Local News Articles

BOPP Place Restrictions On Sex Offenders During Halloween Season

October 28, 2009

The Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole is again enforcing restrictions prohibiting the sex offenders it supervises from taking part in Halloween and other fall festival activities. Every state-supervised sex offender in Tennessee received a document detailing the restrictions, which apply to any Halloween celebration, festival or other fall/harvest activity.

Executive Director Bo Irvin said, “Our goal is to protect the safety of the public, especially children, throughout the Halloween season. In past years, this effort has been highly effective. By reminding offenders of the restrictions upon them, and the consequences of non-compliance, we make the harvest season safer for Tennessee families.”

The letters advise sex offenders that:

Neither they, nor anyone in their home, can answer the door to trick or treaters on Halloween;
They cannot pass out candy;
Their homes cannot be decorated for Halloween, either inside or outside;
They cannot host Halloween parties at their homes;
They cannot go to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides or any other seasonal activity;
They cannot be at any function where children are gathered, including private residences;
They cannot give any Halloween treats to children;
They cannot wear costumes and
They cannot take any child trick or treating.

Probation/Parole Officers have discussed the restrictions with sex offenders under their supervision, and the offenders signed statements acknowledging that they understand and will comply with the conditions. Officers are making visits, both announced and unannounced, to verify that offenders are abiding by the terms of their curfews and the other directives.

The Board of Probation and Parole ( www.tn.gov/bopp/ ) is an independent seven-member board whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Board is charged with the responsibility of deciding which eligible felony offenders will be granted parole and released from incarceration to community-based supervision. Along with the supervision of those granted parole, the Board is also responsible for supervising felony offenders who are placed on probation by criminal courts.

County Looking to Replace Two Fire Trucks

October 27, 2009
Dwayne Page
Donny Green

Two of the fire trucks in the fleet of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, at the Johnson's Chapel and Keltonberg Stations, recently failed to pass inspection.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says one of the trucks has undergone a patchwork repair but the other one remains out of service.

Green came before the county commission Monday night asking for an emergency expenditure to obtain a 2009 demonstration truck from Oklahoma City under a lease-purchase arrangement and to take bids on the purchase of another 2009 model fire truck. "One of them was a 1974 Ford, the Keltonberg unit, and then there was a 1975 Seagraves which is the Johnson's Chapel unit that both failed inspections due to some major mechanical problems, specifically brakes and steering."

"One of them, the Ford, we were able to find some parts to get it back in service. It hasn't been re-inspected but we have got it back in service and it's over at Johnson's Chapel at this time. The other truck is a custom truck built by Seagraves in 1975 and we cannot get parts for it. We've looked everywhere and it's basically going to remain out of service because we can't get parts for it."

"One of the problems we've run into in looking for used fire trucks is that in the past, we've relied on some larger cities where they replaced their trucks on a ten year cycle. Well, with the economy like it's been, the only thing out on the used market right now is 20 plus year old trucks that are in bad shape. We've found a 2009 demo unit that's in Oklahoma City right now. But regardless, we've got our Keltonberg station right now that doesn't have a truck in it.We're asking for authorization to do an emergency purchase to get a truck."

"One of the issues is the urgency of this too. Starting in 2010, there's an emissions change that's affecting everything from dump trucks to any of the commercial trucks and it's going to result in about a $9,000 price increase from the 2009 to 2010 models. And that's just on the chassis. The apparatus dealers we've talked to so far say this will result in about a $20,000 increase on the total fire apparatus."

The county commission approved Green's request

County Commission Votes to Purchase Town and Country Shopping Center Buildings

October 27, 2009
Dwayne Page
Town and Country Shopping Center-
County Mayor Mike Foster
 Members of the County Commission

The former Town and Country Shopping Center may soon belong to DeKalb County.

By a vote of 10 to 0 Monday night, the county commission voted to purchase the 62,000 square foot complex. The property covers 5.21 acres and includes a large paved parking lot. A resolution authorizing funding for the purchase will be officially acted upon at the next meeting in November.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the shopping center buildings can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the public officials in the courthouse could relocate their offices to the shopping center, creating more room at the courthouse for the Circuit, Juvenile, and Chancery Courts. An archives room would also be built in the complex to store important county records.

Foster says the shopping center would still offer plenty of space for rooms or buildings that the county could lease to non-profit organizations or have available for civic functions and recreation. According to Foster, some of the uses that the buildings could potentially be used for include, adult education classes by the school system, night classes by Motlow State Community College, senior citizen events, meeting rooms, an exercise room, and recreation, including possibly a bowling alley. The Farmers Market might also be relocated to the shopping center property.

The purchase price for the shopping center is approximately $750,000 but some renovation and remodeling would be required, which would add to the costs.

Foster says all this can be done without a property tax increase. "We could help pay for it out of cash that we have in fund balance. There is currently a note that is paying off this year that has been costing us $85,000 a year. It funds that much debt service. It's already built into the budget. That (money) would go toward it (shopping center purchase). We're thinking fees that are put on some things recorded and an archives grant too could probably generate $40,000 to $50,000 to build a place to store these papers (records). Another part of it would be where we would rent some of it (shopping center) to some non-profit organizations. We think that could generate about $40,000 a year. So all those things (sources of revenue) together could service the $1.5 million debt without doing any kind of a tax increase."

Next month, the county commission is expected to authorize a note or bond issue for up to $1.5 million that would not only cover the cost of purchase and renovations to the complex, but also to fund other projects, including the purchase of a fire truck, the lease purchase of another fire truck, and to make roof repairs to a county owned shirt factory building downtown, where Omega hopes to add 112 jobs.

DCHS Band Places Second in Class at Highland Rim Marching Invitational

October 26, 2009
DC Band Boosters

The DCHS Fighting Tiger Marching band traveled to Westmorland High School for the Highland Rim Marching Invitational. And once again rain was an issue. Add to that the temperature was as cold as it’s been all year.

The Students met at the band room for a cold, early Saturday morning to learn and clean last minute drill changes along with the color guard learning last minute show additions. They were excited to show the audience the new things that had been added to the show.

When the band arrived at Westmorland High School they learned that the contest would be a “stand still” contest. Which means that, rather than marching the drill that they’d been cleaning on all morning, they would march out onto the field and play their music standing still. None of the new marching effects would be put into the performance.

The Westmoreland High School field was completely rain soaked and muddy. “This has been a condition that a lot of the contests are having this year” said band director Jonathan Wright, “we’ve dealt with a lot of rain this season.”

The results of the contest were still good. The DeKalb County Fighting Tiger band placed 2nd in Class behind Whitehouse Heritage High School. Field Commander Hunter Tramel also finished 2nd in class. The Color Guard and Percussion Section received the highest scores and won the gold in their class.

Mr. Wright says “this year our students are learning a lot more than music and marching. They’re learning how to prevail when the odds are against them”.

Now the band is preparing for their Halloween performance at the football game against Livingston Academy on Friday Oct 30th . “It’s been several weeks since we’ve performed in DeKalb County and this is senior night” says Mr. Wright” We’ll be honoring our seniors, and this show just might have a surprise or two”.

The final performance of the year will be the Division II State competition, on November 7th. This is a prelims/finals competition. The band will have to do well in their preliminary performance to make it to the finals. Some of the best Division II bands in the state will be at this contest.

The band and boosters would like to invite everyone out to either of these performance. You can visit the band online at www.dekalbband.com to find out the schedule and performance times.

Owens Charged in Burglary and Theft Investigation

October 26, 2009
Dwayne Page
Tyrone Owens
Chad Everette Knowles

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has made another arrest in a burglary and theft investigation in which two others have already been charged.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 33 year old Tyrone Dewayne Owens of Shady Drive, Smithville was charged on Friday, October 23rd with three counts of aggravated burglary, three counts of theft over $1,000 and one count of theft over $500. Bond for Owens is set at $67,500. According to Sheriff Ray, county detectives discovered, during an investigation, that Owens was involved in the same recent burglaries and thefts as 49 year old Timothy Riley and 43 year old Martin Riley of Poss Road, Smithville who were arrested in September. Owens is accused of breaking into homes on Silver Point Road and Ponder Road. Among the items stolen from the homes were stainless steel refrigerators, stainless steel gas ranges, TVs, microwaves, night stands, cookware, vacuum cleaners, chairs, radios, and telescopes. Meanwhile, in another case, Owens is believed to have taken a Troy Built lawnmower from someone's property on Hurricane Ridge Road in Smithville. Owens will appear in General Sessions Court on November 19th to face the charges against him.

21 year old Cynthia Marie Shehane of Page Drive, Smithville was arrested Friday for filing a false police report. On October 20th, Shehane reported to a deputy that her 1995 Chevy Blazer had been stolen. After an investigation, the officer learned that Shehane had traded the vehicle and that it had not been stolen. Bond for Shehane was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on October 29th.

On Thursday, October 22nd, deputies responded to an accident on Sparta Highway and arrested 30 year old Robert Lee Nichols Jr. of E.H. Haas Road Dowelltown after he was found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Officers noticed an odor of alcohol on Nichols' person and he was unsteady on his feet. Nichols' submitted to field sobriety tasks but he failed. Upon a search of Nichols, officers found pills believed to be clonazepam and hydrocodone on his person. Nichols was arrested for driving under the influence, simple possession of drugs, and he was issued citations for driving on an expired driver's license, failure to maintain his lane of travel, no insurance, and violation of registration for his vehicle. Bond for Nichols was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on October 29th

19 year old Robert Earl Watley of Tramel Branch Road, Alexandria was arrested on Saturday, October 24th on a failure to appear warrant in which he was sentenced by the court to serve weekends in the DeKalb County Jail. Watley missed a total of six weekends. Watley's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on November 5th

On Sunday, October 25th, detectives arrested 38 year old Chad Everete Knowles of The Loop Smithville after officers stopped a vehicle on Highway 53 in Alexandria in which he was a passenger. Knowles was found to have in his possession a small bag containing three metal containers with a total of 240 dilaudid pills in them and another container which had two types of hydrocodone pills. Knowles was released on parole from the Tennessee Department of Corrections earlier this year and he relocated back to DeKalb County. Knowles had earlier been found guilty of possession of dilaudid and he had been serving a sentence on that charge. As a result of this latest offense, Knowles was charged with simple possession of a schedule III drug (hydrocodone) and possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) with the intent to sell and deliver. Detectives also seized $131.44 from Knowles believed to be money used in the drug trade. Bond for Knowles was set at $105,000 and he will appear in court on November 5th. More charges are pending in the case.

Sheriff Ray says the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Halloween this Saturday. He says the department will be on special patrols this weekend to help keep everyone safe. "This weekend, trick-or-treaters will take to the streets all over DeKalb County in search of candy and other treats. I would like to help ensure those little ghosts and goblins are safe and would like to offer a few tips to help make their Halloween a happy event. "

" Make sure your all of your children have eaten before they go trick-or-treating and give them some candy from home to eat while out to avoid the temptation to eat from their treat bags. Adults should check all treats before your child has a chance to eat it. Adults should look for faded or opened wrappers or other signs of contamination, like puncture holes. Parents should discard any homemade candy or baked goods in your child's treat bag unless received from someone you know and trust. If in doubt, throw it out.

" Leaving the porch light on is the universal welcome sign for Halloween and signifies the best places for children to trick-or-treat at. It is also very important to talk with your child about why they should not enter homes or apartments unless accompanied by an adult. Parents should remind their children about the dangers of talking to or taking items from people that they do not know.

" People who are welcoming trick or treaters to their homes should make sure their sidewalk area is clear of anything that could cause someone to fall. Pet owners should also make sure their pet is tied or penned away from walkways or porches where people will be traveling.

" Children should be reminded about running from house to house and urged to use the sidewalk if available, rather than walking in the street.

" Parents should also discuss the dangers of running out from behind or between parked cars and why it's important to stop at all intersections and look and listen for traffic before crossing any street.

" Sheriff Ray also wants to remind motorists to slow down and be alert on Halloween Night. Motorist needs to be on the look out for people crossing the street. Sometimes small children are hard for motorist to see. Also be careful about backing out from driveways. Try to back out slowly and look and listen for on coming traffic or people behind you.

" If the need arises for any assistance from Sheriff's Department, please call the Central Dispatch and a Deputy will be dispatched to your location."

Young Sportsman Hunt Set for October 31st & November 1st

October 26, 2009
Dwayne Page
Tony Cross

The Young Sportsman Hunt is set for Saturday and Sunday, October 31st and November 1st.

TWRA Officer Tony Cross says the hunt is open to youth ages six to sixteen. "It's open to youth ages six to sixteen who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult who is at least 21 years of age. The adult must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device. The adult does not have to possess a hunting license. Youth hunters and adults must wear the required flourescent orange during the hunt."

"Youth are allowed to harvest one buck per day during the Young Sportsman Hunt or a total of two bucks for the weekend. That does count toward their statewide bag limit of three. Hunters can't go over a total of three deer for the year. So if they get two in this Young Sportsman Hunt, they only have one left (they can harvest) for the muzzleloader, gun, and the next Young Sportsman Hunt. It's legal to harvest one buck or antlered deer per day and a total of two antlerless deer during this hunt.. Theoretically, you could shoot a buck and two doe all at one time if they were all standing there on Saturday morning but that would end your harvest for that day. You could still be able to take another buck on Sunday."

Youth ten years of age or older must meet the Hunter Education requirements.

Smithville Police Make Two Recent Arrests

October 24, 2009
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have made two arrests in recent days.

36 year old Freddy Sylvester Stringer of 208 Church Street, Liberty was arrested Monday, October 19th for driving on a revoked license. According to the report, Officer Randy King stopped Stringer for unnecessary noise. Stringer initially accelerated from the light at South Mountain Street and Highway 70 East at a rapid rate causing his tires to squeal. After being pulled over, Stringer told Officer King that his license was revoked for DUI. His registration was wrong. It actually belonged on another vehicle. Stringer also did not have proof of insurance. He was cited for violation of registration and financial responsibility. His vehicle was seized after a computer check revealed his license was revoked for an earlier DUI. Stringer's bond was set at $7,000 and he is to appear in General Sessions Court November 19th.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, October 22nd, Officer Randy King was in General Session Court when he saw 33 year old Andrea Kelly Jones of 12055 Sparta Pike, Watertown sitting in the front row of the courtroom. She appeared to be intoxicated and about to pass out. On several occasions she would close her eyes and rock forward and then catch herself. She would also attempt to fan herself but would stop in the middle of the action. When she approached the podium she was unsteady on her feet and could not keep her eyes open. Officer King and other officers in the courtroom witnessed her actions. Bond for Jones was set at $1,000 and she is to appear in General Sessions Court November 19th.

Anyone having any information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210.

On Wednesday, October 14th during the evening someone broke into a residence at 589 East Main Street by throwing a rock through a window. Damage is estimated at $700 to the window and for the drywall that was damaged by the rock that had been thrown through the window. Nothing was taken but the refrigerator had been moved from the kitchen to the living room.

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

DeKalb County Drug Court Sponsors Second Harvest Food Drive

October 24, 2009
Dwayne Page

A Second Harvest Food Bank Drive, sponsored by DeKalb County Drug Court Judge Bratten Hale Cook, II, will be November 1st through November 13th for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Second Harvest Food Bank provides necessities for needy families in DeKalb County and is in need of the following non-perishable items:

Canned Fruits
Boxed Cake Mixes
Any non-perishable Snack Foods
School Lunch and Snack Items
Boxed Corn Bread Mixes
Pasta and Pasta Sauces
Dry Milk
Nestle Quick (Chocolate & Strawberry) Mixes
Canned Sweet Potatoes
Instant Potato Mixes
Gravy Mixes
Canned Cranberries
Boxed Cereals (Hot & Cold)
Canned Soups
Canned Tuna, Chicken and other Canned Meat
Bags of Rice

Please do not provide canned drink mixes or soda beverages of any kind.

Donations can be made November 1st through November 13th at:
Liberty State Bank - Smithville, TN
DeKalb Community Bank - Smithville, TN
DeKalb County Court House - Smithville, TN
Save-A-Lot - Smithville, TN
Prichard's Foods - Alexandria, TN

Smithville BPW Fall Pageants Set for November 7th

October 23, 2009
Dwayne Page
Angie Meadows (left) Melissa Yarbrough(right)

The Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club will sponsor the second annual Autumn Princess and 55th annual Fall Fest Pageant Saturday, November 7th at DeKalb County High School.

Angie Meadows, President of the BPW club, says the Autumn Princess, which will feature girls ages 7 to 10, starts at 5:00 p.m. and the Fall Fest pageant, for high school girls, will begin around 7:00 p.m.

Melissa Yarbrough, club treasurer, says the entry fee for each pageant is $15.00 per contestant and the deadline to submit an application is Friday, October 30th. Applications have been distributed at the schools. They are also available at the Smithville Review.

Nine year old Brooklynn Storm Estes, daughter of Chris and Shanna Bogle of Dowelltown, is the reigning Autumn Princess and 18 year old Whitney LaRay Moss of Alexandria, daughter of Greg and Wendy Moss, is the 2008 Fall Fest Queen.

(Click here and listen to a public service announcement by Angie and Melissa about the pageants)

Enoch says Natural Gas Rates to be Lower this Winter

October 23, 2009
Dwayne Page
Leslie B. Enoch, II

Good news for natural gas customers.

Leslie B Enoch,II CEO of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas says rates are expected to be lower this winter, and by practicing energy conservation, natural gas customers could save even more."We have good news to provide our customers this year and we're excited about it. Natural gas rates will be significantly lower this winter. At the national level, natural gas prices have declined and last summer prices reached their lowest level in years. These savings are passed along to our customers. The district has pre-purchased and stored a significant portion of it's winter supply at these lower prices and that will stabilize rates for our customers. If the weather is the same as last winter, gas bills should be about 20% lower. There is also an abundant supply of clean burning, reliable natural gas available."

"With winter fast approaching, customers can help conserve energy and lower bills as well. If customers will winterize their homes by improving insulation, applying weather stripping, and changing filters, that will help lower bills as will lowering the thermostat. Every degree a customer lowers his thermostat will result in a 3% savings on the heating bill. We're committed to providing quality service and we encourage our customers to take advantage of our free safety inspections and pilot lighting. The number locally is 597-4388."


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