Online Application Available for Extension of Unemployment Benefits

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is on schedule to complete the online applications for the latest federal extension of unemployment benefits. The application will be available on the Tennessee Department of Labor’s Internet site on December 11, and the first benefit payments are expected to be mailed December 18, 2009.
“This project has been given the highest priority, and the department’s Information Technology division has worked nights, weekends and holidays to do the extensive programming required of our systems to extend these benefits,” said Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “Those who have already exhausted their benefits should look for instructions in the mail this week with the status of their claim.”
The online application will be necessary for claimants who have exhausted all prior benefits. Additionally, those who exhausted benefits prior to the February 27, 2009, deadline for State Extended Benefits may also be eligible and are encouraged to apply.
Tennesseans who exhaust their State Extended Benefits (EB09) after December 17, 2009, will automatically transition into the new program without having to reapply.
“During this slow economic period, we have seen an unprecedented number of Tennesseans staying on unemployment until they exhaust their benefits,” said Neeley. “This will give those who are still looking for work more time to cover their expenses through the holidays and into 2010.”
This federally funded extension is the fourth announcement of benefits beyond the initial 26 weeks of unemployment compensation provided by the state. While the intent of the bill was to add 20 weeks of payments, an oversight in the way the federal law was structured prevented individuals from receiving the maximum weeks of entitlement. Depending on an individual’s initial claim eligibility, wage history and subsequent employment status, the maximum entitlement for the latest extension of unemployment benefits is 14 weeks.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has posted details of the extension with an extensive list of frequently asked questions on their Internet home page at For Tennesseans without Internet access, Tennessee Career Centers throughout the state are available at no charge. To find a Career Center in your area please go to or call 1-800-576-3467.

DeKalb Farmers Eligible for Federal Agriculture Relief

With extreme rainfall and flooding damaging DeKalb County farms in September, Congressman Bart Gordon announced today that the U.S. Agriculture Department declared DeKalb County a federal agriculture disaster area. The designation comes after Gordon joined his Tennessee colleagues in urging USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to grant the disaster declaration.
“The storms destroyed crop yields across DeKalb County, significantly affecting the livelihood of farmers and their families,” Gordon said. “With this disaster declaration, the many affected farmers can begin to rebuild and prepare for the start of the next farming season.”
The U.S. Agriculture Department’s disaster declaration enables qualifying farmers to apply for federal farm disaster assistance programs, including supplemental farm revenue payments and low-interest emergency loans.
“This federal assistance will not only help the countless farmers and their businesses that were affected by the rain and flooding,” Gordon added, “but it will also help the local county economies.”
DeKalb County is among the 42 Tennessee counties covered under today’s disaster declaration. Affected farmers in DeKalb County should contact the Farm Service Agency office in Smithville for more information. The office’s phone number is (615) 597-8225.

Billy Finis Nixon

79 year old Billy Finis Nixon of Watertown died Wednesday at Cedars Health Care Center in Lebanon. He was a farmer, construction worker, and a member of the Malone’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. The funeral will be Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Hunter Funeral Home in Watertown. Mike Gay and Bill Shaw will officiate and burial will be in the Hillview Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Nixon was preceded in death by his parents, Pirl and Eltie Nixon; a brother, George Nixon; and sisters, Virginia Starnes and Henry Ellis. Survivors include his wife, Nettie Ann Foutch Nixon of Watertown. Two sons, Billy Gerald and his wife Brenda Nixon and Richard Wayne Nixon all of Watertown. Three grandchildren, Rachel and her husband Jackie Russell of Pleasant Shade, Jason Nixon of Knoxville, and Jeff and his wife Sarah Nixon of Arrington. Three great grandchildren, John Russell, William, and Mary Nixon. A sister, Pauline Foutch of Alexandria. Several nieces and nephew also survive. Hunter Funeral Home in Watertown is in charge of the arrangements.

Smithville Police Department Establishes Community Nuisance Eradication Team

Lieutenant Steven Leffew, Officer in Charge, says the Smithville Police Department has established a new unit to help combat the ever growing complaints from the community regarding, not just drug trafficking but all other nuisances as well. This new unit is called the Community Nuisance Eradication Team or CNET. On December 8th members of the Smithville Police Department’s new CNET unit along with the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force went to multiple locations within the city of Smithville.
While investigating complaints at 830 South Mountain Street, officers arrested Anthony Robert Goff on out of county warrants and cited Todd Odell Hindsley and Amanda Riley for possession of drug paraphernalia.
The most productive narcotics investigation of the day came at 835 Anthony Avenue. Officers seized a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix and approximately $1,600 in cash from Misty Jean Ferrell of 1588 Banks Pisgah Road and Rickie Shawn Cummings of 104 Greenland Drive. Cummings was also cited to Smithville Municipal Court for violating the city’s open container ordinance. Smithville Police Department officers present during this day’s operation were Patrolman Matt Farmer, Sergeant Randy King, K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow, Patrolman Nathan Estes, Patrolman Matt Holmes and agents from the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force.
Lieutenant Leffew says “I am very proud to see what can be achieved when the Smithville Police Department combines efforts with other agencies such as the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department”.
He adds “today’s events are just the beginning of the CNET’s presence within the community.
Anyone having information about any type of criminal activity within the Smithville community is encouraged to contact the Smithville City Police Department 597-8210 or the Crime Tip Hot Line 464-6046.

Betty Joyce Cruz

66 year old Betty Joyce Cruz of Mundelin, Illinois died Saturday at the Condell Medical Center. She was a customer service representative with the Baxter Medical Supply Company. The funeral will be Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Virgil Hibdon, Jr. will officiate and burial will be in DeKalb Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the service at 11:30 a.m. Cruz was preceded in death by her parents, Allen and Roslyn Johnson Stephens and two brothers, Harold and Milton Stephens. Survivors include her husband, Raymond Cruz of Illinois. Three sisters, Emogene and her husband Justice Hyde of Franklin, Margaret Haydock of Ohio, and Dianne and husband Jackie Richardson of LaFayette. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

County 4-H Public Speaking Contest Winners Awarded

The county 4-H Public speaking contest was held Monday night at Northside Elementary School.
The contest is a good way for 4-H members to polish their speaking and writing skills. It also helps them gain confidence. The 4-H program is open to all eligible youth regardless of
race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.
2009 County 6th – 8th grade 4-H public speaking winners: (Top Photo Left to Right) Cassie Cain, 8th grade winner, William Cain, 6th grade winner, and Lydia Trail, 7th grade winner. All are students at DeKalb West School
5th Grade participants:(Second Photo from Top Front Row Left to Right): Casey Vickers (DeKalb West), Katlyn Cox, and Allison Rogers (Northside) Second row: Emily Wallace, Makira Johson (Northside), Wyatt Martin (DeKalb West), Chloe Cripps, Grace Odom, Jeremy Wagner, Joshua Irvin, Gentry Harpole, Eli Cross, Adam Ferrell, and Daniel Patterson (all from Northside).
2009 County 4-H Public Speaking Winners: (Third Photo from Top Front Row (Left to Right):
Abigale Fontanez, 2nd place in 4th grade; Abby Evans, 1st place, 4th grade; and Hannah Brown, and Lydia Trail, 1st place in 7th grade. Second row: William Cain, 1st place in 6th grade; Cassie Cain, 1st place in 8th grade; Adam Ferrell, 3rd place in 5th grade; Eli Cross, 2nd place in 5th grade; and Wyatt Martin, 1st place in 5th grade.
2009 County 4th Grade Public Speaking participants: (Bottom Photo Front Row Left to
Right): Mackenzie Knowles (DeKalb West), Abigale Fontanez, Hayley Martin (Northside). Second row (left to right): Gage Bowman, Shauna Pedroza, Olivia Fuson, Abby Evans, and Hannah Brown (Northside).

Lohorn Charged in Recent Armed Robbery and Vandalism Cases

A 23 year old man, initially arrested Monday by Smithville Police for vandalism, has also been identified as the person responsible for an armed robbery last Friday at the home of W.J. Page at 826 Anthony Avenue, in which a $70 watch was stolen.
Lieutenant Steven Leffew, Officer in Charge of the Smithville Police Department, says 23 year old Justin R. Lohorn of Short Mountain Street, Smithville is charged by Smithville Police with one count of aggravated robbery, one count of theft of property, two counts of vandalism, and a first offense of driving on a suspended license. Sheriff Patrick Ray says his department has also charged Lohorn with one count of vandalism and one count of theft under $500. Total bond for Lohorn is $71,000 and he will appear in General Sessions Court on December 17th.
Lohorn is accused of vandalizing vending machines Monday, December 7th at Larry’s Discount Grocery on West Broad Street, It’s All About Looks on Dry Creek Road, and at the Mystick Market on Highway 56 south.
According to Lieutenant Leffew, Lohorn became as a suspect in the Page robbery after being arrested in the vandalism cases. Smithville Police Officer Matt Holmes and Detective Mike Billings of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation after the initial arrest of Lohorn by Smithville Police Officer Nathan Estes.
According to police reports, “Officer Estes responded to a vandalism complaint at 625 Dry Creek Road (It’s All About Looks) on Monday where the owner of the business reported that a drink machine had been damaged. Officer Estes got a description of the vehicle leaving the scene and later spotted it on Highway 70 west. He stopped the automobile and spoke to the driver, Lohorn. A check of his drivers license found them to be suspended. Also found in the front seat of Lohorn’s vehicle were four hammers, two knives, bolt cutters, and a tire wrench.” He was taken into custody and charged with the vandalism of the vending machines at both It’s All About Looks and at Larry’s Discount Grocery. He was also charged with a first offense of driving on a suspended license.
In the incident at Larry’s Discount Grocery, the arrest warrant states that on Monday, December 7th “Lohorn did vandalize two drink machines by taking bolt cutters and cutting off two locks. He also caused damage to one of the machines by prying on it with a pry bar.”
In the robbery case, the arrest warrant against Lohorn states that “he did commit aggravated robbery by confronting W.J. Page who was leaving his residence at 826 Anthony Avenue, Smithville by using a handgun and telling Page to give him his wallet and watch. Lohorn gave a written statement confessing to the robbery. A gun and the watch were recovered at Lohorn’s residence.”
On the theft charge, the arrest warrant alleges that ” Lohorn did take a watch by gunpoint in a robbery from Page who was exiting his home at 826 Anthony Avenue, Smithville. Lohorn did admit to robbing Mr. Page and taking the watch, which was recovered from Lohorn residence. The value of the watch is $70.”
In the case against Lohorn filed by the sheriff’s department, the arrest warrant states that “On December 7th, Lohorn did vandalize a drink machine at Mystick Market on McMinnville Highway. He broke into the machine, causing damage to the front and inside, estimated at $1,800. Lohorn was also charged with theft of property under $500 for allegedly taking 31 one dollar bills from the drink machine at Mystick Market. He has admitted to taking that money.”
Lieutenant Leffew says he is grateful for the cooperation between the city police and county sheriff’s departments in this investigation.”I would like to extend my gratitude to Sheriff Ray and County Detective Billings for their assistance in this matter. I’m very pleased with the combined effort of the police department and the sheriff’s department in bringing this case to a close.”
Lieutenant Leffew also commended Smithville Police Officers Estes and Holmes for their part in solving the crimes.
The armed robbery at the Page residence was reported to central dispatch at 4:49 a.m. Friday morning.
Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis, in his report that morning, states “I was dispatched to 826 Anthony Avenue in reference to a robbery. Upon my arrival, I made contact with the complainant, W.J. Page who stated that he was going to his garage when an unknown male with a mask and a camouflage coat came out from behind his truck and pointed something at him and stated “give me your money, wallet, watch” or words to that affect. Mr. Page stated that he threw his watch toward him and started running toward his house. Mr. Page stated that the suspect ran toward J.E. Evins Avenue. A search of the area by Sergeant Joey Jones and Deputy Barrett and myself (Davis) could not locate the suspect.”
The suspect was described as a male, 5′ 9 to 5′ 10 inches tall, average build, wearing a mask, a camo jacket, and possibly armed with an unknown type of gun/knife.

DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders Win State Championship

The DeKalb County Basketball Cheerleaders have won the 2009 TSSAA State Cheer Non-Building Championship. The competition was held Saturday at MTSU’s Murphy Center.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) began the State Cheerleading Championship in 1998. Since the first competition, the DeKalb County Basketball Cheerleaders have competed each year. During the last five years, they have won four State Cheer Championships.
The preparation for competition level performances began in July when the local cheerleaders participated in a Cheerleaders of America (COA) Cheer Camp. At the camp, Kendra Foutch and Amanda Ours were each named All American Cheerleaders, a prestigious award based on cheer skills, spirit, and leadership. Other awards presented at the camp were:
Best Gymnastics: Kendra Foutch,
Most Spirited: Amanda Ours,
Cheerleadership: Caroline Carter,
Best Stunter: Sydney Robinson,
Best Jumps: Jasmine Dimas.
The squad also a received a bid to perform during half-time at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on January 1, 2010 based on a camp evaluation of their cheer skills, spirit, work ethic, and enthusiasm. However, due to commitments to family, school, and basketball, the cheer squad will not be making the trip to Orlando for the New Year’s Day bowl game.
As school began, the cheer squad practiced relentlessly in improving their cheer techniques to prepare for another state championship bid. In November, the cheerleaders learned their 2009 competition routine which is high energy and focuses on cheer skills and other abilities that encourage crowd participation. They use poms, signs, and megaphones to add variety to their routine and enhance the pride of being a DCHS Tiger.
After placing 2nd in the UCA Tennessee Extreme Regional on November 21st, the routine underwent some tweaking to improve it’s visual effects, performance, and energy and all the perseverance and hard work has paid off with another state championship for the local cheerleaders
The members of the DCHS Basketball Cheerleading squad are Captains and Seniors: Amanda Ours, Kendra Foutch, and Caroline Carter;
Sophomores: Christian Atnip, Jasmine Dimas, Allyson Judkins, Allison Little, Cora Beth Rhody, Sydney Robinson, Ashlee Whitehead;
Freshmen: Destiny Caldwell, Erin Cantrell-Pryor, Kelsey Hale, Emily Webb.

Aldermen Rule Against Richard Jennings- Police Chief Loses his Job

The Smithville board of aldermen, with four voting in the affirmative, upheld the city discipline board’s decision last month to terminate Police Chief Richard Jennings for dereliction of duties/negligence following a hearing Monday night at city hall.
Aldermen W.J. (Dub) White, Steve White, Shawn Jacobs, and Aaron Meeks all voted for termination. Alderman Cecil Burger, saying he lacked enough information, did not vote.
At the beginning of the hearing, Jennings’ attorney Kerry Knox of Murfreesboro, asked that Meeks recuse himself from voting since, as police commissioner, he is the one who initiated the suspension of Chief Jennings and is a member of the three man discipline board who voted to terminate Jennings. ” I think it is inappropriate for Mr. Meeks to be a voting member on this decision. I think we all know Mr. Meeks was the police commissioner who affected this termination. I don’t think it gives any appearance of impartiality by this board for Mr. Meeks to be a voting member on this decision. We know where he stands and it’s not fair for him to stand as both accuser and judge in this case. So for that reason I would ask that Mr. Meeks recuse in this vote.”
Meeks did not recuse himself from voting.
Knox wanted to question Meeks, about the allegations raised against Jennings, but Mayor Taft Hendrixson and City Attorney Vester Parsley would not permit it, saying this was not a court of law. Knox protested saying that the board would be denying his client due process by not being able to question his accuser. “I suggest that’s all we can do in this case (question Meeks) because we don’t know what these allegations mean, where they come from, and what the basis is for them. So without any further explanation from Mr. Meeks about what this means and how we’re supposed to respond, I don’t know how to do that without having Mr. Meeks explain to this board what these allegations mean and where they come from. I’m prepared to let Chief Jennings speak on these issues but I think it would be appropriate for a response from Mr. Meeks to tell us how these allegations are substantiated because the employees of the city of Smithville can only be terminated for cause. That means you have to give us a good reason why this termination is justified. We don’t have to explain to you why it’s unjustified.”
Knox added “It is a denial of due process. We can’t respond to allegations if we don’t know what they are or where they come from. We’ll do our best to respond but I’m putting you on notice that we consider this a denial of due process when you’re looking at the subjectivity contained in this document and somehow that is supposed to rise to the level of cause.”
Knox then reviewed each of the eleven allegations against Jennings and allowed him to give an answer to them. Afterwards, Knox again renewed his objection to Meeks voting on this matter and the mayor and city attorney’s refusal to allow him to question Meeks. “I think it’s unfortunate and candidly unconstitutional that we’re forced to stand up here and tear down a paper tiger that you created without hearing from the accuser on the justification for this sundry list of reasons that Chief Jennings was terminated so for that reason I would encourage the board, if they’re not going to let me question him, for the board to question him and again, I renew my objection to him (Meeks) participating in this decision because if we’re going to give at least the outward appearance that this board is impartial and is going to consider these decisions on it’s own it can’t do so with the participation of Mr. Meeks.”
Alderman Jacobs bristled at Knox’s remarks. ” I’d like to say I’m personally offended by the accusation that this board does not know what’s going on absent Mr. Meeks. Most of these gentlemen have been on the board for several years. I’m a newbie. I think it is ludicrous to say that the board is not aware of any of these allegations beside Mr. Meeks. I think every person on this board has gone to Mr. Jennings and begged him to make certain changes in the department in regard to drug interdiction and crime investigation which has virtually been zero for sometime in this community. I personally like Mr. Jennings very much and I hate it has come to this. I can assure you that this is about policy. It is not about politics and it is most certainly not about personality because I have a great deal of affection for Mr. Jennings. I hate the situation has come to this. I have prayed and I have prayed and I have prayed that this board will make the right decision, probably to the neglect of other things I should have prayed about. This is not a rush to judgment. This is something that some members of this board have been working on for many years before the newest members have been selected. I am very much troubled and offended that anyone would accuse this board of doing anything that is less than altruistic and certainly not above board. This is a very hard job to make a decision like this. I don’t want to take a vote on this either way. If it were up to me we wouldn’t be voting either way but it’s come to this and I hate it. I thoroughly reject some of the comments about the board that have been made tonight and about Mr. Meeks in particular.”
Alderman Steve White added ” I would also like to echo a lot of what Mr. Jacobs has said. I do hate that it has come to this situation and gone this far.”
Aldermen Cecil Burger, who is also former city employee and mayor, briefly mentioned his long time association with Jennings.” Richard and I have worked together a long time and I hope we’re friends. When I was mayor I had to call him in the office different times to discuss things. We’ve worked together and don’t start trying to tell me how he operates or what he does or when he does it. We’ve been together long enough that we know each other and how we operate.”
Alderman W.J. (Dub) White said he too has known Jennings for many years. “I’ve known Richard since back in the 60’s and I have worked with him at the city since the 90’s. I like Richard as a person. I hate it has come to this.”
Prior to the hearing, three city residents spoke in support of Jennings
Faye Fuqua said Jennings has been an effective and professional chief. “He has cultivated a staff of professional officers. He has been fair and hard working and an even handed chief. We question whether this is a justified dismissal or maybe a personal conflict between the police commissioner, Mr. Meeks and Chief Jennings. To date there has been no evidence to support such a dismissal. If there is such evidence, why has it not been presented? Tonight we are asking you, our board of aldermen to do the right thing and to right this terrible wrong. There is a petition that is being circulated (that reads) ‘Police Chief Richard Jennings has served Smithville with honor and distinction since 1986. He is respected by other officers. He enforces the law without fear or favor, never succumbing to petty political pressures. Chief Jennings has earned the overwhelming support of our community’. Many people have responded to this petition and all will have an opportunity to give him their support on this written petition.”
Lloyd Black also defended Jennings, saying this was just a political move.” I really think this is just old politics being renewed. It’s not a good thing. We have a good chief. We have a good police department. Things are going great. I sleep well at night and I want to continue to sleep well at night. I just think this is a mistake. You need to think it over and look at it really hard because we don’t want to do the wrong thing and get the wrong person in here. We’ve been there. I think we’d better stick with what we’ve got.’
Fay Cantrell added “I think you all are doing Richard Jennings bad, and I mean bad.”
With the vote going against Jennings, his only recourse now may be in a court of law. Knox says he and Jennings have not yet made a decision on their next course of action.
On Thursday, November 12th Jennings was suspended without pay pending termination and Lieutenant Steven Leffew was named “Officer in Charge” of the department until the issue with the chief position is settled.
Jennings says he was called to the mayor’s office at city hall that afternoon where he was given the news. Those present were Mayor Taft Hendrixson, Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks, and Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson.
Meeks signed the notice of suspension with the verbal concurrence of the mayor. Hunter Hendrixson was not involved in the decision. The reasons for the suspension were read to Jennings and he was given a written copy.
The notice of suspension read as follows “You (Jennings) are being suspended for the following reason- dereliction of duties/negligence.
1. In the past two years, as Police Chief, you have not developed a comprehensive plan to combat crime problems in the City of Smithville, as evidenced by your admission to the board at the workshop of September 14th, 2009. You have not reached out to other agencies for help in combating these problems.
2. You were given two additional officers by the previous board with your promise that you then would be able to do drug investigations. To date, this has not happened.
3. At the workshop on September 14th, 2009, you did not know how many officers you had employed in the department, as evidenced by the CD of the meeting.
4. You have 4 or 5 officers-including yourself and the investigator-on duty on the day shift. You could have used some of these officers to work drug operations.
5. Your claim that the police department’s budget has been cut is not substantiated by the 2008-09 city budget. In fact, there was an increase in the police department’s budget over the previous year’s budget. Also, your claim that all of your overtime has been cut is not true. You are still having overtime in your department.
6. There has been little progress made toward having a better-trained Police Force in specialized areas.
7. Community relations between your office and the public have deteriorated over the last two years.
8. You have not been a “working chief” out patrolling, issuing traffic tickets, answering calls for service, and making arrests.
9. You have authorized the use of a police vehicle for the transportation of civilians out of the area of authority of the Smithville Police Department.
10. It is the responsibility of all department heads to be available for call out at all times. You advised that you turn off your city cell phone when you leave for the day.
11. You have demonstrated lack of adequate supervision of officers.
On Tuesday, November 17th, the City of Smithville’s discipline board met briefly at city hall and by a vote of 2 to 1, dismissed Chief Jennings.
Members of the board, Alderman and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks and Mayor Taft Hendrixson both voted in concurrence with the suspension and termination. Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson voted against.
After the vote, Jennings requested a hearing before the entire board of aldermen at the December 7th city council meeting to appeal the termination.
The decision Monday night by the aldermen was final. Jennings is terminated.
Meanwhile, in other business, the aldermen approved the promotion of Patrolman Randy King to Sergeant and Patrolman Travis Bryant to Corporal.
Mayor Hendrixson added that January 26th is the tentative bid opening for water plant project.

Sheriff Seeks Public Help in Solving Mailbox Vandalism

Sheriff Patrick Ray is asking for your help in solving a rash of mailbox vandalism cases.
In his weekly media update on crime, Sheriff Ray says the vandalism has been occurring in several different places across the county .”In the last month we have had reports of mailboxes that have gotten vandalized in Dowelltown, Temperance Hall, Keltonburg, and the Four Seasons areas among other locations. Some of the complainants reported hearing vehicles stop by their mailboxes, but did not look to see who it was or what they were driving. We are asking the public to “be on the lookout” for this kind of activity. There have been reports of mailboxes that were hit with an unidentified object. Some of the boxes were blown up by sealed plastic water bottles that contained unknown chemicals which produced a gas inside causing the explosion.. If you hear anything outside of your home, please observe and try to get a description of the vehicle and a direction of travel and then call the central dispatch at 215-3000 so a deputy can be dispatched to your location. If you know or have heard of a person who might be involved in the mailbox vandalism incidents, please call Sheriff Ray at 597-4935 or the sheriff’s department’s crime tip line at 464-6400. All calls are kept confidential.
Meanwhile, in other crime news, Sheriff Ray says 31 year old Jason Zeen Cripps of Bethel Road Smithville was arrested on Saturday, November 28th for theft of property over $500. On Thanksgiving Day, detectives received a report that someone had stolen a bumper trailer from a location on Cookeville Highway. After Cripps was identified as a suspect, deputies and detectives went to the Cripps home on Bethel Road and saw the stolen trailer. Cripps was picked up and questioned. He was later charged with the crime. Bond for Cripps was set at $5,000 and he will appear in court on December 10th. More charges and arrests are pending in this and other cases.
30 year old Jack Mullican Jr. of Gay Road Smithville was arrested on Thursday, December 3rd for forgery after detectives conducted an investigation into a forgery case and identified Mullican as a suspect. On October 18th, detectives received a report from a Mullican family member who said someone had stolen blank checks and passed one of them at Kwik & Ezy Market in Smithville. After interviewing Mullican about the case, he admitted to passing the check. Mullican’s bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on January 28th.
Also on Thursday a deputy, while on patrol, stopped 22 year old Phil Darnell Fullilove of Lavergne Street Alexandria for driving on a revoked license. The officer had prior knowledge that Fullilove’s drivers license had been revoked. This was the third time Fullilove had been caught behind the wheel of a motor vehicle without having a valid driver’s license. He was charged with a 3rd offense of driving on a revoked license and his bond was set at $5,000. He will appear in court on December 16th.
Meanwhile, on Friday, December 4th a deputy, while on patrol on Sparta Highway, stopped 29 year old John Adrian Williams of Orthodox Way Liberty for a traffic violation. After the stop, officers checked William’s drivers license and discovered they were revoked for failure to file insurance after an accident. The department’s K-9, also at the scene, alerted on Williams’ vehicle. Deputies conducted a search and found a vial of water in Williams’ pocket. A hypodermic syringe was found under the driver’s seat and mason jars, plastic tubing, and iodine were also in the vehicle. Williams was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license. His bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on December 17th. Williams admitted to the deputies that he had injected himself with methamphetamine earlier in the day.
22 year old Gregory Hamilton Clark of Suttons Branch Road Beech Grove was arrested on Saturday, December 5th for driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. Clark was stopped after deputies saw him traveling 70 mph in a 55 mph zone and weaving on the roadway. After making the traffic stop, the officers noticed a smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Clark submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Clark refused to take a blood alcohol test. Under the driver’s seat, deputies found a glass pipe containing marijuana residue. Bond for Clark was set at $2,000 and he was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. He will appear in court on December 17th.