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DeKalb Fair Presents Annual Toddler Show

July 24, 2009
Dwayne Page
 Toddler Show Boys 37-47 Months:First Place Isaac Lee Lawson (left); Second Place Kaden Nathaniel Trapp (right)
Toddler Show Girls 37-47 Months:First Place Elaina Bryce Turner (left); Second Place Lydia Grace Johnson (right)

Winners of the annual Toddler Show were announced Friday evening at the DeKalb County Fair.

This year's recipients are as follows:

Girls (13 to 18 months)
Winner- Bailey Elizabeth Kidd, the 18 month old daughter of Kelli Bess and Brandon Kidd of Smithville.
Runner-up- Maggie Yvonne Bain, the 14 month old daughter of Tonya and Jimmy Bain of Smithville.

Boys (13 to 18 months)
Winner-Nickolas Daw, 18 month old son of Arthur and Regena Daw of Smithville
Runner-up- Peyton Wayne Key, 16 month old son of Holly and Shannon Key of Alexandria

Girls (19 to 24 months)
Winner-Cadence Morgan Reynolds, 23 month old daughter of Jeffery David and Danielle Reynolds of Alexandria.
Runner-up- Cali Agee, 20 month old daughter of Kevin and Jennifer Agee of Smithville.

Boys (19 to 24 months)
Winner- Jaxon Blake, 21 month old son of Richard and Tonya Panker of Dowelltown
Runner-up- Cole McMillen, 24 month old son of Chris and Kristine McMillen of Alexandria.

Click here to view pictures of Toddler Show and other Friday scenes at the Fair. http://www.wjle.com/fair-friday

Girls (25 to 30 months)
Winner-Addison Isabella Kyle, 28 month old daughter of Jamie and Kimberly Kyle of Liberty
Runner-up- Cora Lynn Kilgore, 30 month old daughter of John and Ginda Kilgore of Smithville.

Boys (25 to 30 months)
Winner- Jacob Ryan Lawson, 25 month old son of Tim and Christy Lawson of Smithville
Runner-up-Talan Linnell Gentry, 28 month old son of Tara Stacey and Brad Gentry of Smithville.

Girls (31 to 36 months)
Winner- Madison Brooke Dawson, 35 month old daughter of Jarred and Jamie Dawson of Smithville
Runner-up- Emily Louise Robinson, 35 month old daughter of David and Linda Robinson of Smithville

Boys (31 to 36 months)
Winner- Wesley Kent, 34 month old son of Kevin and Beth Kent of Dowelltown
Runner-up-Conner McClure, 31 month old son of Jimmy and Amanda McClure of Smithville.

Girls (37 to 47 months)
Winner-Elaina Bryce Turner, 42 month old daughter of Shane and Regina Turner of Smithville
Runner-up-Lydia Grace Johnson, 42 month old daughter of Jason Johnson and Crystal Johnson of Smithville

Boys (37 to 47 months)
Winner- Isaac Lee Lawson, 46 month old son of Tim and Christy Lawson of Smithville
Runner-up-Kaden Nathaniel Trapp, 41 month old son of Melissa Hart and Nathan Trapp of Dowelltown

Twins (12 to 47 months)
No entries.

Two Arrested by Smithville Police in Stolen Motorcycle Case

July 24, 2009
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have arrested two people on drug charges and possession of a stolen motorcycle.

Chief Richard Jennings, in his weekly report to the local media, says 25 year old Jessica Crystal Barrett of 345 West Richmond Road, Lebanon is charged with possession of stolen property and intent to manufacture methamphetamine. Barrett's bond totals $15,000 and her court date is July 30th.

Barrett's boyfriend, 30 year old Robert Lee Holland of 124 Woodrow Holland Lucedale, Mississippi (last known address) is charged with possession of stolen property. Bond for Holland is $10,000 and he will be in court July 30th.

Smithville Police K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow and Officer Nathan Estes received a complaint of a reckless driver on a green motorcycle on July 18th at around 9:34 p.m.. The motorcycle was at Wal-mart on West Broad Street. Officer Estes located the motorcycle. A man came out of Wal-mart and started walking into the parking lot. A female also came out of the store and started walking in the direction of the officer. She was carrying a motorcycle helmet. When Officer Estes approached the woman, the man took off running out of the parking lot. Upon investigation, the officers determined that the motorcycle had been stolen in Nashville. Barrett was placed under arrest and upon searching her back pack, K-9 Officer Tatrow found 38 pseudoephedrine pills, a pack of coffee filters, and two cans of propane fuel and sand paper. All of these items are usually used in manufacturing methamphetamine. Barrett told the officers that her boyfriend, Robert Lee Holland, was the person who ran away.

On July 19th, at about 4:08 a.m., Smithville K-9 Officer Tatrow received a call from a Wal-mart employee stating that the person police were looking for in connection with the stolen motorcycle was back in the store inquiring about his girlfriend, who had been arrested earlier. Officer Tatrow arrived at Wal-mart and placed Holland under arrest. He showed Officer Tatrow where he had hidden his backpack and motorcycle helmet. A search of Holland's backpack revealed 20 pseudoephedrine tablets and a roll of tubing. These articles are used in the manufacture of meth. Additional charges may be brought against Holland.

37 year old William Darrell Brown is charged with domestic violence assault. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court July 30th.

Smithville Police K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow and Officer Nathan Estes were dispatched to 1100 Earl Avenue on July 18th at 7:42 p.m. in answer to a domestic disturbance in progress. Upon arrival, the officers talked to Loretta A. Brown, who stated that she and her son, William Darrell Brown, had gotten into an argument over money. Ms. Brown said that Mr. Brown had gotten very violent during the argument and head butted her in the forehead. He also allegedly threatened to kill her. Ms. Brown told the officers that she was very afraid of her son and thought he might try to harm her or even try to take her life. The officers observed an injury on Ms. Brown's head that was consistent with her statement so Mr. Brown was placed under arrest. During a check for outstanding warrants on Mr. Brown, they found one for theft of property under $500. This warrant was also served on Mr. Brown.

Gregory Dewayne Martin is charged with criminal trespass. His bond is set at $5,000. Smithville Police Lieutenant Steven Leffew was dispatched to 318 Bell Street in Smithville on a possible domestic violence call on July 19th. When Lieutenant Leffew and Officer Randy King arrived, they observed Martin on the front lawn of apartment 130 at Bell Street Apartments. Martin had recently been arrested at that location and was charged and convicted in General Sessions Court for indecent exposure and criminal trespass. At the time of his conviction, Martin was ordered by Judge Bratten Cook not to go back to the property.

41 year old John Anthony Poss of 668 Poss Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. His bond is $4,000 and his court date is August 6th.

Smithville Police Sergeant Joey Jones observed a motorcycle traveling south on Bright Hill Road at a high rate of speed on July 22nd. Sergeant Jones noticed the tail light on the motorcycle did not have a red lens on it. The officer attempted to stop the motorcycle at the intersection of Bright Hill Road and East Broad Street but it did not stop. Instead, it sped away from the officer southbound on Bright Hill Road. Sergeant Jones pursued the motorcycle to the intersection of Bright Hill Road and Murphy Street, where the operator of the motorcycle lost control and ran into a ditch. He then jumped up and walked over to Sergeant Jones' patrol car. During the conversation with the driver, Poss, Sergeant Jones noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Poss refused to take any tests. An NCIC check showed that his drivers license was revoked and he had a previous conviction for DUI

28 year old Jared Scott Atnip of 1871 Allen Ferry Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond totals $9,500 and he will be in court July 30th. Atnip's 1999 SUV was also confiscated by police.

Smithville K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow was dispatched to the Verizon store on West Broad Street on July 22nd at about 6:50 p.m. to check on a possible intoxicated person. Officer Tatrow made contact with the suspect in a vehicle at the traffic light at Wal-mart on Broad Street. The officer followed the vehicle and witnessed erratic driving. He stopped the automobile on Broad Street and made contact with the driver, Atnip. While speaking with him, Officer Tatrow noticed that Atnip's speech was slurred and his movements were very slow. Atnip was asked to exit his vehicle. He was very unsteady on his feet and he attempted to drop something on the ground. Officer Tatrow picked up a red bottle that Atnip had dropped and asked him to walk to a safer area so he could administer field sobriety tasks. While Atnip was walking, a hypodermic needle and a silver metal bottle fell out of his right pants leg. While Officer Matt Farmer was patting down Atnip, another hypodermic needle fell out of Atnip's pants leg. Atnip moved and a bag, containing hypodermic needles fell out of his pants leg. Officer Farmer found yet another hypodermic needle in the waist band of Atnip's pants. A total of six yellow pills, believed to be a schedule II controlled substance, and seventeen hypodermic needles were taken from Atnip's person. He was unable to perform the field sobriety tasks.

Atnip came to the police department on July 23rd to get some personal items from his vehicle that had been confiscated the day before. Officer Farmer went with Atnip to release the items to him. Police say Atnip was acting nervous and fidgety. Officer Farmer asked Atnip if he was on probation and he replied "yes". Officer Farmer noticed that Atnip was covering his front pocket. He asked Atnip to empty his pockets. A search of Atnip's person revealed a syringe a straw, and JOB 1.5 rolling papers.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Cates of 504 South College Street discovered on July 17th at about 1:30 a.m. that someone had broken out the driver's side window of his 1994 GMC truck with a brick. The estimated amount of the damage to the truck is $200.

Chief Richard Jennings is urging anyone with information about this vandalism to contact the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210. All information received on any criminal activity will be kept confidential.

One More Day of "FAIRCATION" Fun

July 24, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Fair has one more night of "FAIRCATION" fun in store for you

The following events are scheduled for Saturday night:

A Horse Shoe Tournament at 3:00 p.m. at the barn; Gospel Singing at the Lion's Club Pavilion at 6:00 p.m. and a Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena: and a $1000 cash giveaway at 9:00 p.m.

Click here to view scene from Vintage Fashion Show at the Fair Thursday night.

There has been two winners of $1,000 this week, Susan Martin on Tuesday night and Michael Washer on Friday night. Four thousand dollars will be given away on Saturday night in increments of $1,000 each. Your fair admission ticket is your ticket for the cash drawing. You must be present to win.

Fair Manager Jeff McMillen urges fair goers to take the time to enjoy lots of delicious foods from the food booths and stop by to see the many commercial, agricultural, and women's exhibits.

Enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village. The line-up is as follows:

Saturday night, July 25th
6:00 p.m.-7:45 p.m.- Country Pride
7:45 p.m.-until Lakside Drive

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available for $16.00.

Admission to the fair is $3.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us

Click here to view another scene from the Vintage Fashion Show Thursday night at the Fair.

Baby Show Winners Awarded at DeKalb County Fair

July 23, 2009
Dwayne Page
First Place Baby Show Twins Jesse and Thomas Foutch

Babies from one day to twelve months old were the center of attention during the annual Baby Show held Thursday evening at the DeKalb County Fair.

The winners are as follows:

Twins (1 day to 12 months)
Winners- Jesse and Thomas Foutch, ten month old children of Michael and Nicole Foutch of Smithville.
Runners-up- Bryson and Brayden Lawson, seven month old children of Tim and Christy Lawson of Smithville.

Girls (1 day to 3 months)
Winner- Jaycee Kayln Daley, three month old daughter of Megan Linder and Jacob Daley of Smithville
Runner-up- Summer Leigh Poss, two month old daughter of John A. Poss and Jessica R. Bogle of Smithville.

Click here to see more Baby Show pictures and other scenes from the Fair Thursday. http://www.wjle.com/fair-thursday

Boys (1 day to 3 months)
No entries

Click here to see scene from Rodeo Bull Riding at the Fair Thursday night

Girls (4-6 months)
Winner-Eliza Joann Purkey, four month old daughter of Anthony and Elizabeth Purkey of Dowelltown
Runner-up-Chloe Boyd, four month old daughter of Dan and Marianna Boyd of Liberty

Boys (4-6 months)
Winner- Ryder Mac Stanfield, six month old son of Nicole Richards and Hunter Stanfield of Smithville
Runner-up- Wyatt Randall Ware, four month old son of Charlie and Jennifer Ware of Smithville

Girls (7-9 months)
Winner- Brianna Nichole Carr, eight month old daughter of Sherry Hattaway and Kyle Carr of Smithville.
Runner-up- Kenadee Rose Prichard, seven month old daughter of JoDee Stults and Luke Prichard of Smithville.

Boys (7-9 months)
Winner-Dallas Cooper Reynolds, nine month old son of Tim and Jenna Reynolds of Smithville
Runner-up-Braxton Jay Taylor, eight month old son of Bradley and Kari Taylor of Smithville.

Girls (10-12 months)
Winner- Makya Edge, ten month old daughter of Allison Vance and Joseph Edge of Smithville
Runner-up- Danica Hope Collier, twelve month old daughter of Matthew and Brittany Collier of Alexandria.

Boys (10-12 months)
Winner- Levi Walker, ten month old son of Natalie Steinbach and Samuel Walker
Runner-up- Jacob Marlin Stewart, ten month old son of D.J. and Megan Stewart.

Click here to see a scene from the Rodeo Calf Roping at the Fair Thursday night

DeKalb Jobless Rate Increases to 11.3%

July 23, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County jobless rate for June was at 11.3%, up from the revised rate for May of 10.7%. The rate for June, 2008 was 6.1%

The local labor force for June was 10,060. A total of 8,920 were employed and 1,140 were unemployed..

Meanwhile, Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2009 is 10.8 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than the May rate of 10.7 percent. The United States' unemployment rate for the month of June was 9.5 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for June 2009, released today, show that the rate increased in 84 counties, decreased in eight counties and remained the same in three counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 7.1 percent, up from 6.5 percent in May. Perry County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 22.1 percent, down from 24.2 in May, followed by Lauderdale County at 19.7 percent, up from 19.2 percent in May.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 8.5 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the May rate. Davidson County was 9.4 percent, up 0.8 from the previous month. Hamilton County was at 9.3 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the May rate, and Shelby County was 10.5 percent, up from the May rate of 9.5 percent.

Qualls Becomes DeKalb Fair's New Miss Sweetheart

July 22, 2009
Dwayne Page
(Left to Right) MaKalee Beth Ruch, Queen Liz Abigail Qualls, Jailyn Paige Bolding, Haley Marie Hale

The 2009 DeKalb County Fair Miss Sweetheart is eleven year old Liz Abigail Qualls of Smithville

Qualls is the daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp and Jason and Stormy Qualls of Smithville.

She succeeds the retiring Miss Sweetheart, twelve year old Taneah Brook Cantrell of Smithville, daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell.

The first runner-up in the pageant Wednesday night was MaKalee Beth Ruch, the twelve year old daughter of Joe and Melissa Ruch of Smithville.

Jailyn Paige Bolding was the second runner-up. She is the eleven year old daughter of Bradley and Lori Hendrix of Dowelltown and Brad and Marcy Bolding.

Twelve year old Haley Marie Hale, daughter of Chad and Melissa Hale of Smithville was the third runner-up. She was also named Miss Photogenic.

The title of Miss Congeniality went to Reagan Kori Taylor, the ten year old daughter of Jason and Marie Taylor of Alexandria.

Extreme Looks Hair Design presented an "Extreme Queen" crown to Morgan Pedigo, the eleven year old daughter of Mark and Donna Pedigo of Smithville.
Click here to see pictures from the fair on Wednesday http://www.wjle.com/fair-wednesday

Belk Captures Little Miss Princess Title

July 22, 2009
Dwayne Page
(Left to Right) MacKenzie Faith France, Kyra Agee, Queen Kayla Jayne Belk, and Katherine Malone

Nine year old Kayla Jayne Belk of Smithville was crowned Little Miss Princess at the DeKalb County Fair Wednesday night.

Belk is the daughter of Chris Anne Belk of Smithville and Wendell Belk of Christiana

She succeeds the 2008 Little Miss Princess, ten year old Destiny Danielle Franklin of Smithville, daughter of Jennifer Franklin and Charlie Ware.

First runner-up in the pageant was Katherine Malone, the seven year old daughter of Kevin and Dana Malone of Smithville.

Seven year old MacKenzie Faith France of Smithville was the second runner-up. She is the daughter of Tim France and Kim Frazier of Smithville.

Third runner-up was Kyra Agee, the nine year old daughter of April Davis and Donny Agee of Smithville.

The title of Miss Congeniality went to Holly Evans, the seven year old daughter of Mike and Amy Evans of Alexandria.

Seven year old Mya Katherine Ruch was named Miss Photogenic. She is the daughter of Joe and Melissa Ruch of Smithville.

Extreme Looks Hair Design named an "Extreme Queen". That crown went to Macy Elizabeth Hedge, the eight year old daughter of David and Trina Hedge of Smithville.

Click here to see pictures from the fair on Wednesday http://www.wjle.com/fair-wednesday

Denman "Makes Cut" in the 62nd U.S. Junior Amateur Championship

July 22, 2009
 Payne Denman

Payne Denman, a local and State Champion DCHS High School golfer has advanced to continue playing in the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur Golf Championship.

The second round of stroke-play qualifying wrapped up Tuesday after a day of intermittent showers and swirling wind on the 7,100-yard, par-71 Old Course. The weather certainly made circumstances harder for Denman yesterday, as it was extremely rainy and windy with standing water in some places. These conditions were better suited for a British Open instead of a U.S. Junior Amateur.

Payne shot 74 on Monday and 77 on Tuesday, giving him a 2-day total of 151. This score was low enough for him to be included with the 64 players to advance from the tournament field of 155. Therefore; he will start match-play competition today (Wednesday). This year's Junior Amateur Tournament is being played in Bedminster, NJ at the Trump National Golf Club.

More tournament details and scoring can be viewed at: www.usjunioram.org

Denman, who claimed the TSSAA Class A-AA State Tournament Championship, last fall will be a senior this year at DeKalb County High School.

The USGA inaugurated the U.S. Junior Golf Tournament in 1948 to determine the best Junior golfer in the United States. Denman's qualifier round was played at Old Fort Golf Course in Murfreesboro. Three players were selected there. Other qualifiers were held across the United States. Players from 40 states are represented & 10 from foreign countries.

The Junior Amateur is among the most difficult of all USGA championships to win, because of two factors; the age limit and the tremendous number of fine young players who enter each year. Only one player, Tiger Woods has won the Junior Amatuer more than once, winning in 1991, 1992, and 1993.

Ramirez and Hall Named Little Mister and Miss of DeKalb County Fair

July 21, 2009
Dwayne Page
(Left to Right) Kolter Garrett Kilgore, Little Mr Adan Ramirez, Holden Craig Trapp, and Desmond Nokes
(Left to Right) Briona Alysse Agee, Kenlee Renae Taylor, Little Miss Hannah Dawn Hall, and Maeloree Arlene Kirby
 Susan Martin $1,000 winner

Adan Ramirez and Hannah Dawn Hall were crowned Little Mister and Miss at the DeKalb County Fair Tuesday night.

Ramirez is the four year old son of Carelis Haynes of Smithville and Hall is the four year old daughter of Joseph and April Hall of Smithville.

They succeed the retiring Little Mister and Miss Anthony Gage Trapp and Kacie Malone.

Trapp is the five year old son of Tony and Amanda Trapp of Smithville and Malone is the seven year old daughter of Sammy and Nancy Malone of Brush Creek.

First runner-up in the Little Miss contest was five year old Maeloree Arlene Kirby, daughter of Jesse and Shaunna Kirby of Smithville.

Second runner-up was four year old Kenlee Renae Taylor, daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville.

Six year old Briona Alysse Agee was third runner-up. She is the daughter of Kevin and Jennifer Agee of Smithville.

Meanwhile, four year old Carlee Elizabeth West, daughter of D.J. and Megan Stewart of Smithville was named Miss Congeniality.

Four year old McKenzie Faith Sanders, daughter of James and Misti Sanders of Smithville received the title of Miss Photogenic.

Extreme Looks Hair Design awarded the "Extreme Queen" crown to four year old Olivia Faith Bain, daughter of Tasha Bain and Terry Knowles of Anthony Avenue, Smithville.

First runner-up in the Little Mister contest was Holden Craig Trapp, the four year old son of Tony and Amanda Trapp of Smithville. He was also named Mister Photogenic.

Six year old Desmond Nokes, son of Toby and Jamie Nokes of Smithville was the second runner-up.

Third runner-up was Kolter Garrett Kilgore, the five year old son of John and Ginda Kilgore of Smithville.

Five year old Evan Sprague, son of Jimmy and Johnna Sprague of Smithville, was named Mister Congeniality.

Meanwhile, Susan Martin was the winner of $1,000 at the fair Tuesday night. There was no $1,000 cash winner on Monday night.
Click here to see pictures of the fair from Tuesday http://www.wjle.com/fair-tuesday

Smithville Aldermen Take No Action to Ban Guns in City Parks

July 21, 2009
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Aldermen apparently will not opt out of a new state law giving gun carry permit holders the right to possess a firearm in parks..

The new state law, recently adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly, is meant to let handgun permit holders carry their weapons into every park in the state. But in a compromise to ensure passage of the law, legislators included a provision that gives local governments the power to ban guns in some or all of their parks by passing a new ordinance.

Now, many local governments in Tennessee are moving to do just that before the state law goes into effect September 1st.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson brought the issue up during Monday night's city council meeting at the request of Director of Schools Mark Willoughby who apparently has some concerns, since teachers often take school students on trips to the city's parks. "I got a call today from the Director of Schools. The new law that has gone into effect allows guns in bars, restaurants, and other places. There is a number of cities and towns that are opting out to keep those (guns) out of city parks. I don't think the people that carry gun permits have ever given any problems. The best I can find out, probably not a one in the State of Tennessee has ever given any problems. But I was asked by the Director of Schools. I think his concern is a lot of the teachers, at certain times of the year, take the children over there for picnics or whatever at the parks. He just asked if I would bring this up before the board and get their feeling on whether we want to opt out of the law and do a resolution not approving guns in the parks, all of our city parks. I guess we're talking about the Smith Road, Airport, and Greenbrook Parks, the Joe L. Evins Ballfield. All of our public parks would come under this."

Alderman Shawn Jacobs said he didn't see a need to issue a ban. "My feeling is most of these people, all the people that have gun permits have undergone background checks, their fingerprints are on file, they have all taken a certain minimum number of hours of training and they're certainly more equipped or attuned to carry guns than most of the general public and as we've discussed I don't think there has ever been a problem with anybody that's carried a gun permit because they've passed the backgrounds. I would hate to see us do that personally. I think we're restricting more and more civil liberties all the time and the reason the legislature passed that was to try to lessen the confusion, I think, about where you can or can't carry a gun. I personally would hate to see us do that. That's just my opinion. This is always something we could revisit at a later time if there were problems."

The board took no action.

Mayor Hendrixson reported to the aldermen that the city will receive a $500,000 community development block grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to assist in funding the proposed renovation of the water treatment plant, thanks to federal stimulus money coming to the state. "If you'll recall in 2008 we submitted a CDBG block grant for $500,000 to help with the water plant. We didn't make the cut. We were one or two below the cut off."

" I'll read you this letter I received today (from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development). Dear Mayor Hendrixson, I am pleased to inform you that Governor Bredesen has approved your 2008 CDBG Recovery Funds application."

"This is some of the stimulus money that has gone back and picked up (unfunded grant applications). We have got that grant. I executed the contracts today and sent them back today. This is definitely good news. It will help on our water system reconditioning we're doing on the plant."

In other business Monday night, the city board, at the request of Alderman Steve White, voted to give members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department with at least of ten years of service as of November 30th, an extra $500 in addition to their regular compensation for fire calls, as payment in lieu of vacation. Mayor Hendrixson says about twelve firefighters would qualify for the extra pay which would cost the city about $6,000.

The city board also approved Alderman Steve White's request to schedule a city employee picnic for September or October at Greenbrook Park and to make it an annual event, in a show of appreciation to the city employees.

In other business, Mayor Hendrixson appointed Alderman Steven White as Vice Mayor. The aldermen voted unanimously to approve the appointment.

Dustin Bain, a water plant trainee since May 4th, who has been earning $10.01 per hour, was hired by the board as a permanent employee now that he has completed his probationary period. His pay will increase to $10.66 per hour.

Alderman Aaron Meeks said he had done some checking with Don Darden of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) about the role the aldermen play as commissioners over their departments, or in his case, police commissioner. Meeks says there appears to be some confusion on that issue. "I want to take a couple of minutes to clear up a question that has arisen. I'll draw everybody's attention to Title I of the city codes, Title I-102 which says "Each department to be under an alderman. Each department shall be under the immediate supervision of an alderman who shall be designated by the board to supervise that department."

"Webster's definition of ‘immediate' in that situation is ‘direct'.

"The confusion came from an email from Don Darden on August 18th, 2008 to Hunter (Hendrixson). It stated that ‘the police chief and not the police commissioner nor the mayor is in charge of day to day operations of the department', meaning the police department."

"I immediately contacted Don Darden and he got back in touch with me. I asked him does that mean that the mayor and the police commissioner have no authority in the police department? He said absolutely not. The mayor, the police commissioner cannot, on a day to day basis, supervise the officers. We can't make up schedules, but we certainly can direct the department head as to what we expect of the department and what we want accomplished by the department. I just want to clarify that."

"I have been in touch with Chief Jennings and I plan to spend more time in the department and find out how it's operating and what needs to be done to improve. There's plenty of room for improvement. We have some very good officers back there. We have some other officers that I'm questionable on. But I don't know until I have sufficient time to investigate and find out what is going on. I certainly want to keep the board apprized and I will keep the public apprized as to what is going on. This is for the public's edification as well as this board's."

The aldermen adopted on first reading proposed ordinance # 422 to rezone the property of Richard D. Atnip and Repsie C. Johnson at Bright Hill Road from R-3 High Density Residential to B-2 General Business. Second and final reading action will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, August 3rd at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Alderman Jacobs asked if the department heads could report once a month to the council. That, he says, is the practice in Murfreesboro, Alexandria, and other towns. "Since I'm new that would be very helpful to me for them to come in and briefly tell the council what is going on, how are they doing budget wise, and if there's any equipment they need."

Alderman Meeks asked if those reports could be made in writing and possibly sent to the aldermen with the agendas "then we have something to refer back to."

Alderman Jacobs was agreeable with Meeks' suggestion. "I'm not trying to create any extra work for anybody but it could benefit them (department heads) as well as us (aldermen) to be informed about what's going on in all the departments. It might be an efficient form of communication and keep things from dropping through the cracks."

Mayor Hendrixson said he would include the reports with the agenda.


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