Local News Articles

County Eyes City Industrial Park for Possible Site of Solid Waste Transfer Station

August 29, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster

The County is making plans to develop a solid waste transfer station and recycling center possibly within the next year which may be located in the Smithville Industrial Development Park on East Broad Street.

Nothing definite has yet been decided but the Smithville Industrial Development Board and possibly other city officials are expected to be consulted and asked to give approval for such a move.

County Mayor Mike Foster, during the county commission meeting Monday night, said preliminary plans have already been prepared. "We have a set of very early plans but we're continuing to do some work on them. We'll be getting with Jimmy (Mayor Poss), the aldermen, and the Industrial Development Board to talk more about that. All of you on the (county) commission know that we have been working toward this end probably for the last eight or nine years. We have accumulated and allowed to build a fund balance that will be able to build (fund) that (Transfer Station) and a Class III/IV cell and to close most of the (existing) Class I landfill where it is now when its full," said Foster.

Foster said the county could still maintain a class III/IV cell because it is not subject to as many environmental regulations as a Class I cell and it would be mainly for disposal of construction materials. "We plan to go to a Class III/IV cell which is non-household garbage, which could be for construction materials and that kind of thing in the area where we are now (existing landfill location). But we would have a transfer station for household garbage (possibly at Smithville Industrial Park)," he said.

Under a transfer station operation, household garbage would continue to be collected at local convenience centers across the county, then loaded onto trucks and brought to the transfer station, where the garbage would be separated from recyclables and then loaded onto semi trucks and transferred to a landfill site in another county. DeKalb would contract for the garbage to be hauled out of county and for the disposal of it at a certain price per ton. The recyclables would be baled and sold.

According to Foster, DeKalb County would have fewer environmental worries about solid waste and could enhance its recycling capaibilities if it had its own transfer station. "It would be brought in and loaded on a truck and carried to whoever gets the lowest bid for taking the garbage. Right now, it looks like it would be Smith County or down at Murfreesboro. We would avoid much of the environmental liability and in conjunction with that have a recycling center where we could really enhance our ability to transfer and recycle primarily cardboard paper and plastics," said Foster.

Convenience sites would still be required throughout the county and residents could continue to bring their household garbage there or directly to the transfer station.

September 2013 Is National Voter Registration Month in Tennessee

August 29, 2013
Dennis Stanley
Tre Hargett

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett joins the DeKalb County Election Commission in reminding citizens that September is National Voter Registration Month. Secretary Hargett is working with county election officials to make eligible voters aware of registration deadlines and requirements, as well as encouraging already registered voters to update their current registration if they have recently changed their address.

“It is important for individuals to register to vote, but it is equally important for voters to verify that their registrations are up to date,” added DeKalb County Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley. “If you have moved, now is a great time to update your address.”

In a concerted effort to remind eligible voters to register or update their voting information before deadlines pass, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has also declared September 24 as National Voter Registration Day. The goal is to encourage voter participation and increase awareness of state requirements and deadlines for voting.

“The right to vote should never be taken for granted,” said Secretary Hargett, who is also president of NASS. “I encourage all eligible U.S. citizens to register if they haven’t already.”

For more information on voter registration options and deadlines in Tennessee, as well as to check your current registration status, visit GoVoteTN.com.

Thirty Three Indicted in Special Called Session of Grand Jury

August 28, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

Thirty three persons have been named in sealed indictments handed down by a special called session of the DeKalb County Grand Jury and all but one were the result of a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff's Department into the illegal sale of narcotics and other crimes committed in DeKalb County.

Twenty six of those individuals have now been served with the indictments and arrested. They will appear in DeKalb County Criminal Court for arraignment on Monday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m.

The special session of the grand jury met on Monday, August 19 at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that while the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department led the investigation, the White County Sheriff's Department and Alexandria Police Departments assisted. " My drug detectives along with some of the deputies went out and did controlled drug buys. We also had some help from the White County Sheriff's Department. I contacted Sheriff Oddie Shoupe and he gave me a couple of his drug detectives to assist us in some of the cases. The Alexandra Police Department went with us on a couple of cases. I want to thank Sheriff Shoupe of White County and Chief Mark Collins of the Alexandria Police Department for helping us and working together to get rid of some drugs and get them off our streets," said Sheriff Ray.

Although meth has been on the rise again lately, Sheriff Ray said prescription pills still seems to be the drug of choice among dealers and users. " Even though my department has found meth labs and some other departments here in the county have been able to get meth labs, we're still seeing that the sale of prescription drugs is our number one drug problem. Dilaudid is still a very abused drug here in DeKalb County. It is a pain drug that we see being sold out on the street," said Sheriff Ray.

"Some of the drugs we bought during this controlled drug buy were Dilaudid, Crack Cocaine, Hydrocodone, Xanax, Methadone, Morphine, Roxycodone, Percocet, Mushrooms, and Suboxone. There were two Marijuana grows, a Meth lab, and we worked some burglaries and thefts. There were a total of thirty three individuals charged with various crimes. We charged one man with aggravated exploitation of a minor," said Sheriff Ray.

During this investigation, drug transactions were made at various locations across the county. "We bought drugs or made some kind of drug case in different places. Some of the drug buys were made at locations on Highway 70 east and Highway 70 west all the way to Alexandria. We did some in Alexandria, in Dowelltown, and here in Smithville on Highway 70 east and Sparta Highway. Some were done down Highway 56 south and Highway 56 north on Cookeville Highway. Also down the Short Mountain Highway," he said.

"I want to commend my department on a job well done, especially my drug detectives and the deputies that were able to do the undercover controlled drug buys. We have already started into our next phase to prepare for another one. You'll be hearing from it shortly. We still have a few persons to pick up (arrest from this investigation). We will be serving those indictments and announcing those as we get them," he said.

Meanwhile, if you know of a crime occurring in your community, Sheriff Ray urges you to contact him or call the crime tip line to report it. "My department and I are very committed to the investigation of the illegal sale of narcotics in our county. If you have any information on any crime including drug crimes or burglaries and thefts then we urge you to call our crime tip line which is 464-6400 to report it. You can be anonymous when you report it or you can call me here at the jail and we can talk about it. My number is 597-4935," he said.

"We just want to thank everyone who has called during this last drug round up that we had and also the investigations that we have been doing. We receive a whole lot of tips up here and I appreciate each and every one who calls and gives me some bit of drug information. I ask the citizens of our county to continue to do that. I want you to continue to be our eyes and ears in your communities. If you have any kind of problem like that we want to know about it. We'll try our best to work on it and see what we can get done," Sheriff Ray concluded.

Those indicted who have been served and arrested to date include:

45 year old Brett Allen Anderson of East Bryant Street- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid & Morphine) (2 counts); and Sale of an Illegal Drug in a Drug Free Zone (1 count). His bond is $80,000.

22 year old Joshua Lee Anderson of Short Mountain Highway- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (2 counts). His bond is $40,000.

28 year old Amanda Alice Atnip of Oakley Road, Dowelltown- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (1 count). Her bond is $20,000.

25 year old Brittany Danielle Barnes of Belk Road, Smithville-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Crack Cocaine & Dilaudid, (2 counts); Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug in a Drug Free Zone (2 counts). Her bond is $100,000.

20 year old Natalie Gail Barrett of Smith Road, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule I drug (Mushrooms) (1 count). Her bond is $50,000.

39 year old Gary Lane Hale of Morgan Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Morphine) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.

52 year old Kenny Ray Herman of West Main Street, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Methadone) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.

22 year old Brittany Leanna Mingle of Milligan Lane, Liberty-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule IV drug (Xanax) (2 counts); and Sale & Delivery of a Schedule IV drug in a Drug Free Zone (1 count). Her bond is $50,000.

32 year old Amanda May Hicks of Smith Road, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (2 counts). Her bond is $60,000.

31 year old Halton Wayne Hicks of Jennings Lane, Smithville-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.

51 year old Glenda Kay Lemons of Kendra Drive, Smithville-Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (1 count). Her bond is $20,000

36 year old Lisa Michelle Porterfield of Hendrixson Hollow Road, Dowelltown- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). Her bond is $30,000.

56 year old Billy Joe Rigsby of Morgan Drive, Smithville-- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). His bond is $30,000.

28 year old Michael Andrew Snyders of West Main Street, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) (1 count). His bond is $20,000.

44 year old Theresa Dianna Tittle of Vaughn Lane, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count). Her bond is $30,000.

48 year old Marla Adele Turner of Morgan Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (2 counts). Her bond is $60,000.

43 year old Comer Thomas Vance of Meadowbrook Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (1 count); Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug in a Drug Free Zone (1 count). His bond is $50,000.

40 year old Melisha Renee Martin of Morgan Drive, Smithville- Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug (Dilaudid) (2 counts); Sale & Delivery of a Schedule II drug in a Drug Free Zone (2 counts). Her bond is $100,000.

27 year old William Carl Fredrick of Earlie Bain Road, Dowelltown-Manufacture of a Schedule VI drug (Growing Marijuana). His bond is $10,000.

38 year old Stephen Jason Moore of Cookeville Highway, Smithville- Manufacture of a Schedule VI drug (Growing Marijuana). His bond is $20,000.

35 year old Jeremy Austin Scruggs of Highland Avenue, Smithville & 30 year old Brandon Jeromie Gurley of Foster Road, Smithville- Co-indicted on charges of Initiation of a Process to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Meth Lab). Bond for each is $50,000.

49 year old Tony Eugene Beasley of Cario Road, Gallatin-Aggravated Burglary & Theft of Property. His bond is $30,000.

21 year old Dakota James Stith of Dry Creek Road, Smithville- Aggravated Burglary & Theft of Property (4 counts). His bond is $120,000.

19 year old Clayton Daniel Gott of Blue Springs Road, Smithville- Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (3 counts). His bond is $30,000.

43 year old David Dwight Caperton of Fox Hill Road, Baxter- Domestic Assault. His bond is $5,000. This case against Caperton was presented to the Grand Jury by a private citizen and not the Sheriff's Department.

Liberty State Bank to Merge with Citizens Bank of LaFayette

August 27, 2013

The boards of directors of Citizens Bank of Lafayette and Liberty State Bank, which has three locations in DeKalb County, announced Tuesday they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the two banks.

Under the agreement, Liberty State Bank will be merged with and into Citizens Bank of Lafayette, with Citizens Bank of Lafayette to be the bank to survive the merger. Citizens Bank of Lafayette will continue to operate the current Liberty State Bank branches under the Liberty State Bank name.

According to a prepared news release sent to media outlets, The merger is expected to be completed prior to the end of 2013, and will offer both businesses and consumers in surrounding communities a broader array of locations for banking services. With its acquisition of Liberty State Bank, Citizens Bank of Lafayette’s total assets will exceed $630 million, and Citizens Bank of Lafayette will have 15 branches covering Macon, DeKalb, Wilson, Sumner, Clay, Jackson and Smith counties.

“For over 100 years, both Citizens Bank of Lafayette and Liberty State Bank have consistently served our communities for their financial needs,” said Pete Williston, chief executive of Citizens Bank of Lafayette. “While our holding company, Citizens Bancorp Investment, Inc., has owned a majority of Liberty’s stock since 1999, Citizens Bancorp Investment, Inc.’s acquisition of the remaining Liberty State Bank shares via the merger of the two banks will be beneficial to our customers, employees, and shareholders.”

The definitive agreement providing for the merger of the banks was unanimously approved by the board of directors of each of Citizens Bancorp Investment, Inc., Citizens Bank of Lafayette, and Liberty State Bank. The merger of the banks is subject to certain conditions, including the receipt of all required approvals from regulatory authorities and the approval of the definitive agreement by the shareholders of Liberty State Bank.

“We believe that this merger is in the best interests of all of our key constituents, including our employees, who will have additional opportunities for growth,” said Roy Pugh, president and CEO of Liberty State Bank. “I am pleased to say that, in addition to keeping the Liberty State Bank name, all of our employees will retain their jobs. This is significant to our employees and their families, and the communities that we serve.”

Another advantage to customers is that they will have 13 ATM locations to utilize throughout Middle Tennessee, along with access to more than 23,000 surcharge-free ATMs all over the country through the Money Pass network. After the merger, it is anticipated that doing business in a Liberty State Bank branch will be no different than doing business at a Citizens Bank of Lafayette branch, Smith County Bank branch or Bank of Celina branch.

“Both banks have a similar history and philosophy that will greatly benefit our customers, shareholders and employees,” Citizens Bank of Lafayette President Joe Carter said. “Citizens’ focus for over 100 years has been to serve the needs of our communities, our friends, and our neighbors. Liberty has had that same focus, and we intend to continue that tradition. Our directors, officers, and employees look forward to working with Liberty’s officers and employees to better serve the DeKalb and Wilson county communities.”

The combined bank will continue to be headquartered in Lafayette, the site of the current headquarters of Citizens Bank of Lafayette. Liberty State Bank will retain its presence in DeKalb and Wilson counties, with five banking locations serving Alexandria, Lebanon, Liberty and Smithville.

“We’re helped by the fact that both banks have been operating under similar organizational structures and business models, and there is tremendous talent in both organizations,” Williston said. “In addition to the strategic benefits of combining two highly complementary banks, we can create substantial shareholder value through significant cost improvements and access to new growth opportunities.”

Citizens Bank of Lafayette is a state-chartered banking corporation with about $474 million in assets headquartered in Lafayette. It operates 10 banking locations as Citizens Bank in Lafayette, Westmoreland, Red Boiling Springs, Hermitage Springs and Gainesboro; as Bank of Celina in Celina; and as Smith County Bank in Carthage. Citizens Bank of Lafayette is owned by Citizens Bancorp Investment, Inc., a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette.

Smithville Police Charge Store Clerk with Sale of Beer to Minor

August 27, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Danielle Owens
On the Way Convenience Market

Acting on numerous public complaints of possible illegal beer sales to minors, the Smithville Police Department conducted an investigation Monday targeting all eleven stores in the city licensed to sell beer for consumption off the premises.

Only one arrest was made. 19 year old Danielle Owens, a store clerk at On The Way market on South Congress Boulevard is charged with the misdemeanor offense of selling alcohol to a minor. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on September 12.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Tuesday that the investigation was conducted by Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell. A 20 year old officer from another county, in plain clothes, attempted to make a beer purchase from each store.

The officer made an attempt to purchase beer from the following businesses in this order: Kwik-N-Ezy, Village Market, East Side Citgo, On the Way, Jewel's Market, Food Lion, Dollar General Store, El Mariachi, Walmart, BP, and Mapco.

In all but one case, the store clerks refused to make the beer sales to the undercover officer after checking his ID and using an age chart to verify his age. He was denied the sale and told he was too young to buy beer.

The exception was with Owens at On the Way market. "Upon stopping at On the Way, the undercover person advised that the clerk checked his ID and then accepted his ten dollar bill and made the transaction for the alcohol, giving him $3.65 in change," said Lieutenant Holmes. "A short time later the suspect (store clerk) was identified as 19 year old Danielle Owens. Warrants were taken and she was located at her home at 520 Miller Road. Owens was arrested and charged with selling alcohol to a minor," added Lieutenant Holmes.

Police made contact with the store owner and the ten dollar bill used to purchase the alcohol was found in the cash register. Identification of the bill was confirmed by checking the serial numbers.

Lieutenant Holmes commended the store clerks who followed the law and did what they were supposed to do.

The store's beer permit holder could also be subject to a suspension or revocation of the license by the city beer board because of this incident. The city's beer ordinance states that "It shall be unlawful for any beer permit holder to make or allow any sale of beer to a minor under twenty one years of age."

The beer ordinance further provides that "Under the finding of any violation of the beer permit holder, the punishment for the first offense shall be a minimum suspension of the beer permit for a period of 90 days. Upon any permit holder committing a violation a second time, the punishment shall be the revocation of the beer license."

Local Woodmen of the World Makes Donation Toward Purchase of Stage Curtain

August 27, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Wanda Poss, Mike Foster, Regina Wilhite

The county has received a $500 donation from the local Woodmen of the World Family Fraternity which will go toward the purchase of a curtain for the stage in the county complex auditorium.

Regina Wilhite, Field Representative for Woodmen of the World and local chapter President Wanda Poss presented the check to County Mayor Mike Foster during Monday night's county commission meeting.

"On behalf of our membership in DeKalb County, we want to say thank you to the county for always supporting us when we are doing fraternal work here in the county and for keeping us abreast of anywhere a new flag is needed so that we can keep Old Glory flying here in this county very proudly," said Wilhite.

"We are here to give you a donation toward the curtains at the new community center. On behalf of our membership Ms. Wanda Poss has a check for $500. Thank you for what you do and thank you for allowing us to be a part of the county," Wilhite said.

County Mayor Foster said with donations like this and the recent Aloha 40 fundraiser, featuring the Stamps Quartet, the county has raised more than half the money needed to purchase the stage curtain. This brings our total past $14,000. Of course we've got to pay expenses out of that. The curtains are $12,800 and it looks like after all the expenses with paying the Stamps Quartet and all the things we did, it looks like we're probably going to be at about $6,600 (in funds raised) to go toward those curtains," said Foster.

Meanwhile, a special Woodmen of the World observance is planned for September 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the city fire hall in Smithville.

"I will ask you to put on your calendars now on September 9 that we will be having our "In Honor and Remembrance" program. We have a special presentation we're going to be doing at the city fire hall at 6:00 p.m. It will be our annual presentation to honor the police, fire, rescue and everyone in this community who gives of their time in that special way. Its our time to say thank you to them," concluded Wilhite.

Man Allegedly Breaks Into Residence and Makes Himself at Home

August 27, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lonnie Ray Dyer
Edward Joseph Guerin, Jr
Nena Renea Chapman
Rhonda Joy Goff
Jason Dwayne Johnson
Torsten Michael Jakob
Vicente Roblero
Steven Blake Goad
Nathaniel Dylan Tippens

A DeKalb County man was arrested last week after allegedly breaking into a residence on Short Mountain Highway and making himself at home, enjoying a meal and drinks.

53 year old Lonnie Ray Dyer of Patterson Road is charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property under $500. His bond is $6,000 and he will be in court on September 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Saturday, August 24 a deputy was dispatched to a reported burglary on Short Mountain Highway. Upon arrival, the officer found that the garage door to the residence had been broken into. Dyer was also found inside the home eating food. According to Sheriff Ray, Dyer admitted to breaking into the residence and consuming the homeowner's food and wine. The estimated value of the food and drink was $70. He had been staying there a few days. Dyer was placed under arrest and brought to the jail for booking.

67 year old Edward Joseph Guerin, Jr. of Silver Point is charged with public intoxication and possession of a handgun while under the influence. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on August 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, August 21 a deputy stopped to do a welfare check of Guerin after spotting him walking on Wolf Creek Road. Guerin had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Guerin admitted to the officer that he had been drinking alcohol. Upon a pat down search, a 45 caliber handgun was found in his right front pocket. According to Sheriff Ray, Guerin had threatened to kill his wife and burn the house earlier that day. Guerin was close to the residence at the time of his arrest. He was brought to the jail for booking.

29 year old Megan Ann Tramel of Midway Road, Smithville was issued a citation for driving on a suspended license on Wednesday, August 21. She will be in court on August 28. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy saw Tramel operating a motor vehicle on Midway Road. Having prior knowledge that her license were suspended, the officer stopped Tramel. A computer check confirmed that her license were suspended in Putnam County.

32 year old Nena Renea Chapman of Church Street, Liberty is charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. Her bond is $3,000 and she will be in court on September 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, August 21 the sheriff's department received a call that a person was knocking on doors at Eckles Heights in Liberty. An officer responded and made contact with the suspect, Chapman who appeared to be intoxicated and very disoriented. According to Sheriff Ray, Chapman's movements were very rapid and she had difficulty understanding the officer's commands. Upon being placed under arrest, Chapman began struggling with the officer. She had to be placed on the hood of the patrol car in order to be handcuffed.

36 year old Eddie Woodrow Young of McMinnville is cited for simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He will be in court on August 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, August 23 a deputy was dispatched to Blue Springs Road to check on a reported suspicious person walking down the road. The officer made contact with the man, Young. Upon searching Young, the deputy found a bag of methamphetamine and two empty bags inside his wallet. Young admitted to the officer that the substance was meth.

29 year old Rhonda Joy Goff of Students Home Road, Smithville is charged with assault and vandalism under $500. Her bond is $3,000 and she will be in court on August 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 24 Goff, who is an inmate at the county jail, assaulted another female inmate by punching her around the head several times with her fist. A sink was broken during the fight causing less than $500 in damage. The victim in the fight also suffered a cut on her back from the broken sink.

35 year old Jason Dwayne Johnson of Game Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on September 12. Johnson was also issued citations for a violation of the Roadways Lane for Traffic and for violation of the implied consent law. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 24 Johnson was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 when he was stopped by a deputy for failure to maintain his lane of travel. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Johnson performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and refused to submit to a blood test. When his driver's license were checked, it showed he had a carry permit. The deputy asked Johnson about the gun and he replied that the weapon was in the center console. The officer checked the console and found a fully loaded 380 handgun. Johnson was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

48 year old Torsten Michael Jakob of Highland Avenue, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for having a brake light out. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on September 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 24 a deputy received a call of a possible drunk driver in a red Chevy Blazer on Highway 70 east. The officer came upon the SUV and noticed it was swerving in the road and had a brake light out. The deputy pulled over the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Jakob. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Jakob submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test. Jakob was subsequently brought to the jail for booking.

45 year old Vicente Roblero of Vaughn Lane, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court September 12. He was also issued citations for violation of the implied consent law, accidents resulting in damage to a vehicle, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and no drivers license. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, August 24 an officer was dispatched to a wreck on Vaughn Lane. Roblero, the apparent operator of a white Chevy Blazer, had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. He submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. The keys to the vehicle were found in his pocket during a search of his person. He was placed under arrest and taken to the jail for booking.

41 year old Steven Blake Goad of Liberty is charged with a fourth offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on September 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 25 a deputy was dispatched to Liberty to investigate a report of a truck backed into a ditch. The driver was reportedly passed out at the wheel. Upon arrival, the officer found Goad sitting behind the steering wheel. He was passed out. The deputy woke him and asked for his driver's license. Goad passed out again while trying to get his license. The officer woke Goad a second time and began talking to him. He detected a strong odor of alcohol on Goad's person and his speech was slurred. Goad submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test. Goad was subsequently taken to the jail for booking.

21 year old Nathaniel Dylan Tippens of Redmon Road, Smithville is charged with evading arrest. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on August 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 25 a deputy had an active arrest warrant on Tippens. The officer stopped his vehicle to serve the warrant on Highland Drive but Tippens began to run. The deputy caught up with him at a residence on Tommy Harrell Street. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Hoyte Barrett and Taft Hendrixson Appointed Newest Judicial Commissioners

August 26, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hoyte Barrett
Taft Hendrixson

Hoyte Barrett and Taft Hendrixson will join Jerry Taylor as a part time judicial or warrant commissioner for the county.

The county commissioners Monday night during their regular meeting voted to fill a vacant judicial commissioner post and to create another one.

The county has been operating for several years with just two judicial commissioners. Taylor holds one of the positions. Tammy Ashburn held the other but she recently resigned. Rod Higham fills in as an assistant judicial commissioner on a part time basis as needed and he will continue to do so.

Currently, each of the two judicial commissioners is expected to work for two weeks as needed and then officially be off for two weeks, However, even when they are off, the judicial commissioners are subject to being called in. The positions pay $884 per month.

Judicial Commissioners are responsible for the issuance of criminal arrest warrants upon finding probable cause. They are subject to call at all hours of the day and night.

During Thursday night's "All-Committees" meeting, County Mayor Mike Foster said he wanted to create a third judicial commissioner position. "What I'm thinking is, we could have three on call. Rotate weekly. Each judicial commissioner could work a week and be off two weeks but still be on call in case one of the others got sick," he said.

Since funds are not already budgeted for a third judicial commissioner, Foster said the county commission would have to adopt a budget amendment to pay for it. That action is expected to come during the September meeting.

Barrett and Hendrixson were among six applicants for the two new positions. The others were Mark Adams, Oscar Boyd, McClure Cantrell, and Richard Jennings. All were interviewed by members of the county commission Thursday night.

It took three roll call votes Monday night to fill the first available judicial commissioner position. Seven votes were needed to get the appointment.

On the first ballot, Barrett received five votes to four votes for Hendrixson. Mark Adams received two votes and Oscar Boyd got one vote.

Those voting for Barrett were Mason Carter, Jerry Scott, Jeff Barnes, Marshall Ferrell, and Jimmy Poss.

Bobby Joines, Jack Barton, Wayne Cantrell, and Larry Summers voted for Hendrixson.

Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Jerry Adcock voted for Adams and Bradley Hendrix cast his vote for Boyd.

The names of Richard Jennings, McClure Cantrell, and Oscar Boyd were dropped from consideration on the second ballot since they received little or no support on the first ballot.

During the second vote, Barrett received six votes, Hendrixson had four, and Adams got two votes.

This time Barrett got votes from Mason Carter, Jerry Scott, Jeff Barnes, Marshall Ferrell, Jimmy Poss, and Bradley Hendrix.

Bobby Joines, Jack Barton, Wayne Cantrell, and Larry Summers stuck with Hendrixson while Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Jerry Adcock stayed with Adams.

On the third ballot, Adams' name was dropped leaving only the names of Barrett and Hendrixson.

During the third vote, Barrett got the seven votes he needed to secure the appointment.

Barrett received the support of Mason Carter, Elmer Ellis, Jr., Jerry Scott, Bradley Hendrix, Jerry Adcock, Jeff Barnes, and Marshall Ferrell.

Hendrixson received the support of Bobby Joines, Jack Barton, and Wayne Cantrell. Jimmy Poss and Larry Summers did not cast a vote on the third ballot. Voting ceased when Barrett reached the magic number of seven votes

Only one roll call vote was needed to fill the second available judicial commissioner position as Taft Hendrixson received the seven votes required for the appointment.

McClure Cantrell got four votes and Oscar Boyd had one vote for the second available judicial commissioner position.

Those voting for Hendrixson were Marshall Ferrell, Jerry Adcock, Wayne Cantrell, Jerry Scott, Bobby Joines, Elmer Ellis, Jr., and Mason Carter.

Cantrell received the support of Jimmy Poss, Larry Summers, Jeff Barnes, and Jack Barton.

Bradley Hendrix voted for Boyd.

County Mayor Foster said both Barrett and Hendrixson will be sworn in around the first of the month and will need to get some training.

Judicial commissioners serve for a year at a time at the pleasure of the county commission and will be up for reappointment next September.

Rick Cantrell Appointed to Fill Unexpired Term on County Commission

August 26, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster Welcomes Rick Cantrell to County Commission
County Mayor Presents Plaque for Former County Commissioner John Green

The county commissioners Monday night during their regular monthly meeting selected Rick Cantrell to fill the unexpired term of John Green as a member in the fifth district.

Seven votes were needed to get the appointment. Cantrell received eight votes.

County Commissioners voting for Cantrell were Jimmy Poss, Larry Summers, Marshall Ferrell, Wayne Cantrell, Bradley Hendrix, Bobby Joines, Elmer Ellis, Jr., and Mason Carter.

Cantrell was among four applicants for the position. The others were Steven Cantrell, Eugene LaFever, and James Young. All were interviewed by the county commission during an All-Committees meeting Thursday night at the courthouse.

Two members of the commission, Jeff Barnes and Jerry Adcock voted for James Young Monday night.

Commissioners Jerry Scott and Jack Barton voted for Eugene LaFever.

Cantrell, born and raised in the fifth district, has served on the DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission since 1995. "I have lived in DeKalb County all my life. I went to school here. I have worked for BFN Operations for thirty eight years, formerly Knowles & Sons Nursery. It's in the fifth district. I am one of the managers there," said Cantrell during his interview Thursday night.

"One thing I'd like to throw out there is that I have no vendetta. I am just here to work with you all for the whole county," continued Cantrell during the interview. "I have no personal gains or reasons whatsoever involved here. If I feel like I am correct (on an issue) and it's the right thing to do, that's the way I'll vote," he said

When asked if he would run for the office in the next election during the interview, Cantrell replied "That's a possibility. If the people of the 5th district ask me to, I would. I will address that when the time comes," he said.

County Mayor Mike Foster announced Monday night that Cantrell will be sworn into office September 1. Green's term expires August 31, 2014.

Green resigned from the county commission in April announcing that he had moved his residence to White County. He had served on the county commission for eleven years, having first been elected in 2002. He was then re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

At the beginning of Monday night's meeting, County Mayor Foster recognized Green and on behalf of the county commission, presented him a plaque for his years of service to his district and the county.

Knox Arrested After Leading Deputy on Slow Speed Pursuit

August 26, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Robert Edward Knox

A 41 year old man who led a sheriff's deputy on a slow speed pursuit on Short Mountain Highway before going off the road in a ditch on Sunday, August 18 has been arrested for a third offense of driving under the influence.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said Robert Edward Knox of Foster Road, Smithville is also charged with reckless endangerment, felony evading arrest, and resisting arrest. His bond is $19,000. He was further issued citations for violation of the implied consent law, failure to maintain his lane of travel, Violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and no registration on his vehicle.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy saw Knox driving on Highway 146 (Short Mountain Highway) and he appeared to be impaired. The officer turned on his emergency equipment and initiated a slow speed pursuit to get Knox to stop but he refused to pull over.

According to the deputy, Knox left the road several times, running up onto the sidewalk and then coming back onto the highway toward on-coming traffic almost forcing other vehicles off the road.

The pursuit continued for about four miles until Knox ran over a spike strip which had been put down on the highway by a Trooper of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. After some of his tires were flattened by the spike strip, Knox's vehicle ran into a ditch and stopped.

After refusing to get out of the vehicle, Knox had to be forcibly removed.

The deputy noticed that Knox's eyes were bloodshot and glossy. He was very incoherent and a white foam was coming from his mouth. Due to his level of intoxication, Knox was not able to perform field sobriety tasks and he could not understand the terms of the implied consent law. Because it was his third DUI offense, a search warrant was executed to obtain a blood draw.

DeKalb EMS took Knox to the hospital for medical treatment and he was arrested the following day on Monday, August 19.

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