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Legislative Update from State Senator Mae Beavers

February 19, 2010
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Mae Beavers

Bills concerning healthcare, the economy and taxes were among the major pieces of legislation that advanced in the State Senate this week. In addition, budget hearings occurred in all of the Senate Committees, as budget reductions and economic proposals continue to be debated.

Tennessee Senate approves Health Freedom Act to protect rights of citizens to choose whether or not to participate in any future federally mandated health care program

The Tennessee Senate approved legislation this week by a vote of 26-1-5 to protect the freedom of Tennessee patients to make their own health care choices, regardless of any future federal action. The bill, called the Tennessee Health Freedom Act is sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers.

“Never in our history has the U.S. government required its citizens, as a condition of residency, to purchase a particular product from a private company or government entity,” said Senator Beavers. “This act seeks to protect the rights of Tennesseans to choose what type and quantity of health insurance to purchase.”

Beavers said the legislation, Senate Bill 3498, would protect a citizen’s right to participate, or not participate, in any healthcare system, and would prohibit the federal government from imposing fines or penalties on that person’s decision. She said it does not seek to “nullify” any federal law, as it would still allow individuals the option to participate in a federal program. However, the bill acknowledges the right of Tennesseans to refuse to participate in a government-run health insurance program. It also calls on the state’s Attorney General to take action in the defense or prosecution of rights protected under the legislation.

“The mandate to buy health insurance does not regulate the health care insurance markets – it regulates the doing of nothing,” added Beavers. “If Congress really had the power to regulate such an activity, there would be no limits to its power. They could mandate the purchase of anything, yet the Supreme Court recently made it clear it will strike down federal statutes based on such an unlimited assertion of power. It is not inconceivable if they can do this, they could mandate that each of us buy a Chevrolet every year so we can help pay off the loans that were made to that industry.”

Action on the bill will now move to the House of Representatives, where it is sponsored by Representative Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R- Lancaster).

Constitutional amendment prohibiting income tax and payroll tax advances

A resolution advanced through the Senate Judiciary Committee this week calling for a constitutional amendment to clarify prohibition of an income tax and a payroll tax in Tennessee. The amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 763, specifies that the legislature shall be prohibited from passing either an income tax or a payroll tax, which is a tax on employers that is measured by the wages they pay their workers.

There have been several cases before the Tennessee Supreme Court throughout the state’s history that have upheld that the income tax is unconstitutional. The most recent case was decided in 1964, and this case has never been overturned. However, elected officials in Tennessee have proposed both an income tax and a payroll tax in recent years.

“We must ensure that Tennessee remains a state where businesses and people want to locate,” said resolution co-sponsor Mae Beavers. “I worked hard in the 1990s and 2000s to make sure an income tax was defeated in the legislature, and this amendment hopes to put this issue to rest once and for all.”

Issues in Brief

Music and Pornography File Sharing – The Senate approved legislation this week co-sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers aimed at preventing child pornography by adding that any unauthorized “covered file-sharing program” to the list of unfair or deceptive acts under Tennessee’s Consumer Protection Act. The practice, also known as Peer to Peer File Sharing (P2P) can be used for legitimate purposes, but is predominately used to illegally copy millions of copyrighted works and has served as a massive distribution system for pornography, including child pornography.

Last year, Congress passed legislation to require P2P programs to provide consumers with notice as to which of their files will be shared publicly and requiring the user to activate the function that would share their files. However, it is the state’s responsibility to protect its consumers. This legislation, Senate Bill 3407, amends Tennessee’s deceptive trade practices law so that the state will have the authority to take action to inform and protect citizens. It would also alert the developers and distributors of file sharing programs that if they want to do business in Tennessee, consumers must be informed first.

Second Amendment Rights – The full Senate has approved a bill that allows individuals to transport an unloaded rifle or shotgun in a privately-owned motor vehicle. The bill, Senate Bill 2390, would apply as long as the rifle or shotgun does not have ammunition in the chamber or cylinder, and no clip or magazine containing ammunition is inserted in the rifle or shotgun or is in close proximity to the weapon. Currently, it is illegal to carry your weapon in your vehicle even without ammunition in the chamber, a law many hunters are not aware of.

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

February 19, 2010
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

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

Hello Folks of the Fortieth! We are in full swing. All thirteen House Committees and twenty- four subcommittees are meeting on a regular basis. Budget Hearings are still in progress for the next few weeks, giving us a better snapshot of the state’s financial situation.

Economic Efficiency Legislation moved out of sub-committee this week. House Bill 3007 encourages departments to implement ways to reduce costs. As a legislator I cannot be afraid to do things differently. Words like consolidate, merge, reduce, and change should be embraced more by government and not feared. We must honestly evaluate the areas that are important and not mess with focusing resources on areas that are inconsequential. Last week in Education Committee I voted on a bill that would have eliminated unnecessary study committees. We need more legislation like HB2535 that removes excessive costs and limits government.

As a main co-sponsor of the Interlock Bill HB2768 I am excited to report that this bill is moving through Judiciary Committee next week. This is legislation that will literally save lives. DUI repeat offenders will be required to have this device installed on their vehicle. In addition, repeat DUI offenders will have portions of their fines sown back into our Critical Access Hospitals and Law Enforcement Departments who treat and see first hand the horrific results of DUI. This law is a step in the right direction.

Just to remind you, most bills that increase fiscal expenditure will not pass this session. As I continue our work, and despite a critical financial climate, this session has kept me focused on the infrastructure needs of my district. In particular, I am concerned with advancing vital projects such as: improving our bridges, roads, and completing our connection to high speed internet. These instrumental projects will ultimately go a long way to improving our job outlook. I am committed to this process and staying the course.

As I address serious issues concerning budget decisions, I am reminded of an old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. What we are experiencing today has been in the making for a long time, through growth of government and wasteful spending. However, in order to bring a true recovery we must make cuts and shrink spending, support legislation that limits government, and allow the economy to heal so job growth can get back on its feet again and, thus, consumer confidence can be restored. Although, the tunnel is longer than we would like, there is light at the end of this tunnel.

The Week Ahead
We have, for several years, filed and supported legislation that would require any member of the Tennessee General Assembly convicted of a felony to forfeit their state health insurance benefits. House Bill 2349 was approved by the State Government Subcommittee this week, and has been placed on the agenda in the House State and Local Government Committee for next week. The bill would require any member of the legislature to forfeit state health insurance benefits provided the conviction was in relation to their elected office, and would not apply retroactively or to family members who might be covered.

Also, next week there will be bills that focus on new legislation pertaining to illegal immigration. House Bill 0262 requires that all written examinations for driver license or intermediate driver license be in English. House Bill 0791 expands the offense of identity theft to include when someone knowingly obtains, possesses, buys, or uses the personal identifying information of another, including any dead or fictitious person, to obtain or attempt to obtain employment. House Bill 2744 creates a misdemeanor offense of possessing an open container of alcohol within the passenger area of a vehicle on a public highway. House Bill 2685 authorizes employers to require English be spoken in the workplace if necessary to conduct the employer’s business. All in all, it appears to be a productive week.

In closing, I would like to add that it is always a pleasure to see constituents from the district, whether it is to voice concern over legislation or visit the capitol and see where state law happens. Please, do not hesitate to call my office. It is truly an honor to serve you, The Great Folks of the Fortieth!

DeKalb Democratic Primary to Feature Three Contested Races for County Wide Offices

February 18, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Clerk Mike Clayborn
County Clerk Candidate Glynn Merriman
County Clerk Candidate Chris Smithson
County Mayor Mike Foster
County Mayor Candidate Robert (Bob) Snyder
Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen
Register of Deeds Candidate Clarence Trapp

The May 4th DeKalb County Democratic Primary will feature three contested races for county wide public offices, county clerk, county mayor, and register of deeds, and three contested races for the county commission in the third, fourth, and fifth districts. All other candidates will be unopposed.

Today (Thursday) at noon was the qualifying deadline for Democrats running in May and for Republicans and Independents running in the August 5th DeKalb County General Election.

County Clerk Mike Clayborn will be seeking his third term. His opponents in the Democratic Primary are Glynn Merriman and Chris Smithson. The winner will be unopposed in August.

County Mayor Mike Foster will also be seeking his third term, facing a challenge from Robert (Bob) Snyder in the Democratic Primary. The winner will be unopposed in August

Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, seeking his seventh term, will face Clarence Trapp in the Democratic Primary. The winner will be unopposed in August.

Road Supervisor candidate Jimmy Sprague will be unopposed in the Democratic Primary but he will take on the Republican incumbent Kenny Edge in the August General election. Edge will be seeking his sixth term.

Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, seeking her third term, will be unopposed in the Democratic Primary and the August General Election.

There will be no democratic candidates for Sheriff and Trustee this year. Both Republican Sheriff Patrick Ray and Republican Trustee Sean Driver, running for their second terms, will be unopposed in August.

Circuit Court Judge Amy Hollars will be unopposed in both May and August in her bid for election to finish her father, Judge John Turnbull's unexpired term. Hollars was appointed by Governor Bredesen in October, 2008 after her father submitted a notice of physical disability. Judge Turnbull, who held the position since 1989, officially left the bench on June 15th, 2009. He was last elected in 2006 and his term expires in 2014.

District Attorney General Randy York will also be unopposed in both May and August as he seeks election to fill the unexpired term of Bill Gibson, who resigned in July, 2008. York was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen in September, 2008 to fill the vacancy until the election. Gibson's term expires in 2014.

The three contested races for the county commission in the May Democratic Primary are in the third, fourth, and fifth districts.

In the third district, Democratic Incumbent Jerry Scott, seeking a fifth term, is up for re-election. Other democrats in the race are Roy Merriman, who served on the commission for one term from 2002 to 2006, and Bradley Hendrix. Two can be nominated. The winners will be unopposed in August.

In the fourth district, Democratic Incumbent Wayne Cantrell will be seeking re-election to a fifth term. Other democratic candidates are Ronald H. Rogers, David L. McDowell, and Jesse Baker. Mr. Baker served on the commission from 2002 to 2006. Two can be nominated. The winners will be unopposed in August.

In the fifth district, Democratic Incumbent John D. Green is seeking re-election to a third term. Other democrats running are Johnny Ringo Colwell, Randy Braswell, and Bobby R. Taylor. Two can be nominated. The winners will face opposition from Republican Jerry Adcock and Independent Lloyd Emmons in the August General Election. Two will be elected in August.

In the seventh district, Democratic Incumbent Larry Summers is running for re-election. Jimmy W. Poss is also a democratic candidate. Two can be nominated. Summers served three terms on the commission from 1978 to 1990 and another three terms since 1998. Poss served on the commission for three terms from 1994 to 2006. They will face opposition from Independent Richard (Dick) Kinsey in the August General Election. Two will be elected in August.

First District Democratic Incumbent Elmer Ellis, Jr. will be unopposed in May. Then in August, both he and Republican Incumbent Mason Carter will be unopposed for re-election, since two can be elected. Both Ellis and Carter are seeking their second terms.

Second District Democratic Incumbent Jack E. Barton, III, seeking a second term, will be unopposed in May. In August, both he and Republican Incumbent Bobby Joines will be unopposed for re-election, since two can be elected. Joines is running for his third term.

In the Sixth District, Democratic Incumbents Jeff Barnes and Marshall Ferrell will be unopposed in both the May Primary and the August General Election. Both Barnes and Ferrell are seeking their third terms on the commission.

Administrator of elections Dennis Stanley reminds all candidates they must file a campaign treasurer form or a campaign financial exemption with the local election commission office as soon as possible. This includes candidates in the upcoming Democratic Primary and Republican and Independent candidates running in the August general election.

DCHS Teams to Make District Tourney Debut Thursday Night

February 17, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County High School Basketball teams made their debut in the District 8-AA Tournament Thursday night at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.

The fifth seeded Lady Tigers defeated the fourth seeded York Institute Lady Dragons 73 to 68 but the fourth seeded Tigers lost to the fifth seeded Cannon County Lions 73 to 63.

Meanwhile, DeKalb County's Seth Willoughby was named the "Most Improved Player" among boys players in the district and he earned a spot on the First Team All District. Payne Denman was named to the Second Team All District; Sonni Young made the Third Team All District, the All Freshman Team, and the All Defensive Team. Destry Wiggins and Hunter Poteete received Honorable Mention.

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

McKenzie Sells and T.J. Smith both of Livingston Academy were named Most Valuable Players in the district. Smith was also named Defensive Player of the Year. Alyson Roberts of Upperman was the girls’ Defensive Player of the Year.

Richard Melton of Livingston Academy for the boys and Michael Dodgen of Cannon County for the girls were named District Coaches of the Year

On opening night of the District Tournament Wednesday, the third seeded Upperman Lady Bees eliminated the sixth seeded Smith County Lady Owls 46 to 28 and the third seeded York Institute Dragons got by the sixth seeded Smith County Owls 56 to 50 in overtime.

The Cannon County Lionettes, the top seed in the tournament, drew a bye and will play the DeKalb County in the semi-finals on Friday night, February 19th at 7:00 p.m. while the second seeded Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats, who also drew a bye, will meet Upperman in the semi-finals on Friday at 4:00 p.m. The girls consolation game will be played Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and the championship game will be Monday, February 22nd at 6:00 p.m.

In the boys bracket, the top seeded Livingston Academy Wildcats, who drew a bye, will meet Cannon County in the semi-finals on Friday, February 19th at 8:30 p.m. while the second seeded Upperman Bees, who also drew a bye, will take on York Institute in the semi-finals on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

The boys consolation game will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the Championship game will be on Monday, February 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

All District Selections for Girls are as follows:

Most Valuable Player
McKenzie Sells- Livingston Academy

Coach of Year- Michael Dodgen- Cannon County
Most Improved Player- Taylor King- Cannon County
Freshman of the Year- Ashley Wright- York Institute

Defensive Player of Year- Alyson Roberts- Upperman

First Team All District
Kayla Biles- Upperman
Alyson Roberts- Upperman
Emily Sissom- Cannon County
Karissa Dyer- Upperman
Rachel Brown-York Institute

Second Team
Taylor King-Cannon County
Lauren Ruehlen- Cannon County
Shelby Taylor- Livingston Academy
Cynthia Woodward-DeKalb County
Ashley Wright- York Institute

Third Team
Mallory MaHaney- Livingston Academy
Caroline Owen- Smith County
Ashley Campbell- Cannon County
Samantha Maya- Livingston Academy
Kelly Jones- York Institute
Elizabeth Carter-Upperman

Freshman Team
Abby Jakes- Cannon County
Sydney Staggs- Livingston Academy
Katherine Carter- Upperman
Katelyn Butler- York Institute

All Defensive Team-
Karissa Dyer-Upperman
Taylor King-Cannon County
Rachel Brown-York Institute
Mallory MaHaney of Livingston Academy
Alex Meadows- DeKalb County

Honorable Mention
Erica Melton-Cannon County
Lindsey Reed-Cannon County
Martha Webb-DeKalb County
Kristina Stephens-DeKalb County
Abby Miller-Livington Academy
Alyssa Thompson- Livington Academy
Amber Welch- Livington Academy
Taylor Randolph-Upperman

All District Selections for Boys are as follows:

Most Valuable Player
T.J. Smith- Livingston Academy

Coach of Year- Richard Melton- Livingston Academy
Most Improved Player- Seth Willoughby-DeKalb County
Freshman of the Year- Mason Ramsey-Livingston Academy

Defensive Player of Year- T.J. Smith-Livingston Academy

First Team All District
Justin Davenport-Cannon County
Tyrel Asberry-York Institute
Mitchell Simmons-Upperman
Seth Willoughby-DeKalb County
Mason Ramsey-Livingston Academy

Second Team
Chris Nash-Upperman
Anthony Williams-York Institute
Cody Stephens-York Institute
Brad Jackson-Livingston Academy
Payne Denman-DeKalb County

Third Team
Kailen Melton-Livingston Academy
Ryan Allen-Smith County
Sonni Young-DeKalb County
Colin Jones-Cannon County
Jared Nave-Cannon County

Freshman Team
Sonni Young-DeKalb County
Kailen Melton-Livingston Academy
Brock McCoin-Livingston Academy
Beau Carr-Smith County
Jordan Craighead-Smith County

All Defensive Team
Tyrel Asberry-York Institute
Mitchell Simmons-Upperman
Sonni Young-DeKalb County
Jared Nave-Cannon County
Cody Ruehlen-Cannon County

Honorable Mention
Cody Ruehlen-Cannon County
Jake Huitt-Livingston Academy
Will Wilson-York Institute
Lance Maynard-York Institute
Daniel Taylor-York Institute
Destry Wiggins-DeKalb County
Hunter Poteete-DeKalb County

Tractor-Trailer Rig Overturns on Cookeville Highway

February 17, 2010
Dwayne Page
Smithville Firefighters at Site of Overturned Semi
Semi Overturns at Cookeville Highway and Allens Ferry Road

A tractor trailer rig overturned Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 56 north and Allen's Ferry Road near Village Market.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:52 p.m.

Smithville Police say Jason Underwood of McMinnville, hauling a load of drive shafts for Foutch Industries, was traveling south on Highway 56 when he lost control, went off the road, over an embankment, and overturned, coming to rest on it's side. Underwood told police that he lost control on a patch of ice.

Underwood was not believed to have been seriously hurt but police say he was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, the Smithville Police Department, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and tow trucks were on the scene for several hours and Allen's Ferry Road near the convenience store was blocked to traffic for a period of time until the wreck was cleared up.

Stone and Sandlin win Leadership DeKalb Awards at Chamber Banquet

February 16, 2010
Dwayne Page
 Shawn Jacobs Presents Community Leader of Year Award to Laura Stone
 Dick Kinsey Presents Legacy Award to Judy Sandlin
Tennessee Tech Football Coach Watson Brown Speaking at Chamber Banquet

The winners of the annual Leadership DeKalb Alumni awards were honored Tuesday night during the Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

Laura Stone received the Community Leader of the Year Award and Judy Sandlin was presented the Legacy Award.

The Community Leader of the Year award goes to someone who has made a significant and positive impact on the county, specifically during 2009 and in a capacity beyond commitment to his or her profession. Stone was recognized for her work in founding the non-profit DeKalb County Angel Tree Incorporated which provides gifts for hundreds of disadvantaged children in DeKalb County. Stone also serves as board member for Habitat for Humanity and is a Class of 2005 Leadership DeKalb graduate. She has been an active committee member of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life since 2005 and is an active volunteer for many other worthwhile causes and events including the Edgar Evins State Park History Hayride, the Nashville Rescue Mission and the Hope Center, serving meals to indigents and the homeless of Nashville.

Patricia Zornow was also nominated for the award.

The Legacy Award goes to the person who has made a significant and positive impact on DeKalb County over a considerable period of time and in multiple or lasting ways. Sandlin was honored for the countless dinners she has prepared and served to people associated with the DeKalb County Fair, Alexandria Senior Center, and Leadership DeKalb, among others. Sandlin was also noted for her work with the DeKalb County Fair Board, the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, the Alexandria Lions Club, and the Senior Center. Her recipes are legendary but her legacy is her selfless nature in demonstrating true leadership and hard work.

The other nominee for the award was Sue N. Puckett-Jernigan.

The guest speaker was Watson Brown, head football coach of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles.

Click here for Coach Watson Brown's entire remarks

The retiring members of the Chamber board are Gina Denman of Denny Lamp; Elmer Ellis, Jr. first district county commissioner; Kelly Garrett of Swallows-Garrett Insurance Agency; Charlie Parker of Smithville Builders Supply; and Chris Griffith of DeKalb Farm Bureau.

New members are Tom Miller of Liberty State Bank; Keith Blair, Attorney-at-Law, George Oliver of the Smithville Rotary Club; Jason Ray, Leadership Alumni from the Class of 2009; Mike Williams of the DeKalb County Fair Board and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department; Janna Gillard of the DeKalb County Guide; and Angie Meadows of the Smithville Review.

Other members of the Chamber Board are Robin Driver of Center Hill Realty; Tim Hintz of Off the Beaten Path; Valerie Laprad of the Middle Tennessee Times; Judy Sandlin of the DeKalb County Fair Board; Rob Willingham of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; Les Greer of DTC Communications; Michelle Burklow of the DeKalb County Board of Education; and Kathie McGlamery of the Appalachian Center for Crafts.

The 2010 officers are President Tim Hintz, Vice President Les Greer, Secretary Valerie Laprad, Treasurer Kathie McGlamery, and Past President Robin Driver.

Smithville Woman Arrested in Drug Bust by Sheriff's Department

February 15, 2010
Dwayne Page
Nieka (Nikki) Danielle Patton
Norma Jean Henry Layne
Michael Hutfles

A Smithville woman was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department in a drug bust on Friday, February 12th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 29 year old Nieka (Nikki) Danielle Patton of 409 Hayes Street in Smithville was arrested after complaints of illegal drug activity at her home. Sheriff Ray says when officers entered the home, they detected an odor of marijuana. After obtaining consent to search, authorities found drugs such as percocets, Xanaxs, marijuana, adderall, methadone, and methamphetamine in Patton's bedroom along with drug paraphernalia such as razors, gravity and digital scales, a pill grinder and rolling papers. While searching an outbuilding, detectives also found a methamphetamine lab, a two liter bottle of a three layer liquid, a gallon of muratic acid, jars of unknown liquids, propane tanks with burners, turkey baster, coffee filters, Pyrex dishes, tubing, funnel, rubber gloves and a duffle bag containing butane fuel, lighter fuel, and a leatherman tool. Patton also had in her bedroom more components of the lab including 14 lithium batteries, coffee filters, and 168 cold tablets that contained pseudoephedrine.
Patton was charged with simple possession of a schedule II drug (Percocet), simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Xanax), simple possession of a schedule II drug (methadone), simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana), simple possession of schedule II drug (adderall), simple possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and manufacture of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine). Patton's total bond was set at $32,000 and she will appear in court on March 4th. The Sheriff's Department also contacted the Department of Children Services after finding in the home Patton's three children, ages are 13, 10 and an infant. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force's response truck and an Environmental Cleanup Service were summoned to assist detective's at the scene.

25 year old Ginger Faye Trapp of Circle Dowelltown is charged with driving on a revoked license Sheriff Ray says on Monday, February 8th a deputy spotted Trapp turning from the roadway into the parking lot of a business on Highway 70 West. The officer had prior knowledge that Trapp's driver's license was revoked . The license had been revoked due to a driving under the influence conviction. Bond for Trapp was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on March 4th. Trapp's vehicle, a 2002 Ford Taurus, was also seized.

33 year old Norma Jean Henry Layne of Mayberry Street Sparta was arrested on Tuesday, February 9th and charged with simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Xanax). She is also wanted in Marion County, Tennessee on other charges. Sheriff Ray says a deputy, while on patrol, stopped Layne, who was driving a vehicle on Highway 70 East. She had committed a traffic violation. The officer ran a background check on Layne for any outstanding warrants and found that she was wanted in Marion County on charges of Reckless Endangerment, failure to yield to blue lights, improper passing, no insurance, and speeding. During a pat down search, Layne was found to have a pill believed to be Xanax in her jacket pocket.Her bond was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on February 18th..

Deputies went to a residence on Luttrell Avenue, Smithville on Sunday, February 14th looking for a female who is charged in state warrants. As they walked to the door, the officers saw the woman in the home but when they knocked on the door, she went into the back of the residence. 29 year old Christopher Garner Daniels came to the door. When deputies asked if the woman they were looking for was there, he replied that he did not know her. The officers confronted Daniels again telling him they had seen her in the home. Again, Daniels replied that he did not know the woman. Officers made entry into the home and found the woman hiding in a closet. As the deputies were making the arrest, Daniels spoke up saying "Oh, you mean her." The officers discovered that the woman is Daniels' sister. Daniels was charged with filing a false report and bond for him was set at $5,000. He will appear in court on February 25th.

48 year old Michael Hutfles of Rex Lake Drive Akron, Ohio was arrested Sunday, February 14th for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) after a deputy stopped to check a vehicle which was setting at the overlook on Highway 56 North. The officer took the Sheriff's Department's K-9 around Hutfles' vehicle and the dog alerted on it. The deputy found a burnt marijuana cigarette and a small bag of marijuana in the automobile. Hutfles admitted that the marijuana belonged to him. Bond for Hutfles was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on April 15th.

Deputies were summoned to Highway 70 East around Sligo Bridge to work an automobile accident on Sunday, February 14th. After an investigation, 42 year old Gregory Allen Mayo was charged with filing a false report. Mayo told the officers that it was not he but his wife who was the driver. After interviewing Mayo's wife and witnesses at the scene, it was determined that Mayo was the driver. Bond for Mayo was set at $5,000 and he will appear in court on February 18th.

Also on Sunday, February 14th, deputies were called to Students Home Road, Smithville on a complaint of a suspicious person. After arriving, they spotted 31 year old Shawn Bradley Patton of Oak Place Drive Smithville. Patton was talking out of his head, jumping around everywhere, and he appeared to be under the influence. Patton was placed under arrest after he started trying to climb on the back of the patrol car. Patton was charged with public intoxication and his bond was set at $1,000. He will appear in court on February 25th.

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

February 14, 2010
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

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

Greetings Folks of the Fortieth! I pray this week’s update finds you and yours blessed. The tempo on the hill is beginning to pick up as bills are now appearing in committees this week. Also, many department heads are presenting their respected jurisdiction as it relates to specific committee topics. In Full Committee we heard a presentation by Max Thomas, Director of the Department of Agriculture Crime Unit, concerning forest fire investigation, livestock, equipment theft, state forest crimes, and homeland security as it relates to Agriculture services. This is one department of many that will experience major cuts as a result of this critical recession.

In the House
The House voted 65 – 31 to override veto of menu-labeling. Again, putting certain nutritional information on menus places an unnecessary burden on restaurant owners in an already struggling economy. Common Sense dictates what to consume for good health.

House Bill 270 will require that voter registration forms carry a disclaimer that clarifies giving false information to register to vote carries a criminal penalty, and also requires that the applicant affirm that they are lawfully in the United States. An amendment was offered, and the bill was discussed by the committee. It is expected to be up for a vote next week.

Another measure presented in the House Elections Subcommittee would make it easier for troops overseas to vote absentee. House Bill 2799 would allow election commissions to email ballots that troops could then print and return by mail. Currently, election administrators mail the ballots overseas and do not utilize electronic means.

The legislation hit a roadblock in the Elections Subcommittee last year, as the bill failed on a party line vote. I was livid! The state should do all it can to ensure the votes of our brave men and women serving overseas count.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Pew Research Center for People and Press reports that one-third of states do not allow enough time for overseas voters, listing Tennessee as one of 16 states that sent ballots after the date necessary for voters to meet deadlines. Last year, at least seven states enacted legislation to authorize some form of electronic transmission. The committee will vote on the bill next week.

SCORE releases ‘Race to the Top’ application summary
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) released a summary of the state’s ‘Race to the Top’ (RTTT) application this week, taking a straightforward look at the key points in the document. The summary mirrors the application and breaks it down into seven sections: governance and oversight; standards and assessments; data systems; teachers and leaders; low-performing schools; STEM; and budget.

If Tennessee wins the RTTT funds, districts will have 90 days to submit a plan outlining how they will locally implement the program. The Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation, and Development (TN CRED) will be created, and will identify best practices and research the impact of the RTTT grant.[1]

By 2010, the application specifies that Common Core Standards will be adopted and are to be closely related to the Tennessee Diploma Project. The application also explains how the training programs for teachers and administrators are to be set up, and includes other details on professional development.

The application was submitted last month after the legislature wrapped a special session on education to compete against other states across the nation for the federal government’s ‘Race to the Top’ funding. Grant recipients will be notified by the end of March.

Being ever the supporter of limited government, legislation that would have saved the state $30,000 failed in Full Committee this week. HB2535 by Representative Harwell, as introduced terminates a particular selected committee in education that was established in 1984. Certain topics call for extended study therefore selected members are called to the roundtable to discuss those items of interest. Change is hard to do sometimes; however, in lieu of the critical budget cuts, at least this bill does not eliminate any jobs. We can still study topics of significance by transferring its duties to the senate and house education committees when we are in session and save the state money by eliminating excessive per diems. HB2535 failed by 13 to 18. I hope this is not any indication of the “Budget Climate” here on the Hill.

Issues in Brief

House members introduced House Bill 2789 this week, which would create a violent juvenile sexual offender registry. The bill passed out of the House Criminal Practice and Procedure Subcommittee.

Next week, the House Criminal Practice and Procedure Subcommittee is expected to take up DUI ignition interlock legislation. House Bill 2768 would require a device to be attached to the vehicle of certain DUI offenders and will only operate if the offenders have not consumed alcohol.
House Bill 746 would urge 911 call centers to accept text messages. The legislation passed unanimously out of the House State Government Subcommittee.

The Week Ahead
I continue my work to give rural Tennessee a voice. My colleagues and I have been attending budget hearings and meeting with other rural Tennessee legislators to work on legislation for our district. To that end, I am thrilled to announce the bridges and road projects in my district are moving forward. Working together with my local government brings a get-r-done result. It is teamwork indeed! Many of you will soon be receiving the first edition of my newsletter. In fact, as I write this text there is an army of interns down the hall folding and placing labels on over 12,000 pieces of mail. It is important to me to keep you, those I work for, informed. This was a promise I made when you sent me here to represent you.

Visitors from the Fortieth such as teachers, hospital administrators, session judges and avid outdoorsman all came this week with concerns about the budget, certain legislation, and some good visit time as well. I really enjoyed each and every visitor. It is such an honor to serve you. I look forward to many more visits here in War Memorial Building 105.

Blessings Folks of the Fortieth!

Patterson Charged in Stabbing/Shooting Investigation

February 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Bransford (Brad) Lee Patterson

A 23 year old man who allegedly stabbed his wife and step-mother and assaulted his father before being shot himself has been charged in the case.

Bransford (Brad) Lee Patterson is charged in warrants with two counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of aggravated assault. He was arrested immediately upon his release from Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday, February 12th

Patterson's bond was set at $250,000 and he will appear in court on February 25th.

Warrants allege that Bransford Lee Patterson did attempt first degree murder by stabbing with a knife his wife, Reba Patterson and his step-mother Lisa Patterson, causing them to be in fear of their lives. This occurred at their residence at 6270 Patterson Road in DeKalb County.

Another warrant alleges that "Bransford Lee Patterson did assault his father, Shannon Patterson, by cutting him with a knife on his hand. This also occurred at their residence at 6270 Patterson Road."

In a prepared statement released last Sunday, Sheriff Patrick Ray said at 4:57 p.m. Saturday, February 6th, central dispatch received the call. Upon arrival, officers found two female victims who were each stabbed once and Patterson who had suffered a single gunshot wound.

Vanderbilt Life Flight was summoned to the intersection of Patterson Road and Turner Road and airlifted Patterson to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. The two female victims were transported to DeKalb Community Hospital by personal vehicle where they were treated and released. Patterson has also been released from the hospital.

According to Sheriff Ray, Patterson had gotten into an argument with members of his family and stabbed the two females. Patterson then started beating one of the wounded females. In an attempt to get Patterson under control, another family member got a pistol and fired a warning shot. When that failed, the family member then shot Patterson one time and called central dispatch.

The case is still under investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Sullivan Convicted as Charged in April Shooting

February 12, 2010
Dwayne Page
Matthew Sullivan

A man who was wounded in a shooting at his own home last April on Mountain View Drive was convicted in DeKalb County Criminal Court Thursday of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault for trying to stab the man who shot him in self defense.

A jury of eight women and four men found 25 year old Matthew Randall Sullivan guilty as charged following the day long trial. After the verdict was announced, Judge Leon Burns, Jr. revoked Sullivan's $100,000 bond and ordered him incarcerated until his April 5th sentencing hearing.

The shooting was reported to 911 at 3:24 a.m. on Saturday, April 18th, 2009.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says his department was contacted and upon arrival, officers found Sullivan in a wooded area behind the residence.

DeKalb EMS arrived on the scene and a Life Force Helicopter was summoned to airlift Sullivan to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. A helicopter landing zone was set up on Highway 56 north in the Buckner's Chapel Church area. Sullivan was treated and released a short time later.

Sheriff Ray says through interviews and evidence that was collected at the crime scene, the shooting appeared to have been justified. "Through interviews with the victim and witnesses at the scene, it appears that Sullivan assaulted one man at the residence and then kicked a bedroom door open where another man, female and two small children were present."

"The man in the bedroom was then approached by Sullivan, who was holding a large knife, and witnesses state that Sullivan began to try and assault the man with the knife. The man, in fear of his life and the safety of the other people in the room, shot at least one round from a 38 caliber pistol which hit Sullivan's right arm and chest area, exiting his back. Sullivan then left the residence and went out side."

According to Sheriff Ray, prior to the shooting, Mr. Sullivan had gotten arrested by the Smithville Police Department for driving under the influence. "He bonded out of jail and found out that Mandy Sullivan, his estranged wife, had some people (two men) at her residence that he was not fond of. Sullivan and his wife (Mandy) had been separated for about a week and a half prior to the shooting."

"He (Matthew) arrives at the residence, goes in and assaults one of the guys pretty badly. He (Matthew) then winds up getting a butcher knife and threatens the other man in the house. The victim stated that he actually jabbed at him one time with the knife and when he jabbed again, he (victim) shot him (Matthew) in self defense."

"Our evidence at the crime scene shows that the victim was actually the shooter."

After the shooting, his (Matthew's) wife (Mandy) goes back in, moves evidence around in the home, hides the knife, takes the gun, unloads it, throws away the spent round and a live round and keeps the gun, hiding it from the officers while they were there. She also gave some false statements, covering for her husband."

The case against Mandy Sullivan, charged with filing a false report, tampering with evidence, and fabricating evidence, is still pending.


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