Local News Articles

Smithville Man Charged with Theft of Money from Vending Machines

April 27, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
William Corey Dickens

A 28 year old Smithville man has been charged with four counts of theft for allegedly using special tools and access codes to break into and steal money from vending machines at Federal Mogul, NHC Health Care Center, and DeKalb EMS. The cases have been under investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

William Corey Dickens is under a $17,500 bond and he will be in court on May 2. More charges are pending against him locally. He is also charged with similar offenses in Putnam and Warren County.

According to the warrants, Dickens allegedly broke into vending machines belonging to Five Star Food Services at Federal Mogul on Grizzly Lane in Smithville on February 1 & 8 taking over $500 in cash. On February 1, Dickens was escorted off the property by security on two occasions.

Dickens then went to NHC on Fisher Avenue in Smithville Saturday, March 18 where he allegedly took over $500 in cash from vending machines belonging to Five Star Food Services.

Finally, Dickens went to DeKalb EMS in Smithville on Wednesday, April 17 and allegedly took less than $500 from vending machines belonging to the Dr. Pepper Company. Since that date, Dickens has been charged and incarcerated in Putnam and Warren County for similar offenses. While in custody, Dickens was found to have coins, access codes, and special tools for entering the vending machines.

DeKalb’s Got Talent Raises Money for Project Graduation

April 26, 2013
by: 
Shan Burklow
“The Beta Group”
People’s Choice Award Winners

Hundreds of people turned out to show their support for their favorite contestants during Thursday evening’s sold out talent and variety show, “DeKalb’s Got Talent” sponsored by DeKalb Community Hospital to raise money for DCHS Project Graduation 2013.

Twenty acts of various talents and ages included drama, singing, instrumental, dance, and even a very impressive hula hoop performance. Although judges were brought in to choose the winning act, the crowd got in on the action by placing twenty five cent votes for the People’s Choice Award which raised several hundred dollars for the cause. Singing duo, Ashlee Medlin and Elizabeth Koegler raised $132.00 in votes and were named the People’s Choice Winners of the night. A grand total of $1,800.00 was raised by the end of the evening.

“We are so very blessed to have such a good and supportive community that comes out and backs our school’s efforts to provide a safe and fun graduation for our high school seniors,” Host Shan Burklow commented, “I was amazed to see this first year event sell out within minutes of opening the doors. They just kept pulling out more and more chairs. It makes me proud to live here.”

After a hilariously entertaining night of fun and talent, the vocal styling's of “The Beta Group” claimed the $250 cash prize from DeKalb Community Hospital. The evening ended with a live auction as well as beautiful silent auction baskets donated by parents of DCHS Seniors. So, what have we learned from this whole experience? Apparently, DeKalb’s got talent!

(Photo – Winners) Winners from left to right: Host-Shan Burklow with “The Beta Group” Hunter Collins, Jacob Parsley, Makayla Duke, Kelsey Evins, Lauren Craig, and Justin Wiser claiming their $250 cash prize compliments of DeKalb Community Hospital with the help of Co-Host-Matt Boss.

(Photo-People’s Choice) Host-Shan Burklow with People’s Choice Winners Ashlee Medlin and Elizabeth Koegler with Matt Boss and Lora Webb of Project Graduation.

Former DeKalb County High Graduate Receiving Honors at TTU

April 26, 2013
Stephanie Knowles

Stephanie Knowles will soon receive her Master's Degree in the Science of Nursing with a specialty focus as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Commencement ceremonies will be Saturday, May 11 at Tennessee Technological University Cookeville. Stephanie graduated among the top of her class in 2003 from DeKalb County High School. A recipient of the prestigious University Service Scholarship and Gladys Owen's Nursing Scholarship, she chose Tennessee Tech to continue her education. With a culimination of awards and honors such as appointment to Tennessee Tech Mortar Board, Tennessee Tech Honor Society, National Honor Society, Tennessee Tech Dean's List, and National Dean's List, Knowles graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007 receiving her Bachelor's Degree in the Science of Nursing.

After gaining clinical experience, Knowles decided to further her career and professional education. With hard work and determination, Knowles will once again obtain high honors as she graduates from Tennessee Tech in May. Knowles may soon become a published author as well with research articles submitted for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Stephanie would like to thank her Heavenly Father for his unfailing love and guidance as well as her husband, Darrell Knowles, family, and friends for their continued encouragement and support. She would like to give a special thanks to Dr. James Wall of Smithville, Dr. Robert Treece of Cookeville Pediatric Associates, Dr. Kalyani Kumar of Highland Women's Healthcare, and Gionna Owens, ANP of Smithville for their clinical expertise, guidance, and support in the pursuit of her degree.

With great revelry and pride, we send our graduate into the future.....

The friends and family of Stephanie Summers Knowles would like to say congratulations on her upcoming graduation from Tennessee Tech University. Stephanie will graduate with honors on May 11 and receive her Master's Degree in the Science of Nursing with a specialty focus as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Congratulations Stephanie! We are so proud of you!

DeKalb Jobless Rate Inches Up In March

April 26, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for March rose to 8.2%, up from 8% in February and 8.1% in March 2012.

The local labor force for March, 2013 was 9,690. A total of 8,900 were employed and 790 were without work.

DeKalb County's jobless rate for March was fifth lowest among the fourteen Upper Cumberland counties. Here's how the ranked highest to lowest:

Pickett County: 13.3%
Van Buren: 12.1%
White: 11.7%
Clay: 10.6%
Cumberland: 10%
Jackson: 9.6%
Warren: 9.6%
Overton: 9.5%
Fentress: 9.3%
DeKalb: 8.2%
Smith: 7.9%
Putnam: 7.5%
Macon: 7.4%
Cannon: 6.5%

County unemployment rates for March 2013 show the rate decreased in 58 counties, increased in 24, and stayed the same in 13.

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate of 6.2 percent, down from 6.4 percent in February. Davidson County rate of 6.3 percent was unchanged from February. Hamilton County was 7.7 percent, up from 7.6 percent in the previous month. Shelby County was 9.5 percent, up from 9.3 percent in February.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for March was 7.9 percent, which increased one tenth of one percentage point from the February revised rate of 7.8 percent. The national unemployment rate for March 2013 was 7.6 percent, decreasing by one tenth of one percentage point from the previous month.

The state unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

GED Class Orientation

April 25, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

Registration for GED classes is scheduled for Monday, April 29 at 4:00 p.m. in the DeKalb County Complex on South Congress Boulevard. Please enter through UT Extension/Motlow College doors.

Anyone age eighteen and older may sign up. The ten week course is offered at no charge locally but the cost is $55.00 to take the final GED test. The fee will increase to $120.00 in 2014.

Tom Werling, GED Volunteer Instructor said after a student registers, a test is given to determine his or her grade level in certain subject areas. "Step two is going to be the TABE Test Tuesday, April 30 at 4:00 p.m. The TABE Test will give us an idea of where you (students) are education wise. We have had people from the second grade (level) all the way to the twelfth grade (level) so this will give us an idea of the books we need to give you and the things we need to do for you," said Werling.

Step three will be the OPT test Thursday, May 2 at 4:00 p.m. which is the official practice test for the GED program, according to Werling. "The GED test is divided into five categories, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Math. To get your GED you just need to average 450 in each one of the those areas. The new GED test will be coming out in 2014. It will be a computer based test and it will be harder. The fee will also be going from $55.00 to $120.00 for the test. Right now it is $55.00. There is no charge or fee for the classes here in Smithville. We'll provide you the books you need. We teach on a one to one basis because of the variance in the education level of the people we will be seeing," said Werling.

For more information call 931-528-8685.

DeKalb Girl Scouts attend Walt Disney's Youth Education Series

April 25, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Girl Scouts attend Walt Disney's Youth Education Series

A group of DeKalb County Girl Scouts attended Walt Disney's Youth Education Series. They were allowed into the park prior to the official opening and spent 3 hours learning about America's history.

Girls left to right: Rachel Fuson, Baylee Phillips, Callie Cripps, Susan Webb, Karen Johnson, Kristen Parsley, Katherine Parsley. Top row: Zoe Cripps, Ashley Phillips, Ellie Webb.

Secretary Hargett Announces Changes to Photo ID Law

April 25, 2013

The General Assembly amended Tennessee’s voter photo identification law during its recently-concluded legislative session. Amendments sponsored by Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) seek to clarify and strengthen the law that was successfully implemented during the 2012 election cycle.

Voters may no longer use photo IDs issued by other states as acceptable forms of identification when voting in person. This change mirrors similar laws in other states, including Indiana. Indiana’s photo ID law has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

The amendments also clarify the General Assembly’s original intent in passing the law by explicitly excluding photo IDs issued by counties and municipalities. These changes took effect when the amended law was signed by Governor Bill Haslam this week.

“The General Assembly continues to enact laws that protect the integrity of the ballot box,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I am grateful that our legislators continue to seek out policies to ensure that only eligible voters may cast their ballots in Tennessee.”

“Our poll workers will be ready to implement these changes in our next election,” said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.

Examples of acceptable forms of identification, whether current or expired, include Tennessee driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs, and other photo IDs issued by the federal or Tennessee state governments. Voters without one of these forms of identification may obtain free photo IDs for voting at Tennessee Department of Safety driver service centers.

First United Methodist Preschool A Fun Place to Learn

April 24, 2013
First United Methodist Preschool
Kathy Hendrixson Reads to Children

First United Methodist Preschool is more than your average Mother’s Day out! It is a place where a child is nurtured physically, educationally, and spiritually. This has been a fun year full of adventure and learning for everyone! In February we kicked off a reading and writing emphasis with a “Dress as your Favorite Book Character Day” in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday. Since then the children have been working diligently to write and illustrate their very own class books! Thanks to the generous donations of parents and businesses in our community, we were able to print and bind a book for each child to keep forever!

On Thursday night, April 18th we celebrated by having an Author’s Debut and Silent Auction. To begin the evening parents and friends were able to browse at an Art Gallery that was compiled of creations that each class had made. Children had fun painting, posing, and creating all of the unique items that were up for auction.

Mrs. Kathy Hendrixson, from the Justin Potter Library, began the program by reading to the children and encouraged them to be a part of the summer reading program at the library.

As the grand finale the kids were then presented with their very own books. The 2 year old class, taught by Mrs. Jennifer Braswell, illustrated their own rendition of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. The kids used fruits and veggies to paint the pictures. The 3 year old class, taught by Mrs. Sharon Bell, wrote the book, Oh Where Will We Be in 2023. It is comprised of future plans and role models for each child in the next ten years. Mrs. Jane Groom’s 4 year old class wrote an autobiography about themselves, All About Me. It included family photos, the children’s favorite things, and plans for the future. Ms. Betty Hickey’s class made an art book, Self Portraits, which included their very own paintings of themselves and special handwriting for each picture.

It was an exciting night that spotlighted the importance of reading and education. Our desire is that these children will have a love for learning and self-confidence entering Kindergarten that they “can do all things through Christ who gives them strength.”

If you are interested in enrolling your child (18 months- 5 yrs. old) in preschool or would like to have more information, please contact Emily Bass at 615-597-6639 or email smithvillefump@gmail.com . Early Enrollment for the Fall has started now and will continue until we are full. We do follow the school calendar and will begin classes the week after public school has started.

Thank you to the following for the generous donations that made this night possible. Bernie’s Pizza, Beshearse Landscaping, Bratten Hale Cook II, Bridgeway Motel and Jewel’s Paving and Construction Company, Bumpers, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, The Close Family, DeKalb Animal Clinic, DeKalb Community Bank, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, Family Medical Center, Federal Mogul, Ford Lincoln of Cookeville, Scott Goodwin Family, Ginos BBQ, Hendrix Financial, Bill House Family, In Honor of DeKalb Tire and Service, In Honor of Light House Christian Camp, In Honor of Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, Janney and Associates, Jeremy Trapp Attorney at Law, Johnson and Sons Cabinets INC, Johnson’s Heating and Air, Judkins Lawncare, Keith W. Blair Attorney at Law, Kilgores’ Restaurant, Kwik-N- Easy Inc., Larry and Frances Johnson, Liberty State Bank, Liberty Stop-N-Buy, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Nestle Inc., Optimus Pest Solutions, Peeled Chestnut United Methodist Church, Star Manufacturing International, Sue Puckett-Jernigan Attorney at Law, Tenneco, Tennessee Credit, The Real Estate Team, Turner Auto Parts, United Methodist Women, World Finance Cooperation, In Memory of Aubrey Turner, and In Memory of Paul Hardiman.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set for Saturday

April 24, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is proud to announce that 23 of its funded county-level substance abuse prevention coalitions are taking part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 27. The coalitions will partner with local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in more than 30 locations across the state for the event.

The Smithville Police Department is partnering in the Prescription Take-Back Day which will be Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at the city hall on the public square. Motorists should pull into the drive-through on the side of the building where you pay your water bill. Someone will be outside the building to collect the medications.

Drug take-back events remove thousands of pounds of unused and potentially addictive medications and other substances from homes and raise awareness of permanently installed prescription drug disposal boxes in communities. The importance of removing unused medications from homes cannot be over emphasized, as more than 8,000 Tennesseans have died from drug overdoses in the past 10 years. Organizers estimate that more than 5,775 pounds of medication will be collected at these events around Tennessee.

Smithville Police Detectives Solve Identity Theft Case

April 24, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jeffery D. Nelson

Smithville Police detectives Matt Holmes and Brandon Donnell have solved a local identify theft case with the arrest of a Nashville man.

41 year old Jeffery D. Nelson is charged with four counts of identity theft. His bond totals $40,000 and he will be in court on May 9.

Nelson is accused of using information from a Smithville man's debit card to withdraw funds from the victim's bank account to pay his own utility bills on several occasions. The total amount of the theft comes to nearly three thousand dollars.

According to Police Chief Randy Caplinger the Smithville resident hired the All My Sons Moving and Storage Company of Nashville last October to transport furniture from his home here to a condo in Banning, California.

Nelson, who worked in the Nashville office of All My Sons, was able to access the victim's debit card information from paper work showing where the victim had paid the company for their services.

After Nelson was developed as a suspect, warrants were prepared and the U.S. Secret Service was contacted to make the arrest. Nelson was then handed over to Smithville Police.

Chief Caplinger praised detectives Holmes and Donnell for their work in solving this case.

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