Local News Articles

Election Commission Issues Correction

October 1, 2012
Dennis Stanley

A correction as to what laws apply to those supporting or opposing an upcoming liquor referendum has been issued by the DeKalb County Election Commission office.

Originally it was announced that communications such as signs, broadcast and print advertisements must include a disclaimer of who paid for the communication.

“We have since found out that is in error,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “Based on a Supreme Court ruling, individuals and organizations are exempt from the ‘paid for’ law that applies to political candidates. We’re sorry for any confusion this may have caused.”

However, there is a different election law that does apply to certain proponents and opponents of questions on the ballot. Stanley said if two or more persons join forces to support or oppose or an entity such as a church takes a position on a referendum they are subject to the state’s campaign finance laws.

Specifically “reports of appointment of treasurers and disclosure of contributions and expenditures are required of : (1) a group of two or more individuals making expenditures to support or oppose any state or local measure in a referendum, (2) a corporation or any other organization making expenditures to support or oppose any state or local referendum, (3) any committee, club, association or group of persons receiving contributions or making expenditures totaling more than $250 in a calendar year to support or oppose any state or local measure in a referendum.”
Those who fail to follow this law could be subject to civil penalties.

“The election commission obviously is not taking a position on the referendum, but just informing those who are that certain state laws may apply to their activities,” Stanley said.

Questions regarding either the advertising disclosure law or campaign finance disclosure law can be directed to the local election office at 597-4146.

Intoxicated Driver Pulls Into Parking Lot Filled With Law Enforcement Officers

October 1, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dustin Allen Pedigo
James Paul Wright
Jessica Louise Verbeke
Mark E. Soales
Lindsey Paulette Davenport
Crispin Gonzalez Perez
Annette Melvin

An intoxicated driver, allegedly looking for a place to pull over to shoot up some dilaudid, chose
a spot where more than a dozen law enforcement officers had gathered for in-service training.

22 year old Dustin Allen Pedigo of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and unlawful possession of a schedule II drug for resale (dilaudid). He was also issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $6,500 and he will be in court on October 4.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Pedigo pulled into the driveway of the county fire department's main station on King Ridge Road last Wednesday, September 26 where ten or twelve patrol cars were parked. The officers were there for an in-service training. A few officers, who were outside the building at the time, saw Pedigo pull up and then back up several times in his automobile. At one point, Pedigo's vehicle almost hit the key pad for the gate. Sheriff Ray said he believes Pedigo was looking for a place to stop and "shoot up some dope (dilaudid)".

A deputy approached Pedigo and found that his speech was slurred. Pedigo got out of the vehicle and the officer saw him holding a cut straw and a hypodermic needle. Pedigo submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood alcohol/drug test at the hospital. Pedigo admitted to drinking beer, according to Sheriff Ray. While at the hospital, Pedigo went to use the restroom and there a small clear package fell onto the floor. Inside the package were four small yellow pills believed to be dilaudid.

37 year old James Paul Wright and 29 year old Jessica Louise Verbeke both of Lebanon are each charged with theft of property over $500. Bond for each is $4,500 and they will be in court October 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, September 27, Wright and Verbeke allegedly stole a trailer and a weedeater, valued at over $600, from a residence on Dry Creek Road. Wright and Verbeke have allegedly admitted to taking these items, according to Sheriff Ray.

61 year old Mark E. Soales of Davis Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also cited for violation of the implied consent law, violation of the registration law, violation of the financial responsibility, no drivers license, and for having a headlight out. His bond is $2,000 and he will be in court on November 1.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, September 27 a deputy responded to a BE ON THE LOOKOUT (BOLO) for a possible drunk driver on Highway 56 south. The officer spotted the vehicle and got behind it. According to the deputy, the automobile, driven by Soales, crossed the center line of the highway several times. The officer activated his blue lights signaling for the driver to stop. Soales stopped in a lane of travel. The deputy found that Soales had a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and his speech was slurred. Soales admitted to being drunk and told the officer to take him on to jail. Soales, who was very uncooperative with the officer, refused to submit to any field sobriety tasks or a blood alcohol test.

24 year old Lindsey Paulette Davenport of Woodbury Highway, Liberty is charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property over $500. Her bond is $11,000 and she will be in court October 4. She was arrested on Friday, September 28

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 12, Davenport allegedly broke into a residence on Cecil Hale Road. Entry was made by prying open the front door. Davenport allegedly stole nose trimmers, a Radio Shack Weather Alert Radio, two fishing poles, a wind up grandfather clock, and a red tool box with miscellaneous tools with a total estimated value of $817.

The case was investigated by a criminal investigator of the sheriff's department.

24 year old Crispin Gonzalez Perez of Talley Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for no drivers license, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), violation of the implied consent law, and for driving on the wrong side of the road. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court October 4.

According to Sheriff Ray, on Saturday, September 29 a deputy saw a small pickup truck traveling on the wrong side of the road on Lee Braswell Road. The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Perez, who had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Perez told the officer that he had drank six beers. Perez submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He was very unsteady on his feet. Perez refused to submit to a blood alcohol test.

53 year old Annette Melvin of Sparta Highway, Sparta is charged with aggravated assault. Her bond is $3,500 and she will be in court October 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, September 29, Melvin allegedly assaulted a man in her room at Ragland Bottom Motel. The responding officer determined that Melvin was the primary aggressor. The victim had been hit in the back of the head with a glass beer bottle, causing a cut. The victim also had a cut to his right hand. Melvin and the man had gotten into an argument and when he tried to take the bottle away from her, she hit him with it. DeKalb EMS was called to the scene.

34 year old James Frederick Summers of Toad Road, Dowelltown is cited for simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (diazepam), simple possession of a schedule III drug (hydrocodone), and simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). He will be in court October 25.

Sheriff Ray said that an officer found Summers in possession of these drugs in his vehicle, including four diazepam pills, two hydrocodone pills, and some marijuana.

Smithville Police Issue Citations for Shoplifting, Drug Offenses, and Traffic Violations

October 1, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Randy Caplinger

In his latest update on Smithville crime news, Police Chief Randy Caplinger reports that 27 year old Charles Jason West was cited on Monday, September 17 for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Upon suspicion of drug activity, police were given permission to conduct a search and illegal drug & paraphernalia were found. West will be in court on November 8.

21 year old Stephanie Michelle Mooneyham was cited for shoplifting on Tuesday, September 18. An officer responded to Wal-Mart to check out a complaint of a possible shoplifter. Upon investigation it was determined that Mooneyham took items belonging to Wal-Mart without paying for them. Her court date is October 4.

42 year old Cheryl Ann Perkins was cited for shoplifting on Thursday, September 20. An officer responded to Wal-Mart to check out a complaint of a possible shoplifter. Upon investigation it was determined that Perkins took items belonging to Wal-Mart without paying for them. Her court date is October 4.

43 year old William Andrew Cantrell was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia on Thursday, September 20. The Smithville Police Department's K-9 alerted on a vehicle in which Cantrell was a passenger. Drug paraphernalia were found on his person. Cantrell's court date is October 11.

56 year old William T. Effler was arrested on Friday, September 21 for DUI and cited for a drivers license violation, light law violation, failure to maintain lane of travel and violation of the implied consent law. According to the warrant, an officer observed a white Dodge truck traveling north bound with a none working headlamp. The officer turned around and started following the vehicle. He observed it crossing the fog line several times. At this time, the officer stopped the vehicle. The driver got out of the automobile and attempted to walk back toward the patrol car. The man, Effler was very unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Effler submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. He refused to submit to a blood alcohol test. His court date is October 4.

22 year old Brittney Nichole Moser was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia on Saturday, September 22. Moser, a front seat passenger of a vehicle pulled over on a traffic stop, consented to a search. Police found drug paraphernalia under her seat. Her court date is October 11.

31 year old Candice Selene Carroll was cited for shoplifting on Monday, September 24. An officer was dispatched to the Dollar General Store in reference to a shoplifter. Upon investigation police determined that Carroll took items belonging to the Dollar General Store without paying for them. Her court date is October 4.

45 year old William Hardie Morris Jr. was cited for shoplifting on Thursday, September 27. Morris was found to be in possession of items belonging to Wal-Mart which he had not paid for. His court date is October 11.

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

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

DeKalb Jobless Rate for August Drops to 8.2%

September 30, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's August unemployment rate was 8.2%, down from 8.6% in July and well below the 9.1% rate recorded in August, 2011.

The local labor force for August was 9,760. A total of 8,960 were employed and 800 were without work. DeKalb County tied for the third lowest unemployment rate among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they ranked from highest to lowest:

Pickett County: 12%
White County: 11.7%
Van Buren County: 11.4%
Clay County: 9.7%
Fentress County: 9.4%
Warren County: 9.3%
Jackson County: 9.0%
Overton County: 9.0%
Cumberland County: 8.9%
Macon County: 8.5%
DeKalb County:8.2%
Putnam County: 8.2%
Cannon County: 7.6%
Smith County: 7.4%

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for August 2012 show the rate decreased in 90 counties, increased in two, and stayed the same in three.

Tennessee's unemployment rate for August increased to 8.5 percent, up from the July revised rate of 8.4 percent. The national unemployment rate for August 2012 was 8.1 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than the July rate.

The state unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 6.7 percent, unchanged from the July rate. Davidson County was 7.4 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Hamilton County was 7.7 percent, down from 8.4 percent, and Shelby County was 9.0 percent, down from 9.7 percent in July.

Voter Registration Deadline Approaching for November 6 Elections

September 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Barack Obama
Mitt Romney

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds you that the last day to register to vote in person in time for the November 6 election is October 8, 2012. While that day is a legal holiday, the local election office will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Because of the holiday, mail-in voter registrations must be postmarked no later than October 6, 2012. The same deadlines apply for property rights registration

Meanwhile Early voting hours for the November Presidential Election have been set by the DeKalb County Election Commission.

As was the case for the August balloting, the commission voted to have two afternoons of early voting in an effort to accommodate more voters.

Hours for early voting, which begins October 17, are Mondays from Noon until 5 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Wednesdays 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. until Noon.

During the early voting period, which ends Nov. 1, there are 2 Mondays, 3 Thursdays and 2 Saturdays, giving voters who work late or work out of town ample opportunity to vote early.

DeKalb County voters may cast ballots for President of the United States, a U.S. Senator of Tennessee, U.S. Representative of the Sixth Congressional District, and State Representatives of the 40th & 46th districts. City of Smithville voters will also decide the outcome of a liquor referendum.

In the Presidential race, the ballot includes:
Electors for Mitt Romney for President and Paul Ryan for Vice President (Republican Nominee)
Electors for Barack Obama for President and Joe Biden for Vice President (Democratic Nominee)
Electors for Virgil Goode for President and Jim Clymer for Vice President (Constitution Party Nominee)
Electors for Jill Stein for President and Cheri Honkala for Vice President (Green Party Nominee)
Electors for Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson for President and Luis J. Rodriguez for Vice President (Independent Candidate)
Electors for Gary Johnson for President and James P. Gray for Vice President (Independent Candidate)
Electors for Merlin Miller for President and Virginia D. Abernethy for Vice President (Independent Candidate)

Candidates for the U.S. Senate are:
Bob Corker (Republican Nominee)
Mark E. Clayton (Democratic Nominee)
Kermit Steck (Constitution Party Nominee)
Martin Pleasant (Green Party Nominee)
Shaun E. Crowell ( Independent Candidate)
David Gatchell (Independent Candidate)
James Higdon (Independent Candidate)
Michel Joseph Long (Independent Candidate)
Troy Stephen Scoggin (Independent Candidate)

U.S. House of Representatives (6th Congressional District)
Diane Black (Republican Nominee)
Pat Riley (Green Party Nominee)
Scott Beasley ( Independent Candidate)

Tennessee House of Representatives (40th District)
Terri Lynn Weaver (Republican Nominee)
Sarah Marie Smith (Democratic Nominee)

Tennessee House of Representatives (46th District)
Mark A. Pody (Republican Nominee)

City of Smithville
Liquor Referendum
"To permit retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages in the City of Smithville"

"Not to permit retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages in the City of Smithville"

Dailey & Vincent to Host Third Annual Helping Hands Charity Concert

September 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dailey & Vincent

Dailey & Vincent are set to host their third concert for their Helping Hands Charity, on Saturday, September 29 at the Jackson County High School Gymnasium in Gainesboro. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

Since its inception, The Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund, administered through the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation, a 501©(3) organization, has raised over $60,000. It exists to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged children of Tennessee's Jackson and DeKalb counties to meet immediate medical, nutritional and educational needs not covered by insurance or other means.

Funds raised by the concert will be divided evenly for use in Jackson and DeKalb counties.

Concert tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and are available in Smithville at Cantrell Furniture or Mapco Express or by calling Julie Vincent (615-418-5759). Tickets are also available online at www.daileyvincent.com.

Woman Airlifted After Thursday Afternoon Crash, Two Men Charged

September 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Woman Airlifted After Thursday Afternoon Crash, Two Men Charged
Ford Taurus driven by Brenda Tramel
Chevy Impala driven by Zackary Nathaniel Hale

A Smithville woman was seriously injured in a two car crash Thursday afternoon on Highway 56 south near Whorton Springs Baptist Church.

Central dispatch received the call at 4:36 p.m.

71 year old Brenda Tramel was airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

According to Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tramel was traveling south on Highway 56 in a maroon Ford Taurus when a northbound 2007 blue Chevy Impala, driven by 25 year old Zackary Nathaniel Hale, crossed into the path of Tramel's car making a near head-on impact.

Hale was charged with driving under the influence and vehicular assault and he was cited for failure to maintain his lane of travel, violation of the financial responsibility law, and a driver license violation.

A passenger with Hale, 26 year old Brandon Scott Kidd of Smithville, was charged with driving under the influence by allowance which means Kidd permitted Hale to drive the Kidd family car while impaired.

Neither Hale nor Kidd were seriously injured. They were both arrested at the scene and taken to the jail for booking.

In addition to Trooper Jennings, Sergeant Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol was also on the scene along with DeKalb EMS and officers of the Sheriff's Department.

McMinnville Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

September 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
William Larry Dyle, II of McMinnville Dies in Motorcycle Crash
McMinnville Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

A 41 year old McMinnville man was found dead at the scene of a motorcycle crash on Highway 56 south near WJLE this morning (Thursday)

Dead is William Larry Dyle, II.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Dyle was operating a 2007 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle southbound and failed to negotiate a curve. He ran off the right side of the roadway, struck two mailboxes and a utility pole near the home of Phillip Cantrell. Dyle, who died at the scene, was wearing a helmet but was thrown from the bike. He landed about ten yards away from the motorcycle.

Trooper Johnson said it is unknown when the accident occurred. A couple out walking discovered the crash and reported it to 911 at around 6:19 a.m.

Dyle's body was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Harlem Wizards to Play Local Educators in Fundraising Basketball Game

September 26, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Harlem Wizards to Play Local Educators in Fundraising Basketball Game
Suzette Barnes

Trick-hoops and alley-oops are coming to DeKalb County High School Thursday night, October 11 at 7:00 p.m.

The Harlem Wizards, a show basketball team, will play local educators and business people to raise funds for the DeKalb County High School basketball programs. "This is an exhibition basketball team, similar to the Harlem Globetrotters," said Suzette Barnes. "This event is hosted by DeKalb County High School basketball boosters and all proceeds will go to the DeKalb County High School basketball programs," she said.

Advance tickets are $8.00 for students and $10.00 for adults and may be purchased at Kilgore's Restaurant, Liberty State Bank, or at the DeKalb County Complex. Tickets may be purchased at the door the night of the event at $10.00 for students and $12.00 for adults.

"We're going to put on a show like basketball on Broadway, baby. You get to see a little bit of everything," said Arthur Lewis Jr., who is known as King Arthur on the court.

The team's mix of comedy and athleticism inspires as well as entertains, according to Lewis.

"We inspire a lot of people," Lewis said. Not just to play basketball, but to pursue bigger and better lives."Dream. A lot of kids don't dream anymore," Lewis said. "It's about more than the sport. It's about using the sport to get an education."

Lewis has played basketball all his life, falling in love with the sport at a young age. He played through high school and then at Bowie State University in Maryland where he was named an Academic All-American. Lewis has also played with the American Basketball Association and was a two-time all-star in the International Basketball League.

The local team taking on the Wizards will be made up of educators from all five schools according to Barnes. "From DeKalb West is Audrey Russell and Sabrina Farler. From DeKalb Middle School we'll have Randy Jennings, Amanda Dakas, Josh Agee, Justin Nokes, and Karen Pelham. From DCHS, is Coach K, Kathy Bryant, Jenny Norris, and Patrick Cripps will be the coach. From Northside Elementary, we'll have Jerry Foster and Gayle Redman will be our water girl. From Smithville Elementary, we have Karen Knowles and Julie Vincent. From the Central Office we will have Director Mark Willoughby and Danielle Collins," she said.

Local business people will also be participating. "We'll have Jason Murphy from Optimus Pest Solutions, Jonathon Norris from Southern Landscape Supply, Matt Lawrence from DeKalb Tire and Service, Tim Tobbit from Good Health Family Clinic and many others. Its going to be a good night for educators and community business people to come together for a good night of basketball," said Barnes.

"We will play four quarters of basketball and have a half time show. At the end of the game we'll have an autograph session. Souvenirs will be on sale and anyone who purchases souvenirs can stay after the game and get those signed by the Harlem Wizard players. We will also have a full concession stand operating that night," she added.

"Its serving as a fundraiser for our high school basketball programs. This year, we are going to play in a Christmas tournament December 26-29 in Florida. It is our hope that we can raise enough money from this to help offset some of the costs for that trip," said Barnes.

"Everyone should (come out). It's for your own school, it's for your own kids," said Lewis. "You'll really enjoy yourself," Lewis said. "For one night, everyone in the community can come together," he added.

Referendum Supporters/Opponents May be Subject to Election Laws

September 26, 2012
Dennis Stanley

Those who are supporting or opposing the upcoming retail package store referendum are being reminded today that certain election laws may apply to their activities.

Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections, said in general terms that communications such as signs, broadcast and print advertisements must include a disclaimer of who paid for the communication. In addition, he said if two or more persons join forces to support or oppose or an entity such as a church takes a position on a referendum they are subject to the state's campaign finance laws.

"The election commission obviously is not taking a position on the referendum, but just informing those who are that certain state laws may apply to their activities," Stanley said.

"In general terms, the state law which applies to political communications for candidates, also impacts those supporting or opposing a local referendum," Stanley added.

For example, whenever any person "makes an expenditure for the purpose of financing a communication that expressly advocates the election or defeat of" a candidate or referendum question "or that solicits any contributions
through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine outdoor advertising facility, poster, yard sign, direct mailing or any other form of general public political advertising, a disclaimer..shall appear and be presented in a clear and conspicuous manner to give the reader, observer or listener adequate notice of the identity of persons who paid for" the
communication.

Those who fail to follow the law are subject to a complaint being filed with the District Attorney General's office.

As for filing campaign expense forms, Stanley said "reports of appointment of treasurers and disclosure of contributions and expenditures are required of : (1) a group of two or more individuals making expenditures
to support or oppose any state or local measure in a referendum, (2) a corporation or any other organization making expenditures to support or oppose any state or local referendum, (3) any committee, club, association
or group of persons receiving contributions or making expenditures totaling more than $250 in a calendar year to support or oppose any state or local measure in a referendum."

Those who fail to follow this law could be subject to civil penalties.

Questions regarding either the advertising disclosure law or campaign finance disclosure law can be directed to the local election office at 597-4146.

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