Local News Articles

Fire Causes Damage at Alexandria Motorcycle and ATV Business

March 27, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Several motorcycles and all terrain vehicles were destroyed in a Thursday evening fire at an Alexandria business, but quick action by the Alexandria Fire Department helped prevent a total loss of the building.

Redline Cycles, a motorcycle and ATV sales and repair business, located on Highway 70 in Alexandria, is at the former location of Prichard's Foods beside Alexandria Café.

Caleb Roth, Assistant Alexandria Fire Chief, says the owner of the business, Brad Langford was working on a motorcycle when it caught fire. Langford tried to extinguish the blaze but it quickly spread. Firefighters, who arrived within minutes of receiving the call, found flames coming through the roof and around the bay door of the garage.

Roth says firefighters were able to contain the fire damage to the garage area, which is located in a two story portion of the building on the southeast side The showroom and living quarters of the building received some smoke damage. Contents of the garage, including several motorcycles and ATVs were destroyed. No one was injured although the Langford family dog perished in the fire.

Members of the DeKalb County and Watertown Volunteer Fire Departments assisted the Alexandria Fire Department in battling the blaze.

Qualifying Deadline April 1st for School Board Races

March 26, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Thursday at noon, April 1st, is the qualifying deadline for persons wanting to run for a seat on the DeKalb County Board of Education in the August 5th DeKalb County General Election.

School board members will be elected in the first, second, third, fourth, and seventh districts. Each term is four years.

Those who have qualified to run include:

First District:
Incumbent John David Foutch

Second District:
Incumbent Charles Robinson
Jerry Wayne Johnson

Third District:
Incumbent Kenny Rhody
Jonathon Willoughby

Fourth District:
Billy Miller
Larry Redmon

Seventh District:
Incumbent Johnny Lattimore

School board contenders run as non-partisan candidates

Legislative Update from State Senator Mae Beavers

March 26, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Mae Beavers.

Fueled by the recent passage of federal healthcare legislation in Congress, Senator Mae Beavers joined Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and members of the Senate Republican Caucus to hold a press conference on Wednesday urging the state's House of Representatives to take immediate action to pass the Tennessee Health Freedom Act. Passage of the bill, which is pending action in the House Industrial Impact Subcommittee, would put Tennessee into position to join the Virginia and Idaho legislatures on the front lines in filing legal action to support the rights of citizens within their boundaries not to participate in the massive federal government takeover of the nation's health care system.

The Tennessee Health Freedom Act was sponsored by Senator Beavers and approved in the State Senate on February 18 by a vote of 26 to 1, with 5 members abstaining.

“This legislation has become vital to challenge the massive unfunded mandate that has been passed down to the states,” said Senator Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, who is sponsor of the bill. “Never in history has the federal government mandated that Tennesseans buy anything. This is kind of equivalent to the federal government saying you have to buy a General Motors car because we bailed them out and we have an interest in it. If the people of Tennessee don’t want federal health care, this will be the way for them to choose other avenues.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 3498, prohibits the federal government from imposing fines or penalties on a person’s decision not to participate in the federal plan. Due to constitutional restraints, the bill does not “nullify” the federal law, as it would still allow individuals the option to participate in a federal program. However, it acknowledges the right of Tennesseans to refuse to participate in a government-run health insurance program. It also calls on the state’s Attorney General to take action in defending any Tennessean fined or penalized by the federal government for not abiding by what many believe to be an unconstitutional federal healthcare bill.

Earlier this week Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey renewed his efforts to persuade Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper to join his colleagues in at least 13 other states in legal action on the matter. Ramsey had already asked Cooper to make preparations for protective legal action when the federal health care bill was approved by the United States Senate in December.

The federal action is expected to cost Tennessee more than $200 million annually. It comes at a time when the state is in its 21st consecutive month in which sales tax revenues have recorded negative growth.

The Industrial Impact Committee amended the bill with a procedural amendment and delayed further action on the measure until next week. Tennesseans are urged to call the members of the House Sub Committee and encourage them to vote for the Health Freedom Act.

Issues In Brief

Abortion Coercion – Legislation that aims to educate women that coercion to have an abortion is a crime in Tennessee won approval this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, Senate Bill 3812, would require a physician’s office or other clinics in which abortions are performed to post signs to provide women with this information about the state law and their option to receive help if they are being threatened. According to a survey published in the Medical Science Monitor, over 64 percent of women who received abortions said they felt pressured or coerced into having an abortion. The sign would be posted in the waiting area and patient consultation rooms, but would not apply to clinics where an abortion is performed to prevent the death of a pregnant female.

“Silver Alert System” – The Senate voted this week on Senate Bill 2903 to improve Tennessee’s “Silver Alert System” by removing the age requirement to include any citizen with Alzheimers, dementia, or a physical impairment to be covered under the act. Previously, the law was limited to those 60 years of age or older. The “Silver Alert System,” which was passed into law last year, works similarly to the “Amber Alert System” to help locate missing individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. The program calls for local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with non-profit organizations such as A Child is Missing or the Alzheimer’s Association to aid in their efforts.

Drivers License / English – The Senate Transportation Committee has given approval to legislation, Senate Bill 63, to require that Tennessee drivers’ license exams are given in English. The measure seeks to make sure that immigrants know how to read the road signs and can drive safely in Tennessee. The bill does not apply to persons whose presence in the United States has been authorized by Homeland Security for work in companies located in Tennessee through the efforts of Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development in order to accommodate those nationalities with manufacturing facilities in the state.

Veterans / Professional Privilege Tax – Senate Bill 2782 was approved in the Senate Finance Committee that would ensure that physicians who are deployed overseas as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces are exempt from Tennessee’s $400 occupational privilege tax.

The LOOP- A Legislative Update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

March 26, 2010
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

The following is a legislative update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

Greetings! This past week truly was a whirlwind. The plaza and my office were buzzing with concerned citizens over the deeds done to us by passage of the ObamaCare Health Plan. I am proud to be the prime co-sponsor of the Tennessee Health Freedom Act, HB3433. This legislation aims to protect the right of an individual to purchase – and the right of the doctor to provide – lawful medical services without penalty. It would also require the state Attorney General to take necessary steps to defend these rights. This federal action will cost Tennessee more than $200 million annually! Folks, we are at 21 months of consecutive, negative, sales tax revenue downfall. How are we going to pay for this? Other states have come forward saying they will be suing the federal government over the federal bill, while others have passed legislation similar to the “Tennessee Health Freedom Act” in an attempt to slo w the implementation of the bill in their respective states. HB 3433 will be heard in committee this Wednesday. It is imperative that you be there to let your voice be heard.

The House State and Local Government Committee this week considered legislation that would have outlawed open containers of alcohol in vehicles, and ultimately killed the bill. The bill experienced resistance last year as it moved through the committee system, with members expressing concern over the ability of sober drivers to take friends home who are drinking, and also regarding sporting events, such as University of Tennessee football games.

The sponsor argued that Tennessee must reform drunk driving laws in order to save lives. He went on to say that there must be consequences for irresponsible actions that put other law-abiding citizens in danger.

Had the legislation passed, the proposal could potentially have freed up a portion of federal funds that could be used for roads. Currently, the state misses out on millions in federal funding that could be used for projects such as improvement measures, new roads, and bridges. This was a disappointment to me. Drinking and driving are lethal on our roads and I continue to sponsor legislation that will save innocent lives from drunk drivers!

HB 3627 is my bill that passed out of sub-committee last week and will be heard in full committee this Tuesday. As amended the bill encourages the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to prioritize projects using certain objectives and urges the Commissioner to submit a list of bridges that would bring accountability, fiscal responsibility and full disclosure to Tennesseans. In these difficult times it, is imperative TDOT recognize that we, the people here in communities such as mine, have our bridges and roads completed. Safety, security of jobs, and tourism are just as vital to rural Tennessee as the major four: Knoxville, Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis. This bill also encourages TDOT to continue the work to complete the county seat connector program.

The House is moving forward at an aggressive pace, hoping for the General Assembly to complete its business earlier than the last few years. In keeping with that timeline, House subcommittees have already begun to close. Within the next two weeks, it is expected that the House will begin debate on the “technical corrections” bill which, among other things, contains proposed tax increases to raise revenues.

House Majority Leader Jason Mumpower announced on the House floor Thursday morning that he would not seek re-election to his State House seat. In 2008, Mumpower led House Republicans to the first ever House Republican majority in the history of Tennessee. He was elected by his colleagues in December 2006 to serve as Republican Leader, and was re-elected to the position in 2008. Mumpower was first elected to the Tennessee House in 1996. Mumpower said he looks forward to the rest of this session of the 106th General Assembly, and added that he “looks forward to the challenges ahead,” after his current service comes to a close.

As always it is an honor and a privilege to serve you. Please do not hesitate to call my office if you want to voice a concern, ask for assistance, or visit. All calls are welcome.

Stephens and Willoughby Named DCHS Basketball MVP's- Foutch Named Cheerleader MVC

March 25, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Chad and Shelia Kirby Present DCHS Basketball MVP and MVC Awards-opt.jpg
Tiger Basketball Award Winners
 Lady Tiger Basketball Award Winners
Cheerleader Award Winners

Kristina Stephens and Seth Willoughby were named the 2010 DCHS basketball Most Valuable Players Thursday night at the annual team banquet, while Kendra Foutch was selected as Most Valuable Cheerleader. The awards were presented by Chad Kirby of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, in memory of his late grandfather, Allen D. Hooper. The MVP and MVC awards are named in memory of Mr. Hooper.

Stephens was one of four seniors on the Lady Tiger team this year. Coach Joe Pat Cope recognized Stephens for her offensive production, especially in district and regional tournament games. She also received District Honorable Mention. The Lady Tigers had their best season in many years, finishing with an overall record of 17-15, breaking a ten year losing streak in district play, and advancing to the second round of the region tournament.

Willoughby was among seven seniors on the Tiger team. In addition to the MVP award, Willoughby received awards for "Best Offensive player", "Most Improved", and for "Best Athlete". He was also recognized for being named to the First Team All District and for being the District's Most Improved Player. The Tigers finished the year with an overall record of 16-12. Their season came to an end in the district tournament.

Foutch, meanwhile, was one of three seniors on the DCHS Basketball Cheerleading squad. In addition to being named MVC, Foutch received an award for "Gymnastics" and she shared honors for "Stunt: Spot" with Sydney Robinson. Foutch and fellow seniors Caroline Carter and Amanda Ours, all received the "Captain Award" for Leadership.

Other individual cheerleading awards included:

Tiger Spirit: Amanda Ours

Most Improved: Allison Little

Best Practice Attitude: Ashlee Whitehead

Jump: Jasmine Dimas

Gymnastics: Kendra Foutch

Stunt: Flier- Emily Webb

Stunt: Base- Jasmine Dimas

Stunt: Spot- Kendra Foutch and Sydney Robinson

Tiger Mascot: Tiffany Young

The DCHS basketball cheerleaders recently received another first place award in the TSSAA State Cheer Championship and earned a TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award with a 3.64 GPA team average. Cheerleaders were also recognized for the TSSAA Individual Award of Merit which is for student-athletes who earn a 3.5 to 4.0 GPA.

Walteen Parker, who has guided the basketball cheerleading program as coach for 26 years, is stepping down as cheer coach. Director of Schools Mark Willoughby recognized Parker for her years of dedication and service and the banquet crowd gave her a standing ovation.

Other Lady Tiger basketball awards were as follows:

MVP: Kristina Stephens

Best Athlete/Best Free Throw Shooter/ Best Ball Handler: Cynthia Woodward

Best Defensive Player/Hustle Award: Alex Meadows

Best Sixth Man: Nikki Bass

Best Rebounder/Best Offensive Player: Martha Webb

Best Practice Player: Elicia Cantrell

Most Improved: Brooke Hutchings

Tiger Award: Mercedes Luna

Toughness: Morgan Page

Freshman Offensive MVP: Chelsea Lewis

Freshman Defensive MVP: Lydia Foutch

Cynthia Woodward was named to the All-District Second Team Regular Season and to the All District Tournament Team. Martha Webb and Kristina Stephens received Honorable Mention and Alex Meadows made the All-Defensive Team.

For the Tigers,

Best Offensive Player/Most Improved/ Best Athlete/ MVP: Seth Willoughby

Hustle Award: Hunter Poteete

Best Practice Player/ Smartest Player: Ethan Hale

Best Passer: Abram Edwards

Best Rebounder:Sonni Young

Best Attitude: Travon Johnson

Best Free Throw Shooter/Best Ball Handler: Payne Denman

Payne Denman was named to the Second Team All District; Sonni Young made the Third Team All District, the All Freshman Team, and the All Defensive Team. Destry Wiggins and Hunter Poteete received Honorable Mention.

The awards were presented by each team's coach. Many of the student athletes were also recognized for academic achievement.

Meanwhile, Zach Odom was named the Tiger basketball Fan of the Year, and received a plaque in recognition of his dedication to the program.

The annual DCHS basketball banquet was held at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

(Top Photo: Standing left to right- Seth Willoughby (MVP), Shelia Kirby, Chad Kirby; Seated left to right- Kendra Foutch (MVC) and Kristina Stephens (MVP)

(Second Photo from Top: Standing left to right- Seth Willoughby, Sonni Young, Abram Edwards, Hunter Poteete; Seated left to right- Ethan Hale and Payne Denman)

(Third Photo from Top: Standing left to right- Mercedes Luna, Lydia Foutch, Cynthia Woodward, Nikki Bass, Martha Webb, Elicia Cantrell, Brooke Hutchings, Alex Meadows, and Chelsea Lewis; Seated left to right- Morgan Page and Kristina Stephens)

(Bottom Photo: Standing left to right- Tiffany Young (Tiger Mascot), Emily Webb, Ashlee Whitehead, Jasmine Dimas, Allison Little, and Syndey Robinson; Seated left to right- Kendra Foutch and Amanda Ours)

Elderly Woman Airlifted after Midday Wreck

March 24, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mattie Brandon's Nissan Sentra after being loaded on truck
William Dozier's Jeep after being pulled upright
Life Force helicopter lands on Highway 56 to airlift Mattie Brandon

An elderly woman was airlifted from the scene of a two vehicle traffic accident just before noon Wednesday on Highway 56 south at the intersection of South College Street.

Central dispatch received the call at 11:30 a.m.

Trooper Darrell Knowles of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 81 year old Mattie Brandon of Capshaw Road, Smithville was north on Highway 56 in a 1996 Nissan Sentra and was attempting to turn left onto South College Street when she crossed into the path of a southbound 1981 Jeep, driven by 34 year old William Dozier of Lascassas. Passengers of the jeep were 33 year old Sharla Dozier, 9 year old Kensington Dozier, and 6 year old Brycen Dozier.

According the Trooper Knowles, the jeep overturned after impact and came to rest off the west side of the highway. A passerby stopped to help get the Dozier's out of their vehicle.

Brandon's car spun counterclockwise upon impact and came to rest off the east side of the highway. She is believed to have suffered head and leg injuries.

Mr Dozier suffered some minor cuts but the other members of his family were apparently uninjured. They later went to the hospital by private vehicle to be checked out.

Brandon was airlifted from the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Traffic was blocked for a period of time.

In addition to Trooper Knowles and Life Force, others on the scene were members of DeKalb EMS, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Smithville Police Department, and the Short Mountain Highway and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, who helped set up the helicopter landing zone and were on standby in case of fire. Neither of the vehicles caught fire but there was a fuel spill from the jeep.

Judge Hands Down Sentences in Criminal Court

March 23, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Judge Leon Burns, Jr. handed down sentences against several defendants in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday.

33 year old Sharon Skinner pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, three counts of theft over $500, and forgery. She received a total sentence of four years including three years on the aggravated burglary charge and one year in each of the other cases. Two of the sentences are to run consecutively for a total of four years. The others are to run concurrently. Skinner will be on supervised probation. She was given jail credit of 77 days.

38 year old Craig Hill pleaded guilty to burglary, theft over $1,000, forgery, and two counts of theft under $500. Hill received a two year sentence on the burglary charge, suspended to supervised probation after serving 120 days. He was given credit for time served. Hill also received a two year sentence for theft over $1,000 on DOC probation. Hill received a one year sentence on DOC probation in the forgery case and a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation in each of the theft under $500 cases. Almost all the sentences are to run concurrently.

35 year old Jeremy Bilbrey pleaded guilty to a first offense of driving under the influence. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended except for 48 hours to serve. Bilbrey will lose his license for one year, pay a fine of $360, and he must complete the Alcohol Safety Education Program, undergo an alcohol and drug assessment, and follow any recommended treatment.

Steve A. Stanley pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to sell and driving on a suspended license. He received a sentence of four years, all suspended to supervised probation except for 104 days to serve. Stanley was given jail credit of 104 days and he must pay a $2,000 fine. Stanley received a six month sentence on the driving on suspended license charge, suspended to supervised probation. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to his current six year probation in another case.

24 year old Jonathon D. Thomas pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and three charges of evading arrest. He received a sentence of three years for attempted burglary and 11 months and 29 days in each case of the evading arrest charges all to run concurrently with each other and all suspended to probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to a violation of probation against him in which he is to serve one year before being released to state probation.

20 year old Nina Natasha Sullivan pleaded guilty to criminal responsibility for facilitation. She received a six year sentence in the community corrections program. She was given jail credit from September 15th to March 22nd

34 year old James LeDuc pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, theft over $500, burglary, and theft under $500. He received a total sentence of three years with one year to serve. The sentences break down as follows: three years for aggravated burglary, one year for theft over $500, two years for burglary, and 11 months and 29 days for theft under $500. All the sentences are to run concurrently as a three year term but consecutive to a violation of probation against him in which he must serve one year. He was given jail credit of 187 days.

39 year old Jefry V. Overall pleaded guilty to a third offense of driving under the influence. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to 120 days to serve. He will lose his license for three years and he must pay a fine of $1,100 and complete the alcohol safety education program. The sentence is to run concurrent with any other sentence against him. Overall was given jail credit of 243 days. Overall has been classified as an Habitual Motor Vehicle offender. Under the order, Overall is prohibited from being issued a license to operate a motor vehicle for three years, after which he will have to petition the court for a restoration of his driving privileges.

51 year old James Linder pleaded guilty to a second offense of driving on a revoked license and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to supervised probation. He will lose his license for a period of time.

41 year old Larry David Luna, charged with manufacturing marijuana, was granted pre-trial diversion probation under a memorandum of understanding for a period of two years. He must perform 50 hours of community service work and adhere to all other provisions of his probation.

38 year old Willard Brown pleaded guilty to domestic assault. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to good behavior probation except for time served. He must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and attend anger management classes. He was given jail credit from July 18th, 2009 to February 24th, 2010.

42 year old Christopher Cantrell pleaded guilty by information to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation except for five days to serve

40 year old Donna Blankenship pleaded guilty to simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to probation, including six months of supervised and six months of unsupervised probation. She must also pay a fine. Blankenship was given jail credit of 90 days.

40 year old Paul Edward Stanley pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation except for 48 hours to serve. He must pay a fine of $350 and he will lose his license for one year.

33 year old Jimmy Estes pleaded guilty to public intoxication and received a 30 day sentence to serve which is to run concurrently with a violation of probation against him.

35 year old Michael Evans pleaded guilty to two charges of child neglect and a first offense of driving under the influence. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run concurrently. He was given nine days of jail credit. Evans will be on supervised probation and he must pay a fine of $350. A handgun possession charge against Evans was dropped however he must forfeit the weapon under his plea agreement.

Pinegar Charged with Burglary and Theft

March 22, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Chris David Pinegar
Jimmy Dean Skelton
Donald Perry Jr.
Joshua Brandon Graham

A 26 year old Smithville man was arrested Sunday by the Sheriff's Department for the recent burglary of a boathouse and the theft of an automobile near the lake.

Chris David Pinegar of Roy Foster Road, Smithville is charged with burglary, theft of property over $1,000, and theft of property over $10,000. Sheriff Patrick Ray says Pinegar was arrested on Sunday, March 21st and charged after he was questioned about recent thefts in the Cookeville Highway area.

On Saturday, March 20th, deputies responded to a theft at Hurricane Boat Ramp off of Cookeville Highway where someone had stolen a vehicle containing some expensive jewelry. Then on Sunday, March 21st, officers responded to Relax Drive concerning a vehicle that was setting in the parking lot of Lakeside Resort. After checking the tags, it was discovered that the vehicle was the same one that was reported stolen the day before at the boat ramp. Officers went to a cabin at the Resort where Pinegar and a female had been staying. A warrants check was conducted on them and authorities learned that they were both wanted in Warren County on unrelated charges. While searching the room, deputies found a set of keys that went to the stolen vehicle. They also found some of the jewelry.

Detectives were called to the scene to conduct a further investigation and discovered that on March 15th Pinegar entered a boathouse and took several fishing rods and reels, a fish finder, a kneeboard, floats, and skies which were valued at over $1,000. Bond for Pinegar was set at $45,000 and he will appear in court on April 22nd. The female was not charged locally.

46 year old Jimmy Dean Skelton of Page Drive Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license, burglary, and theft of property under $500. Sheriff Ray says that on Tuesday, March 16th, as deputies were investigating a burglary and theft at a residence on Savannah Drive, Smithville, they spotted Skelton, who was a suspect in the case. The officers stopped Skelton and found him to be driving on a suspended driver's license. After interviewing Skelton about the break-in, the deputies also charged Skelton with burglary and theft. According to Sheriff Ray, Skelton admitted to entering a home which was under construction on Savannah Drive and taking an air compressor without the owner's consent. Bond for Skelton was set at $7,000 and he will appear in court on March 25th.

27 year old Helen B. Lawson of Danklefs Lane, Sparta is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. Sheriff Ray says Lawson was involved in an automobile accident on Back Bone Ridge Road on Thursday, March 18th. Lawson had a smell of alcohol on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. She submitted to field sobriety tasks which she failed. A check of her driver's license revealed them to be revoked for a DUI. Lawson was also issued citations for having no automobile insurance and violation of the implied consent law. Her bond was set at $3,000 and she will appear in court on April 1st.

38 year old Donald Perry Jr of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. Sheriff Ray says he was arrested on Friday, March 19th after an investigation by detectives into the theft of two Wal-Mart gift cards that were delivered by mail to a former resident who lived at the Adcock Cemetery Road address. Perry opened an envelope, which came by mail, containing a letter and two gift cards. Perry took the cards out of the envelope and resealed the envelope that contained the letter and put it back into the mailbox to return it to the sender. On December 14th, 2009, Perry then took the two gift cards to the Smithville Wal-Mart and cashed them in. Bond for Perry was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on April 1st.

Joshua Brandon Graham is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). Sheriff Ray says on Saturday, March 20th, a deputy went to Graham's home on New Bildad Road, Smithville to serve a civil paper on him. Graham met the officer on the porch. The deputy smelled an odor of marijuana on Graham's person and he asked Graham about it. Graham went back into the residence and retrieved a plastic bag that contained the marijuana. Graham also had marijuana seeds in his pants pocket. Graham's bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on April 22nd.

24 year old Stephen Hunter Pugh is charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked license. Sheriff Ray says on Sunday, March 21st an officer spotted Pugh on Cave Springs Road. Having prior knowledge that Pugh had two warrants against him for violation of probation, the deputy stopped Pugh. The officer checked Pugh's driver's license and discovered them to be revoked. His bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on April 22nd.

40 year old Donna S. Blankenship of Greenhill Road, McMinnville was arrested on Sunday, March 21st for a second offense of driving on a suspended license after she was involved in an automobile accident on New Home Road in Dowelltown. Bond for Blankenship was set at $2,000 and her court date is April 22nd.

Early Voting Begins April 14th for DeKalb Democratic Primary

March 22, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Early voting dates and times are set for the May 4th DeKalb County Democratic Primary

Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections, says early voting will be Wednesday, April 14th through Thursday, April 29th. Voting times will be from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

The primary will feature three contested races for county wide public offices, county clerk, county mayor, and register of deeds, and three contested races for the county commission in the third, fourth, and fifth districts. All other candidates will be unopposed.

The offices and candidates listed on the ballot are as follows in this order:

Circuit Court Judge, Part 1, 13th Judicial District to fill unexpired term: Amy Hollars

District Attorney General, 13th Judicial District to fill unexpired term: Randall A. York

County Mayor:
Mike Foster
Bob Snyder

County Commissioner (Vote for Two)
1st District- Elmer Ellis, Jr.

2nd District- Jack E. Barton, III

3rd District:
Bradley Hendrix
Roy Merriman
Jerry Scott

4th District:
Jesse Baker
Wayne Cantrell
David McDowell
Ron Rogers

5th District:
Randy Braswell
Johnny Ringo Colwell
John Green
Bobby Taylor

6th District:
Jeff Barnes
Marshall Ferrell

7th District:
Jimmy W. Poss
Larry Summers

Trustee: No Candidate

Sheriff: No Candidate

Circuit Court Clerk: Katherine Pack

County Clerk:
Mike Clayborn
Glynn Merriman
Chris Smithson

Register of Deeds:
Jeff McMillen
Clarence R. Trapp

Road Supervisor: Jimmy D. Sprague

Zelenik Campaigns for Congress in Smithville

March 20, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Congressional Candidate Lou Ann Zelenik with DeKalb GOP Chair Jennifer Winfree

Lou Ann Zelenik of Rutherford County, Republican candidate for Congress in the sixth district, campaigned in Smithville on Thursday.

Zelenik will be seeking her party's nomination in the Tennessee Republican Primary on August 5th. "A little bit about me, I'm a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. I built a heavy construction company during the ‘80s, and for twenty-three years I created jobs, balanced a budget, and met a payroll. And that's kinda what it's about here, and for citizens across the fifteen counties of the district. So many are worried about having a job, and so many business owners and those are the ones I've really been meeting and speaking a lot with, to hear their concerns and worries, and they're worried about meeting that bottom line; they don't know what Congress will be placing upon them next year or even this year, or what new regulation, or tax, or bill. So many people are very concerned about the health care bill that's being debated back and forth. It seems like it's become more about the buying of votes. It's about so many in Congress and not about real people doing the real business for the people of their district. I just met with a mother who has a child that is critically ill and concerned that under these new bills that their child would not get the healthcare needed, because it's cystic fibrosis, a very serious disease."

"One of the problems that has gone on in Washington is those that we work really hard to get elected, they forget their roots and are more worried about winning the next time or getting their campaign coffers up. My campaign is about sending a real person to Washington, someone that has walked in the boots of so many in DeKalb County. You know, I put two nickels together to start a business and paid those taxes and created jobs. I'm not a career politician and anyone running for office becomes a politician but I'm going to Washington to bring that representation back. For too long it seems like people forget what's important, and I've already built my career, I'm proud to have built it in business, and I'm privileged to represent Tennesseans and go to Washington to not build another career but to go up there and stand strong for our principles, our values, to join with others, and have our voice heard in a large number."

" I am a fiscal conservative, a faith, family, and freedom conservative. I've also been in Rutherford County, the GOP party chair and Vice Chair. Last year in February I put my name on a national website to organize a Tea party on April 15th and almost three thousand showed up for the largest rally in Rutherford County history. We did it again in July and then we did a health care forum for our seniors after Bart Gordon voted for HR 3200 out of committee and for taxpayer funded abortions. We had over 750 senior citizens come to the square in August to find out more about HR 3200 and get involved to try and get the latest information. That's what we're seeing. People who have never been involved are getting involved."

As for putting people back to work, Zelenik says "When you deregulate business, when you take away some of the restraints on business and you give them real tax breaks, that does give incentives to those businesses to hire and create jobs. That's something that was done in the 1980's and it worked. It was also done again with the Bush tax cuts on the first wave of tax cuts for businesses. I was a business owner at the time and I saw that I could depreciate more equipment so I bought more goods. When my tax bracket was lowered, we didn't have to pay as much come April 15th so what we did instead, we gave it to our employees in the form of raises and hired new people. We gave a little bigger Christmas bonus. Those are the things you do to encourage that innovation and morale. Right now even though businesses may be holding their own, they don't know where to look because they don't know if Cap and Trade and job killing energy taxes will be placed upon them, which would really impact manufacturing and really hit hardest our farmers and family's electric bills. They also don't know what's going to happen with this health care bill. I talked to one business owner who has 250 employees and he said, based on the U.S. House of Representatives version of the bill, it will cost him over $200,000 more next year if this bill is passed just based on additional penalties added to businesses. So give businesses something to base on for the future, give them tax breaks right now, and let our free market, free enterprise system work. That's what has worked in the past and it's a really great way to do it in the future."

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