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Commission Asks County Mayor to Appoint Animal Welfare Committee

February 25, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

After failing to muster enough support for the proposal last month, the county commission Monday night  voted 8-6 to ask the County Mayor to form an animal welfare committee which opponents believe will lead to a recommendation for more county funding for the DeKalb Animal Coalition and the shelter it operates in Smithville.

Although the coalition has made no formal request for additional help from the county some members of the commission want the county to be more involved with the City of Smithville in addressing needs at the shelter.

As he had done last month, Fourth district commissioner Dr. Scott Little made a motion Monday night that the commission ask the county mayor to appoint an animal welfare committee “for the sole purpose of studying and gathering information related to animal welfare issues and related public health issues in DeKalb County”.

Fourth district member Janice Fish-Stewart offered a second to the motion.

Last month the motion received seven votes in favor to five opposed with one abstention but it failed because eight votes were needed for passage. One member was absent. This time the motion had the votes needed for passage

Prior to the vote fifth district member Jerry Adcock challenged the move saying it would lead to a request for more money from the county for the animal shelter.

“I am an animal lover but when we start doing that then the county is going to start getting into the animal business and that is something we really don’t need to do. If we make another committee we’re going to make our government bigger. We don’t need to get into the animal business. DeKalb County needs to stay away from it. If we do get into the animal business that is going to be a tax increase. The reason this committee is getting together is to make a recommendation that we pay x amount of dollars to the animal shelter,” Adcock said.

In September, 2015 the previous county commission voted to appropriate $75,000 toward construction of the new animal shelter to match the $75,000 allocation from the City of Smithville for the same purpose. But the appropriation from the county came with conditions that the $75,000 be a one-time donation earmarked for shelter construction; that the county not be responsible for the hiring and payroll of any employees relating to the animal shelter; and that the county not be responsible for the operation of the shelter or the future funds needed to operate the shelter. Under an agreement the coalition is to pick up animals for the county when a request is made from the county mayor’s office or the sheriff’s department at a fee to the county of $100 and $50 for a dead head.

“They (animal coalition) promised they would run it and have fundraisers and said that if we would give them $75,000 to build that it would be enough and they would never come back before this commission asking for more. Now this commission is forming a committee to start giving them more money. I don’t care what anybody says that is what is going to happen,” said Jerry Adcock.

County Mayor Tim Stribling pointed out that Little’s motion was to look at the needs. “I don’t think he necessarily stated any dollar amount,” said Stribling.

Fifth district commissioner Anita Puckett opposed forming a new committee for this purpose saying all fourteen commissioners should take a look at it during a workshop.

“We could have committees for everything, I have nothing against the animal coalition but I feel that this is something I would like to present to all fourteen of us in a workshop whenever we are talking about the animal situation,” said Puckett.

“The animal coalition provides animal control and adoptions to our residents and that’s important and they are just asking that we make a joint committee with the commission and the city council and look at that organization and see what the needs are and if we are given that opportunity for more discussion on issues that affect our county we should do that,” said Third district commissioner Jenny Trapp.

“I think it’s a great idea (forming a committee). We’ve (county) already used $75,000 (tax dollars) so we need to have a little voice, at least a committee to investigate to see how it’s being spent and how it’s maintained and what we can do to improve it. Maybe we can get a little more bang for the buck out of our taxpayer dollars,” added Second district commissioner Myron Rhody.

Frustrated with the tone from some, Commissioner Little said he couldn’t understand why anyone would oppose forming a committee to study the concerns.

“It amazes me how members of this commission can already decide what this committee is going to do and what they are going to come back with and what they are going to say. All we are asking for is a committee to study these issues and look at them and when government gets afraid of actually studying an issue or looking at an issue I don’t believe we’re doing what government was formed to do. This is an issue that involves every single citizen of our community and it is not only an animal welfare issue but a public health issue. We’re not asking to spend a bunch of money. If the committee comes back with that request (for money) then you can vote yes or no then but dern lets not (oppose) forming a committee because we’re afraid of what a committee might find out. Let the committee do its work and look at the issues and talk to the people involved. It will probably be a short term committee and like any other committee if there is no need to meet further then the committee won’t meet again,” said Little.

Commissioners voting in favor of asking County Mayor Stribling to form a committee were Scott Little, Julie Young, Janice Fish-Stewart, Myron Rhody, Jenny Trapp, Bruce Malone, Matt Adcock, and Beth Pafford. Those voting against were Sabrina Farler, Jeff Barnes, Bobby Johnson, Anita Puckett, Dennis Slager and Jerry Adcock.

County Mayor Stribling then appointed Commissioners Little, Fish-Stewart, and Young to serve on the committee.

Lady Tigers Eliminate Upperman in Semi-Finals of Region Tournament

February 25, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

The DCHS Lady Tigers eliminated the 3rd ranked Upperman Lady Bees 36 to 35 in the semi-finals of the Region 4AA basketball Tournament Monday night at Crossville.

Maddison Parsley stepped to the free throw line and broke a 35 to 35 tie with 1.8 seconds left in the game to give the Lady Tigers the lead and the win. It was her only point of the game.

With the win, the Lady Tigers advance to the Region Tournament Championship game Wednesday night, February 27  against  4th ranked Macon County (28-5) at 7 p.m. at Cumberland County High School in Crossville.  WJLE will have LIVE coverage with the Voice of the Lady Tigers John Pryor.

Macon County eliminated York Institute in the other Region Semi-Finals game Monday night winning 55 to 39.

Monday night’s game was the fourth meeting of the season between DeKalb County and Upperman with the Lady Bees having won all three games.

In this contest the game was tied at 11 by the end of the 1st period but the Lady Tigers held a 22 to 18 advantage by halftime and led 30 to 26 after the 3rd period before securing the 36 to 35 victory.

Kadee Ferrell scored 12 points followed by Emme Colwell with 9, Mya Ruch and Lydia Brown each with 5, Kenzie France 4, and Maddison Parsley with 1 point.

DeKalb County improves to 22-10 on the season. Upperman, the defending state champions, end their season at 26-6.

After taking down two basketball giants in a row, the Lady Tigers will have another tall task against Macon County. DeKalb County is 0-2 against Macon County this season having lost 61 to 36 in Lafayette on January 11 and 63 to 32 in Smithville on February 5.

Man Ditches Drugs Before Leading Deputy on High Speed Pursuit and Crashing His Car

February 25, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

A Smithville man has a date with a judge after leading a county deputy on a high speed pursuit before crashing his car on Sparta Highway last week.

42 year old James Theodore Evans of Smith Road is charged with evading arrest, driving on a revoked or suspended license, tampering with evidence, and two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine and oxycodone). His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court March 7.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, February 20 a deputy was patrolling on East Broad Street in Smithville when he spotted a white Cadillac with a broken taillight on the driver side. He initiated a traffic stop near Terrell Road but the car, driven by Evans, took off again. Before he fled, Evans tossed out several items through the car door window which were later recovered including a white container that held 1.6 grams of a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine and a silver container which had a broken oxycodone pill.  After Evans drove off  with the deputy in pursuit he (Evans) crashed the car  on Sparta Highway. The officer learned that Evans’ license were revoked on April 16, 2007 for a vehicular homicide in Wilson County and that Evans has never had the license reinstated.

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