Local News Articles

Caney Fork Electric Cooperative Announces Planned Power Outage

March 28, 2017
Dwayne Page

Caney Fork Electric Cooperative has announced a planned power outage for the northeast corner of Warren County and just into DeKalb County for
Wednesday afternoon, March 29 from 12:30 p.m – 2:30 p.m.

The outage will mainly affect the North East corner of Warren County -- from the North end of Bluff Springs Rd. in to the Corinth Church Rd. area of DeKalb County. CFEC regrets the inconvenience of the outage, however, the nature of the maintenance requires replacing equipment on a 3-phase line. This work is necessary to ensure reliable service to our members in the affected areas. Times listed are approximate. If you have a medical necessity, please make arrangements during this time.

Suspected Drug Dealer Caught Bringing Pills to Jail

March 28, 2017
Dwayne Page
Joshua Lynne Batey
Steven Levan Gandy, Jr
Nathan Theodore Harmon
Anthony Doel Atnip

A suspected drug dealer brought his pills to the jail with him last week after being arrested on a violation of probation warrant. But 29 year old Joshua Lynne Batey of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville was caught with the drugs before entering the cell and has been charged with contraband in a penal institution, possession of schedule II & IV drugs for resale, and tampering with evidence. His bond is $50,000 and he will make a court appearance April 6.


Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday March 21 after being brought to the jail, Batey was taken by a correctional officer to a room to complete his dress out. During the dress out process, the officer noticed a bottle with a red lid by Batey’s testicles. The officer ordered Batey to give him the bottle. Batey pulled the lid off the bottle and tossed the bottle in the air spilling yellow, green, and peach colored pills onto the floor. Officers recovered 40 halves of green Alprazolam (2 milligram)pills, 23 whole green Alprazolam (2 milligram) pills, 62 whole yellow Alprazolam (2 milligram) pills, 45 halves of yellow Alprazolam (2 milligram) pills, 4 whole peach colored amphetamine (20 milligram) pills, and one half peach colored (20 milligram) pill.

35 year old Steven Levan Gandy, Jr. of Old West Point Road, Smithville is charged with possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. His bond is $8,500 and his court date is March 30.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, March 15 a detective and deputy went to Old West Point Road to do a probation search on Gandy. During a search they found .01 gram of meth in the house and .03 grams of meth in a barn on the property that field tested positive. The officers also found a 45 caliber pistol in the home and a 22 caliber rifle in the barn. Gandy was convicted in 2013 of initiation of a process to manufacture meth.

24 year old Nathan Theodore Harmon of Allen Ferry Road, Smithville is charged with failure to appear, possession of methamphetamine, theft of property, and evading arrest. His bond is $15,500 and his court date is April 13.

Sheriff Ray said that at around midnight on Friday, March 24 Harmon evaded law enforcement officers in the area of Allen Ferry Road by failing to obey their commands to stop. Harmon was later taken into custody. Harmon said he was trying to avoid the officers because he knew there were warrants against him.

Harmon was found to be in possession of a crystal like substance weighing .07 grams which tested positive for meth, and a stolen Hisense TV which was taken from a residence in Dowelltown. Harmon admitted to purchasing the TV knowing that it was stolen.

Harmon was further charged with failure to appear for not reporting to jail within ten days of being issued a criminal summons and he was served with a capias for failing to make a court appearance in a separate case.

37 year old Anthony Doel Atnip of Johnson Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is April 6. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday March 20 a deputy was dispatched to Johnson Chapel Road in reference to an unwanted guest. Upon arrival he spoke with Atnip who had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. He appeared to be intoxicated. The caller said Atnip was intoxicated and he did not want him on the property. For his safety and that of the public, Atnip was arrested for public intoxication.

In other crime news, detectives of the Sheriff’s Department, acting on a tip, found an abandoned 2006 sixteen foot Hank bumper trailer on Thursday, March 23 at an address on Whorton Springs Road, where it had been setting for about a week. The VIN number was altered. Detectives learned through an investigation that the trailer was stolen in Warren County. The case remains under investigation.

Smithville Police Investigating Armed Robbery at El Rancho Restaurant

March 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Investigating Armed Robbery at El Rancho Restaurant

Smithville Police are investigating a recent aggravated armed robbery at the El Rancho Restaurant on West Broad Street near the high school.

Chief Mark Collins said two masked men entered through a back door after the restaurant had closed on Wednesday night, March 8 and held the owner and an employee at gunpoint as they were cleaning up. The intruders demanded cash and stole $3,340 before making their getaway. No one was hurt.


The owner of the restaurant told police that at around 10:30 p.m. as he and an employee were mopping the floors, two masked men armed with pistols entered through a back door that he (owner) had left cracked open. The men were roughly 5’ 5” to 6’ in height and of a medium build. They were wearing black ski masks, navy blue hoodies, gloves, and navy blue jeans.

According to the owner, the masked men demanded cash and ordered himself and the employee to get on the floor. The intruders took money from the victim’s wallets and a money bag in the safe. After grabbing the cash, the robbers then tried to steal a TV but in their haste dropped it shattering the screen. With pistols to their heads, the victims were ordered by the thieves to remain on the floor for at least ten more minutes or they would be killed. After the robbers left, the victims stayed on the floor until they felt it was safe to get up. It is not known if the intruders left on foot or by vehicle.

No arrests have been made.

DCHS FBLA Successful at State Conference

March 27, 2017
DCHS FBLA Successful at State Conference

Congratulations to the following DeKalb County High School Future Business Leaders of America members who were successful at FBLA State Conference. Forty Four members, one adviser, and three chaperones attended the conference and represented DeKalb County High School well.

1st Place:
Health Care Administration: Mackenzie Partridge

Global Business: Andrew Fuson and Parker Gassaway
Electronic Scrapbook: Elliott Cook

Health Care Administration: Ami Patel
Introduction to Business: Raiden Martin
Hard copy scrapbook: Destiny Franklin

Community Service Project: Sahara LaFever, Eli Cross and Callie Cripps
Entrepreneurship-Chance Mabe / Ethan Jenkins
Partnership with Business; Dosson Medlin and Eli Cantrell

Global business: Ealy Gassaway and Wesley Carpenter
Our chapter received the Gold Seal of Merit Award.

front row: Raiden Martin, Sahara LaFever, Eli Cantrel, Trey Fuston, Callie Cripps, Mackenzie Partridge

Back Row: Elliott Cook, Dosson Medlin, Chance Mabe, Eli Cross, Madison Mick, Ami Patel

DCHS Winter Guard makes a successful trip to Murfreesboro

March 27, 2017
DCHS Winter Guard makes a successful trip to Murfreesboro

The DeKalb County High School Winterguard traveled to Murfreesboro on Mar. 25 to Siegel High School.

They competed against winterguards from surrounding states such as, Alabama and Kentucky. They placed first overall in their class out of 4 other schools.

The guard is under the direction of Jessica Higgins, Cori Sexton and Katie Merriman and the Director of Bands at DCHS is Tracy M. Luna.

They will end their season this Saturday, Apr. 1 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green Kentucky at the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit Championship.

TDOT Plans Bid Letting for DeKalb County Projects

March 27, 2017
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has several projects planned for DeKalb County in a bid letting set for Friday, March 31.

The projects are as follows:

*The resurfacing (microsurface or thin mix overlay) on U.S. 70 (S.R. 26) from east of S.R. 96 to the Dowelltown City limits. Project Length - 4.780 miles.

*The resurfacing (microsurface or thin mix overlay) on S.R. 96 from the Wilson County line to Center Hill Dam Project Length - 12.660 miles. Total Contract Length - 17.440 miles. Completion Time - On or before 9/30/2017

*The on-call guardrail repair and new guardrail installation on various Interstate and State Routes (several counties included). Completion Time - On or before 6/30/2018

*The crack sealing at various locations on various State Routes. (several counties included)
Project Length - 120.790 miles. Completion Time - On or before 7/31/2017

*The random on-call attenuator repairs on various Interstate and State Routes. (several counties included)
Completion Time - On or before 6/30/2018

*The resurfacing on S.R. 146 from U.S. 70S to the DeKalb County line (Cannon County)
Project Length - 9.510 miles

Democrats Drop Proposal to Do Away with Local Primaries

March 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
Democrats Drop Proposal to Do Away with Local Primaries

After hearing from local democrats and public officials during a biennial reorganization meeting Saturday morning at the courthouse, leaders of the DeKalb County Democratic Party voted to withdraw a proposed amendment to the bylaws which if approved would have given them the authority to conduct party conventions instead of primaries to choose nominees for county offices in general elections.

Proponents of the change said the convention process would ensure only bona fide democrats become nominees and, unlike a primary, would keep republican voters from influencing the outcome. Democratic candidates would also be able to put all their financial resources toward the general election rather than having to spend some of their money trying to win a primary. And by not having a primary, the county would save approximately $20,000 which is what it usually costs to hold an election. Through the convention process, democratic leaders would seek a commitment from potential candidates to ensure they would work hard to win election if nominated and to help other democrats up and down the ballot get elected as well.

“It’s not fair that republicans get to come and vote in our primaries and choose our nominees. That should not be happening. A convention would keep them from doing that,” said DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins during Saturday’s meeting.

“A convention would save democratic candidates money. The republicans have the money advantage on us. They have a program called “Red to the Roots” where they target local officials to try and get republicans elected at the county and city level. This would allow you (candidates) to save your money that you normally spend in a primary and hold it for the general election,” Wilkins continued.

“Another thing is that it encourages party unity. I know this bylaws amendment brought a lot of people out today. But there are people here today that I’ve never seen before at a Democratic party meeting. That’s wonderful. You need to be involved”.

“It (convention) also makes sure our nominees are bona fide democrats. When you become an elected official you are first and foremost elected to do your job to the best of your ability. But you are also a representative of the party that nominated you and its your job to be out there helping other democratic candidates get elected,” said Wilkins.

Many democrats in attendance at Saturday’s meeting voiced their opposition to doing away with primaries with most taking the view that the nomination process should be decided by the voters and not 20 members of the Democratic Executive Committee, as the proposed bylaws amendment would have provided.

Most, if not all, local democratic public officials also objected to the move.

“I am speaking today on behalf of the democratic county officials including County Clerk Jimmy Poss, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, and myself,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling. “We are not for this amendment. We feel like a primary election is fair. We welcome a primary election. It gives us a chance to get out and see the people. We don’t feel like putting our fate and our promise to run an election in the hands of 20 people is the right thing to do. If you have 20 people you’ll need 11 people for a majority. So 11 people would decide who is going to run for each office. I’m just speaking on behalf of these county officials and also several county commissioners are here today. A majority of the democratic commissioners feel the same way. They welcome a primary and would like to have this amendment defeated,” added County Mayor Stribling.

County Commissioners Joe Johnson, Betty Atnip, and Wayne Cantrell all voiced opposition to doing away with primaries and county commissioners Bradley Hendrix and Larry Summers were also in attendance although they did not speak.

Former party chairman Faye Fuqua said abandoning primaries for conventions might also create division in the party. “Its important that you (party leaders) do not get involved in primaries. We have seen division in our party when an official or an executive committee woman or man took sides in the primary. Even in national elections and our state elections everybody must be treated fairly. You need to be seen as people who do that. I challenge you all to be very careful what you do during a primary. If people see you as being fair you can bring everybody back together. We all know our primaries can be bloody but I have seen very few times when people fell away from the party if they thought they had been treated fairly,” said Fuqua.

Even before the public comment period several members of the executive committee said they too opposed doing away with the primaries.

After it became clear how a majority of the people at the meeting felt about the issue, the executive committee voted to withdraw the proposed bylaws amendment from consideration and to draft a resolution asking the state legislature to pass a party registration law to require voters statewide to declare party affiliation before participating in a primary election.

Jordan Wilkins Re-Elected Chairman of DeKalb Democratic Party

March 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
Jordan Wilkins
DeKalb Democratic Party Officers: Secretary Joyce Hendrixson, Vice Chairman Harry Lasser, Chairman Jordan Wilkins, and Treasurer Myra Miller
DeKalb Democratic Executive Committee: Seated Secretary Joyce Hendrixson, Vice Chairman Harry Lasser, Chairman Jordan Wilkins, and Treasurer Myra Miller; Standing left to right: David McDowell, Carelis Garcia, Dennis Boland, Billie Ann Tubbs, Deana Green, Debbie France, Rhonda Harpole, Amanda Blair, Shara Cowan, Pat Parkerson, Terry Little, Shane Brock and Gary Prater.

Jordan Wilkins was re-elected to a new term as Chairman of the DeKalb County Democratic Party Saturday during the Biennial Reorganization Convention held at the courthouse.

The other incumbent party officers were also elected including Vice Chairman Harry Lasser, Secretary Joyce Hendrixson, and Treasurer Myra Miller. All were unopposed.

The terms are for two years.

In addressing the convention, Wilkins outlined his vision for the local party. “Over the next two years there are things I would like to set out as goals and initiatives for our party. September is voter registration month and I will be talking to different businesses that will allow us to set up a booth to do voter registration to try and register as many people as possible because I believe it will benefit our party,” he said.

“I would also like to set up a phone bank. I have a list from each of our districts of all our Democratic voters. I would like to call these Democrats and ask them to come to our meetings because we’re trying to grow this party and need their input. I want to set up this phone bank in the near future and have volunteers come in and call these people to get them involved in the party,” said Wilkins.

“I would like for us to do better fundraising for this party. I want us to be able to help out our local candidates because we know the Republicans have the money advantage on us.”

“Another thing I am doing is getting us set up on a mass email system so that when we have an event like this or a chili supper or whatever we’re going to be able to send out a mass email to you,” added Wilkins.

In other business, the following members of the DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee were named to two year terms.

First District: Johnny Florida and Pat Parkerson

Second District: Ronnie Redmon and Debbie France

Third District: Rhonda Harpole and Terry Little

Fourth District: David McDowell and Billie Ann Tubbs

Fifth District: Shara Cowan and Dennis Boland

Sixth District: Gary Prater and Deana Green

Seventh District: Amanda Blair and Shane Brock

Ex-Offico members: Hispanic representative Carelis Garcia and Katie Parker representing the Young Democrats.

4-H Horse Judging Team Takes Top Honors

March 25, 2017
Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
Group:DeKalb County 4-H Horse Judging Teams (Back Row) Creston Bain, Jenna Cantrell, and Clayton Crook (Middle Row) Riley Fuson, Laura Good, and Ansley Cantrell (Front Row) Hannah Redmon, Shaelee Foster, and Hannah Redmon
1st Place: The Junior Team of Hannah Redmon, Hailey Redmon, Riley Fuson, and Ayden Jones (not pictured) won 1st place the regional horse judging contest. Hannah was 3rd high individual and Riley placed 5th.
4th Place: The Junior team of Ansley Cantrell, Shaelee Foster, and Laura Good placed 4th at the regional horse judging contest. Ansley was 6th high individual.

The DeKalb County 4-H Horse Judging teams recently competed in the Central Region contest held at MTSU in Murfreesboro. During this event, youth put their decision-making skills and horse knowledge to the test. Contestants watched four performance (riding) classes that included hunter under saddle, western pleasure, trail, hunt seat equitation, and walking horses. The horses in each class were ranked 1-4 based on specific criteria needed for that discipline of riding. Three halter, or conformation, classes were also judged. These horses were judged on muscling, structure, and balance. After ranking the horses, the 4-H’ers’ decision was compared to that of the official judge, and a score was awarded.

The Junior (4th & 5th grades) team of Riley Fuson, Ayden Jones, Hailey Redmon, and Hannah Redmon took top honors and placed 1st overall, 1st in the halter division, and 3rd in performance. Hannah placed 3rd overall individually and 2nd in the performance division. Riley was the 5th high individual and placed 2nd in halter. The other Junior team of Ansley Cantrell, Shaelee Foster, and Laura Good placed 4th overall and 1st in the performance division. Ansley was 6th high individual overall and 3rd in performance. Jenna Cantrell also competed as an individual in the Jr. High (6th-8th grades) division, while Clayton Crook and Creston Bain competed in the Sr. High (9th-12th grade) division.

“It felt really good to win first place for our county. The meetings and studying really paid off!” said Hannah Redmon. Hailey Redmon said, “This was my first year of judging, and I loved it. Winning first place is a wonderful feeling!” Teams practiced several times before the contest and represented DeKalb County very well at this regional event of over 250 participants! Each 4-H member should feel proud of their accomplishments and hard work. To learn more about horse judging, or any 4-H activity, please contact the DeKalb County Extension Office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Captions:

Group:DeKalb County 4-H Horse Judging Teams (Back Row) Creston Bain, Jenna Cantrell, and Clayton Crook (Middle Row) Riley Fuson, Laura Good, and Ansley Cantrell (Front Row) Hannah Redmon, Shaelee Foster, and Hannah Redmon

1st Place: The Junior Team of Hannah Redmon, Hailey Redmon, Riley Fuson, and Ayden Jones (not pictured) won 1st place the regional horse judging contest. Hannah was 3rd high individual and Riley placed 5th.

4th Place: The Junior team of Ansley Cantrell, Shaelee Foster, and Laura Good placed 4th at the regional horse judging contest. Ansley was 6th high individual.

Walk Across Tennessee Contest to Kick-Off April 10

March 25, 2017

Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health, yet nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting the activity they need. Consider taking up walking with friends or your family by participating in Walk Across Tennessee, which is an eight-week program that will spark some friendly competitions in DeKalb County. The event is being conducted by the University of Tennessee Extension office of DeKalb County. Beginning Monday, April 10th teams of eight will compete to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging, biking, and other forms of exercise in their community. Biking or jogging teams can have a team of four. The miles walked are not literally across the state, but reported on a map posted at the UT Extension Office, Green Brook Park, Smithville Review, online and social media.

Since everyone participates in a variety of sports, the Walk Across Tennessee program also has an exercise conversion chart so that participants can count aerobics, swimming, weight lifting, etc. For example, 16 minutes of high intensity aerobics would equal one mile.

The Walk Across Tennessee kickoff for DeKalb County is set for Monday, April 10 at Green Brook Park at 6:00 PM. “Teams will keep track of their miles, which will be posted in the Extension office, Greenbrook park, Smithville review, on social media and the UT Extension of DeKalb County website at http://dekalb.tennessee.edu. Teams can be composed of coworkers, teachers, students, neighbors, etc. This is an excellent team competition for the workplace, neighborhoods, and families” said April Martin, DeKalb County Extension Agent. For general reporting purposes, 20 minutes will equal one mile.”

According to Martin, “There will be prizes for the winning teams and individuals. There will also be weekly team challenges and prizes for that. There is no cost to participate. Remember if most of the team members are runners or bicyclists, the team is limited to 4 people. To join Walk Across Tennessee, first choose your team of up to 8. Then choose a team captain and go to our website at dekalb.tennessee.edu to download the registration forms. Registration is due before or on Monday, April 10.” We also have team captain packets at the UT Extension office and at the fitness center located in the DeKalb County Complex building at 722 South Congress Building in Smithville.”

Many people are unaware of the positive benefits of exercise. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 problem in the United States. The risk of heart disease could be significantly reduced by regular exercise. According to the Center for Disease Control, the positive effects of physical activity are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease. Not only does regular exercise help relieve stress and anxiety,” physically active people outlive inactive people. Participating in Walk Across Tennessee DeKalb County is not only a great way to get involved with our community, it’s a healthy habit,” Martin stated.

“Competition kicks off on Monday, April 10, 6:00 PM. at Green Brook Park under pavilion one,” Martin said. “Come out and plan to have lots of fun.” For more information, call the Extension office at 597-4945 or visit the website.

All of the programs of the University of Tennessee are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability. .


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