Local News Articles

NES Fifth Graders Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

May 13, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray, Chief Deputy and D.A.R.E. Instructor Don Adamson, Overall Essay Winner Carlie Sexton, and General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II
Essay Winners David Martinez, Paige Barber, Katelyn Henry, Rainey Tiner, Bella France, Kaitlin Ferrell, Carlie Sexton, and Verenisse Quezada

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received medals and certificates during the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held Wednesday.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by D.A.R.E. Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:

Carlie Sexton from Amy Raymond's class
Paige Barber from Amanda Griffith's class
David Martinez from Carrie Gottlied's class
Bella France from Kristen Hankal's class
Katelyn Henry from Alisha Day's class
Rainey Tiner from Josh Odom's class
Verenisse Quezada from Melissa Hale's class
Kaitlin Ferrell from January Agee's class

Carlie Sexton was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Wednesday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Sexton gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the D.A.R.E. Mascot. General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II presented Sexton a check for $50.

D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community.

Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, Assistant Principal Beth Pafford, Guidance Counselor Dr. Linda Bush, Director of Schools Dr. Danielle Collins, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Trustee Sean Driver, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, and Smithville Alderman Gayla Hendrix. Other members of the Sheriff's department were also in attendance along with Sheriff Patrick Ray and Chief Deputy Adamson.

One Wounded in Shooting at Austin Bottom

May 12, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department is investigating a shooting in the Austin Bottom Community Monday night.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray one person was wounded in the back but it was not believed to have been life threatening. No arrests have been made.

"On Monday May the 11th at 7:36 pm DeKalb County Central Dispatch received a call about a male subject that had been shot at the Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area. The victim and the shooter had already left the scene prior to law enforcement's arrival. Officers from DeKalb and Putnam Counties responded to the scene along with DeKalb EMS. A short time later Deputies and Detectives from the DeKalb and Putnam County Sheriff's Departments were able to find the victim who had traveled to a family member's house in Cookeville. Sheriff Ray has not released the name of the victim nor the name of the alleged shooter. He said the victim received one gunshot wound to the back but it was not believed to be life threatening. The investigation continues into the incident and more information will be released at a later time.

Man Ejected In Monday Night Truck Crash

May 12, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Man Ejected In Monday Night Truck Crash

A 46 year old man was injured when he lost control of his pickup truck on Seven Springs Road Monday night.

According to Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tommy Linder was traveling east in a GMC Sierra when the truck went off the left side of the road into a ditch and overturned, coming to rest upright. Linder was ejected.

He was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS and then taken to a helicopter landing zone on Ferrell Road where he was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital.

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

Three Airlifted After Rear End Collision on Highway 56 South

May 11, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
1987 Dodge pickup truck driven by Todd Van Dyne
2011 Nissan Rogue driven by Mark Cardwell

Three people were airlifted after a rear end collision Monday evening on Highway 56 south.

Trooper Gerald Carter of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 48 year old Todd Van Dyne was driving a 1987 Dodge pickup truck south on Highway 56 when he crashed into the rear of a southbound 2011 Nissan Rogue, driven by 50 year old Mark Cardwell of Nebraska. Cardwell's mother, Lady Belle Cardwell of Crossville was a passenger.

All three were flown from the scene by different helicopter ambulances. Van Dyne was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. The Cardwell's were flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

DeKalb EMS, the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene. The cause of the crash remains under investigation

NES Presents 10th Annual Fifth Grade Musical

May 11, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

Northside Elementary School presents its tenth annual fifth-grade musical titled “Country Must Be Country Wide” on Thursday, May 14th at 6:30 in the NES gymnasium. Directed by Kelly Jo Birmingham, the fifth grade students will present a tribute to country music and the artists.

Northside Elementary School’s spring musical provides our students with the opportunity for artistic expression. This year’s production is comprised of approximately two hundred fifth grade students plus staff and community members. “Country Must Be Country Wide” is a student-based community project, combining the talents of Northside students, faculty, and staff, as well as the talents of several Smithville community members. Smithville’s Josh Issac Melton will be performing in this year’s musical. He was the winner of DeKalb’s Got Talent Competition and The Voice’s VIP Pass. The VIP Pass guaranteed that he be able to skip the first few rounds of the audition process. Melton says, “This is my third year helping with the fifth grade musical. I love how it makes all the kids a part of something big and it helps them explore their talents. I love being able to give back and help them grow in the arts. I know this is a time they will never forget.”

Former resident of Smithville, Mr. Greg Owens, also known as “StyckMan” of 106.9 Kicks Country, assists with the musical production each year. He states, “I am told the kids look forward to being in the fifth grade musical from their very first year at Northside. Each group does their best to outperform the previous shows. I can honestly say every year, I am amazed at how well the kids perform. It is the highlight of my year. I love working with the students to create a fun show.”

NES Music Director, Kelly Jo Birmingham says, “It’s truly an honor to get to work with such talented students and colleagues. Each year, I am blessed by the overwhelming support from the parents and community businesses.” Birmingham goes on to state, “this year, we had several organizations donate money to help make this year’s musical a memorable one for our students. I would like to personally thank NES PTO, Stonehaus Winery, Tenneco, DTC Communications, Family Medical Center, DeKalb Community Hospital, Optimus, Sarah J. Cripps, Atty, Tecia Puckett Pryor, Webb Anesthesia Services, PLLC, Cliff Duke, DDS, Fast Pace Clinic, Glenda Davis, CPA, Citizens Bank, State Farm Insurance, Bumpers Drive-In of Smithville, Herndon Farms, Wilson Bank and Trust, Bratten Cook III, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, Bates Apparel, and Rob Ramsey for supporting us this year. This is a student-based community project, and we are very grateful for the continued support from the community each year.”

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests for DUI and Domestic Assault

May 11, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department made arrests last week for driving under the influence and domestic assault.

21 year old Brandon Allen Adcock of King Ridge Road Dowelltown is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for violation of roadways laned for travel and possession of drug paraphernalia (marijuana pipe). His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court June 4.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, May 4 a deputy was dispatched to investigate a rollover wreck on King Ridge Road. Upon arrival, the officer found a white SUV on its side in a yard. Beside the vehicle was a bag containing a pipe. The officer spoke with the driver, Adcock who had an odor of alcohol coming from his person. Adcock allegedly admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana during the day and said that the pipe belonged to him. He also submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. After submitting to a blood test, Adcock was placed under arrest.

42 year old Ernest Brian Osment of Will Daniel Road, Woodbury is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence. He was further issued a citation for driving on roadways laned for traffic. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court June 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, May 6 a deputy observed a blue truck leave its lane of travel on North Congress Boulevard and cross into the turning lane. After stopping the truck, the officer spoke with the driver, Osment who had an odor of alcohol coming from his person. He also had slurred speech. Osment allegedly admitted to drinking during the day. He submitted to and performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test and was placed under arrest. During an inventory search of his vehicle, the deputy found a holstered and loaded 22 six shot revolver located in the cab of the truck in an arm rest. Osment told the officer that the handgun belonged to him.

43 year old Kendra Guinn of Bright Hill Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court May 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 9 Guinn allegedly physically assaulted her husband by ripping his shirt and scratching his neck area. Both parties involved were interviewed by a deputy and it was determined that Guinn was the primary aggressor.

53 year old Carl Everett Martin of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court May 28. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 9 a deputy responded to Cookeville Highway for a physical domestic between Martin and his wife. Martin allegedly caused bodily harm to the woman by breaking her tooth, busting her lip, and bruising her eye lid and eye brow. The woman said that Martin held her down by the hair and beat her in the face while in the living room of the home. The woman said she feared for her safety.

DeKalb County Commemorates Safe Boating Week

May 11, 2015
Edgar Evins State Park Manager Jacob Young, Dekalb County Mayor Tim Stribling, T.W.R.A. Wildlife Officer Tony Cross, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Terry Martin observing the Proclamation of Dekalb County Safe Boating Week.

DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling joined Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U.S Army Corps of Engineer, and Tennessee State Parks officials Monday May 11, 2015 on Center Hill Lake at Edgar Evins State Park and presented an official proclamation declaring May 16th through 22nd 2015 as “Safe Boating Week.”

DeKalb County Safe Boating Week coincides with National Safe Boating week. The week serves as an opportunity to highlight the importance of safety precautions and responsible behavior when spending time on our local lakes and rivers.

National Safe Boating Week is the official launch of the 2015 Safe Boating Campaign. This year long campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of wearing a life jacket by recreational boaters.

DeKalb County, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee State Parks, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials on Center Hill Lake have teamed up with the National Safe Boating Council and other boating safety advocates across the U.S. to promote safe and responsible boating during National Safe Boating Week.

Before casting off for a day on the water, boaters should take appropriate precautions. File a float plan with a friend or family, get a vessel safety check and take a boating safety course. Boaters should also check the weather forecast and make sure everyone onboard is wearing the correct type and fit of life jacket. Boaters can develop “boater’s hypnosis” a condition in response to sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion, which causes fatigue and slows your reaction time. Combining this condition with alcohol or drugs greatly reduces your coordination, judgment and reaction time, which could lead to deadly consequences so please boat sober.

“We want everyone that boats in the waters of our county to enjoy themselves,” said Mayor Stribling. “and that starts with observing safe boating practices and wearing your life jacket.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation, managing more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, the Corps of Engineers provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on Corps of Engineers recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.

Fire Causes Extensive Damage to Residence on Talpha Drive

May 10, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire Causes Extensive Damage to Residence on Talpha Drive
Home of Cecil Waggoner Extensively Damaged by Fire

A residence on Talpha Drive was extensively damaged by fire early Sunday morning.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:11 a.m.

Firefighters were dispatched to the home belonging to Cecil Waggoner at 391 Talpha Drive, Dowelltown at Snow Hill.

Stations Responding included the Main Station, Liberty, Cookeville Highway, and Short Mountain Station.

"Initial information indicated that the home was occupied. Firefighters and deputies from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrived on the scene and found heavy fire in the attic area and immediately made entry to attempt to locate victims. While performing search and rescue efforts, a family member arrived and confirmed that no occupants were in the house. Firefighters then began efforts to bring the fire under control, but the home and contents were already extensively damaged," said County Fire Chief Donny Green

"The fire origin was determined to be in the den area and the cause is currently undetermined. DeKalb EMS was also on the scene as a precautionary measure", Chief Green concluded.

DeKalb Among Nine Additional Counties Included in Ice Storm Disaster Declaration

May 10, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced that nine counties will be added to the existing 36 receiving federal recovery assistance from the severe winter storm of Feb. 15, to Feb. 22, 2015.

Claiborne, Cocke, Davidson, DeKalb, Greene, Hawkins, Pickett, Rhea and Wayne counties were added to the declaration following new damage assessments requested by the state, and conducted by local officials, representatives of Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“I appreciate the hard work of all the county emergency management officials who are out there every day working for the citizens they serve to get them the help they need, and this assistance will provide some relief to these additional counties,” Haslam said.

Tennessee now has 45 counties included in the Presidential Disaster Declaration, DR-4211, of April 2, 2015. Previously declared counties include: Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Fentress, Giles, Grainger, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Hardin, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Loudon, Marshall, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Putnam, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Van Buren, Warren and White.

The federal assistance will allow eligible government entities and certain private non-profits in the declared counties to apply for reimbursement of specific expenses related to disaster response and recovery under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program.

The Public Assistance Program provides a 75 percent funding reimbursement for costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

State and local governments and electrical utilities spent more than $30.4 million in their response and recovery actions before, during and after the winter storm.

The February storm took 30 lives, severely damaged local utilities, forced universities, K-12 schools, and daycares to close, and impacted communities and residents throughout the state.

Multiple state agencies were involved in the response, including the Tennessee departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Insurance, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Finance and Administration, General Services, Health, Human Resources, Human Services, Transportation, Military, Safety, and the Tennessee National Guard, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Commission on Aging. The response involved approximately 3,500 state employees.

TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders. For more information, visit the TEMA website at www.tnema.org.

Alexandria Alderman Issued Petition to Run for Mayor

May 10, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bennett Armstrong and David Cripps Reading Documents at a Recent Alexandria Town Council Meeting
Alexandria Mayor Tony Tarpley and City Attorney Vester Parsley
Alexandria Aldermen Pat Jackson and John Suggs

An Alexandria Alderman has apparently decided to run for mayor.

Bennett Armstrong, who had picked up a petition to seek a full term as alderman, has withdrawn it and has been issued a new petition as a candidate for mayor. Armstrong is currently an alderman appointee, serving out an unexpired or vacant term.

Mayor Tony Tarpley also plans to be a mayoral candidate. Tarpley was appointed to the office in 2013 after Jim York was elected mayor and resigned three days after taking office. Tarpley has served the first two years of York's unexpired term as mayor. Both Tarpley and Armstrong plan to seek the last two years of the term.

Other candidates who have picked up petitions are:

Alderman: David G. Cripps and John Suggs (both for 4 year terms). Cripps and Suggs are incumbent aldermen, appointees serving out unexpired or vacant terms.

Alexandria voters will have a chance to elect a mayor and as many as five aldermen in the town's election on September 3.

Qualifying petitions are now available from the DeKalb County Election Commission. The deadline to get in the race is noon on June 18.

In this year's Alexandria election, three aldermen are to be elected, each to serve a four year term. Meanwhile, a mayor and two other aldermen are to be elected to fill vacancies or the remaining two years of unexpired terms. No petitions have yet been issued for the two-2 year terms to fill vacant/unexpired terms.

The sitting members are Mayor Tony Tarpley and Aldermen Pat Jackson, David Cripps, John Suggs, and Bennett Armstrong. All are serving as appointees except for Jackson, who was elected in 2013 and still has two years remaining in his term.

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