The Evins Foundation, in association with the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, is developing a natural park on the vacant lot behind city hall and across from the Smithville Post Office downtown.
The foundation is working with William Kooienga and OBP artists to create the park.
Kooienga told WJLE Thursday that the park is a dream come true for the daughters of the late Congressman Joe L. Evins, Jane Evins Leonard, Mary Evins Overton, and Joanna Evins Carnahan, members of the foundation. "Joe L. Evins left that lot, which was part of his homestead, to the foundation more than twenty years ago on which to build a park. They have been trying to get a park there for many years. Different groups have tried to help and city officials were consulted about it several times."
The Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole has sent letters to sex offenders it supervises, advising them that they are prohibited from participating in Halloween activities. Board Executive Director Bo Irvin said, “Protecting the safety and welfare of the public, especially children, is our primary goal. We put these restrictions in writing so there can be no misunderstanding about what is and is not an appropriate activity for a sex offender under our supervision.”
The letters advise sex offenders that:
Neither they, nor anyone in their home can answer the door to trick or treaters on Halloween;
They cannot pass out candy;
Their homes cannot be decorated for Halloween, either inside or outside;
They cannot host Halloween parties at their homes;
They cannot go to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides or any other seasonal activity;
They cannot be at any function where children are gathered, including private residences;
Two of the four prisoners who escaped from the DeKalb County Jail early Wednesday morning are now back in custody.
Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE early Thursday morning that 21 year old Brandon Bias of High Street, Alexandria was arrested Wednesday at a residence on Allen Bend Road, Smithville. Four others have been charged with aiding and abetting Bias by helping him hide from authorities.
30 year old Ernest Hill was picked up at a residence Wednesday evening on Chumbly Hollow Road in Watertown where he is from.
The other two prisoners, 19 year old Jeffrey Hendrix of East 10th Street, Cookeville and 34 year old Larry George of Georgia Street, Romulus, Michigan are still at large.
According to Sheriff Ray, these four men escaped from the DeKalb County Jail Annex between 2:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Wednesday by going through a skylight.
Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson is concerned about the falling level of Center Hill Lake, due to the drought, and how that could affect the city's water supply.
During Monday night's council meeting, Hendrixson told the aldermen that if the lake level continues to fall, the city may need to purchase and install a portable pump to help support the water supply intake at the lake. "As you know, we are in an extreme drought. We've had very little rain in the last year. Center Hill Dam is leaking. They're (Corps of Engineers) going to spend $240-million dollars to repair the dam and one of the hillsides before you get to the dam, that the water is going through. They're pulling the lake down drastically. They've been operating what they call the sluice gates under the dam, 24 hours a day. They have now stopped that (24 hours) and are now doing it seven hours a day. There is no water going into Center Hill Lake from any run off anywhere because there is no rain."
State Senator Mae Beavers (R – Mt. Juliet) announced that during fiscal year 2007-2008 DeKalb County will receive approximately $30.6 million of state appropriations. Also, DeKalb County will receive a portion of the $9.5 billion of federal funds included in Tennessee's $27.8 billion budget as adopted by the 105th General Assembly.
Senator Beavers listed budgeted state appropriations benefiting DeKalb County in the following general categories: $12.3 million for education (kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education); $2.6 million in state shared tax collections; $10.4 million for health and social services; $2.1 million for justice and public safety; $1.2 million for recreation and resources development; and $1.1 million for state highway projects. The remaining $540,230 is for miscellaneous items.
The Smithville Board of Aldermen Monday night voted 3 to 2 to award a bid on the installation of an irrigation system for the fairways at the Smithville Golf Course to Oasis Irrigation for $213,716, the lowest of the four bids submitted.
Aldermen Tonya Sullivan, Willie Thomas, and Jerry Hutchins' Sr. voted in favor but Aldermen Cecil Burger and Steve White voted against it.
Burger says "I'm not against golf. It's necessary for the community, but are we going to do something for the rest of the community for recreation? Are we going to spend that much money for our people that don't play golf? We've got people all over the city and county that begs for recreation of other kinds."
Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, announces that due to the extreme drought situation that has been ongoing since January 1, 2007, DeKalb County FSA has been authorized to implement the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). Green stresses, "although we have been authorized to accept applications for cost-share assistance, there is no guarantee that funding will become available. However, if you would like to be considered for cost-share approval, you should immediately complete an application for ECP cost-share assistance in hopes of anticipated program funding.
Laura England of Smithville recently participated in the “white coat” ceremony and pledged her commitment to the profession of optometry during the 22nd annual convocation ceremony held at Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in Memphis.
First-year students received their first “white coat” and recited the optometric oath signifying their entrance into the profession of optometry.
A first-year student at SCO, Laura England earned her undergraduate degree from Tennessee Tech. In biochemistry and graduated from DeKalb County High School in 2003. She is the daughter of Brian and Janet England.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2007, Southern College of Optometry was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 1932. SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with a mission to educate men and women in the art and science of optometry.
For student safety reasons, DeKalb County Schools will be closed Tuesday, February 5th for the DeKalb County Democratic Primary and the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary.
The Board of Education Thursday night voted to close schools that day since the election commission normally uses DeKalb Middle School and Smithville Elementary School as polling places.
Students, who were scheduled to be out of school on May 9th, will now attend that day. Teachers, who were scheduled to attend school for a professional development/instruction day on May 9th, will now attend February 5th
Officials say when school is open on election day, it compromises the safety of the children. The activity in the polling place could allow a non-custodial parent access to a child or allow child predators to roam the halls, and could even be the way for a violent act to be committed against the children and staff.
A DeKalb County man has been indicted on Federal gun charges.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says 33 year old Troy Perkins of Mountain View Drive ,Smithville was indicted on October 3rd for being a convicted felon in possession of a fire arm.
The indictment states that "On or about April 19th, 2007, in the Middle District of Tennessee, Troy Perkins, having previously been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce, a firearm, to wit, a : Mossberg model 500A 12 gauge shotgun, Marlin model 60 .22 caliber rifle, Marlin model Glenfield 60 .22 caliber rifle, Winchester model 1200 12 gauge shotgun, Marlin model 336 30-30 caliber rifle, Stevens model 110 30-06 caliber rifle, Taurus model PT92 .9 mm pistol, Smith and Wesson model 66 .357 caliber revolver, Smith and Wesson model 40ve .40 caliber pistol. In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g) (1) and 924.