Local News Articles

DeKalb County Prevention Coalition Participating in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

September 10, 2015
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Prevention Coalition Participating in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition is participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration's 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event will be at Smithville City Hall on Saturday, September 26 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. It's also being held in every State across the country. The drug take-back box is located inside Smithville City Hall so local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back effort addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicines, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

DEA Acting Administer Chuck Rosenberg states, “Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat. Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, a total of 4 million 823 thousand 251 pounds or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected!

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition urges DeKalb County residents to come out to this event and drop off any unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription medication. This is confidential and no names or information will be collected.

International Read an eBook Day set for September 18

September 9, 2015
Dwayne Page
Kathy Hendrixson

Justin Potter Library will take part and celebrate International Read an eBook Day, an annual holiday to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on digital devices on September 18.

In recent years, the popularity of eBooks has soared and readers are taking advantage of the eBook technology and popular titles available at their local library. Through July 2015, public library customers have borrowed 94.7 million eBooks and audiobooks, a 24 percent increase over the same period in 2014.

Readers with a library card can access eBooks from Justin Potter Library on all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, Chromebook, and Kindle, anytime, anywhere by visiting www.dekalblibraries.net and click on the R.E.A.D.S icon.

Read an eBook Day is a celebration of modern storytelling. Readers around the world are encouraged to take part in the largest digital reading event by choosing from millions of free eBooks from their local library.

Users are encouraged to share what they are reading and how they are celebrating on social media and join the #eBookLove conversation.

Readers can use the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter to tell their story and share their love of eBooks or comment directly at www.readanebookday.com.

“eBooks have proven to be a convenient, beneficial complement to traditional, physical books,” said Kathy Hendrixson, County Library Director. “When physical books are not available or practical – such as when you’d like to carry many at once, or if you can't make it to a store or library– eBooks offer a great alternative for instant access to reading.”

Read an eBook Day falls in the middle of Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when Justin Potter Library joins the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card. To sign up for a library card, bring a picture ID and another form of ID with your name and current location to Justin Potter Library and you can begin checking out digital titles immediately.

For more information, please contact the library at 615-597-4359.

Askins Scheduled for "Change of Plea" Hearing In Federal Court

September 9, 2015
Dwayne Page
Wendy Askins

Wendy Askins, the former Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Development District will appear in U.S. District Court Monday for a change of plea hearing.

On Tuesday, September 8, U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger signed an order scheduling the hearing for Monday, September 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Askins' plea deal with federal prosecutors has not yet been made public.

Both Askins and the former UCDD Deputy Director Larry Webb were indicted in September 2013 for their participation in a scheme to commit bank fraud and to steal federal and state funds intended to promote economic and housing development.

Webb entered a plea last month to one count of federal bank fraud and will be sentenced November 24 though he apparently faces no fines or prison time.

During his plea hearing, Webb acknowledged that he, along with Askins, defrauded the Bank of Putnam County when applying for a loan on May 27, 2010. To obtain the loan, Webb told bank officers that the UCDD and CRDC boards of directors had approved the loan request to fund a UCDD program called “Living the Dream", which was supposed to be a residential home for seniors. Webb submitted fake CRDC resolutions with the loan application stating that he and Askins were permitted to obtain a $750,000 loan for the “Living the Dream” project. The Bank of Putnam County relied upon the fraudulent documents and funded $731,000 for the “Living the Dream” project. Webb admitted that neither UCDD nor the CRDC had authorized a loan for “Living the Dream” and further admitted that a portion of the loan proceeds had been used to build a luxury, personal residence for Askins.

UCDD is a quasi-governmental agency that receives federal and state funds and is responsible for promoting economic development throughout the 14 counties located in the Upper Cumberland Region of Tennessee. CRDC operates under the UCDD umbrella and assists in the creation of affordable housing.

Had she gone to trial and been convicted on the original charges, Askins faced up to 225 years in prison and a $6,750,000 fine

Woodmen to Hold Remembrance Ceremony

September 9, 2015
Dwayne Page
The 2014 Remembrance was held in Liberty

Local members of Woodmen Life Family Fraternity extend an invitation for you to attend the 14th Annual Community "In Honor and Remembrance" Event on Thursday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Fire Department at 782 King Ridge Road, Smithville.

Come join as they honor the special people of our community who give of their time, and risk their lives to provide protection for all of us. They will be rededicating the flagpole and they will present the 9/11 Honor Flag to the department.

Please contact Regina Wilhite with any questions you may have at 931-273-6414. Refreshments will follow

Boy Scouts Praised for Work at Edgar Evins State Park

September 9, 2015
Dwayne Page
Left to right:  Andrew Murray, Cory Maes, Bobby Lane, Sam Beal, and John Chesebro.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 875 recently built a new volleyball court and horseshoe pits for the campground at Edgar Evins State Park.

"Edgar Evins State Park would like to thank Eagle Scout Troop 875 for their hard work and dedication to the park. These additions will be valuable to the park and will offer our visitors more outdoor recreational activities to choose from. Troop 875 was also instrumental in the success of this year’s first ever Jr. Ranger Camp. The scouts actually led the land navigation program and worked hard all week assisting with the other programs and helping take care of the children. A big thanks to Troop 875. From the trails, the campfire ring, the campground, recreational and educational programming, the Troop has made and continues to make lasting contributions to the park and its visitors," said Park Ranger Mark Taylor.

National Voter Registration Day is September 22

September 8, 2015

The DeKalb County Election Commission would like to remind everyone that Tuesday, September 22 is National Voter Registration Day. It is the high point of National Voter Registration Month, a time when state and county election officials work to encourage voter participation as well as increase awareness of voting requirements and deadlines.

"National Voter Registration Day is a great time to make sure that your registration is up to date or to register for the first time," said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.

During the month of September, people should have someone take a picture of them holding an "I'm registered to vote. Are you?" sign. Then post it to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #GoVoteTN.

"I am excited to see so many people using #GoVoteTN to share their enthusiasm about voting," said Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "I encourage voters to use this opportunity to ensure they are properly registered."

Anyone can print their own sign at GoVoteTN.com, which can be customized to the colors of many of the state's colleges, universities, or professional sports teams. People can also check their registration status or access a voter registration form.

Snap a photo, use #GoVoteTN and post. It's that easy to show the world Tennesseans care about their right to vote.

Man Charged with Evading After Pursuit, Crash

September 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Mark Alan Goodson
Jerry Thomas Waggoner
Jose Santos Acuna

A Smithville man who tried to outrun a county deputy before crashing his vehicle last week has been charged with evading arrest.

49 year old Mark Alan Goodson of Dry Creek Road, Smithville will be in General Sessions Court on the charge October 1. He was further issued two traffic citations. His bond is $5,000.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said the incident began on West Main Street in Liberty last Tuesday, September 1 after a deputy spotted Goodson while on patrol. Goodson was driving a beige Jeep Loredo traveling at a high rate of speed and on the opposite side of the road. The officer tried to stop the Loredo by turning on his lights and siren but the vehicle would not stop. The pursuit continued onto Smith Fork Road and then to Lower Helton Road before the Loredo crashed. Goodson, the driver, fled on foot after being told to stop but he was subsequently taken into custody. Due to medical reasons, Goodson was transported to the emergency room of the hospital and a warrant was taken against him.

60 year old Jerry Thomas Waggoner of Winter Drive, Dowelltown is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on October 29.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy was dispatched on Friday, September 4 to Highway 56 north in reference to a possible drunk driver. The officer spotted the vehicle and noticed it cross the center line. The deputy followed the vehicle until it stopped on the side of the road. He then spoke with the driver, Waggoner, whose speech was slurred. Waggoner's eyes were bloodshot and he had an odor of alcohol on his person. Waggoner, who admitted to having consumed alcohol, performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.

57 year old Jose Santos Acuna of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and evading arrest. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on October 1.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, September 4 a deputy was traveling north on Highway 56 when he spotted a vehicle traveling south in the emergency lane. The officer got behind the vehicle and turned on his blue lights. After the automobile pulled over and the deputy got out of his patrol car, the vehicle began to take off again. The officer followed and activated his blue lights and siren. The pursuit continued south for about half a mile before the fleeing vehicle pulled into the yard of a residence. The driver, Acuna, was found to be unsteady on his feet and he admitted to having consumed beer. After failing a breathalyzer test, Acuna was placed under arrest and taken to the emergency room of the hospital for a blood withdrawal. He was then taken to jail for booking.

DAC Presents Second in Series of Fund-raisers for Animal Shelter

September 8, 2015
DeKalb Animal Coalition's re-sale store at 110 West Walnut (next door to the former location of the White Possum Restaurant) will be open for business on September 10-12

The DeKalb Animal Coalition's re-sale store at 110 West Walnut (next door to the former location of the White Possum Restaurant) will be open for business on September 10-12. The store is the second fund raising effort for the benefit of our community's new animal shelter. The store, which was designed, organized, and to be manned entirely by volunteers, will sell furniture, tools, sporting goods, electronic equipment, toys, books, men and women's clothing, Christmas decorations, and many other items. All the merchandise was donated and every cent raised will go to the DAC to complete the interior of the shelter.

A spokesperson for the Coalition said, "We are very grateful that the City and County have appropriated funds for the construction of a building to house the animal shelter. Now it is up to us, the Coalition, to raise money to equip the interior of the building. We will need a dog washing station, laundry facilities, office equipment, cat cages, a cleaning system, etc. The list goes on and on, but I have no doubt that we will reach our goal. Community support has been phenomenal."

The Coalition has planned a series of fund raisers under the name "DAC Presents...." The first event, which raised $2,000 for the Coalition, was an entertaining lecture by County Historian, Tommy Webb, on the book "Fish on the Steeple." On Sept. 10-12 is the re-sale store. Then On September 26, Mr. Webb will be the guest speaker for "DAC Presents... The Civil War in DeKalb County." In October DAC Presents... will sponsor a walking ghost tour, narrated by Sarah Cripps. If the re-sale store does well, it will be open with different merchandise in November.

Father and Son Involved in Sunday Motorcycle Wrecks

September 7, 2015
Dwayne Page
DeKalb EMS and Fire Dept Tending to John Worley of Lebanon after motorcycle crash
Father and Son Involved in Sunday Motorcycle Wrecks
Two Involved in Motorcycle Accidents

Two people were involved in motorcycle accidents Sunday afternoon on Dale Ridge Road (State Highway 96) about a mile from Highway 70.

46 year old John Worley of Lebanon was traveling south on a 2011 Yamaha motorcycle when he went off the right side of the road and over an embankment while trying to negotiate a curve. He is believed to have suffered a possible broken arm or wrist.

Worley's son, 24 year old Jacob Worley of Lebanon was following behind his father on a motorcycle and lost control due to his father's accident in front of him.

DeKalb EMS arrived on the scene to treat John Worley. Jacob Worley had some minor scratches and road rash.

John Worley's accident was investigated by Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Trooper Sean Tramel worked Jacob's Worley's crash.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Smithville Police Make Arrest and Recover Stolen Property in Burglary and Theft Investigation

September 5, 2015
Dwayne Page
Captain Steven Leffew shown with property recovered in burglary and theft investigation
Smithville Police Make Arrest and Recover Stolen Property in Burglary and Theft Investigation

Smithville Police have made an arrest in a recent burglary and theft at a local storage unit building.

39 year old Shane Michael Downey is under a $10,000 bond on charges of theft over $500 and burglary and he will be in General Sessions Court on September 24.

Downey was arrested on Thursday, September 3 by Detective Brandon Donnell after an investigation in which some of the stolen items were recovered and returned to the owner.

According to Captain Steven Leffew, the victim told Officer Will Judkins on Sunday, August 30 that she discovered the burglary and theft the next day after moving items into a storage unit on Highway 56. The victim reported items missing from the unit valued at more than $2,000.

Meanwhile, 35 year old Heather R. Perkins was charged with child abuse on Monday, August 31. Her bond is $3,500 and she will be in court on September 24. She was placed under arrest by Officer Will Judkins. According to police, Perkins and the minor victim were in a verbal argument that became physical. Perkins allegedly hit the victim in the face with a closed fist causing swelling and bruising to the eye.

47 year old Lawton Duane Park and 47 year old Maureen Espino Park were each arrested for assault on Thursday, August 27. Ms. Park was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. According to police, Detective Brandon Donnell was dispatched to McDonald's due to a fight in progress. Upon investigation and video surveillance it was determined that the Parks allegedly assaulted the victim and that Ms Park had a weapon in her purse for which she had no permit. Bond for Mr. Park is $2,500. Ms. Park's bond is $4,000. They will make a court appearance on September 24.

Hillary Knowles was arrested on Tuesday, August 25 for shoplifting. Her bond is $1,500. According to police, Corporal Chip Avera was dispatched to the Dollar General Store in reference to a shoplifter. While the suspect left the store before the officer's arrival, employees were able to get a tag number from the vehicle. Video surveillance from the store showed Knowles placing items in her purse. After Corporal Avera secured a warrant, he requested that the sheriff's department locate her and make the arrest as Knowles resides in the county. She was subsequently found and placed in custody on the active warrant.

41 year old Darline Frances Grisham was cited by Officer Lance Dillard for shoplifting on Monday, August 17. Grisham was observed by a Dollar General Store employee concealing items in her purse. She will be in court on September 24.

34 year old Eddy Deloyd Farris was arrested on Friday, August 14 for public intoxication. According to police Corporal Chip Avera and Officer Will Judkins responded to a residence on Jackson Street due to a man banging on doors. The officers located the suspect, Farris, and found him to be unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred. His eyes were red and watery and he was confused of his whereabouts. Farris was placed under arrest for the safety of himself and the public. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on September 24.

19 year old Zachary Jacob Poss was arrested for public intoxication on Sunday, August 16. According to police, Sergeant Brad Tatrow was dispatched to J. E. Evans Avenue in reference to an intoxicated man who was causing damage at the residence. Upon arrival Sergeant Tatrow found Poss in the driveway. He was in a very intoxicated state. Upon investigation, police found extensive damage throughout the residence. Poss was placed under arrest. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is August 27.


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