66 year old Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds will soon be a free man.
Four members of the Tennessee Board of Parole have voted to release Bounds on parole. The decision was announced Monday afternoon.
Bounds has been in prison for 32 years and 8 months in the 1981 fatal shooting of 27 year old Sherman Wright of Smithville. He was tried and convicted of first degree murder later that year by a DeKalb County Circuit Court jury and sentenced to life in prison.
While parole has been granted, it may still be several weeks before Bounds is actually released from prison pending completion of a satisfactory release plan for parole supervision.
According to the Rules of the Tennessee Board of Parole "A grant of parole shall not be deemed to be effective until a certificate of parole has been delivered to the inmate, such inmate has voluntarily signed the certificate and the effective date has been reached.
"When an effective date of parole has been established by the Board, release on such date shall be conditioned upon the continued good conduct of the inmate and the completion of a satisfactory release plan for parole supervision."
Bounds came up for his fifth parole hearing almost two weeks ago on Wednesday, October 16. The hearing was held at the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville where Bounds is incarcerated.
Two members of the Tennessee Board of Parole present for the hearing took different views on whether Bounds should be paroled. Board member Tim Gobble voted to deny parole for another year due to the seriousness of the offense. Board member Patsy Bruce voted to grant parole.
After the hearing, Bounds' file was sent to the other members of the Tennessee Board of Parole. They reviewed the case and cast their votes. The voting continued until there were four concurring votes. In this case, four members concurred in granting Bounds parole.
A new open air stage under construction downtown will soon be completed and available to showcase a variety of community entertainment events.
"It's coming along beautifully," said Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce. "We still need to get the cedar shakes on the roof. We've still got to get the electricity going and add safety railings and beautiful wide stone steps on the front but we're getting close. We hope to have a big celebration in the spring to let everybody see it and enjoy it. We're really looking forward to that," she said.
The open-air stage, located in Evins' Park begin the Smithville City Hall, is part of an effort by the Tennessee Downtowns Program Steering Committee to help revitalize downtown, Smithville.
In December, 2010, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced that Smithville was among 12 communities selected to participate in Tennessee Downtowns, a competitive community improvement program for cities and counties seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts. Smithville was among several Tennessee communities with central business districts at least 50 years old which were eligible to apply for a downtown revitalization package. Mini-grants were also made available to local downtown business owners who wanted to join in the effort.
A total of sixteen Smithville building owners were awarded $500 in mini-grants by the committee for investing a minimum of $1,000 in exterior improvements to their buildings.
"I applied for the Tennessee Downtowns Program and we got accepted into that," said Williams. "After we went through about a year of being trained and meeting all these different requirements, I was allowed to apply for a $15,000 grant which we got. We used $8,000 of it to do the mini-grants downtown. We had sixteen businesses or property owners that applied and if they made at least $1,000 improvements to the outside of their buildings we gave them $500 back. That went really good. With the $7,000 we had left, we invested in this open air stage which actually has become more beautiful than we imagined," said Williams.
While the project has benefitted from generous donations, Williams said more money will be needed to finish it. "Gaius Overton, who is married to Mary Evins (daughter of the late Congressman Joe L. Evins), is an architect so he made us two models and didn't charge us a thing for that. We picked the one we liked and we've been working on it ever since. The Smithville Rotary Club gave us an extra $1,000 and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Project Hometown Help gave us another $1,500. I've still got to raise a little bit more money to finish it out," she said.
"It'll totally be available for public use. We look forward to having all kinds of art and music events and outdoor concerts once it's finished," said Williams.
Members of the Tennessee Downtowns Program Committee are Steve White, chair; Wade Smith, Alan Webb, and Mark Ashburn.
The Sheriff's Department arrested a man last week in the recent burglary of an outbuilding on East Broad Street.
43 year old Richard Scott Adams of Redman Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000 and introduction of contraband in a penal institution. His bond totals $15,000 and he will be in court October 31.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, October 10 Adams allegedly took two tillers, a leaf blower, a John Deere riding mower, and a trailer from an out building on East Broad Street. The items were valued at more than $1,000. After an investigation, Adams was arrested on Monday, October 21.
Upon being brought to the jail, correctional officers conducted a search of Adams and found in his sock a syringe and a white powdery substance (cocaine).
56 year old James Waylon Kyle of Temperance Hall Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel. Bond for Kyle is $2,500 and he will be in court November 7.
Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, October 26 Kyle was operating a motor vehicle on Sparta Highway. Kyle repeatedly left his lane of travel. A deputy stopped Kyle and detected a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Kyle was also unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Kyle submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. Kyle further submitted to a blood alcohol test. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.
43 year old Timothy Eugene Panter of Kendra Drive, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued citations for failure to maintain his lane of travel and for violation of the implied consent law. Panter's bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on November 7.
Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, October 27 a deputy saw a Dodge pickup truck on Sparta Highway leaving its lane of travel several times. The truck crossed into the officer's lane of travel nearly hitting the patrol car. The deputy stopped the truck and spoke to the driver, Panter who had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were bloodshot and he was very unsteady on his feet. Panter performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks but he refused to submit to a blood test. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department has issued a few safety tips to parents for the upcoming Halloween night.
With Halloween falling this year on Thursday, Sheriff Patrick Ray wants to help parents ensure their children’s costumes and trick-or-treating activities are safe.
“We want everyone to have a good time and be safe” said Sheriff Ray.
Sheriff Ray encourages everyone to make sure all costumes are fireproof, have eye holes large enough to allow good peripheral vision, and won’t make the wearer of the costume trip. Costumes also should have bright colors or reflective tape so they can be seen at night.
Potentially dangerous props such as knives or pitchforks should have smooth, flexible tips so they can’t cause injuries.
All younger children should be accompanied by an adult. Older children should have a set route they are to take and a set time they should return home.
Children should trick or treat in well-lit areas. Trick-or-treaters should only stop at familiar houses in their own neighborhoods, and know they should never enter into a stranger’s home nor ever should enter into a stranger’s vehicle.
Because of a heavier volume of traffic, everyone should carry a flashlight or glow stick or have reflective tape on their costumes so they can be seen by motorists. They should also walk on the left side of the street, facing traffic. Always remember to walk and never run from house to house. Sheriff Ray also urges all motorists to be aware of children who may be more likely to dart out from between parked cars or be walking on roadways and curbs. Enter and exit from driveways and alleys carefully, and watch for children who may be wearing dark clothing and be more difficult to see.
"We also encourage adults to examine all treats that children bring in before they eat them.” Sheriff Ray advises.
If you are wanting to participate in Halloween and have visitors to come to your residence, you should leave a porch light or flood light on so your visitors can see. You also need to remove leaves and other items such as hosepipes, lawn furniture, and yard decorations from your sidewalk so no one will trip or fall.
Also remember to move your pets away from your visitor’s paths so when they are entering or leaving your home, your pet and the visitor will be safe.
Talk to your children the differences in “tricks” and “vandalism.” Sheriff Ray says “I will have extra Deputies on shift again this year to ensure the public’s safety. We will be on the lookout for anyone vandalizing property. This will include egging and reckless burning of items. Anyone that experiences any trouble is urged to call the Central Dispatch at 215-3000.
Infinity Athletics Tiny Level 1 team, the Storm, competed in their first competition Saturday at Nashville Municipal Auditorium and came in 3rd place. Pictured: Mila Hayes, Addison Murphy, Leah Trapp, Taylor White, and Bryleigh Teachout. Coached by Callie Gash
Infinity Athletics Youth Level 1 team, the Strikers, competed in their first competition at Nashville Municipal Auditorium and finished in 3rd place. Pictured are: Maggie Felton, Sadie West, Alley Sykes, Katherine Malone, Braelyn Teachout, Addison Miller, Peyton Norris, Carlee West, Hannah Trapp, Ellie Vaughn, Natalie Snipes, and Addison Roller. Coached by Callie Gash and Jennifer Sykes
Starting in the spring of 2015, anyone applying for new phone service in DeKalb County or elsewhere in middle Tennessee can expect to get a new area code once the availability of (615) area code numbers is exhausted.
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority announced Thursday plans to implement the new (629) area code.
On Monday afternoon, the TRA voted to approve an overlay plan, which means anyone getting new phone service, cell, or landline will be given the new designated (629) area code after the existing numbers run out. Under the Overlay option, all current (615) numbers would remain but could require 10-digit dialing for local calls within the (615) as well as the new (629) area code. Phone calls that are currently treated as local calls will remain as local calls and calls that are treated as long distance calls will remain as long distance calls.
"The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) notified the TRA in October of 2010 that the 615 Area Code would be exhausted in the near future," said Craig Gates, Chief Executive Officer of DTC Communications. " In May of this year the TRA set up information on the TRA website to let people know what was happening and they also set up a survey for people to participate in. The survey was conducted and 83.2% of those surveyed wanted the overlay and that is how they (TRA) agreed to allow the overlay to take place versus doing an actual Area Code Split. An area code split last done on (615) was when the area code 931 was created, on September 15, 1997," he said.
"The TRA decision to go to an overlay instead of an area code split is the best thing that could have happened for DTC customers," said Gates in a phone statement to WJLE Friday. "We won't have to change our home or business phone numbers that we currently have. We will have to change our dialing pattern a little. Given this change, it will be a lot like dialing with the cell phone today, but better than losing the (615) area code. We will be doing a lot of customer education to explain any of the changes necessary over the next year to fifteen months. We have plenty of time to get ready for the new overlay of (629) in the (615) area code," said Gates.
According to media reports, phone companies have until July to make their networks overlay ready.
Customers will then have seven months to try it out, using ten digits to dial, before the full change goes into effect. During the same time period, phone companies will be given the same amount of time to work out any problems.
The Smithville Beer Board Thursday night voted to grant conditional approval for an off premises permit to a Murfreesboro man who is opening a business on East Broad Street next to Los Lobos.
The store, to be called T&B Market, is not yet open. The owner will have to show proof that he meets the $25,000 inventory requirement before he is to be issued the beer permit.
"We have a beer permit application from Mr. Markos Malak at 102 East Broad Street, which is right next to Los Lobos where the computer store was. Mr. (Randy) Paris is the owner of that building. Actually what we're looking at is issuing a permit contingent on (Malak) issuing the city a valid notarized certified inventory of $25,000. He meets all other requirements but we will do a background check," said City Recorder Hunter Hendrixson, who presided over the beer board meeting.
The city beer ordinance states that "Before a beer permit is issued to any applicant, he or she must show proof of ownership of $25,000 in grocery stock, excluding all tobacco products, gasoline, petroleum products, antifreezes, and beer."
The Smithville Beer Board members are Annette Greek, Steve Hays, Farron Hendrix, Lloyd Black, and Alderman Danny Washer.
The On The Way Convenience Market at 736 South Congress Boulevard is prohibited from selling beer for ninety days.
Following a brief hearing, the Smithville Beer Board Thursday night found the beer permit holder, Bindyia, Inc. in violation of the city's beer ordinance for the sale of alcohol to a minor and voted to suspend the license for ninety days.
Board members Annette Greek, Steve Hays, Farron Hendrix, Danny Washer, and Lloyd Black all voted in favor of the suspension. City Recorder Hunter Hendrixson and City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. were also present.
The suspension takes effect immediately. Hendrixson said he will remove the beer permit from the store on Friday morning.
The board heard from Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes of the Smithville Police Department, who was sworn under oath and questioned by city attorney Parsley. No one from the store attended the meeting.
(PLAY VIDEO BELOW OF WJLE'S EXCLUSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE OF BEER BOARD MEETING)
Acting on numerous public complaints of possible illegal beer sales to minors, Lieutenant Holmes said the Smithville Police Department conducted an investigation in August targeting all eleven stores in the city licensed to sell beer for consumption off the premises.
Only one arrest was made. 19 year old Danielle Owens, a store clerk at On The Way market was charged with the misdemeanor offense of selling alcohol to a minor. She will make a court appearance in November.
The investigation was conducted by Lieutenant Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell. A 20 year old officer from another county, in plain clothes, attempted to make a beer purchase from each store.
In all but one case, the store clerks refused to make the beer sales to the undercover officer after checking his ID and using an age chart to verify his age. He was denied the sale and told he was too young to buy beer.
The exception was with Owens at On the Way market. "Upon stopping at On the Way, the undercover person advised that the clerk checked his ID and then accepted his ten dollar bill and made the transaction for the alcohol, giving him $3.65 in change," said Lieutenant Holmes in a previous statement to WJLE. "A short time later the suspect (store clerk) was identified as 19 year old Danielle Owens. Warrants were taken and she was located at her home at 520 Miller Road. Owens was arrested and charged with selling alcohol to a minor," added Lieutenant Holmes.
Police made contact with the store owner and the ten dollar bill used to purchase the alcohol was found in the cash register. Identification of the bill was confirmed by checking the serial numbers.
The city's beer ordinance states that "It shall be unlawful for any beer permit holder to make or allow any sale of beer to a minor under twenty one years of age."
The beer ordinance further provides that "Under the finding of any violation of the beer permit holder, the punishment for the first offense shall be a minimum suspension of the beer permit for a period of 90 days. Upon any permit holder committing a violation a second time, the punishment shall be the revocation of the beer license."
(Beer Board members pictured above are: Standing left to right: Alderman Danny Washer and Lloyd Black. Seated left to right: Annette Greek, Steve Hays, and Farron Hendrix)
Applications will be available for the 18th Annual Angel Tree Project from Monday, October 28th through Friday, November 1st.
Spokesperson Laura Stone said that the application turn in date has been set for one day only. "Applications can be picked up October 28th through November 1st. You will continue to pick up your applications at the Department of Human Services, but the application must be returned in person the following week to the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center," she said.
"Completed applications will have to be returned to the First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center Building in downtown Smithville (on the corner across from First Baptist) on Monday, November 4th from 9am to 8pm. Applications not returned to the Church LEC Building on this day WILL NOT be accepted. There are no exceptions to the requirements of the application process. It is very important that you understand we will only accept applications this one day only," said Stone.
"Applications can only be picked up at the Department of Human Services on October 28th through November 1st and can only be returned to the Church LEC Building on November 4th. In addition to bringing the completed application, applicants must provide photo identification of the person applying and social security cards and birth certificates for ALL children listed on the application. We will only be keeping the application; all other documents will be returned to the applicant. If an applicant cannot appear in person, their application can be submitted by a family member as long as all of the required information is presented." Stone continued.
"Eligible children must live in DeKalb County and be no older than age 12 by December 25, 2013. The Department of Human Services will only be passing out the applications. Nothing will be returned to them and any questions should be directed to Laura Stone at 615-464-7135". DO NOT contact DHS or anyone at the LEC pickup location under any circumstances; you may jeopardize your application," she said.
Stone adds that "the Angel Tree has been such a tremendous success in the past and with economic times extremely tough for many in our area, we want this years Angel Tree to be no exception. The Angel Tree helps so many families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is sad to think about, but many of these children would not otherwise have a single present for Christmas. With the economy still struggling, we are expecting demand to be high."
The Smithville Rotary Club will join with more than 32,000 Rotary clubs around the world Thursday, October 24 in the celebration of World Polio Day. Rotary International has been involved with other world health organizations (WHOs) for over thirty years in attempting to eradicate polio around the world. The effort has been successful in immunizing children against polio in all but two countries around the world but further efforts must continue.
In 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recognized Rotary's passion and support for polio eradication and entered into a partnership to eliminate polio. Initially, the Gates Foundation gave the Rotary Foundation a $100 million challenge grant which matched two-to-one for every dollar that Rotarians raised and increased the grant in 2009 to $355 million. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funding by June 30, 2012 but actually, Rotarians raised $228.7 million.
World Polio Day begins a bold chapter in the partnership between the Rotary and the Gates Foundation in their continuing support of the worldwide campaign to eradicate polio. As announced at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this year, the Gates Foundation will match two-to-one, up to $35 million per year, every dollar commits to reduce the funding shortfall for polio eradication through 2018.
This continuing effort, called "End Polio Now-Make History Today," comes during a critical phase for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which includes most WHOs. The estimated cost of the initiative's 2013-2018 program is $5.5 billion. Funding commitments announced at the Global Vaccine Summit last April totaled $4 billion. The Rotary/Gates Foundation fund raising can reduce or eliminate this deficit.
Your Smithville Rotary Club asks for our community's support in doing our part to stamp out polio "once and for all". If you wish to support this cause, contributions may be made to the "Rotary Foundation" or "Smithville Rotary Club" and be dropped off at the Smithville Review or First Bank. Let's make a difference.