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Local News Articles

Investigators Believe Senick the Victim of Homicide

October 12, 2009
Dwayne Page
Body of Robert Bob Senick Found in Rubble of Burned Mobile Home
Gregory Michael Patton
Danny Lee Smithson
Nathan Ray King
James Dallas King

Sheriff Patrick Ray says dental records have confirmed that the body of a man found last week in the rubble of a burned mobile home near Liberty is that of 63 year old Robert "Bob" Senick, the man who lived at the residence.

Senick's death is also being called a homicide, according to Sheriff Ray, but no other details have been released as to the cause of the death or how the fire started.
The mobile home, which belonged to Senick, was located in an isolated area about a mile off the Liberty to Dismal Road. The fire, which destroyed the home, apparently occurred either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

According to Sheriff Ray, the mobile home had already burned to the ground by the time it was discovered and reported Wednesday morning at around 9:13 a.m.

Senick's body was later sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

The investigation is being conducted by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Bomb and Arson, and District Attorney General Randy York and members of his staff.

Sheriff Ray says if you have any information that could help investigators, please call 597-4935.

Meanwhile in other recent crime news from the Sheriff's Department, 25 year old Shannon Ray Herman of Author Hollis Lane Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. He will appear in court on October 21st. Sheriff Ray says that on October 5th, deputies while on patrol on Short Mountain Highway, stopped Herman for a traffic violation. Upon checking Herman's license, the officer learned that the license was suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Warren County. Herman was arrested and his bond set at $1,000.

33 year old Gregory Michael Patton of Oak Place Drive, Smithville is charged with two counts of simple possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $3,500 on the drug charges. Patton also has five warrants against him for violation of probation. According to Sheriff Ray, on October 8th a deputy while on patrol on Timber Lane, spotted Patton standing beside of a vehicle. Having prior knowledge that Patton had warrants against him for violation of probation, the officer stopped and placed Patton under arrest. While making the arrest, the officer noticed a small pouch beside of Patton and in the pouch was a pill crusher, a hollowed ink pen barrel containing residue, one and a half Hydrocodone pills. and a half of a Xanax pill.

21 year old Jose B. Soto Jr. of Miller Road Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and resisting arrest. Sheriff Ray says that on October 10th, Soto was involved in an accident on Dry Creek Road in Smithville and when officers tried to arrest him, Soto fled on foot. After the officers caught up with him, Soto began to resist but he was cuffed after a deputy sprayed him with mace. Soto had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and slurred speech. He refused to submit to any field sobriety tasks and also refused a blood test. Soto's bond was set at $4,000 and he was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. He will appear in court on October 22nd.

39 year old Danny Lee Smithson of Brook Lane, Smithville is charged with introduction of drugs into a penal institution. According to Sheriff Ray, correctional officers at the jail discovered a bulge in the sock of a weekend prisoner on October 10th. When they checked further, the officers found in Smithson's possession, a black taped wrapper containing seventeen whole pills and two half pills of Soma and six pink Hydrocodone pills. Smithson, who stands six feet tall and weighs three hundred pounds, also had a jacket under his belly containing tobacco, rolling papers, and a lighter. His bond was set at $5,000 and he will appear in court on October 22nd.

22 year old Dallas Edward Hannah of Evins Mill Road Smithville was arrested October 11th for driving on a revoked license after he was spotted driving on Highway 70 East. Hannah ‘s bond was set a $1,500 and he will appear in court on October 22nd.

23 year old Dallas James King and 18 year old Nathan Ray King both of Murray Kittrell Road, Readyville are charged with unlawful possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) for resale. Sheriff Ray says that on October 12th, a deputy while on patrol, stopped a vehicle on Highway 70 West. The officer noticed a smell of marijuana in the vehicle. After obtaining consent from the driver to search, the deputy found a Nike shoe box containing 3.65 ounces of a green leafy plant believed to be marijuana. Another bag containing marijuana was also found in the back seat of the vehicle. Bond for both men is set at $3,500 each and they will appear in court on October 22nd.

After Five Years – DCHS Fighting Tiger Band Gets It Done

October 12, 2009
By DC Band Boosters
DCHS Band Section Leaders

In the rain and drizzle, the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band was on their practice field early Saturday morning, preparing for their contest at Goodpasture High School in Madison, Tennessee. The students were focused and ready to do whatever needed to be done to guarantee a great performance!

If you’ve been keeping up with the band over the years, you know they have done very well at their contests. However, one thing has eluded them. In the past five years, they have been unable to make finals in marching contests where preliminary and final competitions were judged. Year after year, the band would come very close, and in some cases, they would miss the finals competition by only a fraction of a point.

When the band entered Goodpasture’s field for preliminary competition around noon, huge sections of the field were nothing but mud. The field had been rain soaked the night before and was in very poor condition. As the band marched to their position to start the show, Band Director, Jonathan Wright, outwardly warned the students of the condition of the ground. “Be careful, this field is in rough shape,” he said. “We’re the first band of the day to perform, so the condition of the field is as good as it’s going to be all day long,” he continued. “It’ll only get worse from here.”

After the preliminary performance, the students returned to the buses to clean the mud off their shoes and uniforms. Mr. Wright gave them a quick critique of the show and said, “We have given our best and that is all we can do. It’s in the judge's hands now.” The students put on dry clothes and returned to the stands to watch some of the other bands in the contest.

The preliminary part of the Goodpasture Cougar Marching Invitational was broken into classes. DCHS was competing in Class A, the smallest class. All bands are comparable in size when divided this way. A band would have to do well in “prelims” competition against all other bands similar in size to continue on to finals competition. However, in finals, all bands compete against each other, regardless of size.

After all of the bands had performed, the students of the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band heard news that they hadn’t heard since The Division II State Contest in 2004. The DCHS band would be among the top eight bands in the finals competition on the very same field they had placed five years ago. “Making finals is a very big deal for these guys,” Mr. Wright said. “The last of the 2004 students graduated last year, so none of these students have ever made finals in a competition. This is a very big accomplishment.”

The Goodpasture Band and Boosters decided that the condition of their field was much better on the visitor’s side, so while the finals bands were preparing to perform a second time, they asked the audience to move to the other side of the field. A few minor adjustments of how to get the band’s equipment on and off the field had to be made. The DCHS Pit Crew, a dedicated bunch of Band Supporters who help get the sideline instruments on and off the field, really put their time and backs into this contest. Rather than the luxury of using the trailer and John Deere tractor to move equipment, they had to move the huge pieces one at a time. The condition of the ground simply would not allow the tractor on the field without damaging it further.

The results of the preliminary competition and finals competition were announced later that evening. The section leaders of all competing bands gathered on the field to hear their placement.

In prelims, Field Commander, Hunter Tramel won 1st place in Class A. The DCHS Band placed 3rd in Class A behind Kenwood and Houston County High Schools.

In finals competition, The DCHS Fighting Tiger Band fought their way to 6th place against bands that were much larger in size. Mr. Wright said, “We made some big improvements from prelims to finals and the results showed it. We beat one of the bands in a bigger class, plus we beat a band that had beaten us in prelims. This has been a very successful day for us.”

Despite fall break, the band now makes preparations for their next couple of contest performances. The 14th Annual Highland Rim Marching Contest will be held on October 24th at Westmorland High School, and The Division II State Competition will be held at Independence High School on November 7th, which will also be a prelims/finals competition.

In addition to the contest performances, the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band also plans to perform at the DCHS Football games against Upperman High School on October 16th, and Livingston Academy on October 30th. During the October 30th game, there just may be a Halloween surprise, so you might want to make plans to attend.

To find out more about the Band or how to become a Supporter, log onto or check them out on FaceBook.

Smithville Police Make Drug Arrests During Traffic Stops

October 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

Traffic stops by Smithville Police in recent days have resulted in drug charges.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings says 29 year old Heather Renee Perkins of 314 Mountain View Drive was arrested on October 5th for possession of a schedule IV and VI controlled substance for resale, and two counts of simple possession of a schedule II and IV controlled substance. The police report states that Officer Bradley Tatrow was requested by Officer Randy King to come to his traffic stop to conduct a K-9 deployment. Upon arrival he made contact with Officer King who said that he could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officer King was in the process of issuing a citation to Ms Perkins and he asked Tatrow to speak with her. Officer Tatrow said he too could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He asked Perkins if she would step from the vehicle and talk to him. She complied with the request and exited the vehicle. Tatrow asked her if she had any illegal weapons, narcotics or alcohol in her vehicle. She replied that she had some pills in her purse and that there was some marijuana in the front seat. He asked for and received verbal consent to enter the vehicle and retrieve those items. Officer Tatrow confiscated a Wal-Mart bag from the front seat that had approximately ½ pound of marijuana. He also found 50 pills in her purse. Thirty four of the pills recovered were identified as 2 Percocet, 26 Xanax, 1 Oxycontin, 1 Diazipam and 4 Zolidem. Perkins was placed under arrest and charged. Her bond was set at $16,000 and her court date is October 15th in General Sessions Court.

Meanwhile, 24 year old Brandon Tucker and 25 year old Violet Tucker of 7121 Banks Pisgah Road were arrested on October 6th for possession of a schedule IV & VI controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. On that day, Officer Randy King saw Brandon Tucker at 318 Bell Street Apartments. He came out of a residence at the apartment complex, walked into the parking lot, and proceeded to check the tires on the red Toyota pickup that he was entering. Tucker appeared to be unsteady on his feet. As he left the complex, Officer King followed and then stopped him at the corner of Duncan Street and Highway 70. Officer King approached the vehicle and immediately noticed that Tucker's pupils were dilated. He asked for his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. Tucker said that his license was suspended and that the vehicle belonged to his step father, Charles Napier. He could not produce proof of insurance. Officer King along with THP Officer Dewaine Jennings performed field sobriety tests but Tucker performed poorly. He told the officers that he had smoked marijuana that morning and that he sometimes took sleeping pills. He was arrested for driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. Meanwhile Violet Tucker, who was apparently with Brandon Tucker in the vehicle, admitted to Trooper Jennings, during questioning, that she had marijuana on her person. She also said there was Xanax in her purse and that she had a prescription for them but she could not produce a prescription at the time of the traffic stop. While searching the interior of the vehicle, Officer King found two white pills believed to be Tylenol along with a straw and a pill crusher. Ms Tucker said she used both to snort her medication. The marijuana weighed approx .15 ounces. Violet Tucker was arrested for possession of a schedule IV & VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $4,000. Brandon Tucker's bond was set at $3,000. The court date for both is October 29th.

In another case, 23 year old Steven Kyle Nash of 4301 Owl Hollow Road Belvidere, Tennessee was arrested October 2nd for simple possession of a schedule VI drug. According to the report, on that day, Officer Matt Holmes was traveling east bound behind a red Buick when he noticed that the driver appeared not to be wearing a seatbelt. Holmes initiated a traffic stop in front of Walker Tenneco. The vehicle came to stop at Terrell Road and Highway 70. After speaking with the driver, Elizabeth Riley, Officer Holmes determined that her seat belt was not properly working. Riley said the seatbelt had not worked in a while. Riley added that she did not have a drivers license. Officer Holmes allowed her to call for someone to come get her and her passenger, Nash. While Holmes was waiting in his patrol car, Nash exited the vehicle. Holmes asked Nash for his information and when he checked his name and date of birth through Central Dispatch Holmes was advised that Nash's name had been entered into NCIC for violation of parole and violent tendencies. After Officer Travis Bryant and Deputy Bobby Johnson arrived on the scene, Officer Holmes told Nash that he was under arrest. Upon a pat down search, Nash admitted that he had a joint in his right front pocket. Nash reached in the pocket and handed Holmes a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana weighing one gram. Nash was transported to the Smithville Police Department. Officer Bryant stayed on the scene with Riley until her parents arrived to get her. Bond for Nash was set at $1,000 and his court date is set for October 15th in General Sessions Court.

26 year old Nicholas Chad Pippin of 4755 Fanchers Mill Road, Sparta was arrested on October 2nd on an attachment for contempt. According to the report, Patrolman Travis K. Bryant was dispatched to the area of East Broad Street regarding two motorcycles driving recklessly. Bryant, who saw the motorcycles enter the city limits, made a traffic stop at DeKalb Tire & Service. He checked for a valid license and outstanding warrants and was advised by dispatch that Pippin had an attachment for contempt out of White County. He was arrested and transported to the Smithville Police Department.

54 year old Jackie Sanders of 632 Highland Street was arrested October 3rd for public intoxication. On that day, Patrolman Travis K Bryant was dispatched to 621 Highland Street regarding an unwanted guest. Upon arrival he observed a man sitting on the ground who was involved in a verbal altercation with the residents there. The man was bleeding from his arm and had a small cut on his nose. The man, identified as Jackie Sanders, had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he appeared to be disoriented. He also had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Sanders was placed under arrest for public intoxication and he was transported to the Smithville Police Department. His bond was set at $1,000 and his court date is October 15th.

Sanders was arrested again on October 7th for filing a false police report on October 3rd. Officer Matt Holmes responded to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital where he met with Sanders who said he was transported to the DeKalb County Jail by Officer Travis Bryant. Sanders told Holmes that two large men in black put him in a concrete room with a toilet and brought him a tray of food. He added that before he could get to the food, one of the men threw the tray into the door. Sanders said both men began hitting him with large black sticks and that he fell to the floor. Sanders further said that he would submit to a polygraph test.
During the investigation, Officer Holmes said Sanders gave conflicting stories to him, Detective Mike Billings of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings. Warrants were taken and Sanders was arrested by the Sheriff's Department for filing a false report. His bond was set at $1,000.

33 year old Crystal Deck of 179 Kings Court Circle was arrested October 3rd for theft under $500. On that day. Patrolman Travis K Bryant responded to Food Lion concerning a shoplifter. Upon arrival he made contact with the manager Todd Phillips and the suspect, Crystal Deck. Phillips said he saw Ms Deck take a package of BC Powder medicine, place it under her armpit, and then attempt to leave the store. Deck was placed under arrest and transported to the Smithville Police Department. The theft was recorded by the store security camera system. The value of the stolen medicine is $5.69. Deck's bond was set at $1000 and her court date in General Sessions is October 29th.

Meanwhile Chief Jennings is asking anyone with information on the following offenses to please contact the Smithville Police Department.

On October 2nd at approximately 10:00 a.m. Officer Matt Holmes responded to 630 Highland Street where he met with Josh & Ellisa Howard who said when they returned home they discovered that someone had entered their residence while they were away and damaged their property. Their remote & IPod touch had been broken, one of their checks had been ripped up and an unknown liquid had been poured onto their couch.

Meanwhile, on October 5th at approximately 6:28 a.m. Lieutenant Steven Leffew was dispatched to Denny Lamp Company concerning a vandalism to a vehicle. Larry Hale showed Lieutenant Leffew where someone had busted the windshield on his vehicle. No property was reported missing.

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

TDOS & TWRA Urge Motorists to Be on the Lookout for Deer

October 10, 2009
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) caution motorists to watch out for deer, especially during the months of October through December, which is deer mating season, also referred to as “the rut”. Deer are on the move during this period, meaning an increase in deer-related crashes is more likely.

“Every year hundreds of Tennessee motorists are involved in property damage crashes and some suffer injuries after striking a deer. Deer pose a danger to drivers throughout the year, but especially in the fall,” stated THP Colonel Mike Walker. “In areas were deer are populated, it is important that drivers always slow down, pay attention and stay alert.”

In 2008, there were 5,140 deer-related crashes, including 266 that involved injuries and one that was fatal. That was up less than one percent from 5,104 last year, but since 2004, deer-related crashes in Tennessee have risen over 12 percent.

Between 2004 and 2008, less than ten percent of deer-related crashes occurred on interstate highways, so motorists should exercise extra caution when not traveling on a major thoroughfare. November, when deer hunting season starts, is the worst month for deer-related crashes.

“November is when the peak of the rut occurs, and is the worst month for deer-related crashes,” said TWRA Information Officer Don King. “It is also prime month for deer hunting season, which is the only effective way to reduce the number of deer and help keep the population number in check.”

The THP and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have these tips for drivers to help prevent deer-related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons:

· Whenever you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow. Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.

· Be attentive, especially at daybreak and dusk, when deer tend to be on the move.

· If you do collide with a deer, never approach the injured animal. They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human.

· Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the nearest TWRA regional office to report the accident within 48 hours.

School Board Okays Baseball Program at DeKalb West School

October 9, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night gave it's blessing for the DeKalb West School to establish a baseball program for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students on a one year trial basis.

The team will be made up of students from both DeKalb West and DeKalb Middle School since there is no baseball team at DMS.

Approval would be required again next year if the program is to continue.

Jeff McMillen, speaking on behalf of a group of interested parents and students at DeKalb West, made the request during the September school board meeting.

McMillen had also sent a letter to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and to DeKalb West School Principal Danny Parkerson on August 7th.

In the letter, McMillen wrote "The DeKalb West Baseball Team will be made up of students enrolled in DeKalb County grades 6th, 7th, & 8th (including DeKalb Middle students) provided DeKalb Middle does not have a baseball program.

"Students will need to maintain their academic grades as they would if they participated in basketball or cheering at DeKalb West."

"The team would have a head coach that will be a parent volunteer who will be approved by the principal and or director of schools and will attend any training classes that other coaches in the county are required to attend. Any other volunteer coach that will be present on the field or in the dug-out, may also need to be approved (but may not be required to attend any classes)"

"The baseball team would use the existing field at DeKalb West. Games can start as early as 3:30 p.m. so lighting will not be a problem. Transportation to and from practice and games will be provided by parents or guardians."

"DeKalb West parents will form a Booster Club at the discretion of the principal and director of schools for providing funding . There will be no cost to the school system for uniforms, or equipment for startup of the league unless volunteered to do so. Any required monies will be deposited with the school at the schools request such as gate receipts and umpire fees, etc."

Board Chairman Charles Robinson, during Thursday night's meeting, asked McMillen and the three other members of the DeKalb West baseball committee if they would be interested in forming a school support organization for the program, similar to the manner in which booster clubs and PTO's operate, independent of but in cooperation with the school. To be a school support organization, groups must apply for a charter and file and annual financial report with the state and those documents would also have to be on file with the Director of Schools along with the organization's by laws.

The board recessed the meeting to give the committee an opportunity to caucus. When the meeting went back into session, McMillen said the committee felt that the baseball program should be a school activity, instead of a school support organization.

Meanwhile, it appears DeKalb West School will not have it's own Girls Fast Pitch Softball Program. The school board took no action on the proposal.

Board members Johnny Lattimore, Kenny Rhody, and Joan Draper all said they have not received any calls in support of the program, but have had several in opposition.

Lattimore said some of the calls have come from parents of west school students who want their children to play on the DeKalb Middle School girls softball team, which is already well established. "Well, I've had a few phone calls and I've not had the first phone call from anybody in favor of the softball program. In fact, I've had some parents to call that don't want a softball program at the West School because they want their kids to be able to participate in the Middle School program."

Terry Bess Malone, who favors a girls West School team, said it not that the west school students don't feel welcome in the Middle School program, "it's that we thought we had an opportunity to give twice as many girls a chance to play. I've never said we didn't feel welcome."

Robert Don Malone said several kids will miss out on an opportunity to play softball if the West School cannot have a team. "She (Middle School Coach) can only take 12 kids on her team. There will be 12 kids at West School that won't get to play until they get in high school. There will be two or three good enough from the West School to play with her team but the other kids will not get to play at all until they get in high school and then they will be three years behind the others."

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby updated the board on personnel moves since September.

Those employed include:
Neal Brown as a substitute bus driver
Dwight Knowles as a substitute bus driver
Elizabeth Parsley as a special education assistant at Smithville Elementary School

Ronda Northcutt, transferred to special education assistant at Smithville Elementary School

Leave of Absence:
Harold Ashford, bus driver, leave as requested

Peggy Sutton, special education assistant at Smithville Elementary School
Ronda Harpole, Library assistant at Northside Elementary School

The board also adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring school custodians.

Chairman Robinson read the resolution which states as follows:

"Whereas, school custodians are responsible for the first impression of a school to all who come through the doors; and

Whereas, school custodians are often the first employees to arrive in the morning and the last employees to leave at night; and

"Whereas, our dedicated schools custodians provide a critical service to the children and teachers on a daily basis by providing a clean, safe, and secure environment for teaching and learning; and

"Whereas, they keep all school system facilities running smoothly to the extent that without their excellent efforts this school system could not easily function; and

Whereas, they help build understanding and public support in the community for the school and school district; and

Whereas, they provide support for school and community use of school facilities outside of school hours including recreational activities; and

Whereas, they frequently go beyond the call of duty to assist students, teachers, and visitors to the school in numerous ways that reflect well on the school and the district; and

Whereas, they exercise the above mentioned responsibilities and functions with pride, skill, care, compassion, humor, and sensitivity.

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved that the Board expresses deep and heartfelt appreciation for the efforts made by custodial staff each and every school day!

"Be it further Resolved that the DeKalb County School Board declares that October 15th, 2009 be recognized as Custodian Appreciation Day in DeKalb County Public Schools and urges all parents, students, and employees to join in congratulating all custodians for jobs well done and in saying Thank You to them."

DeKalb Tigers Win 45 to 20 at Macon County

October 8, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers gave up three touchdowns in the first half but held Macon County scoreless in the second half enroute to a 45 to 20 win at Lafayette Thursday night.

The victory improves the DeKalb County record to 5-3 on the season while Macon County drops to 0-7 on the year.

DeKalb County fell behind early in the game as Macon County scored on their first offensive series, capping a 70 yard drive on a three yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Dallas Grace to Andrew Evetts with 9:26 left in the first period. The two point conversion attempt failed but Macon County led 6-0.

DeKalb County answered on their first drive of the night as Sonni Young caught a touchdown pass from Quarterback Hunter Poteete covering 44 yards for the score with 5:32 left in the first period. The P.A.T. by Zach Taylor was good and the Black and Gold Tigers led 7-6.

Macon County took the lead again on the ensuing kick-off as Cody Ray raced 90 yards for a touchdown with 5:15 left in the first period. The P.A.T. attempt was no good but the Macon County Tigers led 12-7.

The Black and Gold Tigers went back out in front with 1:40 left in the first quarter on a 16 yard touchdown run by Tyler Weatherby. Zach Taylor's P.A.T. try was no good but DeKalb County led 13 to 12. That was the score at the end of the first period.

Macon County's Christian Crabtree scored on an 8 yard touchdown run with 11:45 left in the second quarter. Tyler Manning then caught a pass from Quarterback Dallas Grace for the two point conversion and Macon County led 20 to 13.

With 7:17 left in the second period, DeKalb County got on the board again as Quarterback Hunter Poteete threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Weatherby covering 31 yards for the score. The P.A.T. by Zach Taylor was good and the game was tied at 20-20.

DeKalb County regained the lead with 4:25 to go in the second period on a one yard touchdown pass from Poteete to Weatherby. The two point conversion attempt failed but the Black and Gold Tigers led 26 to 20. That was the half time score.

Zach Taylor caught a 10 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Hunter Poteete with 9:59 left in the third period. The two point conversion try failed but DeKalb County extended it's lead to 32 to 20.

With just over ten minutes left in the fourth period, DeKalb County's defense put a score on the board as Gage Brown intercepted a Macon County pass and scampered 20 yards for a touchdown. The try for two failed but DC led 38 to 20.

The final score of the game came on a 26 yard touchdown pass from Poteete to Abram Edwards with a little over seven minutes to go. Zach Taylor connected on the P.A.T. and DeKalb County went on to win 45 to 20.

Body Found in Rubble of Mobile Home Destroyed by Fire

October 8, 2009
Dwayne Page
Body Found in Burned Down Mobile Home

A body has been found in the rubble of a single wide mobile home near Liberty which was destroyed by fire this week.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says the body, burned beyond recognition, has been sent to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy and to make positive identification through medical and dental records. The cause of death is currently unknown. An investigation is underway to determine if any foul play was involved.

The mobile home, which belonged to Robert "Bob" Senick, was located in an isolated area about a mile off the Liberty to Dismal Road. The fire, which destroyed the home, apparently occurred either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

According to Sheriff Ray, the mobile home had already burned to the ground by the time it was discovered and reported Wednesday morning at around 9:13 a.m.. The cause of the fire is also unknown.

The investigation is being conducted by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Bomb and Arson, and District Attorney General Randy York and members of his staff.

Sheriff Ray says if you have any information that could help investigators, please call 597-4935.

Special Sales Tax Deduction for Car Purchases

October 7, 2009
Dwayne Page

With 2010 models arriving in dealer showrooms, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that purchasing a new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle could qualify them for a special deduction for the state and local sales and excise taxes on their 2009 tax returns.

Purchases made after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010, will qualify for this deduction under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

"Many new vehicle buyers can use this special deduction to lower their taxes and they don't have to itemize to qualify," said Dan Boone, IRS spokesman.

The deduction is limited to the sales and excise taxes and similar fees paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a new vehicle. The deduction is reduced for joint filers with modified adjusted gross incomes (MAGI) between $250,000 and $260,000 and other taxpayers with MAGI between $125,000 and $135,000. Taxpayers with higher incomes do not qualify.

Taxpayers who make qualifying new vehicle purchases this year can estimate the deduction with the help of Worksheet 10 in IRS Publication 919, How Do I Adjust My Withholding? Lines 10a to 10k of the worksheet show how to take into account purchases above the $49,500 limit, as well as the reduced deductions for taxpayers at higher income levels.

The special deduction is available regardless of whether taxpayers itemize deductions on their returns. Taxpayers who do not itemize will add this additional amount to the standard deduction on their 2009 tax return.

For those that have questions about the deduction for sales tax and other fees, these questions and answers might help. A video on the IRS channel and audio podcasts in English and Spanish are also available to help taxpayers take full advantage of the deduction.

Hale Announces Candidacy for State Representative

October 7, 2009
Dwayne Page
James Hale

A DeKalb County man has announced that he will be a candidate for the office of State Representative in the 40th Legislative District during the State Democratic Primary next August.

James Hale of the Riverwatch area recently made the announcement during a local Democratic party meeting.

The following is a prepared statement concerning Hale's bio:

Hale is a native of DeKalb County

After attending local schools, Hale began his life-long career with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) as a construction laborer when he was still a teenager. A member of Local 386 in Nashville, he worked his way up through the ranks and served as Field Representative, President, and Business Manager of the local.

Moving onto the Union's International stage, Hale was a Regional Manager for the organization serving more than 50,000 Laborers in 14 states and two territories. In that capacity he oversaw the working of some 50 Local Unions in the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hale also served as a Vice President on the LIUNA General Executive Board from 1998 until his retirement last year. In that position he helped set policy impacting the lives of more than 500,000 working men and women who are members of the Laborers' International Union.

In those positions, Hale garnered 38 years of experience dealing with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the labor relations realm. He hopes to continue his relationships with the current TVA officers and staff with the intent of helping the organization further its goals of safety, integrity, respect, honest communication, accountability, teamwork, continuous improvement, and flexibility.

While with LIUNA, Hale was asked to be an integral part of several Boards of Trustees governing issues such as health insurance, training and apprenticeship, education, health and safety, and pensions, to name a few. As a member of the LIUNA National Laborers -Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET), he supported the Trust's goal of offering a wide range of services to Laborers and their signatory contractors, including market assessments, research, advertising, and outreach to owners and construction users. LECET is devoted to helping Laborers and their signatory contractors win projects and jobs. To further that goal, Hale served as the Chairman for the Ohio Valley and Southern States Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust and on the National Service Contract Training Fund.

As a member of the Laborers' National Health and Safety Fund's Board, Hale was committed both to healthier Laborers and to healthier bottom lines. The Fund's primary goals are to enhance jobsite safety and health, and improve the competitiveness of signatory employers.

The Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund (L-AGC) is a partnership between LIUNA and the Associated General Contractors of America. As a Board member Hale worked to see that Laborers' training reached every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada. Laborers-AGC's affiliated funds service the training needs of hundreds of LIUNA local unions and thousands of construction-related contractors by providing relevant and necessary training to LIUNA members and apprentices. Each year thousands of LIUNA members and apprentices receive training at one of the 70 state-of-the-art training facilities that comprise the Laborers' training network.

While those National Funds offer union-wide assistance, state and local funds also exist to help working families on a more immediate level. Serving as either Chairman or as a member, Hale worked on behalf of the Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana Laborers' Health and Welfare Funds. These Funds oversee the health insurance issues and well-being of members throughout those states.

As the Chair of the Southeast Laborers' Training and Apprenticeship Fund, covering the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, Hale helped to establish training and apprenticeship facilities to further the skills of Laborers. The same is true for the South Central Laborers' Training Fund, covering the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and the Florida and Kentucky Training Funds as well.

The Laborers' National Pension Fund and the LIUNA Staff Pension Fund are charged with the oversight and continued growth of Laborers' pension plans. James served on both Funds where he helped establish programs to ensure the continued health of these plans.

From 1988 until the year 2000, Hale was a member of the Board of Directors for the DeKalb Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (DTC). The Board was created in 1951 by local citizens to bring basic telephone service to rural areas at a time when none existed. The DTC, member-owned and covering 20,000 residents, has served and continues to serve both residential and commercial customers in rural communities with quality communications service at competitive rates.

As a member of the DTC Board, Hale promoted a modernization program that resulted in area-wide free calling. Initially opposed by some as too expensive, once implemented the program actually earned a profit in its first month of operations.

Also under his direction, the DTC built a cellular system and created Advantage Cellular. Advantage is the only locally owned nationwide wireless provider in the area.

Advantage was licensed to provide service and operates 47 towers in the Tennessee counties of Smith, DeKalb, Cannon, White, Warren, Van Buren, Coffee and Grundy, but was and remains today a nationwide carrier through agreements entered into with major roaming partners throughout the country. The company started providing service using analog technology. As technology has continued to advance, so has Advantage Cellular Systems.

As a result of these experiences, in 2004 Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen appointed Hale to the Council for a New Economy Workforce. He continues to serve the state in that capacity.

A community activist as well, Hale founded the John William Hale Foundation, Laborers' CARE (Crisis Assistance Response to Emergencies). The Foundation relies on the goodwill of individuals through voluntary donations and an annual motorcycle rally to raise funds as a means to fulfill its mission. This charitable fund was created to assist Laborers in the Ohio Valley and Southern States Region who have been seriously injured on the job and are unable to work, or in the most unfortunate circumstances, lose their lives while working as Laborers.

Amateur Radio Club Participates in State-wide Emergency Exercise – “H1N1 Immunization”

October 7, 2009
Freddy Curtis

Members of the DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club participated in a state-wide emergency exercise on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009. The state-wide exercise was titled “H1N1 Immunization.” The exercise scenario was that all Tennesseans would be immunized in an H1N1 pandemic, and DeKalb County Emergency contingencies and local plans were reviewed.

Local Amateur Radio Operators utilized local radio repeaters and then utilized their emergency skills for stations in point-to-point contact. A particular point of interest was evaluating the amateur radio station backup at DeKalb Community Hospital. Communications were also sent to the District Emergency Coordinator who would relay the information to TEMA. These messages relayed the latest emergency status in DeKalb County.

Those local DeKalb County Amateur Radio Operators involved in the exercise included W3HKG – Bob Mitchell, KF4QNT – Kevin Neely, KJ4GCT – John Lester, KF4MGN – Randy Morris, KH6AD – Bob Soares, K4TWT – Terry Trapp and KC4GUG – Freddy Curtis - DeKalb County Amateur Radio Emergency Coordinator. The club would like to thank DeKalb County Emergency Management Director Charlie Parker for his aid in this exercise and Nancy Trapp, ER Administrator at DeKalb Community Hospital.

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, October 29th, 2009 - 6:30 PM at the E-911 Center. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.


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