News

Motlow Robotics Receives Donation from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Hometown Help Program

August 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Motlow State Community College recently received a $4,500 donation from customers of the Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District through the District’s “Project Hometown Help.” The donation is for the Automation and Robotics Training Center that is under construction at the Motlow McMinnville campus.

Funds from the Hometown Help voluntary program, which come from an automatic rounding up of participating customers’ bills to the next highest whole dollar amount, are used to advance education, assist economic development, promote local charities and provide relief to the disabled and elderly for payment of natural gas bills.

Pictured from left, are Charles Morrison, superintendent for the District’s McMinnville office; Jerry Cooper, former state senator; Michael Torrence, Motlow president; Larry Flatt, Motlow executive director of Advanced Robotics; and Mike Corley, the District’s vice president – human resources and general counsel.




4-H Members Attend 95th Annual State Round Up

August 21, 2018
By: Leigh Fuson

High school aged 4‐H members from across Tennessee traveled to the University of Tennessee at Martin for State 4‐H Roundup and All Star Conference during the week of July 23‐27. Approximately 375 students attended the 95th annual event.  Representing DeKalb County this year were Clayton Crook, 11th grade, Caleb Taylor, 12th grade, and Kayla Belk who graduated this past May.

4‐H’ers competed in projects such as communications, livestock, computers and technology, healthy living, and photography for college scholarship money and trips to National 4‐H Congress in Atlanta. The State 4-H theme in 2018 is “Tennessee 4‐H: Branching From Our Roots,” because youth are learning to grow and succeed through their project work and activities.

Clayton was a state finalist in the Beef project and participated in competition interviews. Kayla and Caleb attended as All-Star members and completed service projects for underprivileged families in West Tennessee.  Attendees brought over 4,000 items to be distributed.

Caleb also received the Vol State Award, the highest level of recognition a 4-H member can be awarded.  This award can only be given to current or incoming high school seniors.  Caleb was among the prestigious group of 73 members to receive the award this year.  Kayla was recognized at the senior breakfast and helped take part in the Vol State ceremony as a past recipient.

Teens from all over the state came together, competed in their project areas, learned life skills such as leadership and citizenship, and made lifelong friends. They also enjoyed a banquet, dance, and learning sessions, as well as campus tours. Roundup is one of the highlights for Tennessee’s 4‐H program. Delegates who attend have spent years of work in their respective project areas.  Over $75,000 in scholarship money was awarded this year.

4‐H is the Youth Development program for University of Tennessee Extension and Tennessee State University.  4‐H teaches leadership, citizenship and service learning to more than 168,000 youth in 4th through 12th grades. 4‐H also has more than 6,000 adult volunteers.  For more information about DeKalb County 4-H, please call 615-597-4945.

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Photo Captions:

Clayton                                                 Clayton Crook was a state finalist in the beef project area at State 4-H Round Up.

Caleb                                                     Caleb Taylor received the highest honor a TN 4-H member can receive: Vol State.

Round Up 18                                      Caleb Taylor and Kayla Belk during the banquet at State 4-H Round Up.




Drunk Driver Tries to Evade Arrest

August 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A Smithville man is facing DUI and evading charges after he was spotted traveling in the wrong lane and then tried to avoid being pulled over by a county deputy.

31 year old Nelson Ramos Celaya of Short Mountain Highway is under an $8,500 bond and his court date is September 6.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, August 13 a deputy was dispatched to Nashville Highway due to a report of a reckless driver traveling on the wrong side of the road. The responding officer spotted the car in the wrong lane and tried to stop it. The deputy activated his blue lights and sirens  but the driver, Celaya, initially refused to stop. He kept driving in the wrong lane before pulling up to a business on West Broad Street and stopping at a security gate.

Celaya had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He admitted to having consumed three beers thirty minutes prior to being stopped. Celaya’s speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. He was unsteady on his feet and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.

During a routine check on registered sex offenders living in the county, the sheriff’s department discovered one man who is in violation of the sex offender registry law for moving and not reporting his new address.

41 year old James Walter Stringer of Church Street, Liberty is charged with violation of the sex offender registry law. He is under a $5,000 bond and his court date is August 30.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, August 15 the chief deputy and detective conducted a compliance visit to Stringer’s home. Stringer, a sex offender,  was registered to be living on Brook Lane in Sparta. The owner of the home said Stringer had not been living there for two months. Authorities learned that Stringer had not registered at any other residence.

38 year old Erik Thomas Dunn of Indian Mound Road, Sparta is charged with violation of bond conditions. Dunn’s bond is $20,000 and his court date is August 30.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, August 16 a deputy was dispatched to Indian Mound Road where a man and a woman were reported to be arguing. Upon arrival the officer broke up the argument and learned from a computer check through central dispatch that Dunn was under a court order granting bail from a domestic assault in White County against the woman and he was supposed to stay away from her.

24 year old Krystal Noelle Williams of Gilford, Connecticutt is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will make a court appearance on September 5.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, August 16 a deputy was dispatched to Coconut Ridge Road where an intoxicated woman was trying to assault others in the residence. Upon arrival the officer observed the woman, Williams walking in the roadway. She had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person and she was unsteady on her feet. Williams was placed under arrest.

24 year old Dylan Robert Wagner of Students Home Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also cited for roadways laned for travel. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on September 6.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 19 a deputy spotted a car leaving its lane of travel several times on Sparta Highway. The officer spoke to the driver, Wagner and found his speech to be slurred. His eyes were bloodshot and he had an odor of alcohol on his person. Wagner told the officer that he had been drinking since soon the day before. Wagner performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and submitted to a blood alcohol test. He was then placed under arrest.

39 year old Troy Eugene Martin of Lee Braswell Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was also cited for violation of the implied consent and open container laws. Martin’s bond is $3,000 and his court date is September 6.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 19 a deputy responded to the area of Miller Lane and Jacobs Pillar Road where a vehicle was in the ditch and the driver was passed out. Upon arrival the officer found the driver, Martin passed out behind the steering wheel with the engine running. The deputy also spotted an open can of an alcoholic beverage in the cup holder of the vehicle. After being awakened Martin performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and refused to take a blood alcohol content test. He was placed under arrest.




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