Santa Makes Another Appearance for Alexandria Christmas Parade (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

Santa made another appearance in DeKalb County on Sunday for the Alexandria Christmas Parade.
Crowds gathered downtown and along Main Street to catch a glimpse of Santa and all the other attractions of the parade.
The parade made its way into town led by Alexandria Interim Police Chief Chris Russell followed by Sheriff Patrick Ray and the Grand Marshals Jimmy and Daris Mullinax. The Parade also featured floats, the DCHS and Watertown high school bands, local businesses, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, vintage automobiles, farm tractors, four wheelers and motorcycles, Alexandria, Smithville, and DeKalb County Fire trucks, Tennessee Division of Forestry and Smoky the Bear, Smithville- DeKalb Rescue Squad, DeKalb EMS, horseback riders, horse drawn wagons and Santa Claus.
In the floats category, Malone’s Chapel Baptist Church won first place. Second place went to Girl’s Bakery and Diner, and the Alexandria First Baptist Church received third place.
For best vintage automobiles, David Graham received first place for his 1973 Camaro RS. Ronnie Harris received second place for his 1971 Plymouth Scamp. Third place went to Paul Johnson for his 1965 F100 Ford truck.
Drawings were held after the parade for prize giveaways.

Sykes Gets Five Year Sentence for Burglary

A five year sentence was handed down last Monday, December 7 in DeKalb County Criminal Court against a local man in a burglary case.
Judge Gary McKenzie presided.
42 year old Scottie Sykes pled guilty to burglary and received a five year sentence to serve at 45% before his release eligibility date. He is also to make restitution to Smithville Police Detective Lieutenant Matt Holmes in the amount of $1,845. The sentence is to run consecutive to another sentence he is currently serving. Sykes was given credit for time served from June 8, 2014 to December 7, 2015. He was also originally charged with theft over $1,000 and vandalism over $1,000 but those charges were nollied or dropped under this plea deal. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, June 8, 2014 Sykes entered a barn located on Smith Road in Smithville and took two generators, a rake, broom, pitchfork, and a gas can. During the burglary, Sykes also allegedly committed vandalism damage to the barn totaling $1,845.
Meanwhile, 25 year old Amanda Louise Smith, charged with bringing contraband into a penal institution, entered a plea to simple possession. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation. Her fine was $750. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Smith was arrested and brought to the sheriff’s department on unrelated charges. When Smith stepped into the jail, a female correctional officer asked her if she was in possession of any illegal items. Smith replied no. During a search, a silver container fell out of Smith’s bra. Thirty nine pills believed to be subutex, and eleven pills thought to be valium were found in the container.
48 year old Timmy Harvey George entered a plea to facilitation of a schedule II drug. He received a four year sentence suspended to probation. George was fined $2,000 and must make restitution to the state in the amount of $150 jointly and severally with co-defendants in the case. The sentence is to run consecutively with another case against him. According to the indictment returned by the grand jury on July 27, ” George and three other men, on or about the 24th day of February, 2015 knowingly did sell a schedule II controlled substance, to wit: Hydromorphone, constituting the offense of sale of a schedule II controlled substance, to wit: Hydromorphone, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated.”
52 year old John Warner entered a plea to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended except for 45 days to serve. The sentence is to run concurrently with a General Sessions Court violation of probation against him. Warner was fined $610 and he will lose his license as per Department of Safety regulations. He was given jail credit from July 1 to December 7, 2015.
59 year old Genevieve Sonnier entered a plea by information to reckless driving and received six months probation. She had been charged with driving under the influence and evading arrest and cited for driving on roads laned for traffic, violation of the implied consent law, and simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Diazepam). Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 while patrolling Dale Ridge Road, a deputy observed a white Hyundai failing to maintain its lane of travel. The officer activated his blue lights and siren to make a traffic stop but the driver of the vehicle, Sonnier did not pull over until traveling another two miles down Dale Ridge Road. Upon speaking with her, the deputy noticed that Sonnier had a strong odor of alcohol on her person. Sonnier refused to submit to a blood test and said she couldn’t complete field sobriety tasks due to health issues. She admitted to having consumed three beers at a local bar. Found in her purse were three small yellow tablets believed to be Diazepam. Sonnier was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Bandy Found with Methamphetamine

The Sheriff’s Department arrested a woman last week after finding 5.8 grams of methamphetamine on her.
36 year old Nelda Jane Bandy of Old West Point Road, Smithville is charged with possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) for resale. Her bond is $25,000 and she will make a court appearance on December 17.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, December 3 a Sheriff’s Department Detective conducting an investigation at a residence on Midway Road spoke with Bandy. After she gave the detective consent to search her person and purse, he found in her right pants pocket a metal container which held two small plastic baggies with a white crystal substance. Inside her purse was a plastic baggie which also held a crystal substance. The three baggies field tested positive for meth and had an approximate combined weight of 5.8 grams. According to Sheriff Ray, Bandy said she was only trying to make some money with the drugs. She was placed under arrest.
27 year old Manuel Estrada Lopez of Lafayette is charged with driving without a license. He was also cited for violation of the financial responsibility law and driving on roadways laned for traffic. His bond is $1,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, November 30 a deputy responded to Cookeville Highway in reference to a reckless driver. The officer stopped a 1999 Ford Explorer for failing to maintain lane of travel and spoke to the driver, Lopez who admitted he did not have a license. He also had no proof of identification.
45 year old Johnny Darrell Murphy of Hayes Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was further issued citations for having an expired drivers license and no insurance. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court December 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 5 a deputy was dispatched to Turtle’s Bar on Highway 70 east in reference to an intoxicated driver who had run into two vehicles in the parking lot. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Murphy, who was determined to be the driver of a silver Dodge that had hit the two automobiles in the parking lot. Murphy had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and was very unsteady on his feet. His eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. He admitted to having consumed five beers. According to Sheriff Ray, prior to the incident in the parking lot, Murphy had been in an altercation with someone. He was transported to the emergency room of the hospital by DeKalb EMS. He submitted to a blood alcohol test but he didn’t undergo field sobriety tasks due to his injuries. He was placed under arrest after being released from the hospital.
50 year old Brian Franklin Strahan of Toad Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on December 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 5 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Toad Road for a possible domestic. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said she was sleeping when she heard Strahan yelling at the children. The woman said she and Strahan then got into an argument and he punched her in the face. Strahan was placed under arrest.
43 year old Francisco Monzon Lopez of Rock Island is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while consuming an alcoholic beverage. He was further issued citations for no drivers license, violation of the open container law, and violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $3,500 and he will make a court appearance December 17.
Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 6 while on patrol a deputy spotted an automobile with its lights on and engine running in the parking lot of Jewel’s Market on South Congress Boulevard. The officer stopped and spoke with the driver, Lopez. Two bottles of liquor with the seal broken on them were within arms reach of the driver. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His eyes were glazed and his speech was slurred. Lopez had in his possession a loaded 22 caliber rifle. He refused to submit to field sobriety tasks and a blood alcohol test. Lopez was placed under arrest.
54 year old Kevin Troy Coe of Auburntown is charged with domestic assault and violation of an order of protection. His bond is $3,000 and he will make a court appearance on December 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, December 3 a deputy was dispatched to New Bildad Road in reference to a domestic incident in a red Chevrolet S-10 truck. The officer spotted the truck and stopped it on New Bildad Road. A woman jumped out of the truck. She had blood running down her face. The woman said her boyfriend, Coe had hit her in the face several times knocking out a tooth and injuring her nose. Coe has an active order of protection against him and is not supposed to be near this woman. He was placed under arrest.

DCHS Proposes Final Exam Exemptions

As a means of inspiring student motivation and achieving higher grade point averages and better attendance, the Board of Education is considering allowing final exam exemptions for DCHS students.
Under the proposal, high school students would not be required to take final exams provided they met the following conditions:
*”A” average with no more than three excused absences
*”B” average with no more than two excused absences
*”C” average with no more than one excused absence
No exemption would be allowed for any unexcused absences. Five unexcused tardies equals one absence.
“We started looking at this a few years back. A lot of counties surrounding ours has gone to this to try to increase their attendance rates, their student GPA’s, and academic grades. DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant and Assistant Principal Jenny Norris have called other counties and have gotten their break down on how they have done it over the past few years,” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps during Thursday night’s monthly Board of Education meeting.
“We’ve met and researched and talked to these other counties and what the leadership team is proposing is that we offer an exemption policy for our students. If they have an “A” in the class they are allowed to have up to three excused absences. If they have a “B” they can have up to two excused absences or one excused with a “C”. They have to be excused absences in order to be exempt from the exam. We’re really hoping that this will improve our attendance rate,” said Norris.
Fourth District Board member Kate Miller expressed concerns about the proposal. “This policy was in place when I was in high school and when I went to college I was not prepared for a final exam. I know there are more tests now but there is nothing like that high stress, high stakes test at the end. I know there are end of course exams and I think it would be reasonable to say that classes that have end of course exams, they could be exempt from the final exam because that is a duplication. But for the other classes, do we really need to exempt students who have a “C” average? Do they really understand the material like they should? I’m just concerned about that,” said Miller.
“In the past there have been concerns about kids being prepared to take finals before when they do go to college but there are still mid terms that they (students) would be taking. You’ll still have benchmark tests that kids will have to prepare for that’s more than just the chapter test,” said Cripps.
“And with all the state tests, they’re going to have several tests. For example, this year our Juniors are going to be testing at least eight days,” added Norris.
The School Board has delayed action on the request until a workshop can be held to discuss the issue further.
In other business, Director Cripps updated the board Thursday night on personnel moves since the last meeting.
Chasity Redmon has been employed as an educational assistant at Smithville Elementary School, replacing Kaci Miller.
W.C. Braswell from the Adult High School has been granted a leave as requested.
Sara Young from DCHS has been granted a leave as requested
Margaret Coyle, DeKalb Middle School, part time speech instructor has resigned.

Consumers Reminded About Open Enrollment Deadline

Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace started on Nov. 1 and will run until January 31, 2016. To have your insurance in effect on Jan.
1, 2016 you must apply, select a plan, and pay your first premium by December 15, 2015.
Barbara Myers from the Tennessee Healthcare Campaign will be in Smithville on Saturday, December, 12th and January 16th from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Community Complex. Ms. Myers will be assisting people who wish to enroll in health insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act.
If you currently have an account with the Marketplace and you want to be sure you have the best plan for you and your family in 2016 you should update your account information. You can make an appointment to meet with a Navigator at Dekalb County Community Complex on Dec. 12 to assist you in either updating your account or creating a new application for 2016. Just call (844)-644-5443 for your appointment.
If you are not sure what to do please make an appointment and a Navigator will answer your questions and show you how the program works before you make your decision. Remember this year the personal responsibility payment you will be charged for not having health insurance is increasing to $695.00 for each adult and $347,50 per child or 2.5% of your income whichever is greater.

Vincent Prinzivalle

90 year old Vincent Prinzivalle of Smithville and formerly of Detroit, Michigan died Monday evening at St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. He was born to his parents, the late Joseph and Angelina Ardito Prinzivalle. Survivors include his wife, Ruth Cantrell Prinzivalle of Smithville. A daughter, Kimberly Horsley of Smithville. A son, Nick Prinzivalle of Michigan. Two grandchildren, Joel Prinzivalle and Nicole Kolevar. A sister, Cathy Marrero of Florida. The funeral will be Friday at 2:00 p.m. at DeKalb Funeral Chapel. Michael Hale and Paul Connelly will officiate and burial will follow in the Burton-Ponder Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Stage is Set for Assessor and Constable Elections

Incumbent Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell will be unopposed for re-nomination by his party in the March 1 DeKalb County Democratic Primary but he will be opposed by Republican Shannon A. Cantrell in the August General Election.
Noon today (Thursday) was the qualifying deadline for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to run for Assessor of Property and Constable in DeKalb County.
The only contested Constable race will be in the first district between Democrat Jason C. Taylor and Republican Lee Plummer. Taylor will be unopposed for the Democratic nomination on March 1 but he will face Plummer in the August County General Election.
Republican Tom Theriaque in the 2nd district will be unopposed in the August General Election. There is no Democratic candidate for that position.
Incumbent Democratic Constables Travis Bryant in the 3rd district, Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Mark Milam in the 5th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district will be unopposed in both the March 1 Primary and in the August General Election.
The DeKalb County Democratic Primary, to select party nominees for Assessor of Property and Constable, will be held in conjunction with the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary on March 1.
The local Republican Party selected nominees for the August election by caucus last Saturday.

Jury Convicts Petty of Aggravated Burglary and Theft

A 54 year old Smithville man who allegedly broke into a residence last year stood trial and was convicted in DeKalb County Criminal Court Wednesday.
After deliberating for less than an hour, a jury of six men and six women found David Michael Petty guilty of aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000 as charged in the indictment against him.
A sentencing hearing will be held on January 7th. Petty will be held in jail without bond until the hearing.
Because Petty has six previous felony convictions, Assistant District Attorney General Stephanie Johnson told WJLE after the trial that she will ask the court to sentence him as a career offender. A penalty which carries a maximum of fifteen years in prison.
A co-defendant in the case, 44 year old Anthony Lynn Colwell pled guilty in July to aggravated burglary and received a TDOC sentence of eleven years at 45% before parole eligibility. The term is to run concurrently with a Warren County case against him. He was given two days of jail credit.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said at the time of their arrests that on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Petty and Colwell broke into a residence on Man Hill Road and stole a jewelry box containing several items of jewelry which were later pawned at a local jewelry store and at a pawn shop in Warren County.
Testifying for the state were the victims in the case, the manager of the pawn shop in McMinnville where some of the jewelry was pawned, and Detective Robert Patrick of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.
Petty did not testify himself but his wife took the witness stand on his behalf. Petty’s defense essentially was that while he sold the property, he did not commit the burglary and theft. But Assistant D.A. Johnson said that doesn’t matter. “In Tennessee when you benefit from a crime that is committed you’re responsible for that crime as well,” she told WJLE.
Petty was represented in the case by attorney Michael Auffinger.

Farm Service Agency Recognizes Outgoing Members

The DeKalb/Cannon Farm Service Agency County Committee recognized two outgoing members of the Committee on Tuesday, December 8.. Mary Sanders (DeKalb County) has served on the Committee for 18 years; 9 years as the Committee’s Advisor and 9 years as a voting member. Charles Brown has served on the Committee for 17 years; 8 years as the Committee’s Advisor and 9 years as a voting member. Both were presented plaques of appreciation for their exemplary service to the farmers of DeKalb and Cannon counties.
Pictured from left to right: R.V. Billings, Jr.(Committee Member), Charles Brown (Outgoing Committee Member), Jack Campbell (Committee Chairperson), Mary Sanders (Outgoing Committee Member), Javin Fann (Committee Vice-Chairperson), and Donny Green (County Executive Director).

Chamber Presents Grant Checks to Downtown Property Owners

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce presented checks to several downtown Smithville property owners after being awarded a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The CDBG funding was used for commercial façade improvements on the west side of the public square including new awnings and signs, painting, building repair and other upgrades.
“Community development is one of the major keys to continued economic growth in our county,” says Chamber Director Suzanne Williams. “We are very grateful for the State of Tennessee’s investment in our ongoing downtown revitalization project. We are excited about future collaborative efforts with the State as we move forward with our Tennessee Downtowns Program.”
The CDBG program is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development.