Shannon A Cantrell Assessor of Property
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Josh Miller

Local News Articles

Over 900 Vote Early in DeKalb County

February 23, 2016
Dwayne Page

A total of 938 persons cast ballots during the eleven day early voting period for the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primaries and the DeKalb County Democratic Primary.

According to Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley, 595 persons voted in the Republican Primary and 343 cast ballots in the Democratic Primaries.



On Tuesday, February 23, the last day for early voting 181 persons cast ballots including 179 in person and 2 by absentee. One hundred fifteen voted in the Republican Primary and 66 in the Democratic Primaries.

Although early voting has ended, absentees can still come in through election day.

The Primary is set for Tuesday, March 1. Voting at all precincts in the county will be that day from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Although some candidates have dropped out, the names of presidential candidates for the March 1 presidential preference primary, or “SEC Primary" in Tennessee are as follows:

Republican Primary Ballot
•Jeb Bush
•Ben Carson
•Chris Christie
•Ted Cruz
•Carly Fiorina
•Jim Gilmore
•Lindsey O. Graham
•Mike Huckabee
•John R. Kasich
•George Pataki
•Rand Paul
•Marco Rubio
•Rick Santorum
•Donald J. Trump

Democratic Primary Ballot
•Hillary Clinton
•Martin J. O’Malley
•Bernie Sanders

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Democratic Primary will be held on March 1 to select nominees for Assessor of Property and Constable in six of the seven districts of the county.

Incumbent Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell will be unopposed for re-nomination by his party in the March 1 DeKalb County Democratic Primary but he will be opposed by Republican Shannon A. Cantrell in the August General Election.

Democrat Jason C. Taylor is unopposed for Constable in the 1st district in the March 1 Primary but he will face Republican Lee Plummer in the August County General Election.

There is no Democratic candidate for Constable in the 2nd district. Republican Tom Theriaque will be unopposed for 2nd district Constable in the August General Election.

Incumbent Democratic Constables Travis Bryant in the 3rd district, Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Mark Milam in the 5th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district will be unopposed in both the March 1 Primary and in the August General Election.

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary is being held in conjunction with the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary on March 1.

County to Seek More Applicants for Judicial Commissioner

February 23, 2016
Dwayne Page
Taft Hendrixson

The county will take more time in searching for a new judicial commissioner.

During Monday night's regular monthly meeting the county commission voted to re-advertise an opening for two additional weeks hoping to get more applications. The county's judicial committee will then review any applications received and make a recommendation to the county commission.

The vacancy has been created due to the resignation of Taft Hendrixson because of health reasons.

The county recently advertised the opening and received one applicant but she is the spouse of a Smithville police officer and members of the judicial committee were concerned that this could be viewed as a conflict.

One of the judicial commissioners now serving, James Harvey Barnes, is the sheriff's uncle. Some question why this is not a conflict.

County Attorney Hilton Conger said Monday night that he has placed a call to an attorney for the state's judicial ethics committee to inquire as to whether the spouse of a police officer should serve as a judicial commissioner. Conger said he has not yet heard back from the attorney.

If the opinion is that the police officer's wife could serve, she may still be considered for the position along with any others who apply within the next two weeks.

"Judicial commissioners are under the auspices of the Court of the Judiciary the same as judges from the Supreme Court down through judicial commissioners. I put in a call for the attorney for the ethics commission to discuss this with him but I didn't get a call back this afternoon (Monday). I think the concern of the (county judicial) committee was that if this particular officer came in to request a warrant and his wife was on duty you might not have a neutral and detached magistrate which is the requirement," said County Attorney Conger.

As for one of the judicial commissioners being the Sheriff's uncle Conger said this may not actually be a conflict since he (sheriff) seldom signs a warrant. "I don't ever see the Sheriff signing any warrants. His deputies do but the Sheriff doesn't usually request a warrant. I don't know if his uncle being a judicial commissioner would have any bearing on that but I could certainly see a husband and wife situation. It might raise a conflict and we don't want to do anything that at least appears improper," said Conger.

The county has had three judicial commissioners including Taft Hendrixson, James Harvey Barnes, and Tammy Ashburn. They were appointed by the county commission to the positions for a one year term last September as recommended by the judicial committee.

The judicial committee is made up of the General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Mayor, and a representative of the District Attorney General's Office.

Judicial commissioners are responsible for the issuance of criminal arrest warrants upon finding probable cause. They are subject to call at all hours of the day and night. Judicial commissioners serve at the pleasure of the county commission and their terms of office can be one year to four years.

County Mayor Presents Plaque to Elmer Ellis, Jr.

February 22, 2016
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling Presents Plaque to 1st District County Commissioner Elmer Ellis, Jr.

Fellow County Commissioners said their goodbyes to 1st district member Elmer Ellis, Jr. Monday night.

Ellis, who has served as a commissioner for more than nine years, is stepping down. He made the announcement during an all committees meeting of the county commission Thursday night. He met with the county commission for the final time Monday night.

Ellis and his wife are soon moving to Texas to be near their daughter due to his wife's health.

County Mayor Tim Stribling presented a plaque to Ellis in appreciation for his years of service.

"We thank you Junior for your service to the county. He has been fair and has always voted what he thought represented his district. I served on the 911 board with him before I even became County Mayor when I was an Aldermen and represented the City of Smithville on the 911 Board," said Stribling

"He is going to be a difficult one to replace. We wish him well. I have always respected him. I respect him even more in that he's doing this (resigning) because of his family. I think you have to look after your family first and foremost. He has put his family above himself. Junior we thank you for your service to this county and this commission. I appreciate your service," County Mayor Stribling concluded.

Ellis was first elected to the county commission in August 2006. He was re-elected in 2010 and in 2014. His term expires August 31, 2018.

The remainder of the term will be filled in the August 4 DeKalb County General Election.

In this situation there will be no primary election, but any nominees of political parties shall be selected by party convention. The office will be on the August 4th ballot, according to Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections.

Under state law, if there is still time for a normal qualifying deadline, the normal qualifying deadline will be used. The qualifying deadline for the August 4 elections is Noon April 7.

In this case, Ellis resigned prior to 10 days before the April 7 Noon qualifying deadline. Therefore, candidates can be certified by party convention prior to the deadline and appear on the August ballot as a party nominee.

And/Or—candidates can seek the office by petition process as an Independent candidate.

However, if a candidate seeks the nomination of a party by convention and fails in his/her attempt..that person cannot run as an independent under state law.

"I want to publicly thank Elmer Ellis for his service to DeKalb County during his time as a 1st District County Commissioner. I wish him and his family well on their future endeavors. Anyone interested in becoming the Democratic Party nominee to fill Mr. Ellis' vacancy as a 1st District County Commissioner please let me know. The Democratic Party will hold a nominating convention to select a candidate. The office will be on the August General and State Primary ballot," said DeKalb County Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins.

County Commission Establishes Staggered Terms for Members of Beer Board (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 22, 2016
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night voted to establish terms for members of the Beer Board.

Currently, the seven members of the beer board serve for life or until they resign.

Fifth District Commissioner Anita Puckett wants to change that. In addressing the issue Monday night during the regular monthly county commission meeting, Puckett made a motion to have all seven members serve as appointees and that the terms be staggered with the first, third, fifth, and seventh district positions being appointed in odd years. The second, fourth, and sixth district seats would be filled in even years. Puckett also wants the beer board to re-organize (name officers) every twenty four months.

"As many of you know there are no guidelines or procedures for our beer board members or appointment or structure of the board. I would like to establish this by trying to create some orderly procedures," said Puckett

"I'd like to make a motion to create orderly procedures or guidelines. One would be staggering years of appointment or reappointment of the said members. Even districts would be voted on in even years and odd districts in odd years. I would like to implement this in April 2016. We would either reappoint or look at appointing new members for the second, fourth, and sixth districts. In April 2017 we could look at the first, third, fifth, and seventh districts. We as county commissioners can contact the beer board members in our districts to see if they are still interested in this position and then bring names back to the floor and we can vote. Also I would like reorganization of the members to take place every twenty four months," she said.

Seventh District Commissioner Larry Summers expressed reservations about establishing terms for the beer board because of the difficulty in getting citizens to serve. " I have no problem with this but it's so hard to get anybody to make these unpopular (beer board) decisions although it (procedure for granting a beer license) is written down as state law. If you give them ( incumbent beer board members) an opportunity to see if they want to do it again (be reappointed) they may say no I'm fed up with it," said Summers.

Fourth District Commissioner Wayne Cantrell agreed with Summers. " It's hard to get people to do these things," he said.

Puckett's motion was adopted on a 9-4 vote.

Commissioners Elmer Ellis, Jr., Mason Carter, Joe Johnson, Jimmy Midgett, Jack Barton, Jonathan Norris, Anita Puckett, Betty Atnip, and Kevin Robinson voted in favor.

Commissioners Larry Summers, Wayne Cantrell, Jerry Adcock, and Jeff Barnes voted against the motion.

Commissioner Bradley Hendrix was absent.

Current members of the Beer Board are Jim Stagi in the 1st District, Frank Thomas in the 2nd District, Edward Frazier in the 3rd District, Robert Rowe in the 4th District, Rhonda Caplinger in the 5th District, Leonard Dickens in the 6th District, and Johnny King in the 7th District.

County Approves New Three Year Contract with Corps for Lakesite Patrols (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 22, 2016
Dwayne Page

Residents in the Austin Bottom Community can expect to see law enforcement patrols a little more often this summer.

The Putnam County Access is among the lakesite areas covered in a new three year agreement between the county and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers for extra patrols.

Sheriff Patrick Ray presented the proposed new contract to members of the county commission during an all committees meeting Thursday night. The commissioners formally approved the deal during the regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Under the new contract, the Sheriff's Department will provide lakesite patrols at Johnson's Chapel, Ragland Bottom, Floating Mill, Center Hill Dam Area, Hurricane Bridge, and the Putnam County Access (Austin Bottom Community) on Center Hill Lake. The contract runs from May 6 through September 5, 2016.

The total amount of the agreement under which the Corps pays the county is $23,571, which is more than last year. The deal calls for 97 patrol periods with six area patrols per period along with an orientation meeting. The county has also accepted the Corps' officer to make this a three year contract with the county to receive $24,057 in 2017 and $23,814 in 2018.

Sheriff Ray plans to hire a part time officer funded by the Corps under this contract to patrol all the sites and he wants the part time officer to have POST certification. "We would like to hire a part time officer to take care of the lakesites for us because of the extra place at Austin Bottom. We only have two deputies on during the weekends on our day shifts so there is no way we would want to leave the whole county with just one officer here. He (part time officer) would be paid from the money out of the (Corps) contract," said Sheriff Ray during Monday night's County Commission Meeting.

According to Sheriff Ray, when the officer patrols the Putnam County Access, he will also check out the Denny Bottom Recreation area to further heighten a law enforcement presence in the community.

In August many residents in the Austin Bottom community of DeKalb County met with several local officials and the Corps of Engineers at the fire station there to vent their frustrations about public nuisance issues at a boat ramp in the area.

Corps Resource Manager Kevin Salvilla took questions and comments from the group. County Mayor Tim Stribling, Sheriff Patrick Ray, County Fire Chief Donny Green, and Fourth District County Commissioners Wayne Cantrell and Jonathon Norris were also there.

While most of the residents at the meeting said they didn't want the Putco Boat Ramp (Austin Bottom Lake Boat Access Area) closed, they did want to see more law enforcement to keep undesirables out.

"We had a meeting over there and at that time Kevin (Salvilla) said if he could find some money to put in for that specific area he would and he did come through and put some money in the contract which makes it better for us," said County Mayor Stribling during Monday night's County Commission Meeting,

"I'd like to go on record and say I appreciate all those who went over there and met with the people in that district to work this out and for the Corps for meeting us and allowing us to do this. I think they (residents) often feel unrepresented over there and we often feel a lack of resources to address it but at least the Corps has helped," said Commissioner Jack Barton.

Property Taxes Due Next Monday (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 22, 2016
Dwayne Page

The Trustee's Office will be a busy place for the next week as taxpayers rush to beat the February 29 deadline to pay their 2015 county property taxes.

As of Monday, February 22 the DeKalb County Trustee's Office had collected 72.17% of the $8.5 million in 2015 county property taxes to be collected by February 29, 2016. That includes property, residential, commercial, personal, and public utility taxes.

In a report to the county commission Monday night, Trustee Sean Driver said collections to date are up over last year's collections of 68.91% by this date (February 22). The tax base this year is also larger because of the sixteen cent property tax increase adopted by the county commission last summer for this fiscal year. Trustee Driver said the county's tax base this year has expanded to $8,578,328, an increase of $835,000 over last year's tax base of $7.7 million.

Monday, February 29 is the last day to pay the 2015 property taxes before penalties start accruing March 1.

For 2015 you can:

1.Come in person to pay at the office.

2. Mail in your payment.

3. Pay online at then select DeKalb. The Vendor accepts Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. A Vendor convenience fee of 2.75% on the total tax bill may apply and fees are subject to change for using credit/debit cards. Also, a $2.75 fee will be assessed on an e-check payment of any amount.

4. A Dropbox is also located on the outside of the county complex building (where the Trustee's Office is located) for your convenience after hours or on weekends.
Partial Payments are accepted and you the taxpayer may set the amount to pay.

You may also qualify for the State of Tennessee Property Tax Relief Program The last day to sign up for tax relief is April 5. If you would like more information come by the County Complex in the Trustee’s office at 732 S. Congress Blvd-Room 103, Smithville, TN 37166 or call at 615-597-5176.

The Trustee's Office is open regular hours from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday.

Any 2014 unpaid property taxes may be paid with interest and penalty through March 31. However any 2014 unpaid taxes will be turned over to the Chancery Court on April 1 for collection. The Trustee's Office will soon be sending out a notice to those still delinquent.

Green Arrested for Violation of Sex Offender Registration

February 22, 2016
Dwayne Page
Robin Clark Green
Timothy Paul Proctor

A sex offender has been arrested for not giving timely notice after relocating from Cannon to DeKalb County.

41 year old Robin Clark Green of Ragland Bottom Road, Smithville is charged with violation of the sex offender registration law. Green's bond is $5,000 and he will make a court appearance on February 25.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Green moved from Cannon to DeKalb County without giving notice within 24 hours of the move in violation of the sex offender registration law.

"On Wednesday, January 13 a Sheriff's Department Detective went to 267 Ragland Bottom Road to tell Green that his address needed to be changed on the sex offender registry. Green was told that he had twenty four hours from the time he moved to change the address. On January 19, the detective spoke with Cannon County officials who said that Green had not changed his address and was still registered in Cannon County," said Sheriff Ray.

Green was subsequently placed under arrest.

Meanwhile, 33 year old Timothy Paul Proctor of Meadowbrook Drive, McMinnville is charged with public intoxication and child abuse or neglect. His bond is $6,500 and he will make a court appearance February 25.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, February 18 a deputy was called to Vaughn Lane due to a man passed out behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. A small child was also in the automobile. The man, Proctor, admitted to the officer that he had taken suboxone throughout the day before driving to the residence on Vaughn Lane and falling asleep in the driver's seat with a child in the backseat.

Power Athletics' Storm Cats Claim National Championship

February 22, 2016
Storm Cats on stage after their win was announced
Storm Cats wearing their National Champion jackets
Girls from Smithville (l-r) Carlee West, Talon Billings, Malia Stanley, and Hayley Martin
Collage of the Lady Cats with Madeline Martin, and her coach Ashley Farris and gym owner JC Henry

Smithville was well represented at the 2016 Cheersport Nationals held February 12-14 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Cheersport Nationals is the largest cheerleading competition in the world with over 1,250 teams and over 25,000 cheerleaders in attendance this year.

Power Athletics' Storm Cats, a Senior Coed Level 3 team, took home the National Championship in their division. After day one of competition, the Storm Cats were in second place by .4 points and had zero deductions for their routine. At the end of day two, the Storm Cats edged ahead of their competition to win the National title and take home the jackets with an aggregate two-day score of 92.6 and a second day of zero deductions. Members of the Storm Cats from Smithville are (L-R) Carlee West, Talon Billings, Malia Stanley, and Hayley Martin. This is the second National Championship for Hayley Martin and Carlee West who were both members of the 2015 Power Athletics' Lady Cats Junior 2 team. The 2015 Lady Cats won a bid and attended The Summit (which is the Super Bowl of cheerleading) at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as a result of their win at Cheersport Nationals last year. The Storm Cats are coached by Ashley Farris and JC Hen ry.

Power Athletics' Lady Cats, a Junior Level 2 team and defending National Champions, took home second place after a very close two-day competition. Day one of competition found the Lady Cats .1 point behind the leader and .1 point in front of third place; they also had zero deductions for their routine. They fell short on day two after performing another zero deduction routine with an aggregate two-day score of 92.78. Representing Smithville on the Lady Cats is Madeline Martin. The Lady Cats are coached by Ashley Farris and Kelsie Smith.

Power Athletics is the most successful All-Star cheer gym in the Upper Cumberlands. They offer classes in cheer, tumble, and stunt. It is located at 40 CC Camp Rd, Cookeville, TN. For more information, please contact them at You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or go to their website at for the latest information."

Danny Washer Qualifies for Smithville Alderman Race

February 22, 2016
Dwayne Page
Danny Washer

Another incumbent alderman has qualified for the August Smithville Municipal Election

Danny Washer will be in the race for re-election.

Three aldermen will be elected on August 4th. The terms are for four years.

Others who have obtained qualifying petitions to date are:

Wesley Nokes
Ronald D. Stanley
Shawn Jacobs (incumbent)
Josh Miller (incumbent). Miller's petition has been returned and verified
Gary Durham

The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7

The 2016-17 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses now on sale

February 22, 2016

The 2016-17 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses are now on sale

Licenses are available at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) regional offices, license agents, on the TWRA website,, and at the TWRA “On the Go App” and charged to a credit card. Licenses may also be ordered by telephone and charged to a credit card by calling 1-888-814-8972.

The new licenses annually go on sale each Feb. 18. The 2016-17 licenses are valid through February 2017. License sales provide the primary funding for the TWRA, which does not receive any funding from the state's general fund (i.e. state sales tax). The 2015-16 licenses expire Feb. 29.
Resident licenses may be purchased by persons who possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license; persons who have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their permanent home(but do not hold a driver’s license in another state); military personnel on active duty in this state and their immediate families, who reside with them, regardless of resident status; students who are enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at least six months. A Social Security number is required to purchase a Tennessee hunting or fishing license.

All licenses purchased by credit card will be charged a processing and handling fee. The fees over the telephone are $7.50 for those licenses mailed and $6.25 for those not mailed. Through the internet, charges are $4.25 for those licenses mailed and $3 for self-prints.

To expedite telephone orders, the caller should have ready the name, address, physical description, Social Security number, driver’s license number, TWRA ID number (if renewal), and credit card number.

Licenses are printed on a special tear-resistant, water-proof paper. In case of a lost license, duplicate licenses can be obtained from any TWRA license agent for an $8 fee.


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