Local News Articles

Smithville Police Make DUI Arrest

June 21, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department made a DUI arrest Wednesday.

Chief Tom Stufano says \" Wednesday morning at approximately 1:00 a.m. Smithville Police patrolling West Broad Street, came in contact with a vehicle driving erratically. Further observance noted that the Chevy Pickup had crossed the centerline numerous times. Upon contact with the driver now known as 34 year old Jules Cassidy of 3393 Central Valley Road in Murfreesboro, officers found him to be highly intoxicated. Officers also noticed open beer containers on the floorboard of the vehicle during their investigation. Cassidy submitted to a field sobriety test but he was very unsteady on his feet and performed poorly. He was given the opportunity to submit to a blood test to detect the presence of alcohol in his system, but he refused. Officers found that Cassidy was also driving on a Revoked Driver's License (13th) offense, was in possession of a prohibited weapon (a set of brass knuckles) and that this arrest was his 3rd for DUI. A check of Cassidy's driver's record disclosed that he had (5) pages of driving and revocation offenses in Tennessee. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the DeKalb County Jail under a $16,500 bond for combined offenses. His vehicle was seized under the state's forfeiture act.\"

Chief Stufano says \"The detrimental effects of drinking and driving are severe and unforgiving, with accidents usually resulting. The Smithville Police in cooperation with the Governor's Highway Safety Council are concentrating on keeping our streets and neighborhoods safe against those who insist on drinking and driving. We encourage our residents, neighbors and guests to contact the Police if you suspect a drunk driver on our roadways. \"

He says \"Remember in our small community the life you may save will most assuredly be a family member or someone you know. Your continued support and partnership in keeping our community safe is appreciated by all.\"

Dry Weather Affecting This Season's Illegal Marijuana Crop

June 21, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The drought seems to be having an affect on this year's illegal marijuana crop in DeKalb County and other parts of the state.

The Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication, in cooperation with the Sheriff's Department, conducted a helicopter fly over of DeKalb County Wednesday in search of marijuana, but no marijuana could be found.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says two helicopters flew over the county Wednesday in the areas of Austin Bottom, Cookeville Highway, Dowelltown, Liberty, and Alexandria. He says \" They saw places where marijuana had been grown last year as well as places where the soil had been prepared this year but the marijuana had not been put out (planted).\"

Sheriff Ray says the reason there seems to be so little marijuana this year is due to the dry weather conditions. He says it takes a lot of fertilizer and water to grow marijuana, especially in the early stages, and many of these growers are probably finding it difficult to get water to the marijuana patches, since many small streams and creeks have dried up because of the drought.

He says members of the Task Force say DeKalb is among eight counties they have flown over recently and found no marijuana. This year, he says, the yield of marijuana could be under 50% compared to previous years.

The Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication include members of the Tennessee National Guard, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and agents of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Sheriff Ray says his department will continue the search for marijuana throughout the growing season and if you have any information where some might be, contact the Sheriff's Department at 597-4935.

Another Smithville Police Officer Involved In Traffic Accident

June 21, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Smithville Police Officer was involved in a traffic accident Thursday at the intersection of Broad Street and South Mountain Street.

Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 21 year old Officer Tyler Wix of Smithville was south on South Mountain Street in a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria Police Car when he entered the intersection and struck the driver's side of a 2000 Dodge Stratus, driven by 39 year old Donny Green of Smithville, who was traveling east in the inside lane on Broad Street.

Upon impact, the vehicles spun out in front of a 1994 Chevy van, driven by 49 year old Beulah Saddler of Auburntown, who was traveling east in the outside lane on Broad Street.

According to Trooper Raymond, Saddler swerved to the right onto South Mountain Street to avoid hitting the patrol car and struck two other vehicles, a 2007 Ford Mustang, driven by 53 year old Shelia Adamson of Smithville, who was sitting in the northbound lane of Mountain Street, and a 1993 Buick Century behind her, driven by 40 year old Martha Castillo of McMinnville.

Green received minor injuries and was taken by private vehicle to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated and released. No one else was injured.

Trooper Raymond says traffic going east and west on Broad Street had the green light and that Officer Wix, who was responding to an emergency call, had the red light. He says Officer Wix, who had his emergency lights and sirens on, proceeded through the intersection, trying to cross Broad Street to continue south on Mountain Street, when the accident occurred.

Tuesday Wreck Victim Remains In Trauma Unit of Vanderbilt Hospital

June 22, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

One man, involved in a two vehicle crash Tuesday morning on Highway 70 near Liberty, remained in the trauma unit of Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville Friday afternoon.

Trooper Keith Maddox of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 33 year old Carlos Garcia of Dowelltown and 53 year old Temy Miller of Ypsilanti, Michigan were both seriously injured in the wreck and were airlifted from the scene by Life Flight Helicopter ambulances and flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Trooper Maddox says he spoke with Garcia's wife Friday afternoon, who told him that Garcia was still in the trauma unit of the hospital. However, Maddox says he was unable to get a report on the condition of Miller.

The accident occurred Tuesday morning at around 5:10 a.m. on Highway 70 near the nine mile marker between Liberty and Dowelltown.

Trooper Maddox says Garcia was driving west in a 1998 Buick Skylark when he crossed into the eastbound lane and struck Miller's 2006 Dodge Sprinter delivery truck head-on. Miller was hauling exhaust pipe enroute to Tenneco in Smithville.

Both Miller and Garcia were trapped in their vehicles after the crash and had to be extricated by members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's rescue team. The Liberty Station of the County Fire Department was also on the scene along with DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Trooper Maddox says alcohol may have been a factor in the crash and charges are pending.

Five Candidates To Seek Three Alderman Seats in Alexandria City Election

June 22, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Five candidates are in the race for Alderman in the Alexandria City Election, which is set for September 6th. Three will be elected.

The candidates are Derrick Baker, Sheila Clayborn, Maureen Tubbs, Henry R. Walker, and James R. Walker.

Thursday (June 21st) noon was the qualifying deadline.

Meanwhile, the last date to register to vote in the Alexandria City Election is August 8th at 4:00 p.m.

The deadline to register as a property rights voter is also August 8th and proof of ownership is required.

Early voting begins August 17th and ends September 1st.

Anyone wishing to qualify as a write-in candidate must file a notice with the Election Commission Office no later than 50 days prior to election day. The last day to file as a write-in candidate is July 18th. Anyone with any questions may call 597-4146 or stop by the election office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Alexandria Mayor and Board of Aldermen is currently made up of Mayor David Cripps and Aldermen Charles Griffith, Sarah Walker, James Keys, Eddie Tubbs, Jimmy Mullinax, and Jim York.

New Smithville Lions Club Chartered

June 23, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The number of Lions in Tiger country climbed on June 2nd and is still climbing. Smithville officially chartered a new Lions Club to join the Alexandria Lions Club in serving the needs of Dekalb County and beyond. Twenty-one men and women charter members celebrated the formation of the Smithville Lions Club at the Smithville Church of God Annex on a rare rainy evening during a drought plagued spring. Following a great meal catered by The Gourmet Café, Lions District Governor Shirley Staats presented the members of the new club with their official charter, which all present signed. \"I am extremely proud and honored to welcome these fine men and women as fellow Lions. Smithville will also be proud to have such a fine group serving the community,\" said Shirley Staats. The charter will remain open until August 31, 2007, and any new member who joins during that time will be counted as a charter member. The club has already added to the roster since charter night and welcomes more.

A host of Lions from across Tennessee gathered to help mark the occasion. Members of the McMinnville Lions Club, who sponsored the formation of the Smithville Lions Club, were on hand to congratulate the new club; these included Past District Governor James McBee, President Inez Nunley and Guiding Lion Evelyn Northcutt. The Officers and Directors of the new Smithville Lions Club were officially inducted by Past International Director Billy Pearson. The keynote address on Lionism was given by Past International President and Woodbury Lion Austin Jennings.

Internationally, the Lions primary activity is service to the blind and visually impaired. They are also very involved with youth initiatives. Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.35 million members in nearly 200 countries and geographical locations.

Locally, the Smithville Lions will have a booth set up at this year's Fiddlers Jamboree and are already scheduled to screen eyesight for the Head Start Program and at the First Day of School Celebration. The Smithville Lions Club is conducting a needs analysis to assess areas that need to be addressed in our community and will develop activities to meet them. They are also already planning on participating in the District 12-S White Cane effort that raises money for projects such as Leader Dog for the Blind, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, the Middle Tennessee Lions Sight Service, Tennessee School for the Blind, District Hearing Aid Program and many more. Anyone interested in learning more about being a part of this community service should contact either Smithville Membership Chairman Vester Parsley at 597-7200 or Guiding Lion Cliff Swoape at 597-0518

The Smithville Lions Club would like to extend a very special thanks to the Smithville Church of God for the use of their building and to Evelyn Underwood for all of her assistance. They would also like to thank the many Lions of Tennessee who sent gifts to get the Smithville Lions Club started strong.

Members of the club are Jeff James (Tail Twister), Phillip Cripps (2nd Vice-President), Jim Wall, Mike Foster, Vester Parsley (Membership Chair), Mark Willoughby, Jeremy Trapp (Lion Tamer), Rhonda Caplinger, Kevin Latta, Randy Tramel, Cliff Swoape (Guiding Lion & Affiliate Member), Evelyn Northcutt (Guiding Lion), Pam Curtis, Deanna Johnson, Stephanie Walls (Director), Starla Meigs (Treasurer), April Patrick Gray (Director), Jackie Smith (1st Vice President), Inez Nunley (McMinnville Club President), Tony Charley (President), Kate Poss (Secretary), Jayson Johnson, Meshia Price, and Charles Atnip

Stella Luna Gallery Kicks Off Summer Series

June 24, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Stella Luna Art Gallery launches its summer schedule of “Hot Artists - Cool Visions” with a gallery showing for Stan Rodriguez and Robert Carlson June 30th through July 19th. A reception for the artists will be held Saturday, June 30th from 6 until 9 pm at the gallery on College St. in Smithville.

Gallery owners Louis and Christine Colombarini say the current exhibit is first of three in the series Stella Luna will host this summer. The goal, Louis explains, is to “create more awareness and exposure for the featured artists and give art enthusiasts of the area an opportunity to meet and view the work of nationally recognized, award winning American artists.” All works displayed in this exhibit and gallery will be available for purchase.

Rodriguez, a resident of Cookeville and California native, comes from a family of traditional painters. He carries that tradition forward in works he calls digeographs. “I use the mouse as if it were a brush or pencil, and paint on the computer screen to express the beauty and exuberance of life,” he explains. His work has been featured at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.

Carlson, who lives in Hannibal, MO, specializes in fine art claywork and painting. He is a frequent presenter of workshops, including several held at the Appalachian Crafts Center. Carlson has been an “artist-in-residence” at the center and was honored as Artist of the Year by the Cookeville Arts Commission in 1999. His work has been featured in many shows celebrating contemporary clay, including the Smithsonian Crafts Show in Washington, D.C.

Since opening in 2004, Stella Luna has showcased an eclectic mix of contemporary American fine art and craft in all media. One third of the more than 90 artists featured are residents of Tennessee. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 through 5:50. For additional information, contact Louis Colombarini at 615.597.4004 or visit them on the web at www.cosmic-clay.com

Smithville Police Arrest Three on Various Charges

June 25, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have made three arrests over the last few days on various charges including DUI, Drugs and Driver's License Revocation.

Chief Tom Stufano says \"On June 22 Smithville Police arrested 23 year old Wallace Rackley of 515 North Congress Boulevard in Smithville for Driving on a Revoked Driver's License. Police originally responded to a reported violation of restraining order between Rackley and another party. During the investigation Rackley was seen driving in the immediate area. A computer check disclosed Rackley had his license revoked and should not be driving. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the DeKalb County Jail under a $1,500 bond.\"

Meanwhile, 28 year old Michael Billings of 115 Higginbottom Road in Smithville was arrested for DUI. Chief Stufano says \" Billings was originally stopped at 4:00 am for speeding on East Broad Street. Smithville Officers detected the smell of an alcoholic beverage on Billing's breath and he performed poorly on a sobriety test. He was arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail under a $1,500 bond.\"

Chief Stufano says \"A second party in the incident, 20 year old Latisha Jones of 268 Rock Island Road, Smithville, was also arrested for drugs and underage alcohol consumption She was charged with being in possession of 2 hypodermic syringes concealed in her clothing, and additional charges were placed when officer's found marijuana and a blue pill (Xanax) that she tried to conceal in the back seat of the police vehicle as she was transported to jail.. She was transported to the DeKalb County Jail under a $6,500 bond.\"

Chief Stufano says \"Smithville Police will be vigilant for drunk drivers for the upcoming Fiddler's Jamboree scheduled for July 6 & 7th and ask our citizens to report any suspicious activities. Your help in reducing this type of crime is keeping our children and community safe.\"

Fiddler's Jamboree to Feature Many New Crafts

June 25, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The 36th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 6th and 7th.

Emma Jean Dudney, Chairman of Crafts, says this year's Fiddler's Jamboree will feature many new crafts. \"As of this date we have 86 new crafters and a few spaces left to fill. We are pleased to have a large number of local and area artists/craftsmen participating the the Jamboree Crafts Festival this year.\"

Dudney says this year's fine arts participants are a very impressive group. \"You will find a great variety of artisans with drawing, paintings, prints potography and etc. Tim Arnold of Lebanon will be doing beautiful freehand cut silhouetts of children. Dave washburn of Lawrenceville, GA will be drawing caricatures of people on the spot. Charcoal portraits will be done by Phillip Eastep of Athens Alabama. Joe Certo of Nashville will be returning with his metal sculptures. A new participant is Michael Ulschak of Silver Point with blown glass and wheel carved vessels. Joseph Vick of Lyles TN will bring his rustic style prints and do Quick Portraits. Doug Walpus of Lebanon TN brings beautiful original wildlife paintings, prints and sculptures. We also have a good number of people doing some wonderful pottery items; raku pottery,hand thrown one of a kind pottery, pottery baskets as well as pottery and ceramic sculptures. Space will not permit mentioning everyone.\"

Dudney says Some of the old-time and Applachian Crafts will be available as well. \"In the musical instrument class we have dulcimers, dulcimer-banjos and special finger picks. Leon Hoffman of Tilly Ark. will be back with old fashioned wood turned treen ware (kitchen utensils) ,biscuit cutters, rolling pins, pasta cutters and old fashioned toys. Many of the wood workers are doing turned wood bowls, vases, candle holders and primitive furniture. You will find a variety of oak furniture, small tables, cedar chests, adirondiak chairs, rocking chairs, and swings. Linda Stewart of Cumming GA will be demonstrating how to make old fashioned lye soap with the iron washpot, ashhopper, laundry day with wash tup and scrub board.\"

According to Dudney, many of the crafts will be of particular interest to women. \"Several crafters will be doing bath and body products such as: salt sea scrub, soaps, lye soap, lotions, handpainted glass nail files. A number of booths will have handmade or hand decorated items of clothing, hair accessories, aprons, cute purses and handbags, decorated sweat shirts , knitted pieces and painted hats.\"

\"Home decorating items will include; fused glass items, clocks, floral arrangements, wreaths, hand painted items, handwoven baskets, woven fabric items, gourd art, ceramics, pottery (bowls, dishes, containers) , pillows, quilts, framed items, Bonsai trees, soy candles, make your own candles, glass murials, stained glass panels,pressed flowers in glass, marble painted vases, blown glass items, painted antiques, hand blown glass sculptures.\"

Dudney says leather products will be available. \"Men and women may like the leather products such as; leather belts, buckles, wallets, hats and snake skin items ( belts, wallets, hat bands, guitar straps, rifle slings, knife cases etc.).\"

\"Children's Items include: Soft sculpture mobiles(butterflies,dragonflies,ect. cute for decorating a child's room) baby and children's clothing and quilts, diaper bags. children's jewelry , dolls, girls purses, costumes, hair bows, bow holders, toys, wooden push toys, puppets marionettes, children's furniture, doll furniture numerous toys from wood and cigarbox guitars.\"

\"Everyone can enjoy the yard and garden items to be found this year; swings, bird houses, bird feeders, copper garden art, wind chimes (metal, stained glass and recycled glass), signs, concrete statues, hammocks, hammock chairs and colorful children's swings and other yard items made from recycled tires.\"

Dudney says crafters from many states will be represented at this year's Fiddler's Jamboree. \"It is interesting to look at the various places and distances some of our crafters travel. At this point we have: One each from Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisanna, West Virginia and Michigan.; Two each from Kansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina; Three from Illinois; Four from Missouri; Five from Indiana; Six from Ohio; Eight from Florida; Eleven from Georgia; Ten from Kentucky; Twenty from Alabama and the rest from Tennessee.\"

\"Come out and enjoy the show.\"

B. Don James Granted Delay in Reporting to Federal Prison

June 25, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

B. Don James was scheduled to report to a federal prison facility Monday (June 25th), but that has been delayed until July 18th.

James' attorney, Hilton Conger, filed a motion last Monday, June 18th seeking a delay in James' reporting date.

According to Conger's motion, \"As of this date (June 18th), the defendant (James) has not been notified of the location of the facility to which he is to report.\"

The motion states that \"The defendant (James) has been advised by the U.S. Marshall's Service that as of today's date (June 18th, 2007), the Marshall's Service has not been notified of the facility and that due to the fact that the defendant (James) has medical conditions which need to be addressed and the court's sentencing order provides that the defendant's need for medical treatment be given consideration, it may take as many as 90 days to assign a facility.\"

\"Wherefore, the defendant (James) moves the court to grant a 90 day extension for his reporting to begin service of his sentencing.\"

U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell granted Conger's in motion, in part, denying a 90 day delay but granting him a 23 day extension. The judge's order states that \"The defendant (James) shall surrender for service of sentence at the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons before 2:00 p.m. on July 18th.

James was sentenced on May 25th in U.S. District Court in Nashville by Judge Campbell to a total of 97 months in federal prison on various counts of wire fraud.

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