Local News Articles

Three Elderly People Involved In Two Vehicle Wreck Friday Afternoon

September 29, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Three elderly people were involved in a two vehicle traffic accident around 3:20 p.m. Friday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 56 south and Keltonburg Road.

Trooper Brian Raymond of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 90 year old Atwood Cantrell of Keltonburg Road was south on Highway 56 in a 1994 GMC Sonoma, attempting to turn onto Keltonburg Road, as 88 year old Ora Cox of Rolling Mill Road, Old Hickory was northbound, approaching the intersection in a 2008 Mercury Sable.

Cox and a passenger of her car, 85 year old Mattie Stalcup of Gribble Street, McMinnville were injured and taken by DeKalb EMS to the hospital for treatment.

Cantrell was not injured.

Warren County Traffic Accident Claims Life of Teacher

September 28, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 53 year old DeKalb County woman, who was also a Warren County Middle School teacher, died from injuries she received in a one car crash around 7:29 a.m. Friday morning on Greenhill Road in Warren County.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that Patsy Ann Rachel of Smithville was driving a 2001 Lincoln south on State Highway 287 when she went off the right shoulder, traveled about 50 yards, came back into the right lane, crossed into the left lane, and then went off the road and struck a tree.

She was taken to River Park Hospital in McMinnville where she was pronounced dead.

The accident was investigated by Troopers Daryle Gribble and Ronnie Simmons and Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

According to the accident report, Rachel was not wearing her seat belt.

Seven Persons Apply for Smithville Chief of Police

September 28, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Seven persons have applied for Chief of Police for the City of Smithville, while twelve have filed an application for the job of Public Works Director, and five are in the running for the position of Secretary/Treasurer.

Noon Friday was the deadline for interested persons to submit their applications at city hall.

Those who have applied for Police Chief are former Chief and now Lieutenant Richard Jennings, Danny Nelson Holmes of Baxter, Mike Dennis Foster of Winchester, Kenneth D. Smith of Watertown, John C. Lowe of Apple Creek, Ohio, Phillip Bruce Robinette of Rogersville, and Tony Jones of Smithville.

Jennings began his law enforcement career with the City of Smithville in 1976. He joined the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department in 1977 working for then Sheriff Dwight Mathis until he left office in 1986. Jennings rejoined the Smithville Police Department in 1986 and was appointed Police Chief in 1994, a position he held for nine years before being re-assigned by the city council in November, 2003.

Holmes worked for the Putnam County Sheriff's Department from 1976 to 2006 and is now a security officer for the Cookeville Regional Medical Center. He also served as a D.A.R.E. instructor.

Foster served as Sheriff of Franklin County from 1998 until 2006 and is now security director at TEPRO Incorporated of Winchester. He has a B.A. degree in administration of justice from Columbia College and he has a Masters degree in criminal justice administration from MTSU.

Smith is currently employed with the Mount Juliet Police Department. He worked for the Lebanon Police Department from 1986 to 2006.

Lowe, who worked for the Wayne County Sheriff's Department from 1983 to 1993, is now employed by the Apple Creek, Ohio Police Department.

Robinette was Chief of the England City Police Department from 2006 to 2007. Prior to that, he worked for the Rogersville Police Department from 1991 to 2004 and the Hawkins County Sheriff's Department from 1979 to 1990.

Jones is a former member of the United States Air Force where he served 22 years with the Military Police.

Applicants for Public Works Director are as follows:

Myron Rhody, Phillip Eugene Wilkey, Bobby Wayne Pinegar, Lewis Donald Cantrell, Avent Ray (Buck) Mooneyham, Gary Wayne Prater, Albert Lourn Rice, Clarence Bradley Trapp, Jimmy Randall Taylor, Kenny Waynon Dyal, Wallace Dale Caldwell, and Kevin Erbie Robinson all of Smithville.

Applicants for Secretary/Treasurer are as follows:

William Hunter Hendrixson, Robert Dennis Schafer, and Gary Wayne Prater all of Smithville, Jennifer Michelle Hight of Alexandria, and Lisa Carole McMillin of Watertown.

The Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen will review the applications for each position and hire successors to former Police Chief Thomas J. Stufano and former Secretary/Treasurer Burnace Vandergriff.

School Spirit on Display during DCHS Homecoming Parade

September 28, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

School spirit was on display Friday afternoon as students from DeKalb County High School celebrated the last day of Homecoming Week with a parade from the school to downtown.

The Tiger football team's homecoming opponent Friday night is the Cannon County Lions and each float in the parade had a Tiger versus Lions theme.

The parade featured the Homecoming Queen and her court, the DCHS Fighting Tiger Band, county and city law enforcement officers and fire fighters, among others.

The Junior Class took first place with their float called "Tigers Roast Lions"

The Senior Class won second place with their float called "DeKalb Tigers are Slammin' Lions to the Wall".

Third place went to the FCCLA Club for their float entry called "Tigers are the Real Thing"

The Freshmen Class took fourth place with their float called "Tigers Walk the Lion"

The Sophomore Class received fifth place with their float called "Now Showing: A Tiger Victory"

Winners of the best decorated vehicles in the parade were: First place- Olivia Miller, Second place- Crystal Stibil, and Third place- Holly Owen

Winners of the best decorated business or window category were: First place- The Board of Education; Second place- DeKalb Community Bank and the law office of Sue Puckett Jernigan. Region's Bank received Honorable Mention.

Sheriff's Department Launches a Citizens Alert System

September 28, 2007

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has implemented a new CITIZENS ALERT SYSTEM.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says "the CITIZENS ALERT SYSTEM is designed to inform the citizens of DeKalb County, via email and fax, of anything going on in the county that might affect you as a citizen and also add more eyes to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department in knowing about potential problems before they happen to you."

The CITIZENS ALERT SYSTEM informs businesses and citizens about criminal activity,
wanted persons, missing persons, security and safety issues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sheriff Ray says the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office has established a CITIZENS ALERT SYSTEM that links the citizens and businesses and the county's law enforcement agency through an email and fax communication system located at the Sheriff's Office. " This email and fax database allow us to quickly alert businesses and citizens to criminal activity and important information that is relevant to the security and safety of all citizens, business operations,
employees and customers, twenty-four hours a day."

If you would like to participate in this program, you may go to the Sheriff's Department's website at www.dekalbsherifftn.com and click on the CITIZEN ALERT SYSTEM selection in the menu and complete the form at the bottom of the page. You can sign up for your home or your business, or both. If you don't have Internet access and want to sign up for the CITIZEN
ALERT SYSTEM by fax, send the following information to the sheriff by regular mail: Your Name, Complete Home Address, Home Phone Number, Home Fax Number, Business Name, Complete Business Address, Business Phone Number, and Business Fax Number.

City Officials Concerned That lake Level Could Affect Water Supply

September 27, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

With the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning to make repairs to Center Hill Dam, Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson and other city leaders are concerned about how that might affect the elevation of Center Hill Lake and the intake operation for the city's water supply.

The City of Smithville owns and operates a multiport raw water intake structure located at Center Hill Lake. This intake is the sole source of water for the City of Smithville and the DeKalb Utility District, the city's largest water customer. The intake was constructed in 1967.

In a letter to Joy Broach, Project Planning Branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mayor Hendrixson recently expressed his concerns "The engineering company that designed this structure still serves as the city's consultant and according to their calculations, the absolute minimum lake elevation which will allow this intake to function hydraulically is elevation 618.0 Mean Sea Level (MSL).However, they have cautioned that lake elevations below 620.0 MSL could cause turbulence in the pump well possibly affecting the pumps. In addition, the city's water treatment plant operators report that lake elevations below 623.5 MSL result in poor raw water quality which creates treatment difficulties. For these reasons, we prefer that the Corps of Engineers maintain the elevation of Center Hill Lake at elevation 623.5 or above but understand the importance of Dam repair. If the lake surface is dropped below elevation 620.0 the city's pumps may begin to cavitate and malfunction which will result in the city being out of water."

Tim Dunn, Resource Manager of Center Hill Lake, says repairing the seepage problem at Center Hill Dam may not require the lake elevation to be dropped to the level that would affect water supply for utilities, but there might be a concern because of prolonged dry weather. "We want to make sure we have public water, both for consumption in the homes as well as for fire protection and those types of things, so water supply will be strongly considered in any decisions about lake levels. With the seepage problems, I don't foresee us making any decisions to take the lake down below the existing water intake unless it were a worst case scenario type situation. For normal operations, I don't expect it to have any impact. However, as you know, this summer and early fall we are in a severe drought and there is a possibility that with the drought, at the elevation we are at now on through the fall, we could be looking at fairly low levels this winter toward the end of December down around the low 620's and maybe even as far down as 618 or 619. Hopefully, we will get enough rain that this won't become a reality but if it does I would encourage the water users or water supply folks to consider looking at their drought contingency plans and see what would be required if the drought necessitated the lake going down further than what we would intentionally take the level to. It's something to be aware of and think through, but from the seepage standpoint, I don't expect us going below levels that would affect the water intake."

Dunn says the lake level, as of Wednesday, was at 630 Mean Sea Level. " It is at elevation 630 and that is feet above sea level. To put it into perspective, our normal summer pool elevation is 648, so we're about 18 feet below where we are normally in the middle of the summertime, around Memorial Day. Under our current plan of operation, we are expected to go down to around 623.5 this winter. However, as I mentioned, the drought, with no inflow coming into the lake and with evaporation and minimum releases for water quality and other uses downstream, we may be looking at lower than 623.5. As we go lower, if the drought requires us to go lower, we will work very closely with the other users and the water supply folks to ensure that we know how affective they are able to withdraw water at various elevations and see if there are problems before they occur. Now is the time that communication and working closely together is going to be very important."

Dunn says Corps officials have been in contact with city officials and others who may be affected by the lake elevation. "We have talked with them as well as other stakeholders on the lake as part of our Environmental Impact Statement process. We're doing an Environmental Impact Statement to address possible lake level adjustments, further lowering the lake, and as part of that process we've asked the public and any interested parties to comment on what their impacts may be, and in particular, I have talked with the water supply folks as well as marinas and others who are directly affected by it. We recently talked with the cities and their engineers about exactly what elevations the water intakes could be affected. One of the main things right now is that we want to capture that information and know that we understand and know exactly what the elevations are that are critical to various users so that we can keep that in mind and incorporate that in our decision making process. However, I do want to make sure that the public is aware that public health and safety, which would include water supply, is definitely one of our top priorities."

Sheriff's Department Finds Drugs and Moonshine and Makes Three Arrests

September 27, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

The discovery of drugs and moonshine by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department this week has resulted in the arrest of three people.

53 year old Danny Petty and 51 year old Julie Saylors of Lake Motel on the Sparta Highway, were arrested Tuesday on charges of simple possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says his office received a tip that illegal drug abuse was taking place in a motel room at Lake Motel. Detectives went there and found dilaudid and three hypodermic needles in the motel room that Petty and Saylors share.

Bond for Petty and Saylors was set at $7,500 each and their court date is October 11th.

Meanwhile, detectives stopped 37 year old John Corey Vickers on Highway 56 north on Tuesday for a traffic violation.

Sheriff Ray says officers found that Vickers had in his possession a half gallon jug and three quart jars of moonshine, 18 Xanax pills, marijuana, rolling papers, and $1,574 in cash which was seized.

Vickers was charged with unlawful possession of untaxed liquor (moonshine), sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug (xanax), possession of drug paraphernalia (rolling papers), and simple possession (marijuana).

Vickers was also arrested on one count of theft of property and fourteen counts of forgery. Detectives learned that Vickers had gone into a home on Church Street in Dowelltown and took the victim's checks. He then forged the checks and cashed them.

Total bond for Vickers is $200,000 and his court date is October 11th.

Ria Baker Appointed Mayor of Alexandria

September 25, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Alexandria has a new mayor.

Ria Baker was appointed by the Alexandria Aldermen Tuesday night to fill the remaining two years of former Mayor Clara Lee Vantrease's unexpired term.

Vantrease was elected Mayor in September, 2005 but resigned the following summer, citing personal reasons. The Alexandria Aldermen then appointed fellow Alderman David Cripps to serve as Mayor,

Cripps announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down in September.

Baker was sworn into office by City Judge Brody Kane.

Kane also administered the oath of office to the newly elected Aldermen, Maureen Tubbs, Derrick Baker, and Shelia Clayborn. They succeed the retiring aldermen, Jimmy Mullinax, James Keys, and Jim York, all of whom were serving unexpired terms of others who had previously resigned.

Meanwhile, Alderman Sarah Walker, who was not present last night, has also resigned. Outgoing Mayor Cripps read a brief written statement from Walker, who stated that she was stepping down, effective September 4th, for personal reasons.

The Aldermen, later in the meeting, re- appointed James Keys to serve out Walker's unexpired term. He was sworn into office by City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr.

Parsley was appointed city attorney to succeed Watertown lawyer Robin Vance-Kent, who announced her resignation earlier this summer. Last night was apparently her last meeting with the city board.

The make up of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen now includes Mayor Ria Baker and Aldermen Charles Griffith, Eddie Tubbs, Maureen Tubbs, Derrick Baker, Shelia Clayborn, and James Keys.

The board plans to begin work soon on updating it's 1935 city charter with the help of Don Darden of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service as well as adopting a new municipal code. After the meeting, city leaders said many ordinances have gone missing in recent years and can't be located.

Meanwhile, the Alexandria Christmas Parade has been scheduled for Saturday, December, 8th at 1:00 p.m.

Flu Vaccine Now Available at DeKalb County Health Department

September 25, 2007

Flu season is just around the corner and the DeKalb County Health Department is ready to offer flu shots to area residents. No shortage of vaccine is expected this year and the health department says local supplies will not be restricted while they last.

A mass flu clinic is currently scheduled for Thursday, October 11th from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Health Department. Mass flu clinics offer convenience and people are able to get in and out quickly. No appointments are needed.

"October and November are often the best months to get the influenza vaccine because that's generally before we begin seeing many flu cases. In Tennessee, flu activity usually peaks in late January, and can peak as late as April, so we will continue to vaccinate residents through the winter, or as long as we have vaccine available, said Dr. Don Tansil, Upper Cumberland Regional Health Officer.

Though influenza vaccine is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza, certain people are at especially high risk of serious illness or death from influenza, especially the elderly and the very young. People who live with or care for those at high risk for serious illness should be vaccinated to prevent exposing them to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reccomends that individuals in the following groups receive the vaccine unless their health care provider has told them otherwise:

Children aged 6 months through 59 months up to their 5th birthday
Pregnant women (or those who will be pregnant during flu season)
Adults aged 50 years and older (especially those 65 and up)
Residents of long term care facilities
People of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, certain muscle or nerve disorders, and diabetes)
All healthcare workers
Household members and caregivers of people in the above high risk groups

In DeKalb County the cost of the flu shot will be $25.00 for adults and $13.70 for children. Pneumonia vaccine will also be available for $41.00. Payment can be made in the form of cash or check and Medicare and TennCare can be billed. Correct change is preferred. Individuals receiving flu shots need to wear short sleeve shirt.

For more information about scheduled flu clinics, call the DeKalb Health Department ar 615-597-7599.

DeKalb County Man Makes TBI's Most Wanted List

September 24, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

28 year old Toby Lynn Young, a DeKalb County Jail escapee who has been on the run for over three years, is now on the TBI's Most Wanted list.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says "Within the past few months we've been getting tips that Young could be moving between DeKalb and Cannon counties and we would like to get him picked up. I contacted the TBI to assist us in his capture and now he is on the TBI's most wanted list. Young's criminal history dates back to at least 1997. Young has been charged with offenses such as underage consumption, DUI, theft and weapons charges. He is now wanted for escape and other charges here and more charges in surrounding counties."

Sheriff Ray says Young has brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. Young also has an Eagle's head tattoo on his back.

If you have seen him call 1-800-TBI-FIND or the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department at 597-4935.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray says on Sunday 19 year old Jose Martinez of East Main Street, Smithville was stopped for weaving on Highway 56. Martinez was found to be under the influence. He was arrested for DUI and Violation of the Implied Consent Law. His bond is set at $1,000 and his court date is October 4th.

34 year old Luis Manuel Ortiz of Short Mountain Road, Smithville was involved in an accident last week in the Smithville City Limits. Ortiz fled the scene and was stopped by a County Deputy for weaving on Short Mountain Highway. Ortiz was charged with DUI. His bond is set at $1,000 and his court date is October 4th.

19 year old Brandon Ray Riddle of Toy Slatten Road, Sparta was seen by two off duty law enforcement officers loading a 4 wheeler into a pickup truck at around 1:00 am Sunday morning at a residence on Highway 70 near Liberty. The officers called in the incident and a county Deputy stopped Riddle in Liberty on Highway 70. Deputies also found a .25 caliber pistol in Riddle's possession. Through an investigation, officers learned that Riddle was also involved in stealing another 4 wheeler on Parsley Road earlier this month and selling another stolen 4 wheeler, which was stolen out of Kentucky, to an individual in DeKalb County. Riddle was charged with three counts of theft of property and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon. His bond is set at $35,000 and his court date is October 4th

The Sheriff's Department, on Monday morning, responded to a vandalism call at DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Sheriff Ray says someone had come there during the night and vandalized a statue of Jesus by pouring a red liquid substance on the statue. Owners of the cemetery advised the statue was purchased some where around 1962 for $25,000. If any one has any information about this crime, please call the Sheriff's Department at 597-4935 or the Sheriff's Department Crime Line at 464-6400.

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