Sandra “Sami” Kay Sturges

56 year old Sandra “Sami” Kay Sturges of Murfreesboro died Thursday at Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro. She was a Christian and a former certified Peer Specialist in the Mental Health Field. The funeral will be Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Wendell Jones will officiate and burial will be in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the service at 2:30 p.m. She was preceded in death by two husbands, David Sturges and Patrick Batts; parents, Russell and Cleda Thatcher; and a brother and sister, Stacy and Shelley Thatcher. Survivors include two children, Joey and wife Shiquila Sturges and Elizabeth Sturges and Scott Murray all of Murfreesboro. Four grandchildren, Zamara and Allenah Sturges and Kaylee and Lillian Murray all of Murfreesboro. Two sisters, Sharon and husband Danny Brewer of Woodbury and Sonya Jones of Murfreesboro. One brother, Stewart Thatcher of Smithville. Five nieces and one nephew. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

DeKalb Fire Department Partners with State Fire Marshal to Offer FREE Smoke Alarms

Since April the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has installed 471 smoke alarms free of charge for residents across the county who didn’t have one.
It’s part of the “Get Alarmed Tennessee Smoke Alarm Program” by the State Fire Marshal’s Office to prevent home fire deaths in Tennessee.
Using grant funds awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State Fire Marshal’s Office purchased 20,000 smoke alarms for distribution to fire departments in the state. Under the grant program, fire departments who participate are to install these smoke alarms in at-risk homes.
“The response has been fantastic here in DeKalb County. I believe it has been a huge success and I think it will continue to be a success as long as we can continue to get these smoke alarms,” said Brian Williams, Station Commander of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s Main Station.
“The County Fire Department has installed 471 smoke alarms (this year) and I have just picked up another 102 (to be installed), ” said Williams, who is responsible for installing the smoke alarms. “Most of the response is from elderly people. The oldest person we have served is a woman in Alexandria who is now 100 years old. She had never had a smoke alarm in her life. She was very thankful that we took the time to install a smoke alarm just for her safety and well being,” said Williams.
While many elderly persons have taken advantage of the free smoke alarms, the program is for anyone in need. “It’s for everybody. Anybody without a smoke alarm or without a properly working smoke alarm is considered at high risk. If you have a smoke alarm and it is ten years old, which is what is considered the shelf life of a smoke alarm, then it needs to be replaced,” said Williams.
Unlike many of the smoke alarms that are available in stores, those being installed by the county fire department are powered by a battery that doesn’t have to be changed twice a year. “We encourage people to get on board with these ten year smoke alarms,” said County Fire Chief Donny Green. “It doesn’t require any maintenance. We’re always reminding people to change batteries in their smoke alarms during the fall and spring with the time change but with these alarms you don’t have to do that. All you have to do after they are installed is just keep them clean. They will be there to serve for ten years. After that they will start chirping. It’s an audible alarm to let you know that the end of the shelf life of that smoke alarm is approaching and that it needs to be replaced,” said Chief Green.
The smoke alarms available under this grant program are not just for residents in the rural areas. Chief Green said the county fire department will also provide them to city dwellers. “These are available to anybody. If you don’t have a smoke alarm or if the one you have is ten years old or older you are at-risk and we want to provide you a new one. It doesn’t matter where you live in the county. If it’s Alexandria or the City of Smithville, Dowelltown, Liberty, or wherever it is you live in DeKalb County, you are eligible to get these smoke alarms,” said Chief Green.
The program also allows fire departments to receive, while supplies last, a limited amount of bed shaker alarms designed specifically for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Priority for these specialty alarms is given to those who cannot afford to purchase the devices on their own. The county fire department has installed two bed shaker alarms this year in DeKalb County . “Smoke alarms are great but if you are deaf or can’t hear good they may not wake you,” said Chief Green. “With a bed shaker, you still have smoke alarms in your home and the alarms will sound off if you have a situation where there is smoke in the house. The alarm then sends a signal to a monitor that is set up on this bed shaker. The audible signal from the smoke alarm goes to the monitor. The monitor is connected to a round ball that goes underneath your bed mattress. When that monitor receives that signal from the smoke alarm, it activates the bed shaker and through an intense vibrating motion underneath the mattress, it wakes up the person in bed. These bed shaker alarms also have a flashing light,” said Chief Green.
Although hundreds have been served in DeKalb County, Chief Green said many more persons locally should take advantage of this free service because it could save lives. “If you know someone who needs a smoke alarm, help us spread the word. These alarms are free and we install them for free. We will not ask for a donation when we come to your home. We only ask that you let us put in these smoke alarms so that everyone in your home can be safer,” he said.
“It’s not only a safety feature for the public, but for the fire department as well. If someone is trapped in a home or needs to be rescued, we’re putting our firefighters at great risk by going into a house to try and rescue someone that might not have been alerted (by not having a working smoke alarm). But if they do have an alarm and can get out safely, then we’re not putting our firefighters at that kind of risk. It’s a dual benefit to the public and the firefighters,” Chief Green continued.
If you would like a free smoke alarm from the county fire department, contact Station Commander Brian Williams or Chief Donny Green. “It’s simple to make the request. All you have to do is call us and tell us your name, your address, and phone number and we’ll get you on the list. We make every effort for those who sign up for this program to let them know who is coming to their house, when we will be there, and when you can expect us. Brian has done all of our installations. Anytime he is out doing this, he has on some kind of shirt that has one of our official logos on it. He will always introduce himself. But more importantly, before he comes to your home, he will call you and say, “My name is Brian Williams, you have requested a smoke alarm, and I am on my way there and you can expect me”. That way you know nobody is going to show up at your door unannounced and you don’t have to wonder who it is,” added Chief Green.
Call Station Commander Brian Williams at 615-330-4066 or County Fire Chief Donny Green at 615-464-7176. You can also message them on Facebook. “We have a Facebook page, DeKalb County Fire Department, and if you want to request a smoke alarm on there you can go to our Facebook page and put a message on our wall or you can send us a private message on there,” Chief Green concluded.

Elizabeth Turney

90 year old Elizabeth Turney of Alexandria died Thursday at the DeKalb Community Hospital.
Mrs. Turney was born July 20, 1923 in DeKalb County, TN, to the late Marshall Francis Turney and Mattie Grizzle Turney. She was also preceded by Sister and Brother-in-Law; Gertrude (John) Owens, Double First-Cousin; Corinne Hayes, and Nephew Turney Owens. Mrs. Turney was a member of the Alexandria Eastern Star.
Mrs. Turney is survived by her Seven Cousins; James (Judy) Hayes, Margaret (Clyde) Poston, Caroline Beatle, Mary Forest, Dwight Hancock, Ann Sloan, and Joyce (Jerry) Lane
Funeral Services for Mrs. Turney are scheduled to be conducted on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 1PM at Avant Funeral Home with Dr. John Carpenter officiating. Interment will follow in the Sycamore Cemetery.
Visitation with the Turney family will be held on Friday from 2PM until 8PM and again on Saturday after 10AM until the service time at 1PM.
Avant Funeral Home in Alexandria is in charge of the arrangements.

James Carlon “J.C.” Hill

87 year old James Carlon “J.C.” Hill of Smithville died Thursday morning at NHC HealthCare Center in Smithville. He was the son of the late William Floyd “Willie” and Mary Alice Cantrell Hill. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by Daughter, Darice Elaine Cantrell; Brother, Lonnie Bethel Hill; Sister, Marine Hill Keith. He was a retired Landscaper and attended the Assembly of God and was a WWII U.S. Army Veteran. Survivors include 3 Grandsons, Steven Cantrell of Knoxville, J.W. Cantrell of Shreveport, LA, and Josh Isaac Melton of Smithville; 3 Sisters, Aleen Hill Mashburn of Cookeville, Joan Hill Thomas of Nashville, and Martha Hill of Smithville; Brother-in-law, Corbin Keith of Smithville; Several Nieces and Nephews also survive. Funeral services will be conducted 2:PM Saturday at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Donnie Kelly officiating and interment to follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Friday 4:PM until 8:PM and Saturday 11:AM until the time of the service at 2:PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Fire Destroys Keltonburg Home (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

A fire destroyed the home of Percy Pinegar, Jr at 4915 Keltonburg Road (Keltonburg Nursery) Wednesday night.
Central dispatch received the call at 6:13 p.m.
Members of the Midway, Belk, Keltonburg, Short Mountain Highway, and Blue Springs stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker truck, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.
The fire apparently spread quickly and firefighters could not save the home.
Members of the family were reportedly at home at the time of the fire but escaped without injury.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident the single wide trailer home of Kenneth Pack at 1399 Old Bildad Road was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.
Central dispatch received the call at 1:32 a.m.
According to Lieutenant Kyle Caspar of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, Pack was cooking when a grease fire ignited in the kitchen. By the time Pack got out of the trailer, flames were coming through the roof.
Although firefighters could not save the trailer, they were able to keep the blaze from spreading to an outbuilding.
No one was injured.
Members of the Short Mountain Highway, Keltonburg, Belk, and Main Station responded from the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department along with the tanker truck.

Hospitals Help Indian Mound Boys Have a Merry Christmas

The employees and staff at DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital raised over $2,500 to purchase Christmas gifts for the teens at Indian Mound Home for Boys located in DeKalb County, Tennessee. Gifts included requested and needed items including shoes, clothes and work boots.
The hospital hosted a pizza party in honor of the boys including a visit from Santa himself. When asked about his gifts, one teen replied, “This is so cool! I got everything I asked for on my list. I can’t wait to get back and try on my new Nikes.”
“Of all the things our hospitals do to help the community, this is the event I love the most,” said Director Linda Gagne, “It is such a special time for us as well as the boys.”
“I would like to thank all of the employees for all of the fund raisers and hard work throughout the year to make this happen,” said HR Assistant Jennifer Tramel, “We could never say enough about the good-hearted people who help all year long for this one special day. It warms my heart.”
DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital have provided much needed Christmas items for Indian Mound boys for many years. Both hospitals would like to thank the community along with their employees for supporting this wonderfu l annual tradition.
To donate to the Indian Mound Boys Home Christmas Fund, contact HR Assistant Jennifer Tramel (615) 215-5370
Pictured: Angela Stockton, Denise Griffin, Brian Woods and CFO Alan Sharp of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital gather gifts to distribute to the eager teens of Indian Mound Home for Boys in DeKalb County, Tennessee.
Pictured: First grade students of West Side School eagerly await a special treat of milk and cookies from Stones River Hospital Dietary Department.

David Randolph

74 year old David Randolph of Smithville died Tuesday afternoon at DeKalb Community Hospital. He was the son of the late Clyde Lee and Mary Alice Randolph. He was retired and a member of Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church. In addition to his parents he is also preceded in death by Granddaughter: Amy Miller; Brother: Jimmy Ray Randolph; Sister: Ruth Ann Elder; Great-Grandson: Jordan Steinbach. Funeral Services will be 2:PM Friday at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bill Robertson officiating and burial in Whorton Springs Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Wednesday 5:PM until 8:PM, Thursday 10:AM until 8:PM and Friday 10:AM until time of the service at 2:PM. Survivors include his wife of 53 years Ivadell Randolph of Smithville; 4 children: Belinda Lack, Renea (Jeff) Cantrell, Marla Turner and Keith (Amy Claire) Randolph all of Smithville. Grandchildren: Wendy Steinbach, Stephanie (Jason) Brown, Natalie Steinbach, Danielle Lack, Alan Lack, Tyler Cantrell and Fiance Caroline Carter, Taylor (Dylan) Freeney, David Turner, Lee Randolph, Gracie & Garrison Randolph, Nick Linder, Josh Miller; Great Grandchildren: Jacob Moore, Erica Brown, Levi Walker, Addison Miller, Lillie Miller, Makayla Turner, Sydney Turner; 2 Brothers: Harold (Glenda) Randolph, Marion Randolph both of Cookeville; Several Nieces and Nephews also survive. In addition to flowers donations can be made to Lighthouse Christian Camp, Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church or Whorton Springs Cemetery. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Shots Fired at Officers During Pursuit

The search for a man trying to evade arrest Monday night escalated with shots being fired at a patrol car during a pursuit before daybreak early Tuesday morning.
35 year old Kevin Glenn Smith remains at large and is wanted by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department. He has a criminal history of drug offenses, burglaries, thefts, and an escape. Smith is now facing new felony charges in DeKalb County. He also has warrants against him in Warren, Coffee, and Cannon County.
The story unfolded Monday evening when Detectives of the Sheriff’s Department went to a residence on Pea Ridge Road, Liberty to attempt to serve a Failure to Appear warrant on Smith’s girlfriend, 26 year old Lydia Renee Judkins of Jefferson Road, Smithville.
When Detectives made contact with Smith, who was in a Nissan Pathfinder, Smith started the engine and sped away, almost hitting the officers. Smith drove down a logging road where the officers could not follow in their patrol car and got away.
A couple of hours later, someone reported finding an overturned and abandoned Nissan Pathfinder on the Alexandria to Dismal Road. It was believed to be the same vehicle that Smith had been driving when he was last seen by Detectives on Pea Ridge Road. Sheriff Ray said that the Pathfinder was stolen from another county. The tag on the vehicle was also stolen from a different county.
Sheriff Ray said after the Pathfinder was found, other law enforcement agencies were summoned to join the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department in the search for Smith. “When we found the vehicle, we alerted Putnam County’s K-9 unit and they came over with their track dog. We also called for a THP helicopter to fly over with their fleer system which is a heat sensing device,” said Sheriff Ray in an interview with WJLE Tuesday night.
As help arrived, the sheriff’s department got a tip that Smith had already left the area. “We received information that Smith had already been picked up and taken to a residence in the city limits of Dowelltown. We left the scene on the Alexandria to Dismal Road where the Pathfinder was found and went to Dowelltown where we learned that somebody had taken Smith from there to meet someone around Statesville Road off Highway 96 in Wilson County. We got Wilson County officers to go with us over there to do some saturated patrols to see if we could find this vehicle but we never could locate it,” said Sheriff Ray.
On the way back before daybreak Tuesday morning, sheriff’s department detectives spotted a suspicious pickup truck in Dowelltown. But when they tried to stop it to investigate, the truck took off and a pursuit ensued. “On our way back when we were driving between Liberty and Dowelltown, detectives saw a white Toyota Tacoma that was suspicious. The truck was on Main Street in Dowelltown but turned onto Highway 70. When the detectives turned around on the vehicle, it began to flee. There were two people in the truck and by the direction of travel that the truck went, we believe Kevin Smith was one of the persons in that vehicle. The pursuit went from Highway 70 to Highway 53 in Liberty, then to Sycamore Road, Hawkins Hill Road, Highway 96, to Statesville Road and then to various roads off Statesville Road near where Smith had been dropped off earlier. During the pursuit, one of the persons in the truck fired a weapon numerous times at the lead patrol car. The detectives did not return fire. For safety of the officers and the public, the detectives backed off the pursuit. Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and Watertown Police Department officers were trying to get in position to get the truck stopped, but the driver kept taking roads left and right and finally got away,” said Sheriff Ray.
The Tacoma pickup is also believed to have been stolen because the tag on it was stolen in Wilson County only three days ago (Saturday).
Though Smith has not threatened to harm the public, he is believed to be armed and witnesses have claimed he has said that if he were to be approached by law enforcement officers, he would make them shoot him because he is not going back to prison.
If anyone has information as to the whereabouts of Smith, please call the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department or Central Dispatch at 215-3000. Smith has many tattoos on his body.
According to Sheriff Ray, Smith has no known primary residence. “Through our investigation, he and his girlfriend have been staying with friends or sleeping in vehicles,” he said.
Sheriff Ray wishes to thank Chief Mark Collins of the Alexandria Police Department for calling in an off duty officer when authorities thought the search for Smith might reach Alexandria.

Attorney for Mike Foster Files Motion to Dismiss Charge in U.S. District Court

The attorney for County Mayor Mike Foster has filed a motion asking the federal court to dismiss the case against Foster alleging that the former UCDD Chairman made false statements to the agency’s board of directors relating to the Living the Dream facility, a home for seniors in Putnam County.
In his motion to dismiss filed Friday, December 13, Foster’s attorney Hal Hardin claims that “Mr. Foster is entitled to dismissal of the charge because the “statements” he made are ambiguous to such an extent that they cannot be prosecuted as a crime”.
Hardin has also filed a motion for a “Bill of Particulars” seeking specificity of the charge against Foster, and a motion for “Severance” claiming that Foster would be prejudiced by a joint trial with his co-defendants Wendy Askins and Larry Webb.
In September, Former UCDD Executive Director Wendy Askins and former Deputy Director Larry Webb were named in a sixteen count federal grand jury indictment accusing them of conspiring to misuse government funds at the “Living the Dream” complex.
The grand jury also indicted Foster alleging that he read a statement that he knew was false at the UCDD board’s January 19, 2012 meeting to cover up Askins’ and Webb’s alleged illegal activity.
In his motion to dismiss, Hardin contends “There is no allegation that Foster was a member of the conspiracy described in the indictment and no allegation that he ever received anything of value for reading the statement. While it is alleged that Foster knew that the read statement was false, it is not alleged that Foster knew that Askins and Webb had a criminal motive for asking him to read it.”
A memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss is summarized as follows:
“In Count Sixteen, it is alleged that Mr. Foster violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001 when he presented or read a proposed amendment to the minutes on behalf of Askins and Webb to the Executive Committee of the 64-member Board of the UCDD on January 19, 2012. The purported purpose was to consider a correction to the minutes of the February 16, 2010, Board meeting to show that the Board had at that time discussed the transfer of funds for the benefit of one of the corporations owned by Askins and Webb.”
“Thus, the sole count against Foster essentially alleges that he, a local government official, read a “statement prepared by Askins.” Yes, read a statement prepared by Askins… to the Executive Committee of a local public Board in a public meeting that all know was being filmed by a local television station. There is no allegation that Foster was a member of the conspiracy described in the indictment, no allegation that he ever received anything of value for reading the statement. While it is alleged that Foster knew that the read statement was false, it is not alleged that Foster knew that Askins and Webb had a criminal motive for asking him to read it. Significantly, as clearly shown by the video, another member of the board made a motion to approve the statement… that board member has not been indicted. After the executive committee members engaged in a full discussion of the motion, it was passed without dissent by the Executive Committee. Mr. Foster “passed” and did not vote on it… none of the numerous Executive Committee members (or the 64 Board members) who discussed the motion and approved it were indicted.”
“In pretrial discovery, prosecutors furnished a video of the January 19, 2012, meeting. It is rare that an alleged verbal crime can be shown on video. The Court is implored to examine the video. That video shows that Foster told the Executive Committee that his memory on the matter at issue was not clear. The video shows that present at the meeting were attorneys and scores of nonprofit board members who agreed with Defendant Foster’s recollection and with the statement read by him. There were no dissents or objections. Foster passed from voting on the issue. Federal crime? Also telling of Defendant Foster’s lack of involvement in any crime is the government’s complete discovery responses which contain tens of thousands of pages of documents unrelated to Mr. Foster.”
“By way of basic criminal law, not all false statements violate § 1001, rather only false statements that may affect and influence the operation or the integrity of the government. Once jurisdiction has been determined, issues of materiality, knowledge and falsity arise.”
“There are multiple reasons why Count Sixteen must be dismissed for failing to state a § 1001 violation. First, Foster’s statements before a local government board allegedly exposing him to criminal sanctions are, at a minimum, ambiguous to such an extent that, dismissal is required. For example, regarding the subject minutes he stated: “And we talked about it, we don’t think it was. We don’t know if it was voted on, we don’t know if it was properly presented, we don’t really know if it was done as it should have been done and there’s been some problems about whether or not we did it. We talked about it in another meeting about amending it, I think, to include that. And I don’t think that we did it…..was intended to be done and it was either left out or it wasn’t properly recorded. I don’t know which, I wasn’t, I’m not sure…. And I know we talked about it and I… John and I talked about remembering it and Michael and I did and Herb (other board members) nodding his head. We all remember this. But whether or not it was officially done or not but…..And I don’t know if it was properly done…” This ambiguous rambling, quoted language, is the crime alleged in Count 16. Simply to read it is to answer the question – this was not and cannot be a crime. Other members of the Executive Committee, none of whom are indicted, also had similar memories of previous discussion of the subject transaction. Federal crime? For full context of the statements, see the video. The Court is again implored to actually watch the supposed “crime.”
Second, the prosecutor’s own theory of the case, as we can see by the allegations of overt acts under Count One, shows that it was Askins and Webb who created the statement upon which Count 16 relies, not Foster. Foster read the statement for them. He did not make a motion to adopt it, he passed from voting on it. A different Board Member suggested bringing it before the Board. There is no allegation in the indictment that Foster was aware of the allegedly criminal activity of the other defendants or that he knew that the statement was related to any criminal activity. Further, U.S. Courts historically, because of the delicate balance, only carefully tread on political matters involving local government officials. Here, such concerns and the First Amendment protects the ambiguous statement of Foster as protected speech. As held in United States v. Alvarez, 132 S. Ct. 2537 (2012), a case that struck down the Stolen Valor Act as an unconstitutional content-based restriction on free speech, there are limits on the government’s ability to prosecute expressions of speech, and those limits extend to even false speech. The Supreme Court recognized in Alvarez that as a general matter, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content, and as a result, the Constitution demands that content-based restrictions on speech be presumed invalid and that the government bear the burden of showing their constitutionality.”
“Third, Foster’s alleged statement was not material and is not a “statement” for the purposes of a prosecution via § 1001. A violation of § 1001 is comprised of five elements: a statement by the defendant; which must be false or fraudulent material; knowingly and willfully made; pertinent to an activity within the jurisdiction of a federal agency.”
“Here, as clearly shown by the video, Foster was merely making a suggestion of action the Executive Committee might take. He had no ability to alter the minutes, he had no ability to implement any policy or to take any action or to control the other members of the UCDD Board, many of whom also made similar alleged “statements” and none of whom are indicted. Only the Executive Committee of the UCDD Board had the ability to make any “statement” which affected federal function, not Mr. Foster. Federal Crime?”
“This Court has the clear authority to dismiss an indictment prior to trial when it fails to state an offense. Finally, while summary judgment is not mentioned in the criminal case context, a Court may consider if there has been a crime, and if not, dismiss it with prejudice.”
In his motion for a “Bill of Particulars”, Hardin wants the prosecutors to “State the exact false material “Statement” that Foster allegedly made. “Count Sixteen of the indictment alleges that, on or about January 19, 2012, Foster and Askins “aided and abetted by each other, did willfully and knowingly make and cause to be made materially false, fictitious, and fradulent statements and representations..and represented to the UCDD Executive Committee of the Board of Directors…had discussed and intended to approve the transfer of UCDD funds to CRDC for the purpose of the Living the Dream project at the February 16, 2010 UCDD Executive Committee Board meeting…. whereas in truth and in fact as Askins and Foster then and there well knew and believed, the UCDD Executive Committee had not discussed nor intended to approve the transfer of UCDD money to CRDC for the Living the Dream project on February 16, 2010.”
“The defendant (Foster) requests that the prosecutors:
“State with specificity how Foster “then and there well knew and believed the UCDD Executive Committee had not discussed nor intended to approve the transfer of UCDD money to CRDC for the Living the Dream Project on February 16, 2010; State with specificity how Askins “aided and abetted” Foster; State with specificity how Foster “aided and abetted” Askins”. Basic fairness dictates such a disclosure at this time.”
In his motion for a severance, Hardin claims a joint trial with Askins and Webb would be prejudicial to Foster.
A memorandum in support of the motion is summarized as follows:
” Even a cursory review of the allegations reveals that the indictment is directed at the alleged multiyear criminal acts of Askins and Webb, with the result that the indictment devotes the vast majority of its verbiage to those defendants. Foster is discussed in only the final count of a sixteen count indictment and his alleged participation in the alleged crimes of Askins and Webb is miniscule or non- existent in relation to both the amount of alleged wrongdoing of those defendants and the time span of that wrongdoing.”
“A joint trial of all three defendants will unavoidably be prejudicial to Foster for at least two reasons. First, if Foster is tried jointly, he will be inescapably associated in the minds of the jury with the voluminous amounts of material that will be presented against Askins and Webb. Any jury would have great difficulty in trying to separate out the miniscule amount of evidence pertaining to him from the huge amount of evidence that will be presented against Askins and Webb. Thus, Foster will be prejudiced by the “spillover” effect of the evidence against Askins and Webb.”
“Second, Foster wishes to have a prompt disposition of this charge, and because the prosecution’s case against Askins and Webb involved so many more counts, so much more evidence, and, likely, so many more pretrial disputes than the prosecution’s case against him, Foster will not be able to enjoy his constitutional and statutory right to a speedy trial. The State court and Federal court defense of Askins will engender lengthy delays, and, without severance, Foster will not go to trial for many months or even years.”
As WJLE reported previously, the cases against Askins, Webb, and Foster are currently set for trial on May 20, 2014 in U.S. District Court in Nashville.

DeKalb Gets Grant to Improve Safety on Dangerous County Roads

DeKalb County has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation under the Local Roads Safety Initiative Program to improve conditions on certain county roads where there have been fatalities or incapacitating injuries within the last ten years.
A top ten list of roads has been compiled and prioritized based on the need. TDOT will assist the county in erecting guardrails, stop signs, and other safety measures.
“We got a grant from TDOT for $250,000 which will be used to improve certain roads which have had a fatality or incapacitating injury on them within the last ten years,” said County Mayor Mike Foster at Monday night’s county commission meeting. “We met recently and rated these roads. They went and looked at all of them to determine which roads would be worked on to accomplish some of the things for safety,” he said
The top three roads are Bright Hill, Blue Springs, and Four Seasons. “The first road was Bright Hill Road. There have been some fatalities on it and several accidents,” said Foster.
“Blue Springs Road will be primarily at the intersection of Bethel and Blue Springs Road,” he said
“Four Seasons Road is at the big dog leg left turn, where if you miss it, you could go off about 400 feet below into the lake. They are going to put some guardrails there. There’s another place closer to the dock where they’re talking about putting in some guardrails,” said Foster.
“Hopefully we’ll have enough money to get to all of those (all ten roads identified),” he said.
“Guardrails will be put in on some roads. Some will be as simple as putting in stop signs and rumble strips. Some roads will have new markings and signs and some existing markings will be repainted. A shoulder problem will be improved on one of the roads,” said Foster.
The top ten roads identified with a need for safety improvements are as follows:
1. Bright Hill Road. (2.1 miles) three incapacitating and two fatal crashes
2. Blue Springs Road (5.4 miles) one incapacitating and one fatal crash
3. Four Seasons Road (6.4 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
4. Casey Cove Road (2.4 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
5. Jefferson Road near Pates Ford (5.9 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
6. Smith Fork Road (5.8 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
7. Hurricane Ridge Road (2.8 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
8. Lakeview Drive (2.8 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
9. Chapman Hollow Road (2.1 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash
10. Indian Mound Road (1.1 miles) no incapacitating and one fatal crash