Local News Articles

Smithville Electric System Commemorates 41 Years of Service

May 26, 2010
Dwayne Page
John Robert Nixon (Left) Dr. W.E. Vanatta (Right)

Smithville Electric System held a small luncheon Wednesday to commemorate 41 years of service to the City of Smithville.

Two of the directors, John Robert Nixon and Dr. W.E. Vanatta, who have been on the SES board since it was established in 1969, were also recognized for 41 years of service.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson presented plaques to each man which reads " Your dedicated service and conservative leadership has helped make Smithville Electric System what it is today. Your commitment is greatly appreciated by the City of Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen, 2010."

Nixon, who has also served as chairman of the board since it's beginning, says he appreciates all the employees and supporters from the City of Smithville and Smithville Electric." I also want to thank our vice chairman who is not here today, Dr. W.E. Vanatta. He is not feeling well. I want to give him as much or more credit for the growth and prosperity of Smithville Electric as any of the rest of us. We started out here in 1969 with Dr. Vanatta, John Bill Evins, Bill Maffett, Clarence Braswell, and myself on the board. Some of those are not with us anymore and we sure do miss them but their replacements have all been excellent people that had one thing in mind, the growth of the city of Smithville and Smithville Electric. We want to thank everybody for this. We have one of the lowest rates. We were, out of 154 distributors, the twelfth lowest in rates. We have maintained a good crew to take care of people after hours and if it weren't for the squirrels we wouldn't have any power outage much."

After the regular board meeting, fellow SES board members visited Dr. Vanatta in his home to make the award presentation. Dr. Vanatta said he was grateful to them. "I want to thank the Smithville Electric System. I want to thank the mayors over the years that's re-appointed me on the electric board. I have so many people to be grateful to. They have all been cordial and easy to work with. I couldn't ask for a better bunch."

Smithville Electric System is governed by a five member board of directors, who are appointed by the Mayor. In addition to Nixon and Dr. Vanatta, other current members of the board are Tony Hagan, Walter Burton, and Smithville Alderman Cecil Burger.

The SES Manager is Michael E. Parker.

DeKalb County Bids Goodbye to PFC Billy Anderson

May 25, 2010
Dwayne Page
Final Goodbye to PFC Billy Anderson
Flag Presented to Mother of PFC Anderson, Marlene Goodwin (Photo Provided)
Flag Presented to daughter of PFC Anderson, Lilly Grace Anderson
Soldiers Prepare for 21 Gun Salute at Cemetery (Photo Provided)
Patriotism on Display
Old Glory
Show of Support

The people of DeKalb County bid goodbye to their hometown hero PFC Billy Gene Anderson Tuesday afternoon.

The memorial service for PFC Anderson was held at the New Life United Pentecostal Church in Smithville followed by a long procession to the Dismal Cemetery near Liberty

From the church on South Congress Boulevard to West Broad Street in Smithville and at many other places along the route, people lined the roadside, gathered in front of businesses, or just sat in their vehicles to view the funeral procession as it passed by. Many waved flags and displayed signs in tribute to the fallen soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last Monday.

Bobby Thomason and Michael Hale officiated at the funeral.

Thomason, pastor of the Covenant Baptist Church where Anderson was a member, said Billy was a good young man who made good choices in life. "Billy was well loved by his family and friends. He was a young man, full of life. He was humble but always ready to help and respond to whatever it might be."

"As a young boy, he gave his life to Jesus Christ at Bible school and I had the privilege of baptizing him. I thought he made good choices in his life. He accepted Christ. He chose to serve his country, to be a young man willing to sacrifice for the love of his country and even though he is gone from us in body he will always be with us in spirit. He was a hero in our midst."

Hale said Billy realized there was a cost in serving his country, but he was willing to make the sacrifice. "The reason Billy was willing to go and fight was because he loved you and I. He cared enough about the freedoms that we have that he was willing to go and lay down his life that we could enjoy our freedom. Billy realized that there was a cost but he cared enough about his family. He cared enough about DeKalb County, the State of Tennessee, and the United States of America to say I'm going to defend what we have and he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice."

Chaplain Larry McCarty from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, quoting from the scriptures, said Billy lived the passage in second Timothy, " I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. Billy did that. The challenge for us is to do the same."

Brigadier General Robin Akin presented PFC Anderson's military awards to the family including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO Medal, and Combat Action Badge.

Song selections for the funeral included recorded music by Tim McGraw "If You're Reading This, I'm Already Home", Toby Keith's "An American Solider" and "Crying for Me" , among others. Thea Tippin sang a song in person as part of the memorial service.

Members of Anderson's unit from Fort Bragg served as pallbearers during the funeral and at the cemetery. Just before burial, an American flag which had draped the casket was folded and given to Anderson's mother Marlene Goodwin. Two other folded American flags were presented to Anderson's wife Caitlin and eight month old daughter Lilly Grace.

In addition to the flag presentations, the military service at the cemetery featured a twenty one gun salute and concluded with taps.

Several white doves were also released during the graveside service.

County Commission Pays Tribute to Eagle Scout James Runyon

May 24, 2010
Dwayne Page
Eagle Scout James Runyon with his parents, Greg and Cheryl Runyon and County Mayor Mike Foster

The DeKalb County Commission adopted a resolution Monday night paying tribute to Eagle Scout James Runyon.

The resolution reads as follows: "Whereas, it is fitting that the DeKalb County Commission and the DeKalb County Mayor should announce their pride, respect, and honor in the young people of our community who so capably fulfill their requirements and duties to reach lofty goals and levels of achievement.

Whereas, James Runyon has performed the years of tasks to work his way to the highest honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America. James Runyon has worked to a level achieved by a very select few and has earned the Eagle Award.

Whereas, the DeKalb County Commission and the DeKalb County Mayor wish to thank James Runyon, his family, other scouts who helped, and his leaders for the honors they have brought to themselves and DeKalb County.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the DeKalb County Commission that May 24th, 2010 be officially named Eagle Scout James Runyon Day.

Be it further resolved that this accomplishment be spread across the records of this meeting and preserved as a lasting part of our appreciation to Eagle Scout James Runyon."

Foster informed the commission that Runyon finished his requirements for attaining Eagle Scout on April 26th, 2010. "For his project, James oversaw the installation of the brick patio in front of Justin Potter Library. He had already turned fifteen when he joined the boy scouts. He has put in countless service hours with his church and the boy scouts. He enjoys camping, swimming, canoeing, bike riding, and competing in the Iron Man triatholon at summer camp. One of the merit badges he completed was cycling. He had to complete 140 miles of bike riding. One of those was a fifty mile bike ride in less than four hours. He and his parents, Greg and Cheryl live on Cill Street.

Twenty Three Cast Ballots on the First Day of Early Voting for Smithville Municipal Election

May 24, 2010
Dwayne Page

A total of 23 people cast ballots on the first day of early voting for the Smithville Municipal Election Wednesday, May 26th. Twenty one voted by personal appearance and two by absentee ballot.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports that the City of Smithville has a total of 3,076 registered voters.

Here's a break down of the registered city voters by age group:

Ages 18-20: 144 registered voters
Ages 21-30: 509
Ages 31-40: 432
Ages 41-50: 552
Ages 51-65: 730
Ages 65 and over: 709

Female registered city voters also outnumber males 1,739 to 1,336

Of course it's unknown how many people will vote in the upcoming Smithville Municipal Election, but the turnout seems to have been trending upward in recent years.

In 2006 a total of 696 people cast ballots to elect a mayor and two aldermen. The following year, 738 turned out to elect three aldermen. In 2008, 963 voters went to the polls to choose a mayor and two aldermen. Last year, a total of 811 cast ballots. Even though the turnout was down a bit last year compared to 2008, it was still somewhat higher than in 2006 and 2007.

The record also shows that in each of those years from 2006 to 2009, most of the people who voted, did so during the early voting period.

In 2006, 425 voted early and 271 cast ballots on election day.
In 2007, 555 voted early and 183 election day
In 2008, 684 voted early and 279 election day
In 2009, 590 voted early and 221 election day

This year's city election begins with early voting Wednesday, May 26th through June 10th.

Voting times are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on the first floor of the courthouse. No voting on Memorial Day, May 31st.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on Tuesday, June 15th. Each term is for two years. The terms of office for those elected will begin on July 1st.

The candidates for mayor are incumbent Taft Hendrixson and challengers Debi Loring DePriest and Bruce Medley.

Candidates for alderman are incumbents Cecil Burger and Stephen White and challenger Shawn Beckham.

Three Arrested after being Accused of Cooking Meth at Dry Creek

May 24, 2010
Dwayne Page
Terry Wayne Daniels
 Timothy Wade Ford
Lydia R Judkins
Jonathan Kyle McCormick
Brandon Wayne Hutchings
Melisha Cantrell
Donna Sue Blankenship Overall
 Earnest Paul Barnwell

Three people accused of cooking meth at the swimming hole on Dry Creek at Dowelltown were arrested on Friday, May 21st by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

34 year old Terry Wayne Daniels of Cemetery Street, Alexandria and 39 year old Timothy Wade Ford of Brush Creek Road, Brush Creek are charged with manufacture of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine). Bond for each is set at $50,000 and they will appear in court on June 17th.

23 year old Lydia R. Judkins of Jefferson Road, Smithville is charged with manufacture of a schedule II drug methamphetamine and introduction of illegal drugs into a penal institution. Her bond was set at $60,000 and she will appear in court on June 17th.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, deputies received information on Friday of persons cooking methamphetamine at the swimming hole on Dry Creek Road in Dowelltown. After arrival, the officers found Daniels and Judkins and spoke with them. During the conversation, noises could be heard coming from nearby. When one of the officers checked the area, he found Ford and in his possession were items that are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Authorities obtained consent to search and found where Ford was located and in Daniels' vehicle items such as a 2 liter bottle, tubing, drain cleaner, gloves, cold packs, jars that contained 2 layered liquids, coleman fuel, funnels, alcohol, electrical tape, and other items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Ford also had in his pant's pocket a bag that contained a powdery substance believed to be ephedrine.

Meanwhile, as an officer was transporting Judkins to jail, he noticed her moving in a suspicious way. When Judkins was brought into the jail and released to a female correctional officer, she was striped search. During the search, the female correctional officer spotted an item in one of Judkins' body cavities but Judkins refused to give up the object. A search warrant was issued and she was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital for the removal of the object. While there, Judkins was asked to get undressed and while doing so, the female correctional officer noticed Judkins with something in her hand. The correctional officer retrieved the item and it was found to be a prescription bottle. Found in the bottle were drugs such as dilaudid, diazepam, marijuana, and methamphetamine.

In another case, 27 year old Jonathan Kyle McCormick of Allen Bend Road, Smithville is charged with simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court on June 17th. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy while on patrol on Monday, May 17th spotted a vehicle setting beside the roadway on Students Home Road. The officer approached the owner of the vehicle, McCormick, and noticed him trying to hide something under the seat. After receiving consent to search, the officer opened the door and spotted a hypodermic needle beside McCormick's seat. The needle was filled with a liquid substance. A green pill believed to be morphine was also found in the floor board. McCormick had in his pocket another morphine pill, a spoon, and cut straws.

21 year old Brandon Wayne Hutchings of Young Ridge Road, Sparta was charged Monday, May 17th with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Ray says that on May 12th, detectives received a report of a burglary and theft from a tackle shop on the Nashville Highway. Through an investigation, it was determined that Hutchings had entered the business by breaking out a front window and while inside he took lots of fishing lures, flashlights, and the building's security system all valued at $2,100. The items have since been recovered. Hutchings is being held without bond and he will appear in court on June 10th.

Three people were arrested last Tuesday, May 18th at the home of 37 year old Melisha Cantrell on West Main Street, including Cantrell, 40 year old Donna Sue Blankenship Overall, and 35 year old Earnest Paul Barnwell. Cantrell is charged with unlawful possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine), possession of a schedule IV drug (Xanax) for resale, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond for her was set at $10,000 and she will appear in court on June 17th. Overall is charged with unlawful possession of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $5,000 and she will appear in court on June 17th. Barnwell is charged in warrants issued against him in a May 7th case.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy and a Smithville Police officer went to the home of Cantrell to execute a state warrant on Barnwell who was staying there. There, they saw Overall sitting in her vehicle in front of the home with the interior light on. They also noticed that she was holding a loaded hypodermic needle. After obtaining consent to search, the officers retrieved the needle, which was filled with a yellow liquid believed to be dilaudid. Overall was placed under arrest along with Barnwell, who was found in the residence.

Sheriff Ray says two of the three warrants against Barnwell stem from a case on May 7th in which a deputy spotted him driving a motor vehicle and tried to stop him. When Barnwell stopped, he got out of the vehicle, fled on foot, and escaped in the woods. The deputy then returned to the jail and took warrants against him for a third offense of driving on a revoked license and evading arrest. Bond was set at $4,500 on those charges.

While in the home where Barnwell was found, officers obtained consent to search from Cantrell, the owner, and found 179 hypodermic needles, some used cut straws, and baggies containing a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine. Cantrell also had a box that contained 11 pills and 8 half pills believed to be Xanax and a small plastic wrapper with a white powder believed to be methamphetamine.

Caitlin Anderson "I'm Hurt, He was like my Sunshine"

May 23, 2010
Dwayne Page
Caitlin and Lilly Grace Anderson
Marlene Goodwin, Mother of PFC Billy Anderson

"I'm not angry because it was his time to go. But I'm still hurt. He was like my sunshine. He was my ray of hope and he was taken too suddenly." That from Caitlin Anderson, widow of 20 year old PFC Billy Anderson. Both she and Billy's mother, Marlene Goodwin sat down with members of the Nashville television media and WJLE Sunday afternoon at DeKalb Funeral Chapel to reflect on the life of husband and son.

Click here to see pictures from Sunday's events

Caitlin Anderson, who is also 20 years old, says she will probably never get over the pain of losing her husband this way, but the loss is very unfair to her almost nine month old daughter, Lilly Grace, who will grow up without him. "It's very unfair. It's unfair to me to miss out on my best friend and the chapters of our life. It's mainly unfair to my daughter who is going to grow up without him physically being here. I'm not angry because it was his time to go. He was called and he knew from the very beginning what he was doing. Like I said, being a military family, that is something you are faced with. The thought of death. You always know that risk whenever you tell them bye for their tour, you know that could be the last time you tell them bye. Unfortunately, that's just part of the job. I believe he had accepted that."

Caitlin says her husband was a kind, good hearted man. " He (Billy) was such an amazing man. He was an amazing soldier. He was very strong but the other side of the soldier was someone who was so intelligent and musically inclined and so loving and nurturing and he was a strong Christian person. He was the kind of person that you could be having the worst day in the world, everything could have happened wrong and he could just tell you something silly or just tell the funniest joke or make an odd face and you'd just feel better. He could walk in a room and you'd feel warm. He was just a wonderful person."

When asked about how Billy might have reacted to the way the community turned out for him Sunday, Caitlin said he would have loved it. "He wanted to be recognized, not in a selfish sense or self centered way, but he wanted people to know that there is just cause out there. It's not just soldiers being bad. He did like the admiration."

Caitlin says she and Billy became friends in high school but didn't develop a romantic relationship until after their high school years. She says they became reaquainted at a party. They were married in June 2009.

Billy was unable to obtain leave to get home for the birth of his daughter. In fact Lilly Grace was already about two and a half months old before he got to spend time with her. It was on the occasion of his graduation from basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where Caitlin, the baby, and other family members went to visit him.

Caitlin recalled the last time she spoke with Billy. "He called me the night that it happened. It was probably about seven hours before at around 10 p.m. Sunday night. He said he was not going to be able to get on the Internet for a while but that he was going to try to keep his phone charged. He didn't know if he was going to have electricity where he was going. He said his phone was dying and he had to hurry up but before the phone cut off he told me that he loved me and that he loved Lilly and said to kiss Lilly for him."

Goodwin told reporters that she feared for her son's safety in the Army and didn't want him to enlist, although she respected his decision to serve his country. "I did not want him to go into the service. It's not that I'm not patriotic. It's just from a mother's standpoint because I was afraid for him. Not that he (Billy) is any better than any of those soldiers over there. He's not. My heart goes out to every person that has someone over there. My heart breaks for them because this is my worst fear and it's come home."

Goodwin said her son was a Christian and while she was at first angry with God, she prayed for forgiveness, knowing she will see Billy again in heaven someday. She added that Billy was a good son and father and he loved his family." My son is the kind of son any mother would hope for. He was the sweetest boy. He was a good father. He could not hardly wait to get home to his family. That's all he talked about."

While she is no longer angry with God, Goodwin remains unhappy with segments of the Army. "As far as being angry at the Army, I'm not angry at any soldier. I love everyone of them. But as far as being angry at recruiters, they lied to my son and that hurt me. I won't say all recruiters, but I didn't like my son being lied to. I didn't like the fact that they lied to me too. They told my son that he could come home whenever his baby was born. Billy would have never left Caitlin if he had known that whenever the baby was born that he could not come home. It's a shame that these recruiters are allowed to go into these schools and promise these young boys money. A lot of them don't have scholarships and they come from families like ours that don't have a lot of money. They promise them college and money. I don't mean to put down the Army. I'm just saying there's always a few bad apples in the bunch. It's probably not even the recruiters, it's the ones who are telling them what they've got to do to get these young people to enlist. That makes me mad. That is wrong."

The U.S. Department of Defense issued a brief press release on Friday concerning the death of PFC Anderson.

According to the DOD, PFC Anderson, who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, died May 17, in Badghis province Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with improvised explosive devices.

He was assigned to the 508th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The funeral for PFC Anderson will be Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at the New Life United Pentecostal Church. Michael Hale and Bobby Thomason will officiate and burial will be in the Dismal Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. at DeKalb Funeral Chapel. Visitation Tuesday will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Anderson enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 26th, 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan on January 13th, 2010. Anderson was due to return home in July.

Several awards have been bestowed upon PFC Anderson including the Bronze Star Medal, posthumous; the Purple Heart Medal, posthumous; Army Commendation Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal, posthumous; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Bronze Service Star; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal, posthumous; Combat Action Badge; posthumous; Parachutist Badge, basic; Weapons Qualifications Badge; and Overseas Service Bar.

Anderson was a member of the Covenant Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his father, Steve Goodwin; his maternal grandparents, Edwin "Cruse" and Connie Inez Lattimore Wheeler; and his paternal grandfather, Walter L. Goodwin.

Anderson is survived by his wife, Caitlin Anderson of Smithville. A daughter, Lilly Grace Anderson of Smithville. His mother, Marlene Goodwin of Alexandria. His paternal grandmother, Louise Goodwin of Liberty. One sister, April and her husband Chad Walker of Alexandria. Two brothers, Bobby Joe and wife Tabitha Anderson and John and wife Claire all of Smithville. Special nieces and nephews, Thea, Hunter, Nik, Macy, and Summer. His father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jimmy and Gina Lewis of Smithville. A sister-in-law, Chelsie Lewis of Smithville. A host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends also survive.

DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Fallen Soldier Returns Home

May 23, 2010
Dwayne Page
Armenta Pollard, Nell Beshearse, Leah Davis, Martha Cunningham, Elizabeth Cunnigham
Fallen Soldier Returns Home
Body of PFC Billy Anderson Arrives at Lebanon Airport Sunday Morning(Photo by Loving Touch Portraits)

Many people from Alexandria to Smithville turned out Sunday to stand along the roadside and pay honor and respect to PFC Billy Anderson, the fallen solider who was killed in Afghanistan last Monday. Many waved flags, held signs, and saluted as the hearse passed by.

Click here to see pictures from Sunday's events

The flight bearing the flag draped casket touched down in Lebanon around 10:30 a.m. and a procession, led by law enforcement officers from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Alexandria Police Department, Smithville Police Department, and Lebanon Police Department along with a large contingent of Patriot motorcycle riders, and Anderson's family arrived in Smithville around noon. Members of the Smithville Fire Department and others stood at attention in the intersection of West Broad and Congress Boulevard as the motorcade went by enroute to DeKalb Funeral Chapel.

Martha Cunningham was among those who waited for the procession to arrive and watched as it passed by. She stood, along with family and friends, beside Highway 70 at DeKalb Middle School.

Cunningham says she wanted to show her support because she has a son now serving his country in Iraq. "I came out to show my support for Billy and his family and to let them know that I appreciate his service and everything he has done for our country."

"I have a son in Iraq, PFC Christopher Cunningham. He has been there since September 11th, 2009. He is doing great. I spoke to him just prior to coming out here and he wanted to make sure that we let the family of Billy know that he has him in his thoughts and prayers."

"Everybody needs to support our troops in all branches because they are over there serving to keep us free and to protect us. I just wish them all the best and I'm praying for them all."

Christine Young and her husband and parents found a spot on South Congress Boulevard to see the procession pass by. "We came out in support and honor of the solider that gave his life for us and in memory of all the people who have given their lives in service so that we could be able to congregate and fly a flag. I think everyone should appreciate the fact, whether they agree with the war or not, that the soldiers are doing what they are supposed to do and we should support them regardless."

Jerry Scott, third district county commissioner, also showed his support. "I left church today to come out here. I think it's very important that we show our respect for the people who have fallen so that we can have the freedom of speech, worship, and all the freedoms that we have today."

Tiger Baseball Team Makes History- Advances to State Tournament

May 23, 2010
Dwayne Page
Tiger Baseball Team Advances to State Tournament (Photo provided courtesy of Peggy Sutton)

The DeKalb County Tiger baseball team made history Saturday.

With a 3 to 0 shutout of McMinn Central in the sub-state in Smithville, the Tigers become the first DCHS baseball team in the history of the program to advance to the state tournament.

The DeKalb County Tigers will face David Lipscomb at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25th at Blackman in the State Tournament (Spring Fling) at Murfreesboro

In the game Saturday, DeKalb County scored two runs in the first inning and one run in the sixth.

Cody Puckett had a great day on the mound, pitching a one hit shutout through six innings. He struck out ten and walked six. Garrett Hoke, the closer, came in for the last inning, faced three batters and struck out three.


Tyler Kent, a double and RBI
Corey Atnip, double
Tyler Caldwell, single and RBI
Cody Puckett, double, and single
Travis Neal, single and RBI

James and Sullivan Receive Prestigious White Rose Awards during Graduation Program

May 21, 2010
Dwayne Page
Grant James Receives White Rose Award from DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix-opt.jpg
Meagan Sullivan Receives White Rose Award from DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix-
Cynthia Woodward Receives Citizenship Award from DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix
Motivational Speaker Michael Burt delivers DCHS Commencement Address (Photo courtesy of Phillip Self)

Members of the Class of 2010 at DeKalb County High School were not going to let a forecast of rain dampen their spirits on graduation night vowing to proceed with the program whatever the weather, but not one drop of rain fell during the commencement Friday evening on the football field

It was a night of joy and celebration and afterwards, many of the graduates spent the night at school to participate in Project Graduation

Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to Meagan Sullivan and Grant James while the Citizenship Award was presented to Cynthia Woodward.

The White Rose is presented to a boy and girl from the class for outstanding achievement and leadership, academics, and other activities. The Citizenship Award is given to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding service, devotion and loyalty to DeKalb County High School.

The honors students were also recognized during the program including the Class Valedictorian Hunter Tramel and Salutatorian Wesley Blair.

A total of 165 students received diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby as their names were called by Principal Kathy Hendrix.

In his remarks to the Class, Valedictorian Hunter Tramel reflected on triumphs and remembered friends lost." We've all had our share of triumphs and failures, victories and defeats, but we've overcome the obstacles and finally reached this great milestone in our lives. When we leave here today, we will be able to celebrate our accomplishments and take pride in the young adults we've become throughout this journey at DeKalb County High School."

"Perhaps the most difficult aspect on our four year journey is the obstacles with which we've come face to face. In our sophomore year, we lost a dear friend and classmate, Hunter Davis. Hunter was a great friend to everyone around him. He was a loving son, brother, and friend, and he will never be forgotten. I'm sure Hunter is looking down upon us today, celebrating our accomplishments and successes with us. We also lost a beloved coach; Coach (Clay) Edwards. Coach Edwards was a big-hearted man that was supportive in everything he did. He put every ounce of effort and heart that he possessed in every activity he participated in. Last year, we also lost our beloved janitor, Mr. Billy Colwell. Janitor Billy was with us throughout high school. He would always be there to greet us in the lunchroom with a kind word, a joke, or a piece of candy. He knew everyone and wasn't afraid to lend students a helping hand. He constantly made bracelets for the students, and even gave students lunch money when they didn't have any. He was always supportive of our sports teams and any school function. Janitor Billy was great man, and he will be sincerely missed."

"Looking out into this crowd of graduating seniors, I see scientists that may someday find the cure for cancer; I see teachers that will broaden the horizons of many children; I see soldiers that will one day defend the freedom of our great country. Whichever path one chooses to take, I am reassured that all will be successful. Always remember Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. Congratulations Class of 2010."

Amanda Ours, Class President, also spoke of fond memories. "In August, we didn't fully understand that in a year's time we would be departing ways and moving on. But during the past few weeks, we have all examined the situation and now we've come to terms with the fact that this year meant more than just "being a senior".

"DeKalb County High School has taken up four years of our lives...but we wouldn't trade the memories that we have made here for anything."

"As freshmen, we thought this day would never arrive. The first three years went by extremely slow. Then August 2009 arrived, and in a blink, here we are. Graduation Night, 2010. This will be the last time that we are gathered together as the senior class of DCHS. This is our night to indulge in our memories and friendships. Class of 2010, I wish you good luck in whatever the future holds for you. For some of us, this will be goodbye as we move forward toward our future. Never forget the experiences that we have shared. Let those memories go with you, wherever you are."

Championship high school basketball coach, author, and motivational speaker Michael Burt, in his commencement address to the class, urged the graduates to live each day with purpose and passion. "There's a clear difference between occupation and vocation. Find your unique voice in life. The best advice I can give you is find a coach. Find a mentor. Find a leader. Find somebody who chooses to see the good in you versus the bad. Somebody that builds you up versus tears you down. Somebody that can help you play at a different level. Everyday we have a choice to be optimistic or pessimistic. The real winners that I coach and work with everyday are the people that come in every single day and choose to see the good versus the bad. Don't ever use the excuse that I come from a small town so I can't do something big. Small towns and big dreams. In everyone's life our inner fire burns out. That fire is then burst into flames by an encounter with another person. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit. On behalf of First Bank who brought me here tonight, I want to say to all the graduates and all the families who helped with this process, God bless you and have a great future."

Barrett Found with 57 Pills-Charged with Unlawful Possession of Drugs

May 21, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger arrested a 47 year old DeKalb County man Friday after finding him with 57 pills for which he had no prescription.

James Alton Barrett Jr. of 672 Blue Springs Road is charged with unlawful possession of a schedule III drug. Chief Caplinger was dispatched to 526 Miller Road to check out a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, he found a man in the vehicle who said his friend had gone to some nearby apartments. Chief Caplinger saw the man, Barrett, leave the apartments carrying a small bag. After being stopped, Barrett set the bag on the ground and told Chief Caplinger that it contained cookies and his prescription. After receiving consent to search, a plastic bag with 57 pills was recovered. Barrett could not produce a prescription bottle for the pills. His bond was set at $2,500 and his court date is June 17th.

Meanwhile, another man, 27 year old Bradley Shane Redmon of Estes Street, was also arrested as a result of the suspicious vehicle investigation. Redmon was charged by Officer Matt Farmer on Friday, May 21st for driving on a suspended license. The arrest was made while Officer Farmer was assisting Chief Randy Caplinger on the call at 526 Miller Road. Bond for Redmon is $1,000 and his court date is June 16th

35 year old Misty Dawn Shehane of 125 Highland Drive was cited by Detective Jerry Hutchins on Friday, May 14th for simple possession. Shehane went to PSI Probation and during a search, a probation officer found four pills. The pills were a schedule III drug.

63 year old Sharon Hindsley of 830 Short Mountain Highway was arrested on Saturday, May 15th. Corporal Travis Bryant responded to a call on West Bryant Street where a female was reported to be stumbling onto the roadway. Upon arrival, Corporal Bryant found Hindsley on the ground and she had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Her speech was slurred and she had to have assistance to walk. Her bond is $1,000 and her court date is May 27th.

39 year old Sheryl Ann Perkins of 1001 King Ridge Road, Dowelltown was cited by Officer Matt Holmes on Saturday, May 15th for shoplifting. Officer Holmes responded to a theft call and found Perkins inside the Dollar General Store where she had items inside her purse that had not been paid for. Ms. Perkins told Officer Holmes that she did not have the money to pay for the items and admitted to concealing them with intent to steal. Restitution was made on the scene.

22 year old John Lucas Williams of 181 Piney Woods Road, Dowelltown was arrested by Sergeant Joey Jones on Saturday, May 15th for simple possession of a schedule VI drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sergeant Jones responded to a call concerning drug traffic in the McDonald's parking lot. He made contact with Williams and asked him to empty his pockets on the trunk of his car. Williams produced two small bags of marijuana and two pipes with residue in them. Bond for Williams is $2,000 and his court date is May 27th.

29 year old Virgina D Ayala of 104 Circle Drive, Dowelltown was arrested on Saturday, May 15th by Officer Scott Davis for failure to appear at a Cookeville court hearing.

35 year old Leslie Danette Yorke of 830 Luttrell Avenue was arrested and cited by Officer Scott Davis on Sunday, May 16th for failure to appear and simple possession. Officer Davis went to Yorke's home to serve an outstanding warrant on her from Overton County for failure to appear. During a search incident to arrest, a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found. Her court date is June 10th.

49 year old Larry Estil Lattimore and 45 year old Treva June Hartman, both of 102 East Market Street were arrested by Sergeant Joey Jones on Sunday, May 16th for domestic assault and disorderly conduct. Sergeant Jones was called to their residence on a domestic violence complaint and he arrested both of them after hearing each of them threatening the other. Both then became belligerent and refused to cooperate. Bond for each is $4,000 and they will appear in court on May 27th.

Hartman and Lattimore both got into trouble with the law again the very next day, Monday, May 17th. Hartman was arrested and Lattimore was cited by K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow for simple possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance. Officer Tatrow responded to a possible domestic disturbance call at 102 East Market Street. Upon arrival he made contact with Hartman and Lattimore who were having a verbal argument. During the course of the investigation, Hartman gave verbal consent to search her purse. Officer Tatrow recovered two schedule III pills and six schedule IV pills in a prescription bottle for which neither of them had a prescription. Officer David Phillips also cited Lattimore for having a small amount of marijuana seeds. Bond for each is $3,000 and their court date is June 17th.

21 year old Travis E Patterson of 225 East Bryant Street was arrested by Corporal Travis Bryant on Monday, May 17th for public intoxication and burglary. Corporal Bryant responded to Fiddler's Manor on Walker Drive in regard to a man who was chasing one of the elderly workers outside. While on the scene Corporal Bryant saw the man, Patterson, going through a car next door that didn't belong to him. He was taking items out and placing them on the ground. Corporal Bryant began speaking to Patterson but couldn't understand him due to his intoxicated state. Bond for Patterson is $3,500 and his court date is May 27th.

40 year old Dona Sue Overall of 4671 West Greenhill Road, McMinnville was cited by Sergeant Randy King on Wednesday, May 19th for possession of drug paraphernalia. Overall was stopped at the Kwik N Ezy parking lot. She had drug paraphernalia consisting of five needles and one broken bulb used for smoking meth. Her court date is June 17th.

21 year old Christina Beth Murphy and 28 year old Christina Love Johnson both of 530 Miller Road were cited by Officer Scott Davis for shoplifting on Thursday, May 20th. Murphy and Johnson were seen leaving Wal-Mart with several items in their personal bags. Officer Davis had spoken with both women approximately 30 minutes prior to the incident and he had inspected the bags but they did not have any merchandise inside them at the time. When the two women exited the store, the bags were full and larger than when checked earlier. Their court date is May 27th.

44 year old Vickie Dorens Marsh of 2195 Pea Ridge Road was arrested by Officer Jerry Hutchins for public intoxication on Friday, May 21st. Detective Hutchins was dispatched to the DeKalb County Court House after receiving a call of someone being intoxicated outside the criminal court room. Upon arrival, he found Marsh to be in an intoxicated state. She had slurred speech, couldn't contain her balance and she had trouble following directions. She admitted to taking medication earlier in the day. Bond for Marsh is $1,000 and her court date is May 27th.

Meanwhile, anyone having any information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On Monday, May 17th, Corporal Travis Bryant took a report of a theft and vandalism at 223 East Bryant Street. According to the victim, Andrew Cramer, someone busted the rear window of his pickup truck and made entry, removing his Kenwood flip face CD player & Cobra CB radio. The last time he saw his truck intact was Sunday, May 16th at approximately 2:00 pm.

On Friday, May 21st Officer Jerry Hutchins took a report that unknown persons painted graffiti on a mix tank at IMI Concrete Company. This occurred sometime on Wednesday, May 19th around 5:00 pm.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential


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