Local News Articles

A Total of 236 DTC members Vote Early in Director Election

September 15, 2010
Dwayne Page

A total of 236 members of DTC Communications voted early in the election of directors this week.

Early voting took place Monday through Wednesday at four locations, Alexandria, Gordonsville, Smithville, and Woodbury.

Early voting totals at each location for the three days combined are as follows:
Alexandria- 65
Gordonsville- 35
Woodbury- 38
Total- 236

The annual meeting of DTC Communications will be Saturday, September 18th at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria. Gates will open at 11:45 a.m., with voting from noon until 4 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 4 p.m. or once the last person in line at that time has voted.

Directors will be elected in four exchanges, including the Auburntown (464), Gordonsville (683), Temperance Hall (548), and Woodland (765) exchanges.

Incumbents Roy N. Pugh, James H. Dillard, Jr., and David Parker are running unopposed in the Auburntown, Gordonsville, and Woodland exchanges, respectively.

The Temperance Hall exchange is represented by two candidates: Incumbent Robert Don Malone and one candidate who qualified by petition – Todd S. Perry.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

For questions regarding membership and voting guidelines, refer to the by-laws section included in the current DTC phone directory, or call DTC at 615-529-2955.

Governor Awards Highway Safety Grants to Local Law Enforcement Agencies

September 15, 2010
Dwayne Page

Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely have announced that highway safety grants have been awarded to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Alexandria Police Department, and the Smithville Police Department.

The Sheriff's Department and the Alexandria Police Department will each get $5,000 to support high visibility law enforcement efforts and the Smithville Police Department will receive $15,000 to support Multiple Traffic Violations enforcement efforts.

The Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) mission is to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roadways through leadership, innovation, coordination, and program support in partnership with other public and private organizations. The grants awarded will be used to promote this mission.

"These highway safety grants reflect a continued commitment to working with local and state agencies to make our roadways safer," said Bredesen. "These grant funds will support the efforts of highway safety agencies and advocates to reduce the number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes in Tennessee each year."

The grants are awarded to agencies that successfully applied for funding based on a defined problem and statistical need. Each year, the GHSO accepts applications from agencies across the state for available highway safety funds. Applications are reviewed and scored by the GHSO and external highway safety advocates. The agencies that meet the criteria for funding received awards.

"These grants help fund a variety of enforcement, legal and educational activities across the state including speed enforcement, first responder equipment purchases, DUI prosecutors and child passenger safety training," said Nicely. "These grants will make a difference in the effectiveness of our highway safety partners."

There are several elements that contribute to a sound and safe roadway system. Some of those aspects are an accurate traffic safety data collection and analysis system; well-trained and equipped law enforcement personnel; and effective emergency medical and trauma systems. A major part of roadway safety is educating motorists about laws and good driving behaviors.

"Grants awarded by the GHSO are provided in areas of need," reported GHSO Director Kendell Poole. "Statistics show our problem areas and we strive to put the funding where it will be most effective. We are dedicated to saving lives across Tennessee and pledge to work with grantees statewide to accomplish our mission."

Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver worked to secure funds for these departments.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the funding for GHSO grants.

Voter Registration Deadline Approaching for November Election

September 15, 2010
Dwayne Page
Dennis Stanley

October 4th is an important date for the upcoming November State General Election.

DeKalb County Administrator of Elections, Dennis Stanley said October 4th is the last day to register to vote in the November 2nd election. "October 4th is the last day to register in person at the local election commission office," Stanley said. "Voter Registration forms mailed in must also be postmarked no later than October 4. A by-mail voter registration form lacking a postmark, but signed and dated on or before October 4th will be considered as filed timely if it is received by October 6th

Voters who have moved are encouraged to come by the election commission office and inform them of their new address so they can obtain an accurate voter registration card. "By informing us of your move in advance, it will make the election-day voting process go much quicker and easier," Stanley said.

Meanwhile, voters who plan on requesting an absentee ballot are reminded of another important date. "October 26th is the last day the election commission office can receive a request for an absentee ballot," Stanley said.

Local voters will cast their ballots in November for Governor, the 6th Congressional District seat, the State Senate, the State Representative seat, and a Constitutional Amendment giving Tennesseans the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law."

Election-day voting will be held at the various precincts throughout the county from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Early voting begins October 13th and runs through October 28th. Early voting hours are 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge Says Dismal Bridge "Critical" Based on State Inspection

September 14, 2010
Dwayne Page
Kenny Edge

State inspectors took a close look at the Dismal bridge on the Alexandria to Dismal Road over Smith Fork Creek Monday and the findings were not good.

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge says damage to the bridge is "critical" but not serious enough to close it, although weight limits may have to be posted. "I met with the state bridge inspectors Monday and they took one of those huge trucks that sets on the bridge with a long arm and they went back under it and took pictures of it all the way across. They said it did have critical damage to it but they felt like it was safe for local traffic, small vehicles. But they said if it was a main road and a lot of trailer trucks were on it I might wind up having to close it."

"They're going to send all of the information to the engineers in Nashville and they'll get back with me and tell me what safe bridge limit sign to put on it and what I may have to do in the future to try to eliminate some of the problem as far as the danger part of it because a lot of the rebar, which is the steel inside of the beams, are exposed and concrete jumped off of those beams due to that heat all the way across under there for approximately thirty feet. It looks terrible but I feel like it's safe for small cars and local traffic and they (inspectors) felt like it would be alright for the school bus and our (county road department) trucks to travel but they said the engineers will get back with me and tell me exactly how many tons it's safe to carry and what to post it."

Last Wednesday, someone set fire to the driftwood and debris underneath the bridge, which had washed up and lodged there during the May floods. County Fire Chief Donny Green said members of the Liberty and Temperance Hall stations and a tanker truck from the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the scene upon receiving the call and when they arrived, firefighters found a roaring blaze coming from under the bridge. Firefighters even had to use a floating pump to draw water from the creek to help put out the blaze. Green said the fire was so intense that it caused chunks of concrete to break apart from the bridge.

The $1.1 million bridge was completed two years ago. Edge says it was built with eighty percent federal funds, fourteen percent from the highway department budget, and six percent from the county general fund.

Last week, Edge estimated that the repair costs could run as much as half a million dollars and he won't know how to deal with it. Edge says he'll have to do what the state mandates. "There's probably two or three ways to do it (repair the bridge) but you've just got to do what you're told to do through the state on a bridge that's twenty feet or longer. There could be another pier put under it from where the good part is on out to support it and then work on the thirty or forty foot section that got damaged or you could take down one third of it and go back with it (replace) like the original. I don't have that choice. I've got to do what's passed down to me (by the state)."

Dowelltown Man Accused of Committing Theft at the Same Farm Twice within Five Days

September 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Aron Dewayne Ponder
Terry L. Jones
Phillip Edward Miranda

A 32 year old Dowelltown man is accused of going to the same farm on Banks Pisgah Road twice within five days and committing thefts

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Aron Dewayne Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown was arrested on Tuesday, September 7th and charged with a first offense of driving on a suspended license, theft of property over $500, and theft of property over $1,000. He will be in court on September 30th and his bond totals $41,000.

Sheriff Ray says on Tuesday, September 7th, a deputy saw Ponder operating a motor vehicle on New Home Road and having prior knowledge that his license were suspended, the officer stopped the automobile. After making the traffic stop, the deputy checked through central dispatch and learned that Ponder's license were suspended for failure to pay child support on November 15th, 2008.

In regard to the thefts, Sheriff Ray says on Thursday, September 2nd Ponder allegedly went to the farm on Banks Pisgah Road and stole a tobacco setter, horse drawn mower, a single wing turning plow, a trail behind turning plow, along with various other types of turning plows with a total value of 825.00.

Ponder allegedly went back to the same farm on Tuesday, September 7th and stole a 1959 Ford pickup truck, valued at $1,500. Ponder allegedly sold the truck to a scrap yard.

In a separate investigation, 18 year old Terry L. Jones of Chapman Hollow Road, Dowelltown is charged with burglary and theft of property. Jones will be in court October 7th and he is under a $7,500 bond.

Sheriff Ray says on Saturday, September 11th Jones was arrested for entering a vehicle on Church Street in Dowelltown and stealing a portion of the radio. Jones allegedly confessed to the crimes, stating that he had a radio just like this one and needed the piece he stole for his own radio. The value is less than $500.

Meanwhile, 32 year old Phillip Edward Miranda of Cecil Hale Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is October 7th.

Sheriff Ray says on Saturday, September 11th a deputy, while on routine patrol, saw a vehicle on Short Mountain Highway that appeared to be abandoned. After stopping to check, the officer saw a man inside the automobile who was apparently passed out. The deputy opened the door and had to yell several times to awaken the man, identified as Miranda. The officer also detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on the man's person. Miranda submitted to several field sobriety tasks and performed poorly on all. He was also very unsteady on his feet. Miranda further submitted to a blood alcohol test.

During Miranda's arrest, the officer ran a computer check which revealed that Miranda was charged with his first DUI offense on June 17th, 2008. He was convicted on August 20th, 2008 in DeKalb County. The background check also revealed that his drivers license were revoked on February 22nd, 2010 for failure to file security after an accident on October 4th, 2009 in DeKalb County. Miranda was first charged with driving on a revoked license on October 3rd, 2009 and he was convicted March 31st, 2010 in DeKalb County.

Two Men Charged with Promoting Manufacture of Methamphetamine

September 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
David Wayne Gaines
Bradley Shane Redmon
Justin Lynn Murphy

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested two men for promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine

32 year old David Wayne Gaines of Short Mountain Street Smithville and 27 year old Bradley Shane Redmon of A.B. Frazier Road, Smithville were arrested on Wednesday, September 8th and they will appear in court on September 30th. Bond for each is $25,000

Sheriff Patrick Ray says a deputy went to Gaines' home on Short Mountain Street in answer to a complaint of methamphetamine being cooked there. After arrival, the officer received consent to search the home. Redmon, who was also present, told the officer that he had a glass pot with him. Found in a spare bedroom of the home where Redmon was staying were the glass pot, heating element, plastic bottle with liquid residue, and a plastic bag that contained new and used wet coffee filters.

A search of the bathroom turned up a black bag that held a two liter bottle, which contained black and white substances, and there was a 16 ounce bottle containing a bi-layer liquid. The officer also found fans, tools, lithium batteries, tape, lighter fluid, and other items to manufacture methamphetamine.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 24 year old Justin Lynn Murphy of 625 Restview Avenue, Smithville was arrested on Friday, September 10th and charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful manufacture of a schedule VI (marijuana), unlawful possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (xanax), and unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance (morphine). Murphy is under a $9,000 bond and his court date is September 30th.

Sheriff Ray says on Thursday, September 9th detectives accompanied probation officers to the home of Murphy to check on him. Found in the kitchen inside a planter pot were three marijuana plants. One larger marijuana plant was found growing outside the home by the steps. Authorities searched Murphy and found a pocket screwdriver. When the lid to the screwdriver came off, a pill believed to be xanax was found inside. Also found on Murphy and in his bedroom were a total of five hypodermic needles and six straws. The search of the bedroom further yielded a pill believed to be morphine.

Smithville Elementary School Wildcat Fun Run Set for Friday

September 13, 2010
Dwayne Page
Dr. Bill Tanner

Students from pre-k to the second grade will help raise money for their school during the 19th annual Wildcat Fun Run at Smithville Elementary School on Friday, September 17th.

Dr. Bill Tanner, SES Principal, says the Fun Run is a project of the school's PTO. "For nineteen years, Smithville Elementary along with the PTO has put on a Fun Run. We used to do this with Northside Elementary but two or three years ago Northside decided they wanted to do something else. So now we're doing it on our own. "

"Our PTO does the whole thing on their own. It's called the Fun Run. Children go out and they get pledges from family members and friends for walking laps and then that money goes into a pot. The PTO sponsors some things for us. They've bought benches in the past. They've helped re-mulch the playground, bought computers, helped with our P.A. system that we have in the gym. This last year we added some cameras to our security system. We get a safety grant from the Tennessee government but it only buys cameras internally. Some of those cameras we put outside on the playground so we can keep an eye on what's going on outside or if somebody is on campus that doesn't need to be."

" They (PTO) have averaged from ten to fifteen thousand dollars raised during that time (Fun Run) and it comes in handy. They buy the things that we can't normally buy out of our (school) budget. You can't image how much a small amount of money that they (PTO) give helps us out during the year. Two times during the year, they give the teachers one hundred to two hundred dollars to go out and buy things for their classrooms. They feed them a couple of times during the year. Maybe a child needs some clothes, or maybe a child needs some other things. They (PTO) help pay for those things. And then the big things we need around campus like benches and other odds and ends that are normally not in our budget, the PTO helps buy those things. Twice or three times a year, they pay to have somebody come in and clean up around the campus, the shrubs that's been planted and that type of thing."

This event is held each year in an effort to raise money for the school. Students are asked to accept pledges or donations prior to the day of the run. During the Fun Run, students walk or jog on a track with each lap being recorded for each student. After the event, the students then collect money from their pledges.

October 1st Bid Letting Scheduled for Hurricane Bridge Rehab Project

September 11, 2010
Dwayne Page
TDOT Inspected Hurricane Bridge in April 2010

The rehabilitation of the Hurricane Bridge under the state's bridge bonding program is due for construction bid letting October 1st according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

State Senator Mae Beavers says she and Paul Degges, Chief Engineer for TDOT recently spoke about the project. "I talked to him to see what the status was of the Hurricane bridge. It is in this year's budget. Of course, it takes time to bid it out and they've been working on that since the first of September. The bids are due in September 17th. After that, he said it's routine that they check out all the bids to make sure they're all legitimate. That takes a little bit of time and then they'll decide what the best bid is. He said there should be a bid letting by October 1st. Then they'll be free to start construction."

Jennifer Flynn, Community Relations Officer in the Chattanooga TDOT Office says the project will entail a rehabilitation of the existing bridge. " The rehabilitation project will replace the deck at the bridge. New guardrails will be installed and it will strengthen the steel structure underneath and make the bridge a lot safer and it won't have to be weight posted anymore upon completion of the project. The estimate (to do the work) is $12 to $15 million right now but we won't really know until the bids are opened on the project and let to contract.

The rehabilitation of Hurricane Bridge is among the projects to be funded through TDOT's Better Bridge bonding program in the fiscal year 2010-11 state budget, which was approved by the legislature this year

Smithville Police Charge Local Man with Auto Burglary and Other Offenses

September 10, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a 26 year old man with illegally entering someone else's car and removing property that apparently didn't belong to him. But that's not all.

26 year old Daniel R Wilson of Yulanda Hills Road was also arrested for evading arrest, possession of paraphernalia , and theft under $500, in addition to auto burglary.

Corporal Travis Bryant responded to a call at Save A Lot where an unknown man had unlawfully entered someone's car and removed their property. Upon arrival Corporal Bryant made contact with a man who identified himself as Daniel Wilson. When asked for his identification, Wilson began to flee. Corporal Bryant pursued him approx ¼ miles and was able to place him in custody. Wilson was escorted to Corporal Bryant's patrol car where he was searched incident to arrest. A syringe was recovered from his pocket. Bond for Wilson is $15,000 and his court date is September 16th.

41 year old Jeffery Lee Bates of Bright Hill Road was arrested on Saturday, September 4th for public intoxication. Officer Matt Farmer saw Bates attempting to cross South Congress Boulevard in the area of Sonic and noticed he was unsteady on his feet and appeared to be disoriented. Officer Farmer stopped and spoke with Bates and noticed he had red watery eyes and had an odor of some intoxicant coming from his person. Bond for Bates is $1,000 and his court date is September 30th.

48 year old Linda Carol Barrett of Adcock Cemetery Road was arrested recently for simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence. Barrett was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation. Barrett gave consent to search her purse and Officer Scott Davis recovered a used hypodermic needle. When Ms. Barrett was pulling out her pockets a pill fell and after she was transported to the Smithville Police Department, Officer Davis found a pill under the back seat of the patrol car that Ms. Barrett had apparently placed there. Bond for Barrett is $ 4,000 and her court date is September 30th.

23 year old Jamal Ahmad League of Smith Road was arrested on Sunday, September 5th for public intoxication. Officer James Cornelius was dispatched to a residence to answer a domestic call and upon arrival he found League banging on the front door. While speaking with him, Officer Cornelius detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from League and he was unsteady on his feet. League admitted to drinking beer. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is October 7th.

48 year old Darcie Elaine Cantrell of West Main Street was arrested for driving under the influence on Monday, September 6th. Officer James Cornelius was called to assist a stranded person (driver) of a vehicle who was in the parking lot of Denny Lamp Company. Upon arrival, Officer Cornelius noticed that the vehicle in the parking lot had run off the roadway. The driver, Cantrell, was seen walking on 56 North toward town. Officer Cornelius picked up Cantrell and took her back to the scene. He also read Cantrell her rights. She allegedly admitted to being the driver. Cantrell was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slow. She was asked to perform several field sobriety tasks but she performed poorly on them. Bond for Cantrell is $1,500 and her court date is October 7th.

23 year old Auston C. Wood of Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown was arrested on Wednesday, September 8th for driving on a suspended license. Officer Scott Davis stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on South Congress Boulevard and a check of Wood's license showed them to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation. Bond for Wood is $1,000 and his court date is October 28th.

46 year old Jamie Lee Woodside of Turner Road was arrested on Thursday, September 9th for assault and theft. Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifter. Woodside had allegedly taken items from the store and concealed them in her purse. While being detained by the store managers, Ms. Woodside allegedly became combative and bit one of the managers on his left shoulder while trying to leave before police arrived. Her bond is $5,000 and her court date is September 30th.

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

On September 3rd, Officer David Phillips took a report at 740 Walker Drive where someone had scratched down the side of Jamie Woodside's vehicle. Earlier in the day, Officer Phillips took a report of a hit and run at the same location on the same vehicle.

On September 4th, Howard Harness reported that someone had taken a Red Power X 18 speed bike from his carport during the night at 107 Juniper Lane.

On September 4th, the Smithville Housing Authority reported that someone had thrown a brick into the window next to the front door of an apartment at 632 Andrews Street.

On September 5th, Don Stanley reported that he went into Wal-Mart and when he returned to his truck he found that someone had shot it with a BB or air gun.

On September 7th, employees of Family Medical Center reported that someone had busted out a window at the corner of the building. There was no entry..

On September 10th, Roy Ray reported that he had a black Chevy S10 at Chad's Car Sales at 317 West Broad St. Chad Hale is in the process of moving his business and this was the last vehicle to be moved. A witness told Ray that he saw someone driving the truck off the lot around 5:30 p.m. on September 9th.

The Smithville Church Of God on West Broad Street was contacted by a man identifying himself as Mark Reed, who stated that he lived on Miller Road but was stranded in Newport, Tennessee and needed $63.00 for gas to get home. Mr. Reed requested that the pastor, Micheal Farr send him a money gram from Wal-Mart. As the church tries to help people in need, Farr went to Wal-Mart where he was informed that he was the third person that morning with the same story. Wal-Mart informed Pastor Farr that no one had sent any money and there was an alert placed with Money Gram.

The Smithville Police Department requests that you be aware of anyone who may call you asking for money to get home. It could be a scam.

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

Dollar General Store in Smithville and South Congress BP granted Beer Permits

September 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
Dollar General Store in Smithville Gets Beer Permit
South Congress BP Gets Beer Permit

The Smithville Beer Board met briefly Thursday evening and granted permits to two city businesses, the Dollar General Store and the South Congress BP convenience market.

Representatives of both businesses attended the meeting. Mallika Patel submitted the application for South Congress BP and district manager Tim Forsythe represented the Dollar General Store.

Board members Annette Greek, Farron Hendrix, and Lloyd Black reviewed the applications and voted to approve each one. Both stores apparently met all requirements. Board members Cecil Burger and Steve Hayes were absent.

Smithville now has about ten stores citywide that have permits to sell beer.

Under the Smithville Beer Ordinance, applicants must submit an application and a fee of $250; show proof of ownership and maintain a minimum inventory of $25,000 wholesale value in grocery stock, excluding all tobacco products, gasoline, petroleum products, antifreeze, and beer.

In no event is a permit to be issued authorizing the storage, sale, or manufacture of beer at places within four hundred feet of any school, church, or other such place of public gathering and the distance shall be measured in a straight line from the primary entrance of the establishment seeking a permit to sell beer to the primary entrance of the school, church, or other place of public gathering.

No beer permit shall be issued to anyone who has been convicted for the possession, sale, manufacture, or transportation of intoxicating liquor, illicit drugs, or any crime involving moral turpitude within the past ten years.


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