Local News Articles

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests for DUI and DRL

October 11, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department filed charges and issued citations against several persons this past week for driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that 49 year old Timothy Lloyd Caldwell of Medlin Drive of Dowelltown is charged with driving on a revoked license. He was also issued a citation for a violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance) and for failure to drive within his lane of traffic. His bond is $1, 500 and he will be in court on November 16

Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday, October 5 a deputy stopped Caldwell on the Old Snow Hill Road for failure to maintain his lane of travel. A computer check revealed his license were revoked on August 24 for a DUI in Putnam County.

34 year old James Walter Stringer of Morgan Drive, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on October 13.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Thursday, October 6 Stringer was stopped on Highway 70 for squealing tires. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Stringer admitted to drinking beer and taking xanax. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks but refused to submit to a blood test.

43 year old Greta Lynn Higgins of Midway Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. She was also issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on October 13.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, October 7. a deputy stopped Higgins on Highway 70 for failure to maintain her lane of travel. Higgins had slurred speech and she was very unsteady on her feet. She performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. She also submitted to a blood test. During the arrest, the officer found a hypodermic needle in Higgins' purse.

31 year old Tanya Renee Broad of Washington Street, Sparta is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. Her bond is $3,000.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, October 8 Broad was stopped by an officer on Highway 70 for a violation of the light law. She had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person and she was unsteady on her feet. Broad performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. She also submitted to a blood test.

New Clues Revealed in Disappearance of Nashville Surgeon

October 10, 2011
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray and TWRA Officer Nick Luper
Dr. William Coltharp

The Nashville surgeon who went missing while kayaking on Center Hill Lake over a week ago remains missing but new clues have been revealed by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and TWRA that may shed more light on the case.

In a press conference Monday afternoon at the Hurricane bridge recreation area, Sheriff Patrick Ray and TWRA Officer Nick Luper updated local and Nashville media on the search and the investigation.

Sheriff Ray said the disappearance of Dr. William Coltharp is still considered a "missing person" case and no foul play is suspected. But could it have been a suicide? Officials can't say for sure because no body has been recovered. But an empty handgun case belonging to Dr. Coltharp was found last Monday near the Hurricane boat ramp and a witness came forward on Friday to report that he had seen a man on Sunday evening, October 2 loading a cylinder concrete block onto a kayak with him before paddling down stream.

In his update to the media, Sheriff Ray read from the following prepared statement: " 55 year old Dr. William Hubert Coltharp of Tyne Boulevard, Nashville left his residence in Nashville at approximately 4:00 p.m. enroute to Center Hill Lake to kayak."

"Dr. Coltharp went to Hurricane boat ramp on Sunday evening, October 2. There have been two independent witnesses that have confirmed that Dr. Coltharp arrived at the Hurricane boat ramp by himself at approximately 6:00 p.m. We have also confirmed by other sources such as cell towers where he had used his cell phone that Dr. Coltharp was in this area. A witness stated that he had spoken to Dr. Coltharp. The doctor was last seen on Center Hill Lake on the west side of Hurricane bridge".

"Sometime after midnight on Monday, October 3, Dr. Coltharp's wife left Nashville enroute to Center Hill Lake. She did not know the exact location that Dr. Coltharp had launched his kayak but was somewhat familiar with that area of Floating Mill and the Hurricane Marina. While enroute to DeKalb County, she contacted law enforcement about her husband being missing. She was directed to the dispatch center for the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. She talked with a TWRA officer and eventually found her husband's vehicle, a 1999 White Chevy Suburban, in the parking lot of Hurricane boat ramp. DeKalb Central Dispatch was notified at 1:22 a.m. by TWRA about the missing man. Deputies from the DeKalb Sheriff's Department arrived on the scene at 1:44 a.m. Monday morning, October 3. Neither Dr. Coltharp nor his kayak were anywhere to be found.",

"At approximately 2:30 a.m. a search was started for Dr. Coltharp. At approximately 5:00 a.m., an upside down kayak, which contained a life jacket, was found which is believed to be Dr. Coltharp's kayak. A paddle was found further down stream later that day. An Apple MacBook laptop computer was also found in the kayak's storage box. The computer was soaked in water but was retrieved from the kayak and has since been sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Crime Lab to see if any information can be retrieved from it. The kayak was found approximately one mile from the Hurricane boat ramp".

"Later that same morning (Monday, October 3), at approximately 9:40 a.m., a worker who is contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was working at the Hurricane boat ramp and found a handgun case as he was changing out garbage bags. There was no handgun inside the case. Through an investigation, the handgun case was found to belong to Dr. Coltharp."

"On Friday evening, October 7, authorities confirmed through a witness that Dr. Coltharp arrived at the lake right before dark (Sunday, October 2) and was seen loading a cylinder concrete block onto the kayak with him. He then paddled in the direction where the kayak was later found".

"The only thing we have in our investigation are facts and these are the facts of the case. There is no evidence that points towards foul play. Its only a missing person report at this time and it will continue to be until we find the body or find him," said Sheriff Ray.

Although Coltharp's kayak, life jacket, a pair of kayak gloves, computer and gun case have been recovered, authorities have not found the keys to Dr. Coltharp's SUV or his cell phone. As for the gun case, Sheriff Ray said authorities have confirmed that Dr. Coltharp owns a handgun and the serial numbers match those on the gun case.

TWRA Officer Luper said the search for Dr. Coltharp will continue throughout the week, if needed. The general area of the search is about a mile downstream of the Hurricane boat ramp, in about sixty feet of water. "Part of our search has involved dragging the bottom of the lake. We did a lot of that in the beginning stages. Earlier on in the week we didn't have a definite location of where we might could look or where the accident might have taken place. So we didn't have a good location. We had a wide spread search. On Friday night, we had a pretty good witness come to us and confirm for us where he had last seen Mr. Coltharp. That helped us to really hone in on a particular area that we're still searching at. As of today (Monday) we have still not located Mr. Coltharp. The Nashville Office of Emergency Management is out here today with a towfish which is a type of sonar. They continue to search today into the afternoon. If you know anything about this lake there are lots of objects on the bottom of this lake, trees, logs, different things so anytime we come across an image that's of interest to us, we'll usually send a diver down to confirm that. We've done that a few times this week. Even throughout the rest of this week there will be some type of search. We're not sure at what capacity at this time but there will be a search that will continue the rest of this week, " said TWRA Officer Luper

"This has been quite an extensive search throughout the entire week beginning during the late hours of Sunday night and early Monday morning and we've had a lot of folks here from various agencies. There's a lot of folks I believe need to be commended for being here especially the DeKalb County Rescue Squad. They have been here throughout the entire search. They've put in a lot of tireless hours. They've come from work and come before work. Some have even missed work to be here to participate in this search. These guys are all volunteers and they really need to be commended for being here. We've had a lot of folks from surrounding counties who have also participated in the search. They have come at different times throughout the week. I want to thank all those folks who came. All the rescue squads. The cadaver dog bloodhound groups that came to help us out. They deserve to be commended for that. On behalf of all the rescue workers, I would like to thank St. Thomas Hospital for donating all the food and water. Its really kept everybody going this week. It was very generous of them to do that. Its really helped in our search," said Officer Luper.

Sheriff Ray also released a prepared statement from the Coltharp family. In it, the family states " The Coltharp family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the search and rescue efforts led by the Smithville/DeKalb County Rescue Squad to locate Will Coltharp".

"The Smithville/DeKalb County Rescue Squad, led by Director Dustin Johnson, has requested and received assistance from Coffee, Cannon, Jackson, Warren, and White Counties, the City of Smyrna, the United Auto Workers of Nashville, members of the Bloodhound Search and Rescue Group, the Nashville Office of Emergency Management, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency".

"Furthermore, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has been here everyday and actively worked in the search".

"Finally, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, led by Sheriff Patrick Ray, has worked in an extraordinary and professional manner to keep us up to date".

"We very much appreciate the efforts of St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville residents, local merchants, friends and concerned people who provided food and coffee to the volunteers and family".

"The efforts of everyone in the community, to support us in the search, will be a memory remembered by all of us".

Two Big Weekends for the DCHS Band

October 10, 2011
DCHS Band Boosters
 DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band

In addition to supporting the DCHS Football team at Friday night football games, the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band spends a lot of time preparing to compete against other high school bands. These contests are held on Saturdays and hosted by various high schools across the state.

The last two weekends have been very busy for the band. On Saturday, Oct 1st, they competed in the Blue Devil Marching Invitational at Lebanon High School. On Saturday, Oct 8th, they competed in the Small Band Championship at Forest High School in Chapel Hill. Both performances proved to be successful for the Fighting Tiger Band.

In Lebanon, the DCHS Color Guard and Percussion sections brought home trophies for 1st Place in Class. After reviewing the score sheets, both sections also placed 2nd in the Division, which is a combination of all the small classes. Although no trophies or recognitions were awarded for the Division accomplishments, it is a great indication that the band is going in the right direction.

In Chapel Hill, The Fighting Tigers performed their way to receive 1st Place Band and Percussion Class awards. In addition, Field Commander, Hannah Cantrell, also brought home a Drum Major award for 2nd Place in Class. Band Director, Jonathan Wright said, "I would like to thank our Band Boosters for all that you do to help as chaperones, pit crew, and drivers. Without your dedication, our accomplishments would not be possible." He continues, "I would also like to extend a special thanks to Eddie Rowland for providing dinner for all of the students, directors, staff, and boosters at our contest this past weekend!" Assistant Band Director, Joey Wilburn said, "I'm really proud of how the band has worked. They have raised their score by over 10 points. I'm very excited to see how far they can go."

For the next few weeks, the band will prepare for their final contest of the season on Oct 29th in Alcoa, Tennessee. They will also perform at the final two games of the regular season for the Tiger Football Team against Upperman High School on Oct 14th and again on Oct 28th against Livingston Academy.

The DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band and Boosters would like to invite everyone out to the 2nd Annual Chili Supper at the DCHS Cafeteria on Friday, Oct 21st. Serving begins at 5PM and tickets are only $5 each. Advanced tickets can be purchased from any Fighting Tiger marching band student or Booster member. Price includes a bowl of chili, a grilled cheese sandwich, a dessert, and a drink. Come out and show your support to the band! You can read more about the band and their schedule at www.DekalbBand.com or "like" them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DekalbBand .

Two Sentenced in Industry Theft Case

October 8, 2011
Dwayne Page
Melvin Leon Cripps, Jr.
Tracy Lynn Haynes
Jason Brian Jones
Charlie Chad Barnes
Terry Ray Barnes

Two men charged with theft of property from a local industry twenty one months ago were each sentenced by Judge David Patterson in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday.

36 year old Melvin Leon Cripps, Jr. and 41 year old Tracy Lynn Haynes each received a four year sentence, suspended to supervised probation after pleading guilty to one count of theft over $1,000. The two men are to pay restitution of $50,000 jointly and severally and they will be on unsupervised probation once all conditions of the plea agreement are met. Haynes' sentence is to run concurrently with his probation in a General Sessions Court case.

Cripps and Haynes were arrested on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by then Detective Jerry Hutchins of the Smithville Police Department. Police said around January 9th, 2010 several pieces of welding equipment and power supplies were stolen from Tenneco's (Walker's) warehouse at 415 Miller Road. On January 11th, maintenance manager, Johnny Pridmore reported to Officer Matt Farmer that he was informed that some of Tenneco's equipment may be at Ivy Bluff Salvage. Pridmore went to Ivy Bluff Salvage and found equipment belonging to Tenneco. Pridmore returned to the warehouse on January 11th to find a truck with a bumper trailer attached. On the trailer were two items belonging to Tenneco. He approached the men in the truck and requested their names and asked what they were doing. The driver stated his name was Melvin Cripps. While Mr. Pridmore called the police, the two men unloaded the two items off the trailer and left. After further investigation, Detective Hutchins arrested Cripps and Haynes.

Meanwhile, a former store employee of Potters Home Center, charged with forgery and felony theft over $1,000, has been granted judicial diversion probation for two years, supervised by TDOC. He entered into the plea agreement by information.

In August, 32 year old Jason Brian Jones was charged in a scheme to allegedly steal money from Potters Home Center by taking advantage of the store's policy on returning merchandise.

Under the terms of his probation, Jones must make restitution of $8,100 to Potter's Home Center and complete a drug rehabilitation program at New Life Ministries in Arkansas. New Life Ministries will make a monthly report to CPS probation.

According to Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger, on several occasions from June 7th through July 30th, Jones allegedly forged the names of people on return slips, then made out a check from the store for the returns to the names on those slips. He then allegedly forged their names on the backs of those checks, cashed them in-store, and kept the money. The total amount of money taken in the scheme amounts to several thousands of dollars. All of the return slips were bogus, meaning that no merchandise from anyone named on the slips was actually brought to the store for a return.

During the investigation, Police questioned Jones who allegedly confessed to the crimes. He is also no longer an employee of the store.

In other cases, 25 year old Charlie Chad Barnes pleaded guilty to initiation of a process intent to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. He received an eight year sentence to serve at 30%. He was also fined $2,000. Barnes was given jail credit of 33 days.

23 year old Terry Ray Barnes pleaded guilty to attempted initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. He received a four year sentence to serve at least 30% before his release eligibility date. He was also fined $2,000. The sentence is to run concurrently with a Van Buren County sentence he is currently serving. Barnes was given jail credit of 264 days.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that on Sunday, January 16th, a deputy went to Big Hurricane Road to investigate a possible meth lab. The officer spoke with Chad Barnes who answered the door. The deputy told him why he was there. Barnes gave consent to search. Terry Barnes was also there. Found in the room were components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including a two liter bottle containing a clear liquid with lithium strips boiling, batteries, cut up batteries, lye, draino, cold packs, eight foot long plastic tubing, and other items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The officer reported that when he approached the front of the residence, he noticed a chemical smell coming from inside the home.

29 year old William Travis Malone pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence, suspended to 65 days of time served. The remainder of the sentence is to be served on community corrections. He was fined $2,000 and must make $50 restitution to the Smithville Police Department. He was given jail credit of 65 days.

Malone was charged in a sealed indictment as the result of an undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department. According to Detective Matt Holmes, a confidential source purchased two dilaudid pills from Malone on February 23 at a location within one thousand feet of Smithville Elementary School.

29 year old Matthew Baker pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation in each case to run concurrently with each other and with any current probation.

20 year old Ray D. Underwood pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was released to time served. He was given jail credit of 207 days.

50 year old Danny Ponder pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence in the community corrections program. He was fined $2,000 and must make $50 restitution to the Smithville Police Department. Ponder must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment.

Ponder was charged in a sealed indictment as the result of an undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department. According to Detective Matt Holmes, a confidential source purchased two dilaudid pills from Ponder on February 23 at a location within one thousand feet of Smithville Elementary School.

39 year old Janet Mayo pleaded guilty to simple possession of a schedule II and VI controlled substance and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on supervised probation. The two sentences are to run concurrently. She was fined $1,000.

Mayo was arrested on Sunday, January 9th. She was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Smithville Police Officer James Cornelius on a traffic violation. Mayo was asked to step out of the vehicle and empty her pockets. She had a bag containing drug paraphernalia and what was believed to be marijuana and methamphetamine.

45 year old Rhonda Brewer pleaded guilty to introduction of contraband into the jail. She received a three year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She was given jail credit of 104 days. Brewer must also pay a $2,000 fine. The sentence is to run concurrently with her probation in General Sessions Court.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Thursday, May 19 Brewer reported to the jail on a violation of probation. Upon a pat down search, a coffee filter was found in her bra by the correctional officers. When the filter was unfolded, officers found that it contained methamphetamine.

26 year old Melinda Murphy pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and one count of theft under $500.

She received a sentence of one year on state probation in one of the fraud cases, 11 months and 29 days in the other on probation , and 11 months and 29 days in the theft case on probation. All the terms are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a sentence in General Sessions Court. She must make restitution of $985 and make a $200 contribution to the economic crime fund.

20 year old Alexandria June Rowell, charged with child neglect, was granted judicial diversion probation for two years. She is to complete accredited parenting classes.

20 year old David Graham, charged with child neglect, was granted judicial diversion probation for two years. He is to complete accredited parenting classes.

33 year old Jerry H. Goff pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule VI controlled substance and received a two year sentence on state probation. Goff was fined $2,000 and he must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and follow all recommendations

30 year old Nena Chapman, charged with theft over $10,000, was granted judicial diversion probation for three years. She must make restitution of $3,758 jointly and severally with another defendant, 30 year old Joseph Daniel Richardson.

Sheriff Ray told WJLE that on Monday, April 4th Richardson allegedly entered a residence on Dry Creek Road with the intent to commit a theft. Richardson apparently made entry by pushing on the locked back door with his shoulder. Items taken were twenty five dollar gold pieces on a chain, two and a half dollar gold pieces on a chain, five dollar gold pieces on a chain, approximately one hundred fifty pieces of miscellaneous items, a medicine organizer, and a quilt. All items were valued at $15,070 dollars. Chapman allegedly took some of the jewelry and sold it at a local business.

In May, Richardson pleaded guilty by information to one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $10,000. He received a three year sentence in each case, all suspended to supervised probation except for 180 days to serve. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other and concurrent with a violation of probation case against him. He was given jail credit from April 5th to May 20th.

19 year old Clay Andrew Bain pleaded guilty to simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, evading arrest, and unlawful possession of a weapon. He received a sentence of eleven months and 29 days in the drug and evading cases and 30 days on the weapons charge. The terms are to run concurrently. He will be on supervised probation. Bain must also pay a fine of $250

According to Sheriff Ray, in July, 2010 a deputy received a call from central dispatch about an altercation on Midway Road in Smithville. The complainant said that Bain was at a residence on Midway Road and was armed with a gun. An officer spotted Bain's vehicle at the Midway Community Center. As Bain drove off the deputy activated his blue lights but Bain did not stop. The officer pursued Bain for approximately a ¼ of a mile before he pulled into the residence of the complainant. Upon approaching Bain's automobile, the officer noticed inside the vehicle a club or stick that had duct tape rolled around one end of it. Bain was then taken into custody. When asked if he had anything in his pockets, Bain produced a small bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

42 year old Tobin Lane Hamnett pleaded guilty by information to reckless driving and received a six month suspended sentence on supervised probation. He was fined $1,000.

19 year old Wesley J. Hayes, charged with attempt to initiate the manufacture of methamphetamine, was granted judicial diversion probation for three years. He must perform 50 hours of community service

Hayes, 30 year old Scott B. Carroll, Jr and 20 year old Francisco Bustamonte were accused of engaging in a process to make methamphetamine at a residence at 200 the Loop Circle in the Midway Community on January 23. Carroll and Bustamonte were sentenced last month. Carroll received a 30 year sentence as a career criminal while 20 year old Bustamonte was handed an eleven year term in the local case to run consecutively to a six year sentence in a Cannon County case for the same type of offense.

36 year old James L. Owen, charged with promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine, was granted judicial diversion for three years. He must perform 50 hours of community service.

25 year old Lois Nicole Cobble Godsey, charged with child abuse and neglect, was granted judicial diversion probation for two years

Sheriff Ray said that Godsey had taken the child to River Park Hospital in McMinnville on Saturday, January 1st for another medical reason when hospital staff apparently noticed bruises on the child's legs, back, butt, and head. The child also smelled strongly of urine. Warren County authorities and members of the Department of Children Services were called initially. A further investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department revealed that the child had been whipped excessively with a belt and switch.

29 year old Stephanie Ann Fagan pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated child abuse and received a five year sentence, all suspended to TDOC probation with the first four years to be supervised by community corrections. She was also fined $2,000.

In January, Fagan was charged with aggravated child abuse after allegedly allowing her 12 year old daughter to smoke marijuana. According to Smithville Police Detective Matt Holmes, he met Fagan at 829 Gentry Avenue on Wednesday, January 12th while conducting a follow-up investigation on an offense report. She was then transported to the Smithville Police Department for questioning. Fagan allegedly admitted that a few weeks prior she was at her residence with an adult male and that he talked Fagan into allowing the 12 year old daughter to smoke a marijuana cigarette with her.
Fagan was arrested and charged and the child was removed from her custody by the Department of Children's Services.

25 year old Antonio Wilford pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. He received a four year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. The sentence is to run concurrently with his probation in General Sessions Court and a Putnam County case.

Sheriff Ray told WJLE that a deputy accompanied a probation officer on a Bell Street home visit to check on a woman and during a search of the bedroom, the officers found a gun in a dresser drawer, which Wilford said belonged to him. The gun, which was actually stolen, had been defaced. The serial number had been scratched off. The incident occurred in October, 2010.

26 year old Sebrena Michelle Wright pleaded guilty by information to simple possession of oxycontin and suboxone and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case, suspended to CPS probation. The two sentences are to run consecutively or back to back. She was fined $750.

50 year old Terry Lee Price pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a three year sentence in each case, suspended to supervised probation in the community corrections program. The sentences are to run consecutively for a total of six years. Price must also pay a $2,000 fine. He was given jail credit for 64 days.

40 year old Tina Young pleaded guilty by information to theft over $500 and received a one year sentence on supervised probation. The sentence is to run concurrently with her probation in another criminal court case.

52 year old Kenny Stults pleaded guilty to two counts of theft over $1,000 and received a two year sentence in each case at 30% as a standard range one offender, all suspended to TDOC probation. The two cases are to run concurrently with each other and with a Putnam County case against him. He is to pay restitution to all victims in the cases.

DeKalb Democratic Primary to be held March 6

October 7, 2011
Dennis Stanley

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary will be held in conjunction with next year's Presidential Preference Primary and one county-wide and seven district races will be on the ballot.

The local election commission voted Thursday night to accept the request by the local Democratic Party to hold its county primary in conjunction with the March 6 Presidential Preference Primary. At that time, the party
will select its' nominees for Assessor of Property and Constable for all seven districts.

"Now that the election has been called, petitions can be picked up for all of the offices on the March ballot," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. The qualifying deadline is NOON, December 8, 2011. The same
qualifying deadline will apply to the Republican Party nominees (chosen by caucus) and Independent candidates.
Stanley noted there are special circumstances relating to petitions for Constable.

"Any petition we issue for Constable will be subject to the adoption of a reapportionment resolution by the DeKalb County Commission designating the county district lines based upon the 2010 census population," Stanley
said. "The petition may become invalid upon the adoption of reapportionment and a new petition may be required to gain access to the ballot. It is the responsibility of the person in whose name the petition has been issued to verify the validity of his/her petition after the reapportionment resolution has been adopted."

Jewel's Market & Pizza Denied Beer Permit

October 6, 2011
Dwayne Page

Jewel's Market & Pizza will not be allowed to sell beer.

On a vote of 5 to 2, the DeKalb County Beer Board Thursday night voted to deny the application of Viva Gail Johnson for an on and off premises permit to sell beer at Jewel's Market & Pizza at 600 North Congress Boulevard because the store is within 2,000 feet of the new First Assembly of God Church

Board members Frank Thomas, Harrell Tolbert, Robert Rowe, Jim Stagi, and Mac Harney all voted to deny the application. Bazel Dick Knowles and Edward Frazier voted to grant the permit.

Frazier said he felt it was discriminatory not to grant the permit, when the store had been licensed to sell beer in the past under a previous owner.

County Attorney Hilton Conger, who was asked to render a legal opinion, said the problem in this situation is that a survey shows the store within two thousand feet of the church, and under regulations established by the county commission in October 1939, no business can be licensed to sell beer if it is within 2,000 feet of a school, church, or other place of public gathering. "That's been the rule here in the county ever since (1939). Counties can change that and make it less than 2,000 feet but DeKalb County has never chosen to do that," said Conger.

As for how the distance is to be measured, Conger said the state supreme court ruled more than fifty years ago in a Sullivan County case that the distance is to be measured in a direct line from building to building or "as the crow flies" "That was settled by the supreme court in the case of Jones versus the Sullivan County Beer Board. That was decided in 1956. The court said that the measurement is to be made in a direct line, the nearest point to the nearest point. From the building to the building. I've seen a survey in this one (Jewel's Market & Pizza). In fact I think Mr. Redmon showed me the survey and its within 2,000 feet," said Conger.

The store, formerly known as Pop's Market, had been licensed to sell beer under a previous owner, but the store later went out of business. The church was built during the time that the store was out of business. According to Conger, after the store had been out of operation for more than six months, it could no longer be grandfathered to sell beer with a new owner. " The exception provided is that if the previous permit holder at the location had not been out of business for more than six months, a church is built or moves in (within 2,000 feet), and someone then purchases the business, it would be grandfathered in. But it is my understanding that (in this case) it had been at least two years since there had been a permit there. At any rate, it had been more than six months," said Conger.

Jewel Redmon, who now owns the store, asked the beer board to take into consideration the fact that because the property was tied up in bankruptcy proceedings, neither he nor anyone else could have purchased the store within the time period that it could have been grandfathered. Redmon said he should not be penalized because of circumstances over which he had no control.

Conger said the law does not make exceptions for such circumstances."The question that Mr. Redmon had raised was would there be an exception under the circumstances for this one since the property had been tied up in bankruptcy for a period of time. I don't think there is an exception for that in the statutes. It just says that if there hasn't been a permit holder there within the last six months, then they're not grandfathered in, "said Conger.

When asked to respond, Redmon said "the property was seized by the government for taxes. Nobody could have gotten a beer license there. There should be exceptions under the circumstances. It should be exempt. There's nobody here objecting. She (Johnson) has to have a product to sell that's what people want. So I think the board should take under consideration that it was seized by the government for taxes. No one could have done business there. That's our opinion," said Redmon.

Extension Office Offers Pesticide Card Recertification Classes

October 6, 2011
Michael Barry
Michael Barry

In the past, several DeKalb County farmers have received private applicator training in the safe handling of pesticides and have been certified and or re-certified every three years. This is to ensure that they are updated on safety measures as required by the Environmental Protection Agency, particularly in the use of restricted products. These farmers must have the card in hand to purchase and use these products, according to Michael Barry of the DeKalb County UT Extension Office.

The re-certification process requires viewing an hour long video of updated information and reviewing the subjects in addition to a pre-test and post-test. Once they receive the record of those having been trained, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture issues a new card to the farmer. Cards must be renewed before October 21.

There is no fee from TDS for a new card, but there is a fee of $15 for the training. Several training meetings have been scheduled over the next couple of weeks to get current cardholders re-certified. Once re-certified, the card will be good until 2014.

The re-certification classes are only available to those who have a current Private Applicator card. For those folks who have never been certified in pesticide application, they must go through the initial certification class. The initial certification video is about four hours long. The training fee is $30 and the TDA collects a $10 card fee. Anyone wishing to have this training should contact Michael Barry of the DeKalb County UT Extension Office and set up a time for the viewing and testing process.

The re-certification classes will be held at the UT Extension Office at 722 South Congress Boulevard in the new county building across the highway from Food Lion. Farmers need to attend only one of the re-certified classes. The re-certification classes will be Monday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, October 13 at 1:00 p.m.; Monday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m.; and Monday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m.

If you are planning to attend a particular class, please call and register by phone. If you need further information or would like to register to attend a re-certification class, call the Extension office at 597-4945.

Still Missing

October 5, 2011
Dwayne Page
Dr. William Coltharp

Nothing new yet in the disappearance of a Nashville surgeon who went kayaking on Center Hill Lake Sunday and hasn't been seen since.

TWRA Officer Tony Cross told WJLE Tuesday night that the search will resume Wednesday. "Recovery operations are still underway. We haven't made any discoveries of any kind. In addition to the TWRA and Corps of Engineers, still several members of the Rescue Squad have been on the scene along with Charlie Parker of Emergency Management, and members of the Sheriff's Department. The Coffee County Rescue Squad has been down there doing some night time sonar to see if they can locate anything," he said

Divers have not been used primarily because no one knows for sure where the man may have gone in the lake. Officer Cross said the area being covered is deep and wide. "Its not specific enough. Its such a huge area. We're not pinpointed to where the victim might have gone down. It's a little over a mile from the area where he was last seen to where we found the boat," he said.

So what happened to Dr. William Coltharp? "Mr. Coltharp actually came to the lake late Sunday afternoon to do a little kayaking alone. He launched his boat somewhere around five to six o'clock we don't know exactly when but in that area of time. He was actually seen by a couple of construction workers from the bridge project. He was seen paddling down stream right in the area of the lower ramp at Hurricane bridge just before dark on Sunday, " said Officer Cross.

"When he didn't return home later that night, his wife phoned 911 and they (central dispatch) got in touch with us (TWRA). About 2:30 a.m. or so on Monday morning, we began a search to see if we could find Mr. Coltharp and his kayak. Between five and five thirty a.m. Monday morning, we found the kayak., which was overturned just over a mile downstream from the lower Hurricane bridge boat ramp. The paddle was actually found three quarters of a mile even further downstream a little later in the day. We also found a life jacket, a personal flotation device underneath the kayak when we righted it. Since that time, we've been just trying to do some dragging in the area around and below the boat ramp and where the overturned kayak was found. The problems that we are encountering are that its such a huge area of deep water. We don't know how much current there was that evening. Just the wind itself can push anything such as a kayak along pretty good. So we really don't know where he might have overturned or whatever happened," said Officer Cross.

Smithville Water Treatment Plant Renovation Almost Completed

October 4, 2011
Dwayne Page
Smithville Water Treatment Plant
W&O construction worker installing new high service pump at water plant

The Smithville Water Treatment plant renovation is almost completed.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson, during Monday night's city council meeting, reported to the aldermen that the project may be finished within a month. "Our water plant is about 95% complete. I think the cleaning of the floor, the resurfacing of the floor and several clean up things down there is about all they have to do,"he said

Secretary -Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson added "to date we have spent $2,399,000 out of $2,592,000 so there's roughly $193,000 remaining. A total of $433,892 have been paid back to us (city) through the CDBG grant. So we're getting close to being done," he said

Mayor Hendrixson said "The water plant is state of the art. All of you need to see that. But the flooring, they're resurfacing the terrazzo floor and it's going to look good. It already looks good. Hopefully by the next meeting or definitely by this time next month, it will be completed," he said.

Work began in August, 2010 by the W&O Construction Company of Livingston, who was awarded the construction bid in February 2010 by the board of aldermen at a cost of $2,542,000. The city was awarded a $500,000 community development block grant administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help fund the project. But the bulk of the funding, $2,342,000 was appropriated from the city's water and sewer fund surplus.

The project at the water plant included the installation of new high service pumps; new electrical breaker boxes, new storage tanks, new automated water filter control panel, new chlorinator, new liquid fluoride feeder system, the addition of a new standby generator, among many other renovations and improvements.

Mayor Hendrixson said the city did not have to borrow the money because there were sufficient funds in the city's water and sewer fund reserves to support the project.

In other business, the Smithville aldermen Monday night approved an amendment on second and final reading following a public hearing updating a section of the zoning ordinance to provide for residential uses within the B-3 Commercial Zoning District.

Mayor Hendrixson said "there is quite a bit of interest in some of the vacant buildings downtown being turned into residential units. Our zoning ordinance does not address that so we need an amendment to that. It has been passed by the planning commission".

The proposed ordinance reads as follows: "Now therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of Smithville, that the following sections shall be amended in the Smithville Zoning Ordinance:

Section 106.10.1
"After public notice and hearing, subject to appropriate safeguards and conditions, the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) may permit construction of a new building or rehabilitation of an existing building in the Central Business District for Residential or Mixed Commercial-Residential Use. In reviewing applications for such uses or conversions of buildings, the Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the overall effect of the proposal to the area and surrounding properties so that there will not be a detrimental effect to the stability and viability of the Central Business District. In making this determination, this board must evaluate the availability of utilities, number of units proposed, city's capacity to respond effectively to emergencies, and availability of off-street parking".

Section 106.10.2
" The following conditions must also be met:
A. Submit site plan and floor plans for BZA review.

B. Provision of some off-street parking spaces for new residential construction that meets the parking requirements for the R-3 Residential Zoning District. Parking for existing structures being rehabilitated/converted to a residence shall be provided on public lots if none are available on site

C. Landscaping of the property if new residential construction

D. Minimum square footage of dwelling units of 650 square feet for one-bedroom unit, 900 square feet for a two-bedroom unit, 1100 square feet for a three-bedroom unit.

E. All new residential construction shall meet R-3 requirements on number of units and setbacks

F. Adherence to requirement of the 2006 International Residential Code and later amendments/updates."

Meanwhile the board adopted on first reading proposed ordinance #435. This is an ordinance abandoning the roadway on the southside of the South Mountain Street and Adams Street intersection. Second and final reading will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Mayor Hendrixson explained that "its on the south side of the South Mountain Street and Adams Street intersection. Its something that was never built. Its known as the Johnson/Turner addition. It happened in the 1940's but it has never been built.

The proposed ordinance reads as follows: "Whereas the Mayor and Aldermen are aware that the roadway shown on the southside addition of the Johnson/Turner addition dated May 4, 1945 has not been improved nor improved as a roadway since the construction and improvement of Adams Street.

Whereas, no landowner adjoining the roadway shown on the southside of the Johnson/Turner addition dated May 4, 1945 will be land locked by virtue of the abandonment of said roadway.

Whereas the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have concluded that it is in the best interest of the City of Smithville to abandon the roadway shown on the southside of the addition of the Johnson/Turner addition dated May 4, 1945

Now, Therefore be it ordained as follows: Section 1, the City of Smithville does hereby abandon any right, claim, easement, fee, or intent otherwise in the portion of said southside roadway from the South Mountain Street easterly intersection to the present construction of the Adams Street intersection.

Section 2 This ordinance shall take effect upon second and final reading"

City to Construct Sidewalk on Portion of Anthony Avenue Near Walmart

October 4, 2011
Dwayne Page
City to Build Sidewalk on portion of Anthony Avenue near Walmart

A sidewalk will be constructed on the west side of Anthony Avenue from Morgan Drive to the entrance of Walmart to give pedestrians a safer place to walk going to and from the store.

The Smithville Aldermen voted to appropriate the funds for that project during Monday night's city council meeting.

During the September 19 meeting, Alderman Shawn Jacobs asked again for city officials look into putting in a sidewalk on at least one side of Anthony Avenue near Walmart to keep people from walking in the street, going to and from the store. Jacobs said it is a safety concern, especially at night if pedestrians are wearing dark colored clothing, making it more difficult for motorists to see them.

During Monday night's meeting Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the project will be started soon and it is expected to cost around six thousand dollars. "We've been out there and looked at that. What we think needs doing is on the west side of Anthony, which will disturb not but one driveway. Actually it won't disturb the driveway, but we won't have to go across but one. From the entrance into Walmart off of Anthony Avenue up to Morgan Drive, that's where all the traffic is. On the other end there is concreted drains and that end is not used for walking anyway. The main use for walking is from the entrance of Walmart to Morgan Drive. We have looked at that and decided that we can probably build that and start right away with buying maybe about four thousand dollars worth of materials. The whole thing will cost approximately six thousand dollars if we count our in-house labor and equipment. I think that will be a good thing. We will start on that as quickly as possible," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Meanwhile, in other city business Monday night, Mayor Hendrixson asked that David Bain be hired to replace Hoyte Barrett, who retired in June as supervisor of the sewer rehab crew. Mayor Hendrixson said Bain has filled that position since Barrett has been gone "but is not receiving the same pay for it, which is a dollar and something and hour more than what he is making now. David is doing a good job. I would like to ask for a motion for him to fill that position, vacated by Hoyte," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Alderman Steve White responded, "I thought we would take some applications and do some interviews"

Mayor Hendrixson answered, "I've had him and three more (employees) that said they might be interested, but one didn't have his Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and one of them has already quit. If you want to interview the two, you can," said Mayor Hendrixson.

White replied,"That would probably be better"

Alderman Gayla Hendrix then asked "Is there anything in place about advertising the position for an amount of time before hiring someone for it?"

Mayor Hendrixson said "If we don't have any applications, and we have stacks of applications down there right now for people that we hire, but if we don't have any applications we will always advertise. But we need to do in-house on promotions. I think that's what ordinance 287 says we'll do. So I'll try to get that one and the other one lined up and we'll try to do an interview but Mr. Bain has already been doing this job since June," said Mayor Hendrixson.

The aldermen voted to hire two employees in the police department who have completed their 60 day probationary period. Mayor Hendrixson said both Lawrence Avera and Steven Barrett, are certified officers. Avera was hired July 21 at $12.06 cents an hour. His pay will increase to $13.48 per hour. Barrett was hired on July 22 making $12.06 per hour. His pay will increase to $13.48 per hour.

On another issue, Alderman Danny Washer asked that something be done about the roof of city hall, which has sprung some leaks. Mayor Hendrixson said "We'll get someone to look at it and see what needs to be done. I don't know that we need a whole new roof maybe we just need some repairs," he said


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