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Smithville Police Cite Three Store Clerks for Illegal Beer Sales

October 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Clerks at three local stores have been cited for selling beer to a minor as a result of an undercover investigation conducted last Thursday, October 22 by detectives of the Smithville Police Department.

31 year old Amber Gayle Coots of T&B Discount Tobacco and Beer at 102 East Broad Street; 30 year old Sonni Amruthai Patel of the Sunoco Convenience Market at 598 East Broad Street and 37 year old Ender Alexander Cabrera of Disco Tienda Latina of East Broad Street were each cited for sale of alcohol to a person under age 21. They are scheduled for a court appearance on November 5.

Police Chief Mark Collins said Detectives James Cornelius and Brandon Donnell conducted the investigation using a 19 year old undercover agent to make the purchases. The action was taken based on recent public complaints.

“I have had several complaints from concerned citizens who suspected this activity at some of these stores. We got an undercover person who went into 14 different stores in town trying to make beer purchases and all but three followed the law and checked his ID. I would like to thank the store owners who did it right. I respect them for that,” said Chief Collins.

“We started early afternoon on Thursday. Detective Donnell and I were in a surveillance vehicle driving the undercover agent to each location. He went into 14 different establishments and three of them sold beer to him. We video recorded him getting out of the vehicle, going into the establishments, and coming back out with the beer. The undercover agent also had video and audio recording equipment on him. We then went back and issued citations to the clerks who conducted the transactions,” said Detective Cornelius.

According to the citations, the undercover agent bought a 6 pack of 16 ounce Natural Ice Beer from Coots; a 6 pack of 12 ounce Natural Ice Beer from Patel; and a 25 ounce Michelob Ultra Beer from Cabrera.

The three store owners will also face sanctions for city beer ordinance violations. The penalty for a first offense violation is a 90 day suspension of the stores’ beer license.

County Commission Meeting Tonight (Monday) Canceled

October 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission will not meet tonight (Monday, October 26) at 6:30 p.m. at the county complex due to a possible COVID-19 exposure case. The meeting date will be rescheduled.

Time to Change Batteries in Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms

October 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

With winter on the way the DeKalb County Fire Department reminds you to change batteries in your home smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The message is simple and it’s easy to do. Please take a few minutes to make sure life-saving alarms have fresh batteries so you, your family, and your home are protected. This week would be a great time to swap those batteries with Central Standard Time returning Sunday morning, November 1 at 2 a.m.

Lieutenant Dustin Johnson, the DeKalb County Fire Department’s Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, reminds DeKalb County residents that after batteries are changed in alarms, take a few extra minutes to test your alarms and remind family, friends, and neighbors to do the same. Not all smoke alarms have batteries that have to be replaced each year. Some newer model alarms have batteries that last up to 10 years. However, it is still very important to test and clean your alarms. You can clean and maintain them simply by using compressed air to remove dust residue that accumulates on alarms that can cause the alarm’s sensor to not operate properly.

Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that can be prevented. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. “The vast majority of our house fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” said Lt. Johnson. “Smoke alarm installation and maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”

If you do not have working smoke detectors, you can contact Lt. Johnson at (615) 598-2080 and he will arrange to have smoke alarms installed in your residence at absolutely no charge.

“A working smoke detector doubles your chance of surviving a home fire. So, why would you not want you and your family to have this protection?” For more information about fire safety, visit the DeKalb County Fire Department’s FaceBook Group page or the department’s website at

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