Local News Articles

McMinnville Man Charged with Burglary and Theft

October 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Anthony Lynn Colwell
George William Rogers, II
Nathaniel Dylan Tippens

A McMinnville man has been charged in a recent burglary and theft.

43 year old Anthony Lynn Colwell of McMinnville was arrested on Wednesday, October 1 for aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on July 8 Colwell allegedly broke into a residence on Man Hill Road and took several pieces of jewelry. Colwell then pawned the items at a DeKalb County jewelry store and a pawn shop in Warren County. His bond is $17,000. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

34 year old George William Rogers, II of Aaron Webb Road, Smithville is charged with being a fugitive from justice. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court October 16. Sheriff Ray said Rogers is wanted in Springfield, Missouri for driving while intoxicated and being a persistent offender. Rogers was arrested on Monday, September 29.

22 year old Nathaniel Dylan Tippens of Redman Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $500. His bond is $5,000. He was arrested on Saturday, October 4. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 24 Tippens allegedly stole a 1997 white Ford Aspire from a residence on Redman Road and took it to a local recycling business with the intent to sell the vehicle. The attendant informed Tippens that the business could not purchase the automobile because it was reported stolen. Before leaving, Tippens told the attendant to report that the vehicle had been found. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

34 year old Rebecca Jade Andrews of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court October 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, October 3 a deputy spotted Andrews who was sitting on the side of the road on Highway 56 north. She had a strong odor of alcohol on her person and her speech was slurred. Andrews was also unsteady on her feet. She was taken into custody for her safety.

36 year old Casey Joseph Jacobs of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with assault. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, October 5 an altercation took place between Jacobs, an inmate in the jail, and another prisoner which became physical. After an investigation it was determined that Jacobs was the primary aggressor. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance October 16.

29 year old Joshua Lynn McCowan of Adams Street, Smithville is charged with violation of bond conditions. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court October 9. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, September 29 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Toad Road, Dowelltown where he found McCowan. Due to his having an active bond condition under which he is prohibited from being near a woman at this residence, McCowan was placed under arrest.

29 year old Isidro Gonzalez Ruiz of Murfreesboro is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for driving on a revoked license and failure to maintain lane of travel. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court October 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, October 3 a deputy spotted a black Mustang driven by Ruiz. The vehicle left its lane of travel into oncoming traffic. The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with Ruiz. He detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the car. Ruiz's eyes were glossy and his speech was slurred. Ruiz performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. A computer check revealed that Ruiz's driver's license were revoked for a DUI in 2006. He was placed under arrest.

County Clerk Inventories and Destroys Hundreds of Expired Plates

October 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
County Clerk Inventories and Destroys Hundreds of Expired Plates

The County Clerk's Office recently completed an inventory on hundreds of expired plates dating back from 2007.

After notification and approval from the Tennessee Department of Revenue these plates were transported to a vendor to be destroyed.

County Clerk James L. "Jimmy" Poss witnessed the vendor insert the plates into and through a 3,000 pound hydraulic bailer/crusher to be destroyed. The plates were weighed at 524 pounds and a check was provided to the clerk for $168.32. A notarized certificate of destruction was signed by the clerk and vendor.

The certificate along with a complete inventory list was submitted to the Department of Revenue.

Rescue Squad Members Get Training in Rope Rescue (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

October 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Joe Johnson of Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad and Captain Mike Crum of Metro Nashville Fire Department
Bud Bogle of Rescue Squad Being Lowered Down Rock Bluff with Ropes

Members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad spent the weekend brushing up on their training in rope rescue techniques.

Mike Crum, Captain of the Metro Nashville Fire Department, conducted an instruction class on Saturday at the local rescue squad building. The group then traveled to a location on Highway 96 in Liberty Sunday to practice the use of ropes in rappelling down a rock bluff .

Joe Johnson, member of the local Rescue Squad, told WJLE Sunday the training is designed to better prepare members of the rescue squad in the event of catastrophic events. "We had a re-certification on rappelling with ropes which are used in going down bluffs or steep places to reach people who are hurt and then carrying them back up. We use (ropes to rappel) in caves and bluffs on the lake," he said.

"Mike Crum is a Captain and rope instructor for the Metro Fire Department and he donated two days of his time Saturday and Sunday to teach us the proper and safe way to recover anyone who might fall and get hurt. We went through this class once before but we have some new people (members) who hadn't been through it (class) or hadn't done the rappelling. For those who didn't (rappel during the exercise) we had places (assignments) for them at the top of the bluff in making sure the ropes were anchored properly. We got our people (members) familiar with the harness and how to put it on correctly and how to get the patient up safely in a basket. Mike taught us how to do that," said Johnson.

"The Rescue Squad asked me to come and do a refresher on a class I did about two years ago here. We were just honing their skills and getting them ready for an emergency in which they would need to be using ropes, whether it be a cave, the side of a bluff, or a river bank. It's just easier for the rescue people if we can use some ropes and pulleys," said Captain Crum in an interview with WJLE. "You don't have the tall buildings here like we do in Nashville but the system they (rescue squad members) are learning this weekend will work anywhere. In the rescue world we don't do a whole lot of rappelling or climbing of rope anymore. What we do now is we lower a rescuer down and haul a rescuer back up. It's a lot safer and a lot quicker and it can be a lot less time consuming. It's awful hard to bring a patient back up with you when you are climbing the rope. There is a little bit of classroom work that comes with this. I am not real big on classroom work. I like for people to actually get their hands on the rope and see how the system works. These guys this weekend have been fantastic work with. They are very attentive," said Captain Crum.

Habitat Chili Cook-Off Set for Friday, October 10

October 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Board of Education "Storybook Chili" won first place for "Best Decorated Booth" last year

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 on the Courthouse Square when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 11th Annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the north side of the Courthouse on the Smithville Town Square. In case of rain, the Chili Cook-off will be held at the County Complex.

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 are looking forward to being outside again on the Courthouse lawn and 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.

October Proclaimed National Chiropractic Health Month

October 4, 2014
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling with Dr. Robert R. Atnip and wife Guylene Atnip
Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss with Dr. Robert R. Atnip and wife Guylene Atnip

During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) this October, Dr. Robert R. Atnip of Atnip Chiropractic Clinic and other doctors of chiropractic nationwide will help educate patients about the value of a “conservative care first” approach to health care, which encourages exhausting non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatments for pain management and health enhancement before moving on to other options.

Both County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss signed proclamations Friday in observance of National Chiropractic Health Month. Dr. Atnip and his wife Guylene joined them.

During NCHM in October, Dr. Atnip will share information about the chiropractic profession's "conservative care first" approach and why it is especially significant to today's health care consumers. This in turn with help patients have well-informed conversations with their health care providers, empowering them to become their own advocates by insisting on information about conservative treatment options.

Why is “Conservative Care First” more important today than ever in facing our nation’s healthcare challenges?

•Numerous recent studies have clearly shown the dangerous overreliance in the U.S. on prescription painkillers that simply mask pain. This has tremendously increased Americans’ risk for overuse, and abuse, of these drugs if taken for long periods, leading to more than 17,000 related deaths in 2010 (more than heroin and cocaine combined). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the abuse of prescription pain medications an “epidemic.”

•Recent reports question the overuse--and in some cases effectiveness--of more invasive treatments such as spinal fusion surgery and spinal steroid injections for back pain. It makes sense for patients to exhaust more conservative options before undergoing these costly procedures

•DCs are the highest rated health-care practitioner for low-back pain treatments with their patient-centered, whole person approach that provides greater interaction and listening for appropriate diagnosis and developing more cost-effective treatment planning.

"During National Chiropractic Health Month, we're reminding patients to ask about conservative treatment options when weighing their health care choices," said Dr. Atnip. "Chiropractic treatment is a much more safe and cost-effective option for back and neck pain that may reduce the need for unnecessary drugs and surgery."

For more tips on healthy, pain-free living, visit www.ChiroHealthy.com.

Hosted by ACA, National Chiropractic Health Month is a nationwide observance held each October. The event helps raise public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and wellness.

Dr. Atnip, DC, is a graduate of National University of Health Science in Chicago, Illinois. He has been in private practice at Atnip Chiropractic Clinic in Smithville for more than 40 years. For more information about how Dr. Atnip can help you achieve better overall health and wellness, please call 615-597-5375 or visit at 205 South 4th Street.

School Bus Involved in Accident

October 2, 2014
Dwayne Page
School Bus Involved in Accident
No One Injured in Bus Accident
THP Sergeant Eric McCormick Investigates Bus Accident

A special education school bus was involved in an accident Thursday afternoon on the Walkers Creek Road.

The bus driver, Dwight Knowles of Smithville was not injured. Neither were the two students and an educational assistant who were also on board.

Knowles, who was driving east, came upon a sharp curve on the narrow road when he met a westbound Ford Focus, driven by Susan Coats of Alexandria. Although the two vehicles never made contact, the bus went off the right side of the road and came to a stop with its left wheels off the ground. Coats was not injured.

Those on board the bus exited through the rear emergency door. Another bus driver in the area who had just completed his route was notified to come pick up the students and take them home.

The accident was investigated by Sergeant Eric McCormick of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said although the bus was towed to the bus garage, it is driveable and he doesn't believe it is badly damaged. The bus will remain off the road pending a state inspection next week. Willoughby said the school system has another special education bus it can use to replace this one in the meantime

DUD Water Plant Exceeds Cost Projections, Bids Awarded to Begin Construction

October 2, 2014
Dwayne Page
DUD Board of Commissioners

After months of planning and legal battles with opponents including the City of Smithville who tried to stop the project, the DeKalb Utility District will soon be starting construction on its own water treatment plant.

During its regular monthly meeting Thursday, the DUD board of commissioners awarded contracts to three companies who were the lowest bidders on three different portions of the project. The total cost comes to $12,958,390, more than $900,000 above projections. However, DUD Manager Jon Foutch told WJLE after the meeting that the project will move forward. "We are over what we projected. We have funds available for $12 million but we are fully prepared to make this treatment plant go forward. We have many options for (addressing) the overrun. We feel like we can make it happen," he said.

W&O Construction Company, Inc. of Livingston got the bid to build the 2 million gallon a day water treatment plant. The company's base bid amount for the project was $7,015,000, the lowest of the three bids submitted. DUD awarded the contract to W&O Construction in an adjusted amount of $6,993,000. The adjusted amount equals the Base Bid minus a deduct of $22,000 under the section for "pre-engineered structure".

Judy Construction Company of Cynthiana, Kentucky will perform construction on the raw water intake. Judy Construction's base bid was for $4,189,000, which was the lowest of the five bids received for this portion of the project. The DUD awarded the contract in the adjusted amount of $4,149,500 which equals the base bid minus deducts of $1,500 in a section for valves and hydrants; $8,000 for a section regarding Raw Water Screen and Accessories; and $30,000 in the section for Vertical Turbine Pumps.

Finally, Hawkins and Price, LLC of Wartrace, Tennessee got the bid for construction of 18 inch Raw and Finished Water Transmission Lines at the base bid amount of $1,815,890, which was the lowest of eight bids received. There were no deducts applied for this portion of the project.

All contracts were awarded by DUD subject to approval of the State Revolving Fund Loan, Rural Development/USDA, Appalachian Regional Council, and the availability of funds.

A ground breaking date has not yet been set but the contracts call for the plant to be completed within eighteen months of the start of construction. The intake is to be finished within fifteen months and the water lines are to be in place within a year.

The DeKalb Utility District has secured two Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans totaling $5,250,000 to fund this project. The first loan is for $2,500,000 with a $2,000,000 loan and $500,000 in principle forgiveness that will not have to be repaid by the DeKalb Utility District. The second DWSRF loan is for $2,750,000. Additional funding includes a Rural Utilities Service loan for $5,000,000, a Rural Utilities Service grant for $1,250,000, and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $500,000".

The project provides for the construction of a new raw water intake structure and raw water pump station on the Holmes Creek Embayment of Center Hill Reservoir (Caney Fork River); an 18-inch diameter raw water transmission line from the raw water pump station to the new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant located along Holmes Creek Road; an 18-inch diameter finished water transmission line along Holmes Creek Road, Allen’s Ferry Road, and U.S. Highway 70; and new 8-inch diameter water distribution lines along Big Rock Road, Dry Creek Road, Game Ridge Road, Turner Road, Tittsworth Road, and Walker Lane. A finished water pumping station will be constructed to deliver water from the Snow’s Hill Water Tank to the Short Mountain Water Tank. The new water treatment plant will also include clarification, mixed media filtration and backwash systems, and a 250,000 gallon clear well.

Retired Teachers Take ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ to Fight Cancer

October 2, 2014
Dwayne Page
The Retired Teachers of DeKalb County
The ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ campaign
Kim Frazier shows off her new manicure featuring ‘Pink Pinkies’

DeKalb County Retired Teachers Association was honored with a special luncheon provided by DeKalb Community Hospital recently. The theme of the luncheon celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month for October by providing pink tote bags and pink nail polish for those present. The group pledged to spread the word about the importance of mammograms and early detection to at least five of their friends and family. The guest speaker was Mila Vazquez-Director of Physical Therapy for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals. Vazquez spoke on the importance of balance, steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of falls, including how to improve your overall health. The afternoon ended with red velvet cupcakes and coffee.

“We were so honored to host the retired teachers luncheon this past week,” said Shan Burklow- Marketing Director for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “What a wonderful group of people that do so much good on a daily basis for our county. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.”

Those present took the “Pinky Swear Dare” sponsored by the hospital’s social media campaign supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or PINKtober, as the hospital calls it. The ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ asks the public to pledge and spread the word about breast cancer prevention during the month of October to five people. Upon taking the pledge, participants paint their pinky nails pink to share the message that ‘mammograms and early detection saves lives’. Any age can participate in the dare. If someone rejects the dare, they are asked to donate five dollars to the breast cancer charity of their choice.

“It is our hope that this important message will spread across Tennessee and the nation,” said Sue Conley-CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, “Breast Cancer is such an ugly disease and early detection is key. It is empowering when we come together, unified, in the fight against cancer. Hundreds have already taken the challenge online, but we don’t plan to stop there. Tell your friends, your neighbors and your family about the importance of regular mammograms after the age of forty. It is a simple, yet powerful, message.”

For more information on the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, join the DeKalb Community Hospital facebook page.

Pictured: The Retired Teachers of DeKalb County show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by taking the “Pinky Swear Dare”. The dare challenges participants to tell five friends and family the importance of mammograms and early detection after the age of 40. The group received pink nail polish to paint their pinkies pink during the month of October in support of the event.

Pictured: The ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ campaign that is aggressively growing across hundreds of facebook pages.

Pictured: Kim Frazier shows off her new manicure featuring ‘Pink Pinkies’ after taking the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’.

Miss Middle Tennessee Royalty Crowned

October 2, 2014
Cindy Taylor
Alexis Grace Atnip (Left) and Young Miss Queen Madison Rae Rackley (Center)
Miss (16-18) – Queen & Most Photogenic - Shauna Faith Taylor
Junior Miss (13-15):Queen & Prettiest Smile - Morgan Faith Green &1st Runner Up & Most Photogenic-Brooklynn Storm Estes

The Miss Middle Tennessee Pageants were held this past Saturday, September 27th at the DeKalb Community Complex. The pageant was a fundraiser for the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital and the Bill Wilkerson Hearing Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The event raising over $2000 that will be given back to help children with special needs.

Local winners were:

Young Miss (ages 9-12):
Queen Madison Rae Rackley - (Daughter of Gordon & Jessica Rackley)
1st Runner Up & Prettiest Eyes, Hair, Smile, Most Photogenic & People’s Choice-Alexis Grace Atnip (daughter of Veronica Atnip)

Junior Miss (13-15):
Queen & Prettiest Smile - Morgan Faith Green (Daughter of John & Suzanne Harrison)
1st Runner Up & Most Photogenic-Brooklynn Storm Estes (Daughter of Chris & Shana Bogle and Jessica & Nathan Ball)
*Other participant: Abigail Hope Taylor (Daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor)

Miss (16-18):
Queen & Most Photogenic - Shauna Faith Taylor (Daughter of Ken & Cindy Taylor)

Billy Miller Resigns from School Board

October 1, 2014
Dwayne Page
Billy Miller

Due to his having accepted a new job with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation which does not allow him to hold public office, Fourth District member Billy Miller has announced his resignation from the Board of Education, effective September 30.

It'll be up to the county commission to name his successor, who will serve as an appointee until the next regular election in August, 2016 to fill the unexpired term which ends in August 2018.

Miller, a long time agent with the TBI, had just completed his first four year term on the school board. He was re-elected to a second term in August.

"Please accept this as notice of my resignation as DeKalb County 4th District School Board Member. My last day of serving on the board will be September 30, 2014," wrote Miller in a letter to School Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III.

"I have accepted a position with my job in a division which does not allow personnel to hold public office. Although I had hoped that my position as school board member would be grandfathered in, I discovered after the fact that such was not the case. It is with great regret that I tender this resignation."

"I am honored to have served on our county school board for the past four years. I have always tried to make my decisions based upon what I felt was in the best interest of our children. I feel gratified that we have accomplished so much in the last four years, but realize there is still much to do. It is our responsibility to provide the best education possible for our county’s children. After all, today’s children will someday run the world. We need to make sure they have the tools to run it well," Miller wrote.

According to the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS), the county legislative body (county commission) may make an appointment when there is a vacancy in an elected county office.

"The person elected (appointed) by the county legislative body serves in the office for the remainder of the term or until a successor is elected, depending upon when the vacancy occurred. When filling a vacancy in a county office, a notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least seven days prior to the meeting in which the office will be filled. This notice must notify the public of the vacancy and specify the office to be filled at the meeting. Before the county legislative body votes or considers any motion or resolution regarding the office to be filled, the chair shall allow voters of the county an opportunity to submit names to the county legislative body for consideration. The names may be submitted in writing to the chair prior to the meeting or submitted in person at the meeting. In order for a name to be considered, a member of the county legislative body must subsequently nominate the person. Members of the county legislative body may also nominate a candidate or candidates to fill the office or vacancy without the name being submitted by a voter. Nominations do not require a second. If the person nominated is not present at the meeting, the person making the nomination shall submit a signed statement from the nominee that the nominee is willing to serve in the office if appointed."

"After nominations cease, the county legislative body may discuss the nominations and may, at the discretion of the chair, interview nominees or allow nominees the opportunity to address the county legislative body. Upon motion passed by the majority of the members, the vote to make the appointment may be postponed to a subsequent meeting, provided that adequate public notice of the meeting is given."


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