Local News Articles

County Budget Committee Recommends a 16 Cent Property Tax Increase

June 30, 2015
Dwayne Page
Members of County Budget Committee
County Budget Committee
Budget Committee Members Jack Barton, Jerry Adcock, and Larry Summers
Budget Committee Alternate Joe Johnson and Members Jimmy Midgett and Wayne Cantrell

Your property taxes will be going up this fall if the county commission adopts a recommendation by the budget committee.

In a meeting Tuesday night, members of the budget committee voted to recommend passage of a new $40.9 million budget for the 2015-16 year and a tax rate of $1.78 cents per $100 of assessed value. That's a sixteen cent increase from the current rate of $1.62.

The proposed new rate breaks down as follows:

County General Fund: 94 cents (a 12 cent increase)
General Purpose Schools: 57 cents ( a 2 cent increase)
Debt Service: 12 cents
County Highway Department: 4 cents ( a 1 cent increase)
Capital Projects Fund: 11 cents ( a 1 cent increase)

The last time the county commission raised taxes was in 2011 when a ten cent hike was imposed with five cents of the increase going to schools and the other nickel to help fund the county general budget.

Steve Bates, the county's financial advisor, said the increase is needed because county revenues in recent years have not kept pace with inflation. "There's not really any expenditures that are above last year. It's just inflation. It's just that the cost of government has increased and revenues haven't been able to keep up. We have been budgeting on a budgetary basis going into cash (fund balance) and although we haven't been expecting to go into cash that deep, we have been going into cash (using reserves). All we want to try to do is head that off so we can maintain our good fund balances that we have now," Bates told WJLE

"During 2009 and 2010 property assessments did not grow because of this housing and financial crisis so while the cost of government was growing, assessments were declining. We were actually going backwards. And to further that, we were earning 2% and 3% on fund balances. Now we're earning .2% so that's another tax cut. As recent as three years ago, the county earned $360,000. This year we have budgeted $150,000 and I just hope we get that, "Bates added.

All five members of the budget committee voted to recommend the new budget and tax rate for approval to the county commission. Members of the committee are Chairman Wayne Cantrell and Larry Summers, Jack Barton, Jimmy Midgett, and Jerry Adcock.

County Mayor Tim Stribling said copies of the proposed budget will be made available to all members of the county commission during an all-committees meeting on Tuesday, July 7 at 6:00 p.m. in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse. As required by law, a public notice will be published on Wednesday, July 15 in the newspaper. A public hearing will then be scheduled on Monday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m. followed by the regular monthly meeting of the county commission at which time the new budget and tax rate will be considered for passage. The meeting and public hearing will be held in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Two other issues were addressed during Tuesday night's meeting. The committee voted to use $25,000 from the capital projects fund as "seed" money for future development of a new fire station in the Four Seasons community.

Meanwhile, whether the county will match the city's $75,000 allocation of funds for the development of a new animal shelter will be left up to the entire 14 member county commission. Budget committee member Jack Barton initially made a motion to include the money in the budget, but only as a one time contribution. The committee sided with Barton on a vote of 3-1-1. But later during the meeting, committee members had a change of heart and the action was rescinded. While funds for the animal shelter will not be included in the proposed budget, Barton said he will ask that the county commission give it an up or down vote as only a one time contribution after the new budget is adopted. "I feel they (DeKalb Animal Coalition) are due an answer. Since the city has put it out there on the table, I want us as a body to give them an answer up or down," said Barton. Chairman Cantrell moved that the budget and tax rate of $1.78 be adopted and to address the animal shelter issue after the budget is passed. Cantrell's motion was approved unanimously.

Local Man Wanted in Michigan

June 30, 2015
Dwayne Page
David Duane Brewer
Dusty Ray Mathis
Jessie Eugene Thomas
Terra Elaine Locklear
Roger Curtis Gregory
Nathaniel Dylan Tippens
Henry Burt Turner, Jr.
 Matthew Tyler Hale
John Allen (J.J.) Judkins

A DeKalb County man is expected to be sent back to Michigan where he is wanted for being a fugitive from justice.

46 year old David Duane Brewer of Corinth Church Road, Smithville is under a $200,000 bond. He made his first court appearance on Thursday, June 25 where he signed his waiver of extradition and he will be in court July 16 if Michigan authorities have not picked him up. According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, a detective ran an NCIC computer check on Brewer Wednesday, June 24 which revealed he is wanted in Livingston, Michigan where he is facing charges of larceny over $20,000 and two counts of unlawful driving away.

21 year old Dusty Ray Mathis of Lanis Road, Baxter is charged with two counts of vandalism and one count of criminal trespassing. His bond is $4,500 and he will make a court appearance on July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, June 20 in order to gain entry to property on Austin Bottom Road, Mathis knowingly drove through a field, garden and two galvanized gates in his 1997 Dodge pickup truck causing a total of $300 in damage. Mathis did not have the owner's consent to be on the property. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

37 year old Jessie Eugene Thomas and 32 year old Terra Elaine Locklear both of Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown are each charged with aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. Thomas is also charged with vandalism. Bond for Thomas is $11,500. Locklear's bond is $10,000. They will make a court appearance on July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, June 23 Thomas and Locklear broke into a residence on Dale Ridge Road and took several tools and building materials with a total value of $1,190. During the burglary, Thomas also broke out a window valued at $425. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective. Thomas and Locklear were arrested on Friday, June 26.

35 year old Roger Curtis Gregory of South Main Street, Carthage is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on April 28, Gregory was operating a 2004 Nissan Maxima east on Hickman Road at Temperance Hall when the car went off the left side of the roadway, hitting a fence and trees causing damage. After the crash, Gregory drove away from the scene without notifying the owner of the fence or the sheriff's department about the wreck. When confronted by a deputy later, Gregory admitted to being involved in an accident and that he failed to stop. Gregory was arrested on June 27.

23 year old Nathaniel Dylan Tippens of Redman Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 26 Tippens, an inmate at the jail, took forty six Ranitidine (stomach) pills and nineteen Ibuprofen pills from an office in the annex. "Tippens was an inmate in the jail annex. Due to a plumbing problem all the annex inmates were moved into a hallway. While in the hallway, Tippens gained entry to an office by way of a pass through door. He pried open the door, got into the office and took the pills. He later admitted to taking the pills and they were returned to the correctional officers," said Sheriff Ray. In an effort to keep such a thing from happening again, extra locks and hasps have been added to the door.

32 year old Henry Burt Turner, Jr. of Liberty is charged with aggravated burglary, theft of property under $500, and violation of an order of protection. He is under a $10,000 bond and will be in court July 23. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, June 11 a sheriff's department deputy observed Turner and a woman together in her car on the public square in Smithville. Knowing that the woman has an order of protection against Turner, the officer approached the vehicle and spoke with the woman. After confirming that the order of protection was still active, the deputy obtained a warrant for Turner's arrest. Meanwhile, according to Sheriff Ray Turner broke into a residence on Old Sligo Road May 19 causing $900 in damage to the home and took a blue Rhino propane tank and a Stanley fubar tool valued at $100. Turner was arrested for the burglary and theft on June 28 after being in custody in Rutherford County for a separate offense. The case was investigated by a sheriff's department detective.

26 year old Matthew Tyler Hale of Upper Helton Road, Alexandria is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 28 a deputy spotted Hale operating a motor vehicle traveling north on Main Street in Liberty. He also observed Hale swap seats with a passenger while the vehicle was still in motion. Knowing that Hale had a suspended license, the officer made a traffic stop. Hale was previously cited for driving on a suspended license on June 21, 2015. His license were suspended on February 12, 2015 for failure to provide insurance.

41 year old John Allen (J.J.) Judkins is charged with burglary and theft over $500. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on May 27 Judkins entered a barn on the Old Keltonburg Road and took several 2 x 10 sheets of tin off the side of the barn and took an area of fence valued at more than $500. The case was investigated by a criminal detective of the Sheriff's Department.

One Same-Sex Marriage License Already Issued in DeKalb County

June 30, 2015
Dwayne Page

One day after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states cannot ban gay marriages, the DeKalb County Clerk's Office issued the first license to a local same sex female couple.

"On Saturday morning the first couple came into the office and filled out the application. They completed the application process and obtained the marriage license. They were married over the weekend and returned their marriage license to us on Monday," County Clerk James L (Jimmy) Poss told WJLE Tuesday.

Although only one license has been issued so far to a same sex couple, Poss said there have been other inquiries about the process for obtaining a license. "Once the ruling came down on Friday morning we got our first call and by the end of the day we had a total of three calls inquiring about same sex marriage. They were checking to see if our office was actually issuing the marriage license to same sex couples," Poss said.

While the female couple did not request his office perform the marriage ceremony, Poss said he was asked on Saturday by another individual if he performed marriages for couples. "She was inquiring about how she could actually obtain a license and get married at the same place," he said.

Poss announced upon taking office as county clerk last September that he would not perform marriage ceremonies. While state law gives county clerks the authority to marry couples, it is not mandated that they do so.

After Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the Tennessee Attorney General advised county clerks across the state that they may begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The University of Tennessee County Technical Advisory Service Institute for Public Service sent an email to all 95 county clerks Friday morning in the wake of the court’s historic ruling. “We have been advised by the Tennessee Attorney General that county clerks may begin issuing marriage licenses immediately under the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling,” the CTAS message said.

Poss felt he had no choice but to comply with the ruling based upon the advice he was given since the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say in determining the laws of the land. "Both CTAS and Jay West, Executive Director of the County Officials Association sent emails and told us very early on after the ruling on Friday to begin issuing marriage licenses immediately, to not hold off for any reason," said Poss.

Community Chorus to be Featured at Fiddlers Jamboree

June 30, 2015
Dwayne Page
Community Chorus to be Featured at Fiddlers Jamboree

The Community Chorus will make a return appearance during the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival Friday evening

With the theme "What the World Needs Now is Love", the chorus will be performing a variety of patriotic songs with a special tribute to veterans, particularly disabled veterans. Again this year, adults and children alike will be singing in the chorus with some clogging as well.

"To open the program we'll have a fanfare of American patriotic music. This is always a high time with the audience participating. Hopefully by that time there will have been one thousand flags passed out in the audience. The AmVets will be helping us with that and we truly appreciate their help. And another person in town anonymously gave a thousand flags," Faye Fuqua, Chorus Director told WJLE Monday.

"A real important part of the program is recognizing and paying tribute to veterans. There may be service men who are still serving (in the crowd). This year we're going to include (in the tribute) a recognition of those who are disabled. There will be something really special coming at that time so we encourage all veterans to come out and help us celebrate you," said Fuqua.

The program begins at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday from the Jamboree stage. You can also catch a rehearsal performance on Thursday evening on the steps of city hall at around 5:30 p.m.

Aldermen Postpone Plans to Alter City Police Department Wage Scale

June 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

In order to keep police salaries from reaching a level far above other city employees, Smithville Aldermen Monday night were poised to eliminate three steps of the police department's existing seven step pay scale with passage of the new 2015-16 fiscal year budget. But at the urging of Alderman and City Police Commissioner Jason Murphy, the council decided to postpone any move to revise the scale until next year. As a result, the new city budget was adopted on a 3-2 vote with the seven step wage scale remaining intact for another year. Aldermen Josh Miller and Shawn Jacobs, concerned about other aspects of the budget, voted against the spending plan.

Passage of the budget on second and final reading came during a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen covered exclusively by WJLE.

The idea for making changes in the police department wage plan was proposed at a city budget workshop last Tuesday, June 23 to keep pay raises on a more level playing field with other city departments. But since the workshop some police officers began raising concerns. A few of them attended Monday night's meeting.

Under the proposal, any city police officer who had exceeded the fourth step would have received a cost of living raise as provided to all other hourly employees instead of moving to the next scheduled step in the wage scale. For the new fiscal year, the cost of living increase given to all hourly city employees is two percent.

Alderman Murphy said he felt the city was moving too quickly on an issue that needs more study and that the police officers were not given sufficient notice.

"Basically what I think is we should not do anything to the pay (scale) yet but to have a plan to do something by the next budget year. It gives us more time to think about it and it gives the officers notice that their pay in the future will change," said Alderman Murphy.

"I found out about this (proposal to change wage scale) on Friday. My (employment) anniversary date is July 1 so I was expecting a raise really soon. I budgeted my personal affairs that way and found out that wasn't going to happen. My own thought is that if it could be put off just long enough for us make adjustments or to be prepared for it would be helpful," said Officer James Cornelius in addressing the Mayor and Aldermen.

"Everyone in the police department certainly understands and respects the decision making process the council is faced with. We do understand that we're in a position that something has to be done. We do respect and appreciate you working with us as much as you have. I just want to express on behalf of the police department that the intention behind the step (wage) program was to retain officers. I couldn't ask for better guys to work with and I certainly think we are headed in the right direction as far as gaining quality people and that can't be done alone and we do need everyone's help and we appreciate your support," added Captain Steven Leffew.

Janice Plemmons-Jackson, the city's financial advisor proposed freezing the police wage scale at four steps until a study could be done. "We could schedule a workshop for a committee to compare salaries to other places for all the departments and look at what officers in other places are making and see if we are in line with them or see if we need to give them another step and make an evaluation. To me that seems more logical to say that we have a problem coming along so we'll freeze the steps at four and give a two percent raise and then do a study and see if we're in line with where we need to be. Then if we need to in a few months we could pass a budget amendment and go ahead and give another step. But you have money in the bank. You could pay and spend this but the trend is that revenues are flat and have been for many years and expenses continue to climb each year," she said.

While the aldermen agreed with Plemmons-Jackson that a study should be done before next year, they did not take her advice on freezing the police wage scale at the four step level at this time.

Meanwhile, the new city budget also includes pay raises for salaried employees. The new base salary for each is as follows:

City Administrator: $61,500
Chief Financial Officer: $40,000
Police Chief: (OPEN POSITION): $58,000
Fire Chief: $43,500
Airport Manager: $39,000

The city has appropriated $45,000 toward payment to volunteer fire fighters. That's about $10,000 more than last year. The city fire department plans to implement an incentive program to pay volunteers not only for fire calls but to reward them for doing extra duties.

The new city budget totals $8-million 111-thousand 623 dollars.

The property tax rate will remain the same at .6490 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Water and sewer rates will also be unchanged. City water customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are $7.50 per thousand gallons. City sewer customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons plus the flat usage rate of $3.62.

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District will remain at $2.67 per thousand gallons.

Capital outlay projects include:

*New sanitation truck and trash containers- $350,000

*New extrication "Jaws of Life" equipment ($25,000) and a new thermal imaging camera ($10,000) for the Fire Department.

*Police Car & Unspecified -$40,000

*New Animal Shelter- $75,000.That money will only be spent if the county appropriates $75,000 to match the cost of the project

*Airport: (Mostly funded by grants):
Lighting Rehabilitation- $325,000
Fuel Farm- $350,000
Taxiway land acquisition-$135,000
Taxiway Initial Design- $150,000
Upgrade existing MX hanger door-$100,000
Land acquisition- $85,000

*Water service truck (water and sewer department)- $50,000

The city also plans to spend $200,000 from the State Street Aid budget to mill and repave the downtown square area and to replace any old worn out water and sewer lines in the process. An expenditure of about $30,000 to be appropriated from the water and sewer fund.

Total general fund revenues are projected to be $4,160,050, not enough to cover total estimated expenditures of $4,856,693. The city plans to appropriate $696,643 from the general fund surplus to balance the budget. The water and sewer fund is expected to show a surplus of $8,155 by year's end with total revenues at $2,628,600 and expenditures of $2,620,445

Mulloy Receives John W. Harris Award

June 29, 2015
Bill Conger
Mulloy Receives John W. Harris Award
Callie Mulloy

The National Junior Beta Club presented former DeKalb West School student Callie Mulloy with the prestigious John W. Harris award Sunday (June 28) at the Beta Club’s national convention.

“I was scared,” Callie says of accepting the award in front of thousands of other students at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

Callie, who served as Vice President of the DWS club this past school year, was one of five students presented with Beta’s MVP leadership trophy.

“I am full of pride and thankfulness that Callie was chosen for this great honor,” said School Counselor and DWS Junior Beta sponsor Bill Conger. “I’ve had Callie in class since she was a Kindergarten student my first year at DeKalb West, and I’ve enjoyed watching her grow academically and mature over the years. The Beta Club made a perfect pick.”

“Her peers and adults alike admire Callie’s intelligence and loving spirit,” School Resource Officer Lewis Carrick wrote in a recommendation letter for Mulloy. “She is driven and strives at being the best for those around her. She stands out as a positive role model for the rest of the students.”

Callie’s academic record is outstanding, her character is beyond reproach, and her skills as a leader are superb. While being involved in other extracurricular activities like cheerleading, gymnastics, and softball, she has maintained straight A’s on her report card. She is a member of the gifted program. Callie says, “I always strive to go above my academic goals.”

Beyond her educational aspirations is her faith. “Whether I succeed or fail in my ambitions, there is always One I can go to for hope and inspiration; my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Her beliefs are underscored by the way she conducts her life. For example, instead of enjoying a well-deserved hour break for related arts and gym at the end of the day, Callie sacrificed her time to tutor her classmates. She longs to see them succeed and understand their subjects as she does.

Callie supported the administration early each morning when she and another Junior Beta student provided child care for PreK-1st grade students prior to school. “There is nothing so special as watching their smiles and laughter light up the room,” she said. “That simple little moment just reminds me of the good in the world.”

Callie has logged approximately 80 hours of service to the Junior Beta Club this year alone. She is always willing to do whatever is needed whether it’s picking up trash, tutoring, writing/drawing cards of appreciation, working with the food bank, and performing with the Drama Club at church. Her special calling is with the elderly at our community’s assisted learning center, Webb House. Callie is the kind who puts her heart and 100% effort into everything she does.

Free Bluegrass Concert to Kindle Jamboree Mood

June 29, 2015
Picking Friends band

The Picking Friends band will be performing a free concert in downtown Smithville on Thursday, July 2nd. The music will begin at 7:00 PM on the open-air stage located at the Joe L. and Ann S. Evins Park, across from the Smithville Post Office and Justin Potter Library. Picking Friends is a 5-member band comprised of talented musicians who love to perform a mix of traditional and gospel bluegrass. Band members Brian Anderson and Glenn Carpenter are from Watertown, TN and Shawn Frick, John Mason, and Glenn Moats are from Lebanon, TN. Picking Friends has performed all across the middle Tennessee area and into Virginia.

In addition, Smithville Sugar Squares and DeKalb Dancin’ Delights dance teams will also be performing that night. Smithville Sugar Squares dancers include Tess Barton, Katherine Gassaway, Kathryn Hale, Emma Jennings, Madelyn Johnson, Summer Morse, Elizabeth Seber, and Lillie Grace Young, DeKalb Dancin’ Delights dancers are Ellie Cripps, Annabella Dakas, Kaitlin Hutchins, Kristen Hutchins, Katherine Knowles, Preston Summers, Sadie West, and Shelby West. Their teacher is Mary Ann Puckett.

So, bring your own lawn chair and enjoy a fun evening of music and dancing! The perfect way to get in the Jamboree mood!

Pictured l-r:
Brian Anderson, Glenn Carpenter, Shawn Frick, John Mason, Glenn Moats

Smithville Police Department to Conduct Child Seat Installation and Inspection

June 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
 Smithville Police Department to Conduct Child Seat Installation and Inspection

The Smithville Police Department and other law enforcement agencies will be hosting a child seat installation on Tuesday, June 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Smithville Wal Mart location. Officers will inspect and properly install child restraints and answer questions on proper child restraint methods.

"In a lot of cases we find that child restraints are not properly installed. We are currently in the process of training child restraint technicians within the Smithville Police Department. I encourage everyone that wants to have their child seat checked out, to come out and see us. This is a free service of the Smithville Police Department," said Captain Steven Leffew

Northside Church of Christ Dedicates New Place of Worship

June 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
Elder members of Northside Church of Christ Cut Ribbon to Dedicate New Church Building
Northside Church of Christ Dedicates New Church Building
New Northside Church of Christ Building on Highway 56 North

The congregation of the Northside Church of Christ held worship services for the first time in their new church home Sunday.

Following morning worship, lunch was served followed by a dedication service and ribbon cutting at the new church building, located beside the old one on Highway 56 north which had served as the congregation's worship center since 1970 . The congregation's beginnings date back almost seventy years.

"It is very exciting," said Burnes Lyons, minister of the congregation. "One of my objectives is that I wanted to see the older members be able to see a new building erected and that's why we have them up front cutting the ribbon. We wanted to build something in the community that would be passed on to future generations that might benefit those who come behind us," said Lyons.

Members of other congregations joined in helping the church commemorate Sunday's special occasion.

Couple Sentenced for Using Child to Smuggle Pill into the Jail

June 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Justin Dale Estes
Ashley Nicole Estes

A prisoner and his wife were sentenced in Criminal Court Tuesday, June 23 on charges of introducing contraband in a penal institution after trying to use their eight year old child to smuggle a pill into the DeKalb County Jail.

Judge David Patterson presided.

24 year old Justin Dale Estes and 30 year old Ashley Nicole Estes each received a three year sentence. Justin Estes must serve his time but a second charge of child endangerment was dismissed. The term is to run concurrently with another case against him in General Sessions Court. He was given jail credit from November 6, 2014 to June 23, 2015.

Ashley Estes' three year sentence has been suspended to supervised probation. She was given jail credit for 76 days and fined $2,000. A second charge of child abuse/neglect against her was dropped.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 6, 2014 Justin Estes, serving a sentence in the DeKalb County Jail, was visited by his wife Ashley Estes and their children. Before the visitation, a Sheriff's Department Detective found a pill in the coat pocket of the Estes' eight year old daughter and learned that it was placed in the coat by Mrs. Estes. According to Sheriff Ray, Justin Estes admitted that he had told his wife to put a pill in the child's coat pocket. The pill was believed to be an eight milligram suboxone. If ingested, Sheriff Ray said the pill could have caused the child to suffer serious sickness or death. Mrs. Estes told the detective that she had previously brought drugs into the jail for her husband on different occasions by putting them in the clothing of her children, according to Sheriff Ray.

29 year old Curtis Lloyd pled guilty to possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) under .5 grams. He received a four year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. Lloyd was also fined $2,000. He was given jail credit of 55 days. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, October 22 a sheriff's department detective stopped Lloyd for speeding on Highway 56 south. The officer received consent to search Lloyd's car, a 1997 Lumina and found a baggie containing a white powdery substance still partially wet. The substance field tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 1.1 grams. Lloyd was placed under arrest.

26 year old Raymond Rollins pled guilty to domestic assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation. He was given jail credit from May 14, 2015 to June 23, 2015. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, June 22, 2014 a deputy received a domestic call on South Judkins Lane in the Jefferson Community. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that Rollins had thrown her from the front porch to the ground. She claims Rollins grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into the wall, bursting the wall. Through an investigation, the deputy found that Rollins was responsible for the assault and caused the woman to fear bodily injury. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

28 year old Zackary N. Hale pled guilty to vehicular assault and reckless endangerment. He received a four year sentence for vehicular assault suspended to probation and a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to probation for reckless endangerment. The two terms are to run concurrently. Hale was involved in a two vehicle personal injury crash in September 27, 2012 on Highway 56 south.

28 year old Margie Drennan pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation except for time served from November 18, 2014 to June 23, 2015.

50 year old Leslie Franklin Arnold pled guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to 45 days. He was fined $610 and will enroll in Teen Challenge. The term is to run concurrently with a Putnam County DUI case against him. Arnold was given thirty days of jail credit which includes twenty eight days treatment through Samaritan and New Leaf Recovery programs. Smithville Police said that on Tuesday, May 6 2014 Arnold was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 when he was observed crossing the yellow line. As the officer was making the traffic stop, Arnold sideswiped a van. A computer check revealed that Arnold's license were revoked for DUI in Putnam County on January 30, 2014. Arnold had an odor of alcohol on his person and his speech was slurred. A half pint of Vodka and two empty beer cans were found in his vehicle. Arnold was taken to the emergency room of the hospital by DeKalb EMS.

37 year old Tara Jane Summers pled guilty by information to three counts of reckless endangerment. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run consecutively for a total of almost three years. Summers will be on probation with CPS and is to maintain involvement in a mental health program. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Summers pulled up in her vehicle in front of the sheriff's department. She signaled for one of the detectives to come to her automobile. The detective responded and saw two small children in the back floorboard of Summers' vehicle. He also noticed that Summers held a 12 gauge shotgun in her lap. Summers told the detective that her parents had been murdered and that there were people chasing her, trying to kill her. When Summers was asked to hand over the shotgun, she refused and started pointing it out the window toward passing vehicles. The detective had to take the weapon by force. The gun was found to be loaded with three live rounds. Summers was placed under arrest.


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