theft investigations.

24 year old Warren Brandon Glasby of Poss Road was charged with criminal trespassing, vandalism and theft of property over $500.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Glasby went to a farm on Pumpkin Hollow Road, Dowelltown on Thursday, March 20th and entered the property without the owners consent. While there Glasby allegedly stole a 1985 Mercury Marquis and also hit an outbuilding with his vehicle causing damage to the structure.

Meanwhile, Glasby and two other people, 31 year old Ernest Edward Hill of Chumney Hollow Road, Watertown and 29 year old Amy Renee Ford of Holmes Gap Road, Brush Creek have been arrested for stealing items at a residence on Adamson Branch in Road Liberty on Wednesday, March 19th.

County detectives claim that Glasby, Hill, and Ford went to a residence on Adamson Branch Road and took two long guns, a chainsaw, an air compressor, set of cutting torches, generator, welder, and a cab off of a pickup truck.

Ford was charged in that case with theft of property over $1,000 and simple possession of marijuana. Sheriff Ray says deputies found a marijuana cigarette when Ford was arrested and she claims it belonged to her. Ford's total bond was set at $7,500 and her court date is April 24th.

Hill was charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Hill's total bond was set at $75,000 and his court date is April 24th.

Glasby was charged in this case with aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Glasby's total bond was set at $120,000 and his court date is set for April 24th.

Also on Saturday, deputies arrested 25 year old Charles Michael Blanchfield of Nashville Highway, Dowelltown.

Sheriff Ray says an officer stopped Blanchfield knowing he had a revoked driver's license. While attempting to stop him, the officer noticed that Blanchfield swapped positions with a passenger of his vehicle. After the deputy got the vehicle stopped, Blanchfield admitted to being the driver. Upon searching Blanchfield, officers found a small amount of marijuana in Blanchfield's billfold. He was charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked driver's license and simple possession of marijuana. Blanchfield's total bond was set at $3,000 and his court date is April 17th.

56 year old Charles Thomas Reeder of High Street, Alexandria was arrested Saturday for simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Valium).

Sheriff Ray says deputies found Reeder and a female sitting in a vehicle on Circle Drive in Dowelltown. After consent to search was obtained, the officers found 20 pills in an unmarked prescription bottle believed to be Valium. Reeder was arrested and his bond was set at $3,500. Reeder's court date April 17th.

Reagan and Rhody Named Junior Mister & Miss DeKalb County

March 29, 2008
Dwayne Page

14 year old Cora Beth Rhody is the 2008 Junior Miss DeKalb County.

Rhody, daughter of Kenny and Beth Rhody of Smithville, was chosen from among forty contestants for the crown Saturday night during the annual Spring Blossom Pageant sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club. The event was held at the high school gym.

Rhody succeeds the 2007 Junior Miss, Heather Marie Hughes, the 14 year old daughter of Shawnn Meadows and Mike Hughes of Smithville.

Meanwhile 14 year old Dylan Reagan of Smithville was selected from a field of seven boys as the Junior Mister DeKalb County. He is the son of Jim and Penny King of Smithville. Reagan succeeds the retiring Junior Mister, 15 year old Chris Byrd, son of Rhonda Perez and Lee Byrd.

The First runner-up in the Junior Mister category was Billy Clinton Tiner, the 15 year old son of Jeffery and Shelia Tiner of Smithville.

First runner-up in the Junior Miss Pageant was 12 year old Glenna Carlene Beaty, daughter of Kimberly Griffin and Phillip Beaty of Smithville.

14 year old Jasmine Marie Dimas of Smithville was named Second runner-up. She is the daughter of Lynda Hamilton and Refugio Dimas.

Third runner-up was 14 year old Katelyn Louann Goodwin of Smithville, daughter of Joey and Kathy Goodwin.

13 year old Ashlee Michelle Whitehead was Fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Tina Whitehead of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten were 14 year old Brooke Knight Luna, daughter of Debbie Luna and Tony Luna of Indian Mound Road; 11 year old Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell; 13 year old Chelsea Alia Lewis, daughter of Jimmy and Gina Lewis of Smithville; 13 year old Sydney Jayann Robinson, daughter of Charles and Rita Robinson of Liberty; and 13 year old Victoria Dawn Tatrow of Smithville, daughter of the late Shanna Tatrow. She is in the care of Corey and Vickie Funk.

12 year old Joey Stephen Howell and 11 year old Kerigan Sanders, both of Smithville, were named Mister and Miss Congeniality.

Howell is the son of Michelle Smith and Joey Howell and Sanders is the daughter of Larry and Melissa Knowles.

Emma Brooke Jennings Crowned Little Miss

March 29, 2008
Dwayne Page

Emma Brooke Jennings was crowned Little Miss DeKalb County Saturday at the Spring Blossom Pageant sponsored by the Smithville Women's Club.

Jennings, the four year old daughter of Chad and Shelly Jennings of Smithville, was among fourteen contestants in the pageant.

She succeeds the retiring Little Miss, Deering Grace Hendrixson, the six year old daughter of Tiffany Hill Hendrixson and Darbie Hendrixson.

The First runner-up in the Little Miss pageant was Presley Suzanne Agee, the five year old daughter of Michael and Kelly Agee of Smithville.

Second runner-up was Julia Grace Curtis, the six year old daughter of Bruce and Amy Curtis of Smithville.

Alannah Rose Musick Morris was the Third runner-up. She is the six year old daughter of Celena Musick and Grover Morris of Smithville.

Six year old Madison Faith Whitehead of Smithville, daughter of Kenneth and Tina Whitehead, was named Fourth runner–up.

Rounding out the top ten were Alexis Grace Atnip, the five year old daughter of Barry and Veronica Atnip of Smithville; Shawnta Rose Koegler, the six year old daughter of Brian and Leticia Koegler of Smithville; Madison Rae Rackley, the four year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville; Morrisa Keenan, the five year old daughter of Amber Keenan and Scotty Knowles of Smithville; and Katherine Grace Colwell, the four year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville.

Hannah Elizabeth McBride was named Little Miss Manners. She is the five year old daughter of Anthony and Danielle Carr of Smithville.

Meanwhile, the retiring Little Mister DeKalb County is Triston Bailey Stanley . He is the six year old son of Kym Curtis and Steve Stanley. No Little Mister contest was held Saturday.

Sheriff's Department Makes Two Drug Arrests in Dowelltown

March 29, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested two men on drug charges Thursday while answering a complaint call in Dowelltown.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 36 year old Charles Reynolds of Wilson Hollow Road, Liberty is charged with simple possession of marijuana, driving on a suspended driver's license, and conspiracy to possess a schedule VI drug (marijuana) while 49 year old Randy Mitchell Hobbs of North Mill Street, Dowelltown is charged with possession of a schedule VI drug (over ½ a pound of marijuana), possession of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), possession of drug paraphernalia (rolling papers), and evading arrest.

Sheriff Ray says detectives attempted to stop Reynolds and Hobbs in an automobile at Dowelltown after a complaint was made about them. Reynolds, who was the driver of a 1989 Nissan Maxima, pulled into Hobbs' driveway. Hobbs, a passenger, got out of the car and tried to outrun the detectives on foot. Hobbs was holding in his hands a yellow sweat shirt. After a short foot pursuit, detectives caught Hobbs and found over a ½ of a pound of marijuana wrapped in the yellow sweat shirt. Also found on Hobbs were 10- ten milligram Hydocodone pills and rolling papers. Detectives further found marijuana cigarettes in Reynolds' vehicle.

Total bond for Reynolds was set at $13,000 and his 1989 Nissan Maxima and cash were seized.

Hobbs' bond was set at $81,500 and his cash was seized. Both Reynolds and Hobbs will appear in court on April 10th.

Detectives called in the Department of Revenue "Drug Tax" unit which levied taxes on the drugs that were found.

Meanwhile, in other cases, 22 year old Joshua Joel Bain of Kendra Drive, Smithville was charged Tuesday with a first offense of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

Sheriff Ray says Bain was at a business on Highway 70 East when he allegedly hit two vehicles in the parking lot. People at the business got a description of the vehicle and deputies spotted it on Gentry Avenue. Bain was the driver. Deputies noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Bain's person and he was unsteady on his feet. After failing sobriety tasks, Bain was placed under arrest. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court on April 17th.

Also on Tuesday, 36 year old David Eugene Driver of Arrowhead Drive, Smithville was charged with a sixth offense of driving on a revoked license and violation of the habitual offender law.

Sheriff Ray says deputies stopped Driver on Highway 56 South because they had prior knowledge of Driver having a revoked license. He was convicted of being a habitual motor offender in December, 2004 in Cannon County. Driver was arrested and his 1985 Dodge Pickup was also seized. Bond for Driver was set a $15,000 and he will appear in court on April 17th.

DeKalb County Jobless Rate Up to 5.4% in February

March 28, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for February was 5.4%, up from 5.2% in January and 4.6% in February, 2007

The DeKalb County Labor Force for February was 10,340. A total of 9,780 were employed and 560 were unemployed.

Meanwhile Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 5.3 percent, 0.4 percent higher than the January rate of 4.9 percent. The United States unemployment rate for the month of February was 4.8 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for February show that 82 counties increased. The rate decreased in seven counties and remained the same in six counties. County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal expansions and layoffs that occur during the year. The state and U.S. unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted to eliminate normal seasonal fluctuations and to indicate a more accurate measurement of actual economic change.

Williamson County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 3.9 percent. Perry County had the state's highest at 11.6 percent..

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate at 4.3 percent. Davidson County was 4.5 percent. Hamilton County was at 4.6 percent and Shelby County was 5.9 percent.

DeKalb County Agencies Provide Food, Shelter with $11,446 FEMA Grant

March 27, 2008

An $11,446 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will help agencies in DeKalb County to better feed and shelter the county's hungry and homeless, US. Representative Bart Gordon said.

"For 25 years, Congress has funded FEMA's Emergency Food and Shelter Program to help social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties nationwide, " Gordon said. "These funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies,"

FEMA awards the grants to nonprofit community and government organizations that are chosen by local boards. The board is composed of local agencies, the county mayor and others. Nonprofit organizations apply to the board for EFSP funds. The DeKalb County Mayor's office will administer the funds this year.

"We receive calls daily from people needing assistance. We are very grateful for these funds. We wish we were able to help more people, "Kristie Miller, DeKalb County Mayor office manager, said.

Last year, EFSP funds were used to provide 2,000 meals and to help 26 individuals in DeKalb County with utilities and rent.

Former Local Manager of World Finance Corporation Charged with Forgery

March 26, 2008
Dwayne Page

A former local manager of World Finance Corporation and Tax Service has been charged with nine counts of forgery.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings and Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. say 37 year old Linda Ann Jones of 115 Middle Drive, Sparta is accused of making false loans and forging signatures on official loan documents while she was manager of World Finance in Smithville.

Her bond is $22,500 and her court date is April 24th.

Meanwhile, 23 year old Nickey Eudene Reece, Jr of South Fork Apartments on Miller Road is charged with one count of aggravated robbery and one count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Hydrocodone) while a co-defendant, 36 year old Christopher B. Pack of Evins Mill Road is charged with aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.

According to Chief Jennings and Detective Sergeant Hutchins', Reece and Pack allegedly assaulted and robbed a neighbor at the apartment complex on Saturday, taking $4,000 in cash.

The victim told police that the men grabbed him, threw him down, and began hitting and kicking him. He said Reece also threatened him claiming he was carrying a gun, although he never produced a weapon.

The victim was not seriously injured in the assault.

Meanwhile during the search, incident to arrest, officers found seven white pills believed to be Hydrocodone, which were loose in Reece's pocket. Reece had no prescription for the pills.

Reece was picked up by police Wednesday and Pack turned himself into the police later in the day.

Reece's bond is $30,000 and bond for Pack is $50,000. Both will be in court April 24th.

In another case, 36 year old Michael Joseph Foster of 191 King Ridge Road was charged Wednesday with one count of theft under $500 and one count of forgery.

Chief Jennings and Detective Sergeant Hutchins' say Foster, while at the residence of the victim in the case, took checks from the home on February 13th and forged one of the checks in the amount of $186.56 made out to Cell Plus for payment of a Verizon cell phone which he later sold for cash. The police department has recovered the cell phone.

Foster's bond is $7,500 and he will be in court on the charges April 24th.

51 year old Johnny Wayne Trapp of 235 Arrow Head Drive was charged Wednesday with hindering secured creditors.

According to Chief Jennings and Detective Sergeant Hutchins, Trapp had a loan on a 1981 International tractor at Tennessee Credit with the tractor as collateral but he sold and transferred the tractor without paying off his loan. Tennessee Credit had a UCC lien filed with the state on this tractor with a loan balance of $5,115.

Trapp's bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on the charge April 24th.

County Commission Authorizes Purchase of Property for Possible Courthouse Annex

March 26, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night voted to purchase a small lot near the public square as a possible future location for a courthouse annex.

The property, which belonged to Doug Hodges, became available as a result of a bankruptcy finalization stemming from the B. Don James case.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the county will buy the property, about eight tenths of an acre for $125,000 on a three year note. He says the appraised value of the property is more than that amount.

The site, about 200 feet x 150 feet, is located between North Congress Boulevard, East Church Street, First Street, and East Walnut Street.

There are currently no construction plans, but Foster says the county may eventually build an annex on the property and relocate the offices of some public officials there, who are now located in the courthouse. He says lack of adequate courthouse space has been a problem for several years. "The Circuit Court Clerk , Chancery Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, and Trustee especially don't have anywhere to store all the records that they need to keep. The county commission, for four or five years, has been planning to move some of the offices out of the courthouse and probably use all of the third floor and some of the second floor for the courts. The plan I've been hearing is to probably move the Property Assessor, Register of Deeds, and Trustee who are all pretty much interconnected in their work, and try to find another location for them. This would create more room for storing records and more space for the Circuit, Juvenile, and Chancery Courts"

The commission has considered purchasing one of several existing buildings in the downtown area for a courthouse annex, including the old Cumberland Insurance Building, but Foster says those sites present potential problems of their own. "We have been looking at three or four different buildings in town, but the fire at Studio Six last week raised a red flag to us. All of our records need to be in a really save place and probably need to be stored in a building that doesn't join another building because of the danger of fire."

Foster says when this property became available, the county purchasing committee recommended that the county buy it. " It's really well located, near the courthouse and city hall, and has close to 200 feet of frontage on highway 56 (North Congress Boulevard). I think the way the purchasing committee sees it is that we can buy it at a fair price and eventually use it to build a courthouse annex, but even if we don't use it for that we could, down the road, use it for some other purpose."

Walker Airlifted After Tuesday Wreck on Dale Ridge Road

March 26, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 56 year old woman was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital Tuesday after a wreck on Dale Ridge Road.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Patricia Walker was in a 1997 Plymouth Breeze traveling south on Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road) when she failed to negotiate a curve, left the road on the right, overcorrected, came back across the road, and exited the left side of the road. The car then struck a small tree and overturned, coming to rest on it's top.

DeKalb EMS got Walker out of her car and she was airlifted by a Life Flight helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. She was not wearing her seatbelt.

Counterfeit Bills Showing Up at Local Businesses

March 25, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department reports that counterfeit bills have shown up at four businesses in recent days, including Walmart, McDonald's, Rite Aid Pharmacy, and Jewel's Market.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins', Jr. says the bills have no water marks or bar codes and some were not cut squarely. The bills also have some of the same serial numbers.

In the Walmart incident, Officer Travis Bryant states in his report that " On March 21st at approximately 10:00 a.m., I responded to Walmart in regard to $240 in counterfeit $20 bills. Upon arrival, I spoke with Jozef Shelton who advised me that three persons had entered the store and that one of them had passed the money at two separate registers. Then on March 22nd at noon I was called back to Walmart to speak with Mr. Shelton who said one of the three persons from the day before had attempted to pass two more counterfeit $20 bills."

In the McDonald's case, Officer Matt Holmes states in his report that, "On March 24th, I responded to McDonalds for a possible counterfeit bill that was passed through the drive through window. Upon arrival, I met with the manager, Judy Duncan, who advised me that an employee, who was attending the money window, reported that she had marked a $20 bill that was passed at the window and that the bill was a counterfeit. Duncan said she went to the window and advised the boys in the car that their $20 bill was counterfeit. She said the boys then produced the money to pay for their food and drove away. Upon a check of the money from the prior days, two more counterfeit bills were spotted. All three bills had the same serial numbers."

Detective Sergeant Hutchins says a $20 counterfeit bill also showed up at Rite Aid Pharmacy on March 24th and a phony $20 bill was passed March 25th at Jewel's Market.

Police Chief Richard Jennings and Detective Sergeant Hutchins urge local business owners and operators to examine closely any bills passed at their establishments and report any suspicious activity to the police department.

The cases have also been brought to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service.

Hutchins says there are suspects in the cases but no arrests have been made.


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