From churning butter to the different phases of the moon, science took center stage for the second annual DeKalb West School Science Fair March 3-4. Parents packed into the school’s gym Monday night to hear students demonstrate their findings for their special project. Judges from outside the school awarded students based on the quality of their experiments, demonstrations, and research work.
Individual winners from 1st-3rd grades are the following: 3rd grader Bailey Redmon in first place, 2nd grader Brady Driver took second, and 3rd grader Rosa Payne captured third. Caitlyn Tyree, Ethan Martin, and Hannah Evans were given honorable mentions.
The DeKalb County School System has announced that three educators, Joyce Alexander, Lisa Cripps, and Harriett Cantrell have been selected "Teachers of the Year" locally and will compete for regional honors in the Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program.
These teachers were chosen from a group of local educators in three categories (levels of teaching) Pre- Kindergarten to Fourth Grade- Alexander; Fifth to Eighth Grade- Cripps; and Ninth through Twelfth Grade- Cantrell.
The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for teachers; to stimulate interest in teaching as a career; and to encourage public involvement in education.
This program is sponsored annually by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Niswonger Foundation.
The Tennessee Teacher of the Year represents Tennessee at the National Teacher of the Year competition, which is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc.
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has charged two men in separate theft investigations since Friday. Meanwhile, 18 year old Lillian Elezabeth Sosa, an illegal immigrant, has been picked up by the Department of Immigration and may soon be deported to Mexico.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says the detectives charged 29 year old Richard Mooney of Armstrong Road, Watertown on Friday with a theft which occurred at a residence on Poplar Road in DeKalb County on October 4th, 2007.
Mooney is charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Ray says Mooney allegedly took a 1965 Dodge 1 ton flatbed truck, and various pieces of metal and tin from the residence. Mooney's bond was set at $30,000 and his court date is March 20th.
Meanwhile on Saturday, DeKalb Sheriff's Department detectives charged 26 year old William Travis Malone of Curtis Avenue, Alexandria with burglary and theft of property over $10,000.
DeKalb County's unemployment rate for January was 5.2%, up from 5% in December and 4.9% in January, 2007.
DeKalb County's Labor Force in January was 10,330. A total of 9,790 were employed and 540 were unemployed.
Meanwhile, Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2008 was released last week at 4.9 percent, 0.1 percent lower than the revised December 2007 rate of 5.0 percent. The United States unemployment rate for the month of January was also 4.9 percent.
County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for January 2008, show that 89 counties increased. The rate decreased in four counties and remained the same in two counties. County unemployment rates are not be seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal expansions and layoffs that occur during the year. The state and U.S. unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted to eliminate normal seasonal fluctuations and to indicate a more accurate measurement of actual economic change.
Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, acting on behalf of the Division of Consumer Affairs, has filed a civil law enforcement action against Elmer Virula for allegedly providing legal services without a license to members of the Hispanic immigrant community in Smithville and Davidson County.
The Attorney General has filed suit against Elmer Virula, TPS Tax Professional Services, Inc., and Office Professional Services, Inc. in Davidson County Circuit Court. The defendants are charged with the unauthorized practice of law for allegedly providing services from their
offices located on South Mountain Street in Smithville, Billingsgate Road in Antioch, and Nolensville Pike and Thompson Lane in Nashville. The State's lawsuit alleges the defendants falsely told consumers that Elmer Virula is an attorney and certified public accountant in the State of Tennessee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation, sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) that would allow law enforcement officers to immediately confiscate the licenses of drunk drivers upon arrest. Called Automatic License Revocation, or ALR, this program would be the administrative process by which the Department of Safety suspends the driver licenses of individuals who are arrested for the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“The number of victims at the hands of drunk drivers in Tennessee is unacceptable,” said Beavers. “One problem is that about one-third of all drivers arrested for DUI each year are repeat DUI offenders. The National Transportation Safety Board research shows ALR is a major factor proven to reduce DUI offenses among convicted drunk drivers, therefore reducing recidivism and many unnecessary alcohol-related car crashes. This bill will go a long way to help reduce the number of drunk drivers on our roads.”
Unless there is a further appeal, it appears a jail sentence imposed against Gary Carter will have to be reduced from 9 months to no more than 7.2 months based on an opinion by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Middle Division.
Criminal Court Judge Leon Burns, Jr., in September 2006, sentenced Carter to two years to be served in split confinement with nine months incarceration followed by four years probation, after Carter entered a guilty plea to one count of statutory rape, involving a female, who was seventeen years old and only a few months shy of turning eighteen when the incident allegedly occurred.
Carter has remained free on bond since filing the appeal over a year ago. His name is also listed on the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registry.
In the appeal, the attorney for Carter, Hilton Conger, asked that Carter be granted probation, and not be made to serve nine months in jail.
Lillian Elezabeth Sosa will be released from jail on Monday.
The 18 year old woman who gave birth to a stillborn child on October 26th at the El Rancho Restaurant on West Broad Street where she worked, pleaded guilty by information to "abuse of a corpse" Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.
Judge David Patterson sentenced Sosa to two years, all suspended to time served. She was given credit for the 130 days she has been in custody from October 26th, 2007 to March 4th, 2008. She will be released on Department of Corrections probation Monday, March 10th.
Sosa was represented by April Craven, Assistant Public Defender, and Ben Day served as the court interpreter for Sosa, who speaks little or no English.
Sosa was initially charged with second degree murder in the death of her child, but the charge was dropped after an autopsy revealed that the infant was stillborn. Instead, Sosa was charged with abuse of a corpse, which is a class E felony.
The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen Monday night left unresolved two issues they will soon have to face, setting a pay scale for the police investigator position, and the status of the golf course lease with tenant Jimmy Lewis.
On the golf course issue, Lewis has a lease with the city to operate the golf course and swimming pool through 2017 at $2500 per month. Faced with the possibility that Lewis might want to give up the lease, Mayor Taft Hendrixson, at a workshop last week, proposed that Lewis' lease be amended.