Local News Articles

Unemployment rate continues steady decline

June 25, 2010
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for the month of May was an even 10 percent, down eight-tenths of a percentage point from the revised April rate of 10.8 percent.
According to Labor Force figures, DeKalb County’s work force for May was 9,600, with 8,640 persons employed, while 960 were unemployed. The May, 2010, rate was also significantly lower than that of May, 2009, when 10.6 percent of the county’s workforce was unemployed.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for May was 10.4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the April rate of 10.5 percent. Unemployment rates in Tennessee decreased in 86 of the state’s 95 counties in May, increased in seven counties and stayed the same in two counties.

In Local Workforce Investment Area 7, which includes DeKalb and 11 other Upper Cumberland counties, Cannon County had the lowest jobless rate at 8.4 percent, followed by Putnam County at 9.2 percent. DeKalb County and Macon County were next in line at 10 percent each, with Smith County next at 10.5 percent. Other jobless rates in the area include the following: Overton County, 10.7 percent; Jackson County, 11.5 percent; Fentress County, 11.7 percent; Clay County, 12.3 percent; White County, 12.5 percent; Van Buren County, 12.6 percent; and Pickett County, 13.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, down from 7.1 percent in April. Scott County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 19.8 percent, down from 20.2 percent in April, followed by Marshall County at 16.7 percent, down from 17.3 percent in April.

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.7 percent, down from 8.2 percent in April. Davidson County was 8.9 percent, unchanged from the April rate. Hamilton County was at 8.6 percent, down from 9.0 in April, and Shelby County was 10.0 percent, down from 10.2 in April.

The national unemployment rate for the month of May was 9.7 percent.

Roses Assistant Manager Arrested for Theft

June 25, 2010
Dwayne Page

An assistant manager at the Roses store in Smithville was arrested on Thursday, and charged with theft, after he allegedly took money from the store.
In the latest city of Smithville crime report, Chief Randy Caplinger said Officer Matt Farmer arrested 36-year-old Ronald D. Ferrell, Jr. of 7691 Holmes Creek Road for theft over $500. Ferrell, who was employed at the Roses store on South Congress Boulevard, allegedly took money from the store without consent and with intent to deprive. Ferrell was allegedly taking items and falsely returning them to the store, then keeping the money.

Ferrell allegedly admitted to taking the money. Bond for Ferrell was set at $2,500, and he will appear in court, July 29th.

In other city crime news, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow arrested 32-year-old Andrew Westley Wilbert of 120 Hillside Road, Dowelltown, for tampering with evidence and criminal littering. While standing out in front of City Hall, K-9 Officer Tatrow and Trooper Dewayne Jennings observed Wilbert speaking to a subject that had pulled up at the parking area of the courthouse. Upon walking back up the courthouse steps, both officers observed Mr. Wilbert holding something in his left hand near his crotch. When he reached the top step, he looked back at the officers, turned his back and appeared to stuff something down the front of his pants. Both officers approached him and received consent to search his person. While searching Wilbert, a rubber glove filled with urine fell from his right pants leg. Both officers were aware that Wilbert was subject to take a drug test before he could leave court. Wilbert reached down, got the glove and threw it on the ground in an attempt to destroy the evidence. Bond for Wilbert was set at $7,000 and he will appear in court on the charges, July 22nd.

On June 24th, Officer David Phillips arrested 20-year-old Heather Ann Yoskovich of 1792 Holiday Haven Road for shoplifting, drug paraphernalia and public intoxication. On that date, Officer Phillips was dispatched to Kwik N Ezy in regard to a report of a shoplifter. Upon Officer Phillips arrival, he found Sergeant Randy King speaking with the suspect, Yoskovich, at the side of the vehicle that she had been traveling in. Yoskovich then spoke with Officer Phillips, who found that her speech to be slurred, and she was unsteady on her feet. Sergeant King asked the owner of the vehicle for consent to search. Inside the vehicle, the officer discovered an item allegedly taken from the store and a needle was found in Yoskovich’s purse, which was located in the vehicle. Bond for Yoskovich was set at $3,000 and she will appear in court, July 15th.

On June 18th, Corporal Travis Bryant arrested 28-year-old Tammy J Simpson of 202 Village Place for third offense of driving on a suspended license. Corporal Bryant responded to Golf Club Drive in response to a motor vehicle accident in which Simpson was driving a Dodge truck. A check of her driver’s license revealed it to be suspended for prior offenses. Simpson’s bond was set at $2,500, and she will appear in court on July 1st.

On June 20th, Sergeant Randy King arrested 25-year-old Joshua Lynn Mullican of 1290 Keltonburg Road for possession of a schedule II drug and drug paraphernalia. Sergeant King and Officer David Phillips were dispatched to Rite-Aid Pharmacy in reference to possible shoplifters and drug activity. Sergeant King spoke with the subjects and asked for identification. The subjects were found to be Joshua Mullican and another subject. Mullican was asked if he had anything in his pockets, and he stated that he didn’t. During a check of Joshua Mullican for weapons, Sergeant King felt a cylindrical object in his right pocket, which turned out to be a straw with residue in it. Mullican dropped a crushed cigarette pack on the floor that contained a small bag of a white powder substance, which tested as methamphetamine. Bond for Mullican was set at $2,500, and he will appear in court on July 15th.

On June 21st, Corporal Travis Bryant arrested 24-year-old Krista D. Mahaney of 2702 Sparta Highway for a violation of probation. She is being held without bond until her court date.

On June 22nd, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow arrested 37-year-old Leslie Maurice Callen of Murfreesboro for speeding. Officer Tatrow pulled over a Monte Carlo at approximately 6:30 p.m. for speeding. The driver, Callen, was clocked by radar traveling 55 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour posted speed zone on Short Mountain Street. After verifying with Central Dispatch that Callen’s driver’s license was valid, Officer Tatrow issued him a citation for speeding. Officer Tatrow explained to Callen that by signing the citation, it was not an admission of quilt, but rather was like signing his own bond to appear in court on the cited charges. Callen refused to sign the citation, however, so Officer Tatrow again explained to Callen that by not signing the citation, he would be arrested and taken to jail for speeding. Callen still refused to sign and was arrested at that time. Callen’s bond was set at $150, and he will appear in court, July 22nd.

On June 24th, Sergeant Randy King arrested 39-year-old Jenna Sue Murphy of 625 Restview Avenue for public intoxication and possession of schedule IV drug. Sergeant King was dispatched to the intersection of Wade Street and Juniper Street in response to a call about someone being passed out on the lawn. Upon his arrival, Sergeant King found Murphy lying unconscious on the ground. Upon awaking and speaking with her, Sergeant King noticed that she was incoherent, had slurred speech and she was unsteady on her feet. Murphy was placed under arrest for public intoxication. A search of her person also revealed a white pill, believed to be a Soma, in her right front pocket. Bond for Murphy was set at $2,500, and she will appear in court, July 15th.

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

On the morning of June 17th, two houses were allegedly burglarized on White Oak Drive, with some jewelry allegedly taken in both burglaries. The suspect was described as being a white male of medium height in his mid 20’s to early 30’s, with sandy blond to brownish short hair and he was seen carrying a blue backpack.

Meanwhile, on June 22nd, someone burglarized a home on Ed Taft Drive. It is believed the same person has burglarized homes on White Oak Drive.

If you have information on these or any other crimes, please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Crime Tip Line at 464-6046. All information will be appreciated and kept confidential.

Alexandria Youth Airlifted After ATV Accident

June 23, 2010
Dwayne Page
Alexandria Youth being transferred from ambulance to helicopter
Toyota Corolla involved in ATV Accident

A fifteen year old Alexandria boy was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville Tuesday evening after he was injured in an ATV accident with another vehicle near his home on Lower Helton Road.

Central dispatch received the call at 6:50 p.m.

Sergeant Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Robert Austin Hale was coming out of the driveway of his home on a Honda 350 four wheeler, attempting to go west on Lower Helton Road, when he pulled into the path of a westbound 1999 Toyota Corolla, driven by 48 year old Timothy James Anderson.

Sergeant Dial says the car struck the ATV and Hale was ejected. Anderson was not injured.

DeKalb EMS treated Hale and took him to the helicopter landing zone on Brush Creek Road (Highway 53) about a mile from the accident scene, to await Vanderbilt Life Flight. Hale's injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Members of the Alexandria Police and Fire Departments were also on the scene

Graduation Ceremony Held for Leadership DeKalb Class of 2010

June 23, 2010
Suzanne Williams
Leadership DeKalb Class of 2010 (Photo by Suzanne Williams)

The Leadership DeKalb Class of 2010 graduation was held on Tuesday at the 303 North Public Square Building, Smithville. After a welcome from Leadership Director Jen Sherwood and Chamber President Tim Hintz, the invocation was given by class member Shirley Ingram. Special music for the evening was provided by James and Dorothy Hayes and class member Jackie Smith. The night's guest speakers were Leadership DeKalb Alumni Association 2009 Community Leader of the Year, Laura Stone, and the 2009 Leadership Legacy Award recipient, Judy Sandlin. Laura spoke on the topic "Helping Others” while Judy talked about “The Importance of Community Volunteerism.”

Class president Twana Green led the class overview of the year's sessions. A PowerPoint slide show assembled by class members Rita Bell and Abigail Laprad depicted each month’s speakers and activities. Leadership Director Jen Sherwood and Chamber Director Suzanne Williams presented the graduating class with plaques. Leadership Alumni President Shawn Jacobs closed with final words of encouragement to continue giving back to the community as graduates of Leadership DeKalb.

Leadership DeKalb is a 10-month program designed to bring together individuals who desire increased leadership responsibility in improving the quality of life in DeKalb County, and train these citizens with knowledge, skills and an increased awareness of opportunities so that they are involved, effective and active leaders. Each summer, applications are accepted for the next year's class. Participation is open to any who lives or works in DeKalb County and who has a desire to contribute to positive change in DeKalb County. For more information, contact Jen Sherwood at 597-4851 or the chamber office at 597-4163.

(Pictured left to right: Front row: Jen Sherwood, LD Director; Shirley Lockhart Ingram, Author; Mary Ann Smithson, Middle Tennessee Urology Specialists; Twana Green, DTC Wireless; Lori Manns, Manns Master Mechanics
Back row: Betty Turner, Artist; Kiki Brown, The Real Estate Team; Jackie Smith, State Farm Insurance; Rita Bell, Haven of Hope Counseling; Abigail C. Laprad, DCHS student/Smithville Rotary Club; Jennifer K. Butts, OIC Designs.)

Smithville Police Officer Matthew Holmes Named Investigator

June 21, 2010
Dwayne Page
Investigator Matthew Holmes

Patrolman Matthew Holmes of the Smithville Police Department has been transferred to the position of Investigator.

The aldermen Monday night approved the transfer with three voting in the affirmative. Alderman and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks made the motion. Alderman Shawn Jacobs offered a second to the motion and Alderman Cecil Burger join them in voting in favor. Alderman W.J. (Dub) White and Alderman Steve White said they could not vote due to a personal conflict, since Holmes is married to Dub White's granddaughter who is also Steve White's niece.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said that he, Meeks, and Police Chief Randy Caplinger held interviews Thursday or Friday last week. Three people, Patrolmen Scott Davis, Matt Farmer, and Matthew Holmes, were interviewed after the position was posted. "I think it was the consensus of the interview board that Matthew Holmes was probably the most qualified."

Holmes, age 24, joined the Smithville Police Department as a patrolman in 2007 after a brief stint with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department as a reserve officer. A graduate of DeKalb County High School, Holmes furthered his education at Motlow State Community College and Tennessee Tech University and then attended Walter State Community College where he received his police training.

In other business, the aldermen voted to have a continuing budget resolution drawn up to keep city government operating, effective July 1st until a new budget is approved for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Copies of the proposed budget were made available to the aldermen two weeks ago. Normally a new budget is adopted by ordinance on two readings during the June meetings and is in place by July 1st.

Alderman Meeks said he believes the mayor and aldermen should have at least one or more workshop meetings to review the budget before it is considered for passage. "I believe that we should delay passing the budget and have some workshops on the budget before we pass it. That is my recommendation."

Alderman Jacobs said he agreed with Meeks. "I think there are some things we really need to address that have not been addressed in the budget. I don't know how we're going to pay for them right now but I think we have some critical needs that we need to take a look at and I would hate to see us rush into doing this with some needs. I'd like to have the department heads present with us as well, if that's appropriate as we look at the budget."

Meeks suggested that any budget workshop be delayed until after the Fiddler's Jamboree.

Mayor Hendrixson said a special meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 29th to formally adopt a continuing budget resolution, to swear into office the mayor and aldermen-elect, and for the mayor to make his appointments.

The mayor and aldermen will not meet on Monday, July 5th as had been previously advertised as a regular meeting. Since that day will be observed as part of the 4th of July weekend, no meeting will be held that night.

A few months ago, the aldermen adopted a new ordinance to better regulate groups conducting fundraisers at busy city intersections, particularly at Broad Street and Congress Boulevard. Alderman Meeks says some problems still persist. "We've had several folks have fundraisers at the Highway 56/70 intersection over the last few weeks and there have been some problems. In fact we've almost had to have a full time officer down there during those fundraisers and I don't believe that should be the responsibility of the taxpayers to have to pay for an officer to be down there full time. This past Saturday, we had two groups down there, one had a permit and were legitimate and had a right to be there. We had another group that did not have a right to be there and I believe they gave our police officers a hard time. That was not fair or right because the officers were simply obeying city regulations. If this continues to be a major problem we may have to come back and re-address this issue and do away with it altogether."

Alderman Jacobs, said he has also had some complaints. " I had heard a complaint also of people, a few weeks ago, selling things and they were literally standing in the middle of the road flagging cars down. It's very dangerous and if you're a motorist, it can be scary."

Meeks stressed that the intent of the ordinance was for safety." It was not to prevent anybody from raising funds. But if they're going to ignore the safety regulations, we may have to take a further step. If we do, we can always address that at this board."

Under the city's ordinance, non-profit organizations are limited to not more than two charitable roadblocks per year; all participants are required to wear orange or yellow vests or jackets; groups are required to show written proof that they are a legitimate non-profit 501C3 or 4 organization; solicitors are prohibited from standing in the road ( they are required to stand on the sidewalks near the intersections); solicitors must be at least 14 years of age or older to participate in the roadblocks); and a four hour per day time limit is established for any group to solicit donations at intersections. Groups are required to submit, in writing to the Chief of Police, a proposal for the specific time and place of the road block and the precautions to be implemented by the organization; and the groups must receive prior written approval by the Chief of Police to have the roadblocks.

12th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run set for July 3rd

June 21, 2010
Dwayne Page
Tecia Puckett Pryor
2009 Fiddler 5K and Fun Run (Photo by Bill Luton Photography)
2009 Overall Fiddler 5K Winner Christopher England

The 12th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, will be Saturday, July 3rd, the weekend of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree.

Race Director Tecia Puckett-Pryor says the race begins promptly at 7:00 a.m. rain or shine on Highway 56 north in front of the Family Medical Center. The race ends on Church Street. "We're excited that the 12th annual Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run is Saturday, July 3rd which is the weekend of the Fiddlers Jamboree. The race starts promptly at 7:00 a.m. and we are now taking pre-registrations. We are encouraging everyone who is interested in either running the race or doing the fun run, which is a great little race for kids, to get registered."

"We are offering registration at www.active.com. You can register on-line up until June 30th and you still get the pre-registration discount if you register on-line. By paper, you can print out a form at www.fiddler5k.com but we need you to register by Monday, June 21st if you are registering by paper. That's a little bit of a change this year. We've cut the paper registration (deadline) off a little early this year because we're offering the on-line registration."

"You can also register on the day of the race but you have to pay $5.00 more if you do that and we're asking that you go ahead and bring a completed registration form with you if you have to register on race day. All these details are on our website and on the registration form which is available at www.fiddler5k.com."

If you would like a registration form and you don't have access to the Internet, you may pick up a form at the office of Tecia Puckett-Pryor, who works at Sue Puckett Jernigan's law office next to Griffin's Fruit Market on West Broad Street. Call 597-7370 for more information.

Pryor says this year's 5K will also feature some new age divisions. "We have added several new age divisions. We had so many people last year, 387 total participants, and about 250 or so of those were in the 5K, that we have decided we need more age divisions. We're going to have categories for ages nine and younger and then five year increments all the way up to age 75 plus, 10-14, 15-19, etc. That's in the male and female division for the 5K."

"We're also adding a Masters category. We always give out an overall male and female finisher in the 5K but if you are age 40 plus, you qualify for the Masters category so we're giving an overall 40 and older male and female award for the 5K."

" The Fun Run is remaining the same. We will give an overall male and female finisher award for those ages 12 and younger and the top three after that, male and female, ages 12 and younger. We're really excited about those new age divisions."

Pryor says the course is certified and R.A.C.E. Nashville will be managing timing. "We're also excited to bring on RA.C.E. Nashville to help us manage the timing. They will be there at the start and at the finish. We have gotten so big that we cannot manually do this ourselves anymore. This is a great organization out of Nashville that is going to help us with it. It's all going to be computerized so we will have the results in the computer broken down by age divisions within probably fifteen to twenty minutes of the end of the race. They will be able to print out the results very quickly for us so we're still anticipating having our awards within thirty minutes of the end of the race and definitely being out of there by nine o'clock. on Saturday morning. The director of R.A.C.E. Nashville, Jeff Langdon, is the cross country and track coach at Belmont University. This is a non-profit group and they help manage timing for a lot of races. They have many years of experience in doing this."

Pryor says the race is growing in popularity and more local people are starting to get involved. "The race course is a certified 3.1 mile course. It's a nice course. People really enjoy running in a small town. We have a lot of repeat runners so I think that says we're doing something right. We have more local people than we used to. The race has caught on and people want to get out and participate. It's just fun to be out there. It's a great event and people want to be apart of that."

36 year old Christopher England of Murray, Kentucky was the 2009 overall winner of the 5K. He completed the course in 16:51. England also holds the course record at 16:30 in 2008.

19 year old Lisa Glover of Warrington, Pennsylvania was the 2009 overall winner for females. She finished the course in 20:30.

Caroline Payne of Gainesville, Florida holds the course record for females at 20:02 in 2004.

Registration for the 5K or Fun Run is as follows:

Adults rates (over 18)
Adults Pre-Race: $20
Adults Day of Race: $25

Youth rates (18 and younger)
Youth Pre-Race: $15
Youth Day of Race: $20

Re-registration options:
Pre-register online at www.active.com until June 30th

Pre-register by mail by printing a form at www.fiddler5k.com and sending the form along with your payment to: P.O. Box 750, Smithville, Tennessee 37166. Pre-registration forms must be received in the mail by June 21st. Shirts are only guaranteed for those pre-registered by June 21st.

Race Day Check-In Times:
Pre-registered: 6:15 a.m.
Race Day Registration: 6:00 a.m.
Please bring a completed registration form with you

Awards- New Age Divisions
5K awards:
Overall and Master (40 plus) male and female finishers
Top three male and female finishers in the following age divisions:
9 and younger
75 plus

Fun Run Awards:
Overall male and female finishers age 12 and younger
Top three male and female finishers age 12 and younger

Race Perks and other information:
Pre-registered participants will receive a commemorative microfiber shirt. All participants will receive free refreshments and be eligible for door prize giveaways before the awards ceremony

The Course is certified and R.A.C.E. Nashville will be managing timing. Strollers are welcome and at the start line, should line up at the rear. No pets allowed. 5K course is open for 60 minutes.

All proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Construction Progressing on Third Habitat Home in DeKalb County

June 20, 2010
Dwayne Page
Volunteers Working on Habitat Home in Smithville

Construction is progressing on the third Habitat home in DeKalb County and plans are for it to be completed and ready for the partner family to move into by late summer.

Volunteers from the Upper Helton Baptist Church and the Center Hill Brethren-in Christ Church spent the day Saturday with members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County working on the home, which is located on Hayes Street in Smithville.

Sharon Evans, Vice President of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County says much of the construction work is done on Saturdays and thanks to church groups and other volunteers in the community who have donated their time this spring, the project is coming along nicely. "We are working with Upper Helton Baptist Church and Center Hill Brethren-in-Christ Church today (Saturday) putting up vinyl siding and building a stoop on the back of the home. We were going to stucco the concrete block at the bottom but the rain has prevented us from doing that but we're working away on this third home."

"Right now we are working our crews on Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. but if we found a group that wanted to work during a week day, we'd love to have a Monday or Tuesday crew to help fix things up. We've had some retired folks that have helped us. If anybody is interested in helping they can call and leave us a message at 615-215-8181. We're always looking for volunteers skilled and unskilled."

" The home is about 1,100 square feet. It has three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms and is located on Hayes Street between College and Short Mountain Streets so you can drive by and see what we're doing. We're real excited to get this family moved into their own home and we're hoping to get them in by late summer. That's the goal. We appreciate all the help. The community has been supportive and we hope that continues."

Groundbreaking for the home was held in January and Kim McCowan and her three grandchildren joined in the brief ceremony.

McCowan said she and the children look forward to one day calling this location their home. "We're just proud to be here today. We're thankful and feel really blessed to be picked as the Habitat Partner family. Me and the girls are very grateful. McCowan's grandchildren, who will be living there with her are eight year old Haley, eleven year old Carrie, and thirteen year old Katelyn"

This is the third Habitat home in DeKalb County. The other two, completed within the last three years for the Denise Perry and Felicia Gibbs families, are located on Adams Street.

To qualify, applicants must: (1) have lived in DeKalb County for at least one year; (2) be willing to partner with Habitat to realize dreams of home ownership; (3) currently occupy inadequate or substandard housing; (4) demonstrate the ability to pay a mortgage; and (5) fall within Habitat's income guidelines.

All applications are reviewed and considered by Habitat's Family Selection Committee before a partner family is selected. The partner family then works with Habitat on construction of their home and to develop the skills necessary for successful home ownership. Construction labor is provided by Habitat volunteers, and some materials are donated by Habitat supporters, as well.

Lohorn Sentenced in Robbery and Vandalism Cases

June 19, 2010
Dwayne Page
Justin Lohorn

A 24 year old man, arrested last December for the robbery of a local resident and vandalism of soft drink vending machines at three businesses, was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Friday.

24 year old Justin Lohorn pleaded guilty to robbery and vandalism under $500. Judge Leon Burns, Jr. sentenced Lohorn to a three year sentence on the robbery charge and 11 months and 29 days on the vandalism. Both sentences are to run concurrently. Lohorn was given jail credit of 193 days and he must make restitution of $1,800 to one victim, $300 to a second person, and $300 to a third victim in the case.

Lohorn was accused of robbing a man at 826 Anthony Avenue on Friday, December 4th, 2009 as the resident was leaving his home during the early morning hours. Lohorn allegedly took a watch from the man at gunpoint and fled. No one was injured. A gun and the watch were later recovered at Lohorn's home.

Lohorn was also accused of vandalizing vending machines on Monday, December 7th, 2009 on the outside of Larry's Discount Grocery on West Broad Street, It's All About Looks on Dry Creek Road, and at the Mystik Market on Highway 56 south.

Meanwhile in other cases, 48 year old Joe Ray Hall pleaded guilty to a first offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to 48 hours to serve and then be on probation. Hall will lose his license for one year. He must also pay a $360 fine and complete and alcohol safety education program.

22 year old Travis Dewayne Rich pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, theft of property over $10,000, and three counts of vandalism over $10,000. Sentences in each case are to run concurrently with each other for a total of three years. The term is also to run concurrently with a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in a violation of probation case against him in General Sessions Court. Rich is to serve 180 days and he must pay restitution of $1,000.

42 year old Mark R. Robinson pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III controlled substance and received a two year sentence to serve. He was fined $2,000 and given jail credit of 193 days.

30 year old Lisa Rena Taylor pleaded guilty to attempting to introduce a schedule II controlled substance into a penal institution. She received a two year sentence, all suspended to DOC probation.

34 year old Nancy F. Brown, charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and manufacturing, sale, and delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of one year. She must perform 40 hours of community service work.

48 year old Dawn Beavers, charged with theft of property over $10,000, was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of two years. She must make restitution of $30,000 to the victim and perform 50 hours of community service work.

23 year old Daniel Sanchez pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and no drivers license. He received a 60 day sentence, suspended to good behavior probation.

49 year old Roy Douglas Atnip, charged with theft under $500 and public intoxication, was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of 11 months and 29 days. He must perform 20 hours of community service work.

22 year old Trinity James Anderson, charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment with a weapon, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and vandalism under $500 was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of two years. He must perform 100 hours of community service work and make restitution of $2,466.

39 year old Michael G. Thomas pleaded guilty to promotion of meth and received a four year sentence suspended to probation supervised by community corrections. Thomas must pay a fine of $3,000.

34 year old Jimmy Walker pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to supervised probation except for 48 hours to serve. He was fined $360. The term is to run concurrent with a White County DUI sentence against him.

39 year old Chad E. Knowles pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sell a schedule II controlled substance and received a three year sentence to serve at 30% before his eligible release date. His term is to run concurrent with another TDOC sentence against him.

25 year old Robin Lynn Woodard pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule II controlled substance. She received a three year sentence to be released to time served. She must pay a $2,000 fine. Woodard will be on TDOC probation. She must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and follow the recommended treatments. As part of her probation, Woodard must perform 100 hours of public service. She was given jail credit of 31 days.

29 year old Joseph Richardson pleaded guilty by information to aggravated burglary and theft under $500. He received a three year sentence on the burglary charge and 11 months and 29 days in the theft case, to run concurrently with each other, and all suspended to supervised probation. He must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and make restitution to the victim.

30 year old Heather Renee Perkins, charged with tampering with evidence, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale, simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of two years. She must perform 100 hours of community service work.

29 year old Sonya Miller pleaded guilty to simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and misdemeanor reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run concurrently with each other and all suspended to supervised probation. She has requested judicial diversion probation.

34 year old Jo Ann Ortega Rutland pleaded guilty to three counts of theft. All the sentences are to run concurrently with each other for a total of two years, all suspended to DOC probation except for 90 days to serve. She must make restitution of $1,068. The term is also to run concurrently with a Warren County sentence against her. She was given credit for time served.

48 year old Bret Kenneth Boring pleaded guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to 45 days to serve. Boring will then be on supervised probation. He was fined $610 and he will lose his license for two years.

28 year old William Travis Malone pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days to be on supervised probation.

21 year old Raymond Rollins pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a three year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation except for 133 days to serve. He was given jail credit of 133 days.

41 year old Jose Sagahon pleaded guilty to driving on a revoked license. He received a six month sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He will also lose his license for a period of time.

32 year old James A. Hesson was found to be in violation of probation and must serve the balance of a two year sentence for violation of the sex offender registration and monitoring act.

Luke Brock was granted pre-trial diversion probation for a period of two years and he must perform 60 hours of community service work.

Smithville Man Accused of Altering Prescription to Obtain more Pain Medication

June 18, 2010
Dwayne Page

A man, accused of altering a prescription in order to obtain more pain medication, was arrested by Smithville Police Wednesday, June 16th.

32 year old Darnell F Gurley of 848 Foster Road is charged with prescription fraud. Officer Matt Holmes made the arrest. Gurley, who had a written prescription for pain, took it to Wal-Mart Pharmacy where it was determined that the prescription had been altered. Gurley admitted to adding to the amounts of pills above what the prescription called for because he needed more medication for his pain and did not have the money to see another doctor. Bond for Gurley is $5,000 and his court date is June 24th.

22 year old Cynthia Marie Shehane of 392 Page Drive was arrested on Sunday, June 13th for driving on a suspended license. Corporal Travis Bryant responded to Mapco Express regarding a motor vehicle crash. During his investigation, Corporal Bryant discovered that Ms. Shehane had driven to Mapco and was then involved in the accident. A check revealed that her license was suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in DeKalb County. Bond for Shehane is $1,000 and her court date is June 23rd.

32 year old Steve A Stanley of 7714 Old Mill Hill Road was arrested on Tuesday, June 15th for possession of a schedule II and IV controlled substance. Lieutenant Steven Leffew was dispatched to the court house to assist parole officers Jessie Rucker and Byron Houston. While Danny Ponder was reporting to his probation officer, his vehicle was to be searched. Stanley was a passenger of the vehicle and when he got out of the automobile, Stanley walked to the yard of the court house where Rucker saw him drop a small metal container. Inside the container were 10 ½ pills. There was no prescription for the pills. Stanley said he was trying to help Ponder by getting the pills out of his car. Bond for Stanley is $2,000 and his court date is July 22nd.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Leffew arrested 48 year old Danny R Ponder of 7851 Old Mill Hill Road for public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lieutenant Leffew entered Kwik N Ezy and was approached by two customers and an employee who said that a man was passed out in a white Kia by the side of the building. Lieutenant Leffew checked and found Ponder passed out in the driver's seat. After Ponder was awakened, Lieutenant Leffew found his speech was slurred and Ponder was unsteady on his feet as he got out of the vehicle. Ponder said that he had taken several xanax and hydrocodone. Incident to arrest, nine syringes were found in the glove compartment of the vehicle. Bond for Ponder was set at $2,500 and his court date is July 22nd.

41 year old John Michael Turner of A B Frazier Road was arrested on Thursday, June 17th for driving under the influence. Officer Scott Davis observed Turner asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle which was parked in the north bound lane facing south bound on Allen Ferry Road near the ball field. There was an open can of Budweiser beer between his legs. When Officer Davis awoke Turner and asked for his driver's license, Turner gave him his debit card instead. Field sobriety tasks were not performed due to the vehicles location facing oncoming traffic and due to safety concerns for Turner. Officer Davis read Turner his Miranda rights and the Tennessee Implied Consent Law but he refused to submit. Turner was arrested for DUI and cited for violation of the open container law and violation of the implied consent law. Bond for Turner is $1,500 and his court date is June 24th.

Anyone having any information on the following offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On Sunday, June 13th, Candido Rico of 832 O' Conner Street reported that between Saturday, June 12th at approximately 9:30 p.m and Sunday, June 13th at approximately 10:25 a.m. someone had cut the convertible top of his car and made entry. Rico's in dash DVD/stereo was stolen

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

Trial Date Set for Former Circuit Court Clerk Bookkeeper-Motion for Change of Venue Denied

June 18, 2010
Dwayne Page

A former bookkeeper at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, charged with theft of property over $1,000, is set to stand trial October 18th in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

During a hearing Friday afternoon, Judge Leon Burns, Jr. set the trial date and denied a motion for a change of venue in the case against Tonya D. Page.

Adam W. Parrish, the Lebanon attorney representing Page filed the motion asking that the trial be moved to Cookeville due to "more than average" media exposure in DeKalb County and due to the fact that Mrs. Page's former employer, Katherine Pack, is a well known person who not only is arguably the victim in this case, but has contact with potential jurors as part of her responsibilities as clerk. For those reasons, Parrish asked that the trial be held in Cookeville where the jury pool would be larger and more diverse.

In response, Assistant District Attorney Greg Strong said that Parrish had not produced any evidence to support his claims, and asked that the trial go forward in DeKalb County.

Judge Burns said it was his practice to try and seat a jury in the county where the case originates and felt like that should be done in this case to "see where we are." However, Judge Burns added that Ms. Pack serving as clerk or jury coordinator in this trial might be a concern, and said he was open to the idea of having a clerk pro temp appointed just for this particular case. But he stopped short of making a final decision on a clerk pro temp appointment until August 16th, to give the lawyers in the case more time to do some legal research on the issue.

The change of venue motion states that Tonya D. Page moves the court for a change of venue due to undue excitement against her in this county, which is of such a nature that a fair trial could not be had. In support thereof, Defendant (Page) would respectfully show as follows:

That the population of DeKalb County is approximately 17,423 and the population of the City of Smithville is even less, 4,389.

This geographically, is a relatively small and tight knit community.

That this case has received significant media exposure, and that commencing with the date of the alleged crime and continuing thereafter, the local papers and WJLE have carried stories purporting to recite facts pertaining to the various alleged facts in the indictment which extends into the homes of many prospective jurors.

Finally, that one of the state's chief witnesses, and arguably the victim, Katherine Pack, is a highly public and well loved individual in the community.

The defendant (Page) moves that this cause be transferred to Cookeville or any other neighboring county which the court may deem proper, where a fair and impartial trial of the defendant may be had.


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