Local News Articles

Man Arrested for Repeat Offenses of DSL

January 5, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kevin Donald Bogle
Spencer Montgomery Wallace
Steven Jeffery Lohr
Nathan Charles Cantrell

A DeKalb County man was caught driving on a suspended license two days in a row last week, Monday and Tuesday, December 29 & 30.

44 year old Kevin Donald Bogle of Barnes Mill Road, Smithville already had two prior charges against him for the same offense. Bogle is charged with two counts of driving on a suspended license (3rd offense). His bond is $14,000 and he will be in court January 8.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, December 29 a deputy spotted Bogle operating a motor vehicle on Duncan Street pulling onto West Broad Street. The officer had prior knowledge that Bogle's license were suspended and obtained a warrant for Bogle's arrest. The next day, Tuesday December 30, an officer saw Bogle driving on West Broad Street, turning onto Walmart Drive. Bogle was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Meanwhile, 24 year old Spencer Montgomery Wallace of South College Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for violation of the implied consent law, driving on roadways laned for travel, and violation of the seatbelt law. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court January 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, December 31 a deputy was dispatched to Bright Hill Road due to a vehicle that had run off the roadway. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Wallace who reported that he had been driving the truck which went off the road into a ditch. Wallace had slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. Wallace submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Wallace admitted that he had not been wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. He also refused to give blood for testing. He was placed under arrest.

41 year old Steven Jeffery Lohr of Martin Street, Alexandria is charged with resisting stop, frisk, halt, or arrest. His bond $1,500 and he will be in court January 29. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, January 1 an officer went to a residence on Martin Lane in Alexandria to serve a Rutherford County warrant on Lohr. Upon arrival the officer spotted Lohr in the window of the home and motioned for Lohr to come outside. Lohr came outside but when the officer identified himself and explained why he was there, Lohr turned his back to the deputy and appeared to be doing something with his waist band. The officer asked Lohr to show his hands but he refused. When the deputy tried to grab Lohr to see what he was doing with his hands, Lohr aggressively pulled away from the officer and resisted being handcuffed. He was subsequently placed under arrest.

38 year old Nathan Charles Cantrell of Puckett Point Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for driving on the wrong side of the roadway and for simple possession. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on January 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 2 a deputy was traveling in the southbound lane of Highway 56 when he saw a white Chevrolet Caprice leave its northbound lane of travel. The oncoming car almost struck the deputy's cruiser head-on. The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Cantrell. He detected a strong odor of alcohol on Cantrell's person. Cantrell's speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Cantrell submitted to and performed unsatisfactory on field sobriety tasks. He also took a blood test and was placed under arrest. While conducting an inventory of the car, the deputy found a small round orange pill believed to be Adderall, a schedule II drug.

DeKalb Students Return to School Tuesday

January 3, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Students Return to School Tuesday (Older Photo)

DeKalb County students and teachers will return to the classrooms next week as the winter break comes to a close.

Monday, January 5 will be a stockpile day for teachers. Students will be back in school on Tuesday, January 6.

The remainder of the school calendar is as follows:

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19 and for President's Day, Monday, February 16.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 30 through April 3

No school for students Memorial Day, Monday May 25.

The following are designated as Early Release dates: Friday, February 13 and Friday, March 6

Students will not attend on Friday, May 22. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Tuesday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, March 10 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

DCHS report cards will be sent home on Monday, March 9 and at all other schools on Tuesday, March 10.

2014-15 Deer Hunting Season Coming to a Close

January 3, 2015

Deer hunting season is coming to a close in Tennessee. The gun season for deer concludes on Jan. 4 while the second Young Sportsman Hunt for 2014-15 is Jan. 10-11.

For the Young Sportsman Hunt, youth, 6-16 years of age, are allowed to participate. The young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult at least 21 years of age who must remain in a position to take control of the hunting device.

The accompanying adult must comply with fluorescent orange regulations, as specified for legal hunters. Multiple youth may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult.

The first youth hunt of the season was held Oct. 25-26 and the young hunters had a harvest of 5,663. The gun season for deer for everyone across the state began Nov. 22. Archery and muzzleloader equipment are also legal during gun season.

Heading into the final regular hunting week, there have been 148,763 deer harvested since archery only season began Sept. 27. A final harvest tally for 2014-15 will be completed a few weeks following the completion of the Young Sportsman Hunt.

Giles County is the overall leader with 4,582 deer harvested since the start of archery season. Rounding out the top 10 counties are Fayette 4,118, Henry 3,908, Lincoln 3,655, Hardeman 3,596, Maury 3,549, Montgomery 3,228, Carroll 2,910, Weakley 2,840, and Franklin 2,795.

Senator Beavers Supports "Sensible" Laws on Abortion

January 2, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers

State lawmakers will have more authority to regulate laws on abortion with passage of Amendment 1 to the Tennessee Constitution in the November election.

Amendment 1, which passed with 53 percent of the vote, was one of the most hotly contested issues in Tennessee’s general election. Since its passage, lawmakers have already stepped forward to propose new restrictions including waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds and new inspections of abortion clinics.

State Senator Mae Beavers told WJLE Wednesday that she supports "sensible" laws on abortion. "Amendment 1 allowed people to say whether or not they wanted the legislature or the Supreme Court making the laws on abortion. The Supreme Court had overturned every sensible piece of legislation that we had passed. We're talking about sensible laws like informed consent. If I go to the doctor for any other kind of procedure or to the hospital, I have to sign a consent form. Why shouldn't a woman have to do that who is having an abortion. We'll be looking at whether or not facilities that do abortions should be licensed just like our hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. We'll be looking at whether they should have health inspections like our other surgery centers. Those are just some common sense things we'll be considering this year because of Amendment 1 that was passed," said Senator Beavers.

Opponents of Amendment 1 are seeking to overturn it calling the election process “tainted”. They're asking a federal judge to allow a lawsuit to continue that seeks to either re-count or reject the vote count in favor of the measure.

Flu Cases on the Rise

January 1, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

Local health care providers are urging you to increase efforts to prevent flu and flu-related health threats by getting immunized. Since 2007 there have been 29 pediatric flu-related deaths recorded in Tennessee, including three in December, 2014, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. That is the highest number of pediatric flu deaths in the month of December since current reporting began in 2007. Prior to 2007 pediatric influenza deaths were not specifically required to be reported.

Almost five hundred people have been tested for the flu at the Family Medical Center and 139 cases have been confirmed, according to Office Manager Michiko Martin in a statement released to WJLE Wednesday. "Since October 1 until today (December 31), between our clinic here in Smithville and the one in Alexandria, we have performed 491 flu tests. Of those tested, there have been 99 testing positive for Type A and 40 testing positive for Type B. The majority of those have been positive this month (December)," said Martin.

Numbers of persons tested for the flu and confirmed cases at other local clinics were unavailable.

The Center for Disease Control has declared a flu epidemic with the number of deaths that have already occurred this season. The CDC is still urging people who have not yet been vaccinated to get their flu immunizations, which is recommended for nearly everyone over the age of six months.For one thing, the dominant version of the virus this year is H3N2 - which tends to lead to harder-hitting flu seasons. "H3N2 predominant seasons tend to have more hospitalizations and more deaths," CDC director Thomas Frieden warned in early December.

The virus poses greatest risks to the very young and the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions. Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, runny nose, sore throat, headaches and fatigue. These are the recommendations from the CDC website:

CDC Says “Take 3” Actions To Fight The Flu

Take time to get a flu shot:
•CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
•While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common.
•Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
•Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine
•Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
•People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
•Vaccination also is important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
•Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
•Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
•If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
•While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
•Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
•Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
•Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
•If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.
• Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
• Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high risk factors treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
•Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
•Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

December 31, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
On the Way Market, one of three Smithville Locations where gas prices were as low as $2.17 per gallon as of Dec 31.

Gas prices are falling in DeKalb County and across the state and nation.

According to published reports, Tennessee has some of the lowest gasoline prices in the country, with numbers continuing to fall.

As of this morning (Wednesday), at least three Smithville area convenience stores had advertised prices of regular unleaded at $2.17 per gallon, a reduction of eight cents per gallon since Tuesday. Prices at the others ranged from $2.19 to $2.29.

Average retail gasoline prices in Tennessee have fallen 8.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.102/g according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 3,821 gas outlets in Tennessee. This compares with the national average that has fallen 8.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.260/g, according to the gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Back in April, Tennesseans were seeing some of the highest gas prices in a very long time. The Auto Club Group AAA said the average price was $3.50.

Gas prices went below $3 just a few months ago. Now that number is under $2 in many places and experts said they will keep on falling.

"The world's oil supply continues to outpace demand keeping downward pressure on oil and gas prices," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA in other published reports. "Speculators believe this trend will continue next year, so cheap gasoline should stick around for a while."

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fell every day since September 25 to today's average of $2.260, which is the lowest average price per gallon since May 2009.

New Area Code and Ten-Digit Local Dialing Coming Soon

December 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Craig Gates

Starting in the spring of 2015, anyone applying for new phone service in DeKalb County or elsewhere in north central middle Tennessee can expect to get a new area code once the availability of (615) area code numbers is exhausted. Ten digit local dialing will also be required to complete a call.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority recently announced plans to implement the new (629) area code. Known as an 'Area Code Overlay,' this change ensures availability of an ongoing supply of telephone numbers. "The state TRA some time ago put out a comments page on their website and asked the people who lived in the 615 area code area if they would like to have another area code split, which is what happened when the 615 and 931 area codes came about, or if they would like to have an overlay. The overwhelming response was an overlay which means that a 629 area code will come into effect in March. They will have to start issuing new numbers under the 629 and 615 area codes," Craig Gates, Chief Executive Officer of DTC Communications told WJLE.

The reason for the change is because the existing supply of 615 area code numbers is running out. "Across America, ever since cell phones came into being and in 1996 with the advent of the Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC) and later IP or Voice Over Internet Carriers, everybody has been gobbling up the phone number pool that exists and they are running out of numbers with the plan they have," said Gates.

According to rules of the Federal Communications Commission, when two area codes serve the same region, callers are required to change the way they dial local calls. While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they will be required to ten-digit dial all local calls (area code and seven-digit telephone number. " Even though you're going to dial ten digits instead of seven, it's still a local call. But you will have to dial ten digits. Eleven digits will be used for long distance calling ," said Gates.

In addition to landlines, ten digit dialing will also apply to cell phones, fax machines, and other communication systems . "That'll be for cell phones and land lines, your home phone number but some other things people need to think about are automatic dialers, fax machines, alarm systems, security systems, Internet dial up numbers (if you still have dial up Internet), and speed dialers. Phone contact lists will need to be updated. Call forwarding settings will have to be changed. All of those things will have to be done so that people can complete those calls on a mandatory basis in February," said Gates.

Beginning February 28, 2015, everyone in the 615 area code will be required to dial ten digits (area code + telephone number) and starting March 28, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be issued numbers using the 629 area code, if 615 numbers are no longer available.

According to Gates, DTC still has an ample supply of 615 area code numbers. "DTC has plenty of 615 numbers left and we will continue to give out 615 numbers for the foreseeable future but at some point those could become exhausted. Another thing that's been done for the last few years is they can actually claim numbers from us. They can take back numbers. That could happen and if so we would end up with the 629 area code a little quicker than we would otherwise," he said.

Gates urges DTC customers to become familiar now with the practice of ten digit dialing. "It will be a change. It's going to take some education, especially once that mandatory time hits because people are not going to be ready for it. A lot of people are going to continue to dial seven digits and not think about it. When that day comes, I imagine we're going to start getting some calls from those people who haven't heard or forgotten about it," Gates concluded.

DeKalb Man Arrested in Year Old Theft Case

December 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
McKay Lindon Gray
Garth Layne Cantrell
Jermaica Cherome League
Jeremy Mark Ashburn
John Wayne Leftwich, Jr
 Glen Ray Jones
Spencer Montgomery Wallace
David Allen Sloan
Jacob Ross Daley
 Gary Edward Matthews
Robert Bruce Frutchey
Vicky Lenae Alvis
Tony Lee Petty, Jr.

A DeKalb County man was arrested recently in a year old theft case.

McKay Lindon Gray of Antioch Road, Smithville is charged with evading arrest and theft of property under $500. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court January 8. Gray was arrested on Sunday, December 21, 2014.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, a deputy was called to Antioch Road on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 to a possible theft in progress. When the officer arrived, he saw two men, Gray and Justin Keith Manley and a woman, Stephanie Gray loading a large pile of scrap metal onto a trailer. One of the men, Gray took off running through the woods when he saw the officer. The other man, Manley, and the woman stayed and spoke with the officer. The woman said that their landlord had given them permission to gather up the scrap metal. But a further investigation revealed that all the metal had actually been taken from the adjoining property of a neighbor. The officer found that a fence between the two properties had been cut. Manley was placed under arrest for the crime at the time. He was also issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia after the officer found a marijuana pipe in Manley's pocket. Warrants were also taken for the arrest of McKay Gray who was not located until this month.

Meanwhile, 33 year old Garth Layne Cantrell of Pine Grove Road is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court January 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 28 Cantrell allegedly entered a residence and took a new Maxx-35N vehicle battery. He also allegedly took a used side post battery from the front porch of the same residence. Both batteries were recovered from Cantrell's 1999 GMC truck. The total value of the batteries is $195.00.

33 year old Jermaica Cherome League of Murfreesboro is charged in a grand jury sealed indictment with criminal conspiracy. His bond is $20,000. He was arrested on Saturday, December 27. League will be arraigned in criminal court on January 21.

30 year old Jeremy Mark Ashburn of East Main Street, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while under the influence. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court January 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 20 a deputy spotted a truck on Highway 70 east which left its lane of travel. The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Ashburn. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and his eyes were glassy. Ashburn performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest. His first DUI offense occurred on December 22, 2006. While being questioned by the officer Ashburn admitted to having a loaded handgun in the truck. The officer found the weapon in the center console.

32 year old John Wayne Leftwich, Jr. of Old Blue Springs Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court March 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 22 a deputy was dispatched to an auto accident on the Old Blue Springs Road. The officer spoke with Leftwich who was involved in the mishap. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Leftwich, who refused to perform field sobriety tasks, was taken to the hospital for a blood test and placed under arrest.

40 year old Glen Ray Jones of Hurricane Ridge Road is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court January 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, December 23 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Hurricane Ridge Road where an eight year old girl had come to report that she was afraid because her mother and boyfriend were fighting. The officer spoke with the child who said that she awoke to her mother's screams for help. Jones also allegedly told the child that if she came into their room, he would slap her. The deputy then went to the Jones residence and spoke with both Jones and the child's mother. The woman said that Jones, who had been drinking, started cussing and screaming at her after he arrived home. As the woman screamed for her child to go get help, Jones placed his hand over her mouth trying to keep her quiet. He then bit her on the hand as she grabbed his fingers. Jones then allegedly tried to strangle the woman which made it difficult for her to breathe. Jones was placed under arrest.

24 year old Spencer Montgomery Wallace of South College Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for failure to exercise due care and for not wearing a seat belt. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance January 15. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, December 24 a deputy was dispatched to a traffic accident on Short Mountain Highway. Upon arrival, the officer observed a red truck off the road in a ditch. The driver, Wallace was passed out behind the steering wheel. When awakened, Wallace was found to have slow reactions, slurred speech, and blood shot eyes. He allegedly admitted to the officer that he had smoked marijuana. In his jacket was a prescription bottle containing seven Oxycodone pills. Wallace submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also took a blood test. Wallace was placed under arrest.

35 year old David Allen Sloan of Tramel Branch Road, Alexandria is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance January 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, December 24 a deputy was following a gray truck on East Broad Street in Smithville and noticed that the vehicle failed to maintain its lane of travel. The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Sloan who had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. Sloan performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also took a blood test and was placed under arrest.

25 year old Jacob Ross Daley of Sparta is charged with criminal trespassing. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court January 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Christmas Day Daley entered property on Luna Lane without the owner's consent. He was escorted off the property by a deputy and told not to return.

42 year old Gary Edward Matthews of Four Seasons Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on January 22. Sheriff Ray said that on Christmas day a deputy saw Matthews operating a vehicle on West Broad Street in Smithville. Having prior knowledge that Matthews' license were suspended, the officer stopped him. A computer check confirmed that Matthews' license were suspended for failure to satisfy a citation on November 17. TWRA officers had previously warned Matthews not to be driving due to his license being suspended on December 21. Upon this latest offense, Matthews was taken into custody.

45 year old Robert Bruce Frutchey of Franklin is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued a citation for a violation of driving on roads laned for travel. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court March 5. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy was patrolling Highway 70 east on Saturday, December 27 when he saw a vehicle cross the center line. The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Frutchey who had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and took a blood test. Frutchey was then placed under arrest.

43 year old Vicky Lenae Alvis of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident. She was further issued citations for failure to maintain lane of travel, possession of a revoked license, and for violation of financial responsibility (no insurance). Her bond is $7,500 and she will be in court on January 8. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 27 Alvis was involved in a one vehicle crash on Midway Road in which she ran off the road and struck a mailbox causing property damage. Alvis then left the scene. A computer check revealed that Alvis' license were revoked with two prior convictions.

22 year old Tony Lee Petty, Jr. of Johnson Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court January 8. He was arrested on Monday, December 29. Sheriff Ray said that on October 16 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Cleveland Way for a physical domestic. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that she and her husband, Petty had gotten into an argument over baby formula. During the argument, the woman grabbed Petty's wallet. He then allegedly grabbed his wife, threw her against the bedroom door, a high chair, a couch, and an entertainment center. The woman had redness on the right side of her face and scratches on her wrist. Petty fled the scene on foot before the officer's arrival.

A sheriff's department deputy found drugs on two women during separate traffic stops on Broad Street in Smithville Saturday, December 20

41 year old Wendy Carol Bain of South College Street, Smithville is cited simple possession of a schedule II drug (Percocet), a schedule IV drug (Tramodol), and a schedule III drug (Suboxone) and failure to maintain lane of travel. According to Sheriff Ray, Bain was driving a white Impala on East Broad Street when the deputy observed her leaving her lane of travel. He made a traffic stop and spoke with Bain. After receiving consent to search, the officer found in Bain's purse six Tramadol pills, a half Percocet pill, and a half Suboxone. Bain also could not provide proof of insurance.

Meanwhile, in a separate traffic stop on West Broad Street the same day, Saturday December 20, 28 year old Kimberly Ann Hall of Crossville was cited for possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. In Hall's possession were marijuana seeds, roach clips, four cut straws containing residue, a mirror with residue, and needles to shoot up methamphetamine.

WJLE had previously reported that both Bain and Hall were together in the same traffic stop, but they were actually not together. These were two unrelated and separate offenses.

Both women will appear in court on January 15.

"The Epidemic is Here" Workshop Coming in February

December 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

A workshop on the epidemic of prescription medication abuse will be held in Smithville on February 20 at the DeKalb County Complex

"The Epidemic is Here” will offer CME’s for medical professionals but it is also open to all those who want to attend. The goal of this conference is not to alert people to the epidemic, but rather to discuss what can be done as a medical community to combat the problem. It will feature presentations on screening methods for addiction that are being used in medical facilities, better prescribing practices and the latest in treatment methods.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Steven Lloyd, a recovering addict who treats addiction.

The agenda is as follows:

8:00 - 8:30 Registration / Welcome
8:30 - 9:45 Angela McKinney Jones - SBIRT
9:45 - 10:00 Break
10:00 - 10:15 Judge Bratten Cook II
10:15 - 11:30 Dr. Stephen Loyd, MD, FACP -

The Power of the Pen
11:30 - 11:45 Break
11:45 - 12:45 Dr. Stephen Loyd, MD, FACP -

Medication Assisted Treatment
for Opioid Dependence
12:45 - 1:00 Closing remarks / Certificates /
Evaluation

This event will be sponsored by The Community Advisory Board of DeKalb County, The DeKalb County Drug Court, The Anti-drug Coalition of DeKalb County, DeKalb Community Hospital, Haven of Hope Counseling, Bradford Health Services, Lifeline of Tennessee, Ten Broeck of Tennessee, Health Connect America, Camelot Care, and The Tennessee Commission of Children and Youth. We have joined together to try help reduce the rates of addiction that are destroying our communities and to also treat those in need of help.

The cost is $50.00 for CME or $20.00 for general admission. A meal will be provided.

All proceeds for this training will go to the Community Advisory Board of DeKalb County.

If you or someone you know does not have available funding for training, there will be a limited amount of scholarships available.
For more information visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-epidemic-is-here-tickets-15042487485 or email jessica.tucker@tn.gov or rvalerio@bradfordhealth.net

New State Law Adjusts 911 Surcharges

December 27, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Bradley Mullinax

Local landline telephone subscribers will soon be seeing a reduction in 911 surcharges. The rate will increase for cell phone customers.

According to Bradley Mullinax, Director of the DeKalb County Emergency Communications District, the Tennessee General Assembly in April passed a bill (SB 2407/HB2255) that will take effect in January 1, 2015 to effectively lower the 911 surcharge for DeKalb County citizens. "Currently, residential customers pay $1.50 per month for 911 service. The rate for business lines is $3.00. The new law will reduce the residential and business surcharges to $1.16 per month. We are excited about this law since the results will actually increase funding for DeKalb County 911. Essentially, the Tennessee General Assembly's actions have set the 911 surcharge at $1.16 across the board for all counties. As a result, there will be a larger pool of money to be distributed among the districts," said Mullinax.

"Cell phone customers will see a small increase in charges. The current rate is $1.00 per cell phone and that charge will also be set at $1.16, an increase of only 16 cents per cell phone," he added.

The 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 was adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly on April 25, 2014. The Act, effective January 1st, updates the existing model for funding 911 to account for changes in technology and consumer choice by establishing a single, uniform 911 surcharge rate.

The new uniform rate accounts for advancements in technology needed to provide Tennesseans with prompt and accurate 911 services and it is intended to adequately fund local 911 services in light of the ongoing reduction of landline use across the State. Accordingly, DeKalb County residential and business lines, currently charged at $1.50 and $3.00 respectively, will be adjusted to $1.16 per month. The cellular 911 surcharge will also be adjusted from $1.00 to $1.16 per month. Under the new law all communications providers will remit 911 fees to The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which in turn will remit 911 funds to local 911 Districts throughout the State in an amount no less than the 911 revenue received by each district during fiscal year 2012.

"Our highest priority is the public safety to the citizens of DeKalb County. 911 call takers and dispatchers remain dedicated to ensuring the quality of 911 service and response," said Mullinax.

The Act also supports the state’s Next Generation 911 program. Next Generation 911 will provide better information and data to first responders, which allows local 911 operators to more quickly assess an emergency. As a result, the necessary equipment and personnel can promptly respond to the scene, according to Mullinax.

“The 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 will provide the resources necessary to ensure that the citizens of Tennessee receive the best 911 service available,” said Tennessee Emergency Communications Executive Director, Curtis Sutton. "It is extremely important that local governments understand that this new law flattens the local 911 revenue and that those 911 Districts who provide Direct Dispatching services will have to charge receiving agencies for dispatching services or discontinue those services. It's also important to understand that 911 surcharge fees were never meant to fund the cost of dispatch operations," said Sutton

Customers will likely notice a change reflecting the new rate on their January telephone and cellular phone bills.

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