Local News Articles

Walk Across Tennessee Contest to Kick-Off March 20

March 7, 2014
April Martin
April Martin

Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health, yet nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting the activity they need. Consider taking up walking with friends or your family by participating in Walk Across Tennessee, which is an eight-week program that will spark some friendly competitions in DeKalb County. The event is being conducted by the University of Tennessee Extension office in partnership with DeKalb Community Hospital. Beginning Thursday, March 20th teams of eight will compete to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging, biking, and other forms of exercise in their community. Biking or jogging teams can have a team of four. The miles walked are not literally across the state, but reported on a map posted at the UT Extension Office, Greenbrook Park, Smithville Review and online.

Since everyone participates in a variety of sports, the Walk Across Tennessee program also has an exercise conversion chart so that participants can count aerobics, swimming, weight lifting, etc. For example, 16 minutes of high intensity aerobics would equal one mile. To make the contest more fair participants are not allowed to count any exercise done while on the job.

The Walk Across Tennessee kickoff for DeKalb County is set for Thursday, March 20 at the University of Tennessee Extension Office at 6:30 PM. “Teams will keep track of their miles, which will be posted in the Extension office, Greenbrook park, Smithville review, and online. Teams can be composed of coworkers, teachers, students, neighbors, etc. This is an excellent team competition for the workplace, neighborhoods, and families” said April Martin, DeKalb County Extension Agent. For general reporting purposes, 20 minutes will equal one mile.”

According to Martin, “There will be cash and other prizes for the winning teams and individuals. There is a small $10 registration fee for each team member. At least half of each team should be residents of DeKalb County to participate.”

To participate in Walk Across Tennessee, first get a team together. Biking and jogging teams are limited to four people. Choose a team captain and name your team. Team captains need to download up a captain’s packet, available at the UT Extension of DeKalb County website at http://dekalb.tennessee.edu., at the DeKalb County UT Extension Office or County Complex located at 722 South Congress Blvd. in Smithville. Packets will also be available the day of the sign up on March 20.
Each team member will need to complete a registration form which is included in the team captain’s packet or online. Individual as well as team forms should be returned to the Extension office. Cash awards and prizes will be given to the individuals who walk the most miles as well as the team who walks the most miles.

For more information, call the Extension office at 597-4945 or visit the website.

All of the programs of the University of Tennessee are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability. .

Schools Represent County at Annual BETA Convention (SEE VIDEO HERE)

March 6, 2014
Shan Burklow
DeKalb Middle School Students performed a scene from ‘Babes in Toyland’
DMS Living Literature participants show their thanks to sponsor DeKalb Community Hospital
DeKalb County High School Beta students performed a scene from ‘Pretty Little Liars’
: 92 students from DeKalb Middle School gather on the grand staircase at the Opryland Hotel
Shauna Pedroza student at dms entered her black & white photograph in the state competition
Student Marshal Evins entered his sketch in Beta competition
Student Parker Gassaway entered his color photography in the junior beta competition
Student Jaynee Angaran entered ink category with her art work for state convention.
Kayla Belk of DeKalb Middle School placed 4th place in the Beta Statewide Spelling Competition.
Wesley Carpenter and Derek Young as Blues Brothers

The Annual BETA Convention and Junior BETA Convention was held at Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN on March 2nd-4th. Well over 100 students from DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb West School and DeKalb County High School attended the three day convention which included over 8,000 students from across the state. The convention is a time for high achieving students from all across Tennessee to come together and compete in a variety of categories in order to express their various talents. It could be coined as an academic bowl for many. However, other talents are expressed through music, arts, crafts, and literature. DeKalb students are required to have an “A” average in order to be a member of this club. DeKalb Middle School was well represented at the convention with 92 members in attendance. This academic club is led by Lori Hendrix, Lisa Norton and Tonya Sullivan.

“It is evident that DeKalb Middle School puts academics and achievement as a top priority, as our students have excelled each year earning our club a spotlight on the Beta radar”, said Randy Jennings, principal of DeKalb Middle School, “We were notified that DeKalb Middle School BETA Club has received the National BETA Club School of Distinction Honor. I am very proud of our students and the hard work and dedication that they devote to academics. We have set the standards for BETA Club membership high so that it is an honor to become a member and remain in good standing. I would also like to thank Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Hendrix and Mrs. Norton for taking the time to sponsor the Beta Club. The parent support is phenomenal, as approximately twenty parents attended the conference to show their commitment to education. DeKalb Community Hospital also sponsored our group of young, talented students in the area of Living Literature with financial, as well as, hands on support. Support from the community and parents speak loudly to our students. They love knowing that their parents, school board members, director of schools, principals, teachers, and community recognize their academic achievement.”

“We are proud to support students in DeKalb County that go above and beyond what’s expected of them,” said Shan Burklow- Marketing Director of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, “These students are motivated to work hard, keep great grades, all while preparing weeks in advance for various academic competitions and demonstrations. These kids are our future. We are honored to help them reach their goals.”

Teacher Tonya Sullivan agrees, “Students at DeKalb Middle School are making great things happen during a time where huge demands are being placed on them with curriculum changes and more rigorous class work is required. Our students never cease to amaze me with their commitment to education! Education is demanding much of them, and DMS students are delivering! The convention is a time for these kids to be exposed to other talented young men and women. Being in the presence of approximately 8000 other high achieving students could be intimidating, but not for our students. Some step on the stage and perform with ease! I have found that no challenge is too big or too small for our students! I am honored to be a part of DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta.”

Teacher Lori Hendrix adds, “I want to thank those that made this trip possible. There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes that makes this a great experience for the students. I continue to have great support from Tonya Sullivan and Lisa Norton as they help with this club year after year. I am overwhelmed with the parental support that this academic club receives. Our parents give of their time freely and are always willing to assist with chaperoning or whatever needs to be done! We are blessed to have such strong support. The students recognize that this is a great opportunity! The school is well represented by our students who have displayed excellent behavior each year. It takes everyone involved to be successful! Thank you DeKalb Middle School Students for representing our school well with making your academics top priority.”
The following students participated in competitions:

Talent: Derek Young & Wesley Carpenter- Performed in front of thousands as they rocked a hit single from the Blues Brothers!

Living Literature: (DeKalb Community Hospital sponsored) Team members: Emily Burklow, Amelia Patterson, Kyle Justice, Taylor Reeder, Hannah Brown, Kristena Bain, Catherine Caplinger, Jaynee Angaran, Kayla Belk, Madison Judkins, and Haley Martin.


Quiz Bowl-Ethan Cantrell, Tyree Cripps, and Ami Patel

Battle of the Books-Maggie Robinson, Ethan Jenkins, and Braya Murphy

Essay- Madison Cantrell

Math-Thomas Webb

Spelling- Kayla Belk (4th Place)

Technology- Ealy Gassaway, Lance Davis, and Alec Reynolds

Science- Kelsie Merriman

Social Studies-Colter Norris

Language Arts- Abby Evans

Tower of Power- Allyson Maynard, Luke Bryant, Issac Walker, Kaitlynn Cantrell and Andrew Fuson

The following artists won local competition and competed at the convention:

Color Photography- Parker Gassaway

Sketch-Marshal Evins

Sketch (Ink) Jaynee Angaran

Wood Working- Will Stephens, Tanner Poss, and Noah Martin

Jewlery- Seth Pack

T-Shirt design- Aizley Turner, Ashley Phillips, Megan Redmon, Ann Rachel Blair, Robin Pafford,

Dulce Maciel, Faith Judkins, and Matthew Agee

Sketch - Logan Painter Austin Johnson, Bella Perez, Hunter Jennings, Jacob Freeman,
Luke Oliver, and Ethan Jennings,

Color Photography & Black /White Photography (Competed at local level & winners went on to convention)
Faedra Burns, Shauna Pedroza, Leslie Hembree, Hailey Redmon, Bella Perez, Emily Gillenwater, Deann Nipper, Brooklyn Wilson, Trey Jones, Joni Robinson, Catherine Caplinger, Sophie Cripps , Maddison Parley, Hannah Anderson, Kaitlyn Bain, Madison Mick, Olivia Fuson, Jessica Davidson, Emily Brucker, Rebecca Gray, Malone Fletcher, and Trey Fuston.

Pictured: DeKalb Middle School Students performed a scene from ‘Babes in Toyland’ during the Living Literature Competition. Thousands of spectators visited Opryland from across the state to view this popular evening event. Students must recreate a ‘frozen’ scene from their favorite book or play. (from left to right) Kristena Bain, Taylor Reeder, Hannah Brown, Emily Burklow, Kyle Justice, and Amelia Patterson.

Pictured: DMS Living Literature participants show their thanks to sponsor DeKalb Community Hospital (back row) Director Shan Burklow, Hayley Martin, Kayla Belk, Kyle Justice, Taylor Reeder, Amelia Patterson, Catherine Caplinger, Jaynee Angaran (front row) Hannah Brown, Emily Burklow, Kristena Bain and Madison Judkins.

Pictured: DeKalb County High School Beta students performed a scene from ‘Pretty Little Liars’ during the Living Literature Competition.

Pictured: 92 students from DeKalb Middle School gather on the grand staircase at the Opryland Hotel to celebrate their time together at the BETA Convention.

Pictured: Shauna Pedroza student at dms entered her black & white photograph in the state competition

Pictured: Student Marshal Evins entered his sketch in Beta competition

Pictured: Student Parker Gassaway entered his color photography in the junior beta competition

Pictured: Student Jaynee Angaran entered ink category with her art work for state convention

Pictured: Kayla Belk of DeKalb Middle School placed 4th place in the Beta Statewide Spelling Competition.

Pictured: Wesley Caplinger and Derek Young as Blues Brothers

Meth Defendants Sentenced in Criminal Court

March 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Anthony Mason Adcock
Tammi Faye Adams
Rhonda King
Steven Gandy
 Matthew Baker
Sherry K. Malone
Brandon Gurley

Several people facing methamphetamine related charges appeared for sentencing in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Friday, February 21.

Judge David Patterson presided.

44 year old Anthony Mason Adcock pled guilty to one count of initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. He received a ten year TDOC sentence, suspended to 294 days of time served with the balance on supervised probation. The term is to run concurrently with a sentence against him in a Wilson County General Sessions Court case. Other charges against him in the indictment locally were dismissed. His probation is to be supervised by TDOC. He was fined $2,000 and he is to forfeit two-22 caliber pistols and video surveillance equipment.

43 year old Tammi Faye Adams pled guilty to initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. She received an eight year sentence but was given credit for 156 days of time served. The remainder of the sentence has been suspended to probation. All other counts against her have been dismissed.

Adcock's arrest on May 2, 2013 came as the result of a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff's Department. Adams was also arrested that day along with 34 year old Shawn Bradley Patton, who was picked up for violation of parole.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said “We were able to get a search warrant on Adcock’s residence after an investigation into the illegal sale of weapons. Adcock is a convicted felon and cannot possess, buy, sell, or trade on any firearms of any kind. When we arrived at his Old Mill Hill Road address (May 2, 2013) Adcock, Adams, Patton, and three other individuals were there. While conducting the search warrant we found a .22 caliber pistol in his residence and ammunition. During the search we also found marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia such as pipes, plastic grow trays, marijuana seeds, and over 30 small marijuana plants that Adcock had growing in a plastic tote. My Department and I stopped the search and my drug detectives and I went back to the jail and obtained yet another search warrant for the marijuana, the paraphernalia, and any other controlled drugs. When we executed that search warrant for the drugs not only did we find items to manufacture marijuana with, we also found items that are consistent in the manufacture of methamphetamine such as tubing, coffee filters, turkey basters, ammonium nitrate, drain cleaner, and acid in a 20 oz soda bottle," said Sheriff Ray.

At the time of his arrest Adcock’s money, an outside security system, and car were seized and the residence was quarantined due to the meth lab discovery.

32 year old Rhonda King pled guilty to initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. She received an eight year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She was fined $2,000. King was given jail credit of 33 days.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday July 11 a detective of the sheriff's department stopped a pickup truck in Dowelltown for a traffic violation. The truck, driven by King, turned west onto Highway 70 from West Main Street without stopping at a stop sign. Bradley Pugh was a passenger. After making the stop, the detective saw a straw in the console. Pugh, who is on probation, was searched and under his seat a metal container was found which held scales and methamphetamine. The rest of the vehicle was searched and found were several components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine including lithium batteries, drain opener, coffee grinder, ph strips, rock salt, empty blister packs, cut lithium batteries, used lithium strips, and a one pot plastic bottle.

After the truck was searched, Pugh gave consent for the detective to search his home, according to Sheriff Ray. The detective accompanied Pugh and King to the Dowelltown residence. At the home was King's thirteen year old son. The detective also found two one pot bottles along with a twenty pound bag of ammonium nitrate, one gallon of muriatic acid, liquid drain opener, and a gasser. Pugh and King were arrested and brought to the jail for booking. Pugh has already been sentenced in the case.

32 year old Steven Gandy pled guilty to initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. He received an eight year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000. Gandy was given jail credit of 34 days.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, August 29 a caretaker at a residence on Short Mountain Highway entered the home and found components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Gandy then arrived at the home, went inside, and attempted to hide the components. A drug detective of the sheriff's department made an investigation. The homeowner gave the detective consent to search and found were items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine including 2- one pot cook bottles, mason jars containing a bi-layered liquid; two gasser bottles, two funnels, coffee filters, plastic tubing, two bottles of crystal drain cleaner, along with other items associated with the manufacture of meth. Gandy was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

31 year old Matthew Baker pled guilty to promotion of methamphetamine and received a three year suspended sentence. He was fined $2,000. The term is to run consecutive to a sentence he is now serving. He was given jail credit of seventy two days.

Sheriff Ray said Baker was picked up at his home on Thursday, May 9, 2013 on an outstanding state warrant against him for a violation of probation. Baker was found in his bedroom along with a bowl which contained a powdery substance believed to be meth and a plate with a powdery substance thought to be hydrocodone. Three straws, two knives, and aluminum foil containing a residue from a powdery substance were also recovered.

Meanwhile on Friday, May 10, 2013 authorities listened to a recorded telephone conversation from the jail between Baker and his wife and heard them talking about having hidden meth lab components in their house and barn. A drug detective later received consent from Mrs. Baker to search her home and there he found drain cleaner, muriatic acid, Coleman fuel, acitone, propane tanks, coffee filters, cold packs, ammonium nitrate, and several other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine along with some finished product. Inside a child's bedroom, the detective found about a half gram of methamphetamine in a child's coat pocket. Mrs. Baker admitted to knowing the items were on the property and that she tried to hide them. Matthew Baker told investigators that these items belonged to him.

35 year old Sherry K. Malone pled guilty to attempted initiation of a process to manufacture meth. She received a six year sentence but was released with time served. She was fined $2,000. Malone will be on probation for the balance of her sentence, She was given jail credit of almost six months from August 7, 2013 to February 21, 2014.

Malone was one of five people arrested by the Sheriff's Department on drug charges after a detective found a meth lab at a Smithville residence last summer.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, August 6 a drug detective went to the residence for a knock and talk. After receiving consent from the resident and homeowner to do a search, the detective found a one liter cook bottle, a 20 ounce bottle containing a bi-layered liquid, two lithium batteries, a bag of white powder believed to be Pseudoephedrine weighing 29 grams, 12 hypodermic needles, a visine bottle containing acid, and several other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

According to Sheriff Ray, Malone admitted to the detective that the meth making components found belonged to her. The others were charged because they were in the same room where the items were located.

31 year old Brandon Gurley pled guilty to initiation of a process to manufacture meth. He received an eight year sentence to serve at 30% before his release eligibility date. He was fined $2,000.

Gurley was among thirty three people named in sealed indictments by a special called session of the grand jury in August 3013 after a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff's Department into the illegal sale of narcotics and other crimes committed in DeKalb County

City Deeds Property to County for Solid Waste Transfer Station

March 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen
Members of Smithville Industrial Development Board and Mayor Jimmy Poss
County Mayor Mike Foster and members of County Commission (Older Photo)

Thanks to the Smithville Industrial Development Board and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the county is a step closer to developing a solid waste transfer station and recycling center, which could be operational by fall.

During its regular monthly meeting Monday night, the Smithville Aldermen voted to deed to the county some property in the Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco for the development of the transfer station. Surveys are to be done but city and county officials said the site includes about five to seven acres of useable property. The industrial development board deeded the property to the city at no cost knowing that the city would deed it to the county at no cost for this purpose.

According to County Mayor Mike Foster, the county will fund the cost of extending a road that currently dead ends by Tenneco in the industrial park. The road will then make a right turn and extend toward the transfer station, which will be on the back corner several hundred yards behind Tenneco. "Working with the city and the Industrial Development Board, we've been able to acquire that property and in exchange for that we're (county) going to build the road into their property. We've agreed to dig out the top soil and put in the gravel and get it ready to pave, then we're going to apply for a fast track grant and hopefully get that to help pave it for the city and everybody who uses it," said County Mayor Foster in an interview with WJLE Wednesday.

The existing Class I landfill, located off Billings Road in the eastern portion of the county, will soon be full. Foster said he is hopeful that the transfer station can be opened and the landfill closed by this fall. " The county is wanting to get out of the Class I landfill business because of the environmental liability and its costly the way you have to do things. You have to line it (cell) with 60 mil plastic and put a 60 mil plastic over the top," said Foster.

Although it's not a landfill, the transfer station would be a gathering point for household solid waste. The garbage would be brought in by trucks, dumped inside a building, immediately loaded onto semi-trucks and then hauled away to another county willing to contract with DeKalb County to accept it. "One of the good things about it is that there is very little leachate that comes out of that (garbage) but whatever there is will go into the city sewer system. There is a sewer line there we can hook to without having to haul it (leachate) that is such a problem," said Foster. The county currently has to haul leachate from the landfill by trucks for treatment and disposal at the city waste water treatment plant. Leachate is a liquid that moves through or drains from the landfill or a garbage collection site.

Another advantage is that the transfer station would be centrally located in the county and both the city and county would save fuel costs. " Its a win, win because the city will no longer have to haul their garbage to the landfill, ten or eleven miles each way and we won't either," said Foster. "The garbage will come in, just the household garbage. It will come in, be loaded on a semi and hauled out of the county and disposed of either in Smith County or Murfreesboro," he said.

While the Class I landfill will be closing, the county will maintain a Class III/IV landfill next to the existing site for non-household solid waste. " We will still have a Class III/IV cell on the property adjoining where we are now that is owned by the county. It would be for construction debris, brush, or anything but household garbage. To develop the Class III/IV cell, we will have to dig it out and then pack it with clay to get a liner in there. But we won't have to put a plastic liner in that (cell) and we won't have to put a plastic liner on top of it. The estimates from the engineers are that it (Class III/IV landfill) would last us forty to fifty years," said Foster.

Like all the previous landfills, the county will have to meet state and federal post closure regulations for up to 30 years after the existing Class I landfill closes. Under post closure standards, operators of Class I landfills are required to continue monitoring and maintaining the site once its closed to protect against leaks or other hazards that would pose a threat to the environment.

According to Foster, the county has sufficient funding available to develop the transfer station and recycling center, close the existing Class I landfill, and start a new Class III/IV landfill cell for non-household garbage. " We started putting our depreciation and post closure money into a fund several years ago and we've got enough now to close the cell, build a III/IV cell and build the transfer station without having to borrow any money," he said.

Foster expressed his thanks to the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen and members of the Industrial Development Board for their support. "I'm very thankful to the city and industrial board for helping us with this. We can make it (solid waste operation) much better for them and us and for the people in the county without that environmental liability," he said.

(TOP PHOTO: Aldermen Jason Murphy, Tim Stribling, Mayor Jimmy Poss, and Aldermen Josh Miller, Shawn Jacobs, and Danny Washer)

(MIDDLE PHOTO: Smithville Industrial Board Chairman Walter Burton, Industrial Board member Tim Stribling, and Mayor Jimmy Poss. Industrial Board members not pictured: Richard Judkins, Tom Grooms, Alan Webb, Wesley James, and John Robert Nixon)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: FRONT ROW: County Commissioners: Bradley Hendrix, Elmer Ellis, Jr. Jimmy Poss, Jerry Adcock, former county commissioner John Green, and Bobby Joines. BACK ROW: County Mayor Mike Foster and County Commissioners Mason Carter, David McDowell, Larry Summers, Jerry Scott, Jeff Barnes, Wayne Cantrell, and Marshall Ferrell. Not Pictured: Rick Cantrell, who replaced John Green)

Hunter Hendrixson Gets New Title

March 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Hunter Hendrixson

The City of Smithville's Secretary-Treasurer is getting a new title.

Hunter Hendrixson will be City Administrator with passage of an ordinance on second and final reading at the next meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in April.

The aldermen approved the ordinance on first reading Monday night.

The ordinance defines the duties and responsibilities of the City Administrator, which are the same as Hendrixson is performing now as Secretary-Treasurer. City officials say he is not being given any more authority and his salary is not being increased by this action. "It does not give him any more authority than he has now. It does not give him a pay raise. Basically, it consolidates all of his titles under one. It does not make him a "City Manager". We don't have that form of government," said Alderman Shawn Jacobs.

The ordinance states as follows:

"Whereas, Section 3.01 of the Smithville Charter states that the board by ordinance may establish, abolish, merge, or consolidate offices, positions of employment, departments, and agencies of the city, may provide that the same person shall fill any number of offices and positions of employment, and may transfer or change the functions and duties of offices, positions of employment, departments, and agencies of the city; and

Whereas, Section 3.02 of the Smithville Charter states that the board may appoint create the position of city administrator to assist the Mayor with meeting the requirements in this section of the Smithville charter.

Be It Ordained by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen that:

The City Administrator position is hereby created and shall perform the following duties:

a. To see that all laws and ordinances, subject to enforcement by him or by officers subject to his direction, are enforced, and upon knowledge or information of any violation thereof to see that prosecutions are instituted.

b. To attend all board meetings and to have the right to take part in any discussions, but not to vote.

c. To prepare and submit an annual operating budget and an annual capital budget to the board prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.

d.To submit to the board a complete report on the financial condition of the city at the end of each fiscal year and at such other times as may be required by the board.

e.To make such other reports on the activities of the city as the city board may require or as he sees the need for and to make such recommendations as in his opinion, are necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the city’s operations or as are needed for the overall good of the city.

f. To act as purchasing agent for the city, purchasing all materials, supplies, and equipment needed by the city in accordance with the state’s purchasing laws and procedures.

g. To perform other duties required by the City Charter or the city board in the duties of Treasurer which are stated in Section 3.05 and Recorder which are stated in section 3.04 of the Smithville charter.

h. To perform related tasks as required by the Mayor and board.

Section 2. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen hereby appoints Hunter Hendrixson as the City Administrator.

Section 3. This ordinance shall become effective upon final approval, the public welfare requiring it.

Former Alderman Urges City Leaders to Better Enforce Beer Laws

March 4, 2014
Dwayne Page
Discount Tobacco and Beer on Broad Street
W.J. (Dub) White
Vester Parsley

Are stores in the City of Smithville that are licensed to sell beer in compliance with the city's beer laws in regard to signage and inventory?

At least one city resident doesn't think so.

Former Alderman W.J. (Dub) White came before the Mayor and Aldermen Monday night during the regular monthly meeting asking the city to enforce its beer ordinance on these provisions.

White said there are six stores in the city which are in violation of the ordinance because beer advertisement signs inside the stores can be seen from outside the stores.

The city's beer ordinance states " It shall be unlawful for any beer permit holder to advertise within the business establishment in any manner visible from off the premises of said establishment the price or location of beer on the premises of the establishment".

City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. said he will have a definite answer by next month's meeting but is concerned that this provision in the beer ordinance may be unconstitutional, improperly restricting freedom of speech.

If the provision is constitutional, Parsley said the city could have reasonable regulations to enforce it. However, he is not yet convinced that any permit holder is clearly in violation. "One of our individuals (stores) probably has the most lit up building I have seen in some time here in town. (Discount Tobacco and Beer). If anyone is in violation, that one certainly is. The others, if you look real hard I agree that you can see them (beer advertisements) from the outside. There may be a way for them to correct that, maybe to put up some (window) tint but I could not see any sign that advertised the price of beer. I could see the fact that they had a sign in there that they sold beer. But even so it (beer ordinance) doesn't say you could revoke their license for doing that," he said.

Parsley suggested that the beer ordinance may need to be amended to address other provisions that are outdated or invalid. " Some of the provisions are currently invalid they way our laws are written. We've not ever let anybody advertise the sale of beer outside of their establishment although there is a statute which says they can. Tennessee has a statute TCA 57-5-301 which says that we cannot prohibit people who sell beer from advertising at least one sign outside of their business. They cannot advertise the type of beer but they can advertise beer," he said.

The law Parsley referred to states as follows :"No outdoor sign, advertisement or display that advertises beer may be erected or maintained on the property on which a retail beer establishment is located other than one (1) sign, advertisement or display which makes reference to the fact that the establishment sells beer but does not use brand names, pictures, numbers, prices or diagrams relating to beer."

White also questioned whether stores that sell beer in the city actually meet the $25,000 wholesale value grocery stock inventory requirement under the city beer ordinance. Parsley said the stores are responsible for furnishing the city a certified inventory each year. The city, however, never does its own investigation or inventory to make sure the stores are in compliance.

Under the city beer ordinance, "Before a beer permit is issued, the applicant must show proof of ownership of $25,000 (Wholesale Value) in grocery stock, excluding all tobacco products, gasoline, petroleum products, antifreeze, and beer. Further, should a beer permit be granted to an applicant, the beer permit holder must maintain at all times on the premises where beer is sold a minimum grocery stock of $25,000 (Wholesale Value), excluding all tobacco products, gasoline, petroleum products, antifreeze and beer. The holder of a beer permit must provide at least one inventory per year to the Smithville beer board, said inventory to be submitted no later than April 15 of each year. Moreover, the inventory submitted annually to the Smithville beer board by the permit holder shall be performed by a business entity whose principal or predominant business is that of conducting inventories. Further, the accuracy of said inventory shall be sworn to and affirmed before a Notary Public by the agent or employee of the business entity retained to conduct the inventory. Moreover, the Smithville beer board shall have the authority to request additional inventories during the year, and each holder of a beer permit shall be obligated to provide the Smithville beer board with any requested inventory."

Man Arrested After Pursuit Gets 20 Year Sentence in Meth Case

March 4, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jessie Comer Harris

A Dowelltown man, trying to outrun a state trooper in a December 2012 pursuit, was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Friday, February 21 after pleading guilty to attempted initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine and tampering with evidence.

34 year old Jessie Comer Harris received a sentence of fifteen years to serve at 30% before his release eligibility date in the meth case and five years to serve at 30% on the tampering charge. The sentences are to run consecutively or back to back with each other for a total of twenty years but concurrently with a term he is already serving in another case. Other charges against him were nollied by the court. Harris was given jail credit of 421 days.

Harris was found with meth lab components after he ran his car off the Old Snow Hill Road and he began eating the marijuana he had on him trying to get rid of that evidence.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that the incident started around 7:10 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, 2012 after he stopped Harris' car for erratic driving, weaving, and suspicion of driving under the influence. " I tried to stop a 2000 Dodge Neon on Highway 70 west just west of DeKalb Market," said Trooper Jennings. "The car pulled over like any other traffic stop. I made a passenger side approach, opened the passenger door, and made eye contact with the driver. He pulls it down in drive and takes off at a high rate of speed, jerking the door out of my hand. At that point I ran back to my patrol car and gave pursuit to chase after him. We go Highway 70 west a short distance. He turned left over to the Old Snow Hill Road. I radioed DeKalb County and advised them that I was in pursuit down the Old Snow Hill Road. The sheriff was in the area along with Officer Jeremy Taylor. The sheriff set up at the end of old Snow Hill Road in the Dry Creek area. He (Harris) saw the blue lights I guess and figured something was up so he drove to the right off the roadway (at the foot of the hill) out into a field, crashed into a creek, and almost overturned the vehicle. At that point, he jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. I chased him on foot through the creek and up into a wooded area around the creek where I found him laying down in the weeds and hiding. He was eating his marijuana, trying to get rid of the evidence. I went back and found a bag that he had pitched out in the creek that contained numerous items used to manufacture and process methamphetamine," said Trooper Jennings.

Harris was not injured and refused treatment by EMS. He was arrested and taken to the jail for booking.

City Employee Injured in Traffic Accident

March 4, 2014
Dwayne Page
City Employee Injured in Traffic Accident
Tony Corley Injured in Rollover on Dale Ridge Road

A city employee was injured in a two vehicle accident Thursday at the intersection of Broad Street and Congress Boulevard.

Sergeant Eric McCormick of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said 63 year old David Summers was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

According to Sergeant McCormick, Summers was driving west on Broad Street (Highway 70) in a 2000 Ford Ranger, the City of Smithville's animal control vehicle, when another vehicle pulled in front of him at the intersection.

25 year old Sasha Avera, driving a 2007 GMC Acadia SUV was east on Broad Street making a left turn onto Congress Boulevard (Highway 56) when she pulled into the path of Summers' vehicle. The truck struck the SUV in the right rear quarter panel and then hit a utility pole. There were apparently no animals aboard the truck at the time. Avera was not believed to have been hurt .

Meanwhile in a separate accident Thursday, authorities said Tony Corley was injured when the pickup truck he was in overturned in a curve on Dale Ridge Road (Highway 96). He was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Proposed Ordinance to Require City Property Rights Voters to Cast Absentee Ballots

March 4, 2014
Dwayne Page

Smithville property rights voters may have to vote by paper ballot in the Municipal Election in August.

Smithville Aldermen Monday night adopted an ordinance on first reading to keep city property rights voters from possibly having to go to two places to vote in the Smithville Municipal Election which will be held in conjunction with the County General Elections and or State Primaries on Thursday, August 7.

The aldermen adopted a similar measure for the city liquor referendum in November 2012, but that was just for the one ballot issue.

Under the ordinance, city property rights voters may only vote by absentee or paper ballot in the city election. They would still be free to vote in person at their own precinct or during early voting for other offices on the county general or state primary ballots.

Without such an ordinance, the city's property rights voters would likely have to go to two places to vote on election day in August. They would vote at their regular precinct by machine in the county wide election and state primaries, and then would have to come to one of the four precincts in Smithville to vote just in the city election. This process only applies to property rights voters, those who live outside the city in DeKalb County but who have property inside the city and are qualified to vote in a city election.

Last summer, the aldermen ratified a new city charter, as approved by the Tennessee Legislature that changes the city election dates from June to August and makes the terms of office for the mayor and aldermen, four years instead of two.

The new charter also extends voting rights to county residents that own commercial property in the city (two persons per deed) and allows property rights voting for county residents who own at least 3,500 square feet of property in the city.

The ordinance, adopted on first reading Monday night states, "Whereas, the City of Smithville allows individuals who are non-resident property owners the right to vote in City elections; and

Whereas, T.C.A. 2-6-205, establishes a procedure permitting those non-resident property owners to vote by absentee ballot if an ordinance is passed within the requirements set out in said statute:

Now, Therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, that

Section 1. By passing this ordinance it does hereby require that those non-resident property owners voting in the municipal election, Thursday August 7, 2014 shall be required to vote absentee for said election.

Section 2. This ordinance shall be effective only for the August 7, 2014 ballot for the City of Smithville.

Section 3. The DeKalb County Election Commission shall notify the non-resident property owners as set out in T.C.A. 2-6-205 of the requirements of this ordinance.

Second and final reading of the ordinance will be scheduled on Monday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m. at city hall.

DeKalb Musicians Bring Home the Ribbons

March 4, 2014
Photo:  (Left to Right)  Evan Morse, Jake Ramsey, Summer Morse, Darrah Ramsey

Four young DeKalb County musicians participated in the 11th Annual East Tennessee Young Musicians Bluegrass Contest held on February 22, 2014 in Rogersville, Tennessee. Jake Ramsey came home with first place in the 12-and-under Guitar competition, and Summer Morse brought home second place in the 7-and-under Fiddle category. Jake also won third place in both the Vocals and the Mandolin competitions. Evan Morse and Darrah Ramsey enjoyed participating in the Vocals, Fiddle, and Mandolin categories. Congratulations to these fine young musicians! We look forward to seeing them on the Jamboree stage this summer!

Photo: (Left to Right) Evan Morse, Jake Ramsey, Summer Morse, Darrah Ramsey


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