Local News Articles

Two Dump Trucks Loaded with Limestone Involved in Tuesday Morning Wreck

February 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

Two truck drivers, hauling a load of limestone, were involved in a traffic accident Tuesday morning on Highway 70 at Liberty.

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 28 year old Jamie Norrod of Smithville was driving west in a 2006 Mac dump truck when he rear-ended a 2004 Sterling dump truck, also going west, driven by 51 year old Bobby Ray Taylor of Liberty.

Both Norrod and Taylor had earlier loaded their trucks with limestone from the Rogers Group Company on Highway 53 for a custom delivery to a contractor on Coconut Ridge in Smithville. One man was driving for Rogers Group and the other for the Hillis Group of Sparta.

However as the two trucks were heading east on Highway 70, Taylor began having mechanical problems so he decided to turn around to head back to Rogers Group. To make sure Taylor made it back safely, Norrod also turned around and followed him.

As they got to Liberty, Taylor's truck began emitting a thick black smoke and it eventually stopped in the highway as the engine quick running. Because of the smoke, Norrod couldn't see that Taylor's truck had stopped and he rear-ended it, pushing it forward some 160 feet before the two trucks came to a stop.

Norrod was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated and released. Taylor was not injured.

Trooper Tisdale says an environmental crew of Goodlettsville was summoned to the scene to clean up oil and fuel which had spilled out onto the highway from the trucks.

The loads of limestone also had to be dumped and re-loaded onto other trucks.

TDOT closed both westbound lanes of traffic during the investigation and cleanup, forcing motorists in either direction to use the eastbound lanes.

Trooper Tisdale was assisted at the scene by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb County Emergency Management Coordinator Charlie Parker, and DeKalb EMS.

City Officials Working to Settle Pay Dispute Over Police Investigator Position

February 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

When the Smithville Aldermen hired Jerry Hutchins', Jr as police investigator last month, they did not specifically address his rate of pay, apparently unaware that the city budget currently does not provide a pay scale for the position of "investigator".

On Monday night, the board voted 5 to 0 to start Hutchins at a sergeant's rate of pay, $11.89 per hour and increase it to $13.13 per hour after sixty days. In the meantime, the board will work on establishing a pay scale for the "investigator" position and possibly act on it at the next meeting. Once the pay scale is set, Hutchins may earn more than sergeants pay. City attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. is expected to do some research on what the city has paid other officers in the past who have performed similar duties based on their experience. Mayor Taft Hendrixson says he will check back with several other law enforcement agencies he recently contacted to obtain actual amounts on what they pay their investigators.

The man Hutchins' is replacing, Captain Steven Deffendoll, who apparently also worked as an investigator, was making $15.95 per hour up until he resigned last fall.

Police Chief Richard Jennings, during the interview process last month, recommended Hutchins for the job and asked that he be hired at the same rank and pay as Deffendoll based upon his years of service.

After he was hired by the board, Chief Jennings says the mayor told him that Hutchins should go to work at the rank of a sergeant. " His start date was Monday, (February 18th), but the mayor asked me to wait and not start him until Tuesday (February 19th) because his rate of pay was in question and it was going to be brought up before the board tonight (Monday).

Since Deffendoll was making $15.95 per hour, Alderman Willie Thomas made a motion that Hutchins start off making $15.95 and that his pay be increased to $17.19 after sixty days on the job. Alderman Tonya Sullivan seconded the motion. Alderman Jerry Hutchins' Sr. also voted for it but Aldermen Steve White and Cecil Burger voted against it.

The measure passed on a 3 to 2 vote.

However, following the vote, Mayor Hendrixson cast a veto of the board's action saying starting Hutchins' pay above other employees in the department was unfair. " After making inquiries to several law enforcement agencies and after reviewing the current pay scale for our other officers, especially Lieutenant Leffew, who is an eight year veteran of our department, It is my opinion that the pay rate for an investigator should be no more than that of sergeant's pay. My inquiries included the Cookeville Police Department, which pays it's investigators less than sergeants, the Lebanon Police Department and the McMinnville Police Department, which both pay investigators comparable to sergeants. I also contacted the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, which pays a few cents more per hour to an investigator, and the Smith County Sheriff's Department, who also pays investigators at a rate comparable to sergeants pay. I do not believe that raising the investigator pay above that of sergeant would be doing Lieutenant Leffew or our other officers right. Sergeant's pay starts at $11.89 per hour and after 60 days goes to $13.13 per hour. The investigator will top out at $15.95 after four years of service as stated in the Smithville wage chart for this fiscal year, that being that of sergeant."

The board, on a 3 to 2 vote, failed to override the mayor's veto. Aldermen Thomas, Sullivan, and Hutchins voted to override, but Aldermen White and Burger voted to sustain the veto. Four votes are required to override a mayoral veto.

Alderman White then made a motion to set Hutchins' pay at $11.89 cents per hour, the same as a sergeant's starting pay, and raise it to $13.13 after sixty days. However the vote failed 3 to 2. Aldermen White and Burger voted for it, but Aldermen Thomas, Sullivan, and Hutchins voted against it.

Alderman Sullivan took issue with the Mayor, saying while he was opposed to offering Hutchins $15.95 per hour, he was apparently willing to make that same offer to another applicant for the job, Danny Holmes of Baxter. "He was offered 15.95 per hour. I have contacts in Cookeville that verify that".

Mayor Hendrixson responded "This man was a 30 year veteran. I talked with him about several dollars, different things, but he couldn't be hired at any price. He wouldn't move to this county."

Alderman Sullivan also complained that Mayor Hendrixson, while compiling information from other law enforcement agencies on what they pay their investigators, did not obtain actual dollar amounts so that the aldermen could make a comparison.

Alderman White then confronted Sullivan about her support of Hutchins, claiming he has no prior
police investigative experience and that while he may have done some private investigations for people in another county, he is not licensed by the state as a private investigator.

Alderman Sullivan said she believed Hutchins met the qualifications.

During the January 29th meeting when Hutchins was hired, Mayor Hendrixson said the job description specifications for the city investigator position stated that applicants must have been a POST certified officer for eight years with three years of investigative experience as an investigator.

Hutchins told the aldermen at that meeting that he has more than three years of investigative experience and cited letters of recommendations he has received from people he has worked for, having done part time private investigation assignments.

Chief Jennings also claimed that during his previous tenure as chief, Hutchins worked in the police department for up to fifteen months, doing investigative work

With the pay dispute still unresolved, Alderman Hutchins Monday night asked what Jerry Jr. was supposed to do about a job, since he had already resigned from his position with the Wilson County Sheriff's Department.

Chief Jennings suggested that the aldermen follow the mayor's recommendation for now and start Hutchins at the rate of $11.89 cents per hour until the issue is settled by the board.

The board voted 5 to 0 in favor of that recommendation.

In other business, the aldermen voted 4 to 1 to hire new police officers Matthew Farmer and Scott Davis. Both Farmer and Davis earn a starting pay of $10.63 per hour, which will increase to $11.89 upon completion of the 60-day probationary period. Mayor Hendrixson says Farmer is a ten year veteran of law enforcement, having worked in White and Putnam County while Davis has been in law enforcement for four to six years, having worked for the Berryhill and Murfreesboro Police Departments. Both are certified officers. Aldermen White, Burger, Sullivan, and Hutchins voted to hire the officers. Alderman Thomas voted no.

The aldermen also voted 4 to 1 to award a two year airport hay contract to Burnace Vandergriff of V & V Farms, the highest bidder at $775 per year. Vandergriff will pay the city this amount for the right to cut the hay from the city airport property grounds. The city accepted sealed bids. Others submitting bids were Jerry Johnson at $625 per year, Hugh Washer at $501 per year, and Bruce Medley of B & M Livestock at $475 per year. Aldermen White, Burger, Sullivan, and Hutchins voted to award the contract to Vandergriff. Alderman Thomas voted no.

The city recently advertised seeking applicants for a newly created certified water plant operator position at the city water plant. No one applied. Alderman Sullivan Monday night asked that the position be advertised in newspapers of surrounding counties. Aldermen Sullivan, Thomas, and Hutchins voted in favor. Aldermen White and Burger voted no saying another new position at the water plant was not needed.

The aldermen adopted on second and final reading, a proposed ordinance to rezone property belonging to the First Assembly of God from R-2 Medium Density Residential to B-2 General Business. The property is located at the intersection of Bryant and Murphy Streets with Bright Hill Road. The vote was unanimous and there was no opposition expressed during the public hearing.

The aldermen, however, took no action on a proposed ordinance to change the name of Calhoun Street to Bill Bing Drive. Mayor Hendrixson and Alderman White say members of the Calhoun family have contacted them objecting to the change. Mayor Hendrixson brought up the issue at the last meeting after receiving a request from members of the Bing family that the street be renamed in his honor. Both the Calhoun and Bing families have owned property on that street.

Alderman Sullivan requested that the old fire horn siren on top of city hall be used to alert the public anytime there is a tornado warning for DeKalb County. Many years ago, the fire horn was sounded at noon each day and during fire calls. If the fire horn can't be used, Sullivan wants to check into purchasing a new tornado siren alert.

Alderman Sullivan also wants the city to do some clean up and repair work at the Smith Road city park to make it a safer place for children to play. She says the shelter needs an upgrade and new lighting should be installed.

The aldermen approved on first reading an ordinance to rezone a portion of property belonging to Johnny Paul at 426 West Broad Street from R-1 Low Density Residential to B-2 General Business. Mayor Hendrixson says this property, known as Sexton's car lot, is already partially zoned B-2 but the rest of it is currently zoned R-1. Mayor Hendrixson says the owner of the property wants the entire property zoned B-2 (commercial). Second and final reading on the proposed ordinance will be scheduled at the next meeting on March 3rd.

DCHS Names Class of 2008 Honor Students

February 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School has released the names of this year's Honor Students including the 2008 Valedictorian Nicholas Winchester and the Salutatorian Adam Emerson.

Other students earning "Highest Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0 in addition to Winchester and Emerson include John Malone, Tayla Turner, Lacey Beshearse, Jessica Harney, Dennis Young, Jessica Dyer, Tyler Woods, and Victoria Martin.

Students earning "High Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.79 include Mykel Cantrell, Daniel Foutch, Steven McCormick, Kayla Fish, Colton Rhody,Dustin Hood, Tyler Robinson, Travis Woodward, Jessica Paschal, Dustin Jennings, Joshua Cantrell, and Dustin Estes.

Those earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 include Joseph Carroll, Alisha Billings, Brittney Armour, Andrew Collier, Cody Thomas, Lauren Hansard, Natasha Hendrixson, Lindsy Ervin, Chase Ferrell, Katie Herman, Emily Summers, Anna Marie Walker, Roger Curtis, Jake Hoover, Justin Duke, Geraldine Wilson, Carla Barnes, Justin Stewart, Anthonique Tubbs, James Finley III, Zachery Rowland, Trisha Neiberger, Grant Goodwin, Jeffrey Cantrell, Joshua Gilbert, Chase Cantrell, Michael Elliott, Corey Turner, Lacey Parchman, Jacob Moore, Amber Evans, Shaun Reed, Justin Lattimore, and Jeffery Woodside.

The Class of 2008 at DeKalb County High School will graduate in May.

Senator Beavers says Judiciary Committee hears anti-crime and DUI bills

February 16, 2008

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Mae Beavers heard testimony on several anti-crime bills last week, including one bill requiring individuals to report crimes where serious injury or death occurs. Under this bill, it would be a Class B misdemeanor offense for a person to fail to report a crime that results in serious injury and a Class A misdemeanor when the attack results in death.

Bill sponsor Senator Randy McNally of Oak Ridge said the bill comes after several cases of unreported violent crime nationwide, including one in Nevada where Jeremy Strohmeyer followed a seven-year old girl and eventually assaulted and murdered the girl. Strohmeyer's friend, David Cash, saw the man pursue the girl and even followed them into the restroom where he saw a struggle. Cash, who failed to report the crime to anyone, could not charged by authorities since he did not take any affirmative action to cover up the crime. Cash later made public statements indicating he felt no remorse for failure to report the crime, and in fact bragged about his notoriety in the case.

Senator Beavers says "Certainly, we need to make sure that our laws cover such cases. There should be a threat of penalty to ignore a crime such as this."

The Judiciary Committee also heard testimony on a bill that would require ignition interlock devices to be installed on motor vehicles driven by DUI offenders. The bill, sponsored by Senator Tim Burchett of Knoxville aims to cut down on the number of deaths on Tennessee highways due to drunk driving.

Senator Beavers says "Research shows that ignition interlock devices are one of the most effective ways to keep drunk drivers from continuing to drive drunk". Beavers, who is also carrying legislation calling for installation of interlocks for DUI offenders, says "Unfortunately, they're significantly underused across the state. Passage of legislation to require use of these devices will greatly help in our efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads."

Ignition interlocks act like a breathalyzer that can prevent a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol. The driver blows into a breath analyzing machine, and if they pass the test they can start the vehicle.

Jefferson County General Sessions Judge Ben Strand testified before the committee in support of the legislation. Strand, who regularly requires the device for those with a .15 BAC or greater, said it would not be unusual to see 50 DUI cases on "a Wednesday afternoon" in his court. He estimated the average BAC level in his court at .15. Strand estimated about 75 percent of those convicted of DUI "are going to drive anyway." He said installing the devices would minimize that chance.

The committee has deferred action on the bill for two weeks. Next week, the committee will take up a number of other DUI bills, including Beavers' bill that would strengthen penalties for extreme drunk driving, require automatic license revocation, ban open containers, and impose tougher sentences for those who drink, drive and kill.

The full Senate voted 26 to 6 to approve legislation, sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson of Franklin to give parents more information and "a say" in personal safety instruction given to three, four and five-year old children in child care centers across the state. The bill addresses curriculum to prevent sexual abuse provided by the State Department of Human Services that many child care centers feel is too graphic or inappropriate for children of that age.

The legislation would allow centers to alter the curriculum, while still providing safety training. It also requires a note be sent to parents of the children, who could then review the curriculum at the center and opt their child out if they believe it is inappropriate for their child.

Senator Beavers says "The curriculum we saw was not appropriate for toddlers and pre-K children. Parents of these very young children should have a say in what their children are being taught, rather than a state government-mandated curriculum that there is no option to veto. This bill accomplishes both informing the parent of what their child is taught and giving them the right to opt their child out if they feel it is inappropriate."

The State Senate heard two of the three required readings of House Joint Resolution 108 last week to amend the Tennessee Constitution by protecting the right to hunt and fish. The measure would be voted on in the same manner as the "Victim's Rights Amendment" in 1998, the "State Lottery Scholarship Amendment" of 2002, or the recent amendment to give property tax relief to the elderly. If approved by the legislature this year and by a two-thirds majority in the next General Assembly in 2009, citizens could expect to see the resolution on the ballot in November.

Senator Beavers says "There are many radical groups that would like to take away the rights of hunters and fishermen. This bill assures Tennesseans will have this right for many years to come."

Ashli Chew Wins DeKalb County Spelling Bee

February 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Ashli Chew, a fourth grader at Northside Elementary School, won the 5th annual DeKalb County Spelling Bee Friday night at DeKalb County High School.

Chew, daughter of Lori and Kelvin Page of Smithville and George and Janna Chew of Murfreesboro, was among more than 30 students from the fourth grade to the eighth grade, who participated in the contest.

She correctly spelled the words "Cedilla" and "Mikado"to claim the championship.

Andrew Cooper, also a fourth grader at Northside Elementary, was the runner-up in the contest. He is the son of Dr. Steven and Martha Cooper of Smithville..

Students from DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb West School, and Northside Elementary School recently competed at the school level to become eligible for the county competition.

Along with students from thirty nine other counties, Chew and Cooper will represent DeKalb County in the Tennessean Regional Spelling Bee on March 7th at the Massey Performing Arts Center at Belmont University in Nashville.

The winner of the Regional Spelling Bee will compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. May 25th through May 31st with all expenses paid by the Tennessean Newspaper.

The purpose of the County Wide Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling skills, increase vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

Briley Makes DeKalb County Court Appearance- Gets 30 Day Suspended Sentence

February 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Democratic State Representative Rob Briley of Nashville, former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, appeared in DeKalb County General Sessions Court Thursday and pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident.

Briley waived his right to a hearing and entered the plea under a negotiated settlement with prosecutors. Judge Bratten Cook II gave Briley a 30 day suspended sentence and he must pay fines and court costs.

The other charges against Briley, non immediate notification of an accident and following to closely, were dismissed.

Briley was involved a "hit and run" in DeKalb County in September

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the 40 year old Briley was eastbound on Highway 70 at Dowelltown in a 2005 Nissan Xterra SUV when he rear-ended an eastbound 2007 Chevy Colorado pickup truck, driven by 56 year old John P. Mitchell of McMinnville.

Passengers with Mitchell were 50 year old Janice Mitchell and 9 year old Sabrina Flanagan both of McMinnville.

Briley was traveling alone.

No one was injured in the accident.

According to Mitchell and another witness, Briley made a U-turn in the highway after the collision and fled the scene going west toward Watertown, where he was later pulled over for speeding.

Trooper England says he went to the Wilson County Jail, where Briley was taken after his arrest in Watertown, and issued him citations for failure to give immediate notice of an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, a separate citation for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, and following to closely.

In addition to being charged with evading arrest, Briley allegedly failed three field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI in Wilson County. He also allegedly refused to take a blood or breathalyzer test and was charged with violation of the implied consent law.

The state lawmaker was later charged with vandalism by Wilson County authorities after he allegedly damaged a door to a patrol car by repeatedly kicking the door and window frame as he was being taken to jail.

Briley is still a member of the General Assembly but he stepped down from his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee following his arrest.

School Board Takes Up Light Agenda at DeKalb West School

February 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed for the 2007-08 school year since last month include:

Alisha Cheatman, Special Education Teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Rebecca Baugh, teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL); Peggy Sutton, Educational Assistant at Smithville Elementary School; Rachel Seal, Educational Assistant at DCHS; Mary Edmonds, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School; Elizabeth Nolt and Bryan Jones, substitute teachers; Henry Bumbalough, custodian at Northside Elementary School; W.C. Braswell, part-time adult high school teacher; Brandy Fitts, substitute bus assistant; and Jane Groom, teacher at Northside Elementary School.

Transfers include:

Rebecca Baugh, from English as a Second Language (ESL) to a Special Education teacher position at Northside Elementary School; Dwayne Cornelius to a full time bus driver position; Linda Pack to a full time bus driver position; Pam Sanders was transferred to a Special Education teacher position at DeKalb West School (new position); and Dr. Danielle Collins was transferred to Federal Programs Director.

Juanita Salazar has resigned as bus driver and part- time custodian; Julie Fitts has resigned as bus driver; and Penny Miller has resigned as a Special Education teacher at Northside Elementary School.

The school board met Thursday night at DeKalb West School and member Charlie Robinson says the reason for it was in recognition of the school's recent academic accomplishments. "Our wanting to have this meeting at DeKalb West School is to acknowledge the progress the school has had in meeting the goals and objectives of this board, the state of Tennessee and the Federal No Child Left Behind directives. DeKalb West School received all A's on the state report card and this board wants to thank the students, staff, faculty, and Mr. Parkerson for your focused work and what you have done here at this school."

In other business, Assistant Principal Patrick Cripps, on behalf of Principal Kathy Hendrix, requested a few course changes at DeKalb County High School. "We're requesting that several classes be moved to half credit classes including Keyboarding, Document Design, Economics and Government. Those would be nine week classes in a semester. The hope is to provide more opportunities for our students and to expand their class options. We have also requested to get a History Bible course. We've had several students show an interest in taking this class and we've got teachers that are interested in teaching it. I think it would be a good thing for our History Department."

Director Willoughby added that this class will be solely for the study of Bible History. " We have a curriculum that's already approved by the state for that class. It will be strictly a Bible History Class. We will follow all the guidelines. I think it will be a good offering for our students."

In her letter to the board, Principal Hendrix wrote that "eight other systems in Tennessee offer this Bible course to their students. This class is designed to provide students with an understanding of the Bible and it's influence on History, law, culture, and literature. The course would count as a social studies elective. The State has a textbook that goes with the course. It is an elective course which requires parental permission to enroll."

In addition, Hendrix requested, by letter, for board approval to change Government and Economics and Keyboarding and Document Design to half credit courses which is all that is required by the state for graduation. She says by changing these classes to nine week courses, DCHS can add several new course selections from which students of the county can enroll.

Hendrix further requested, by letter, that the board approve the addition of AP US History to the course selection at DCHS. In the request, Hendrix says if the students at the completion of the course obtain the recommended scores on their AP test, college credit would be given for this course.

Hendrix also asked that Virtual Enterprise International 3757 be added to the list of one credit courses in the Business Technology area at DCHS. She says this is a simulated business environment study in which students will be involved in actual on the job work experiences, including accounting, personal administration, management, and marketing. This course will integrate with various academic courses and link learning to application and real life experiences.

The board adopted all the requested course changes.

In other business, the board approved a request for DeKalb County High School to host the 2008 Junior/Senior Prom at the Stones River Country Club in Murfreesboro on April 18th. The prom is only for DeKalb County High School students and the School Resource Officer (SRO) will also be in attendance.

Director Willoughby also mentioned some new technology that the school system will soon be making use of called "Connect-Ed". "One of the things that's going to be coming and I wanted parents and employees to know about it is "Connect-Ed". We're able to purchase Connect-Ed because of some federal money that we have to use in parent notification and parent communications. Because of this, we will be able to notify parents, such as if there's a school closing or if we were to have to close early, we would be able to notify everyone within about five to seven minutes. In addition to emergency situations, we hope to also use it in a positive way in notifying parents letting them know about things like scholarship nights at the high school and PTO meetings. If we had it in place right now, we could let them know that the spelling bee is still on (scheduled) for Friday night although we will not be having school Friday due to sickness."

In other business, the board approved an overnight trip request for the DCHS Soccer team to attend an invitational tournament at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport April 11-13 and an an overnight trip request was approved for the Health Occupations Students of America Club to attend a State Conference in Chattanooga March 17-19.

Atnip Arrested A Second Time This Week By Smithville Police

February 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

A local man, arrested Monday by Smithville Police on theft and drug charges, is in more trouble with law after being arrested again on Tuesday.

Jared Atnip is charged with driving under the influence, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $10,000.

Police also arrested the woman with Atnip, 33 year old Tracy Schunke. She is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Her bond is $5,000.

Both Atnip and Schunke will be in General Sessions Court February 28th.

The arrests were made at Mapco Express by officers Randy King and Matt Farmer.

King's report states that "On Tuesday, February 12th, I was dispatched to Mapco Express on a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle had been BOLO'ed (Be on the Lookout) as a possible DUI."

"Jared Atnip was inside the Mapco Express. I went inside Mapco Express and encountered Mr. Atnip, who exited the business. The cashier alerted me that Mr. Atnip neglected to pay for his beverage. Mr. Atnip was attempting to drive off. I stopped Mr. Atnip and advised him that he needed to pay for his beverage. Mr. Atnip then exited the driver's side. He was very unsteady on his feet. I asked Mr. Atnip if he was under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. He responded that he had not been taking anything. I asked Atnip to consent to field sobriety tasks. He performed poorly on those tasks. I placed Atnip under arrest for DUI."

"Upon a pat search of Atnip, I found a straw with a white residue in his right pocket. Upon the search incident to arrest, I found eight syringes, a spoon, and more straws.'

"After transporting Atnip to the police department, he produced a blue bottle with approximately six small yellow tablets. He tried to take the tablets from the bottle to ingest them. Atnip stated that he was going to take the pills to hide their discovery. Atnip then produced a syringe from the front pocket of his pants."

The report on Schunke states that she was in the vehicle with Atnip when he was arrested for DUI. When Atnip was placed in the patrol unit, she was asked to step out of the vehicle. She exited the vehicle and the officers noticed a needle and syringe in the side compartment of the passenger door. The needle was filled with a yellow liquid substance believed to be dilaudid. In a small purple bag, there were approximately nine syringes and eight straws. Also in the bag were her social security card and the social security card of her son."

Buck Will Not Seek Re-election to 19th Term as State Representative

February 12, 2008
Dwayne Page

After 36 years in office, State Representative Frank Buck has announced that he will not seek re-election this year.

In a prepared statement, Buck says "To the people of the 40th Representative District, I wish to announce that I will not seek re-election for a 19th term in the General Assembly. After 18 terms, the re-election percentage in 2006 wasn't much different than it was upon my first election in 1972. After 36 years of service that was a very flattering vote of confidence for which I shall always be flattered and grateful."

"Service in the General Assembly is not an easy job. Your job is to protect the folks back home by bringing home highway and other improvements which entail cooperation with the leadership and administration, but as the income tax and ethics crisis illustrate, both groups at times can act in a very misguided fashion. You want to get along with the powers that be, but there are times when you just cannot overlook what you know to be right and wrong. You must never forget who you are, what you believe in and what you know to be right and wrong."

"During the course of 36 years, I have been everything from the ethical hero to the illegitimate child at the family reunion. But as painful as some of those days were, I have never regretted my role because I knew I was doing right by the people of Tennessee. It is amazing how much respect you gain by ability, being tenacious, and working hard."

"Again, I thank you for permitting me to serve you for 36 years. I have tried to make you proud of the vote you have cast for me over the years."

Last month, three people announced their intentions to seek the Democratic nomination for State Representative during the DeKalb County Democratic Party Mass Meeting held at the high school.

Dean Sircy of Lafayette, Cleveland Derrick Bain of Smithville, and Gayla Hendrix of Smithville say they will be candidates in the August 7th State Democratic Primary.

Since then, fifth district county commissioner Jeff Barrett has filed papers with the election commission, to seek the Democratic nomination for State Representative and Nicky Rittenberry of Lafayette has filed papers to seek the Republican nomination for the office.

The 40th Legislative District is made up of DeKalb, Smith, and Macon Counties.

The qualifying deadline for State Representative (State Primary) is noon on April 3rd.

The State General Election is November 4th.

Shoplifter Complaint at Walmart Results in Two Arrests by Smithville Police

February 12, 2008
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police were called to Wal-mart on a shoplifting complaint Monday night and arrested two people.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew says Jared S. Atnip of Smithville was charged with theft under $500, possession of a schedule IV and schedule II controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lisa Piles, wanted on a worthless check warrant out of Warren County, was also arrested.

Lieutenant Leffew says on Monday night at about 9:02 p.m., Smithville Police Officers Randy King and Brad Tatrow responded to Wal-mart in answer to a shop lifter complaint. Wal-mart employees suspected two females of shoplifting. Officers ran a warrants check on the two women, Lisa Piles and Patsy Estes and learned that Piles was wanted in Warren County for a worthless check, but there was no evidence of shoplifting by either of the women. Piles was taken into custody but Estes was released.

According to Lieutenant Leffew, during the investigation of Piles and Estes, the Wal-mart manager approached the officers and advised that there was another person in the store suspected of shoplifting.

The manager reported that the man, Atnip, had allegedly stuffed some things into his clothing. Lieutenant Leffew says when the officers approached Atnip, they noticed that he appeared to be intoxicated, but he denied having any Wal-mart merchandise on him. Atnip began emptying his pockets and did not produce any merchandise. However, when the officers conducted a pat down search of Atnip, they found some Wal-mart merchandise inside his pants. They also found a syringe, a tourniquet, and a small silver container with pills believed to be Xanax and Dilaudid.

Atnip was taken into custody and charged in the case.


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