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City Court Costs Going Up

February 6, 2018
By: 2

Court costs are about to go up in the Smithville Municipal Court but the increase will help the police department upgrade to a new court management computer software system.

Last month the aldermen adopted an ordinance on first reading to raise the city court costs. The current fees associated with traffic violations, etc. are $85 per violation and a $13.75 litigation tax levied by the state. The new fee will be $100 per citation, a $15 increase.

Although the new Courtware Government Software Solutions system is free to the city, the cost of the software by the provider will be passed along to violators in the form of the increased court costs.

Police Chief Mark Collins said the new Courtware System will save the city money, simplify the city’s court processing procedures, and provide offenders the option of paying their fines and court costs online.

“We (city) pay $2,000 a year just to have the system we’re using now. The new one is free to the city but will be paid for by offenders who are found guilty of speeding and traffic offenses. Ten dollars out of their court costs will go to this courtware system to pay for it. It creates more ways to pay a ticket. We do not have a pay online system now. With this new system people can pay online,” said Chief Collins.

In addition to online fine payment, other software features include an online court calendar, digital documents, fund calculations, automatic dispositions, simple docket scheduling, statistical data that can be helpful to the police department, and more.

The ordinance increasing the court costs was adopted on second and final reading by the aldermen Monday night.


TWRA Cites White County Angler with Illegal Fishing on Caney Fork River

February 6, 2018
By: 2

A White County resident was cited on the Caney Fork River, on Wednesday, January 31. DeKalb County Officer Joe Fortner responded to a call and observed an angler and his female companion for over an hour and a half. During this time officer Fortner observed the angler catch several trout and place them in a bucket. Occasionally the angler’s female companion took the bucket to a nearby car, placed the trout in the car and returned to the riverbank.

When the couple packed up and returned to their car, officer Fortner performed an inspection of the man’s catch. The man was found to be in possession of 16 total trout including five brown trout, eight brook trout and three rainbow trout. The angler was cited with three counts of over the limit and two citations for illegal length limit. The female was given a written warning for aiding and abetting. The angler will appear in court on February 21.

Fortner shared, “TWRA fisheries crews work hard to maintain great angling opportunities in this area. Slot limits on fish are put in place to ensure quality fishing continues”.

This area is popular among anglers this time of year because warm tail-waters keep fish actively feeding and therefore biting during winter months. According to the Region 3 fisheries program manager, Mark Thurman, TWRA stocked 30,000 brook trout last fall in the tail-waters of Center Hill and another 5,000 will be stocked in April. Ninety thousand brown trout were also stocked in 2017. TWRA will stock 90,000 rainbow trout and 40,000 brown trout in the Caney Fork River in 2018.

The majority of stocked trout are raised at the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Celina. Thurman stated, “TWRA streams biologists monitor the Caney Fork River, evaluate fish stocking strategies and work with other regulatory agencies to evaluate flows that ensure good results in this area.

Thurman continued, “The regulations in place on the Caney help provide quality fishing to a wide range of anglers. TWRA staff will be performing a creel survey on the Caney Fork River this spring. For more information on stocking or fishing regulations visit

Assessor Reminds Property Owners of Important Deadline

February 5, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell reminds you that March 1 is an important date for business owners and applicants of the Greenbelt Program.

“March 1 is the deadline for two different things coming out of the Assessor’s Office. One is the Greenbelt application. If you don’t have your form turned in by March 1 then you won’t be able to qualify for the savings for the 2018 tax year,” said Cantrell.

“If you are already enrolled in the greenbelt program you do not have to reapply. However, if you have purchased property or have added acreage to your farm within the last year and seek to enroll in the greenbelt program then you need to apply by March 1 in order to get the 2018 savings,” Cantrell said.

“Basic requirements for the Greenbelt application are that you must own a minimum of fifteen acres and are able to produce some kind of agriculture product to the gross amount of $1,500 per year. Also if you own fifteen acres and you don’t have an agriculture product and its all forestry you can get a forestry plan and qualify that way”.

“March 1 is also the deadline for personal property schedules. Anyone who owns a business needs to have those turned in by March 1. If you don’t turn one in at all or its not turned in by March 1 there are penalties after March 1. We want you to avoid those penalties if possible,” said Assessor Cantrell.

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