Local News Articles

County Budget Committee Asks School Board to Fund Two SROs

July 10, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The budget committee wants the school board to partner with the county commission in funding four new school resource officers.

During Tuesday night's meeting, members of the budget committee voted 4 to 1 to include funding for two new SROs in the proposed county general budget, but only if the school board will vote to fund two in its budget.

The Board of Education will meet Thursday night in regular session to discuss the proposed new school budget.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, who had previously said the school system might find funding for one new SRO position through the Safe Schools Grant and other sources, now says the county shouldn't count on it, given cuts the budget committee has asked the school board to make in its proposed budget for 2013-14 "Asking us to cut $147,000, I don't believe there will be a chance for an SRO to be funded. Whatever the school board directs me to put in the budget, I'll put in the budget. I had said I felt pretty comfortable about one SRO. That wasn't in the budget but I said I felt we could do that. But when we were asked to do basically $150,000 worth of cuts, I don't think they (school board) would do an SRO officer and $150,000 in cuts," said Willoughby.

The county's proposed budget for 2013-14 currently includes funding for two new SRO positions. The school system's portion to fund two new SRO's would be $73,839 including salaries and benefits. The county would be responsible for the costs of equipping and training the new officers.

Budget committee member Jack Barton said he favored the county general funding all four new positions to ensure each school has an SRO, especially given the fact that the county will not have to meet all the requirements of the federal affordable health care act this year. Barton made a motion to fund all four new SROs but his motion died for the lack of a second. " I believe I would be looking at it at a very different level, if we were still being held to the standard of what the affordable health care act was asking us to do," said Barton. "But given that we've tried to ask them (school board) to make cuts and given that we're not going to be held to the penalties or the have to's of the affordable health care act, I want to put it out there. (to fund all four new SRO positions)," said Barton.

Committee member Larry Summers then made a motion that the county general fund two new SRO's (salaries and benefits) if the school board does the same with the county to pick up all the expense of training and equipping the new officers with patrol cars, guns, etc. The vote was 4-1. Committee members Wayne Cantrell, Marshall Ferrell, and Jerry Scott joined Summers in voting for the motion. Barton voted against it, since he wants the county general budget to fund all four new SROs.

County Mayor Mike Foster then polled the twelve county commissioners present at the budget committee meeting to see how they felt about funding two SROs if the school board funds two SROs. All but three said they favored it. However when polled about the county general funding all four SROs, a majority of the commissioners said no.

The budget committee approved all budgets Tuesday night with the exception of the school budget until the Board of Education meets Thursday night to take action on its proposed spending plan. The county budget committee will meet again Friday night, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. to act on the school budget.

County Mayor Foster said he wants the county to have a consolidated budget approved by the budget committee no later than July 15.

Two Teens Accused of Stealing School System's Driver's Ed Car

July 9, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two minors are to appear in Juvenile Court this week for allegedly stealing the Drivers Education car, a Chevy Lumina, from the Board of Education bus garage last Wednesday.

Smithville Police said the juveniles allegedly entered the lot, took possession of the vehicle, drove it through the gate, and off the property.

The car and the boys, ages 13 & 14, were found the next day, Thursday July 4 in Cannon County where they showed up at a residence asking for gas, according to Sheriff Patrick Ray

The episode began on Wednesday, July 3 when the boys set out on a four wheeler from a cabin home belonging to one of the boy's parents on Holmes Creek Road. The boys later rode to the school bus garage, allegedly broke in, and then drove off in the car, crashing through the gate. They apparently left behind the four wheeler.

After the boys failed to return, the parents reported them missing. On Thursday, July 4 Woodbury Police received a report that two boys had come to a residence in Woodbury, where they knocked on the door, looking for gas.

Upon discovering the boys were reported missing from DeKalb County, Woodbury Police notified Central Dispatch in DeKalb County. The parents were contacted and picked up the boys.

Juvenile petitions were later taken against the boys for committing a delinquent act in stealing the car.

44 year old Jamie S Bullard was arrested on Thursday, July 4 for aggravated assault, public intoxication, resisting arrest, indecent exposure and vandalism under $500.00. Police were dispatched to Bullard's home Thursday evening for a disturbance. Upon arrival the officer met Bullard who advised someone had destroyed his house. Bullard was found to be intoxicated and belligerent and cursing at the officers. At one point he removed his clothes and threw a rock at one of the officers and threatened to shoot them. After being taken to jail, Bullard allegedly set fire in and flooded the cell. While officers attempted to gain control, Bullard resisted. Bond for Bullard is $17,000 and his court date is July 25.

32 year old Mark D. Young was arrested for DUI on July 7. Young was stopped for a traffic violation and upon contact, the officer smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Young didn't wish to do field sobriety tasks. Bond for Young is $1500 and his court date is July 25.

Anyone with information on criminal activities is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

DeKalb to Get Waste Tire Recycling Grant

July 9, 2013

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau today announced 44 grants to help Tennessee communities recycle tires and reduce the number going to landfills. DeKalb County will be getting a grant for $10,500.

The waste tire recycling grants total more than $3.6 million in fiscal year 2014-15, and the grants are supported from the Solid Waste Management Fund, which receives revenue from a pre-disposal fee on the purchase of new tires.

Tennessee recycles an estimated 55,000 tons of tires per year, diverting waste tires from landfills and sending them to beneficial end-use facilities. Beneficial end-use methods include utilizing tire-derived aggregate in civil engineering projects, crumb rubber for asphalt paving and molded rubber products. The majority of Tennessee’s waste tires are used as tire-derived fuel.

“The keys to this program’s success are the efforts of our local county and community partners,” Haslam said. “Reducing the number of tires in landfills and redirecting the tires to a better use helps conserve Tennessee’s natural resources for future generations.”

The General Assembly authorized waste tire grants in the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991. The grants assist counties with the collection, processing and transportation of the tires to beneficial end-use facilities. Counties are reimbursed $1 per eligible tire and are required to provide at least one waste tire collection site. Counties may charge an additional fee if the grant is not adequate to cover costs.

The fund is administered by the Department of Environment and Conservation, and $1.25 from the $1.35 pre-disposal fee collected is used to supplement the counties’ costs for waste tire recycling and services.

Tire-derived fuel, or TDF, conserves fossil fuels and provides a waste-to-energy disposal method. The energy value of TDF exceeds the value of other solid fuels such as coal. According to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, TDF used in a properly designed and maintained combustion device emits fewer pollutants than conventional fossil fuels. In Tennessee, Abitibi Bowater Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, Cemex Cement, Buzzi Unicem USA, and Gerdau Ameristeel are among those utilizing processed waste tires for fuel or as a source of carbon in their manufacturing process.

“The Solid Waste Management Fund continues to provide support to Tennessee communities and it’s important that local county governments continue to focus on waste reduction as part of their overall waste management plan,” added Martineau.

Purchasing longer life tires, rotating and balancing tires every 6,000 miles, and checking air pressure monthly are excellent ways to reduce the number of scrap tires generated in Tennessee and will also save money. For more information on Tennessee’s Waste Tire Program, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/swm/tires. A complete list of the grant awards announced today follows.

Smithville Police Catch Man and Minor Engaged in Sexual Activity

July 9, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bryan Cunningham

Smithville Police have charged a 24 year old man with statutory rape for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a fifteen year old girl.

Bryan Cunningham is under a $5,000 bond and will be in court July 11.

The incident occurred on Friday, July 5.

Smithville Police said that Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Sergeant Brad Tatrow caught the couple engaging in sexual activity in the woods by the creek on Holmes Creek Road. The officers were patroling the area because it's a known hangout.

Fanning Wins Fiddler 5K for Fifth Time

July 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Scott Fanning (Photo by Bill Luton)
 Kristen VanVranken (Photo by Bill Luton)

42 year old Scott Fanning of Lebanon was the overall winner of the Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run on Saturday. This is his fifth time to have won the race

Fanning ran the course in 17 minutes and 17 seconds.

Fanning was the winner in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2011.

35 year old Kristen VanVranken of Silver Point, best among women, ran the course in 19:57, setting a new course record for females.

Overall Masters winner:
TOP MALE MASTERS: 56 year old Lee Piccirillo of Murfreesboro at 19:05
TOP FEMALE MASTERS: 40 year old Tracey Burtnett of Lebanon at 23:04

One-Mile Fun Run:
TOP MALE: 10 year old Luke Jenkins of Smithville at 7:00
TOP FEMALE: 11 year old Elizabeth Welch of Sparta at 6:56

The 15th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run featured 349 registered participants. However, 272 actually ran in the rain.

Funds raised will support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County

Complete results are available at www.fiddler5k.com

(Photos Courtesy of Bill Luton)

Certain Charged with Unlawful Possession of Weapon

July 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andy Joe Certain

36 year old Andy Joe Certain of Bright Hill Road, Smithville was charged last week with unlawful possession of a weapon. His bond is $25,000 and he will be in court July 11.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, July 3 a deputy responded to a call at the Loop due to possible shots being fired. Upon arrival, the officer saw Certain and several other people in the yard. After interviewing Certain and reading him his rights, the deputy learned from Certain that he was in possession of a firearm and that he had fired one round into the ground. Certain also allegedly admitted to being a convicted felon. Certain told the officer that he had placed the firearm in the glove box of a vehicle, prior to the deputy arriving. Certain was placed in custody and taken to the jail for booking.

30 year old Eustacio Hernandez of Lafayette was charged last week with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel and simple possession of a schedule II drug (less than a half gram of cocaine). His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 25. Sheriff Ray said that on July 4 Hernandez was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 when he was stopped for swerving. The arresting officer reported that Hernandez had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks and he refused to submit to a blood test. Upon a search of the vehicle, a small amount of cocaine was found inside the cigarette lighter outlet. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Craft Awards Presented at Fiddlers Jamboree

July 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brenda Bieberdorf (right) Best of Show Craft Winner
David Sharp: Best Appalachian Craft
Ashley Houston: Best Newcomer
Ron and Dorlea Grimsley: Best Display

The annual Fiddler's Jamboree Craft Awards were presented Friday.

Brenda Bieberdorf of Brenda's Fused Glass in Dallas, Georgia received the "Best of Show" award for her display of fused art glass and flattened bottle clocks.

Meanwhile, David Sharp of David Sharp Woodcarving Studio in Smithville was presented the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for his woodworking and hand carving works.

The "Best Newcomer" Award went to Ashley Houston of Sacred Wilderness Batiks in Hayesville, North Carolina. She featured hand waxed dyed batiks and other clothing, bags and children's clothing.

Ron and Dorlea Grimsley of White Mountain Banjo in Phoenix, Arizona received the "Best Display" award for their handmade banjos.

The awards were presented by Emma Adkins, the Fiddler's Jamboree Director of Crafts. "In spite of the rainy and surprisingly cool weather, the overall mood of the crafters was good," said Adkins. "Many said they actually did better on Friday of this year than they did all weekend last year . It was 110 degrees last year. We had a lot of no-shows this year on account of the rain. The event was actually full except for eight spaces as of Thursday morning, July 4th. All of those empty spots were cancellations," she said.

Boulware Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler of 42nd Annual Jamboree

July 7, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton (left) Awards John Boulware
John Boulware wins Jr. Fiddling Title and Grand Champion Award in Fiddle Off
Billy Brewer Wins Sr. Fiddling Title but loses Fiddle Off to John Boulware
Bluegrass Band Winner: Foggy Junky Boys
Bluegrass Banjo Winner: Weston Stewart

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 42nd annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee.

He won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.

Boulware made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest Billy Brewer of Lyles, Tennessee.

(SEE VIDEO BELOW OF WINNING SQUARE DANCE TEAM RHYTHM-N-MOTION)

The Saturday session of the Fiddlers Jamboree came to a close at around 10:30 p.m.

Winners on Saturday in the various categories are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee; Second Place- Tyler Andal of Whitehouse; and Third Place- Sarah Harris of Rockvale.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Devon Stewart of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Second Place- Jacob Campbell of Smithville; and Third Place Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Stanley Reece of Whitleyville; and Third Place- Tim Hartman of Nunnelly, Tennessee.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California; and Third Place- Tommy Scruggs of Hartsville.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place-Darrin Stryker of Cookeville; and Third Place- Eileen Stewart of Pegram.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama; Second Place- Joey Gibson of Manchester; and Third Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville.

Contest Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place-Tori Huntley of Loretto; Second Place- John Boulware of Kimball; and Third Place-Tyler Andal of Whitehouse.

Bluegrass Band: First Place-Foggy Junky Boys of Dyer, Tennessee; Second Place- A Step Ahead of Greenbrier; and Third Place-Tymeline of Cookeville.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Billy Brewer of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Paul Shell of Philadelphia, Tennessee; and Third Place- Perry Cooper of Knoxville.

Square Dancing: First Place-Rhythm-N-Motion of Cookeville; Second Place- Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; and Third Place-Harpeth River of Franklin.

Vehicle Crashes into College Street Bridge, Injures Local Woman

July 6, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Fire Department on Scene of Crash
Lincoln Navigator Crashes into College Street Bridge

A Smithville woman was transported by DeKalb EMS to the hospital Saturday afternoon after her 2001 Lincoln Navigator crashed into the College Street (Veterans Memorial) bridge in the underpass on Broad Street.

Corporal Travis Bryant of the Smithville Police Department told WJLE that 32 year old Christy Lawson was traveling west on Broad Street when she left her lane of travel, crossed both eastbound lanes, and went up an embankment where the front passenger side of the vehicle struck a bridge support. Upon impact, the vehicle spun and then came to a stop.

Lawson was reportedly trapped in the vehicle. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the scene to perform extrication. Lawson was removed from the Lincoln Navigator and taken by ambulance to DeKalb Community Hospital. Her injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Police say a medical episode may have caused Lawson to lose control of the vehicle. She was cited for driving on a suspended license, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and failing to maintain her lane of travel.

Ivy Phillips Repeats as Fiddle Champion of Jamboree Beginners

July 6, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ivy Phillips with members of James G. Bobo Driver Family
Ivy Phillips Receives Entertainer of Year Award from Nolan Turner

For the second consecutive year, Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro has won the top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Phillips was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. The award was presented by members of Mr. Driver's family including Mickey Driver, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, Bert Driver, Ben Driver, and Russell Ambrose. Phillips placed among the top three in all seven categories, winning the Dobro and Mandolin competition in addition to Fiddle, taking second place in Guitar, and finishing third place in Buck Dancing, Clogging, and Banjo.

The "Entertainer of the Year" Award also went to Phillips. This award is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Annabelle Watts of Phelps, Kentucky.

Buck Dancing: First Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; Second Place- Sarah Fisher of Smyrna; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

Clogging: First Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasantview, Second Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Jake Ramsey of Smithville, and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Mandolin: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place-Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood; Third Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Trevor Holder of Ringgold, Georgia; Second Place- Axel Rico of Smithville; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood; Second Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; and Third Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro

(TOP PHOTO: Pictured with Ivy Phillips (left to right) Mickey Driver, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, Bert Driver, Ben Driver, and Russell Ambrose)

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