Local News Articles

White County Man Seriously Injured In Wreck

June 15, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 70 year old White County man was seriously injured in a one vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon on Highway 70 east.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says William M. Johnson of Roberts Matthews Highway, Sparta was traveling east on U.S. 70 in a 2002 Chevy Trail Blazer when he exited the roadway on the south side, struck a sign and mailbox, then went airborne, and came to rest some twenty feet below the roadway in a ravine.

Johnson was airlifted from the scene by a Life Force Helicopter Ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

The accident occurred around 1:58 p.m. at 2512 Sparta Highway in DeKalb County.

Trooper England says Johnson was not wearing a seat belt.

Fiddlers Jamboree Visitors Reminded Of

June 17, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

If you plan to visit the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival Friday and Saturday, June 30th and July 1st, please leave your pets at home.

The City of Smithville has an ordinance that prohibits most animals in the downtown area during the Fiddler's Jamboree.

The ordinance states that \"Whereas, the City of Smithville has received complaints in past years from people concerned about their safety and well being due to the presence of certain types of dogs, animals, and reptiles at the annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree, and

Whereas, on occasion, even animals restrained by a leash have been known to cause harm to individuals and instill fear for those attending the Jamboree, and

Whereas, the City desires to keep visitors to the Jamboree safe and free of fear of such animals,

Now, therefore be it ordained by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Smithville that

All types of pets including dogs, cats, reptiles, and other such animals shall be strictly and expressly prohibited on the city streets within the boundaries of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree during the period of the annual event, with the exception of dogs for the visually impaired, disabled and police and military dogs that are being used for official business during the Jamboree.

Each violation of this ordinance shall be punishable by a minimum fine of ten dollars per occurrence.

A brochure distributed by the Fiddler's Jamboree Committee states that the festival allows no pets, no alcoholic beverages, no fireworks, no roller blades, or no bicycles.

Two Seriously Injured In Saturday Wreck Near Sligo Bridge

June 18, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Five people were involved in a two vehicle traffic accident around 2:50 p.m. Saturday afternoon on Highway 70 east just west of Sligo Bridge. Two of them were seriously injured.

Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 27 year old Bill D. Cannon of Little Brook Road, Cookeville was east on Highway 70 in a 2003 Dodge Neon when he crossed into the westbound lane while negotiating a curve and struck head-on a westbound 1998 Olds Bravada, driven by 49 year old Marvin T. Waggoner of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville.

Cannon and a passenger of his car, 22 year old Janelle Frazier of Luna Road, Sparta were seriously injured and airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Frazier's brother, 14 year old Chris Frazier, also of Luna Road Sparta, was slightly injured and taken by a private vehicle to DeKalb Hospital. He was also a passenger of Cannon's car.

Waggoner and a passenger of his vehicle, 49 year old Charlotte Henry of Banks Pisgah Road, Smithville, were slightly injured and taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Hospital.

Sergeant Prater says the accident remains under investigation and there could be charges in the case.

In addition to Sergeant Prater, DeKalb EMS, and the Life Force Helicopter ambulance, others on the scene providing assistance were members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, who provided extrication to get Cannon out of his vehicle; officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department; and members of the Johnson's Chapel and Midway Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

Traffic was backed up for a while during the crash investigation.

One Man Airlifted To Erlanger Hospital After Sunday Morning Crash

June 18, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 28 year old man was seriously injured in a Sunday morning crash around 6:46 a.m. on East Broad Street in Smithville.

Lieutenant Richard Jennings of the Smithville Police Department says David Gene Satterfield of Tracy City, but who is believed to reside in Smithville, was traveling west on East Broad Street in a 1991 Chevy S-10 pickup truck when he crossed into the eastbound lane, went off the highway, struck a curb, overturned, and clipped a utility pole. The truck came to rest upright in the parking lot of Disco Tienda Latina.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene to extricate Satterfield from the truck.

He was taken by DeKalb EMS to meet a Life Force Helicopter Ambulance which landed near the scene.

Satterfield was then airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Smithville Police Make Another Arrest In Recent Theft and Burglary Investigations

June 22, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 23 year old man has been charged by the Smithville Police Department in connection with several recent theft and burglary investigations.

Christopher Adam Hale of Smithville was arrested on Wednesday.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says that on June 21st at approximately 8:45 p.m.. Officer Marcus Caldwell and Sergeant Steve Deffendoll responded to 1024 West Main Street to take a theft and burglary report.

According to the victim, someone had burst a hole in the rear wall of his shed and stole several power tools.

Officer Caldwell reported while at the scene that Hale, who lived next door, ran off into the woods . He was apprehended a short time later.

During a police interview, Detective Sergeant Russell says Hale confessed to committing the burglary at his neighbor's property.

He also accepted responsibility for another burglary that was committed about a month earlier at the same house where a shotgun was stolen.

According to Detective Sergeant Russell, Hale gave a third confession, claiming he committed a burglary at a house on West Main Street about a week ago, where several guns were taken.

Hale further confessed to committing at least two other burglaries out of the city limits , one on Game Ridge Road and one on Short Mountain Highway. The information in those two cases have been turned over to Detective Charles Griffith of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for prosecution.

Hale is charged with theft over $1,000, Theft over $500, Theft under $500, two counts of Aggravated Burglary, and one count of Burglary. Total bond is $110,000 and he is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on July 27th.

Grant to improve MTUD service across twenty-county area

June 19, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

USDA Rural Development State Director Mary \"Ruth\" Tackett today announced $3,000,000 in funding for the Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District to complete a new 33 mile transmission line improving service throughout the utility's 20 county service area. The ceremony was held at the Middle Tennessee Gas training center in Smithville.

\"Adequate public infrastructure is an important factor in providing a good quality of life and in making our communities attractive and well prepared to take full advantage of new economic opportunities,\" said Tackett. \"Middle Tennessee Gas has done a great job building partnerships with local leaders across their service area and by planning for the future in this way, they are helping to ensure this will remain a great place for families and businesses.\"

This Rural Development community facilities loan will be used to complete 33 miles of gas lines from Woodbury in Cannon County to Rock Island in Warren County. This extension will upgrade the entire system and provide the Middle Tennessee Gas with an additional source of natural gas, which is beneficial in times when alternative transmission lines are interrupted and helps improve the utility's access to competitively priced natural gas supplies. Rural Development also provided funding for phase one of this project through a $3,000,000 community facilities loan in 2003.

\"A community's quality of life depends directly on its utilities,\" Congressman Bart Gordon said in a statement. \"Improvement projects like this one are necessary to keep pace with Middle Tennessee's growing population. By upgrading our infrastructure, we ensure residents maintain an enviable quality of life.\"

The gas line extension is funded through Rural Development's community facilities program which provides communities with the financial resources needed to construct or improve essential services. Education, Healthcare, retirement, and civic centers, along with local government buildings for police and fire protection are examples of projects typically funded through this program. Community facilities grants target rural areas with a population less than 20,000.

\"This important Rock Island project has been greatly aided by U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Loan Program, and we appreciate the cooperation and support that State Director, Ruth Tackett and the entire Cookeville Rural Development staff provided, \" said Les Enoch, Chief Executive Officer for Middle Tennessee Utility District.

In his remarks during the presentation, Enoch said \"Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District is a Municipal Corporation established in 1955 to serve the energy needs of Middle Tennessee. In keeping with its mission, the District has continued to expand the distribution system where it has been financially feasible to provide quality natural gas service at competitive rates in a safe, environmentally clean and efficient manner. The District has made substantial progress during its more than 50 year history. It has expanded to 3,100 miles of distribution line and presently serves 53,000 customers located in more than 120 communities in all or portions of 20 counties.\"

\"As a part of the District's ongoing planning process 'Focus on the Future', it was determined in the late 1990's that additional sources of natural gas supply were required to meet the needs of its growing residential, commercial, and industrial energy market area. In 2000, the District began installing a 12 inch steel pipe from a new Interstate pipeline tap in Gladeville (Wilson County) toward Rock Island (Warren County), where it will serve as a new source of supply for the District's customers. As this project developed, the pipepline has been interconnected to the District's existing distribution systems in Watertown, Woodbury, McMinnville, Centertown, and Smithville, and 54.5 miles of 12-inch steel pipe have already been installed and in service. Previously, Rural Development provided a $3 million loan for the Cannon County Phase of the project. The final construction phase of this project extends the pipeline an additional 14.5 miles from western Warren County to a previously completed interconnect in Rock Island and Rural Development has again agreed to help bring this project to a successful conclusion.\"

\"When the final phase of the Rock Island Project is completed, it will allow the District to meet the growth needs of all counties in the District's Middle Tennessee service area for many years into the future; it will lower costs for the District's customers by diversifying sources of both gas supply and Interstate pipeline capacity; it will improve both the integrity and security of the District's overall distribution system; and it will encourage economic development in this rural area of Tennessee.\"

Other participants in the ceremonial check presentation included Senator Lamar Alexander's Field Representative Brent Wiles, Congressman Bart Gordon's Field Representative Billy Smith, and DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster.

USDA Rural Development is committed to the future of rural communities in Tennessee by providing financial and technical assistance through housing, community, and business-cooperative programs. Rural Development assisted 459,219 Tennessee families and businesses with more than $257 million in financial assistance in Fiscal Year 2005. For more information on home ownership or business development programs, contact USDA Tennessee Rural Development toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1493 or visit online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn

Thousands Expected For Fiddlers Jamboree

June 21, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Thousands will be flocking to Smithville for the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival Friday, June 30th and Saturday, July 1st.

The musical competition kicks off on Friday morning, June 30th at 9:00 a.m.

Preliminaries will be held in the following categories:

Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (solos and duets); Flat Top Guitar; Junior Clogging (ages 13-39); Junior Buck Dancing (ages 13-39); Dobro Guitar; Mountain Dulcimer; Hammer Dulcimer; Novelty Event; Old Time Fiddle Band; Autoharp; Gospel Singing (solos); Country Harmonica; Old Time Banjo; Gospel Singing (duets, trios, and quartets); and Mandolin.

The top three acts in each category will be called back for the finals on Friday night and a first, second, and third place will be awarded.

All first place winners get $125, except the Old Time Fiddle Band, which gets $525 for first place.

Second place winners get $100 and third place winners receive $75. The Old Time Fiddle Band second place winner gets $425 and $325 for third place.

On Saturday, July 1st, preliminaries will be held in the following categories:

Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39); Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over); Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over); Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over); Bluegrass Banjo; Bluegrass Band; Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over); and Square Dancing.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back Saturday night to compete for first, second, and third place.

Prize money in most categories is $125 for first place; $100 for second place; and $75 for third place.

Awards for Junior Fiddlers and Senior Fiddlers are $225 for first place; $175 for second place; and $150 for third place.

Prizes for Bluegrass Band are $525 for first place; $425 for second place; and $325 for third place.

Awards for Square Dancing are $400 for first place; $300 for second place; and $200 for third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival. The winner gets $300.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held Saturday afternoon, July 1st during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

Prizes are $100 for first place, $75 for second place; and $50 for third place. One child will receive the Best Overall Instrumental Entertainer Trophy Award and $125 and the top fiddler will get the James G. \"Bobo\" Driver Memorial Trophy and $175.

In addition to the on-stage musical entertainment, the Fiddlers Jamboree will feature hundreds of crafts, plenty of delicious food; and lots of shade tree picking around the public square.

WJLE will broadcast most of the on-stage entertainment LIVE.

Smithville Police Arrest Two On Drug Charges

June 22, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police arrested a Hendersonville man and woman on drug charges Tuesday night after finding marijuana, Valium, and drug paraphernalia in their automobile.

45 year old Ronald Wayne Mackie is charged with public intoxication and sale and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance and 34 year old Karen K. Konstantynowicz faces charges of simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officer Mike Billings says he was called to the BP Station on South Congress Boulevard Tuesday night around 7:00 p.m. in answer to a complaint about an intoxicated person.

In his report, Billings says, \" Upon my arrival, I noticed Mackie staggering in the parking lot. After making contact with Mackie and in talking with him, he appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Mackie was unsteady and his speech was slurred. He kept repeating himself.\"

Konstantynowicz, who claimed to be the driver of the vehicle, gave officers consent to search the automobile and a small bag of a green leafy substance, believed to be marijuana, was found under the passenger seat. Officers also found a tin box containing another small baggie of marijuana, along with several prescription bottles including two bottles containing Valium, hemostats, a blade, and cut straws.

Mackie and Konstantynowicz were taken into custody and charged in the case. They will be in General Sessions Court on July 13th.

Officer Billings was assisted in the investigation by Officer Marcus Caldwell

Sheriff Emmons Applies For Tennessee Commissioner of Safety

June 22, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Sheriff Lloyd Emmons is among twenty six persons who have applied for Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety.

The Tennessean is reporting Thursday that Interim Safety Commissioner Gerald Nicely is in the process of interviewing candidates to replace him atop the state Safety Department, which includes the THP and the state office that issues driver's licenses.

Governor Phil Bredesen last week said \"I want a real commitment to professionalism. I want somebody that I really believe is not just saying the words but I really believe is intent on creating a first-class, modern, professional Highway Patrol and all the stuff that that implies ? getting politics and all that kind of nonsense out of it.\"

Bredesen says if the interviews go well, a new commissioner could be in place by next month, but if he doesn't find the right person among these candidates, the process could take longer.

Nicely says the next commissioner will be tasked with seeing through changes in the department, which include a revamped professional standards division and the naming of several top command staff positions to be added after July 1.

The new commissioner will have to restore credibility to the agency and continue to get it back on track since its implosion in December. The top three officials stepped down amid scandal then, and Bredesen brought in Nicely from his regular job ? state transportation commissioner ? on a temporary basis.

Sheriff Emmons, former Tennessee Highway Patrolman and Lieutenant, left the patrol in 2002 to serve as DeKalb County's sheriff, but he lost the May primary this year and will be leaving office in September.

Police Apprehend Suspect Near Scene Of Midnight Burglary

June 22, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 21 year old Smithville man is facing charges after being caught by police near the scene of a burglary on Luttrell Avenue early Wednesday morning.

Smithville Police Chief Gus Clemente says 21 year old Joshua Lynn McCowan of 434 Morgan Drive is charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, possession of burglary tools, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, and unlawful carrying of a weapon. He is also charged with burglary, theft of property valued at over $500, and theft of property valued at under $500.

Sergeant Steve Deffendoll and patrolman William Elliott were dispatched to 809 Luttrell Avenue around 1:04 a.m. Wednesday morning on a prowler call.

Officer Elliott's report states that \"Upon arrival, I saw one suspect between two houses. When instructed to stop, the suspect began to run. I chased the suspect behind the house where I then saw a second suspect lying on the ground. Both suspects ran between the houses and split up. I followed McCowan on a foot pursuit in between houses. McCowan ran across a porch and then around the corner of a house. As I came around the corner, I saw the suspect lying behind a bush. I instructed him to lie on his belly and outstretch his hands. I notified Sergeant Deffendoll. When he arrived I took the suspect into custody and called the county sheriff's department to transport him to jail.\"

A search was conducted in the neighborhood for a second suspect but no one else could be found

Police say McCowan had in his pocket, a knife exceeding four inches and an unlabeled bottle containing three blue pills believed to be xanax.

Officers also recovered a flashlight, tape, box cutters, screwdriver, and other tools consistent with items often used in committing a burglary.

A camouflaged duffle bag was also recovered containing a stereo cd player and tools.

Police say McCowan, upon his arrest, had a strong odor of alcohol on his person, and his speech was slurred.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell, later Wednesday morning, spoke with a resident at 800 Luttrell Avenue who reported to police that his 1989 Chevrolet work truck had been burglarized. Entry was made by prying open the rear glass of the truck.

Russell, Thursday afternoon, said he had charged McCowan with theft over $500, theft under $500, and burglary resulting from an investigation into two vehicle burglaries which occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 21st. The thefts occurred on Luttrell Avenue And Anthony Avenue.

Detective Sergeant Russell says McCowan was arrested around 1:00 a.m. on June 21st by Sergeant Deffendoll and Officer Elliot on Luttrell Avenue after the officers saw McCowan and another male walking on Luttrell. When the officers attempted to talk to the subjects they fled on foot. McCowan was apprehended within a few minutes. McCowan had in his possession at the time of his arrest a camouflage cooler which had been reported stolen from the vehicle on Anthony Avenue. McCowan is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on July 20. His bond is set at $50,000.

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