Local News Articles

Habitat Chili Cook-Off to be held at County Complex

October 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

Due to rain in the weather forecast, the 11th Annual Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-Off and Bake Sale will be at the County Complex on Friday, October 10 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

It’s chili time and time for you to again support a great cause and decide who makes the best chili in DeKalb County! Come out and cast your vote this Friday, October 10th when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 11th Annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches and the DCHS Tiger Pride Bakery will also be for sale.

“There’s a chill in the air, making it a perfect time for everyone to enjoy the Chili Cook-off,” said Tecia Puckett Pryor, a member of the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Development Committee. “We hope everyone will come out to enjoy the fun and fellowship. Just last month, we completed our Fifth Habitat home in DeKalb County and are making plans for our sixth house to be built in 2015,” said Pryor. “The Chili Cook-off is an important fundraiser for Habitat and money raised will be used in our ongoing construction costs. We hope that everyone will come out and support this great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “Superhero Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Team MTNG – Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “The Bean Counters” from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates; “Just Chilin” from Center Hill Realty; “No Liability Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association; and a team from Cumberland Adaptive.

Last year, the “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials won the “Best Chili” award, with The Inn at Evins Mill receiving 2nd place and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas receiving 3rd place. In the decorating contest, “Storybook Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education” won first place honors, with the DeKalb County Officials receiving 2nd place and Indian Creek Baptist Church receiving 3rd place. The 2013 event raised approximately $3,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Puckett Pryor at 597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 215-8181.

Time to Get Your Flu Shot

October 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

It's time to get your flu shot.

Health care providers are encouraging you to be immunized because it can make a big difference by helping you and others avoid becoming sick.

"As of yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), we have had 15 positive Type B and zero Type A cases of flu since the beginning of school. We have also had 19 positive strep and 10 positive mono tests," Michiko Martin, Office Manager of the Family Medical Center told WJLE. "We have plenty of flu vaccine available at the Family Medical Center and the Alexandria Family Medical Center – quadrivalent, high dose (for the over 65 population), pediatric (6-35 months), and FluMist," she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Department of Health recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of six months. It’s especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated in order to protect their unborn children. One major challenge for health officials is combatting rumors and myths about flu immunizations. It is important to note: It is not possible for the flu shot to give you the flu.

You can choose from the nasal mist and the traditional flu shot. Check with your healthcare provider to see which option is best for you or your child.

After your flu vaccination, it’s still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other winter viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick. Good health habits include frequent hand washing with soapy water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue. People who are sick should stay home if at all possible to recover to prevent spreading illness to coworkers, friends and others.

Flu vaccines are widely available across Tennessee from a number of sources and take only a few minutes to receive. Contact your health care provider about flu vaccine locations near you, or visit the Vaccine Finder available at http://flushot.healthmap.org/.

Three Involved in Wreck

October 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three people were involved in a two car crash Wednesday on Highway 70 west near Smithville.

Trooper Tommy Cooper of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 74 year old Mary Young of Cookeville was driving west on Highway 70 in a 2002 Mercedes when she pulled into the turning lane and then crossed into the path of another vehicle while turning left onto the old Snow Hill Road. The other vehicle, an eastbound 2009 Ford Escape, was driven by 77 year old Leonard Shively of Cookeville. His wife, 75 year old Mable Shively was a passenger.

Young was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. The Shively's were apparently not injured.

Annual History Hayride Saturday at Edgar Evins State Park

October 8, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mrs. Riley League mother of two Confederate soldiers telling about her son’s glorious return portrayed by Lori Christensen (Photo by Judy Fuson)
Capt. Prettyman (Purt) Jones Union Army portrayed by Garrett Christensen (Photo by Judy Fuson)
James Edgar Evins portrayed by Randy Hedgepath, State Parks Biologist
Luke Denny famous Moonshine Hauler raised near the Park at Rock Springs community portrayed by Clint Halfacre, Edgar Evins Employee

The 9th Annual History Hayride at Edgar Evins State Park will be Saturday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. Bring your blanket for a hayride back into time as the Friends of Edgar Evins and park staff bring history alive. There will be approximately 10 stops along the route where a cast of colorful characters will reveal the history of the area and its people. Reservations are required and the cost is $15 per person. Reservations are now open .

The History Hayride is the major fundraising event for the Friends of Edgar Evins. Each year a living panorama of people and events is presented that have shaped the communities and history of the park and surrounding areas. Amateur actors and actresses, dressed in period costumes, act out the roles of people and times from years gone by to demonstrate the events and happenings.

A guide on each wagon will provide additional narrative between stops. It is not only entertaining, but an educational experience as well.

Departure and returns will be at the Visitors Center. A circuit will last approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours during which spectators will remain on the wagons. Wagons will leave about every half hour.

This will be the first year that all reservations for the History Hayride will be made on-line at https://www.123signup.com/event?id=yfzx

The new reservation system will make it possible to reserve seats for an individual or a group 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, A Visa or Master Card will be accepted.

For more information call the park office: 931-858-2114 or 800-250-8619, ext. 107 or 102.

Lightning May Have Triggered House Fire

October 8, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lightning May Have Triggered House Fire

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire early Wednesday morning which may have been triggered by lightning.

"We had a house fire at 807 South Mountain Street, the home of Mrs. Willie Brown Adams at approximately 2:23 a.m.," said Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker.

"Mrs. Adams smelled smoke in the house and called 911 just after a passing thunderstorm".

"When Smithville Police arrived they helped Mrs. Adams out of the home and noticed flames coming through the roof on the back side of the house."

"The Smithville Fire Department arrived and extinguished the flames. There was some damage in the attic and to the exterior of the house," said Chief Parker.

"The fire is still under investigation but it appears that lightning may have played a part in the ignition of this fire," he said.

No one was injured.

County Wide Pink-Out Set for October 17th

October 8, 2014
by: 
Shan Burklow
Nancy Trapp shows off her pink painted pinkies in support of the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
 DeKalb County is gearing up for the county-wide ‘Pink Out’ supporting Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, October 17th

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. DeKalb Community Hospital along with the local schools and civic organizations are bringing awareness to this important topic in various ways throughout the month of October. A county-wide ‘Pink-Out’ is scheduled for Friday, October 17th where the public, county schools and businesses are encouraged to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and our fight against all forms of cancer. County schools are participating in a ‘pink’ jack-o-lantern contest sponsored by DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, and various businesses and organizations have agreed to take the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ - painting their pinky nails pink throughout the month of October after pledging to get regular mammograms after the age of forty.

“We would like to thank the community and local schools for making this year’s Pink-tober events so very successful,” said Shan Burklow- Marketing Director for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, “I am humbled by the wonderful and caring people who have volunteered their time to help us spread the word about the importance of early detection and mammograms in the fight against breast cancer. This is such an ugly disease and it has touched everyone in some way. Take this month to remind your friends and family of the importance of weekly self-exams and annual mammograms. Early detection is so very important in the fight against cancer. Hundreds of people across Tennessee have taken the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ and we hope that hundreds more participate before the month’s end.”

For more ways that your family, business or organization can support the fight against cancer, go to www.relayforlife.org or contact Shan Burklow: sburklow@dchtn.com

Pictured: Nancy Trapp shows off her pink painted pinkies in support of the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Pictured: DeKalb County is gearing up for the county-wide ‘Pink Out’ supporting Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, October 17th. Wear pink and show your support of the fight against cancer.

City Awards Bid on Sewer Project

October 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
City Awards Bid on Sewer Project

The City of Smithville will soon be extending sewer services to an area annexed into the city limits earlier this year.

During their regular monthly meeting Monday night, the aldermen awarded a contract to the low bidder, Flo-Line Contracting, LLC of Monticello, Kentucky for $141,600.

A bid opening was held Thursday, September 25 at city hall on providing low pressure sewers for the area on Highway 70 west. Bids were received from three companies, Madewell Construction Inc. of Spencer for $163,865 and John T. Hall Construction, Inc. of Sparta for $162,445, in addition to Flo-Line Contracting, LLC.

J.R. Wauford & Company Consulting Engineers, Inc., the city's utility engineer, evaluated the bids and recommended the low bidder.

The sewer project will serve an area which includes six parcels of property and a portion of another parcel which were annexed on the west side of the city. The properties were zoned and a plan of services was adopted for the area, in accordance with state law which establishes a timeframe within which city services and/or amenities are to be provided. Property owners in the area who wish to connect to the new sewer lines must bear the expense of taps and the pump system on their property.

In other business, the aldermen voted to make an offer to purchase a home on Allen's Chapel Road that is in the airport runway flight path. To comply with FAA regulations, the home must be removed. The offer, being made to the property owner through the city's airport engineer, is for $80,500. Although the city has budgeted $96,000 for this expense, all but five percent of the costs will be covered by a grant for which the city has been approved by the state. The property has already been surveyed and appraised.

Meanwhile, the City of Smithville is having another water cost study done. Results of the last study released in 2013 revealed the cost for the city to produce water to be $2.67 per 1,000 gallons. City officials believe that cost may be more now. Any change in the rate based on results of a new cost study could have an impact on the DeKalb Utility District which currently pays $2.67 per thousand gallons for the water it buys from the city.

In other matters, Airport Manager Wesley Nokes updated the mayor and aldermen on the status of other airport improvement projects being funded mostly by grants.

Nokes said bids have been advertised twice for a new fuel farm at the airport but so far there have been no bidders. "We had the fuel farm put out for bids twice but we didn't get any bids on that. TDOT has recommended that we wait before we put it back out for bids again. There are very few contractors that are licensed to do this kind of work in Tennessee and apparently they are all very busy and have more work than they need right now. TDOT has recommended that we wait probably another four to six weeks before we put that back out," he said.

Meanwhile, Nokes said bids have been advertised for the airport lighting rehabilitation project. Bids will be opened on Friday, October 24. "That is to replace all the airfield lighting with new LED's, a new beacon, beacon tower, a new electrical vault which will be outside and will house all of our airfield lighting electronics. That will get it out of the big hangar which will free up some more space for the maintenance operation. I've also included a backup generator so that when power goes out we'll have airfield lighting and the fuel farm will be able to operate in the event of power failure," said Nokes.

To meet FAA regulations, several trees were cut and removed recently that were penetrating the approach paths at the airport . "We just finished the tree removal project. We had to break that down into two phases per the state. The first phase was to clear the approaches on both ends (of the runway). We got all those cut and we got approval on that. The second phase of that which we are doing some engineering on right now will consist of removing some trees that are out farther to take care of our night time approach issues that the FAA has with us. The FAA recently did a fly over of several airports in the area and deemed that there were obstructions that were hazards to night time approach. They shut down the night time approaches to a various group of airports (including Smithville) and didn't notify anybody. The way I became aware of it was when one of the pilots told me that on his new approach plates that it had been deemed void due to these obstructions. We're working to correct it and when we get some numbers in hand, I'll be back to ask you (to apply) for another grant to take care of the second part of that," said Nokes.

Woman Enters Plea to Robbery and Kidnapping

October 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Amanda Maxwell Bain

A 30 year old woman responsible for the robbery and kidnapping of an elderly man almost a year ago was sentenced for the crimes Friday, October 3 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

Amanda Gail Maxwell Bain pled guilty to robbery and kidnapping and received a four year sentence in each case as a range one offender. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to another TDOC sentence against her. She was given jail credit from November 6, 2013 to October 3, 2014.

According to Smithville Police, the victim was kidnapped at knifepoint on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 in Smithville and then forced to withdraw funds from his bank account at an ATM machine. The man's abductors later drove him to McMinnville where he made his escape and called police.

The case was investigated by Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell of the Smithville Police Department.

According to Lieutenant Holmes, Bain telephoned the 81 year old victim, an acquaintance, and asked him to come to her Smithville home to talk with her. The victim, who lived in Warren County, drove to Bain's home on Fisher Avenue. As he arrived and entered the residence, Bain allegedly attacked the man from behind and forced him at knifepoint (boxcutter) back into his car, a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix. As the victim sat on the front passenger seat, Bain drove to ATM machines at two local banks where the man was forced to withdraw cash from his account. Bain allegedly got $300 as a result of the crime.

In an attempt to get more money from the victim at another bank ATM, police believe Bain picked up 31 year old Charles Wayne Reagan of Smithville at her home and the two of them drove the elderly man at knifepoint to McMinnville, according to Detective Donnell. But as they got to McMinnville and stopped at a traffic light, the victim bailed out of the car and escaped. Bain, the driver, got out and ran after him but the victim managed to get to a phone and called 911. McMinnville Police were first alerted but they then contacted the Smithville Police Department. Reagan, who was in the back seat of the victim's car, got into the front seat and drove away. Police believe he abandoned the vehicle somewhere.

Bain and Reagan later made it back to Smithville and stayed the night at a local motel, apparently in an attempt to hide from police. They returned to Bain's home on Wednesday, November 6 2013 where police found the two and brought them in for questioning.

Bain and Reagan were co-indicted in April, 2014 for aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and theft over $1,000. Reagan's case remains pending in court.

McMinnville Woman Sentenced for TennCare Fraud

October 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Julie D. Wright

A McMinnville woman charged with TennCare fraud was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday, October 3.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

37 year old Julie D. Wright pled guilty to TennCare fraud and received a one year sentence on probation to run concurrent with her Warren County probation in another case. She must give up her TennCare insurance.

Wright was charged in an indictment in April of 2013 with TennCare fraud in connection with obtaining a controlled substance paid for by TennCare, while planning to sell a portion of the drugs. She was apprehended later after eluding authorities for over a year.

In other court cases Friday, 34 year old Nieka Barrett Patton pled guilty to two counts of simple possession of a schedule IV drug. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case suspended to probation. Patton must also pay a drug fine of $2,000. The terms are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to all current sentences against her.

56 year old Billy Stephen Braswell pled guilty by information to two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run consecutively. He was fined $150. His supervised probation will end after one year if he has no other violations. Braswell was given jail credit of 33 days.

26 year old Bruce Cantrell pled guilty to sale of a schedule III drug and received a two year sentence but he was granted judicial diversion probation. Cantrell was also fined $2,000.

47 year old Alton David Estes pled guilty to theft over $1,000 and got a four year sentence to serve 30% before his release eligibility date. The sentence is to run concurrently with a Coffee County case against him. He was given jail credit from March 5 through October 3, 2014.

29 year old Danny Prater pled guilty to domestic assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation to run consecutive to a violation of probation against him.

35 year old Kenny Bly pled guilty by information to sale of a counterfeit substance and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. The term is to run consecutive to a six year TDOC sentence against him.

53 year old Tommye Lou Bell pled guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a four year sentence all suspended to TDOC probation. She was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $160 to the sheriff's department. She must forfeit the pills and money seized by law enforcement.

37 year old Quastaia Braswell pled guilty to initiation of meth and received an eight year sentence on probation upon her completion of a long term treatment program. She was fined $2,000. Braswell was given jail credit of 89 days.

32 year old Elizabeth Chalfant pled guilty to forgery ($1,000-$10,000) and received a two year sentence on supervised probation to run consecutive to a violation of probation against her. She must make restitution of $187 to the victim. Chalfant was given jail credit from June 23 to August 11, 2014.

39 year old Stephen Jason Moore pled guilty to burglary and received a five year sentence to run concurrently with a violation of probation against him in General Sessions Court. He must make restitution of $1,700. Moore was also given jail credit of 53 days.

25 year old Kenneth Roberts, Jr. pled guilty to theft under $500 and theft over $500. He received a sentence of one year in one case and 11 months and 29 days in the other to run concurrently with each other. He must make restitution of $1,776 and he will be on supervised probation.

31 year old Christopher Trent Barnes pled guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and was granted judicial diversion probation for four years. He was fined $2,000.

49 year old Darlene Cantrell pled guilty to attempt to sell a schedule II drug and was granted judicial diversion probation for two years. She was fined $2,000.

38 year old Lynda Neville pled guilty to theft over $1,000 and received a two year TDOC sentence all suspended to probation.

27 year old Philando Fullilove pled guilty to possession of a schedule II drug and received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days to run consecutive to his parole in another case. He was fined $750.

19 year old Lucas Shane Bogle pled guilty to theft over $1,000 and was granted judicial diversion probation for three years. He will be on supervised probation for two years and if all costs are paid and conditions are met he will be eligible for good behavior probation for the last year. He must make restitution of $6,800.

25 year old Karla Montgomery pled guilty to theft under $500 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 75%. The term is to run concurrently with another sentence she is serving. Montgomery was given jail credit from October 3, 2013 to October 3, 2014.

49 year old Ronda Butler pled guilty to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 48 hours at the Swain Center in Rutherford County, where she will also attend a DUI class. She will then be on probation. Her fine is $365.

39 year old Kevin Bogle pled guilty to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to good behavior probation. Bogle was given credit for time served. He was fined $360.

50 year old Tony J. Corley pled guilty by criminal information to two counts of driving under the influence (3rd offense). The sentences are to run concurrently with each other. He must serve 120 days and he will then be on probation. He was fined $1,100 and he will lose his driver's license for six years.

33 year old Ronald Collins pled guilty by information to reckless driving and received a six month sentence all suspended to CPS probation. The term is to run concurrent with a Warren County case against him.

30 year old Mindy Magouirk pled guilty to driving on a suspended license. She received a six month suspended sentence and was fined $50. She will be on supervised probation.

Support Needed for School BackPack Program

October 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Cindy Childers and Dee Anna Reynolds (pictured with food boxes during Christmas time last year)

How can a child focus on solving a math problem or memorizing a new word when she or he is trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger?

Across the country, teachers and school nurses have found that in some instances, Monday morning comes and they are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students. More than 18 million children qualify for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program, the fuel that they need to get them through the week. What happens to these children when they go home over the weekend?

For more than 15 years, the Feeding America BackPack Program has been helping children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need over the course of the weekend.

The DeKalb County School System's Backpack program, through Coordinated School Health, began seven years ago as a means of providing essential foods to needy children over the holidays to keep them from going hungry. Since then the program has grown and now needy children get food to take home every week for the weekend when school is out. To keep up with the demand, more support is needed.

Cindy Childers, Assistant with the Coordinated School Health Program is asking for your help. "Each year we try to get it a little bit better and give a little bit more to the kids. We try to meet their needs to the best of our ability. This year we have started off with (number of children to be served) what we normally end our year with. I am a little concerned that our numbers are going to grow so much that we won't make it past Christmas with the donations we've already received. I am asking you to please make a donation of food or money. We try to find things that a kindergarten or pre-school student can open up on their own, where they don't need a stove or refrigeration, but that they can eat for themselves. All donations will go to the Backpack Program. We go a couple of times a month to SAMS's and we buy in bulk what we think the children would like and what is healthy for them and gives them protein and vitamins. The hospital has also helped us with some food this year. We have churches and other organizations that have adopted schools so they pick up the food, pack it for us, and deliver it to the schools. Currently we have Whorton Springs Baptist Church, the Smithville First United Methodist Church, and the DeKalb West School BETA Club that are packing for us this year. We'd like to thank them," said Childers.

Suggested individually packaged foods to donate for the BackPack program include: 100% juice in single serving unbreakable bottles, boxes, or pouches; small boxes or bags of nutritious cereal; nutritious snack/breakfast bars; fruit cups; small boxes of raisins or dried fruit; microwave popcorn; non-perishable single serve microwave kids meals; individually packaged crackers (peanut butter and crackers); Slim Jims, gummy fruit, pudding, instant oatmeal, peanuts, and Ramen noodles.

If you have questions or would like to help call 615-215-2161 or 615- 215-2118.

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