Local News Articles

Election Commission Reminds Citizens That September 24 Is National Voter Registration Day

September 16, 2013
Jeff James
Katherine Pack

The DeKalb County Election Commission wishes to remind citizens that September 24 is National Voter Registration Day. The day is the high point of National Voter Registration Month, a time when state and county election officials have been working to encourage voter participation and increase awareness of state requirements and deadlines for voting.

On September 24, county elections officials remind you the local election office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to process registrations and updates.

“National Voter Registration Day is a great time to make sure that your registration is up to date or to register for the first time” said DeKalb Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley. “We are ready to help you in any way we can at any time.”

“When a voter moves, they notify the electric company and those type of agencies, but often forget about informing the election office of their move,” Stanley continued. “Then when they go to the polls on Election Day, there is paperwork for them to fill out and in some cases they may have to go to another precinct to actually vote. Voters can avoid those inconveniences by simply keeping their address up to date with the election office. With numerous elections coming up next year, now is a good time to make sure your voting address is up to date.”

Social media has played a role in this month’s promotion. Voters have been encouraged to visit www.GoVoteTN.com, print signs encouraging voter registration, and then post photos of themselves holding the signs on social media using the hashtag #GoVoteTN.

“I am excited to see so many voters sharing their enthusiasm for National Voter Registration Month,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett, who serves as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State. “I encourage voters to visit our web site to make sure they are properly registered to vote at their current addresses. Also, I encourage even more people to get involved in the campaign via social media.”

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

Ex-Boyfriend Charged with Domestic Assault of Woman

September 16, 2013
Dwayne Page
Donny Wayne Agee
Jennifer Ann Ferrell
Martin Riley
Dustin Lynn Lamb
Daniel Ryan Matheny
Ivan Duran Ramirez
James H. Ryan

The ex-boyfriend of a woman has been charged with domestic assault after she accused him of hitting her and pulling her hair.

40 year old Donny Wayne Agee of Holmes Creek Road, Smithville is under a $2,500 bond and he will be in court October 3. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, September 9 a deputy was called to the hospital emergency room concerning a domestic violence complaint. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who had allegedly been assaulted by Agee, her ex-boyfriend. According to Sheriff Ray, the woman had knots on her head where Agee had allegedly hit her and pulled her hair. The woman also had visible injuries on both arms from the altercation.

26 year old Jennifer Ann Ferrell of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville and 46 year old Martin Riley of Poss Road, Smithville are each charged with theft of property over $1,000. Ferrell's bond is $5,000. Bond for Riley is $50,000. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, September 10 a deputy took a theft report from a victim on New Home Road. Eleven truck batteries were reported stolen. The total value of the stolen batteries is $1,520. The officer recovered nine of the batteries at a local recycling center where Ferrell and Riley had allegedly sold some of the batteries last week. Riley is to be in court October 3. Ferrell's first court date was September 12.

42 year old Dustin Lynn Lamb of Savannah Drive, Smithville is charged with being a fugitive from justice, resisting arrest, and evading arrest. His bond is $53,000 and he will be in court on September 26. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 11 an officer arrived at a Smithville manufacturing location to serve an arrest warrant on Lamb for failure to appear in Boone County, Illinois. The officer went to the rear parking lot where Lamb's vehicle was parked. The deputy spotted Lamb, identified himself as a sheriff's deputy, and ordered Lamb to stop. Lamb began to flee on foot. The officer chased after Lamb and caught him. Lamb was placed under arrest but while on the ground he refused to cooperate as the deputy tried to place handcuffs on him. Lamb repeatedly tried to push himself off the ground in order to stand up and get away. Another deputy had to assist the arresting officer in handcuffing Lamb. He was then brought to the jail for booking. Meanwhile officials in Illinois have been contacted and they plan to seek extradition of Lamb.

44 year old Bruce Allen Morton of East Bryant Street, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving on a revoked license. He was also issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on October 3. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, September 10 a deputy saw Morton operating a motor vehicle on East Bryant Street. The officer, who had prior knowledge that Morton's drivers license were revoked, made a traffic stop. A computer check of Morton's license confirmed that they were revoked for a DUI and driving while revoked.

22 year old Daniel Ryan Matheny of Hidden Valley Circle, McMinnville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, evading arrest, resisting arrest, and escape. His bond totals $13,000. Matheny was also issued citations for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), illegal parking, having the wrong address on his driver license, and for not wearing a seatbelt. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 11 a deputy spotted a silver Pontiac parked in the middle of Short Mountain Highway at an intersection with another road. The officer approached Matheny, who was passed out inside the vehicle. Matheny was awakened. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. He was very disoriented. Matheny submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Matheny admitted to consuming alcohol and agreed to submit to a blood test. After being handcuffed and placed in the patrol car, Matheny managed to free one of his hands, escaped from the vehicle and tried to flee. Officers had to forcibly take Matheny to the ground. Matheny, who continued to struggle with the officers, began pushing himself away, trying unsuccessfully to break free. A computer check of his license revealed they were revoked due to a DUI in Coffee County.

38 year old Ivan Duran Ramirez of McMinnville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court October 3. He was further issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, September 15 a deputy saw a black SUV failing to maintain his lane of travel on Vaughn Lane. The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Ramirez, who had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and his eyes were bloodshot. Ramirez was very unsteady on his feet. He submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He refused to submit to a blood alcohol test. Ramirez was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

45 year old James H. Ryan of Youngs Ford Road, Jamestown is charged with filing a false police report and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on September 26. Sheriff Ray said that on August 16, 2011 Ryan was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 when he became involved in a property damage accident. Ryan then left the scene and parked the vehicle at a business location on Highway 70 east. After leaving the vehicle behind , Ryan went to a motel. When the officer questioned him about the vehicle, he denied driving it. Ryan told the officers that he was assaulted and that someone had taken his vehicle, which was involved in the accident. The officer viewed security video tapes which showed Ryan to be the driver of the automobile before and after the accident. The video revealed that no assault had occurred.

Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale set for October 11

September 16, 2013
Dwayne Page
Chili Flappers” from the DeKalb County Board of Education

Who makes the best chili in DeKalb County? Find out on Friday, October 11 when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 10th annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the DeKalb County Courthouse lawn. The rain location is the First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center.

You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches will also be for sale. Take out is also available.

At last year’s chili cook-off, the Chili Flappers” from the DeKalb County Board of Education won the “Best Chili” award, and “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials followed in second place. In the decorating contest, “‘Lei’ Me Out Chili” from Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District won first place honors.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor and the Habitat Chili Cook-off Committee, the event raised $3,400.00 last year.

All proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Pryor at 597-7370.

DCHS Names Twenty Most Outstanding Seniors

September 16, 2013
Dwayne Page
Picture Courtesy of DCHS Tiger Media

DeKalb County High School has announced the twenty most outstanding seniors

These students in no particular order are:

Salma Acuna, Ashley Barnes, Kayna Caplinger, Alexis Cornelius, Josh Davidson, Sarah Edwards, Kelsey Evins, Kaleb Ferrell, Travis Ferrell, Eli Gill, Lauren Lewis, Elizabeth Mason, Ashley Medlin, McKenzie Poteete, Laura Reed, Cameron Rhea, Courtney Rice, Danielle Tyson, Crystal Vickers, and Jordan Wilkins.

Front Row: Kayna Caplinger, Salma Acuna, Sarah Edwards, Laura Reed, Crystal Vickers, Ashley Medlin

Middle Row: Alexis Cornelius, Elizabeth Mason, McKenzie Poteete, Kelsey Evins, Danielle Tyson, Ashley Barnes, Lauren Lewis

Back Row: Jordan Wilkins, Eli Gill, Kalab Ferrell, Cameron Rhea, Travis Ferrell

Not Pictured: Josh Davidson & Courtney Rice

DeKalb County High School FBLA Organization Attends Leadership Camp

September 16, 2013
DeKalb County High School FBLA Organization Attends Leadership Camp

The DeKalb County High School, Future Business Leaders of America recently attended Leadership Development Camp at Camp Clements in Doyle, Tennessee.

Members attended Power Sessions on topics of Leadership, Program of Work, Community Service, Teamwork, and Competition. Members also participated in Track Time for members. During track time for members, sessions were about being a better business professional.

Chapter members that attended were: Taneah Cantrell, Maggie Mahaffey, Heather Scott, Kamien Sparks, Braxton Pugh, Bailey Hayes. Our chapter president, Jordan Wilkins participated in the President’s track. The president track was designed to help local presidents like Jordan lead our chapter for this school year. The club adviser that attended camp with the students was Marilyn Roberts who participated in the adviser’s track.

In addition to power sessions and track time campers participated in recreation activities and were divided by color groups. Recreation activities included relay races and other team building activities. This was a wonderful experience for the students. They gained leadership, social, and networking skills by participating in Camp Clements Leadership Development Camp.

4-H Members Win at Outdoor Cookery Contest

September 16, 2013
Michael Barry
Tyree Cripps, Abby Evans, and Wyatt Martin.
Justin Bass, Jessica Williams, Preston Cripps, and Nathaniel Theriaque.
James Mathis

Working with barbecue grills, charcoal, and fresh cuts of meat, DeKalb County 4-H members recently competed in the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest held in Lebanon. Each team member had to construct a charcoal fire and, using their best recipes, grill their choice of beef, lamb, pork, or poultry for some hungry judges to sample. Contestants receive individual scores as well as an overall team score based on fire preparation, safety, meat preparation skills, palatability and overall appearance of the final product. The junior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 7th – 9th grades, had 19 teams from all over Middle Tennessee competing. DeKalb County junior high team members included Tyree Cripps, Abby Evans, Wyatt Martin, and James Mathis. The team placed 3rd overall. Individually, Abby Evans was the 1st place winner in the lamb division, Tyree Cripps placed 3rd in poultry, and Wyatt Martin placed 6th in beef. The senior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 10th – 12th grades, had 20 teams in the division. DeKalb County senior high team members included Justin Bass, Preston Cripps, Nathaniel Theriaque, and Jessica Williams. The team placed 12th placed overall. In addition to the flavor aspect of the contest, senior high contestants also had to display their finished products involving an outdoor theme.

Picture captions.

4-H junior high outdoor meat cookery team members pictured with their awards (left to right): Tyree Cripps, Abby Evans, and Wyatt Martin.

4-H senior high outdoor meat cookery team members with their display include (left to right): Justin Bass, Jessica Williams, Preston Cripps, and Nathaniel Theriaque.

James Mathis participated in the 4-H junior high outdoor meat cookery contest recently held in Lebanon.

Four Injured in Saturday Wrecks

September 15, 2013
Dwayne Page

A 19 year old woman was airlifted after a two car wreck on Whorton Springs Road Saturday.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Hannah Brooke Green of Smithville was driving east on Whorton Springs Road in a 2009 Nissan Altima as 44 year old Victor Romo of Smithville was west in a 1998 Nissan Altima. The two cars made impact in a curve on a small bridge.

Green and Romo were taken to DeKalb Community Hospital by DeKalb EMS. Green was later airlifted by helicopter ambulance from the local hospital and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Passengers of the Romo car, 24 year old Fabian Garcia and 22 year old Alberto Romo were apparently not injured.

Meanwhile, Smithville Police Officer Chip Avera and Corporal Travis Bryant investigated a two vehicle accident Saturday at the intersection of West Broad Street and Juniper Lane.

Officer Avera told WJLE that 56 year old Mickey Hobbs of Smithville, driving a 1999 Ford Windstar, was attempting to cross Broad Street from South Juniper Lane to North Juniper Lane when he pulled into the path of a westbound 1993 Toyota pickup, driven by 27 year old Lydia Price of Smithville. Price's vehicle hit Hobb's automobile in the passenger side.

Price was transported to the hospital by DeKalb EMS. Hobbs went to the hospital by private vehicle.

Officer Avera said Hobbs was issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance).

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene to assist.

Kelsey Evins Receives Student Recognition Award at TSBA Upper Cumberland Fall District Meeting

September 13, 2013
Dwayne Page
Charles Robinson Congratulates Kelsey Evins
Kelsey Evins Receives Student Recognition Award at TSBA Fall District Meeting

A local student, Kelsey Evins received the Student Recognition Award Thursday evening during the Tennessee School Boards Association Upper Cumberland Fall District meeting held at South Fentress Elementary School in Fentress County.

Each year TSBA honors one student from each of its nine districts who has achieved distinction in the areas of academics, community leadership, and engagement as part of its Student Recognition Award program. One of those nine students will win the statewide Student Recognition Award to be presented at the TSBA Annual Convention in November, which will include a $2,000 scholarship.

Evins, the 2013 Upper Cumberland District winner, is currently a senior at DeKalb County High School. She has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while taking a rigorous schedule of advanced and dual credit courses and actively participating and volunteering in her community. In addition to her academic success and achievements, Kelsey is an active volunteer and talented individual. She uses her talents to raise money for her community. She is a volunteer entertainer at various activities in DeKalb County and surrounding areas that raise funds for the community and bring tourism to the area. She also works hard to improve her community by working in food pantries, clothes distributions, and participating in coat drives.

During the Fall District meeting, local boards of education in the Upper Cumberland Region learned about the changing landscape of education advocacy, heard updates on education legislation, and were provided with a Tennessee Reform update.

The evening consisted of board members earning honors for their professional
development activities and recognizing a dedicated school volunteer and an outstanding student.

The Upper Cumberland District meeting was one of nine similar sessions held annually in each of TSBA’s development districts.

The program also included an update on this year’s session of the Tennessee General Assembly and a review of the salary schedule, teacher licensure and evaluations from the Deputy Commissioner of Education, Dr. Kathleen Airhart. Board members participated in a legislative survey with their electronic devices via an online/SMS texting program.

Local school board members attending were John David Foutch, Charles Robinson, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, and Chairman Johnny Lattimore.

(Top Photo: DeKalb School Board member Charles Robinson and Kelsey Evins)

(Bottom Photo Left to Right: School Board members John David Foutch, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Kelsey Evins (Dub Evins' daughter), TSBA Executive Director Dr. Tammy Grissom, and School Board member Charles Robinson)

DeKalb FCCLA Challenges Cannon For Good Cause

September 13, 2013
Dwayne Page
John Isabell

The DeKalb County High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club is participating in a collection drive for the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in support of local educator John Isbabell who is battling leukemia.

Linda Parris, DCHS teacher said the local FCCLA Chapter is challenging Cannon County High School students to see which school can collect more Ultra Soft and regular Kleenex and Puff tissues without scents or lotion to donate to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center.

Several months ago the DCHS FCCLA club won a challenge with Cannon County by collecting the most shoes in the Soles for Souls program. " Our FCCLA Chapter has challenged Cannon County to help us collect more Ultra soft and regular Kleenex and Puff tissues without scents or lotion to donate to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in support of Mr. Isabell at DCHS currently battling leukemia. We don't want to let Cannon county beat us in showing our support for Mr. John Isabell. Kleenex can be dropped off at the high school or contact us at 597-4094 to arrange a pick up or you can bring kleenex to our homecoming game. Homecoming will be where the final count is given! Thanks for your continued support," said Parris.

Tennessee Adopts Second High School Equivalency Test

September 13, 2013

Beginning January 2, 2014, out-of-school youth and adults who are pursuing a high-school equivalency credential will have another test option to improve their earnings potential.

Tennesseans will have a choice of taking either the new 2014 GED® test or an alternative high school equivalency test designed by Educational Testing Services called HiSET™.

Tennessee is one of several states that are adopting the new test due to changes in the GED Exam. Beginning in January of 2014, the new GED test will only be offered via computer. The HiSET alternative test will allow for either computer or paper-based testing. Passing either test will lead to a high school equivalency diploma issued by the State of Tennessee and accepted nationally.

“We are pleased that the alternative test, which has been approved by the General Assembly and the State Board of Education, will continue to offer paper-based testing as an option in addition to computer-based,” said Adult Education Administrator Marva Doremus. “We want as much accessibility as possible for those who lack a high school diploma since attaining this credential enhances their employment opportunities.”

Like the GED, the HiSET exam will measure a student’s knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies and will be significantly aligned to Common Core State Standards.

Tennesseans who have passed some but not all parts of the GED have only the remainder of 2013 to earn their high school credential under the current test structure. All partial scores will no longer be valid after January 1, 2014.
Last year, 10,142 Tennesseans earned GED diplomas, but Tennessee still has more than 930,000 adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have a high school credential earn $181 more weekly than those without. Additionally, those with a high school credential have an unemployment rate of 8.3% compared with 12.4% of those who do not.

For details on taking high school equivalency tests and information on preparation courses, contact the Adult Education Division of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development at 1-800-531-1515, or visit the Department’s website at http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/AE/.


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