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Judge Patterson Hands Down Sentences in Criminal Court

April 8, 2009
Dwayne Page

Judge David Patterson handed down several sentences Monday in Criminal Court.

25 year old Warren Brandon Glasby pleaded guilty to vehicular assault, driving under the influence, aggravated burglary, and theft over $500.

Glasby received a total of six years on these charges, all on probation except for 48 hours to serve in the DUI case, pay a $365 fine and lose his license for one year.. This sentence will also run consecutively with another case against him. His probation will be supervised by community corrections and he must successfully complete an alcohol and drug assessment, make restitution totaling $2,100 to the victims, and pay $250 to the economic crime fund.

39 year old Walter R. Redmon pleaded guilty to three counts of theft under $500. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run concurrently with each other and with another sentence against him in the General Sessions Court.. He must serve his sentence in the county jail and pay restitution totaling $3,325 jointly and severally with a co-defendant. He was given jail credit from September 24th, 2008 until now.

25 year old Brandon Tallent pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a two year sentence, all suspended to DOC probation. The case is to run consecutive to a DeKalb County General Sessions sentence against him which he is now serving but concurrently with any other sentence. Tallent must make restitution of $50 to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, perform 100 hours of community service, and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment.

38 year old Comer Vance pleaded guilty to two counts of theft over $500, two counts of theft under $500, and shoplifting. He received a total of four years with 180 days to serve. The sentence will run consecutive to a sentence against him in Warren County. Vance will be on DOC probation supervised by community corrections. He must make restitution to the victims and make a contribution to the economic crime fund. Vance was given jail credit from September 24th to now.

Grand Jury Tours County Jail

April 8, 2009
Dwayne Page

The members of the Grand Jury were given a tour of the DeKalb County Jail Monday.

According to the brief report issued by the grand jury, "the Jail was found to be well maintained and in good working order. Sheriff Patrick Ray was very cooperative and informative. He seemed very compassionate towards the well being of the inmates and concerned with budget management."

The report was signed by all members of the DeKalb County Grand Jury and the DeKalb County Grand Jury Foreman.

Teachers Preparing for TCAP Tests

April 7, 2009
Dwayne Page

Students in grades 3-8 will be taking the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Achievement Test this month.

Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7 to 12 and Testing Coordinator, says TCAP testing is conducted each spring. "The Achievement Test is a timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Student results are reported to parents, teachers, and administrators later in the year."

"Testing dates for this year are April 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, & 22nd. This year the state allowed six consecutive school days to be used for testing instead of the usual five days which allowed our school system to have a weekend between subjects allowing students to rest between tests."

"On April 15th, we'll have Reading and Language; on April 16th, we'll have Math, and then April 17th will be a makeup test day for those two areas as well as any tests that special education students take. April 20th will be Science; April 21st, Social Studies; and April 22nd will be the final makeup test day."

"The TCAP Achievement Test includes only Criterion-Referenced items for students in grades 3 through 8 in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies."

"Criterion-Referenced items measure a student's performance according to specific standards, rather than to the performance of other test takers. The Achievement Test assesses student performance on items directly aligned with the State Curriculum Content Standards. Performance information is grouped by Reporting Categories. Each Reporting Category measures student performance on items linked to specific State Performance Indicators. The TCAP Achievement Test Reports provide information in terms of three Performance Levels: Below Proficient, Proficient, and Advanced."

"A brochure created to assist parents in understanding the reports they receive after their student has taken the TCAP Achievement Test will be sent to each parent along with specific scores."

Dr. Hendrix adds that there are specific things parents can do days before the testing to assure that the students do well. "See that your child is rested and eats a good breakfast, see that your child arrives at school on time and is relaxed, and encourage your child to do the very best possible. If your child is sick, I would send my child to school (on testing day), I'd wait until one of the make-up days. These are just some of the things parents can do to assure that their child does well on the tests."

City Leaders Urged to Re-authorize Water Fluoridation

April 7, 2009
Dwayne Page
Dr. Steven Cooper
Dr. Mitchell Tatum

It's been at least three or four years and maybe longer since the City of Smithville fluoridated it's water supply and many believe it's time the fluoride treatment was started again.

City officials say the machine that feeds the fluoride into the water system broke down a few years ago and was never repaired or replaced.

Smithville physician Dr. Steven Cooper and dentist Dr. Mitchell Tatum addressed the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen Monday night asking that the fluoridation be re-activated for the benefit of the citizens.

Dr. Cooper says fluoridation is needed "The reason I'm concerned about this is because if we're not fluoridated, then we need to make this known to the physicians in the community because, especially in well child exams, we're supposed to be supplementing fluoride, giving vitamins that contain fluoride or supplementing fluoride in areas where the water supply isn't fluoridated. Of course, I can do that and I have already given out some vitamins with fluoride supplements but I think that would penalize people who are uninsured or people who are lower income who can't afford these supplements. I would ask the board to consider voting to make sure that the fluoridation is reinstated. Water in the United States has been fluoridated since World War II and it's cut the cavity rate by 50%. It's a lot easier and cheaper to prevent a cavity than to go back and fill a bunch of cavities. As far as the costs, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says on average in the U.S. it costs about 72 cents per person per year to fluoridate. If you don't fluoridate, you double the dental costs in most communities. That's been studied. Fluoridation is very safe in the proper concentration. Obviously, too much of anything can be bad. If you eat too much salt, that could be bad for your blood pressure, too much sugar, diabetes, whatever. It's the same with fluoride. If you ingest too much it can be harmful but not in the proper concentrations, which in the city water system that would vary between .7 and 1.2 parts per million. To give you an analogy, if you equated that to distance, that would be equivalent to an inch per sixteen miles so it's a very tiny concentration and done properly it would be very safe with no adverse affects."

Dr. Tatum added that "Nearly 100 national and international organizations recognize the public health benefits of community water fluoridation in preventing cavities. Some of them are the American Dental Association, the American Dietetic Association, the World Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the CDC which has named fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century in the United States. That's just to name a few. I would also like to quote some of the past Surgeon Generals including Dr. C. Everett Koop, the Surgeon General of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He stated that fluoridation is the single most important commitment a community can make to the oral health of it's children and future generations. Dr. Audrey Manley, Acting Surgeon General from 1995 to 1997, stated that data consistently has indicated that water fluoridation is the most cost effective, practical, and safe means for reducing the occurrence of tooth decay in a community. Water fluoridation continues to be the cornerstone of community oral disease prevention. Fluoridation has been the standard and the policy of Smithville and the State of Tennessee for many years. It is not a mysterious substance. It is not an experiment. It is safe. It is cost effective and it is needed for this community. There is no credible organizations that are against it. Water fluoridation has been studied for over 50 years. It occurs naturally in our water and there has never been one study that has said that it's a health risk. That's from the CDC's website."

The aldermen voted 4-0 to have city officials research the feasibility and costs of re-implementing the fluoridation treatment, and check to see whether any state assistance is available. The issue will be revisited at the next city council meeting on April 20th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

City Attorney Says Mayor Must Re-do Appointments

April 6, 2009
Dwayne Page
Mayor and Aldermen
Mayor Taft Hendrixson

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson will have to try again if he wants to appoint Tim Stribling to the city industrial development board and Walter Burton to the Smithville Electric System Board.

The aldermen voted 4-0 Monday night to set aside those appointments after City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. issued an opinion that the mayor should have first notified the aldermen in writing of his intentions before making the appointments, according to the city charter

During the March 16th city council meeting, Mayor Hendrixson appointed Burton to fill the unexpired term of the late John Bill Evins on the Smithville Electric System Board. He also appointed Stribling as a member of the Smithville Industrial Development Board, to serve out the remaining term of his brother Leon Stribling, who recently resigned.

The aldermen, at the March 16th meeting, voted 4 to 0 to approve the appointment of Stribling. However the board was split 2 to 2 on Burton's appointment. Mayor Hendrixson cast the tie breaking vote in favor of Burton. Aldermen Steve White and Cecil Burger voted for Burton but Aldermen Tonya Sullivan and Jerry Hutchins, Sr. voted no. Alderman Willie Thomas was absent.
Alderman Sullivan, during the March 16th meeting, complained that the appointments of Stribling and Burton were not included on the agenda and that the mayor may have violated the city charter by not presenting his request in writing to the aldermen.

Both Sullivan and Mayor Hendrixson later asked City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. to render a legal opinion on whether the appointments were made properly.

Parsley, during Monday night's meeting (April 6th), said be believed the mayor should have given written notice to the board and recommended that the appointments of Stribling and Burton be set aside until written notice is given. Based on Parsley's opinion, the board voted 4-0 to set aside the appointments. Alderman Steve White was absent.

In a letter to the mayor and aldermen, Parley wrote that "After the regular March 16th, 2009 meeting with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, I was asked to give an opinion regarding the appointment of Mr. Tim Stribling to the City of Smithville Industrial Board and Mr. Walter Burton to the Smithville Electric System Board without written notification to the board."

"The Charter for the City of Smithville under Section 6 provides as follows: It shall be the duty of the Mayor, by written communications, to lay before the Board any information coming to his attention which, in his judgment, demands the consideration of said Board. It is my opinion that although the charter does not specify how that written communication should be given, the charter does require some type of written communication, be it by placing same in the minutes or a letter to the Board of Alderman. Therefore, these appointments would require some type of written notification to the board before passage."

So, the positions which would have been filled by Stribling and Burton will remain vacant for now until Mayor Hendrixson formally gives written notice to the aldermen of his appointments.

In other business, Mayor Hendrixson reported to the aldermen Monday night that the city water and sewer operation is currently operating at a deficit, mainly due to higher electricity costs, and that rate adjustments may be needed in the near future.

Mayor Hendrixson provided a monthly break down of water and sewer electric expenses from September, 2007 to February, 2009. "These are for the water intake, water plant, and sewer plant. In September 2007, the total bill for the three was $19,883. In January, 2009 it was $33,422 and in February it was $32,875. That is an increase of approximately 59% from a year and a half ago. That is causing the water and sewer operation to operate at a deficit. We have covered the deficit and have no problem doing that but the state will not let us continue operating the water system at a deficit. If we do they'll come in and set the rates for us. The water rates have not been increased since 1998. That's eleven years that the water rates have been the same. But the cost of chemicals, electricity, and everything has gone up tremendously in the last eleven years. The last time the sewer rates were increased was in 2005 and I think the state mandated that be done. I just want to make you aware that the water and sewer operation, mainly because of the electricity costs, is operating at a deficit this year. It will have to be addressed in the near future."

Under the current rate structure, City water customers pay $3.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $3.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are 50% higher.

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District is $1.85 per thousand gallons. Those rates (DUD) are evaluated annually based on cost.

City sewer customers pay the flat usage rate of $3.62 plus $3.25 per thousand gallons thereafter.

The City of Smithville has 2,344 water and 1,877 sewer customers.

Taylor Indicted in December Robbery at Sonic Drive-In

April 6, 2009
Dwayne Page
Eddie Leroy Taylor

A DeKalb County man, charged with a December 2nd robbery at the Sonic Drive-In of Smithville was indicted by the Grand Jury Monday.

42 year old Eddie Leroy Taylor of A.B. Frazier Road will appear in criminal court on the robbery indictment Monday, April 13th.

Sheriff Patrick Ray, at the time of the arrest, said that Taylor, who was dressed in camouflage and wearing a mask, attacked a 17 year old car hop who was serving a customer. Taylor allegedly grabbed the employee's money belt and threw the car hop to the ground. Taylor then dragged the employee across the concrete parking lot until the money belt broke lose causing bodily injury to the car hop. Taylor then fled with the money belt which contained approximately $75 in cash.

In addition to the robbery indictment, Taylor was also indicted on charges of burglary and theft under $500 in a separate case.

According to detectives, Taylor took a drill on December 12th belonging to a work crew doing electrical work on the First Baptist Church recreation building on Church Street in Smithville. At last report, the drill had not been recovered.

Grand Jury Indicts 39 People

April 6, 2009
Dwayne Page

The April term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury convened Monday and indicted 39 people on various charges including three people who were named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 13th at 9:00 a.m.

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Alfaro Linares-Alejandro- no drivers license, violation of the seatbelt law, and violation of the financial responsibility law

Joshua L. Batey- possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia

William A. Cantrell- possession of drug paraphernalia

Clinton L. Cope- driving under the influence, DUI per se over .08%, failure to maintain lane, and underage consumption

Donna Sue Estes- possession of drug paraphernalia

Robert Ewing Ferguson- driving under the influence, DUI per se over .20%, DUI with a child passenger, reckless endangerment, and violation of the open container law

Mark Anthony Graham- initiation of a process to manufacture meth, manufacture of a schedule II controlled substance-meth, possession of a schedule II controlled substance for sale and delivery, possession of a schedule III controlled substance for sale and delivery, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia

Jason Thomas Harris- driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, violation of the open container law, violation of the light law, and violation of the registration law

Shannon Ray Herman- criminal littering

Craig A. Hill- burglary and theft over $1,000

Johnny Michael Howard- driving under the influence (2nd offense), violation of the implied consent law, and failure to exercise due care

Eric Zachary Jarvis- forgery, criminal impersonation, obtaining drugs by fraud, and theft of services over $1,000

Brad Elliott Johnson- possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Clessie Jones- 4 counts of harassment

Edward L. Judkins, Jr.- burglary, theft over $10,000, and theft over $500

James LeDuc- 2 counts of worthless checks

Jeremy D. Loader- aggravated assault, theft over $1,000, and evading arrest with a motor vehicle

Robert Howard Mattox-aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Mitchell Merriman- 3 counts of worthless checks

Steve R. Merriman- driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

Billy Paul Mooneyham- shoplifting

Johnny D. Murphy- assault and theft under $500

Willie R. Murphy- 2 counts of assault

James Edward Pack II- domestic assault (2 counts), assault (2 counts), especially aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault

Phillip G. Parker- driving under the influence (2nd offense), DUI per se over .08%, DUI with a child passenger, underage consumption, violation of the no passing zone, and violation of the stop sign law

Kimberly A. Patterson- forgery and theft under $500

Timothy W. Patrick- possession of a schedule II controlled substance

David L. Pirtle- possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver

Nichole M. Reynolds- possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia

Amanda M. Riley- initiation of a process to manufacture meth, manufacture of a schedule II controlled substance-meth, possession of a schedule II controlled substance for sale and delivery (2 counts), possession of a schedule III controlled substance for sale and delivery, and possession of drug paraphernalia

Scott Lynn Sykes- aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, and possession of burglary tools

Eddie LeRoy Taylor- burglary, theft under $500, and robbery

Jack D. Taylor, Jr.- aggravated sexual battery

Billy Ray Thomas- attempted aggravated burglary and unlawful carrying of a weapon

Richard B. Turner- public intoxication

Jonathon R. Young- forgery (2 counts) and theft under $500 (2 counts)

Sandy Deone Wheeler- public intoxication

Three Republicans, Two Democrats Appointed to DeKalb Election Commission

April 6, 2009
Dwayne Page

A change in the makeup of the DeKalb County Election Commission, and all other election commissions in the state, was announced Monday by the Tennessee Election Commission

Takeover of the state legislature by Republicans last year made it possible under state law for county election commissions to have a GOP majority this year.

According to the Tennessee Secretary of State's website, the DeKalb County Election Commission will be made up of three Republicans, Walteen C. Parker, James F. (Jim) Dean, and Barbara J. Vanatta, and two Democrats, Nolan R.Turner and Kenneth R. Moore.

Parker, Turner, and Moore have been members of the election commission for several years but Dean and Vanatta are new members. Longtime members, Vester Parsley, Jr., a Republican, was not re-appointed and Ruth White, a Democrat, will not be returning.

The newly appointed election commission will meet soon to re-organize.

More Arrests Made by Sheriff's Department in Burglary and Theft Investigations

April 6, 2009
Dwayne Page
Robert Paul Brawley
Lindsay Lee Stribling
Robert Justin Luna
Christopher Justin Garrett

Two people were arrested last week in a burglary and theft investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 29 year old Robert Paul Brawley and 26 year old Lindsay Lee Stribling both of Felts Road, Sparta have been charged with one count of burglary, theft of utility services, theft of property over $500, theft of property over $1,000, manufacture of a schedule II drug
(methamphetamine), and possession of methamphetamine for resale.

According to Sheriff Ray, detectives of the sheriff's department executed a search warrant last Monday, March 30th at 176 Felts Road in DeKalb County, after items such as fishing gear, camping equipment, x box games, and tools totaling $1,554 in value were found in a Sparta pawn shop. These items were reported stolen from a residence on Creek Road in DeKalb County in March.

The detectives, who had probable cause to believe that more stolen items were in the Felts Road residence, served the search warrant and found an antique china set, antique mason jars, and other items valued at $650 which were stolen during a burglary of a residence in February on Big Rock Road which is off of the Keltonburg Road. While inside the residence, detectives also discovered a methamphetamine lab that was hidden in a secret compartment in the sub floor of the home, two small baggies of methamphetamine, hypodermic needles, cut straws, six bottles of iodine, stained coffee filters, a turkey baster, pseudoephedrine, funnels, muratic acid, two bottles of fuel line antifreeze, acetone, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and other items used to manufacture meth. Officials further discovered that the electrical meter to the residence had been tampered with and that the occupants of the residence were stealing electricity.

Sheriff Ray says most of the stolen items have been recovered.

Meanwhile, in other cases, deputies arrested 26 year old Courtney Ann Paris of Allen Street
Smithville last Wednesday, April 1st, for driving on a suspended license after she was stopped for
speeding. Paris was paced at 40 mph in a 20 mph zone on College Street in Smithville by the deputy. When the officer ran a computer check of Paris' license, it came back suspended for a traffic violation in Davidson County. Paris' bond was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on April 16th.

Also last Wednesday after receiving a call of an auto accident on Page Lane, Smithville, deputies arrested 38 year old Donald Earl Foster of Page Drive for a third offense of driving under the influence and a first offense of driving on a revoked driver's license. After arriving on the scene of the accident, officers saw the wrecked vehicle and witnessed Foster walking up the
road. Foster admitted to wrecking the vehicle and to drinking at least seven beers. Foster submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. His license also came up revoked
for a second offense of DUI on March 10th, 2005 in DeKalb County. Foster's bond was set at
$6,000 and he will appear in court on April 23rd.

On Thursday, April 2nd, detectives arrested 23 year old Robert Justin Luna of Joe Turner
Road, Smithville for theft of property over $1,000. Sheriff Ray says Luna stole items such as jewelry and coins from a residence on Joe Turner Road on March 30th and then pawned some of the items at pawn shops in Warren County. Luna's bond was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on April 16th. Most of the stolen items have been recovered.

Detectives arrested 18 year old Christopher Justin Garrett of Clear Creek Road, Liberty on Friday, April 3rd for theft of property over $1,000 after he stole a bumper trailer valued at $2,500 from a residence on Upper Helton Road in Alexandria in February. After the theft of the trailer, detectives were notified by the owner about a trailer that matched the description of the stolen trailer that was for sale and setting beside of the road on Highway 70 east. After an investigation, detectives traced the trailer back to Garrett, but he could not be located right away because he had moved to Mississippi. But Garrett later returned to DeKalb County and on Friday, April 3rd, he was picked up by Alexandria Police Officers and Sheriff Department Detectives at a residence on Shady Drive in Alexandria. Sheriff Ray says Garrett has admitted his involvement in the crime. Garrett's bond was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on April 16th. More arrests are pending in this case.

On Saturday, April 4th, deputies responded to an automobile accident on Highway 70 East and arrested 23 year old Juen Manuel Cervantes of Page Drive, Smithville after he was found to be driving without a license. Cervantes' bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on April 8th. Cervantes was also issued a citation for not providing any insurance information on
the vehicle.

Also on Saturday, 58 year old Sidney A. Weaver of Blackburn Fork Road, Cookeville was
arrested for driving under the influence after he was involved in an auto accident on Medley-Amonette Road in the Wolf Creek area of DeKalb County. Upon speaking with Weaver, deputies noticed an odor of alcohol on Weaver's person and Weaver was unsteady on his feet. Weaver did admit to the officers that he had been drinking liquor earlier. Weaver was also issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law after he refused a blood alcohol test. Weaver's bond was set at $1,500 and he will appear in court on April 16th.

Sheriff Ray urges anyone who may have any information concerning any crimes such
as burglaries and drugs, to call the Sheriff's Department's crime line at 464-6400. All calls are confidential.

DeKalb County Children's Service Council and Youth Council Attend State Summit Meeting

April 6, 2009

The DeKalb County Children's Service Council and their Youth Council were invited to attend the 2009 Moving Forward Graduation Summit, held in Nashville on March 18th at the Nashville Convention Center.

Those attending from the Children's Service Council were: Vonda Brown, Wanda Redmon, Grady Prichard, Clata Redmon, and the Youth Council were: Halea Brown, Dustin Brown, Jessica Goldstein, and Katie Stutts. The only other representative from DeKalb County was high school Principal Kathy Hendrix.

The representatives from DeKalb County were the only group given the opportunity to meet Gov. Phil Bredesen and have their picture made with him.

There were ten school districts invited to this summit from across the state which included DeKalb County. The goal of this statewide summit was to serve as a starting point for the process of planning local summits and implementing dropout prevention strategies that will increase graduation rates in each district. After informational sessions in the morning and a lunch keynote address from Governor Phil Bredesen, each of the ten invited school districts met separately in breakout sessions to begin discussions on the next steps and talk about how to take the information back home to implement local dropout prevention plans.

There are several grants available for DeKalb County to try to find a solution for dropout prevention. There is a $1000.00 grant to each of the ten counties represented to help with a local summit. They were encouraging that the local summit include members from the local community, such as: local organizations, businesses, industries, school system, and parents.

The youth that attended the summit agreed that it was an enlightening experience to see how problems are solved from the state down to the local level. They were very appreciative for the opportunity to be invited and attend this summit as representatives for DeKalb County.

The Children's Service Council hopes that our local school system will work with organizations, businesses, industries, parents, and any interested individuals to form a team to come up with some prevention strategies to help with the high school dropout problem here in DeKalb County.


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