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Halloween-Themed Book Signing by Local Author

September 23, 2018
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Looking for a spooky read in time for Halloween? Mt. Juliet author, D. G. Driver, had an idea for a story about a teen girl that gets lost on a lake in a small rowboat haunted by the ghost of a boy who has drowned. She chose to set the story at Center Hill Lake with scenes in historic Smithville. Lost on the Water – A Ghost Story, her newest YA novel published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books, was released in July, and Driver will be reading from it and signing copies at Button Willow General Store on October 20th at 10:00am.

When she first came up with the concept for this story, Driver had only been living in Tennessee for seven years, having moved from Southern California. She knew a lot about beaches but not much about lakes. So, she thought it would be fun to use her experience and make her main character a young Californian with no knowledge of lakes and put her in the middle of one of the biggest lakes in Tennessee – Center Hill Lake in DeKalb County.

During the writing of the novel, Driver visited the lake and the Fiddler’s Jamboree Festival in historic Smithville nearby. There are mentions in the novel of the town and the lake’s history, how it is really a reservoir created by a dam built by the Army Corps of Engineers. It is sixty-four miles long and covers 415 miles of shoreline. People go missing, have accidents, or drown every year on this vast body of water, so it is easy to imagine that 14-year-old Dannie from the novel would have a hard time navigating it or might run into a ghost or two.

Lost on the Water – A Ghost Story is Driver’s first novel set here in Tennessee. She considers it a bit of a love letter to her new home state. When Driver first moved to Tennessee from Los Angeles, she had the misconception that the state would be a lot more rural than it is. While there are still a lot of places that have that small town feel to it, most of the places she’s been to in Middle Tennessee are either cities or sprawling suburban towns not all that different from out West. People here are friendly and welcoming, as she imagined, but they definitely aren’t ‘backward’ like movies and media suggest. Part of her goal with this novel was to have her California beach girl character discover these things during her two-week stay with her grandmother while her parents are on vacation. Dannie meets a group of local kids and finds out that they aren’t that different from her friends back home. In fact, they are very cool and open-minded, so much so that they invite her, a new kid, to their annual summer camp-out on the lake.

Driver is excited to be doing a booksigning in the town where the story takes place at the lovely Button Willow General Store. For the event, they will be serving hot apple cider and homemade orange Italian cream sodas. Driver will be giving ghost lollipops to all the young readers that attend. This novel is targeted toward readers 11-16 years old, and is the perfect book for reading by flashlight under the covers on a late Autumn evening. If you’re a fan of coming-of-age stories like the movie Stand By Me, you’ll enjoy this book.

If you miss this event, Driver will also be at the Taste of Wilson County on October 25th at 5:30 pm at the Expo Center in Lebanon. Lost on the Water – A Ghost Story is available at all online book retailers, including Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. You can learn more about this novel and her other books by visiting www.dgdriver.com.

Button Willow General Store – 109 West Main Street Smithville, TN 37166




Police Charge Vance with Assault and Resisting After Investigating Noise Complaint

September 23, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A Smithville man accused of threatening an officer with a knife has been charged with assault and resisting arrest.

According to Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins, 49 year old Michael Lynn Vance of 632 Crestlawn Avenue was arrested on Friday, September 14 after police were dispatched to Vance’s residence due to a noise complaint. Upon arrival the officer found Vance intoxicated. Vance was ordered to go inside his residence or risk being arrested but he became aggressive and advanced toward the officer holding a knife.  After refusing to heed the officer’s commands, Vance  was taken to the ground. He continued to resist but was subdued and taken into custody.  Bond for Vance is $8,500 and his court date is October 4.

Meanwhile, two people were cited for several drug offenses after they were found passed out with narcotics on them in a vehicle at Green Brook Park

49 year old Eva Dover of 214 Rolling Acres Road and 39 year old Paul Willingham of 107 East Webb Street were cited for methamphetamine,  12 counts of simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police were called to Green Brook Park where two people were observed passed out in a parked vehicle.  Upon arrival the officer found and awoke Dover, who was on the passenger side, and Willingham who was in the driver’s seat. After obtaining consent to search the officer found in a Hardees bag on the passenger floor board, a pill bottle that contained a crystal-like substance believed to be approximately 2 grams of methamphetamine. In the passenger car door were 1.5 pills and in Dover’s purse were 27 pills, all believed to be Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Acetaminophen, and Oxycodone Hydrochloride.  Dover was issued a citation for possession of methamphetamine and three citations for simple possession.  In the driver’s side door was a cigarette filled with a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and in Willingham’s front left pocket were a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana with a total approximate weight of 9 grams and a glass pipe and 2 ink pen shells containing residue.  In Willingham’s front right pocket were 21 pills believed to be Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Acetaminophen, Oxycodone Hydrochloride, Alprazolam,  and an Oxymorphone Hydrochloride extender release. Willingham was issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia and 8 citations for simple possession.  Neither Dover nor Willingham could produce a prescription for the pills.

65 year old Charles Owen Blanchfield Jr. of Dowelltown was arrested on Thursday, August 23 for driving under the influence and he was cited for implied consent. Blanchfield was involved in a motor vehicle accident at 505 South Congress Boulevard. He appeared to be unsteady on his feet with slurred speech, and he had an odor of alcohol on his person.  It was discovered that Blanchfield had consumed about 3 beers. He submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Blanchfield was arrested without incident.  After Blanchfield refused to submit to implied consent  for a blood test, police obtained a search warrant for a blood sample.  Bond for Blanchfield is $1,500.

23 year old Ruben Alavez Mejia of 117 Meadow Brook Drive was cited on Monday, August 27 for driving under the influence, no driver license, failure to exercise due care, and violation of financial responsibility. Police responded to the bridge at the intersection of Broad and South Mountain Street where Mejia had crashed his vehicle head on into the bridge.  Mejia was passed out at the scene. After being awakened, Mejia was unable to stand on his own. His eyes were blood shot and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He was transported to the emergency room of the hospital.

43 year old Steven R Halcomb of McMinnville was arrested on Friday, August 31 for public intoxication. Police received a call concerning a possible intoxicated individual in the parking lot of Mapco Express.  Officers  spoke with the suspect, Halcomb who appeared to be under the influence.  His  speech was slurred. He had an odor of alcohol on his person and he was unsteady on his feet.  It was discovered that he had been drinking beer a couple of hours prior to this incident.  He was taken into custody without incident.  His bond is $1,500.

55 year old Davey Wayne Fox of 633 Cill Street was arrested on Sunday, September 2 for driving under the influence.  Police found Fox passed out at the wheel of his vehicle while parked half way in the travel lane at Wal-Mart.  Fox was awakened and asked to step out of the vehicle. Fox was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were glossy and he had an odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person and breath.  Fox submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He was taken into custody without incident.  His bond is $2,500.

35 year old Jackie Blake Sander of 627 Highland Street was cited for shoplifting on Thursday, September 6. Sanders allegedly concealed a knife in his pocket with the intent to deprive O’Reilly Auto Parts of its merchandise.

26 year old Micah Gabrille Heckman of Lutts, Tennessee was cited for simple possession and drug paraphernalia on Friday, September 7. While on routine patrol, police spotted a man with a flash light looking in a truck. The officer stopped and spoke with the man, Heckman.  As the officer asked if he had anything illegal on him, Heckman tried to hide a syringe in a blanket.   He was also found to have in his possession a marijuana grinder, and a folding gold mirror with a crystal-like substance on it which field tested positive for methamphetamine (approximately 0.2 grams).

23 year old Lindsey Hunter King of McMinnville was arrested on Saturday, September 8 for driving under the influence and she was cited for simple possession,  a driver license violation,  financial responsibility, and failure to maintain lane of travel.  Police observed a vehicle operated by King make an illegal u-turn in the middle of West Broad Street and it failed to maintain its lane of travel by turning from the west bound to the east bound lane.  The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, King, whose speech was slurred and she appeared to be slightly disoriented.  King submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.  King had an odor of alcohol coming from her person from three shots of whiskey she had consumed a short time earlier.  A search of  her person incident to arrest revealed a baggie containing approximately 0.35 ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.  King’s bond is $1,500.

49 year old Michael Edmiston of Rockvale was arrested on Saturday, September 8 for driving under the influence, possession of a handgun while under the influence, and he was cited for implied consent. Police were called to check on a possible drunk driver on West Broad Street and spotted the vehicle weaving in the roadway.  By the time the officer caught up with the automobile, it had turned into the parking lot of a business on West Broad Street.  Before the officer pulled up to the vehicle, Edmiston had already got out of the automobile to urinate.  Edmiston had an odor of alcohol on his person. He was unsteady on his feet, and  his speech was slurred. Edmiston  submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks but he refused to give blood for testing. A loaded Ruger .380 caliber handgun was found in his vehicle.  Bond for Edmiston is $6,500 and his court date is September 27.

42 year old Larry Kevin Murphy of 429 Jackson Street was arrested on Monday, September 10 for a third offense of driving on a suspended license and he was cited for violation of financial responsibility. After Murphy hit a parked vehicle in the parking lot of McDonalds, he was found to be driving on a suspended license although he did have auto insurance.  Murphy was arrested instead of being given a citation because he had been involved in another accident previously on August 18 resulting in major vehicle damage.  Murphy had been warned at that time not to be driving. Murphy’s bond is $4,500 and his court date is September 27.

49 year old Randall Eugene Tittle and 44 year old Randall Tittle of 1105 Earl Avenue and 34 year old Brandi Renee Beckham of 3291 Sparta Highway were cited for simple possession. Police  spotted a  suspicious vehicle with its headlights off parked behind a closed business and stopped to conduct a welfare check.  Inside the vehicle were two males and a female After receiving consent to search, police found Eugene Tittle in possession of a plastic bottle which contained 5 tan colored capsules believed to be Gabapentin.  Randall Tittle had in his possession a plastic bag with a white pill identified as Methadone. Beckham was found to have in her possession 9 tan colored capsules believed to be Gabapentin.  Neither of them could produce a prescription for the pills.  Their court date is September 27.

42 year old Larry Kevin Murphy of 429 Jackson Street was arrested on Sunday, September 16 for driving while suspended.  Police observed Murphy operating a motor vehicle on West Broad Street.  Knowing that Murphy did not have a license, the officer pulled him over.  Murphy’s license were suspended for failure to pay fines for an original violation on October 29, 2012 in Cannon County.  Murphy was taken into custody  due to the likelihood that he would continue to drive without a license. Murphy’s bond is $6,500 and his court date is October 4.




Federal Mogul Celebrates 40 Years in Smithville (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 22, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Federal-Mogul celebrated its 40th Anniversary in Smithville with a company picnic Saturday on the grounds of the facility at Grizzly Lane.

Hundreds of employees and their families turned out for the celebration to enjoy food and to participate in a health fair, games and children’s activities, along with a car, truck, and motorcycle show

“We are celebrating our 40 year anniversary manufacturing brake pads in Smithville. We hope for at least 40 more years. We currently have just under 500 employees working for us on a total of three shifts, five days a week and we do some Saturday work. We make automotive brake pads for Ford, Chrysler, and GM,” said Jeff Simons, Plant Manager for Federal Mogul Motor Parts, Smithville.

IMG_1388 from dwayne page on Vimeo.




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