Wednesday Morning Fire Damages Shop Building

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to a structure fire at 539 West Main Street Wednesday morning at 6:36 a.m.
Chief Charlie Parker says a garage type shop building belonging to Stevie Cripps was extensively damaged in the fire. The building is located behind Cripps’ home.
A passerby, who spotted the smoke, stopped at the Cripps home to alert him
No one was in the shop at the time of the fire and no one was injured.
Chief Parker says a lot of the contents including cabinets, tools, and other odds and ends, were either damaged or destroyed in the fire.
The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Several Firefighters Complete Rookie Recruit Training

The DeKalb County Fire Department recently held its semiannual 64 hour rookie recruit training class at the new facility.
Assistant Chief Roy Merriman says he is proud of the sacrifice of these individuals who took time to complete this basic firefighter class. He says most of these firefighters have already signed up for the 32 hour pumper operations class that will begin in January here and the 22 hour live burn at the Tennessee fire academy
Among those taking part in the class included Instructors Marvin Montgomery and Wallace Colwell, Smithville firefighters Joseph Hall , Stephanie Wright, Dusty Johnson and Glen Lattimore; Baxter firefighter Tonya Lee; North Warren firefighters Trey Clark and Dowie Green; Alexandria firefighters Brian Partridge, John Partridge, Jeff Ash and Brent Davis; and DeKalb firefighters Skip Roberts, Chris Wyke and Dale Pack.

Smithville Police Department to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoints

The Smithville Police Department will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols through January 4th in an effort to keep the roadways safe for the public and to reduce the risk of traffic related fatalities and drunk drivers during the holiday season. However during the year of 2009, the Smithville Police Department will continue to work with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office to provide extra traffic patrols, saturation patrols, and sobriety checkpoints in a continued effort to keep the roadways safe for the public.
“Booze It & Lose It” is designed to reduce impaired driving injuries, fatalities, & associated economic losses. The “Booze It & Lose It” campaign provides for increased law enforcement efforts and public service messages to accomplish its goal. The intervention targets all drivers who are impaired due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Impaired driving and impaired-related crashes constitute one of the nation’s leading health problems. These events result in more deaths each year than do total homicides, and alcohol is a factor in 35% of all crashes in the United States.

More Sex Offender Laws Take Effect In Tennessee

The Tennessee Sex Offender Registry will offer even more information about each individual offender beginning January 1, 2009 to be in compliance with the state’s legislation that was passed during this year’s legislative session.
Overview of Sex Offender Registry law additions:
* The TBI’s Sex Offender Registry will now include each offender’s full criminal history. Arrests that result in convictions will be listed with the date of the disposition as well as any outstanding warrants. There will also be text of the law defining the criminal offense.
* The sex offender’s physical description will now be included on the registry. It will encompass height, weight, hair and eye color, tattoos, scars and marks.
* Registered sex offenders whose crimes are against a minor are now prohibited from dressing up or pretending to be a character with the intent to attract minors. They are also prohibited from driving any type vehicle that would attract minors or work in a profession that would require unsupervised direct contact with minors.
* An email notification system is set up on TBI’s website where the public can enter an email address and be directly notified when an offender makes a change in his/her public registry information. The public can search by specific offender or zip codes.
All the above changes bring the state’s Sex Offender Registry closer to be in complete compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act. You can view the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry at

Chamber Banquet Set for January 27th

The Annual Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet will be held on Tuesday, January 27, at Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church starting with a “Silent Auction” at 5:30 p.m.. The dinner and program will begin at 6:00 p.m.
Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce says the keynote speaker, sponsored by FirstBank, will be former Murfreesboro Riverdale High School Coach Micheal Burt. “Over the past twelve years, Micheal has fulfilled the role of head women’s basketball coach, athletic director, college professor, speaker, consultant, and author. As a coach, Micheal has produced seven consecutive 20+ win seasons, four conference titles, three sub-state appearances, two Miss Basketball finalists, and 100% of his players have furthered their education at the collegiate level. In 2007, Micheal’s strategies were validated when he led his team to a 2007 Class AAA state championship and a 38-3 record for the first time in over 83 years in the city of Murfreesboro and the first time in the school’s 36-year history.” As a speaker, coach, and consultant, Burt has worked with some of the top companies in the world. “The author of three books, the most recent This Ain’t No Practice Life, Micheal serves as the Chief Leadership Officer for multiple companies as well as his own Maximum Success, a leadership consulting firm that helps people go from where they are to where they want to be. Micheal maintains over 100 speaking engagements per year with a message that is both inspirational and educational and helps people and organizations fulfill their deepest potential.”
Also during the program, the Leadership DeKalb Alumni group will present their winners for “Community Leader of the Year” and “Legacy” awards. The newly-elected Chamber Board Members will be introduced and the retiring directors will be honored.
Entertainment will be provided by singer/entertainer Dan McCorkle. Each chamber member is asked to donate an item for the Silent Auction. Please contact the Chamber office at 597-4163 as soon as possible and let them know what you will offer. They will be glad to pick it up.
Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased from any of the 15 board members or tickets can be picked up at the Chamber office located at 301 N. Public Square, Smithville.

Alexandria Man Charged with Attempted Aggravated Robbery

A 48 year old Alexandria man allegedly tried to pull off an armed robbery at Prichard’s Foods in Alexandria Saturday night.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says Billy Ray Thomas of Lower Helton Road is charged with attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful carrying of a weapon with the intent to go armed.
His bond totals $55,000 and he will be in court on the charges January 22nd.
Sheriff Ray says on Saturday night at 6:52 p.m. 911 received a call from Prichards Foods in Alexandria that a man had come into the store, got some items, and brought them to the cashier. As he approached the counter, the man was wearing a rag over his face telling the cashier he had a bad cold and didn’t want her to catch it. When she totaled up the items on the cash register, the man pulled a knife, pointed it toward the cash register before the drawer opened and ordered the cashier to ” give me what you got”. The cashier turned and ran through the store screaming for someone to call 911.
The man then left the store and got in his vehicle but before he drove away, the store manager had followed him outside and wrote down the license tag number. He then called 911.
Another witness later called 911 and reported that he was behind the vehicle and that it was going east on Highway 70.
Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over the vehicle, a 1994 Dodge Sedan, on Highway 70 near Dowelltown and placed Thomas into custody.
Inside the vehicle, the officers found an eight inch knife between the seats and a rag that may have been used in the attempted robbery.
Sheriff Ray says officers later learned that Thomas had gone into another Alexandria store Saturday “looking for help” prior to the incident at Prichards Foods.
According to Sheriff Ray, Thomas walked into the Dollar General Store in Alexandria and asked the cashier for help. He was holding a rag over his face and had a knife in his back pocket. The cashier told him to go outside, get rid of the knife, and come back in and she would help him. He then walked out of the store and left. Thomas did not display the knife and apparently did not make any demands of the cashier while he was at the Dollar Store. Nothing was taken and no one was injured.
Thomas was not charged in that incident.
In addition to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Alexandria Police Department assisted in the case.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, 33 year old Gregory Micheal Patton and 49 year old Jack Adams both of Petty Road Smithville were arrested Saturday after a traffic stop on Bluhmtown Road.
Sheriff Ray says deputies stopped Patton for a traffic violation after observing him driving a 1993 Chevy Cavalier. Upon entering the vehicle, officers detected a strong smell of alcohol and they noticed a half of a six pack of Busch beer in the rear floorboard. Patton submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Patton had a smell of alcohol on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. A search was conducted and a marijuana cigarette was found in a cigarette pack in Patton’s pocket. Deputies also found a hypodermic needle between the seats of Patton’s car. A check of Patton’s driver’s license also showed them to be suspended for failure to pay child support. Patton admitted to drinking beer, but refused a blood test. He was arrested for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended driver’s license, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $3,500 and he will appear in court on January 22nd. Patton was also issued citations for violation of the implied consent law and turn signal required.
Adams, a passenger of Patton’s vehicle, was found to have a marijuana cigarette in his pocket and a small bag of marijuana was found in his seat. Adams was charged with simple possession of marijuana and his bond was set at $1,500. Adams will appear in court on January 22nd.
51 year old Forrest (Frosty) Byrd was arrested Sunday for leaving the scene of an accident after deputies investigated a one vehicle accident with property damage over $500 on Banks Pisgah Road.
Sheriff Ray says Byrd was driving a 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse when he lost control and wrecked causing property damage to a fence. Byrd then left the scene. After an investigation, it was discovered that Byrd had gone to a business on Short Mountain Highway and called for a wrecker, but never returned to the accident site. Byrd was later charged with the crime. His bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on January 29th.

Willie Beatrice Smith

91 year old Willie Beatrice Smith of Alexandria and formerly of Statesville died Friday at University Medical Center in Lebanon. A retired garment factory worker, she was born in Statesville and was a member of the Statesville United Methodist Church. The funeral will be Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Hunter Funeral Home in Watertown. Burial will be in the Jennings Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until the service time. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Smith; a son-in-law, Clyde Vanatta; sisters, Irene Armstrong, Lucille Taylor, and Arbella Vantrease. Her parents were the late Oza Hardin and Minnie Tennessee Ricketts Hardin. Survivors include two daughters, Nelda Bettes and Barbara Vanatta both of Alexandria. Grandchildren, Tammy Vanatta of Alexandria, Teresa and her husband Tom Lynch of Alexandria, and Richie Vanatta of Statesville. A great grandson, Kameron Vanatta of Pleasant Shade. A sister, Arlene Hayes of Sellarsburg, Indiana. One niece and two nephews. Caregiver, Dora Johnson. Hunter Funeral Home in Watertown is in charge of the arrangements.

Hester Walker Warren

94 year old Hester Walker Warren of McMinnville died Wednesday of a short illness at DeKalb Community Hospital. She was a member of the Church of Christ and a housewife. The funeral will be Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Woodbury Funeral Home. Charles Williams will officiate and burial will be in the Blues Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. She was preceded in death by her parents, Johnny Isaac Walker and Willie Reed Passons Walker; her husband, Jake Lane Warren; her son, Ernest Lee Warren; and her grandson, Steven Warren Stanley. She is survived by three sons, J.L., Norman, and Harold Warren all of Cannon County. Three daughters, Sepal and husband Rex Pedigo of McMinnville, Lucy and husband Steve Stanley of Smithville, and Carol and husband Aubrey Gunter of Short Mountain. Eight grandchildren and several great grandchildren also survive. Woodbury Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Don Cantrell

71 year old Don Cantrell of Smithville died Tuesday night at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville. He was a member of Blue Springs Lodge #373, and the Whorton Springs Baptist Church. He was a former member of the Smithville Fire Department and a police officer for 35 years. Cantrell was also a truck driver with Smithville Freight Lines and ETA. A Masonic service will be held Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and the funeral will be Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at DeKalb Funeral Chapel. James Williams, David Mahan and Michael Hale will officiate. Burial will be in Whorton Springs Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until the service at 2:00 p.m. Cantrell was preceded in death by his parents, Glen and Sudie Cripps Cantrell. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sally Cantrell of Smithville. Children, Donnie and his wife Pat Cantrell, Gary and his wife Lisa Cantrell, Tammy and her husband Mark Ferrell all of Smithville, and Terry and his wife Tina Cantrell of McMinnville. Grandchildren Erica and Jason Bell, Elicia Cantrell, Travis and Adam Ferrell, Cody, and Daylon and Brooklyn Cantrell. Step grandchildren, Thomas and Savanna Russell, and Ashland Dillon. Great grandchild, Calliegh Cantrell. A sister, Lois and her husband Jim Williams of Gladeville. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. The family has requested that donations be made to the Whorton Springs Baptist Church building fund, in lieu of flowers.

Jake Montana Hoover

18 year old Jake Montana Hoover of Liberty died Sunday in an automobile accident at Liberty. He was born in DeKalb County, a student, and a member of Salem Baptist Church. The funeral will be Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Salem Baptist Church. Mike Carpenter, Mark Wade, and Phil Dougan will officiate and burial will be in Salem Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the church and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the funeral at the church. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, James O. Hoover; his great grandmother, Nevada Brennan; a great aunt, Donna Brennan; and an uncle, Russell Hogan. He is survived by his parents, Craig and Tammy Hoover of Liberty. A brother, Ryan Davidson of Liberty. Grandmothers, Patricia Hoover of Liberty and Donnie Wanger of Smithville. Uncles, Kim and Beth McDougal of Monticello, Florida, Jay Hoover of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Mitch McGilvra of Palm Bay, Florida. An aunt, Laurie and husband Doug Beals of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cousins, Jason and Jacob McDougal of Monticello, Florida and James and Beth Beals of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Best friend, Justin Poteete of Liberty and the entire Salem Baptist Church family. Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria is in charge of the arrangements. The family has requested that contributions be made to the family at the funeral home, in lieu of flowers.