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Local News Articles

Madison Man Arrested After High Speed Chase Last Week Remains Incarcerated

November 25, 2008
Dwayne Page
Roger Lee Artz

A 56 year old Madison man who tried to outrun an officer of the Tennessee Highway Patrol from Smithville to Sparta last week remains in the DeKalb County Jail.

Roger Lee Artz of Forest Park Road, Madison is charged with reckless endangerment of a motor vehicle and evading arrest. His bond totals $35,000 and he will be in court on the charges December 11th.

Trooper Dewayne Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, reports that " On Wednesday, November 19th, while on patrol, I attempted to stop a vehicle on U.S. 70 in front of Smithville Builders Supply. The vehicle was traveling 79 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone. The driver refused to pull his vehicle over and continued east on U.S. 70 at a high rate of speed. The vehicle left DeKalb County and entered White County. Just before we entered the Sparta city limits, the vehicle ran over a set of spike strips which was deployed by the White County Sheriff's Department. The vehicle continued east until it was on it's rims. The vehicle then pulled to the shoulder."

The arrest warrant alleges that "Artz committed the offense of reckless endangerment by fleeing law enforcement in a motor vehicle. Artz did flee at a high rate of speed, passing other vehicles on double yellow lines, and not maintaining his lane of travel. Artz also passed vehicles on hills and curves and met other vehicles head-on forcing them off the road way."

Sheriff Patrick Ray and a detective of the Sheriff's Department, while not directly involved in the pursuit, got enroute to backup Trooper Jennings.

Man Charged with Stealing Road Grader

November 24, 2008
Dwayne Page
Michael Brandon Redmon

A 24 year old man was arrested Sunday night after allegedly stealing his father's road grader and leading officers on low speed pursuit from South Congress Boulevard to Student's Home Road.

Michael Brandon Redmon of 7592 McMinnville Highway is charged with theft of property over $10,000 and evading arrest. His bond totals $60,000 and he will be in court on the charges December 18th.

Officer Bradley C. Tatrow, in his report, states that "On Sunday, November 23rd at 8:41 p.m. I received a call of a theft of a vehicle that had just occurred at Jewel's Market. The caller, Jewel Redmon, advised that his son had just taken his road grader that was parked behind the store and that he did not know what he was going to do with it. Upon arrival in the area, I saw a road grader traveling south on South Congress Boulevard in front of Jewel's Market."

Officer Tatrow says he turned on his emergency equipment but the grader would not stop. The driver turned onto Vaughn Lane and then went to Student's Home Road, where it turned right. The road grader continued on Students Home Road but just before it got to Keltonburg Road, the grader ran out into a field and stopped. The driver, Michael Brandon Redmon, jumped off the grader and tried to flee on foot but was taken into custody by a county officer and charged in the case by city police.

Others involved in trying to get the road grader stopped were constable Mark Milam, two county deputies, Sheriff Patrick Ray, and Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Meanwhile, in other cases, a fugitive from Iowa was arrested in Smithville on Friday, November 14th at 212 Jennings Lane. Jose Martinez was picked up on a fugitive from justice warrant issued by the Maquoketa, Iowa Police Department. He is wanted there for first degree arson, third degree burglary, and fourth degree theft. Martinez has been sent back to Iowa.

19 year old Jason K. Shepherd of Jacobs Pillar Road was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault and vandalism under $500. His bond totals $6,000 and he will be in court on the charges December 11th.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr., in his report, states that "On November 23rd, Shepherd went to Shalet Apartment at 219 West Main Street in an intoxicated state and became belligerant, displaying an open knife, and making threats toward residents (at the apartment). After several minutes, Shepherd started to leave the apartment, at which time, he punched a wall causing damage to the wall."

Shepherd was also charged in a separate case of underage consumption of alcohol on Sunday.

Officer Bradley C. Tatrow, in his report, states that on November 23rd while answering a domestic call at 304 Jacobs Pillar Road, I found Jason Shepherd being held down by another man. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet."

Shepherd's bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on the charge December 11th.

27 year old Shawn K. Buck was arrested Friday for simple possession and for resisting a stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search.

Police reports say that on Friday, November 21st on J.E. Evins Avenue, Buck jumped out of a moving vehicle and ran about 300 yards before officers could catch him. He was a passenger in a vehicle being pursued by officers. After being taken to the police department, a plastic bag containing 0.6 ounces of marijuana fell out of his pants leg as he got out of a chair.

Buck's bond totals $3,500 and he will be in court on the charges December 18th.

28 year old Christopher Ray Dotson was recently charged with simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone). His bond totals $1,500 and he will be in court January 22nd.

Officer Bradley C. Tatrow reports that he pulled over a vehicle for failure to stop at a stop sign at Midway Road and Smith Road on Friday, November 7th. Upon speaking with the driver, Dotson, Officer Tatrow issued a citation and Dotson gave consent to search. He also advised Officer Tatrow that he had his sisters prescription in his jacket pocket. Inside the bottle were 18 pills, half of another pill, and a piece of a pill. All were peach colored and believed to be suboxone.

Richard Turner was charged with theft of property on Thursday, November 13th. Officer Matt Holmes reports that he responded to Wal-mart to investigate a possible shoplifter complaint. Officer Holmes later made contact with Turner, who allegedly admitted to taking three watches from Wal-mart valued at $36.00 plus tax. The watches were recovered and returned to the store.

Turner's bond is $2,500 and he will be in court December 4th.

Officer Travis Bryant reports that 28 year old Marie E. Biddle was recently charged with theft of property under $500 after allegedly shoplifting a pair of jeans from a local store by concealing them under her coat. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court December 11th.

Three Arrested on Drug Charges Monday by DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

November 24, 2008
Dwayne Page
Robert Paul Brawley
Lindsay Lee Stribling
Kevin Donald Bogle

Three people were arrested on drug charges by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Monday morning.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 28 year old Robert Paul Brawley and 26 year old Lindsay Lee Stribling both of Felts Road, Sparta and 34 year old Kevin Donald Bogle of Floyd Drive Smithville were all arrested Monday after a deputy noticed a vehicle in a business parking lot on Highway 70. The headlights were on and the hood had been raised. After stopping and talking with the subjects, the officer noticed a vile in the driver's side door. He asked for consent to search the vehicle and Brawley consented. When the deputy starting searching the vehicle, Brawley turned where the officer could not see his front side and began stuffing something down in his pants. After discovering what Brawley was doing, the deputy then tried to stop him, but Brawley began to resist. After Brawley was cuffed, officers found that Brawley was trying to conceal a bag containing two hypodermic needles, cut straws, alcohol pads, and small baggies. They also found a container in Brawley's pocket with three small baggies of white powder believed to be methamphetamine and half of a small yellow pill believed to be dilaudid. An illegal knife was also confiscated from the floorboard of Brawley's vehicle. When deputies asked Brawley for his name, Brawley told them he was Robert Johnson. Officers later made a positive identification of the man as Brawley. When Deputies placed him into the back of the patrol car he began to hit the doors and windows and caused some damage to the interior of the vehicle. The two passengers in the vehicle were also arrested after deputies found drugs on them. Upon a pat down search, Stribling was found to have marijuana cigarettes, a marijuana roach, and rolling papers in her pockets. Bogle was charged after deputies found two Hydrocodone pills under the seat where he was sitting.

Brawley was charged with possession of a schedule II drug (Methamphetamine) for resale, possession of a prohibited weapon, resisting arrest, criminal impersonation, vandalism, simple possession of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid), and possession of drug paraphernalia. His total bond was set at $34,000.

Stribling was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession. Her bond was set at $2,000. Bogle was charged with simple possession and his bond is $2,500.

All three will appear in court on December 11th.

Meanwhile, 22 year old Wayne Lee Parks of Stonefield Way Bardstown, Kentucky was arrested on Sunday for theft of property under $500 after he allegedly took a DVD player from a rental cabin on Highway 56 North.

Sheriff Ray says Parks was stopped on 70 West by Smithville Police and was found to have the DVD player in his possession. Parks was also driving a stolen vehicle out of Kentucky. Parks' bond was set at $2,500 and he will be in court November 26th. He is also wanted by the State of Kentucky for stealing the vehicle.

Gun Season for Deer Hunters Began Saturday

November 22, 2008

Tennessee's first segment of gun season for deer hunters opened Saturday, Nov. 22 in all three of the state's deer hunting units, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

For better wildlife management, Tennessee is divided into the three deer units. (A map identifying Units A (DeKalb County), B, and L can be found on pages 22-23 of the 2008 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide). The season for each unit is as follows:

*Unit A - Nov. 22 – Dec. 7 and Dec. 20 – Jan. 11.
*Unit B (East Tennessee) Nov. 22 – 30 and Dec. 20 – Jan. 7.
*Unit L - Nov. 22 – Dec. 7 and Dec. 20 – Jan. 11.

The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is three, except a hunter may take no more than two antlered bucks from Unit B. No more than one antlered buck may be taken per day.

For antlerless deer hunting in Units A and B during this season, refer to the list of hunts on page 21 of the Hunting and Trapping Guide. There are quota and non-quota hunts listed on that page.

An Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman, Type 167 Permit, or Type 94 permit is required to harvest antlerless deer during this season on all non-quota hunts in Units A, B, and L.

Antlerless deer are defined as deer with no antlers or deer with antlers less than three inches in length.

TWRA personnel will be collecting data at various check-in stations across the state on Saturday. Antlered bucks will be measured and aged and deer will be checked for evidence of EHD.

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses) while hunting any species in Tennessee.

For more information about Tennessee's deer hunting seasons, refer to the Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all license agents or on the TWRA website at

Louise Williams-Owen Receives Award

November 22, 2008
Louise Williams-Owen

Louise Williams-Owen, M. Ed., CCC-SLP, was presented the Tennessee Association of Audiologist's and Speech Pathologist's (TAASLP) Public School Incentive Award. The presentation was made at the TAASLP Annual Convention Awards Breakfast, November 7.

This award was presented "In Recognition of Outstanding Dedication and Exemplary Contributions to the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists".

Mrs. Owen is employed by DeKalb County, TN school system. She is the wife of Mike Owen of Smithville, TN and mother of Holly and Ashley Owen. She is the sister of Deanie and David Yoest of Statesville, TN. Mrs. Owen is a graduate of the Speech Pathology program of University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Chamber Prayer Breakfast set for Tuesday Morning

November 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Suzanne Williams

The annual Chamber of Commerce Prayer Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, November 25th at 7:00 a.m. at the Smithville Church of God Fellowship Center.

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber, says State Representative-elect, Terri Lynn Weaver, will be the keynote speaker. Special music will be performed by Tomomi McDowell, Representative Weaver, and First Baptist Church’s signing group “Signs of Love.”

Prayers for our community, our leaders, and our children will make this a meaningful and memorable experience. A delicious breakfast will be catered by Jason Evans, head chef at The Inn at Evins Mill. Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office or from the Chamber Board of Directors. The Leadership DeKalb Class of 2009 will serve the beverages. Doors open at 6:30 a.m.

Smithville's First Fire Engine to be part of Christmas Parade

November 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Smithville First Fire Engine Returning for Christmas Parade

The City of Smithville's very first fire engine will be returning to town for the Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 6th.

The parade is organized each year by the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker says this 1938 Chevrolet fire engine, which was purchased by the city in 1938 remained in service here until it was sold in 1956. "We've got Smithville's very first fire engine that will make an appearance at the parade this year. It's a 1938 Chevrolet, the first fire engine that the City of Smithville purchased. We located it. The truck is in running condition. They're going to bring it back for our parade. The city sold it to some gentlemen in Decatur, Tennessee in 1956. That's when it left Smithville. It's been away from here for a long time. It's either been here or there since 1938. They finally got it in running condition and we're excited to see it come back."

Chief Parker says this year's parade promises to be another exciting event and everyone is urged to participate. "The Smithville Christmas Parade will be Saturday, December 6th. It will leave from Smithville Elementary School at 1:00 p.m. and come down Congress Boulevard, then turn onto Walnut Street, and go around the public square. The line-up will begin at 11:00 a.m.. We'd like to get all the floats there by that time so we can start getting them lined up. All the kings, queens, and princesses from all the county pageants are invited to come. We would like for you to call one of two numbers, either John Poss at 597-1135 or Jeff Wright at 597-6750 so they can get your name and who you're representing in the lineup. We hope you will do that the Thursday night before the Christmas Parade to give us time to get the lineup made. Then just be there at Smithville Elementary School Saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. and we'll get you in the lineup. We're looking forward to another fantastic parade. We still don't have the Grand Marshal yet. We'll be finalizing that in the next week or so. We encourage everybody to come out to see Santa Claus and be a part of the parade. We do encourage all the churches, groups, and businesses to enter. We are awarding a first, second, and third place in the float category. The Smithville Business and Professional Women also sponsor the Spirit Award which goes to the church or civic group that shows the most enthusiasm during the parade"

Meanwhile, the Liberty Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 7th starting at 2:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 1:00 p.m. on the west end of town. There will be four categories for prizes and giveaways after the parade. Santa will be riding into town to greet the public and to visit with the children. Santa will also bring his reindeer plus other animals for everyone to enjoy petting so bring your camera or have Santa's elves take your picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. For more information call 615-536-5101.

The Alexandria Christmas Parade will be Saturday, December 13th at 2:00 p.m. The line-up begins at 1:00 p.m. on the Jim Curtis Highway or West Main Street. Call for more information at 529-2171.

Lebanon Woman Charged with Felony Child Endangerment

November 21, 2008
Dwayne Page
Dallas Dorthy Leaf

A 25 year old Lebanon woman is in trouble with the law after leaving two young children unattended in a vehicle.

Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins, Jr. of the Smithville Police Department says Dallas Dorthy Leaf of Coles Ferry Pike, Lebanon is charged with two counts of felony child endangerment. Her bond is $10,000 and she will be in court December 4th.

One of the children was Leaf's 3 year old daughter. The other child was a 5 year old boy, the son of Leaf's boyfriend.

According to Officer Hutchins, Leaf left the children unattended in her vehicle downtown Smithville Thursday while she went into the courthouse to check on a pending divorce. The temperature outside at the time was around 43 degrees. The children were in the car for about 20 minutes when they got out of the vehicle and walked to a nearby business, looking to get something to drink. Someone at the business contacted police.

Officer Hutchins says he confronted Leaf after she came out of the courthouse. She was questioned about the incident and subsequently arrested and charged in the case.

He says the children are fine and were released to a family member.

State Fire Marshal Asks Residents to Prepare Home for Cold Weather

November 20, 2008

Tennessee Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman wants to remind Tennesseans to keep safe and warm as winter sets in across the state. But she urges residents to be cautious in the use of alternative heat sources.

"The winter weather means many people will begin to heat their homes with fireplaces, woodstoves and space heaters," said Newman. "Cold weather months typically have a higher number of accidental fire injuries and deaths due to the use of these alternative heat sources.”

Following a few safety tips can greatly reduce the risk of fires:

•Make it a "house rule" to test your home’s smoke alarms before using a space heater or fireplace. All smoke alarms should additionally be tested once a month. Doing so could save your life.

•Space heaters need space. Never put a space heater within three feet of anything combustible, including furniture, bedding or aerosol cans. Make sure your space heater bears the mark of an independent testing lab such as UL or FM. Look for models with automatic shutoff features, when purchasing space heaters. Never use extension cords with space heaters.

•Before you use your fireplace, make sure the chimney has been professionally cleaned to remove the buildup of combustible materials that accumulate inside the flue.

•Be sure any kerosene-fueled heating device is installed with proper ventilation. A portable kerosene heater must be filled only in a well-ventilated area, free of flame and other heat sources, and only when the device has cooled completely. Use only the type of kerosene specified by the manufacturer, and never use gasoline in place of kerosene.

•Never leave a fire, space heater or flame unattended.

Additionally, make sure furniture, clothing and other combustible materials are not placed in front of permanently mounted heaters like those in walls or on baseboards. If they turn on when temperatures go below the thermostat’s set point, there will be no worry of the items catching fire.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

Smithville Man Injured in Alexandria Wreck

November 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

A 50 year old Smithville man was injured in a pickup truck accident near Alexandria this morning (Wednesday)

Trooper Jimmy Tisdale of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Edwin Dale Evans of 598 Smith Road, Smithville was traveling east on Highway 70 in a 2001 Chevrolet S-10 pickup when the truck ran off the left side of the road, struck a large boulder, overturned, and hit a utility pole. The truck came to rest upright on it's wheels. The accident occurred around 6:20 a.m. about four tenths of a mile from the Wilson County line in DeKalb County.

Evans was taken from the scene by DeKalb EMS to meet a Life Force Helicopter ambulance on Highway 53 in Alexandria. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.


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