Local News Articles

Temperance Hall Voters to Cast Ballots at the Community Center

January 17, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission has made the decision to change the polling place at Temperance Hall to the Community Center.

The Temperance Hall Community Center is located at 2760 Old Temperance Hall Road.

On Election Day, February 5th the polls will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

The polling place was temporarily moved to Temperance Hall Methodist Church last year. No voting will take place at the church on Feb. 5th.

The Election Commission is in the process of mailing letters and voting cards to everyone in the Temperance Hall Precinct. The voters should receive the new cards before Election Day, but if there is some delay, voters may use their old voter registration card or any other form of identification at the polls.

USDA Releases Payments for 2008 Tobacco Transition Payment Program

January 16, 2008

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, announces that annual payments for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, for the 2008 payment year, were released Tuesday, January 15.

DeKalb County quota holders and producers will receive $513,691.90 in 2008 program year payments. Green says that direct deposit transactions should arrive in bank accounts within 3 business days while mailed checks should arrive within 10 business days for quota holders and producers who have enrolled in the program.

The Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP), also called the "tobacco buy-out," helps tobacco quota holders and producers transition to the free market.

The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357), signed by President Bush on Oct. 22, 2004, ended the Depression-era tobacco quota program and established the TTPP. The program provides annual transitional payments for 10 years to eligible tobacco quota holders and producers. Payments began in 2005 and continue through 2014. Payments are funded through assessments of approximately $10 billion on tobacco product manufacturers and importers. The remaining payments will be made in 6 annual installments that will be issued in January of each year.

For more information on the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, please contact the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency at 615-597-8225, extension 2.

Habitat Restore Relocates- Seeks Donations and Business

January 16, 2008
Dwayne Page

If you have gently used furniture you're willing to part with, the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County's Restore would probably be glad to get it.

The Restore is now in a new location, next to the former location, at 415 Miller Road in the old popcorn factory building.

Robin Driver, the owner of the building, says he was happy to make space available in the building for the Restore. "I had spoken with some people with Habitat. They told me they were looking for a place to put their Restore. I have the old popcorn factory over here in town. So I donated space in the building for them there. I feel it's a great cause and those of us who are in the housing business here in the county, I feel like it is incumbent upon us to help every way we can. It's obviously the way we make our living and it's also a great cause to get deserving families into houses."

Mike Antoniak says Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is grateful to Driver for his generosity. "Robin is a real benefactor of the Restore. I lot of these stores pay quite a bit of money just in overhead but he has donated this space for the Restore and it's given us a real head start."

Antoniak says the Restore is looking for donations, and of course, you can shop too, and all proceeds will go toward the mission of Habitat for Humanity. "We're looking for gently used, recyclable, or overstocked items, building supplies, and building materials. Actually what we're looking for is materials or items donated to Habitat that can't be used in the houses for whatever reason. We've got appliances, doors, wood and wicker furniture, and some upholstered pieces. We'll accept pretty much anything that might be usable in a house. We're not taking clothes or books at this point. We've talked about maybe taking some of the type of items you might find in a thrift store. We'll see how the space allows once we get fully set up. If you have something to donate and you want to support Habitat this is a great way to do it. If it realizes our expectations, it should become a primary source of funding for the Habitat houses and Habitat projects in the county. Not everyone can drive a nail but this is a way to support Habitat either by donating or coming out and buying something."

The Restore is open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

If you have any questions you may call the Habitat number at 215-8181 and leave a message. Someone will return your call.

Election Commission to Strictly Enforce 100 Feet Campaign Free Zone at Polls

January 16, 2008

Voters will no longer encounter candidates or their supporters soliciting votes or distributing campaign materials at the polls when they come to vote.

The Election Commission is enforcing a strict 100 feet Campaign Free Zone for this and all upcoming elections in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated 2-7-111(a)(b).

State law concerning this issue states as follows: "TCA 2-7-111 (a)....The officer of elections shall measure off 100 feet from the entrances to the building in which the election is to be held and place boundary signs at that distance. (b)(1)Within the appropriate boundary as established in subsection (a) and the building in which the polling place is located, the display of
campaign ads, and solicitation of votes for or against any person, political party,or position on a question are prohibited. No campaign posters, signs or other campaign literature may be displayed in any building in which a polling place is located."

The State Division of Elections has expressed an opinion that the 100 ft. Campaign Free Zone is a radius measurement and if the 100 ft. measurement ends up in the middle of a public road, the 100 ft. boundary continues to the opposite side of the road from the Courthouse. Signs will be posted at all entances to the building.

Candidates are reminded that No campaign literature, campaign advertisments, or solicitation of votes is permitted within the 100 ft Campaign Free Zone. In the past some have parked vehicles endorsing a candidate around the Courthouse. Any vehicle left in such a manner violates the 100 ft. Campaign Free Zone and are subject to be towed at the owners expense.

Early voting begins January 16 and continues through January 31 for the Presidential Preference Primaries. The voting hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. everyday except Thursday. Thursday hours are from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Voting is held every day except Sunday. The early voting location for all voters is the basement Courtroom in the DeKalb County Courthouse, located near the Election Office. For voters entering the South entrance (that is the side with the Veterans Memorial and Eternal Flame) the voting room is straignt ahead.

Efforts have been made to reserve parking spaces for voters. Several parking spaces are marked with orange cones labeled "Voters" "Elections Dept". The loading zone which is marked with yellow horizontal lines in front of the South entrance may be used as a "Drop Off Zone" for voters if others are driving them to the polls.

Voters are encouraged to look at a sample ballot prior to voting. Sample ballots are hung at the polling place, have been published twice in the paper or may be obtained from the Election Commission office upon request. Please visit our website at www.dekalbelections.com for more election related information.

Voters are required to show some form of ID when voting. If DeKalb county registered voters have moved since the last time they voted, their registration needs to be updated. If voters come during Early Voting election officials can take care of the address change when they vote. Procrastinating until Election Day will slow down the voter because they will be required to
fill out an address change at the election day precinct. This usually takes longer than stopping by the office or taking care of it when you vote early.

Remember that February 5th is a Primary Election Day and voters will be required to indicate on their application for ballot which party primary they want to vote in.

Election Day, February 5, the polls open in DeKalb County at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

Local Businessman Injured While Trying to Catch Two Men Stealing from Him

January 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

A local businessman was injured Monday morning as he tried to catch two men who were stealing from him.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 52 year old Thomas Anthony Pavone of Eagle Creek Road and 40 year old William "Tojo" Cantrell of Redman Road are each charged with theft of property over $500, criminal trespassing, and attempted second degree murder.

According to Sheriff Ray, the businessman spotted the two men putting of couple his truck tires and a radiator into their white Toyota four door car. He called out to the two men, ordering them to stay put while he called the Sheriff's Department. But they got in the car and fled, hitting the victim with the vehicle as they sped away. The victim was thrown onto the hood of the car and then landed on the gravel.

Though injured, the victim got in his automobile and chased the car on Old Sparta Highway to Old West Point Road, where he was able to get the driver to stop. The victim detained Pavone, who was the driver of the car, but Cantrell got out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was contacted and officers came to the scene and placed Pavone under arrest. Sheriff Ray says Cantrell turned himself in at the jail later in the day Monday.

The stolen semi-truck tires and the radiator, valued at $800, were recovered from the Toyota that Pavone was driving.

Bond for Pavone is $70,000 and $45,000 for Cantrell.

They will appear in General Sessions Court on the charges January 17th.

Sheriff Ray would not disclose the name of the victim or the name of his business, but said an ambulance was called to the scene and that the man was given medical treatment for his injuries.

Smithville Police Issue Citations Against Two for Shoplifting at Walmart

January 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged two females with shoplifting from the Walmart store.

Chief Richard Jennings says 16 year old Elissa Nicole Tanner of Alexandria and 21 year old Amanda Sue Hemby of Hermitage were arrested early Monday morning.

Officer Tyler Wix's report states that "I was patroling the Walmart parking lot when I was stopped by employees who stated that they had two shoplifters inside. I went inside to find Tanner and Hemby who had filled their purses with merchandise and attempted to leave the store. Both Tanner and Hemby were caught by employees prior to my arrival. Upon a search of the individual purses, a total of $233.70 worth of merchandise was taken. Both Tanner and Hemby were transported to the Smithville Police Department and charged with shoplifting. They were issued citations for the offenses and were released to Mrs. Tanner's mother."

Meanwhile, in other cases 25 year old Sandy Russell Young of Sparta was charged on Sunday with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

The arrest warrant states that " Officer Randy King arrested Young at Fred's parking lot for drug possession and a search of the vehicle, upon incident to arrest, found a blue bottle that contained a liquid, believed to be water. A syringe was under the seat and in the driver side door compartment was an empty bottle that was not his that was for dilaudid."

Young's bond is set at $1,000 and he will be in court on the charge February 14th.

40 year old Shannon D. Cook of Cooper Street was charged on Saturday with domestic assault. He will be in court on January 31st. He was arrested by officers Travis Bryant and Matt Holmes.

Two Interested in City Attorney Position

January 15, 2008
Dwayne Page

Two local attorneys interested in being the new city attorney for Smithville have submitted resumes to city hall.

Vester Parsley, Jr. and former city attorney Sarah Cripps are both seeking the position.

Smithville has been without a city attorney since the resignation of John Pryor, effective December 31st.

The city advertised seeking resumes through January 11th.

No one has yet been named to fill the vacancy.

Sheriff Ray Releases 2007 Activity Report

January 14, 2008

Sheriff Patrick Ray has compiled an activity report for the year 2007

In the report, Sheriff Ray says, "As we begin a new year in 2008, I would like to take this opportunity to look back at 2007 and review the accomplishments at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department. With the support of our county government, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department Staff, and the citizens of our county, we have made significant strides in making our department a professional and accountable department that we all can be proud of. Here are some highlights of our first year:

Earlier in the year, we had our Drug Roundup where 48 people were arrested for 164 various drug offenses. The various drugs which were bought were drugs such as Dilaudid, Oxycontin, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Hydrocodone, Xanax, and Marijuana.

The Sheriff’s Department also purchased a Malinois K-9 narcotic detector dog to fight the illegal sale and use of drugs. The K-9 was purchased with money that was seized from drug dealers and no tax money was spent.

The first Inmate Garden was started. Inmates worked throughout the summer planting and tending vegetables. Vegetables such as squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and a variety of beans were planted. In the fall, the inmates planted turnip greens. These vegetables were served to each inmate in the jail throughout the year.

In May, we had 2 DARE Graduations. There were over 375 fifth graders from Northside Elementary and DeKalb West School that completed a 10 week course where they were taught about the effects of drug abuse and violence. Also in May, the Sheriff’s Department conducted a Graduation Roadblock where a total of 1,044 vehicles were checked. There were many arrests with one arrest resulting in a charge for possession of over 22 grams of Cocaine.

In July, we purchased a new travel trailer valued $25,000.00 from the Federal Government at a cost of only $1,000.00. We now use this trailer as our mobile Critical Response Unit.

In August, we started the Sheriff’s Departments new website. The website’s address is www.dekalbsherifftn.com. This site has a lot of different links related to law enforcement informational services and community safety tips that helps our citizens, particularly our children and seniors, to live safe and productive lives.

The DeKalb County Jail and Jail Annex were recertified by the Tennessee Corrections Institute. We also added 18 more beds to the Annex area of the Jail to reduce overcrowding. The Jail was approved to house 104 inmates.

We also teamed with the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication where they did a fly-over of a portion of DeKalb County and found and destroyed over 453 marijuana plants.

In the fall, we launched the “Citizens Alert System”. This system is designed to quickly inform the citizens of DeKalb County, via email, about matters which might affect them. This system also is very beneficial in assisting the Sheriff’s Department in certain investigations.

In September, we teamed with the local senior citizens group in the HELP Program, which stands for “Helping Elderly Live Productively”. We delivered over 50 cases of donated water to senior citizens in DeKalb County suffering from the extreme heat and drought conditions.

In November, the Sheriff’s Department assisted the HELP Program by helping distribute canned foods to the elderly and disabled citizens in the county. In December, the Sheriff’s Department continued our support and assistance with the HELP Program by delivering donated gifts to the elderly and disabled citizens in the County.

Also in December, working in cooperation with the City of Alexandria Police Department and the City of Smithville Police Department, we conducted a New Year’s Eve Roadblock where almost 300 vehicles passed through, and 4 arrests were made.

During 2007, our department has had four Deputies graduate from the police training academy. In addition, our department’s Deputies and Correctional Officers have completed over 40 hours of certified training each.

My administration’s goal continues to be giving top priority in addressing the drug problem in DeKalb County. I think we have made a focused impact on this continuing battle during our first year, and there should be no question of my department’s seriousness and commitment in fighting this problem that so seriously affects so many people.

I would like to thank each and every one of my employees for the wonderful job they do. I, along with you, the citizens of DeKalb County, am very blessed to have employees working for us that have the best interest of our county at heart. As your Sheriff, I look forward to beginning a new year with continued commitment and hard work in making you proud of your sheriff’s department."

Smithville Volunteer Fire Department Called to NHC Healthcare Center Monday

January 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to NHC Healthcare Center Monday afternoon after an air handling unit on top of the building overheated sending smoke through the duct work into one wing of the facility.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker says a belt apparently locked up in the unit causing the problem.

The smoke triggered the fire alarm and a few residents down one wing were relocated to another part of the building while firefighters set up positive pressure fans to clear the smoke.

There was no damage to the building and no one was injured as a result of the incident.

Meanwhile, Chief Parker says city firefighters were also called to McDonald's restaurant around 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning after an electrical breaker box overheated and kicked off as employees were preparing to open for business.

Chief Parker says there was no damage to the building and no one was injured.

Sheriff's Department Gets Grant for Removable In-Car Video Cameras

January 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a grant from the State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Office of the Criminal Justice Program.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says this grant is for 15 removable in-car video cameras. Each patrol car will be equipped with a new video camera. This camera will be attached to the patrol cars dash, but also can be removed and used as a hand held video recorder. This will assist deputies while on traffic stops and will give them the ability to video tape any crime scenes they respond to. The Grant is for $18,000.


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