Local News Articles

Man Charged with Burglarizing Same Home Twice

June 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Bobby Floyd Duggin
Elizabeth Ann Chalfant
 Zachary Alexander Walker
Jan Marie Winchester

A man who allegedly broke into the same residence twice within nine days has been arrested by the Sheriff's Department.

49 year old Bobby Floyd Duggin of Pea Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of theft of property over $500, and one count of theft of property under $500. His bond totals $16,500 and he will be in court July 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday June 7, Duggin allegedly broke into a residence on Lodge Street in Liberty through a kitchen window and took $450. The second offense occurred on Monday, June 16 at the same home and entry was made through the same kitchen window. Duggin allegedly stole $600. The cases were investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

Meanwhile, 32 year old Elizabeth Ann Chalfant of Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with forgery. Her bond is $50,000 and she will be in court on July 10.

Sheriff Ray said Chalfant allegedly passed twelve checks from a checking account without the victim's permission from May 12-29. The total of the twelve checks was $5,387. The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

19 year old Zachary Alexander Walker of Hodges Road, Smithville is charged with public intoxication and domestic assault. He was also issued a citation for underage consumption of alcohol. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court July 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on June 23, a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Short Mountain Highway in response to a report of an intoxicated juvenile. Upon arrival the officer made contact with Walker, who was outside the residence screaming at family members. Walker had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he admitted to having been drinking. A woman there reported that she and Walker got into an argument while he was in the residence and that he slapped her in the face and knocked her down. As others tried to get Walker outside, Walker punched her in the face. She had a bruise and knot on her upper right cheek bone. Walker was determined to be the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest.

41 year old Jan Marie Winchester of Forrest Avenue, Smithville is charged with assault. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on July 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, June 26 an officer was dispatched to the Dry Creek swimming hole in response to a fight in progress, Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with Winchester and another woman who had been fighting. After speaking to several witnesses and both parties involved, the officer determined that Winchester was the primary aggressor. She was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Authors of John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero to have Book Signing

June 30, 2014
“John Sevier: Tennessee’s First Hero,”

Gordon Belt and Traci Nichols Belt, authors of “John Sevier: Tennessee’s First Hero,” will be at F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts in Smithville on Friday, July 4 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. to sell and sign copies of the book.

A celebrated soldier, admired politician and founding father of the state of Tennessee, John Sevier led an adventurous life. He commanded a frontier militia into battle against British Loyalists at Kings Mountain. He waged a relentless war against the Cherokees in his effort to claim America’s first frontier. He forged the state of Franklin from the western lands of North Carolina and later became Tennessee’s first governor. Following his death, Sevier’s accomplishments faded from public memory, but years later, writers resurrected his image through romanticized accounts of his exploits, relying heavily on folk tales and recollections from aging pioneers. Thus, life and legend intertwined. Join authors Gordon T. Belt and Traci Nichols-Belt as they examine John Sevier’s extraordinary life through the lens of history and memory, shedding new light on this remarkable Tennessee figure.

Gordon T. Belt is an information professional, archives advocate, public historian and founding editor of the Posterity Project, an award-winning blog devoted to archives and history in Tennessee. Gordon holds a master’s degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is the director of public services for the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Traci Nichols-Belt is the author of "Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War," published by The History Press. She is an ordained and licensed minister and holds a master’s degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Anderson University.

Children Enjoy Summer Reading Finale Party

June 29, 2014
Dwayne Page

Children enjoyed a puppet show by Susie Randleman and more Friday during the Grand Finale Party for the "Fizz, Boom, Read" Summer Reading Program at Justin Potter Library.


The children who met their reading goal received a certificate and a goody bag.

Animal Rights Activists Return to Protest "Giggin for Grads"

June 28, 2014
Dwayne Page
Animal Rights Activists Return to Protest "Giggin for Grads"

Animal rights activists were back again Friday holding signs in protest of the 2nd annual DeKalb County Young Farmers & Ranchers "Giggin for Grads" .

The frog giggin tournament was held Friday night from 7:00 p.m. until the weigh in at 1:00 am. Saturday morning. Participants met in the parking lot of the DeKalb County Complex.

Proceeds from the tournament are used to fund an Agriculture scholarship for a high school student. Prize money also goes to the teams with the heaviest bags of frogs.

Paramedic saves THP Lieutenant who suffered heart attack

June 27, 2014
Dwayne Page
Hoyte Hale, Tyler Grandstaff, and David Allred

A DeKalb EMS paramedic is being hailed a hero after saving the life of a Lieutenant of the Tennessee Highway Patrol who suffered a heart attack during an outing on Center Hill Lake last Friday, June 20. Both the paramedic, Tyler Grandstaff and THP Lieutenant David Allred were off duty at the time.

Allred and his family had just set up camp at Floating Mill Recreation area when he felt faint and then collapsed.

Fortunately, Grandstaff , who was with his family closeby at the same time, came to his aide. "We were at the lake at Floating Mill and we had a man exhibiting signs of chest pain and diaphoresis (profuse sweating). He was pale, grayish and didn't look well. I went to the truck and got my bag and my oxygen tank and did what we normally do. He was conscious but not alert and very disoriented. I started an IV and gave him some oxygen and fluids. Gladly an ambulance got there pretty quick," said Grandstaff.

"We had got there at the campground and probably had been there for an hour and a half," said Allred. "We had just got the camp and everything all set up. I walked over to my brother's camper. I told my wife that I feel like I'm fixing to pass out. I did. At no time did I have any pain until after the second or third time I went down, then the pain really started. After that I could hear everything going on. I remember when Tyler ran up and I heard him say he was going to get his bag. I could feel everything going on. I could feel what he did to my arm and when he stuck the IV in and although I couldn't communicate, I could understand everything everybody was saying," said Allred.

DeKalb EMS was notified and quickly arrived on the scene. Grandstaff accompanied Paramedic Tim Briggs and EMT Becky Atnip in transporting Allred by ambulance to Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

One week after the attack, Allred is out of the hospital and feeling much better, although he is not yet back to work. "It was a massive heart attack. I go back for an update with the doctor on July 21st and he will re-evaluate everything and see what we're going to do. I still have two more blockages. Hopefully after we get those taken care of I'll return to work," said Allred.

Had it not been for Grandstaff and others, Allred said he might not have survived. "As far as Tyler and the other Paramedic and EMT persons, that's what saved me. As far as Cookeville Hospital, they also did a great job. The dispatchers here did a great job. Everybody did their job that day or I wouldn't be here today. Thankfully Tyler was there that day or I don't think I'd be here," said Allred.

"I am glad I was there to help him out," said Grandstaff.

As a show of appreciation, DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale Friday presented Grandstaff with a certificate for "Outstanding Service". Allred and members of his family were also on hand for the occasion at the headquarters of the Central Dispatch/911 Center in Smithville.

The certificate states as follows:

"DeKalb County Emergency Services Outstanding Service Award is hereby granted to Tyler Grandstaff for your outstanding instinct and actions on June 20, 2014. Your actions undoubtedly contributed to a positive outcome. We sincerely appreciate your dedication to DeKalb EMS. DeKalb County Emergency Services. Awarded June 27, 2014. Signed by Hoyte Hale, EMS Director".

Director Hale said he is also proud of Briggs and Atnip for the work they did on the Allred call and for the professionalism of his entire staff. " Tim and Becky was the crew that transported him (Allred) to Cookeville and they did a great job too! I'm glad we have crews and staff who are dedicated to their job," he said.

16th Annual Fiddler 5K and Fun Run Set for July 5th

June 27, 2014
Dwayne Page
Tecia Puckett Pryor
16th Annual Fiddler 5K and Fun Run Set for July 5th

The 16th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will be Saturday, July 5, the weekend of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree. All proceeds from the race will be used in building another Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County.

The race will begin promptly at 7:00 a.m., RAIN OR SHINE. The course begins and ends on Church Street in Downtown Smithville. "We encourage anybody who is interested in doing either the one mile fun run or the 5K which is a 3.1 mile course to go to www.fiddler5k.com where you'll find a printable registration form that provides all the details of registration and a link to online registration," said Race Director Tecia Puckett Pryor.


2014 Registration Form.pdf (160.7 KB)

Paper registrations must be submitted no later than Monday, June 30. "If you want to register by paper. If you want to print out a form and mail it in or bring it by my office, that needs to be done by Monday, June 30. If you pre-register online you need to do that by midnight Wednesday, July 2. The advantage of pre-registering is that you save $5.00 and you may pick up your packet on Friday evening, July 4 from 5-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Life Enrichment Center on Church Street, which is also the start line for the race. That's a real perk in that you don't have to get up quite as early on Saturday morning, July 5. You'll already have your race bib and t-shirt and you'll be ready to go. But you can still pick up your packet on Saturday morning. You don't have to pick it up on Friday night if that doesn't work for you," said Pryor.

Participants may also sign up on race day."The cost of race day registration is $30 and $25 for those age 18 and younger. Again, for early registration it's $25 for adults age 19 and older and for youth its $20 for ages 18 and younger so you save a little bit of money by pre-registering," Pryor said.

"We have a fabulous shirt this year. It's made of the same material as last year. It's called the new tech shirt. It's going to be navy. It looks really great. I want to thank our t-shirt sponsors because they help underwrite the cost of the shirts so that more money goes to Habitat. Our sponsors are Janney & Associates, CPA, Stonehaus Winery, DeKalb Community Bank, First Bank, Dr. Mitchell S. Tatum, DDS, Glenda Davis, CPA, Federal Mogul, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, DeKalb Community Hospital, Sligo Marina, and Tenneco Automotive. We are really appreciative to those folks and what they do to help us," Pryor continued.

"A few years ago we went to chip timing where you have a chip on your bib and when you cross the finish line it will instantly tell you how fast you did the race. We have a gun start meaning that the start is not chip timed, everybody starts at the same time but the finish is chip timed and that is done by Tennessee Race Timing of Cookeville. They do a great job for us with the timing," she said.

"For our awards, we give an overall male award and a female award for the fastest runners. We also started giving a Masters award a few years ago which is for the fastest male and female age 40 and older. We also give out the top three awards in the age categories of nine and younger, and then go up from there in five year increments. We give ribbons for those categories. For the Fun Run, we only give awards for children who are age twelve and younger. We give overall awards for male and female and then we do the top three. Everybody gets a nice ribbon and the overall winners get medals. We also have some goodies for the first place winners," said Pryor.

"We changed the course a couple of years ago. The start line is no longer on Highway 56. It starts right across from the Life Enrichment Center on Church Street and goes down town hill by the swimming pool and the golf course, up Riley Avenue by the hospital and then comes up Main Street to the finish. It's a fairly challenging course but it's really a beautiful course with all the trees as you go down town hill and coming up Main Street," she said.

"A lot of kids participate in the One Mile Fun Run and we also have adults that just like to get out to walk a mile and be part of this. The Fun Run stays right in town. It does not go down town hill. We have it really well marked. Both races end right at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. In the parking lot of the funeral home is where we will be on Saturday morning so if you want to register and you haven't by then be there by 6:00 a.m. and we'll get you registered. If you pre-registered and didn't pick up your packet on Friday night then come to the same place, the Love-Cantrell Funeral Home parking lot because that's where we will be set up to start and finish," said Pryor.

Spectators are urged to come out and cheer on the runners the morning of the race. "If you live along the race course, get out and cheer on these runners. It's great when you're out running and you see people out cheering for you," she said.

For more information or copies of paper registrations call the office of Tecia Puckett Pryor at 597-7370 or stop by at 312 West Broad Street, Smithville.

Funds raised through the Fiddler 5K support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. "We hope to have a great turnout and raise a lot of money for Habitat. We hope to see everybody on Saturday, July 5," Pryor concluded.

A Ground breaking celebration was held last month for the fifth Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County. Committee and Board members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County and the new partner family, Tia Adcock , her son Caven Ponder, and daughter Caitlin Adcock gathered for the brief ceremony at the site of the home at 202 Hayes Street in Smithville.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Increased to 6.3% In May

June 26, 2014
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's Unemployment Rate increased to 6.3% in May, up from 5.7% in April but well below the rate of 8.4% in May, 2013.

The local Labor Force for May was 9,220. A total of 8,640 were employed and 580 were without work.

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for May was fifth lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:
Pickett: 9.9%
Van Buren: 8.8%
Clay: 8.4%
White: 8.4%
Jackson: 7.5%
Cumberland: 7.4%
Fentress: 7.4%
Overton: 7.1%
Warren: 6.9%
DeKalb: 6.3%
Putnam: 6.2%
Macon: 5.8%
Cannon: 5.5%

County unemployment rates for May 2014 show the rate decreased in five counties, increased in 88, and remained the same in two.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in May at 5.2 percent, up from 4.7 percent in April. Knox County was 5.3 percent in May, also up from 4.7 in April. The Hamilton County May rate was 6.2 percent, up from 5.6 percent in April. Shelby County was 7.5 percent in May, up from 7.0 percent in April. The Tennessee unemployment rate for May was 6.4 percent, and the U.S. rate was 6.3 percent; both were 6.3 percent in April.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Chamber Awards Project Welcome Mat Winners

June 26, 2014
Dwayne Page
People’s Choice – DeKalb Community Bank
Liberty State Bank- “Best Worded” Sign (Side 1)
Liberty State Bank- “Best Worded” Sign (Side 2)
Cumberland Insurance– “Most Original” Sign

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2014 "Project Welcome Mat" in time for the Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival July 4 & 5.

This year's winners are as follows: People’s Choice – DeKalb Community Bank; Best Worded- Liberty State Bank (for messages on both sides of their sign); Most Original –Cumberland Insurance.

"We want to thank all the businesses that used their message signs to welcome Jamboree visitors. It’s vitally important to make sure that our guests know how appreciated and important they are. Tourism makes a huge positive economic impact on DeKalb County, and a lot of those tourism dollars come during the Jamboree," said Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

The winners and messages are as follows:

DeKalb Community Bank – Winner of "People's Choice" Award-“Twitter, Text or Snap, Fiddli’n & Feet That Tap, It’s Jamboree 43, Finest Fest in Tenn”

This social media-inspired message was written by DCB Employee, June Keith.

Liberty State Bank received the Chamber’s “Best Worded” Award for messages on both sides of their sign. Best Words” on Side 1 were written by LSB Employee Lisa Garrison -“A Fiddle, A Banjo, And A Glass of Sweet Tea, All at Jamboree 43.” “Best Words” on Side 2 were written by Liberty State Bank customer, Danny Cowan - “If It Was Me, I’d go to Jamboree 43.”

Cumberland Insurance– Winner of “Most Original” Sign-" “Bigger Better, More To See, Clap Your Hands & Stomp Your Feet, Jamboree Can’t Be Beat!”

The message was composed by Cumberland Insurance employee, Glenda Randolph. The sign was made by D&S Specialtees.

Bumpers Drive In received Honorable Mention for their sign - “Arts and Crafts, Music And Fun, The Jamboree Has Something For Everyone.”

(TOP PHOTO: Pictured l-r: DCB Vice-President Chad Colwell, Adm. Asst. June Keith, DCB President Gentry Barns, Chamber President Julia Cantrell, & Chamber Director Suzanne Williams)

(SECOND PHOTO FROM TOP: LSB Picture – Side 1 Chamber President Julia Cantrell, LSB Employees Trina Graham, Annette Jacoby, Amanda Green, Charlene Adcock, Lisa Garrison, LSB Vice-President Ronnie Goodwin & Chamber Director Suzanne Williams)

(THIRD PHOTO FROM TOP: LSB Picture – Side 2 LSB Vice-President Ronnie Goodwin, Lisa Garrison, Charlene Adcock, Amanda Green, Trina Graham, Annette Jacoby, Chamber President Julia Cantrell, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Pictured l-r: Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, Cumberland Insurance employees - Agent Kim Kyle, Receptionist Karen Caplinger, Agent Glenda Randolph, Chamber President & Cumberland Insurance Agent Julia Cantrell)

Four Sentenced on Charges of TennCare Fraud

June 26, 2014
Dwayne Page
 Jackie Ervin
Jackie Sanders
Lisa Lue Ray (Summers)
Michael Shone Saylors

Four persons pleaded guilty to TennCare Fraud and other charges Tuesday and were sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court. Three of the cases were from a recent undercover drug investigation conducted by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. The other case was made by the Tennessee Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the Sheriff's Department.

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided in criminal court Tuesday.

36 year old Jackie Ervin pleaded guilty to two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of prescription fraud. He received a two year sentence in each case with two of the terms to run consecutively for a total sentence of four years. He must make restitution of $290.91 and he will lose his TennCare benefits.

Ervin was named in a sealed indictment in November, 2013 charging him with three counts of TennCare Fraud and three counts of Prescription Fraud. He was arrested on Wednesday, November 27. The indictment alleged that Ervin, a TennCare enrollee, did unlawfully commit the offense of Fraudulently Obtaining TennCare Medical Assistance Benefits to which he was not entitled by knowingly obtaining a prescription for Adderrall in DeKalb County on October 22, 2011 and December 23, 2011 and for Lortab on November 23, 2011. The prescriptions were subsequently filled and paid for by TennCare. The indictment further alleged that Ervin intentionally obtained possession of these controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge.

31 year old Jackie Sanders pleaded guilty to one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a schedule II drug. He received a three year suspended sentence in two of the cases and one year in the other all to run concurrently for a total sentence of three years. He was fined $2,000. Sanders will also lose his TennCare benefits.

The indictment against Sanders alleges that "on or about October 21, 2013, he did unlawfully, intentionally and Knowingly sell and deliver a controlled substance obtained through TennCare (Oxycodone), constituting the offense of TennCare Fraud".

41 year old Lisa Lue Ray (Summers) pleaded guilty to one count of TennCare fraud, one count of sale of a schedule III drug, and one count of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a five year sentence in one case, two years in another, and one year in the third case, all to run concurrently with each other for a total sentence of five years. She will be on probation and must pay a fine of $2,000. Restitution of $40 must be paid to the Sheriff's Department and she will lose her TennCare benefits.

The indictment against Summers alleges that "On or about December 4, 2013, Summers did unlawfully, intentionally, and knowingly sell and deliver a controlled substance obtained through TennCare (Hydrocodone) constituting the offense of TennCare Fraud."

35 year old Michael Shone Saylors pleaded guilty to one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a schedule III drug. He received a three year sentence in two of the cases and one year in the other all to run concurrently with each other for a total sentence of three years, suspended to 89 days of time served with the balance on supervised probation. The term will run consecutive to a three year sentence against him in another case. Saylors was fined $2,000 on two of the charges and he will lose his TennCare benefits effective September 30, 2014.

Saylors' indictment in one of the cases alleges that "On or about October 7, 2013, he did unlawfully, intentionally, and knowingly sell and deliver a controlled substance obtained through TennCare (Hydrocodone), constituting the offense of TennCare Fraud."

Early Voting Hours Set for August 7 Elections (SEE SAMPLE BALLOT HERE)

June 25, 2014
Dwayne Page

Early Voting hours for the August 7 elections have been set by the DeKalb County Election Commission.

Because of the lengthy ballot, voters are encouraged to take advantage of early voting in order to avoid possible long lines at the polls on election day.

Voters are also urged to study the sample ballot in advance before coming to the polls. You can view the sample ballot by clicking the PDF link below:

DelalbTN-PG14-NewspaperTyposFixed.pdf (107.55 KB)

Early voting begins July 18 and the last day is August 2. All Early Voting will be in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse. The hours are as follows:

Mondays-- 1 p.m.to 6 p.m.

Tuesdays-- 9 am. to 1 p.m.

Wednesdays-- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursdays-- 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Fridays-9.a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturdays- 9 a.m. to Noon

Locally, voters will be electing a Sheriff, Road Supervisor, General Sessions Judge, County Mayor, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, and Trustee along with all fourteen county commissioners, five school board members, and three persons to fill vacant constable positions.

In the 13th Judicial District, voters will elect five judges, a District Attorney General, and a District Public Defender.

Smithville and Dowelltown will be having municipal elections August 7. In Smithville a mayor and two aldermen will be elected. Three aldermen will be elected in Dowelltown.

Across the state, Democrats and Republicans will be choosing party nominees for Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representatives (Congressmen), State Senators, and State Representatives, along with State Executive Committeemen and women. Primary winners will face off in the November Tennessee General Election.

Voters in August also will be asked whether or not to retain several state judges


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