Local News Articles

Jimmy Walls Recognized for Many Years of Service on Planning Commission and BZA

January 7, 2008
Dwayne Page

A long time member of the Smithville Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals has resigned.

Jimmy Walls was presented a plaque of appreciation by Mayor Taft Hendrixson during Monday night's city council meeting. "This plaque is presented to Jimmy Walls in appreciation of twenty five years of loyal and dedicated service to the Smithville Planning Commission and twenty years of the same loyal and dedicated service on the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Walls has been a valuable asset to both the Smithville Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. His years of service to our city and community have been greatly appreciated. On behalf of the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the Smithville Planning Commission, and the Board of Zoning Appeals, we would like to thank you, Mr Walls, for all your hard work and unrelenting dedication. We wish you the best in everything you do. You will be missed."

Walls served on the Smithville Planning Commission from December, 1982 through December 2007. He also served on the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals from December 1987 through December 2007.

In his letter of resignation, effective December 21st, 2007, Walls thanked the present and past mayors for their support. "I wish to thank Mayor Waniford Cantrell for appointing me to the commission and Mayor Dewey Love, Mayor Bruce Medley, Mayor Cecil Burger, and Mayor Taft Hendrixson for allowing me to serve my city and community on the planning commission for the past twenty five years. Thanks to the members of the commission, past and present, for electing me your chairman for a total of fourteen years."

Walls also expressed his thanks for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals for twenty years.

The aldermen voted five to nothing to approve Mayor Hendrixson's appointment of Sandra Wall to serve out Jimmy's Walls' unexpired term on both the Smithville Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Alexandria Water System Experiencing Low Pressure-Customers Asked to Conserve Usage

January 7, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Alexandria Water System is currently experiencing low water pressure.

The supplier that provides water to Alexandria is experiencing system problems and the supply could be limited reducing the amount of water to supply the storage tanks of the Alexandria Water System.

An emergency plan has been put into place.

If you are experiencing a loss of water supply you may bring containers to the Alexandria City Hall and they will be filled during this emergency.

Everyone in Alexandria is asked to conserve the use of water during this crisis.

For more information, please call 615-529-2171.

Cannon County Crash Claims Reeder

January 7, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 19 year old DeKalb County man died and two others were injured in a one vehicle crash Friday night in Cannon County.

Dead is Chad Jonathon Reeder of Big Hill Road, Smithville.

The accident occurred around 9:09 p.m. on State Route 281.

According to a report filed by Trooper Monty Terry of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Reeder was driving west in a 1991 Nissan pickup truck when he lost control while negotiating a curve. The truck went into a yaw, ran off the left shoulder, overturned, and struck a utility pole, ejecting Reeder and two passengers.

20 year old Zachary D. Turner of Pea Ridge, Liberty and a 17 year old boy were injured in the accident.

Neither of the three was wearing a seatbelt.

Turner has been charged with not wearing a seatbelt, underage consumption of alcohol, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Sheriff Warns of Scam

January 6, 2008
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Patrick Ray says if anyone asks you to make a donation so that bullet proof vests can be bought for deputies, don't contribute. It's a scam.

According to Sheriff Ray, several people have contacted him in recent days about phone calls they have received, asking them for contributions so that bullet proof vests can be purchased for deputies.

Sheriff Ray says the Sheriff's Department is not conducting any such fundraiser.

If you should be contacted, obtain as much information as possible from the caller, and then contact the sheriff's department so that the scam can be stopped and those responsible may be prosecuted.

But above all, do not send money.

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, since last Wednesday, has arrested one person for theft and forgery, a sex offender, and two people on drug charges.

25 year old Elizabeth (Beth) Chalfant of Hurricane Ridge Road Smithville was arrested on Wednesday for theft of property under $500, seven counts of forgery, and failure to appear.

Sheriff Ray says detective learned through an investigation that Chalfant had stolen checks from a residence on V.L. Wilson Loop Smithville on November 10th. Chalfant then went to the Smithville Wal-Mart where she paid for items with the stolen checks. After she paid for the merchandise, Chalfant returned the items to Wal-Mart. The store then gave her back the cash. Chalfant was also charged with failure to appear after she did not show up for court on unrelated charges.

Her bond was set at $45,000 on the theft and forgery charges and no bond was set on the failure to appear.

Meanwhile, on Friday 48 year old Lloyd Earl Wadsworth of Sparta Highway, Sparta was charged with violation of the sexual offender law.

Sheriff Ray says Wadsworth was convicted in 1990 in Oklahoma for a sex offense against a child. Detectives learned that Wadsworth was living in Ragland Bottom Motel on or before December 21st and had not registered as a sex offender in DeKalb County. Wadsworth's bond was set at $50,000 and his court date is January 10th.

In another case, county deputies went to 834 Gentry Avenue, Smithville on Friday to execute two violations of probation warrants on 28 year old Jamie Edward Carroll.

Sheriff Ray says when officers entered Carroll's home, they found 45 year old Edward Judkins in the bathroom of the home. A syringe and a spoon that contained cocaine were also found on the vanity of the bathroom. Sheriff Ray says deputies believe that Judkins was getting ready to "shoot up" or to inject the cocaine into his body.

Officers also found 22 loose percocet pills in Judkins' pocket and $198 in cash. Also in Carroll's bedroom were crushed straws, which had been used for crushing pills, and a plate that contained a white powdery residue.

In addition to the two violation of probation warrants, Carroll was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Total bond was set at $4,500.

Judkins was charged with possession of a schedule II drug (cocaine), possession of a schedule III drug (percocet), and possession of drug paraphernalia (needle and spoon).
Total bond for Judkins was set at $11,000.

Both will appear in court on January 31st.

The $198.00 in cash was also seized.

UCHRA Conducts Re-Certification for Commodity Distribution

January 3, 2008

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released new Temporary Emergency Food Program products for the 2008 Commodity distributions announced Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Executive Director Phyllis R. Bennett.

Commodities are surplus agricultural items that are given back to American families through government agencies.

In the Upper Cumberland region, the UCHRA distributes commodities in Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties. “UCHRA holds distributions every other month with several hours of distribution at each location,” said Commodity Director Rebecca Harris.

Recertification must be complete before the 2008 distribution. This recertification process is scheduled for January 2 through January 15, 2008 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at your local UCHRA office located at 527 West Main Street in Smithville.

You are encouraged to bring the appropriate documentation and make arrangements to come by during the above dates. Individuals and families receiving commodities through the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency have to be recertified each year to maintain their eligibility. Those persons who receive either Food Stamps, Families First, SSI, LIHEAP or who live in public housing must bring proof that they participate in these programs, and they are automatically eligible for commodities and/or completion of a signed, self-declaration income statement that the total amount of household income is below 150% of the current income poverty guidelines. Individuals who wish to have someone else do their recertification must send a note with the person authorizing them to do so.

The USDA's Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program is available to all recipients regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.

Sparta Man Charged with DUI after Running His Vehicle into County Patrol Car

January 3, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 45 year old Sparta man was arrested on New Year's Day after running his vehicle into a county patrol car.

Charlie Lee Shockley of Oakwood Drive, Sparta was arrested for DUI and evading arrest.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies were traveling on Highway 56 south when they met Shockley, who almost hit their patrol car. The officers then turned around and went after Shockley who had turned down Seven Springs Road. Shockley continued onto Old Bildad Road where he wrecked in a curve in a ditch. The vehicle was facing the patrol car. After Shockley's vehicle stopped in the roadway, Shockley floored the accelerator and ran his vehicle into the patrol car and then hit a tree. Damage to the Patrol car was to the front bumper headlight and fender. After hitting the tree, Shockley was placed under arrest.

Shockley's bond was set at $4,000 and his court date is February 7th.

The wreck was investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Karlen Evins to Speak at Chamber Banquet

January 2, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Annual Membership Banquet of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce is set for Thursday, January 31st at Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church on Allen Ferry Road, Smithville. The special evening begins with a "Silent Auction" at 5:30 p.m. The dinner and program starts at 6:00 p.m.

The keynote speaker will be popular author and radio personality, Karlen Evins. In addition, the Leadership DeKalb Alumni group will present their winners for "Community Leader of the Year" and "Legacy" awards. Chamber Board Members including the newly elected board members will also be introduced.

Along with entertainment, a meal will be served and a "Silent Auction" will be held. Each Chamber member is asked to donate an item for the Silent Auction. Please contact the Chamber office as soon as possible and let them know what you will offer.

Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased from any of the 15 board members or they may be picked up at the Chamber office located at 301 N. Public Square, Smithville.

Smithville Fire Department Responds to New Year's Day Grass Fire

January 2, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called out to a New Year's Day grass fire in the Meadowbrook and Green Acre Drive area Tuesday.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker says the fire came close to some houses, but no structures were damaged and no one was injured. "We responded to a grass fire back in behind Meadowbrook Drive. It started around Green Acre Drive. With the high, gusty winds, the fire spread across the grassy field at a pretty good rate. We called the Tennessee Forestry Division because it was in a grassy wooded area. We got them to help us contain the fire because it was headed toward the back of some houses. We measured it out. It was just a little over nine acres that had burned."

Parked added "It looked like somebody had started it right beside the roadside. They either threw something out or set it on fire right beside the road. We're still looking into that to see if we can find any suspects and how it actually did start."

Early Voting Begins January 16th for February Primaries

January 2, 2008
Dwayne Page

Early Voting dates and times are set for the February 5th DeKalb County Democratic Primary and Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary.

Early voting will be held January 16th through January 31st from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

Meanwhile the last date to register to vote in time for the primary is January 7th.

DeKalb County voters will select Democratic nominees for Constable and Assessor of Property on February 5th.

The candidates are Incumbent Timothy (Fud) Banks and challengers Roy Merriman and Willie Thomas. The winner will face Republican nominee John David Foutch and Independent candidate Sandy C. Brown in the DeKalb County General Election on August 7th.

Democratic candidates for constable are Incumbent Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, Paul Cantrell in the fourth district, Incumbent Mark Milam in the fifth district, Cantrell Jones in the sixth district and Mary Ann Thomason and Johnny King in the seventh district.

The nominees for constable chosen on February 5th will be unopposed in the August 7th General Election. No candidate from either party qualified to run for constable in the first district and Second District Republican Incumbent Reed Edge will be unopposed in August.

Voters will also be voting for their favorite candidates for President in the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Presidential Preference Primaries on February 5th. The Presidential Election will be in November.

Voters must declare in which primary they will be voting, either Democratic or Republican. You cannot vote in both.

The candidates for President in the Democratic Primary are Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, and Bill Richardson.

Candidates for President in the Republican Primary are Rudy Giuliana, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson. Tancredo has already dropped out of the race.

Two Smithville Police Officers Receive Commendations for Helping Needy Families

January 1, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department helped two needy families have a merrier Christmas last week and two members of the department have been commended for their efforts.

Officers Brad C. Tatrow and Callie M. Matthews have been presented commendations signed by Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Police Commissioner Cecil Burger, Police Chief Richard Jennings, and Lieutenant Steven Leffew.

The commendations state that "On behalf of the City of Smithville Police Department, I would like to commend you for your recent efforts in your capacity as a Smithville Police Officer. Due to your determination, the Smithville Police Department recently was able to assist two families this Christmas Holiday."

"As a result of your determination, the Smithville Police Department was able to assist two needy families, consisting of eight children this Christmas Holiday with food and gifts for the children with the assistance of local businesses."

"It's initiatives like this that will distinguish Smithville Police officers as friends and protectors and will take our Police Department to a higher level of excellence. For your outstanding performance, you are hereby formally recognized and commended with a copy of this commendation becoming a part of your permanent personnel record."

"Congratulations and keep up the great work!"


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