Local News Articles

Several Thefts Under Investigation by City and County Authorities

May 20, 2006
Dwayne Page

One woman has been charged with theft of property under $500 and another arrest is expected in a robbery at the Bizzy Bee's Flea Market on Allen's Ferry Road Thursday.

Investigator Charles Griffith of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department says 28 year old Lisa Michelle Porterfield of Dowelltown has been arrested in the case.

According to Griffith Porterfield and another woman went to the flea market between 11:00 a.m. and noon on Thursday and while one woman was talking with the clerk and keeping her busy on the outside of the building, Porterfield had gone inside where she allegedly removed $200 to $240 in cash.

Griffith says Porterfield apparently knew where the money was kept because she had been at the flea market on Wednesday and had sold some DVD's.

The victim, after providing Griffith with a description of the women, positively identified Porterfield from a photo line up and she was subsequently arrested.

The case remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Griffith says three men, 40 year old William Ray Cantrell, 39 year old Martin Riley, and 35 year old Scott R. Adams all of Smithville, have been arrested in connection with a recent burglary of a residence on Coon Branch Road, in which numerous items were stolen.

Investigator Griffith says the burglary occurred during daylight hours when no one was home. However, as the men were leaving the property, the owner of the house returned and tried to confront them, but they fled the scene.

The men were later identified by the victim during a photo lineup.

Griffith says the men are also suspects in other recent burglaries.

Smithville Police are investigating a break-in at the office of Dr. Melvin Blevins and Johnny's Drugs early Thursday morning.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell says sometime during the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning someone broke out a rear window at Dr. Blevins' office at the Center Hill Medical Building and entered.

Once inside, several attempts were made to make entry to the drug store next door through the wall.

After bursting through a sheet rock wall, the intruders removed from the pharmacy a large quantity of controlled substances including oxycontin, hydrocodone and xanax. The intruders then left, going back out the same way they came in.

If you have any information that may help solve the case contact Detective Sergeant Chris Russell of the Smithville Police Department or phone the anonymous tips line at 464-6046.

Two Men Face Federal Charges For Distribution Of Marijuana

May 25, 2006
Dwayne Page

Two alleged marijuana dealers in Warren and Cannon County have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury stemming from a two and a half year old undercover investigation by the Warren County Sheriff's Department, the Southeastern Drug Enforcement Agency, the Middle Tennessee Drug Enforcement Agency, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Agency, and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

48 year old Jeffory Carl Young of Short Mountain Road, Woodbury and 53 year old Morris Edward Roller of Lance Road, McMinnville are each indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute over 2,200 pounds of marijuana and a multi-count indictment for distribution of marijuana.

Young, a convicted felon, was arrested in a traffic stop in Manchester on Wednesday. Authorities found and seized some handguns at his home.

Roller was picked up at his Warren County farm on Wednesday. He was in possession of a gun at the time of his arrest.

Both are in federal custody in Hamilton County.

Authorities have seized 31 parcels of land, equaling 1900 acres with a tax appraisal of $2.5 million; more than $10,000 in cash; and over ten pounds of marijuana.

Investigators also confiscated two farm tractors, a round hay baler, semi-truck, a ton truck, and a bob cat loader, all believed to have been purchased with proceeds from the sale of drugs.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue has also levied a $60,000 tax against the two men, which they will have to pay.

Warren County Investigator Patrick Ray says more arrests are forthcoming as a result of this investigation, including some from DeKalb County.

Drivers License Roadside Safety Checkpoints

May 22, 2006
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting driver license roadside safety checkpoints during the week of May 21, 2006 on State Routes 53, 56, 83, 96, and 146 in DeKalb County.

Recognizing the danger presented to the public by unqualified drivers, Troopers will concentrate their efforts on vehicles being operated by drivers who would violate the driver license laws of Tennessee.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has found these driver license roadside safety checkpoints to be an effective means of enforcing driver license laws of Tennessee while ensuring the protection of all Motorists.

Murfreesboro Man Injured In Motorcycle/Car Accident

May 28, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 58 year old Murfreesboro man was injured around 5:05 p.m. Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle/car collision on Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road).

Stephen M. Brown of Greenbrier Drive, Murfreesboro was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Hospital.

Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 57 year old Mary J. Farris of Capshaw Road, Smithville was operating a 2004 Chevy Malibu attempting to enter Highway 96 from a private drive at 908 Dale Ridge Road, when she failed to yield the right of way and pulled into the path of a northbound 2004 Suzuki motorcycle, operated by Brown.

Sergeant Prater says Brown applied his brakes, laid the motorcycle down, and slid into the left front corner of the car.

Farris was not injured.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, assisted by Sergeant Prater, and officers Kenneth Whitehead, Jon Slager, and Mike Murphy of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Members of the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

Voters To Decide If Local Option Sales Tax Rate Should Be Increased

May 22, 2006
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution calling for a referendum seeking authorization from the people of DeKalb County to increase the local option sales tax in DeKalb County from the current rate of 1.5% to the maximum of 2.75%.

The question, as recommended by the county budget committee, will be put before the voters of DeKalb County on the August 3rd General Election ballot.

County Mayor Mike Foster says under a 1967 agreement that still exists between the county and the city governments of Smithville, Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown, a majority of the local option sales tax revenues that are generated help fund the school system. \"If agreeable to the cities and the school board, this additional money, would go to the local purpose fund to finance school debt service and operations. It is projected to raise approximately $850,000 in additional sales taxes. Part of this money would go to the cities, but if they continue the current agreement, they would be contributing to the local purpose fund up to 66% of the new revenue to schools\".

Of the 95 Tennessee Counties, 33 have a local option sales tax rate of 2.75%, 39 have a rate of 2.25%, six counties have a rate of 2% and 14 counties have a rate of 2.50%. Cannon County's rate is 1.75%. Only DeKalb and Johnson County have a local option sales tax rate of 1.5%.

Foster says by increasing the rate, the county government would be in a better position financially, should the state government decide to keep a portion of the local option sales tax revenue, as is being considered.; and he says, more sales tax revenue could keep the county from having to enact drastic increases in property tax rates in the future.

Proponents of the increase also argue that consumers, whether they realize it or not, are already paying more sales taxes when they shop in other counties, where the rates are higher and tax money spent in those counties goes to fund their local governments and schools.

The overall sales tax rate in DeKalb County is 8.5%, including 7% state and 1.5% local.

If approved, the new rate for DeKalb County would be 9.75%, including 7% state and 2.75% local.

Fire Destroys Vacant Trailer Home

May 24, 2002
Dwayne Page

A vacant trailer home, belonging to Brad Johnson, was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning on Yulanda Hills Road in the Holmes Creek area.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says fire fighters were summoned to the scene around 1:00 a.m. but the structure had already been burning for quite some time before it was discovered and it could not be saved.

Green says no one lived at the trailer and no utilities were connected to it.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Cookeville Highway and Short Mountain Highway stations and the tanker truck responded. No one was injured.

Ninety Vote Early This Week In City Election

May 24, 2002
Dwayne Page

A total of 90 people have voted early to date in the Smithville Municipal Election.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports that 27 people voted in person on Wednesday, 24 cast ballots in person on Thursday, and 39 voted in person on Friday.

These totals do not count ballots arriving by mail.

Early voting for the city election began Wednesday, May 31st.

Voting hours will be from 9:00 a.m. until noon Monday through Saturday, through June 15th on the first floor of the courthouse at the Election Commission Office.

Election Day voting will be from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the same location.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on Tuesday, June 20. The positions are currently held by Mayor Cecil Burger and Aldermen Steve White and Jackie Rigsby.

Rigsby is currently serving out an unexpired term and will be seeking his first elected term; and Burger is running for alderman instead of mayor.

Other candidates for aldermen are Alford Webber and Incumbent Steve White

Taft Hendrixson and Jerry Hutchins' Sr. are running for mayor.

Each of the terms is for two years.

Call 597-4146 for more information.

DeKalb County Jail & Annex Meet Standards For Re-Certification

May 25, 2006
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons says he is pleased to announce that the DeKalb County Jail and the Jail Annex have both met standards for re-certification by the Tennessee Corrections Institute

In letters to Sheriff Emmons, Jerry Abston, Executive Director of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, based on an inspectors report, wrote that \" The DeKalb County Jail is an older facility, but the officers are doing a fine job in keeping the facility clean as evidenced by my walk-through. I noticed the cell areas were clean, the kitchen was in order with knives stored and locked up when not in use. The medical section had a good medical receipt system. The logs and record keeping showed no standards violations. I recommend continued certification of this facility.\"

As for the jail annex, Abston wrote,based on an inspectors report that \" The facility was clean during my walk through. I observed cell areas, the kitchen, and the medical section of the Annex. All of these areas appeared to be in order with no apparent standards violations. I recommend continued certification of this Annex.\"

Sheriff Emmons says he is pleased the jail has been re-certified and gave his jail administrator and staff much of the credit, \" Jail Administrator Kenneth Ray and staff have done an excellent job with the jail. I depend on Kenneth to keep things running over there and I have to give him and his staff a lot of credit.\"

Emmons found the Jail Annex was de-certified when he became sheriff but he worked to get both the annex and the older jail facility certified during his first year in office. The jail and annex have been re-certified each year since.

Bob Rochelle Announces For State Senate

May 31, 2006
Dwayne Page

Former State Senator Bob Rochelle formally entered the 2006 State Senate race in the 17th District this week and said he would not support a state income tax without a vote of the people.

?My name is Bob Rochelle and I want to be your State Senator?again,? Rochelle said at a press conference. Rochelle was surrounded by friends and supporters at the Wilson County Judicial Center as he made the announcement.

?Four years ago in the middle of a crisis, I felt we had to act. But times have changed. The crisis has passed. When times change, public officials should change with them. Therefore, I am today committing to the people of the 17th District that, as their Senator, I will vote against an income tax that is not approved by a vote of the people. Put very simply: No vote, No tax,? Rochelle said.

?The tax debate of four years ago created a massive distraction for the state. I apologize for that distraction,? Rochelle said.

Rochelle said he wanted to return to the State Senate so that he could get results for the 17th District.

?The income tax debate resulted in the election of some sub par one issue candidates who have shown no ability to get things done for our community. They have no answers, no courage, no solutions and will say whatever it takes to stay in office,? Rochelle said.

The 17th Senatorial District includes Wilson, Trousdale, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and part of Sumner Counties.

?I wanted to deal with the income tax question from the beginning,? Rochelle said. ?It?s a dead issue, I?ve dropped it and I won?t pick it back up. Now is the time to move forward.?

Rochelle noted that his opponent, State Senator Mae Beavers, was the only State Senator to vote against Governor Phil Bredesen?s new Cover Tennessee health care program, voted against the state budget and opposed a modest increase in the minimum wage.

?Senator Beavers is out of step with the 17th District,? Rochelle said.

?We need new roads to alleviate the traffic and congestion and to bring more jobs to our district,? Rochelle said. ?I stand here today prepared to fight for the future of Tennessee. I am ready to go back to work for you. I ask for your help.?

Smithville Police Make Arrest In Drug Store Burglary

May 28, 2006
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have apparently solved the burglary of a local doctor's office and pharmacy with the arrest of a 28 year old man.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell of the Smithville Police Department says Samuel Wade Walker of 128 Jerry Walker Drive, Smithville has been charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (percocets), theft over $10,000, and two counts of burglary. His bond is set at $140,000.

Walker is charged in connection with a break-in on Thursday, May 18th at the office of Dr. Melvin Blevins and Johnny's Drugs.

During the pre-dawn hours of May 18th, Russell says someone broke out a rear window at Dr. Blevins' office at the Center Hill Medical Building and entered.

Once inside, several attempts were made to make entry to the drug store next door through the wall.

After bursting through a sheet rock wall, the intruder or intruders removed from the pharmacy a large quantity of controlled substances including oxycontin, hydrocodone and xanax. The intruder or intruders then left, going back out the same way they came in.

Detective Sergeant Russell says police got a break in the case on Friday, May 26th when Police Chief Gus Clemente received an anonymous tip that Walker had a substantial amount of prescriptions at his residence.

Chief Clemente assigned Detective Sergeant Russell to the case and he initiated an investigation. Search warrants were subsequently executed and served at Walker's home around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.

Detective Sergeant Russell says while executing the search warrant, he found a metal lock box in Walker's bedroom closet. Inside the lock box were various prescription medications including percocets, xanax, morphine, tylox, subutex, avinza, and liquid morphine. The lock box also contained $1,200 in cash.

Russell says the drugs were positively identified as the narcotics taken in the burglary at Johnny's Drug Store.

He says the street value of these drugs is estimated at $300,000.

Detective Sergeant Russell was assisted by Smithville Police Officer Steve Deffendoll, Deputy Jon Slager of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the TBI and the Middle Tennessee Drug Task Force.

More arrests may be forthcoming as a result of this investigation.


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