Local News Articles

County Commission Rejects Proposal to Close Portion of Taylor Lane

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andy Redus addressing County Commission on November 22
Janice Martin addressing County Commission on November 22

The county commission has rejected a proposal to close a portion of a county road in the Wolf Creek area.

During the regular monthly meeting Monday night (November 28), the commission defeated a motion to give conditional approval to close 1,085 feet of the end section of Taylor Lane. The measure failed with seven voting against. Five voted in favor and one member “passed”. First district commissioner Julie Young presented a petition signed by 175 people in opposition to closing this portion of the road.

Taylor Lane is six tenths of a mile long and located near the intersection of Wolf Creek Road and the Buffalo Valley Road-Medley Amonette Road.

A landowner on Taylor Lane, Andy Redus requested that the end section of the road be closed where he has a part time residence. Redus, who lives out of the county, told the county commission in a committee meeting on Tuesday night, November 22 that he wanted to install a gate to restrict access to his private property for public safety concerns. “My residence is not a full time residence. I have no way of telling what’s going on there all the time,” he said. Redus wants to keep out sightseers, trespassers, and litterers. He had already obtained permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an adjoining landowner, to erect the gate provided the Corps has access.

Janice Martin, who also has property on Taylor Lane, opposed the closure because an old cemetery is located on the road inside the area where Redus wanted to put the gate.

Although the cemetery has been there for over a century and is unkept with overgrowth Martin told the county commission during the Tuesday night committee meeting that the road should remain open for anyone who wants to visit there. “This road is not only to my (family) cemetery back there, there are other people in this county I have talked to who own businesses that have people buried in that cemetery. This is not just the two graves that you can see (stones showing) because the markers (of the other graves) are not there now. It’s a very old cemetery,” said Martin

The DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission held a public hearing in September where Martin voiced opposition but voted to recommend to the county commission that Redus’ request be approved subject to the right of access of visitors to the cemeteryand that a 35’ x 25’ hammerhead turnaround which meets with the approval of the Road Supervisor be developed at the expense of Redus.

Martin said Tuesday night that the turnaround is not large enough especially for emergency vehicles. “I am totally opposed to closing the road. Andy knew when he bought the property what he was buying. We own both sides of the road all the way back passed that area. I’m within 50 feet of the turnaround so I will have to use that turnaround on a daily basis. I took one of our hay wagons behind my vehicle back there and I could barely get turned around. It is very hard to do. I may also build another house within 50 feet of this property so I will have to have access to fire trucks, ambulances, or other emergency vehicles that would have to come in there. They would have to use this turnaround,” said Martin.

Redus claims the turnaround is large enough and provided pictures showing where he turned around there with a pickup truck pulling a sixteen foot trailer. Redus said he would provide a key to Corps officials for access to Corps property and make access available to others requesting entry to the cemetery by opening the gate himself remotely from his phone.

During Monday night’s meeting (November 28), County Commissioner Jack Barton made a motion to adopt the planning commission’s recommendation and grant Redus’ request to close 1,085 feet of Taylor Lane but he added further conditions including that the turnaround area be enlarged and for Redus to provide a key to Janice Martin for access to the cemetery. “I believe right now the turnaround is 25 feet into the hill side and 35 feet circular. (My motion) is to make it (turnaround) 30 feet in and to make the 35 feet be 60 feet. The second contingency would be to give Mr. and Mrs. Martin a key to access the cemetery like he (Redus) did the Corps,” said Barton.

Commissioner Julie Young voiced her opposition to Barton’s motion. “I would just like to put in the minutes that I passed out (a petition) with 175 signatures of first district and county residents (all but fifteen county residents) who are in opposition to the commission putting (authorizing) a gate being put across this road and denying access to a cemetery. Also in your folder you have an entity to itself (cemetery parcel) and a tax code. The tax papers of this cemetery. You also have the deed from Ms. Bethel W. Foster to Mary Helen Gill of this cemetery. I state an objection to Mr. Barton’s motion and I stand in full protest with these 175 signatures each of you have of a gate being put across a public county road on Taylor Lane,” said Young.

Commissioners voting to close this section of Taylor Lane were Jack Barton, Kevin Robinson, Joe Johnson, Jonathan Norris, and Larry Summers. Those voting against it were Julie Young, Anita Puckett, Betty Atnip, Bradley Hendrix, Jeff Barnes, Jimmy Midget, and Wayne Cantrell. Jerry Adcock “passed” and Mason Carter was absent.

Dowelltown Man Indicted for Statutory Rape

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Nathan Joseph Gohs

A 20 year old Dowelltown man has been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury with three counts of statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a 16 year old girl who became pregnant.

Nathan Joseph Gohs of Dale Ridge Road will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said from June 1 to July 31, Gohs allegedly had sex with a 16 year old girl three times at a residence on Students Home Road.

In each of the three counts, the grand jury indictment alleges that on or about the date range of June 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016, Gohs did unlawfully and intentionally or knowingly sexually penetrate a minor child, a person 16 years of age. Gohs being at least four years older than the minor child.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

Grand Jury Indicts Forty Seven

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday began a new term and indicted 47 people including nine who were named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted Monday will be arraigned on Monday, December 12 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Persons indicted and their charges are as follows:

Jordan Thomas Adams: aggravated assault, driving under the influence (3rd offense), and driving on a suspended license

Clay Andrew Bain: aggravated assault

Stephanie Michelle Bequette: simple possession of a schedule VI drug

Steven Darrell Bly: driving on a suspended license (2nd offense)

Randy Allen Caldwell: theft over $10,000 and possession of drug paraphernalia

Andy Joe Certain: possession of drug paraphernalia

Billy Eugene Cook, Jr.: auto burglary and criminal impersonation

Marina Gae Cornett: simple possession of a schedule VI drug

Jacob James Damon: theft over $1,000 and burglary

Amanda Pedigo Davis: aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, vandalism over $500, and vandalism under $500

Charles Dakota Derrick: possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to sell or deliver

Johnny Lynn Devault: theft under $500

David Drennan: violation of the sex offender registry

Tammye Estes: driving under the influence and violation of implied consent

Jerry Ray Ferrell: driving under the influence

Nathan Joseph Gohs: statutory rape (3 counts)

Brandon Timothy Greene: driving under the influence (2nd offense), driving on a suspended license, and failure to maintain lane

LeRoy Humphries: criminal trespass

Aimee Deanne Jobe: simple possession of a schedule III drug (Buprenorphine), simple possession of a schedule V drug (Pregabalin), and public intoxication

Jason Dwayne Johnson: driving under the influence, possession of a handgun while intoxicated, violation of due care, and violation of implied consent

Joseph Wayne Judd: possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams with intent to sell or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia

Rodney Lynn Kirby: driving under the influence

James Matthew Martin: simple possession of a schedule VI drug and possession of drug paraphernalia

Gary Mooneyham: possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia

Nathan Morris: driving on a suspended license

Stephanie Ann Bly Murphy: driving on a suspended license (2 counts) and failure to maintain lane

Nathan Wesley Myers: possession of a schedule II drug (Hydrocodone) with intent to sell or deliver, possession of a schedule II drug (Hyrdomorphone) with intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to sell or deliver

Shannon Lynn Newby: promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine, simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine) and simple possession of a schedule VI drug

Deanna Brooke Pedigo: driving on a suspended license

Melisa Poss Petty: leaving the scene of an accident with injury, violation of due care, violation of financial responsibility, and violation of the registration law

Michael Brandon Redmon: arson

Clarence Edward Sexton, Jr.: driving on a suspended license (3 counts) and driving under the influence

Perry Alton Stembridge: evading arrest

Tobby Lewis Taylor: driving under the influence (2nd offense), failure to maintain lane, and violation of implied consent

Kevin Clark Thomas: driving under the influence (2nd offense) and driving on a suspended license

Michael Glen Thomas: driving under the influence and violation of due care

Ramiro G. Torres: driving on a suspended license

Richard Brandon Turner: theft under $500

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

Turnbill Back in Prison

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Melvin Eugene Turnbill

A 44-year-old Smithville man, who was paroled in March 2015 after serving more than 12 years in a 2002 DeKalb County murder case, is back in prison after getting into trouble with the law in Putnam County in February.

Melvin Eugene Turnbill was sent back to the Bledsoe Correctional Complex at Pikeville earlier this year, according to Neysa Taylor, Director of Communications at the Tennessee Department of Correction who spoke with WJLE Tuesday.

Turnbill was released from prison on March 9, 2015 after serving over 12 years of a 25 year sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the September 2002 fatal shooting of Joshua Murphy in DeKalb County.

Eleven months after getting out of prison, Turnbill committed two offenses that resulted in him returning to prison for violation of his conditions for parole. Turnbill was arrested for a DUI on Saturday, February 6 followed by a burglary charge two days later on Monday, February 8. Both offenses occurred in Cookeville. According to the Putnam County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Turnbill later entered a plea to the DUI charge and was fined and sentenced to supervised probation. He made another court appearance on the burglary charge where he entered a plea to the lesser offense of aggravated criminal trespass and again was fined and sentenced to supervised probation to run concurrently with the DUI case and his state parole.

Turnbill’s next scheduled parole hearing in the murder case is set for February, 2018. His sentence is due to expire on January 7, 2022.

A co-defendant in the killing, Christopher Nicholas Orlando was denied parole in March. He is serving a 35 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the death of Murphy. He is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee. His next parole hearing is in March, 2018.

Tiger Football Players and Assistant Coach Earn All-Region Honors

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tiger Football Coach Steve Trapp and Assistant Clarence Trapp
Front Row left to right: Steven Jennings, Riley Sexton, Matthew Poss, Devin Bain, Nick May, Bradley Miller; Back Row: Luke Green, Eli Cross, Christian Pruitt, Tayvian Nokes, Gage Delape, Devin Zaderiko, and Tyler Cantrell.

Thirteen players on the 2016 DCHS football team and Assistant Coach Clarence Trapp will be recognized Sunday for All-Region honors during an awards banquet in Cookeville.

Trapp has been named the Region 4-3A Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year.

Head Coach Steve Trapp said the honors are well deserved. “We have fourteen guys who are going to be rewarded as far as All-Region 1st Team or 2nd Team including five guys who won superlative awards and then we also have a coach recognized. Coach Clarence is Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year in our Region. Its very exciting to see these guys get rewarded in this form or fashion. Its really an indication of the team game and what they can do with each other out there. I’m really happy and proud of all these guys, a majority of whom are multiple year winners,” Coach Trapp told WJLE

Tiger players being honored are as follows:

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Linebacker Nick May

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman Tayvian Nokes

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Defensive Back Bradley Miller

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Tight End Christian Pruitt

Region 4-3A Most Outstanding Punter Matthew Poss

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Eli Cross

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Luke Green

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Steven Jennings

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Riley Sexton

Region 4-3A 1st Team All Region Devin Zaderiko

Region 4-3A 2nd Team All Region Devin Bain

Region 4-3A 2nd Team All Region Gage Delape

Region 4-3A 2nd Team All Region Tyler Cantrell

New Animal Shelter Now Under Roof

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
New Animal Shelter Now Under Roof

Seven weeks after ground breaking, the future home of the DeKalb Animal Coalition’s shelter is under roof and could be completed within six to eight weeks.

Construction has been underway almost daily on the shelter located behind Tenneco Automotive and near the county’s soon to open solid waste transfer station. Mike Foster, a supporter of the effort, said workers have been taking advantage of the recent dry weather to get as much construction done as possible. “Its going really well and moving right along. All the block work is done and the roof and shingles are on the building. Of course we had not had any rain until last night but I don’t think we’ve missed a day of work on it since we started. As you know when you get on the inside the work will slow down a little but its all ready for us to put the outside runs on. That will be the next thing we’ll do. We’ll put the outside runs on, pour the concrete, and do those outside drains. I think the glass doors, the front doors are supposed to be here in ten days. Of course the frames to all the doors are already set in the concrete but the doors will have to be hung and painted. Inside there will be some cabinet work along with the plumbing and electrical work that will have to be done but its moving along. I would say if everything goes well the building should be completed within six weeks or two months at the most, depending upon the weather because when you get down to painting and some of those things its really weather dependant,” said Foster.

“The main building is 70 feet long and 40 feet wide which includes the hallways where the inside pens are but it will be wider on each side where the outside runs will go. When everything is completed, the facility will be 60 feet by about 70 feet. The outside runs or cages will be ten feet long and five feet wide and they will be attached to the building with openings where they (dogs) can go in and out. The outside pens will be built as soon as we get that concrete poured. The concrete will be poured on about a two inch slope, more than normal so you can wash the runs down into a gutter drain,” said Foster.

Dwayne and Cindy Ward are the contractors for the project and the work is being done on a cost plus basis. Foster said the coalition being a non-profit organization also helps keep costs down. “This way we can get the sales tax savings being that the Coalition is a 501c3 organization. Hopefully, it’s going to save approximately $80,000 doing it this way,” said Foster.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation toward the shelter, contact Marsha Darrah, Sue Puckett Jernigan, or any member of the Coalition. Donations may be made by Pay Pal or at Post Office Box 354.

County Clerk to Host Blood Drive and Organ Donor Awareness Event Today

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk to Host Blood Drive and Organ Donor Awareness Event Today

As “the Season for Giving” draws near, DeKalb Countians are invited to participate in a special Blood Assurance blood drive and public awareness observance for Tennessee Organ Donor Services.

The event, sponsored by DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, will be held on Tuesday, November 29 at the Smithville Senior Citizens Center in the County Complex. The mobile blood drive, conducted by Blood Assurance, will take place in front of the Senior Center from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. It’s being called the “DeKalb County Neighbors Helping Neighbor’s Program”. Along with the blood drive, information will be shared by representatives of Tennessee Donor Services and Donate Life Tennessee on the importance of organ and tissue donation including personal stories from donor recipients and families of donors.

The holidays seemed the perfect time to schedule such an event, said County Clerk Poss, during a season when people are in the spirit of giving and sharing. “Thinking of the upcoming holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas, I immediately think of joyful memories many make with family and friends. I am also mindful of others during this time and throughout each year who are in need of donation whether it be blood, bone marrow or organ,” he said.

“Most of us consider gifts as personal items we can touch, see, smell, taste or physically use, all purchased with money. For many it’s not until adulthood before we realize our most important gift is life and good health. As we approach the upcoming seasons let us remember through Christ’s gift of his bloodshed, death and resurrection he paid our expense and again offers each another free gift of forgiveness of sins and everlasting life only by accepting him as our Lord and savior,” Poss continued.

“Blood Assurance is the local supplier of blood and blood products in Smithville to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. We also provide blood directly to other area hospitals in McMinnville and Sparta but we are the regional blood center that gives back all of the blood locally. We have blood drives throughout the year across all of our territories. Blood Assurance is in five states including Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina. We have centers and mobile blood drives,” said Mindy Quinn, Marketing Manager of Blood Assurance.

“I have been a blood donor for about 4 years know. I have donated to both American Red Cross and Cookeville Blood Assurance. Either is doing good work for others. However; I prefer donating to Cookeville Blood Assurance when possible. By donating through Cookeville Blood Assurance they provide their collections to several surrounding local hospitals and families in our area,” Poss said.

“The importance now is the time of year. Once the holidays kick in, donations start to slow down. The holidays are also when usage from area hospitals goes up because more people are traveling and on the road and unfortunately there will be more crisis situations from vehicle accidents and things where hospitals need to ensure that the supplies are there. We reach out to our communities, especially around Thanksgiving and then straight on through winter time to make sure that we are able to provide the blood supplies that are needed,” added Quinn.

“Individuals need to be age 18 or older to donate blood or 16 or 17 with parental consent. We do a mini-medical with everyone that comes in so you don’t necessarily have to worry about where you’ve been traveling. But as long as you have parental consent and you weigh at least 110 pounds or more, you are eligible to come in and give. All donors who give blood will be given a long sleeved tee shirt. It’s our “Peace, Love, Blood Donation” tee shirt and everyone will also be entered in a drawing to win a “Family Four Pack” to Rock City. We’re hoping for at least 30 donors on that day,” said Quinn.

While the need for blood donors is great, so is the need for organ and tissue donors. “Right now in the United States there are over 120,000 people waiting for that life saving transplant and in Tennessee there are 2,900. Most of them are waiting for a kidney transplant. The need is great. Nationally 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant. That could be your neighbor, the people who wait on you in the grocery store, or checks you out. It could be a church member. Organ and tissue donation touches all of us at some point in time whether we realize it or not,” said Sharon Pakis, Public Relations Education Manager for Tennessee Donor Services and Donate Life Tennessee.

“County Clerk Poss has invited us to come up and spend the day on Tuesday, November 29. For us it’s to educate people in DeKalb County on the importance of organ and tissue donation and how signing up or saying “yes” to organ and tissue donation allows you to save lives or enhance lives through donation. We will have two individuals with us. One is an organ recipient whose life was changed by the gracious gift of someone who donated an organ. The other one is an individual whose family member was either an organ or tissue donor. They are going to do presentations at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to tell their stories and help people understand the importance of organ and tissue donation,” Pakis continued.

“After attending my first organ donor meeting I was overwhelmed by their services and the gratitude of both recipients and the donors’ families. The stories shared were absolutely amazing. To hear a recipient give thanks to a donor and their family for extending a loved one’s life by donating a heart, lung, kidney, or whatever the organ, bone or tissue may be can only be realized and truly appreciated by seeing, hearing and feeling the love shared from both sides,” said County Clerk Poss.

“Nationally our goal is to have over 50% of Americans signed up as organ and tissue donors because 98% of the people in the United States say they support organ and tissue donation but nationally only 50% have signed up. In the state of Tennessee, we are at about 39%. We are a little below the national average and we would like to be at least with the national average. In DeKalb County 32% of individuals who are over the age of 18 with a driver license or state ID have registered to be an organ and tissue donor,” said Pakis.

“You may sign up to be an organ and tissue donor when you get or renew your driver license or you may go to www.donatelifetn.org and register online. This puts your name into the official Donate Life Tennessee Organ and Tissue Registry. It’s very easy. We invite people to come out on November 29 and learn more about organ and tissue donation and find out how they can save lives. We are excited about the opportunity and we hope to see a lot of folks from DeKalb County,” added Pakis.

"Please support and take part in this event. Every person matters. Come out and give blood or just experience the amazing stories that will be shared from both organ and tissue donor recipients and donor families. We will begin donating blood at 1:00 p.m. ending around 6:00 p.m. The Tennessee Organ Donor Services will have a table set up with educational materials and representatives will be available to answer questions about how their services extends the lives of many in need. We will also have snacks and refreshments available. We look forward to the community’s support,” County Clerk Poss concluded.

Time Running Out to Support Angel Tree Project

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Your support is still needed to make this year's Angel Tree Project successful.

Laura Stone says over one hundred angels need adoption and time is running out.

"The last count was taken on Saturday and we had well over one hundred Angels left. We have plenty to choose from and the deadline for that is Friday, December 2nd. If you have no time to shop but want to help out we will take donations. If you can take an Angel that's the best thing, but if you can't we will be glad to shop. If we don’t get the remaining Angels adopted we will need donations to take care of those that are left and hopefully we will have enough money raised where we can at least buy them something because we want to make sure that everybody gets something."

Please be sure to pick up an Angel or make a donation at any local bank and return a gift for that child by Friday, December 2.

Mother Suffers Broken Ribs After Allegedly being Assaulted by her Son

November 29, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
John Thomas Bailey
Charles Elmer Burrage, III
Carl Everett Martin
Patsy Lynn Estes
Ramiro Garza, Jr
Cindy Lynn Griffith

A Smithville man has been arrested after allegedly assaulting his mother resulting in her suffering broken ribs.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR.pdf (2.52 MB)

46 year old John Thomas Bailey of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $6,000 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 24 a deputy responded to a residence on Short Mountain Highway for a possible domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Bailey and his mother. She told the officer that her son, Bailey had pushed her down several times inside the residence. Bailey’s mother was taken by DeKalb EMS to the emergency room of the hospital where she was found to have a scrape on her knee and broken ribs. Bailey was arrested the following day, Friday November 25.

47 year old Charles Elmer Burrage, III of Redmon Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $4,500 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 25 Burrage admitted to assaulting his son by punching him in the head several times causing swelling and bruising.

54 year old Carl Everett Martin of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 27 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Cookeville Highway in reference to a possible domestic. The officer spotted a woman walking along Cookeville Highway. He stopped and spoke with her. The woman said she and her husband, Martin had gotten into an argument and that he grabbed her by the neck and tried to strangle her. The woman had red marks on her neck and said she had difficulty breathing after the assault.

44 year old Patsy Lynn Estes of Highland Drive, Smithville, a prisoner in the DeKalb County Jail, is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $3,500 and her court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 13 Estes and another female inmate could be seen arguing on the jail’s video surveillance. Estes approached the other inmate and forced her into a corner where they began to fight. It was determined that Estes was the primary aggressor. The victim had red marks on her neck where Estes had tried to choke her.

40 year old Ramiro Garza, Jr. of Capshaw Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 1. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 16 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Capshaw Road in answer to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that she and her boyfriend, Garza had gotten into an argument and that he grabbed her by the arms and threw her to the ground. When she got up, Garza again grabbed her by the arms and slammed her into a door. She had red marks on her arms.

46 year old Cindy Lynn Griffith of Hickory Way, Antioch Tennessee is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. She was also issued citations for driving on a revoked license, violation of the open container law, and violation of financial responsibility (no insurance). Her bond is $3,000 and her court date is December 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, November 25 a deputy was dispatched to a possible drunk driver traveling on Highway 70 in a small gray truck. The officer spotted the vehicle and Griffith was found to be the driver. She was unsteady on her feet and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Griffith refused to submit to sobriety tasks but admitted to being intoxicated. She could not provide proof of insurance and found in the vehicle were several open bottles of beer. A computer check revealed her license were revoked for a DUI offense against her on February 27, 2012. She was placed under arrest.

Family left Homeless by Saturday Night Fire

November 28, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire destroys home of James Michael “Moose” and Becky Nokes at 677 Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown.
Family left Homeless by Saturday Night Fire

A Saturday night fire destroyed the home of James Michael “Moose” and Becky Nokes at 677 Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown.

Central dispatch received the call at around 9:00 p.m.

“The residents called 911 and reported their basement was on fire. Upon our arrival, heavy smoke was observed coming from the basement and the first floor of the home,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“Firefighters entered the basement but the fire, heat, and smoke were too intense to reach the basement area where the fire had already begun to breach the first floor. Firefighters had to resort to a defensive attack to protect nearby exposures, three parked vehicles outside the basement door, and a detached garage,” Chief Green continued.

“The residents were able to safely escape the home, taking only a few personal items with them but the home and remaining contents were destroyed,” he said.

The Liberty, Temperance Hall, and Main Stations responded along with the department’s tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

“The residents say they noticed the power flicker a few times, heard a loud pop, and then the power went completely out. When they went to investigate, the residents discovered the fire in the basement,” said Chief Green.

“Although no official determination of the cause of the fire has been made, it is suspected to have started in the electrical breaker box in the basement,” he concluded.

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