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Smithville Police Arrest Two on Cocaine Charges

March 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Take Steve Mabe, Jr into custody Tuesday
Smithville Police take Martha Conger Hale into cusody from her home on Charity Lane Tuesday
Steve Mabe, Jr
Martha Conger Hale

A man and woman believed to be involved in the sale and delivery of illegal narcotics were arrested at their home on Charity Lane today (Tuesday) as the result of an investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

42 year old Steve Mabe, Jr. and 36 year old Martha Conger Hale are each charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine). Mabe, a convicted felon, is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Hale is further charged with violation of probation. Bond for Mabe is $30,000. Hale's bond is $25,000

According to Police Chief Mark Collins, the evidence against the two was discovered during a recent probation search at the residence. "Hale was on probation from a DUI conviction but probation officers had taken warrants on her for probation violation after she failed a drug test. We (Smithville Police) accompanied the probation officers to Hale's home on Wednesday, March 16 to execute a probation search on Martha. During that search we found illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, guns and a safe in their bedroom which they (Hale and Mabe) refused to open. Martha was arrested that day (March 16) on a charge of violation of probation. She later posted bond and was released," he said.

Police seized the safe and later obtained a search warrant to open it. " The search warrant on the safe was executed last Thursday, March 24. In that safe we found 16 grams of cocaine, a large sum of money, personal documents belonging to both Martha and Steve and other miscellaneous items including jewelry, coins, and things like that. Based on what we found in that safe we had reason to believe there was more evidence in their house so we obtained another search warrant which was executed today (Tuesday)," said Chief Collins.

According to Chief Collins the search Tuesday at the home of Mabe and Hale turned up more evidence and the case remains under investigation for possible additional charges against the two.

County to Continue Five Year Reappraisal Cycle

March 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Reappraisal of property for tax purposes is required on a periodic basis to maintain appraisals at market value and to ensure equity of appraisals throughout the jurisdiction. Every county in Tennessee is on either a four, five, or six year cycle of reappraisal. For the last five years DeKalb County has been on a five year plan.

During Monday night's monthly meeting, the county commission adopted a resolution authorizing the continuous five year reappraisal cycle to continue for another five years through 2021.

The five year cycle consists of four years of comprehensive on-site review of every parcel of property in the county, followed by revaluation of all property in the fifth year. During each of those first four years, approximately 20% of the parcels in the county are inspected for changes to the land or buildings that would influence the value of the property. Quarterly progress reports are provided to the State of Tennessee’s Division of Property Assessments, whose personnel also periodically monitor the progress and results of the on-site review process.

After the first two years (the mid point of the cycle), an in-depth statistical analysis is performed comparing sales prices to appraisals. If the county’s overall level of appraisal has fallen to below 90% of fair market value, property values will be updated county-wide by what is known as a Current Value Update or CVU. In addition, even if the level of overall appraisal has not fallen below the 90% threshold, any subclass of properties (residential, farm, commercial, etc.) that is found to be more than 10% below the county’s overall ratio will have its values raised to reflect that overall county level.

In the fifth and final year of the cycle, a thorough analysis of the current real estate market is used to establish new land and building values. This is a process that sets the factors, tables, and base rates that will be used to value real property for the following five years. The changes in values are then applied to each property in the county and those property owners whose values have either increased or decreased as a result are notified as to the new appraisal of their properties. Also during this fifth year, the complete plan of reappraisal for the next five year period has to be developed and submitted for approval, to include budgetary considerations for personnel and equipment, and the territorial division of the county for the four years of field review. The cycle then begins all over again.

Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Service Coming to DeKalb County

March 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in DeKalb County on Saturday, May 14. Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 322,000 households have properly disposed of more than 21 million pounds of material.

“Our household hazardous waste mobile collection service provides the people of Tennessee with a safe, environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other potentially hazardous wastes at no cost,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “This service travels across the state holding collection events in local communities, and we encourage all Tennesseans to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize it.”

On Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. any Tennessee resident may bring his or her household hazardous waste to the parking area between DeKalb Farmers Coop and the Smithville Church of God on West Broad Street.

HHW material is considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed with regular garbage. Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals and paint thinner. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics, medical waste and any empty containers.

While household waste may be disposed for free, there is a cost for disposal of Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Waste (i.e. wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc.). An appointment is also necessary. Call (615) 643-3170 to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.

Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze and electronic scrap – or BOPAE as it is sometimes called. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Contact your local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in your area.

When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original containers whenever possible. If not, place each waste in a separate plastic container with a secure lid and label its contents.

For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call 1-800-287-9013

Myron Rhody Appointed to County Beer Board

March 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Beer Board has a new member.

During Monday night's regular monthly meeting, Myron Rhody was appointed by the county commission as the new beer board member in the 2nd district. The vote was 13 to 0. Frank Thomas, who has served in that position for several years was not nominated for appointment.

Meanwhile Incumbent Beer Board members Robert Rowe in the 4th district and Leonard Dickens in the 6th district were appointed. Each term is for two years effective in April.

Names of each appointee were placed in nomination by county commissioners in their districts, 2nd, 4th, and 6th and then voted on by the entire county commission.

Last month the county commission voted to establish terms for members of the Beer Board. Up until now the seven members of the beer board had basically served for life or until they resigned. With this action, the county commission is not creating term limits. A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in an office. Each beer board member may still serve as long as they wish as long as they are reappointed to new terms by the county commission.

Fifth District Commissioner Anita Puckett last month made a motion to have all seven members serve as appointees and that the terms be staggered with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th district positions being appointed in odd years. The 2nd, 4th, & 6th district seats will be filled in even years. Puckett also wants the beer board to re-organize (name officers) every twenty four months. Puckett's motion was approved on a 9-4 vote.

Members of the Beer Board are Jim Stagi in the 1st District, Myron Rhody in the 2nd District, Edward Frazier in the 3rd District, Robert Rowe in the 4th District, Rhonda Caplinger in the 5th District, Leonard Dickens in the 6th District, and Johnny King in the 7th District.

Richard Jennings Appointed Judicial Commissioner

March 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Richard Jennings

Former Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings has been appointed as judicial commissioner by the county commission to fill a vacancy created by the recent resignation of Taft Hendrixson due to health reasons.

Jennings was among sixteen applicants for the position but he was the one recommended by the county's judicial committee made up of the General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Mayor, and a representative of the District Attorney General's Office.

County Mayor Tim Stribling presented the committee's recommendation during Monday night's monthly meeting of the county commission. All thirteen members voted for Jennings. The county has three judicial commissioners including Jennings, James Harvey Barnes, and Tammy Ashburn. Barnes , Ashburn, and former judicial commissioner Hendrixson were appointed by the county commission to the positions for a one year term last September as recommended by the judicial committee.

Others who had applied to fill the vacancy include Kelly Myers, Chelsie Bryant, James Newsom, Boyd Bruce Malone, Mark Violet, Kassy Kelly Swisher, Brian Reed, Timothy Perricone, Richard Mielke, III, Mark Steff, Joey Crabtree, Sandy Brown, Bennett Armstrong, Danny Cowan, and Kenneth Taylor.

The county re-advertised the opening last month after receiving only one application during the first filing period. The lone applicant was the spouse of a Smithville Police Officer and members of the judicial committee were concerned that this could be viewed as a conflict.

Judicial commissioners are responsible for the issuance of criminal arrest warrants upon finding probable cause. They are subject to call at all hours of the day and night. Judicial commissioners serve at the pleasure of the county commission and their terms of office can be one year to four years.

Gayla Hendrix to Run for State Representative

March 28, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Gayla Hendrix

A Democrat will be in the race for State Representative in the 40th district this year.

Gayla Hendrix of Smithville has obtained a qualifying petition from the DeKalb County Election Commission. She plans to seek the Democratic nomination in August for the seat now held by Republican Incumbent Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster. Weaver is also seeking re-nomination by the GOP in August.

The qualifying deadline is April 7.

The race will be decided in the Tennessee General Election in November.

Hendrix currently serves as Alderman for the City of Smithville.

"I was born and raised in DeKalb County. I graduated from DCHS and went on to college at MTSU where I earned a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in education. From there I went to Tennessee Tech University where I earned an Education Specialist degree. I later earned a degree from the Nashville School of Law. I am an attorney and formerly served as an educator in the DeKalb County School System. I also owned my own small business right off of the courthouse square for a couple of years. My husband, Farron Hendrix and I have three children," said Hendrix.

Hendrix' first entry into politics came in 2008 when she sought the Democratic nomination for State Representative. Three years later Hendrix was elected alderman in Smithville. She served one term but returned to the Board of Aldermen in 2014.

Nashville Man Charged with Theft of Jet Skis

March 28, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kendall Dee Hedrick
Lynda Michelle Neville
Billy Douglas Ferrell
Jerry Clayton Lewis
Melissa Ann Wheeler

A Nashville man has been arrested for stealing a trailer and two Jet Skis on Holmes Creek Road last week.

43 year old Kendall Dee Hedrick of Franklin Pike, Nashville is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000 and he will make a court appearance on April 7. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, March 21 Hedrick allegedly stole from the owner's property on Holmes Creek Road two 1999 Polaris Jet Skis and a trailer valued at $2,500. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

39 year old Lynda Michelle Neville of Smith Road, Smithville was arrested on Monday, March 21 and charged with violation of probation, evading arrest, reckless endangerment, driving on a revoked license, and failure to appear. Her bond totals $17, 500 but she is being held without bond for the violation of probation. She will be in court on the VOP on April 4. Sheriff Ray said that on January 21 a sheriff's department detective spotted Neville operating a motor vehicle on South College Street in Smithville. Knowing that her license were revoked and that she had active warrants against her, the detective activated his blue lights and siren to make a traffic stop but Neville evaded traveling at a high rate of speed. The pursuit began on South College Street onto West Webb Street and then to South Mountain Street. During the pursuit, Neville ran a stop sign at South Mountain Street and a red light at Broad Street and Short Mountain Highway placing a pedestrian and other vehicles at risk. Due to excessive speeds of 100 miles per hour or greater, the detective terminated the pursuit on Short Mountain Highway. Neville's actions placed people in imminent danger or serious bodily injury.A computer check revealed that her license were revoked in Sumner County last year.

28 year old Billy Douglas Ferrell of Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $10,000 and he will make a court appearance on April 7. According to Sheriff Ray on Tuesday, March 22 a deputy was dispatched to Midway Road in response to a domestic call. Upon arrival he spoke with Ferrell and a woman. She claims Ferrell and his brother and uncle showed up there after they had been drinking and became involved in a fight. When she went to check , the woman said Ferrell entered the residence where he grabbed and shoved her into the kitchen sink. She then called 911.

29 year old Jerry Clayton Lewis of Third Avenue North, Baxter is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on April 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, March 17 Lewis picked up a 14 year old girl and took her to his home in Crossville without her father's consent. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

32 year old Melissa Ann Wheeler of Midway Road, Smithville is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on May 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, March 26 Wheeler committed the offense of disorderly conduct by being in a public place with the intent to cause a public annoyance. Wheeler was found to be irate and screaming aloud in a public place.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Drops to 5.4% in February

March 26, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for February was 5.4%, down from 5.9% in January and 7.4% in February 2015.

The local labor force for February was 7,450. A total of 7,050 were employed and 400 were without work.

Jobless rates for February among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:

Pickett:7.3%
Clay: 7%
Jackson: 6.9%
Van Buren: 6.7%
Fentress: 6.4%
Cumberland: 6.3%
Overton: 5.6%
DeKalb: 5.4%
Smith: 4.7%
White: 4.6%
Putnam: 4.5%
Cannon: 4.3%
Warren: 4.3%
Macon:4.1%

County unemployment rates for February show they decreased in 93 counties, increased in one, and remained the same in one county.
For the month of February, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.3 percent, down from January’s rate of 3.5 percent. Knox County was 3.6 percent in February, down from 3.9 the previous month. The Hamilton County rate was 4.2 percent, down from 4.6 in January. Shelby County was 4.9 percent, down from 5.4 percent the previous month

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for February was 4.9 percent, down five tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for February was also 4.9 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

4-H Horse Judging Team Places 2nd at Regional Contest

March 26, 2016
by: 
By: Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
(Back Row) Madison Ray, Haylee Merriman, Sarah Mahan, Raiden Griffin, Preston Moore, Logan Herriman, Maeloree Kirby, Megan Price, and Lily Martin (Front Row) Shayla Kirby, Katelyn Henry, Ryder Miller, Ayden Jones, Riley Fuson, Hannah Redmon, and Kolton Slager
2nd Place:The Junior Team placed 1st in the Halter and 2nd Overall. Ryder Miller, Riley Fuson, and Hannah Miller. Hannah placed 3rd in halter, 5th in performance, and 4th overall. Kolton Slager (not pictured) was 9th high individual.
Katelyn Henry placed 4th in the performance divison and Lily Martin was 9th high individual.

The DeKalb County 4-H Horse Judging teams recently traveled to Murfreesboro for the Central Region contest held at MTSU. We had 16 total youth who competed. In the Jr. High Division (6th-8th grade), contestants were Raiden Griffin, Katelyn Henry, Logan Herriman, Maeloree Kirby, Shayla Kirby, Sarah Mahan, Lily Martin, Haylee Merriman, Preston Moore, Megan Price, and Madison Ray. Lily Martin was the 9th high individual overall and Katelyn Henry placed 4th in the performance category.

Contestants in the Jr. Division (4th-5th grades) were Riley Fuson, Ayden Jones, Ryder Miller, Hannah Redmon, and Kolton Slager. This team placed 2nd overall and 1st in the halter category. Hannah Redmon was 4th high individual, 3rd in halter, and 5th in performance. Kolton Slager was 9th high individual and 8th in halter.

During this event, youth put their decision making skills and horse knowledge to the test. Contestants watched four performance (riding) classes that included hunter under saddle, reining, western horsemanship, and walking horses. The horses in each class were ranked 1-4 based on specific criteria needed for that discipline of riding. Three halter, or conformation, classes were also judged. These horses were judged on muscling, structure, and balance. After ranking the horses, the 4-H’ers’ decision was compared to that of the official judge, and a score was awarded.

These 4-H members practiced several times before the contest and enjoyed a field trip to judge live horses. DeKalb County was very well represented at this regional contest! Each 4-H member should feel proud of their accomplishments and hard work. To learn more about horse judging, or any 4-H activity, please contact the DeKalb County Extension Office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Captions:

Group: DeKalb County 4-H Horse Judging Teams (Back Row) Madison Ray, Haylee Merriman, Sarah Mahan, Raiden Griffin, Preston Moore, Logan Herriman, Maeloree Kirby, Megan Price, and Lily Martin (Front Row) Shayla Kirby, Katelyn Henry, Ryder Miller, Ayden Jones, Riley Fuson, Hannah Redmon, and Kolton Slager

2nd Place:The Junior Team placed 1st in the Halter and 2nd Overall. Ryder Miller, Riley Fuson, and Hannah Miller. Hannah placed 3rd in halter, 5th in performance, and 4th overall. Kolton Slager (not pictured) was 9th high individual.

Katelyn and Lily : Katelyn Henry placed 4th in the performance divison and Lily Martin was 9th high individual.

More than $3,600 Raised During DCHS Project Graduation Radiothon

March 25, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Seniors Kaylene Ferguson and Caitlin Jacobs (answering phone) during DCHS Project Graduation Radiothon on WJLE
DCHS Seniors Morgan Vickers, Caitlin Jacobs, Keely McKay, and Chloe White
DCHS Teacher Chris Vance Interviews DCHS Senior Jailyn Bolding

More than $3,600 was raised during a three hour radiothon Friday morning on WJLE for the DCHS Class of 2016 Project Graduation.

DCHS teacher Chris Vance hosted the program and several members of the class participated by answering phones and taking pledges. Some entertained. Parents who
serve on the Project Graduation committee were also involved in the program.

"We cannot say thank you enough to WJLE for giving us this time and to Chris Vance for giving us his time this morning. The response has been overwhelming for our children to provide a safe environment for them on one of the scariest nights of your child's life if you are a parent. We want to thank everyone who made a donation. We appreciate it," said Angela Johnson, a parent who serves on the Project Graduation Entertainment Committee.

Project Graduation is an all night drug-free, alcohol-free graduation party at the school for members of the DCHS Class of 2016 committed to having a safe, wholesome, yet entertaining celebration together for the last time as a class. "We will provide on that night a safe, drug free and alcohol free environment for the children. They will come in at eleven o'clock that night and stay until five o'clock the next morning. We will have activities such as the bubble balls, mechanical bulls, bungee jumping, etc. We will have food. There will be games and a dee jay there for the entire time. Every student who participates that night receives money or some type of gift," said Johnson.

"I am so excited about the number of seniors who showed up today for the radiothon including Caitlin Jacobs, Noah Parsley, Keely McKay, Chloe White, Kaylene Ferguson, Azya McCoy, D.J. Thompson, Hailey Summers, Aspen Flarity, Hannah Walker, Hannah James, Brooklynn Seifert, Carly Moss, Delaney Johnson, Jerica Braswell, Morgan Vickers, Ashli Chew, Jailyn Bolding, Isabella Johnson, Haden Cripps, Kirkland Smallwood, Garrett Johnson, Hannah Lasser, Elijah Hendrixson, Caitlin Turner, Kyra Slager, Jennifer Caplinger, and Katlin Rhea," said Karen Jacobs, a parent and member of the Project Graduation Committee

Other fundraising events are planned including a plant sale on Saturday, April 9 from 8:00 a.m. until noon at the DCHS parking lot. Local nurseries are donating plants for the sale. A Car Wash will also be scheduled in May.

If you would like to make a donation to Project Graduation you may send it to DCHS Project Graduation in care of Karen Jacobs at 831 Driver Street in Smithville 37166. You may also stop by Liberty State Bank in Smithville and give it to Rhonda Caplinger.

Project Graduation will follow the DCHS graduation program on Friday, May 20

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