Local News Articles

Walk Across Tennessee Contest to Kick-Off March 27

March 12, 2010

Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health, yet nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting the activity they need. Consider taking up walking with friends or your family by participating in Walk across Tennessee, which is an eight-week program that will spark some friendly competitions in DeKalb County. Beginning Saturday, March 27, teams of eight will compete to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging, biking, and other forms of exercise in their community. Biking or jogging teams can have a team of four. The miles walked are not literally across the state, but reported on a map posted at Greenbrook Park under shelter #1, on the Walk across Tennessee website, and other community areas.

Since everyone participates in a variety of sports, the Walk across Tennessee program also has an exercise conversion chart so that participants can count aerobics, swimming, weight lifting, etc. For example, 16 minutes of high intensity aerobics would equal one mile. According to Extension Agent April Martin, “The exercise must be intentional. For fairness, exercise cannot be counted while at work.”

There is a $3 fee per person to participate in Walk Across Tennessee. The money will be put into a “kitty” fund and the winning team will get to share the prize money.
The Walk Across Tennessee kickoff for DeKalb County is set for Saturday, March 27 at Greenbrook Park at 9:00. “Teams will keep track of their miles, which will be posted at the park under shelter #1, at other places around the community, and on the website which is http://eteamz.active.com/WalkAcrossTennesseeDeKalbCounty. Teams can be composed of coworkers, teachers, students, neighbors, etc.” Teams composed of primarily runners and/or bicyclists are limited to four team members. The eight week competition will end on Saturday, May 22.

Many people are unaware of the positive benefits of exercise. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 problem in the United States. The risk of heart disease could be significantly reduced by regular exercise. According to the Center for Disease Control, the positive effects of physical activity are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease. Not only does regular exercise help relieve stress and anxiety,” physically active people outlive inactive people. Participating in Walk Across Tennessee DeKalb County is not only a great way to get involved with our community, it’s a healthy habit,” Martin stated.

To participate in Walk Across Tennessee, first get a team together. Biking and jogging teams are limited to four people. Choose a team captain and name your team. Team captains need to download a captain’s packet, available at the DeKalb County Walk Across Tennessee website which is http://eteamz.active.com/WalkAcrossTennesseeDeKalbCounty/ in the handout section or stop by the DeKalb County U.T. Extension Office, 115 West Market St. Smithville, located right off the courthouse square. Each team member will need to complete a registration form which is included in the team captain’s packet or at the Walk Across Tennessee website. Individual as well as team forms should be returned to the Extension office.

“Competition kicks off on March 27, 9:00 A.M. at Greenbrook Park under pavilion one, but if people are unable to make it, they can still participate” Martin said. For more information, call the Extension office at 597-4945 or visit the website.

All of the programs of the University of Tennessee are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.

SHIP Program Seeking Eligible Participants Needing Help with Medicare Costs

March 12, 2010
Meghian Moore, SHIP Coordinator

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) has recently received information from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding 515 people who reside in DeKalb County who may qualify for additional help with their Medicare costs. This is the number of residents who may not currently be paying low co-pays at the pharmacy as well as get assistance paying their Part B premiums. The Extra Help Program (also called Low-Income Subsidy) is a program that is processed by Social Security Administration which helps certain low-income beneficiaries by paying zero dollar monthly premiums, no deductibles and very low cost share at the pharmacy. This program also eliminates the coverage gap, or as most calls it, the “donut hole.” The extra help program is valued up to $3,900.00 per year per beneficiary as well as the possibility of getting back the Part B premium which is $96.40 (for most individuals) and deducted out of SSA checks automatically.

The SHIP program can assist any beneficiary with Medicare by helping with the application process electronically. Many people in DeKalb County already qualify for the “extra help” due to the fact that they already receive TennCare or SSI benefits and therefore do not need to apply each year. For others who meet certain income and asset guidelines, the application process is easy and submitted to Social Security electronically through www.ssa.gov. The great thing about applying online is that once the application is reviewed by SSA, it is then sent to the state Medicaid office with the individual’s permission to see if they qualify to get assistance paying the Part B Premium which is called a “Medicare Savings Program.”

Many people who debate applying should do so anyway. Most people automatically assume they do not qualify because they have always been denied for other programs for making a little too much and have become tired of being told no for the smallest benefits. There are no estate recovery or recapture penalties to this benefit. An individual must have a monthly income of $1,354 or less (1,821 for a married couple) to qualify for the extra help. Having additional family members may make this amount higher. Resource (asset) limits are below $12,510 for single and $25,010 for a couple. Please note that a person’s home, car and personal possessions are not looked at. Resources, or assets, can include other properties, savings or checking accounts, certificates of deposits and cash value of any IRA’s or annuities. Due to new MIPPA laws, (Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008), the application can no longer ask for cash value of life insurance policies nor ask for value of any help provided by others to help pay monthly expenses.

If you think you may qualify for the extra help paying Part B or Part D costs, or, you know someone who may, please call SHIP for free assistance in applying at toll free 1-877-801-0044. SHIP is a non-profit program which is administered locally at Upper Cumberland Development District in Cookeville. SHIP provides free, non-biased information on all Medicare topics to beneficiaries and their caregivers throughout the Upper Cumberland fourteen counties. We are currently seeking volunteers to help us with the challenge of helping find the 310 individuals in DeKalb County. Please call (931) 432-4111 ext. 247 if you are interested in volunteering with the SHIP Program.

Replace smoke alarm batteries, as you spring forward

March 12, 2010

As clocks move ahead this weekend for daylight saving time, Tennessee State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Leslie A. Newman would like to remind Tennesseans to change their homes’ smoke alarm batteries, as well.

“ ‘Change your clock, change your battery’ is an easy phrase to remember and practice, when you update your clocks this weekend,” says Newman. “Smoke alarms, even those that are hard-wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and be tested monthly to ensure you have the protection you need,” Newman says. “Use this time to protect your home and family.”

A working smoke alarm will double your survival chances during a home fire by giving you the critical time needed to escape. Most home fires occur at night when people are sleeping. The smoke and toxic gases from a fire can cause you to sleep more deeply, diminishing the chances of survival.

More than 90 percent of all American homes have smoke alarms, but as many as one-third of them don’t work – because of old or missing batteries. It is critical to replace batteries regularly – even if they appear to be working fine. Twice a year is recommended. This helps prevent the warning, low-battery “chirp” emitted by alarms. All too often, alarm batteries are removed but not replaced, putting home occupants at risk. There is no way to predict when a fire will occur, and just one night in a home without a working smoke alarm can prove dangerous. Replacing batteries for daylight saving time is just one fire safety step. Here are a few more:

•Smoke alarms should be put inside and outside every room where residents sleep, and on each home level. All residents should know how the alarm sounds and what it means.

•Smoke alarms need to be cleaned and maintained according to their instructions.

•Have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room; teach it to everyone in the home, especially children.

•When the smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to a pre-planned meeting place.

Many local fire departments have supplies of donated smoke alarms, and departments will help install them in the homes of the elderly and disabled. Visit www.tn.gov/commerce/sfm/. The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

Senator Mae Beavers Announces Her Decision to Run for Re-Election to the State Senate

March 11, 2010
State Senator Mae Beavers

Senator Mae Beavers, surrounded by her Senate colleagues, announced today that she is running for another term for the State Senate seat representing Wilson, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale counties. The decision came after much deliberation and prayerful consideration. There had been discussion that Senator Beavers could possibly be running for the Wilson County Mayor position; however, at the insistence of many colleagues and a multitude of constituents, Beavers has declared her desire to continue her work in serving the people of the 17th District.

“This decision is based upon my desire to serve the state,” Beavers stated. “I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the state legislature in the past eight years, and I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish in the next four years, especially if we have a Republican Governor and Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. My work here is not done.”

Senator Beavers has a Bachelor of Science degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has worked as a court reporter and paralegal before being elected to the county commission, and more recently worked as a financial advisor. In the Tennessee Legislature she was a leader in the fight to stop the passage of a state income tax. Since being elected to State Senate, she has taken a leadership role, serving the past two sessions as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Beavers began her public service as a Wilson County Commissioner from 1990-1994 and represented West Wilson County in the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1994-2002. She was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.

DeKalb Jobless Rate for January Increases to 11.7%

March 11, 2010
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for January increased to 11.7%, up from 11% in December. The rate for January, 2009 was 11.3%.

The Labor Force for January was 9,620. A total of 8,490 were employed and 1,130 were without work.

Meanwhile, Tennessee's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for January was 10.7 percent, unchanged from the revised December rate of 10.7 percent. The national unemployment rate for January 2010 was 9.7 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for January 2010 show that the rate increased in all 95 counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 8.3 percent, up from 7.3 in December. Marshall County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 20.3 percent, up from 18.7 in December, followed by Henderson County at 19.9 percent, up from 18.5 percent in December.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 8.6 percent, up from 8.1 in December. Davidson County was 9.6 percent, up from 9.2 in December. Hamilton County was at 10.0 percent, up from 9.2 in December, and Shelby County was 11.4 percent, up from 10.6 in December.

Fire Destroys Trailer Home

March 11, 2010
Dwayne Page
Fire Destroys Trailer Home on Adcock Cemetery Road

A fire Thursday morning destroyed the trailer home of Shawn Pyles at 563 Adcock Cemetery Road. Pyles was renting the trailer from the owner Billy Tisdale.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:25 a.m.

Pyles and his girlfriend Melissa Genzak awoke to smoke and escaped from their burning home unharmed but three of the family pets perished.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says the fire apparently started in the kitchen area but the exact cause is undetermined, although it appears to have been accidental.

Members of the Midway, Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, Main Station, and Tanker truck of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with DeKalb EMS and the Sheriff's Department.

Governor Candidate Mike McWherter Makes Campaign Stop in Smithville

March 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
Governor Candidate Mike McWherter with Local Democratic Party Chair Jim Judkins

Mike McWherter, Democratic candidate for Governor, made a campaign stop in Smithville Wednesday.

During a town hall style meeting at the courthouse, McWherter, son of former Governor Ned Ray McWherter, laid out his vision for the state and why he wants to be the next Governor of Tennessee. During the question and answer session, McWherter was asked about his stand on education, roads and bridges, and elected versus appointed school superintendents among other issues.

Following the meeting, local reporters asked McWherter about specific issues. The following are the questions and his responses.

How is the campaign progressing?
"We've been visiting all 95 counties across the state and I've found we have a lot of family friends in all these counties and it's up to our campaign to build a winning organization around that."

Why do you want to be Governor?
"As you look across Tennessee we have seen literally thousands of jobs disappear. Our state unemployment is running right at eleven percent. That's the highest it's been in my working lifetime. I believe Tennessee needs a Governor who will put the retention and creation of jobs front and center on the agenda and that's why I'm running for Governor."

Won't that be a difficult task given the state of the economy?
"Everybody who pays taxes in Tennessee right now has an investment in three big signature industries, Hemlock, Wacker, and Volkswagen that have located in this state and are under construction right now. I think for all of us to get the return on our investment we have in those industries, the next Governor has got to go after the supplying industries for those companies, if it's seatbelts, head lights, or solar parts, we've got to go after those companies and get them to locate here in Tennessee. But to do that we've got to have our infrastructure in place. As a businessman, I well understand what it's going to take to be able to attract those industries and get the return on our investment."

Are Jobs and Roads going to be your top priority?
"In my administration, it'll be about job creation, but I don't ever want to imply that I don't take educational issues very seriously in this state. As a matter of fact, I think the two go hand in hand. One of the main things Industry is looking for is training and development for their work force at all times. You just can't go out and get a job today, a good paying technical job, and not expect to have updated training, so that's got to be a key component in developing jobs in this state as well as infrastructure."

Does the state's tax base need to change to create more revenue?
"If I can get Tennessee back to work and I'll be doing that with the help of the legislature and my cabinet, we will create consumers and consumers will create revenue. It was just three years ago that this state was running at a surplus, of course we had low unemployment in those days, but there was such a surplus that legislators voted for block grants for their districts giving money to various needy organizations. If we can get people back to work we'll have that kind of surplus again. We're making some tough budget decisions this year and as this economy turns around I don't want to see us go on a spending spree. I think once we get some of these cuts under our belt we need to evaluate how we spend any surplus money we will have in the future and make sure we build back our rainy day fund and any excess revenue we have, make sure it's utilized in such a way that it helps build this economy for the future."

Should state government be downsized?
"I don't know that state government has to be downsized dramatically. There are a lot of services that state government provides that are essential services. I believe we've done a pretty good job under Governor Bredesen of controlling the growth of state government and that's something I want to continue doing is to watch every penny and make sure we're getting the maximum bang for our buck. So I'm not so much worried about the size of state government as I am efficiency. I want to make sure that state government is efficient."

Do you support expansion of the Pre-K program?
"I think the pre-K program in this state has been a home run. It is a model for the rest of the country. If you can get these students to foster a love of learning at an early age, it will carry them through their entire education career. That's what we have to do. It's a voluntary program. A lot of people don't want to be in it because they'd rather have their kids at home. But it's a program that helps a lot of disadvantaged youth and fosters a love of learning in them early on and it's a whole lot cheaper to educate than it is to incarcerate."

Should Pre-K be mandatory rather than voluntary?
"I would want it to continue to be voluntary. As I said some people want to keep their kids at home at that age so I think it should totally be a voluntary program all across the state. There is a huge waiting list so as revenue returns that's one area where I would like to see us expand upon".

Why do you oppose elected School Superintendents?
"Teachers are accountable to principals. Principals are accountable to Superintendents. Superintendents are accountable to an elected school board. There is voter accountability in our school system through electing our school boards. I think it is a terrible mistake for superintendents to have to go out, take time away from the school, to raise money and then they have to go out and campaign."

What are your thoughts about the Hurricane and Sligo Bridges?
"I know the Hurricane Bridge and the Sligo Bridge are both big issues in this county. As the next Governor if I'm going to be successful in helping to recruit industry into these areas then you're going to have to have the infrastructure in place. I want to be very careful that I don't go out and start making a bunch of campaign promises but If I'm able to fulfill my vision for the state of Tennessee it's going to involve having the infrastructure in place so that we can go out and really sell these areas, recruit jobs, and get people back to work."

What is your business background?
"I'm a small businessman in Jackson, Tennessee. I own an Anheuser-Busch distributorship there. A lot of people think I went into a family business. I did not. My father has his company and I have mine. I borrowed the money and I remember paying it back so I know it's mine. I serve on the Jackson Energy Authority Board, which is our local utility there and it provides everything from wastewater to electricity and natural gas, to water and broadband services and I think that working with JEA has given me a unique background in what it takes to keep industry in your area and what it takes to recruit industry in your area. Industry today has to compete on a global basis and as a utility we constantly have to be mindful of the infrastructure that we have in place there so that our industries can be competitive on a global basis and we have to be mindful of what industry is looking for to come and locate in that area. I think it's important that we maintain our state as a low tax state. It makes us very attractive to industry all across the country and if we can be a low tax state and at the same time be mindful of building our infrastructure I think we are a natural location for industry to come."

How active will your father, former Governor Ned Ray McWherter, be in your campaign?
"My father always has been and I guess always will be my number one advisor. I'm 54 years old and I have learned after 54 years that he is much more frequently right than wrong so I listen to him a lot. He has been really engaged in my campaign. He is still probably more familiar with the state budget than anyone else in the state except for maybe Governor Bredesen right now. But he is very engaged. You will see him out on the campaign trail. He is very interested. He told me before I ever decided to run that one thing he wanted to do is visit all 95 counties again because there's a lot of projects he got underway and a lot that have matured that he got started. He said he wanted to go visit all the counties and see those projects brought to completion or maturity so I told him when we started this campaign that he would get that chance."

School Board Adopts Resolution Honoring Professional Services Staff

March 9, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Tuesday night adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring professional services staff.

The resolution states " Whereas, special services critical to the success of children in our schools are provided by professionals who join the efforts of our teaching and administrative staff to help us meet the unique needs of each child; and

Whereas, these professionals including school nurses, guidance counselors, school resource officers, psychologists, speech therapists and others offer an invaluable contribution toward the well being, health and safety of students so that they can learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment; and

Whereas, our professional service staff helps to build an environment that transitions students from youthful dependence to responsible independence; and

Whereas, this board, our staff and the community rely on these individuals to help guide students in making wise decisions that help them develop and enjoy a healthy lifestyle and practice good citizenship and responsibility; and

Whereas, the Board of Education wishes to honor the commitment and service of special services professionals in our schools and the valuable contribution they make in our schools every day;

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby establishes March 11th,2010 as Professional Services Appreciation Day in all DeKalb County Schools; and

Be it further resolved that, the board expresses heartfelt appreciation and thanks to all who provide special professional services in our school system and encourages each school and community to recognize these individuals on this day for the vital role they play in the success of our school system and in the lives of students."

In other business the board adopted a policy regarding the selection of a student representative on the board.

The school board may make changes to the policy in a few months after the Tennessee School Boards Association finalizes a proposed policy on the issue..

The proposed policy states that "The DeKalb County Board of Education may select one high school student representative to serve in an advisory position to the Board. This student shall be designated by the DeKalb County High School Principal to serve for one school year. The student representative shall serve without compensation.

Some responsibilities of the DeKalb County Student Representative are as follows:

1.Attend the monthly meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education

2. Communicate needs including questions, concerns, problems, updates, and suggestions to the Board of Education.

3.Help design a banner for the DeKalb County School System for the TSBA Fall Conference, as per TSBA guidelines, to be presented at the October School Board Meeting.

4.Attend the annual Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) Conference if funding is available.

DCHS student Megan Sullivan is the current Student Representative on the board.

In his monthly update on personnel, Director Mark Willoughby announced that the following have been employed as substitute teachers: Tayla Turner, Cathleen Humphrey, Amanda Trapp, Meredith Lewis, Kelly Merriman, and Linda Dean.

Sharon Anderson, teacher at Smithville Elementary School- retired
Dwayne Cornelius, bus driver
Murinna Herman, custodian at DeKalb Middle School
Jerry Herman, custodian at DeKalb County High School

Leave of Absence:
Tera Mooneyham, Educational Assistant at Smithville Elementary, leave as requested
Linda Parris, teacher at DeKalb County High School, leave as requested
Jenny Elrod, teacher at DeKalb Middle School, leave as requested

LeAnn Frasier, transferred to Library Assistant at Smithville Elementary/Northside Elementary
Neal Brown, transferred to full time bus driver

DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix briefly reminded parents listening on the radio about the parent teacher conference at DCHS on Thursday, March 11th from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.. Hendrix added that report cards were sent home Tuesday, March 9th so parents are advised to check them.

Board Vice Chairman Kenny Rhody, who presided over Tuesday night's meeting, thanked those involved in organizing the Project Graduation radiothon last Friday including DCHS teacher Chris Vance, parents Donna Mathis, Kelly Garrett, and Melinda Willoughby, among many others including WJLE. The radiothon raised over $5,300.

Sixth district member Bruce Parsley also commended the DCHS girls basketball team and coach Joe Pat Cope on their success this season, making it as far as the region tournament.

DeKalb West Principal Danny Parkerson, in a brief report to the board, mentioned that the DeKalb West baseball season is now underway, the last game having been played Monday night in Smithville in a loss to Walter J. Baird. He says the team is currently 1-1. Parkerson says the West School is hosting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation review committee this week. "We're learning things from them and they're taking away things that we do at our school."

"I've had the privilege in the last six weeks of having a principal from one of the Cannon County schools and a school from White County come and visit our school, wanting to see some of the things we've been successful for regarding test scores. So academically and athletically we're on track."

Sabrina Farler, Assistant Principal at DeKalb Middle School, updated the board on activities at her school. "We had seventeen students about two weeks ago, who went to the History Day Project. They went to the regional and we had seventeen winners. They will be competing at the state level on April 17th. In the exhibit board area we had two different groups. One group placed second including Travis Ferrell, Chase Hoke, and Devin Summers. The third place group included Katelyn Jones and Brittany Wilkerson. In another category, the drama area, the first place group included Lauren Craig, Josh Davidson, Lauren Reed, and Ashley Barnes. We also got second place in this category with Karem Bain, Kelsey Evins, Elizabeth Mason, and Shauna Taylor. We had someone write an essay and he placed third, Jordan Wilkins. We had three who did a documentary and placed third, Cori Jennings, Taylor Cantrell, and Taneah Cantrell.. We also had a student represent DeKalb County at the spelling bee at Belmont University last week and she did a fabulous job. We're getting geared up for TCAP in about a month."

Dee Anna Persinger, School Health Coordinator addressed the board about the recent H1N1 clinic. "DeKalb County gave more vaccinations than any of the counties that the Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office worked with. Approximately 400 (vaccinations) were given. We have a tentative date set for April for the second dose. That'll be about another 100 students who'll need to receive the second dose. Coordinated School Health sponsored another successful diabetes education class tonight (Tuesday) with the partnership of the hospital and our registered dietician. That is free to the community and it was very successful. We hope to do it again in the fall. There was a diabetic supply representative there tonight who gave out free meters, test supplies, and educational materials to anyone who needed or wanted those. The registered dietician will also be at the high school tomorrow (Wednesday) and we invite you to come from 2:00 p.m. until 2:45 p.m. She will talk to all of our athletic teams about sports nutrition."

In other business, the school board granted the DCHS Junior Class request for permission to have the prom off campus on April 23rd at Stones River Country Club from 8:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m..

The board granted permission for the Tigerette Softball Team to participate in the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association Tournament in Clarksville on March 26th. It's an overnight trip.

Permission was granted for 24 FFA students to attend the state convention in Gatlinburg March 28th-April 1st during spring break.

The board gave permission for 20 FBLA students at DCHS to attend the regional competitions at Cumberland University on March 11th. Permission was also granted for 35 FBLA students to attend the state leadership conference April 18-21 in Chattanooga.

The school board approved executive action taken authorizing the construction of dugouts at the DeKalb West baseball field. Funding for the project was provided by sponsors.

The board also approved a request for a school bus to transport 4-H students to State 4-H Congress. The event will be held March 28th through April 1st in Nashville.

McMinnville Man Arrested on Drug Charges

March 8, 2010
Dwayne Page
Brian Earl White
Coty Lynn McCormick
Ryan Lee Walden
Billy Huddleston

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested a 37 year old McMinnville man Saturday after finding components of a meth lab in his car.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Brian Earl White of Old Shellsford Road McMinnville is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of schedule VI drug (marijuana), and simple possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine). White's bond is $4,000 and he will appear in court on March 11th. On Saturday, March 6th while on a patrol, a deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 56 south for a traffic violation. Upon approaching the automobile, the officer saw the driver putting something in a CD case that was positioned above his sun visor. The deputy asked White for his vehicle registration and insurance card. White replied that it was in the trunk. When White opened the trunk, the deputy saw a small propane tank, a small stove, and a container of liquid in the trunk. Also found in the vehicle's floorboard area were two coffee filters that contained a white powdery substance. During a pat down search, the officer found two more coffee filters in one of White's sock and a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in White's other sock. Upon an inspection of the CD case, the officer found a coffee filter that contained a white powder that is believed to be methamphetamine. A set of scales was also found in a jacket that was lying in the passenger side seat of White's vehicle.

22 year old Coty Lynn McCormick of Mohan Drive McMinnville is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and simple possession of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin). Bond for him was set at $3,000 and will he appear in court on March 11th. On Monday, March 1st a deputy stopped McCormick's vehicle on Midway Road for weaving. After the stop, the officer asked McCormick, who was the driver, for consent to search. He gave consent and the deputy found in McCormick's pocket ½ of a pill that is believed to be Oxycontin. While searching McCormick's vehicle, the officer found a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

26 year old Ryan Lee Walden of Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with theft of property over $1,000. He was arrested by detectives on Monday, March 1st. Sheriff Ray says on February 23rd, Walden took two diamond rings from a home on Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown valued at over $1,000 without the owners consent. Bond for Walden was set at $25,000 and he will appear in court on March 25th. Detectives recovered the rings.

42 year old Carlos Reyes of Skyline Apartments McMinnville is charged with a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on March 11th. On Tuesday, March 2nd deputies received a complaint that Reyes, who has a revoked driver's license, was operating a motor vehicle. The officer spotted Reyes on Highway 56 South and stopped him.

27 year old Bradley Shane Redmon of Sparta Highway is charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked license. On Wednesday, March 3rd, a deputy stopped Redmon after spotting him driving on Highway 70 East. The officer had prior knowledge of his license being revoked. Redmon's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on March 17th.

51 year old Billy R. Huddleston of Adcock Cemetery Road Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a schedule III drug (Hydocodone). On Thursday, March 4th, an officer spotted a vehicle weaving in the roadway on Highway 70 east. After stopping the vehicle, the deputy placed Huddleston, the driver, under arrest. The officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Huddleston's person and he had slurred speech. Huddleston submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Huddleston was also found to be in possession of two Hydrocodone pills. Bond for Huddleston was set at $3,500 and he will appear in court on March 25th..

48 year old Roy Douglas Atnip of Pea Ridge Road, Liberty is charged with public intoxication. On Wednesday, March 3rd, a deputy arrested Atnip on Highway 70 west for his own safety after he was found to be crossing the roadway in an intoxicated state. Atnip had an odor of alcohol on his person. He was belligerent and unsteady on his feet. Atnip admitted that he had been drinking beer. Bond for Atnip was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on March 18th.

21 year old Christopher Allen Summers of Dale Ridge Road Dowelltown was arrested on Sunday, March 7th after a deputy found him lying in a ditch on Dale Ridge Road. Summers had a smell of alcohol on his person. He was unsteady on his feet and he had slurred speech. When asked how much he had drunk, Summers replied "no more than normal." Summers was charged with public intoxication and bond for him was set at $1,000. He will appear in court on March 18th.

State Senator Mae Beavers Legislative Update

March 6, 2010
State Senator Mae Beavers

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Mae Beavers

Throughout my fifteen-year career as a Tennessee State Representative and Senator, I have prided myself on serving the people of Wilson, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale counties. I have fought to preserve both the national and state Constitutions, in addition to fighting for limited government and individual rights. Yet, in my years of service, there has been another area that I have always been passionate about: reducing drunk driving in Tennessee.

Driving on public roads paid for by the state or federal government is not a right afforded by the Constitution; driving on such roads is a privilege, and a privilege I have no problem with restricting if that privilege is not respected. When it comes to a drunk Tennessean choosing to drive a deadly vehicle on a public road, a road where your and my children and grandchildren are driving, my “mom” instincts come out.

During my years in the state legislature, I have filed numerous bills to help keep our public roads safe and to protect the thousands of lives that are lost or injured as a result of drunk driving every year. Upon first arriving to the State House in January 1995, I carried the bill that lowered the legal intoxication level while driving to .08 BAC. I carried that bill every year until the legislature eventually passed it in 1998, in large part because the federal government required it. In addition, I have tried unsuccessfully almost every year to get the legislature to adopt a “pass the bottle bill,” legislation that says that a driver cannot simply pass an alcoholic beverage to a passenger whenever he or she is pulled over. Tennessee is one of only eleven states in the country who allow passengers to consume alcohol in a moving vehicle, and out of those eleven states nine are among the most deadly when it comes to alcohol-related deaths. In fact, Tennessee has been ranked by Forbes magazine last year as the 11th most deadly in the nation.

I have never been able to understand why legislators will bow to the liquor lobby rather than protect law abiding Tennesseans, as one man woman or child is killed every thirty minutes in the United States. Think about that: one person is killed every thirty minutes in the United States due to an alcohol-related death. And if you think you or a family member is not at risk of such an incident, it is estimated that three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash at some point in their lives.

With these statistics in mind, I have filed a bill for the past three years that incorporates a device that statistics show can be the number one source of protection from drunk drivers: ignition interlock. An alcohol ignition interlock is a small and sophisticated device with a breathalyzer tube that is installed into a vehicle that prevents the vehicle from being started until the driver blows into it and has no alcohol in his or her system. Currently, ignition interlocks are required for repeat offenders, those drunk drivers who have statistically driven hundreds of times before they are ever caught. My bill, SB 2965, is currently being debated in the state legislature, and would require interlock devices to be installed for a year in cases of aggravated first offenders (those who blow a 0.15 BAC which is almost twice the legal limit), people driving with children in the car, or those involved in accidents caused by alcohol impairment.

A TBI study shows that among the 137,183 people arrested in Tennessee for DUI between 2002 and 2007, nearly 21 percent of those were eventually arrested a second time for DUI. Out of those repeat offenders, approximately 50 percent were arrested within a year after their first conviction. Such statistics point to the fact that an ignition interlock device installed during that year for those most serious first offenders will do the most to keep those people from reoffending, and allow an innocent life that otherwise might have been killed in an alcohol-related crash to live another day.

In closing, I urge you to call your State Representative and Senator and ask them to support this life-saving technology. Such technology has been implemented in various other states, and the statistics overwhelmingly indicate a reduction of repeat drunk driving incidents. I often complain about the federal and state government encroaching on individuals’ rights, but I do so when a personal or Constitutional freedom is being violated. Driving on public roads is not a right; it is a privilege – and adopting this legislation will help ensure such privileges are afforded to more Tennesseans who might otherwise be killed by drunk drivers.


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