Local News Articles

Grand Jury Indicts 24 in Undercover Drug and Theft Investigations

May 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray and Deputy Brandon Donnell Preparing to Book Riley Anthony Bullard in Wednesday Night Roundup

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department spent much of Wednesday night rounding up defendants named in sealed indictments returned by a special session of the Grand Jury on Monday.

The defendants were arrested and brought to the main station of the DeKalb County Fire Department on King Ridge Road to be booked.

The State of Tennessee Department of Revenue, Drug Tax Enforcement Division, was also on hand collecting drug taxes from some of these defendants.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says the Grand Jury returned 162 count sealed indictments involving twenty four defendants as the result of an undercover investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Department, which has been underway since last fall. " They are charged with drug trafficking crimes and several of the defendants are charged with theft crimes. All the drug defendants are considered active dealers in their communities."

"During our investigation we bought prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, dilaudid, oxycontin, and a new drug we've seen come out called roxycodone, which is the same thing as oxycontin, it's just not time released like oxycontin. We also bought marijuana."

"We had a couple of defendants who were charged in theft crimes at the Four Seasons Boat Marina and at an impound lot of a local wrecker driver. They broke in there and stole some radios and other equipment. Some of them also busted out the front glass of some businesses around the City of Smithville."

"This operation is my administration's way of showing the citizens of DeKalb County that we are serious about dealing with the drug problem here. We're also serious about the burglaries and thefts that we have here in the county. I made a pledge to the citizens and voters that I would help put people in jail that deal in drugs and keep them off the streets and out of the reach of children."

"We've already started our next phase of drug investigations so we'll probably be taking more warrants at a later date. We also have some more theft and burglary cases that the criminal detectives are working on that also could possibly turn into sealed indictments such as these."

The following are names of defendants in this investigation who have been arrested so far:

32 year old Dana Michelle Bullard of Prater Road Smithville- possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale and delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000

20 year old Timothy (Tyler) William Patrick of the Loop, Smithville- one count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and one count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000.

31 year old Brandy Egerton of Page Drive Smithville, charged with auto burglary and vandalism under $500. Her bond is $10,000.

19 year old Amanda Brook England of A.B. Frazier Road Smithville- 4 counts of auto burglary, 13 count of burglary, 8 counts of vandalism under $500, 6 counts of vandalism over $500, 8 counts of vandalism over $1,000, 5 counts of theft of property under $500, 1 count of theft of property over $500, 5 counts of theft over $1,000, 1 count of sale and 1 count of delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone). Total bond $150,000

21 year old Troy Lee Cunningham of A.B. Frazier Road Smithville- 4 counts of auto burglary, 13 counts of burglary, 8 counts of vandalism under $500, 6 counts of vandalism over $500, 8 counts of vandalism over $1,000, 5 counts of theft of property under $500, 1 count of theft of property over $500, 5 counts of theft over $1,000, 1 count of sale and 1 count of delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone). Total bond $150,000

34 year old Brad Elliott Johnson of Village Place Smithville- 2 counts of sale of schedule II drug (Oxycontin), 2 counts of sale of schedule II drug (Roxycodone), and 4 counts of delivery of a schedule II drug. Sheriff Ray says these sales were made in a drug free zone. When deputies picked up Johnson, they found a tube containing a white residue. Johnson was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnson's total bond is $101,000 and he will appear in court on the possession of drug paraphernalia charge on May 28th.

40 year old William Andrew (Andy) Cantrell of Redmon Road- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000

43 year old Tammy Denise Miller of Author Hillis Road ,Woodbury- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000.

36 year old Arthur (Art) Lee Dawson Jr. of Grand Avenue, Smithville 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $150,000.

21 year old Priscilla L. Roberts of Students Home Road Smithville- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000.

21 year old Coty L. McCormick of West Main Street Smithville- 2 counts of sale of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and 2 counts of delivery of a schedule VI drug. Upon being arrested, McCormick was found with marijuana on his person. He was further charged with possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) for resale Total bond $90,000.

Detectives took state warrants on 20 year old Melissa Gail Andrews for simple possession of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) after she was found to have the pill on her person. A search warrant was executed at the West Main Street home in Smithville Thursday morning (May 14th) and detectives found more marijuana there. Andrews was further charged with simple possession of marijuana as a result of the search warrant. Andrews’ total bond was set at $4,500 and she will appear in court on May 28th..

40 year old Michael (Waterhead) Lee Lawrence of Springfield- 2 counts of sale of schedule II drug (dilaudid) and 2 counts of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000.

32 year old Jimmy Lane Estes of Jacobs Pillar Road Smithville- 1 count of sale of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid) and 1 count of delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $50,000

42 year old Ritchie Lee Bennett of Old Temperance Hall Road Lancaster- manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana). Total bond $50,000.

34 year old Billy Wayne Crook Jr. of Blue Springs Road Smithville- manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana). A marijuana cigarette was found on Crook’s person as he was being arrested. He also resisted arrest when officers tried to take him into custody. Total bond is $57,500. Crook will appear in court on the resisting arrest and simple possession charges on May 28th.

43 year old Riley Anthony Bullard of Prater Road Smithville- possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale and delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000.

48 year old Nickey Reese Cantrell of Short Mountain Highway- possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale and delivery of a schedule II drug. Total bond $100,000.

19 year old Travis Allen Bogle of Eagle Creek Road Smithville- 1 count of vandalism under $500 and 1 count of auto burglary. Total bond $10,000.

Most of these defendants will appear in criminal court for arraignment on May 22nd.

Smithville Police Officer Wins Bench Press Competition

May 13, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Officer Nathan Estes, during his off time from work, recently competed in a Bench Press competition near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Estes says he was among approximately ninety people from across the nation who participated in the annual event, which is held at New Rhodes, Louisiana

As winner of the Fire and Police Division, Estes says he won a sword and $400 which he donated to Saint Mary's Catholic Church in New Rhodes to help support their charity work in the area. "My first lift was 485 pounds. The second lift was 495 and my third lift was 510. I was successful in all of them."

Federal Stimulus Money and BEP Reserves Needed to Balance School Budget

May 12, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The proposed new school budget for next year calls for the elimination of several positions due to insufficient funds, but employees of the school system need not to worry, because federal stimulus money will be used to fund those positions. BEP reserves will also be used to help balance the school budget.

In an informal workshop session Monday night, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby met with all members of the school board to discuss the proposed budget for the 2009-2010 school year. The board must act on the tentative spending plan during Thursday night's regular monthly meeting because by law, the budget must be in the hands of the County Mayor by Friday, May 15th.

Willoughby says the new budget calls for no local property tax increase for schools. There will also be no local pay raises for employees next year, other than the regular step increases on the pay scale. Teachers and support staff will step up according to the existing salary scales. Willoughby says there has been no official word from the State of Tennessee regarding teacher salary increases for 2009-2010 and no additional dollars are currently in those line items of the new budget. There is a 1% increase in health insurance matching for all employees participating in the health insurance program.

Willoughby says while cuts have been made in many areas of the budget, there is a request for another $50,000 (going from $300,000 to $350,000) in capital outlay spending to help fund two portable classroom buildings to address overcrowding at the high school and possibly at DeKalb West School. Each portable contains two classrooms and a bathroom.

Total anticipated revenues for schools for 2009-2010 comes to $17-million, 079-thousand 422. Total expenditures were originally projected to be $17-million, 822-thousand, 740, a difference of $743,318. But the proposed expenditures have now been adjusted down to $17-million 565-thousand, 005, reducing the shortfall to $485,583.

Willoughy says eliminating the following positions from the general purpose school budget will reduce local spending by $257,735 but those jobs will be preserved by using federal stimulus money to fund them. However, when the federal stimulus expires in a couple of years, the school system will once again be faced with having to fund those positions.

The specific proposal is as follows:
Eliminate 2 positions (teachers) from Regular Instruction (budget line Item 71100-116)- $101,000
Eliminate 2 positions (teachers) from Special Education (71200-116)- $77,825
Eliminate 1 position (speech pathologist) from Special Education(71200-171)- $40,000
Eliminate 2 positions (educational assistants) from Special Education (71200-163)- $25,000
Eliminate 1 part/time position (job coach) from Special Education (71200-189)- $10,000
Reduce expenditures from Special Education (contracted services) (71200-399)- $14,760
Eliminate 1 position from Transportation (72710-189)- $7,650
Correction in anticipated expenditures( 72710-338)- $31,500

Again, by making these reductions in local spending, the difference in total expenditures over revenues is reduced from $743,318 to $485,583. Willoughby says this amount can be offset to balance the budget by making one time expenditures from BEP reserves.

The school board will meet to discuss the budget and several other issues Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at the cafeteria of DeKalb County High School. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

DARE Graduation Held at Northside Elementary School

May 12, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
DARE Instructor Don Adamson, Essay Winner Madison Hayes, and Sheriff Patrick Ray
Judge Bratten Cook and Essay Winner Madison Hayes
Fifth Grade Essay Winners

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held Tuesday.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are Daisy Recendiz, Aleka Curtis, Kelly Armour, Andrew Cooper, Allison Mosely, Madison Hayes, and Kaitlin Rhea.

Madison Hayes was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Tuesday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Hayes gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot. Judge Bratten Cook II also presented her a check for $50.

Sheriff Patrick Ray, who spoke during the DARE graduation, told the students that "D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community. I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now and forever."

Others who made remarks during the ceremony were Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, Judge Cook, and Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.

Other public officials on hand for the DARE graduation program, in addition to Sheriff Ray and Judge Cook, were County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, and Trustee Sean Driver.

(Bottom picture left to right: Kaitlin Rhea, Madison Hayes, Allison Mosely, Andrew Cooper, Kelly Armour, Aleka Curtis, and Daisy Recendiz)

Tigerettes Fall to Goodpasture in Regional Tournament Title Game

May 12, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigerettes lost 11 to 1 to the Goodpasture Lady Cougars in the Regional Tournament Championship Game Tuesday afternoon in Madison.

Goodpasture scored two runs in the first inning, one run in the third inning, four runs in the fourth, and four runs in the fifth.

DeKalb County scored one run in the fifth inning.

The game was called in the fifth inning due to the ten run rule.

Olivia Norton gave up eleven runs on thirteen hits through five innings. She walked one.

Victoria Bennett had an RBI double in the game and Jaylen Garrett, Kristina Stephens, and Kara Young each singled. DeKalb County committed three errors.

The Tigerettes will play at Chattanooga Christian in the Sub-State on Friday at 5:30 p.m. eastern time/ 4:30 p.m. central (Smithville) time.

Chattanooga Christian defeated Sequatchie County 6 to 1 Wednesday to advance to the Sub-State.

WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

Second Graders Learn the Names of All U.S. Presidents

May 12, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Students in Janet Woodward's second grade class at Smithville Elementary School have learned the names of all the U.S. Presidents in the order in which they served.

The children recited the President's names for WJLE Tuesday morning in their classroom.

Members of the class are Ethan Beasley, Anna Rachel Blair, Madi Cantrell, Madison Colwell, Dylan Cripps, Lance Davis, Sarah Evans, Malone Fletcher, Andrew Fuson, Parker Gassaway, Ealy Gassaway, Macy Hedge, Nautica Johnson, Noah Johnson, Faith Judkins, Madison Judkins, Braya Murphy, Colter Norris, Robin Pafford, and Allie Redmon.

In addition to the video presentation hear, you can listen to the children each morning this week following the 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. morning local news on WJLE AM1480/FM 101.7.

Twelve County Firefighters Complete Basic Training Course

May 11, 2009
Fireflighters Complete Basic Training-

Twelve members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department recently graduated
from the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy's 64-hour
Basic Firefighter Training Course.

According to Chief Donny Green, five members of this group attended the course in Putnam County while the other seven attended the course in Cannon County. "I am proud of our members' commitment to being well-trained and prepared to respond to our communities' needs during emergencies"

Assistant Chief Roy Merriman serves as the department's training coordinator and says
he understands the degree of dedication it takes to shuffle work, family commitments, and fire department activities. "I would just like to say thanks to all the new recruits for the commitment they have shown in taking time to complete this training".

Pictured from left to right: (kneeling) Joe Bowen (Main Station), Steve Phillips (Temperance Hall Station), Bradley Taylor (Midway Station), Cory Killian (Main Station), Bradley Johnson (Main Station);

(standing) Justin Brooks (Keltonburg Station), Joey Meyers (Main Station), Amanda Vaughn (Main Station), Billy Fuson (Midway Station);

Not pictured: Steve Rapasy (Midway Station), Eric Snow (Main Station), and Brandi Summers (Belk Station).

Marsh Charged with Burglary and Theft

May 11, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
James Andrew Marsh

A 19 year old man has been arrested for breaking into a local business last week.

James Andrew Marsh of Green Acres Drive, Smithville is charged with burglary and theft of property under $500. His bond is $7,500 and he will appear in court on May 28th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says "on Thursday, May 7th, deputies responded to a report of a break in at a business on Highway 146. Through an investigation, officers learned that Marsh had broken into the business and stolen a cash register and cigarettes. Marsh was arrested later in the day."

Meanwhile, in other cases, 36 year old Gary Edward Matthews of Four Seasons Road, Smithville, who had no driver's license, drove by a deputy on Tuesday, May 5th. and was later taken into custody. Officers, during the arrest, found a straw containing a white powdery residue along with three 10 milligram pills believed to be Hydrocodone and a half pill believed to be a 7.5 Hydrocodone. Matthews was charged with two counts of simple possession of a schedule III drug, (Hydrocodone), possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a revoked driver's license. Matthews' total bond was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on June 4th.

Also on Tuesday, officers arrested 28 year old Fernando Olivera Aldino of West Main Street, Smithville for driving under the influence and no driver's license. While on patrol on Highway 56, deputies spotted Aldino weaving in the roadway. During the investigation, officers detected a strong smell of alcohol on Aldino's person. He submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed and he could not produce a valid Tennessee driver's license. Aldino's bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on May 28th.

On Saturday, May 9th, officers responded to a suspicious person call at the Johnson's Chapel Community Center on Johnson's Chapel Road. Upon arrival and talking with the subjects there, a deputy noticed a glass pipe containing marijuana, sticking out of the gas tank lid of the subjects' vehicle. Officers also found more marijuana inside of the vehicle and a marijuana cigarette. 23 year old Anthony Ray Ribble of Hayes Court, Smithville was arrested and charged with possession of a schedule IV drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on May 28th..

In another case, deputies arrested 22 year old Alfonso Almaguer Soto of South Third Street, Smithville Saturday after he had parked in the roadway of Banks Pisgah Road. Officers detected a strong smell of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. Soto submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Soto also had no driver's license and he gave a fake name at the scene. Officers later discovered Soto's real name. He was charged with driving under the influence, no driver's license, criminal impersonation, and violation of the implied consent law. Soto's total bond was set at $3,000.

Also on Saturday while deputies were on patrol, they spotted a vehicle weaving in the roadway on Highway 56. The driver was 46 year old Jamie Lara Amaya of Newby Circle, McMinnville. He had an odor of alcohol on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Amaya submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Amaya was charged with driving under the influence. His bond was set at $1,000 and will appear in court on May 28th.

On Sunday, May 10th deputies were dispatched to a fight call at the Keltonburg Community Center on Keltonburg Road. As officers began investigating the fight, 31 year old Jason Stewart of Edgewood Drive, Cookeville started yelling and pointing his finger in the deputies' faces. Stewart was told several times to calm down but he continued yelling. Stewart was arrested for disorderly conduct. His bond was set at $1,000

Deputies also responded to an accident on Bright Hill Road and found 34 year old Enrigue Villa of Earl Avenue, Smithville to be driving without a license. Villa was charged in the case and his bond was set at $1,000. He will appear in court on May 27th.

Also on Sunday, deputies were on patrol on Highway 70 when they stopped a vehicle for weaving. 47 year old Gregory A. Young of Young Ridge Road, Sparta was charged with an 8th offense of driving under the influence. Officers noticed that Young was unsteady on his feet and had an odor of alcohol on his person. Young submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Young was also cited for violation of the implied consent law. Young's bond was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on May 28th.

Boat Smart Super Saturday on Center Hill Lake

May 11, 2009

Volunteers and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency have teamed up with the US Army Corps of Engineers on Center Hill Lake for Boat Smart Super Saturday on May 16. Super Saturday, the kickoff to National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22, is geared to promote boating and water safety while having fun at the lake. “Wear It,” referring to life jackets, is the primary message for boaters to follow to arrive alive after a day on the lake.
The teams will be ready at boat ramps around the lake on Super Saturday to greet visitors and remind them of tips to be safe on the water. They will also be doing courtesy boat inspections from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Hurricane Bridge Day Use Ramp, Edgar Evins State Park, and Ragland Bottom Day Use Ramp at the request of the boaters.

A variety of volunteers will be participating from boaters to park hosts, and more. Volunteers view it as a nice way to take a few hours, greet visitors, enjoy being around the lake, and feel good about knowing the information they provide may save a life.

“With the warmer weather and summer approaching quickly, crowds are getting back out on the lake to relax and enjoy water sports,” said Park Ranger Jamie Summers. “Boat Smart Super Saturday is a perfect opportunity for our agencies and volunteers to tackle the job of reminding people to have fun yet expect the unexpected. Prepare with the right gear for your boat, wear a life jacket, use courtesy and common sense, and don’t drink and boat.”

Some tips for boaters:
1) Expect the unexpected. Wear your life jacket.
2) Avoid drinking and operating a boat.
3) Keep a proper lookout – watch out for the “other guy.”
4) Use courtesy and common sense.
5) Take a safe boating course.

DeKalb 911 hosts Powerphone Emergency Medical Dispatch Class

May 10, 2009
DeKalb 911 Hosts Class

DeKalb County 911 recently hosted a Powerphone Emergency Medical Dispatch Class at the DeKalb County Fire Department Main Station. All counties in the Upper Cumberland region were invited to the class and many participated.

The class focuses on providing each student with the skills necessary to give our callers life saving medical instructions until EMS arrives on scene. Upon completion of the class, the dispatchers hold a national certification to enable them to provide these necessary instructions.

Pictured above from left on top row: are Leslie Lytle and Janice Higham dispatchers with DeKalb E-911 and other dispatchers participating from White, Cannon, and Warren counties.

DeKalb E-911 now has 100% of it's full time staff trained to provide these life saving skills.

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