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Sheriff says Social Media Rumors of School Threats Unfounded

February 23, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department will have more officers at schools Friday to help ease worries after rumors surfaced on social media Thursday that a student was planning to carry out a threat at the high school.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said the rumors proved to be unfounded.

In a prepared statement, Sheriff Ray explained how the story unfolded.

“Around 6 pm on February 22, 2018 the School Resource Officer at the High School contacted me and advised me he had a concerned parent call him. The parent said their child had overheard a student make a threat to the DeKalb County High School.

I immediately contacted a Detective from my department to investigate the complaint.

Through an investigation, the Detective and School Resource Officer found out a 17 year old DeKalb County High School student made a comment that was interpreted as a threat to the school. Both of them interviewed the student and the student said he did not make the comment. The Detective and School Resource Officer also talked to a teacher who was present at the time the comment was made. The teacher confirmed the student never said anything about harming the school.

The Sheriff’s Department has been working with the Director of Schools, Patrick Cripps, the Principal of DeKalb County High School, Randy Jennings, and school support staff along with the Assistant District Attorney General Stephanie Johnson since the investigation started.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps is reporting “Last evening we received information concerning a potential threat to DeKalb County High School. Law enforcement was contacted and an investigation has been initiated.

We would like to remind all families of DeKalb County that the safety of our students is our utmost concern and we will continue to be proactive in ensuring all students remain safe.”

Sheriff Ray said “After our investigation started, there were multiple posts going around on social media that were incorrect and causing a panic. As a result, I will have extra Deputies in and out of the schools tomorrow (Friday) and a couple of deputies placed in certain schools along with the School Resource Officers as a safeguard for our students and school faculty.”

Smithville Police Department Works to Ease Concerns over Reported School Threats

February 23, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department and Chief Mark Collins would like to extend their gratitude to all of the concerned citizens for the overwhelming amount of phone calls and Facebook posts in regards to the current school situation.

“I was contacted by a representative of the school system in regards to this matter late Thursday afternoon. The Smithville Police Department then took measures to have extra officers at all schools located within the city limits. Myself and the Smithville Police Department take the safety of all students and faculty both on campus and in transit very seriously. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide services as needed,” said Chief Collins.

Two Escape Injury in Thursday Crash

February 23, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Two women escaped injury in a two vehicle crash Thursday at the intersection of West Broad Street and Anthony Avenue near Walmart.

Captain Steven Leffew of the Smithville Police Department said 74 year old Catherine Newby of Smithville was driving a 2012 Nissan Altima, pulling out onto West Broad from Anthony Avenue, when she crossed the path of a 2011 Jeep, driven by 50 year old Tammy Harris of Murfreesboro who was east on Broad Street. After impact, Newby’s car ran off the highway down an embankment and stopped near a flowing creek.

Harris told police that she tried to stop to avoid the collision but couldn’t due to the wet road conditions. Newby told officers that after the collision she accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene. Again, no one was injured.

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