Local News Articles

Man Overturns Pickup Truck-Airlifted to Erlanger Hospital

August 7, 2010
Dwayne Page

A 21 year old McMinnville man was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga Saturday evening after he lost control of his truck and overturned on Highway 56 south near Webb's Chapel Church.

Central Dispatch received the call at 5:31 p.m.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Joan Lopez was driving north in a 1992 Nissan pickup truck when he lost control after passing other vehicles.'"The subject passed some vehicles prior to the crash scene and when he came back into his lane of travel, he went too far and exited the roadway into a ditch line. He traveled approximately 200 feet in the ditch line, hit a driveway culvert, and the truck rolled across the church parking lot until it came to final rest on it's side in the roadway just passed the Webb's Chapel Church."

Trooper England says Lopez, who had an odor of alcohol about his person, was ejected from the truck.

A Life Force helicopter ambulance landed near the scene on Ferrell Road to pick up Lopez and fly him to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. DeKalb EMS treated him until the helicopter arrived.

Members of the Keltonburg and Short Mountain Highway units of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department set up the helicopter landing zone. Other officers of the THP and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department assisted at the crash site.

The accident remains under investigation.

McDonald Carries Six Counties of District in Democratic State Senatorial Primary

August 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
George McDonald

George McDonald of Smith County carried six of the counties in the Tennessee 17th Senatorial District Thursday to win the Democratic nomination and the right to challenge State Senator Mae Beavers in November. Sam Hatcher won Wilson County and the portion of Sumner in the district.

McDonald received a total of 6,282 votes compared to 5,879 votes for Sam Hatcher, and 2,861 votes for Aubrey Givens.

Here's a break down of the vote county by county:

McDonald- 560
Hatcher- 390

McDonald- 327




Sumner(Hendersonville precinct)


Hatcher- 3,626

Beavers Wins Six Counties to Defeat Opponents in State Senatorial Primary

August 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers

State Senator Mae Beavers carried six counties of the Tennessee State Senatorial District in her victory Thursday in the state GOP primary. Susan Lynn carried one county and the portion of Sumner county in the district.

Beavers received a total of 13,499 votes compared to 11,860 votes for Susan Lynn and 2,569 votes for Gordon Borck.

Here's a breakdown of the vote in each county of the district:



Beavers- 923
Borck- 84

Beavers- 1,920
Lynn- 857
Borck- 222

Beavers- 1,613
Lynn- 558
Borck- 265

Sumner (Hendersonville precinct)
Lynn- 528
Beavers- 224

Beavers- 496
Lynn- 261
Borck- 78

Lynn- 8,219
Beavers- 6,534

Smithville Police Find Drugs on Man Arrested for Drunk Driving

August 7, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police arrested a man Sunday for drunk driving and found drugs.

37 year old Steve Allen Hale of 225 Meadow Brook Drive was arrested on Sunday, August 1st and charged with a third offense of driving under the influence, possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance for resale, simple possession of a schedule VI and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hale was observed by Officer James Cornelius failing to maintain proper lane of travel. Hale was stopped on the traffic violation and Officer Cornelius noticed that Hale's speech was slurred and that he was unsteady on his feet. Hale submitted to four sobriety tasks and he performed poorly. Officer Cornelius asked Hale to remove all items from his pockets. Removed was approximately 5 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, 20 blue pills, 8 white pills and a pack of JB rolling papers. Bond for Hale is $15,000 and he will be in court date: August 19th.

43 year old Robert Ernest Rochefort of Doe Lane was arrested on Wednesday, August 4th by Officer David Phillips for domestic assault. According to the warrant, Rochefort assaulted his roommate on Saturday, July 31st by hitting and kicking her. Bond for Rochefort is $2500 and his court date is August 19th.

22 year old Victoria Alexis Peden of Castalian Springs was arrested on Thursday, August 5th by Officer David Phillips for driving on a suspended license. Officer Phillips initiated a traffic stop for speeding and requested a check through Central Dispatch on Ms. Peden's driver's license. It was discovered that her license were suspended. Bond for Peden is $1,000 and her court date is August 26th.

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 Thursday, July 29th an unknown white male was caught on Wal-Mart security camera taking an HP computer system and leaving the store without paying for it.

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

Final Slate of Candidates Set for DTC Election of Directors

August 6, 2010
Dwayne Page

The final slate of candidates is set for DTC Communications’ election of directors next month.
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.

Voting for directors will take place at the cooperative’s annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 18 and during early voting Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 13-15. Thursday, Sept. 9, will be the last day to make changes to your membership for the 2010 election.

Hours and locations for early voting include:

Early Voting Hours
Mon., Sept. 13 – Noon to 7 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 14 – Noon to 7 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 15 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Early Voting Locations
Kenneth Sandlin Building, DeKalb County Fairgrounds, Alexandria
Gordonsville Civic Center, 63 Main St. East, Gordonsville
DeKalb County Courthouse, Room 100, 1 Public Square, Smithville
DTC Training Center (former Woodbury phone store), located beside the DTC Customer Service Center, Woodbury

On Saturday, Sept. 18, gates to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria 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.
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.

James Hale Wins Democratic Nomination for State Representative

August 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver
James Hale

James Hale of DeKalb County won the Democratic nomination for State Representative of the 40th legislative district Thursday, narrowly defeating Jamie Winkler of Smith County in the state primary 3,286 to 3,229, a difference of 57 votes.

Hale will now take on Republican State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver in the November General Election.

It was no contest in DeKalb County with Hale beating Winkler 1,661 (86%) to 269 (13%). Hale carried all sixteen precincts as well as the early voting and absentees. Hale also defeated Winkler in Macon County 576 to 429. But in Smith County, Winkler won 2,531 to 1,049 for Hale.

(Click here to see results by precinct of Democratic Primary http://www.wjle.com/node/11684)

Representative Weaver, who was re-nominated in the Republican state primary without opposition Thursday, received 1,289 complimentary votes in DeKalb County. In Macon County, Weaver polled 2,780 votes and she received 2,309 votes in Smith County for a total of 6,378.

Meanwhile, Bill Haslam won the Republican nomination for Governor Thursday and he will face Democrat Mike Mcwherter in the November General Election.

(Click here to see results by precinct of the Republican Primary http://www.wjle.com/node/11683)

Haslam also won in DeKalb County with 629 votes. He carried eight precincts including Cherry Hill, Church of Christ Annex, Elementary School, Johnson's Chapel, Liberty, Middle School, Rock Castle, and Snow Hill. Haslam also carried the early voting/absentees.

Ron Ramsey came in second in DeKalb County with 470 votes. Ramsey carried Alexandria, Belk, Blue Springs, Courthouse, Dowelltown, Keltonburg, and Temperance Hall.

Zach Wamp had 390 votes in DeKalb County and carried one precinct, Edgar Evins State Park.

Joe Kirkpatrick had sixteen votes and Basil Marceaux, Sr. received fifteen votes

McWherter was unopposed for the Democratic nomination for Governor and he received 1,482 complimentary votes in DeKalb County.

Congressman Bart Gordon's successor will be either Republican Diane Black or Democrat Brett Carter.

Black and Carter won their respective primary races Thursday.

In DeKalb County, Republican voters preferred Lou Ann Zelenik, who received 490 votes followed by Diane Black with 382, Jim Tracy 352, and Dave Evans with 123. Kerry Roberts received 51 votes, Bruce McClellan 21, and Gary DeWitt Mann had 10 votes.

Meanwhile, DeKalb County Democrats gave Henry Clay Barry the nod with 446 votes followed by Brett Carter with 380 votes, and Ben Leming with 358 votes. Devora Butler had 68 votes and George Erdel 28.

Senator Mae Beavers to Face George McDonald in November General Election

August 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
George McDonald
State Senator Mae Beavers

State Senator Mae Beavers won her GOP primary fight against challengers Susan Lynn and Gordon Borck Thursday while in the Democratic Primary George McDonald of Smith County defeated Sam Hatcher and Aubrey Givens.

In DeKalb County Senator Beavers, with 923 votes, carried all sixteen precincts as well as the early voting/absentees. Lynn had 431 votes and Borck picked up 84 votes.

(Click here to see results by precinct of GOP primary http://www.wjle.com/node/11683)

McDonald, with 530 votes, carried nine of the sixteen precincts including Belk, Blue Springs, the Church of Christ Annex, Dowelltown, Elementary School, Johnson's Chapel, Keltonburg, Liberty, and Rock Casttle. He also had a majority of the early votes/absentees

(Click here to see results by precinct of the Democratic Primary http://www.wjle.com/node/11684)

Givens, with 452 votes, carried the Courthouse, Edgar Evins State Park, Middle School, and Snow Hill.

Hatcher received 417 votes and carried Alexandria, Cherry Hill, and Temperance Hall.

Senator Beavers will face McDonald in the November General Election.

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge Wins Sixth Term

August 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
Kenny Edge
Charles Robinson
Kenny Rhody
Billy Miller

Republican Road Supervisor Kenny Edge won a sixth term in the General Election Thursday beating Democratic challenger James D. (Jimmy) Sprague.

Edge carried every precinct except Snow Hill (66 to 64) and received a total of 2,204 votes (63.37%) to 1,274 (36.63%) for Sprague. Edge also carried early voting/absentees.

A total of 3,816 people voted in the Thursday elections including 2,341 on election day and 1,474 during early voting or by absentee paper ballot.

(Click here to see results by precinct. http://www.wjle.com/node/11682)

Meanwhile, in the school board races, second district member Charles L. Robinson and Incumbent Kenny Rhody in the third district were winners while Billy S. Miller won the fourth district seat.

Robinson defeated Jerry Wayne Johnson 279 votes (52.4%) to 253 (47.56%)

Rhody won with 257 votes (54.6%) beating Johnathan Willoughby who received 213 votes (45.32%).

Miller garnered 333 votes (61.9%) in his victory over Larry Redmon who polled 205 votes (38.1%)

Two other incumbent school board members ran unopposed, John David Foutch in the first district and Johnny Lattimore in the seventh district. Foutch received 378 votes and Lattimore had 286.

(Click here to see results of the school board races http://www.wjle.com/node/11690)

In the county commission races, Democratic incumbent John Green was re-elected in the fifth district and Republican Jerry Adcock also won. Green received 196 votes (26.7%) and Adcock had 190 votes (25.9%). Independent Lloyd Emmons lost the race, coming in third place with 174 votes (23.7%)and Bobby Taylor, who won the democratic nomination in May, also lost Thursday coming in fourth place with 172 votes (23.4%).

In the seventh district Democratic incumbent Larry Summers was re-elected with 234 votes (38.3%). Democrat Jimmy Poss also won with 204 votes (33.3%). Independent candidate Richard Kinsey lost, coming in third place with 172 votes (28.3%)

(Click here to see results of the county commission races http://www.wjle.com/node/11688)

Sheriff Patrick Ray led the ticket in the DeKalb County General Election with 3,017 complimentary votes followed by Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack with 2,927 votes, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen 2,840 votes, Trustee Sean Driver 2,812 votes, County Clerk Mike Clayborn 2,739 votes, and County Mayor Mike Foster with 2,607 votes. All were unopposed.

Two other candidates, Circuit Court Judge Amy V. Hollars and District Attorney General Randall A. York ran unopposed to fill unexpired terms. Hollars garnered 1,721 votes and York received 1,768 votes in DeKalb County.

Except for the fifth and seventh districts, all other county commissioners ran unopposed. Their vote totals are as follows:

First District:
Mason Carter- 328
Elmer Ellis, Jr.- 221

Second District:
Bobby Joines- 329
Jack E. Barton, III- 257

Third District:
Bradley Hendrix- 322
Jerry Scott- 246

Fourth District:
Wayne Cantrell- 341
David McDowell- 273

Sixth District:
Jeff Barnes- 274
Marshall Ferrell- 214

Meanwhile, in the Dowelltown city election, Bradley Driver, Keith Farler, and Ronald Griffith all ran unopposed for re-election as aldermen. Driver received 74 votes, Farler 67, and Griffith with 64 votes

Two Indicted for TennCare Fraud

August 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
John David Fagan
Brad Elliott Johnson
Christopher Lee Whitney

Two people named in sealed indictments by the Grand Jury have been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department as the result of an April sting operation involving TennCare fraud.

35 year old John David Fagan of Bright Hill Road Smithville and 36 year old Brad Elliott Johnson have been indicted for TennCare Fraud. Bond for each of them is $2,500 and they will appear in DeKalb County Criminal Court for arraignment on August 16th.

The indictment's allege that on or about November 16th, 2009 in the Fagan case and February 3rd, 2010 in the Johnson matter, they unlawfully committed the offense of fraudulently obtaining TennCare Medical Assistance benefits to which they were not entitled, by knowingly obtaining a controlled substance, paid for by TennCare and concealing the material fact that they planned to sell a portion of the controlled substance in violation of state law.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says these men were arrested on charges that were brought before the August Term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury on Monday by the Tennessee Inspector General's Office from Nashville. According to Sheriff Ray, these arrests resulted from an April drug sting by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. "My department has worked closely with the Inspector General's Office in Nashville since the April drug sting. We turned the defendant's names into the Inspector General to see if they were obtaining any TennCare benefits and operating an illegal drug trade at the same time. We asked the state to prosecute these individuals in whichever county the crime was committed. I truly appreciate the efforts of the Inspector General's office and look forward to assisting them in their investigations.

Sheriff Ray adds that the investigation has led to the arrest of others. "There are defendants who were arrested a few months back for TennCare Fraud in other counties in which they had obtained a prescription by a doctor in that county and/or they (defendants) got their TennCare prescriptions filled in that county. "

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony with a potential sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison.

Sheriff Ray says through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. "If you suspect anyone is using TennCare benefits illegally, you are urged to call 1-800-433-3982 toll-free or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."

More arrests are forthcoming.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 36 year old Christopher Lee Whitney of Steeplechase Drive Smithville has been arrested. He was named in a grand jury sealed indictment for Identity Theft and Filing a False Report. His bond is $20,000 and he will appear in court on August 16th for arraignment.

The indictment against Whitney alleges that between August 11th and 28th, 2008, Whitney knowingly used the personal identifying information of another, Heather Whitney with intent to commit an unlawful act, obtaining or attempting to obtain credit, goods, or services in the name of such other person, constituting the offense of identify theft in violation of state law.

The indictment further alleges that Whitney initiated a report or statement to a law enforcement officer concerning an offense or incident within the officer's concern knowing that the offense or incident did not occur, constituting the offense of making a false report in violation of state law.

Voters to Decide Primary Races for Governor and Congressional Seat

August 5, 2010
Dwayne Page

For the first time since 1984, Bart Gordon's name will not be on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 6th Congressional District. Gordon is not seeking re-election and will be stepping down when his term expires later this year.

Several candidates have lined up hoping to succeed him. Winners of Thursday's Tennessee Republican and Democratic primaries will emerge to face each other in the Tennessee General Election in November along with several Independent candidates.

Those seeking the GOP nomination for Congress in the Tennessee Republican Primary are as follows:

Diane Black
Dave Evans
Gary Dewitt Mann
Bruce McClellan
Kerry E. Roberts
Jim Tracy
Lou Ann Zelenik

Those seeking the nomination for Congress in the Tennessee Democratic Primary are as follows:

Henry Clay Barry
Devora E. Butler
Brett Carter
George T. Erdel
Ben Leming

Tennessee will also be electing a new Governor this fall.

Candidates for Governor in the Tennessee Republican Primary include:

Bill Haslam
Joe Kirkpatrick
Basil Marceaux, Sr.
Ron Ramsey
Zach Wamp

Mike McWherter is running unopposed for Governor in Thursday's Tennessee Democratic Primary.

Winners of the primaries will gear up for the general election in November along with several Independent candidates for Governor.


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