Plans Finalized for Thursday Night’s Christmas on the Square

The Christmas season has arrived and you are invited to join in the celebration Thursday evening, December 7 downtown Smithville for “Christmas on the Square”.
The event will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the public square.
The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. with special singing in the 303 building on the north side of the square along with a LIVE nativity (no animals), the cast of Steel Magnolias, and a festival of trees provided by local businesses and organizations.
The Community Chorus will perform Christmas Classics inside the 303 building beginning at 5:30 p.m. along with the flag and pledge presentation by members of Boy Scout Troop #347. This portion of the program has been rescheduled from outside to the 303 building because of expected cold weather.
Courthouse officials and the Chamber of Commerce will have an Open House starting at 6 p.m. Visit county officials on the main floor (2nd floor) of the courthouse where you’ll find lots of goodies to enjoy. A Free Photo Booth and Holiday DJ Music will be featured in the courthouse compliments of the City of Smithville.
Santa will be making an appearance at Justin Potter Library at 6:30 p.m. so remember to bring your camera. A Santa’s Workshop will also give children a chance to make their own Christmas ornament and do other activities at the library.
The DeKalb Animal Shelter will have an Adopt-A-Pet event at the DeKalb Animal Coalition’s Restore building on West Walnut Street from 5-8 p.m.
A tree lighting ceremony is also planned outside the courthouse. Beautiful outdoor Christmas trees, courtesy of the City of Smithville, will be displayed on the east and west sides of the courthouse.
And don’t forget about all the great downtown shopping!
Hope you can come for this special night – Thursday, December 7 from 5 to 8 PM – Christmas on the Square!

Newby Gets 15 Year Prison Sentence for Aggravated Burglary as Career Offender

A 50 year old man was scheduled to stand trial today (Tuesday) in a three and a half year old aggravated burglary case but he decided instead to enter a plea in DeKalb County Criminal Court.
Shannon Lynn Newby received a sentence of fifteen years in the Tennessee Department of Corrections as a career offender. He must serve at least 60% of the term before becoming eligible for parole. The sentence is to run consecutive to a five year term he is already serving in another case.
Newby and two others, 28 year old Brandon Wayne Hutchings, and 38 year old Sherry Kay Malone were arrested in a burglary and theft investigation in June, 2014 after a concerned citizen came forward to report suspicious activity in the neighborhood.
The three were believed to have been responsible for a burglary and theft at a residence on Early Bain Road on Monday, June 2, 2014. Sheriff Patrick Ray said at the time that the investigation revealed that Malone dropped off Newby and Hutchings at the residence, drove away, and then parked nearby. While Malone was gone, Newby and Hutchings allegedly broke into the residence and removed from the home a 32 inch Element television, a 42 inch Sanyo television, several nail guns, and assorted tools. Malone was to have picked up Newby and Hutchings after they brought the stolen goods outside the home but a neighbor, who became suspicious when he saw Malone parked in the driveway of another residence in the area, went to confront her. The neighbor then notified central dispatch by cell phone and officers of the sheriff’s department were sent to investigate. The officers found the stolen items from the victim’s home outside near the garage but by that time Newby and Hutchings had already fled the scene.
Prior to the burglary and theft, the observant neighbor had already become suspicious when he spotted more than one person in a strange car driving back and forth several times down the road in the area. Later, he saw the same car again going down the road with only one person inside.
According to Sheriff Ray, Malone was questioned by detectives and subsequently charged in the case. Later that night, Newby was found walking on Robinson Road while Hutchings was picked up on Dry Creek Road. Both were wet and had scratches on them. Detectives believe at least one of the burglars cut himself during the break-in because blood was found inside the victim’s home. The DNA evidence was collected and sent to the crime lab.
Malone entered a guilty plea to a charge of aggravated burglary in December, 2015 and received a five year sentence all on TDOC probation. A theft charge against her was dismissed. The sentence was to run consecutively with another case against her.
Brandon Hutchings pled guilty in August, 2015 to aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence to serve. The term was to run consecutive to a violation of probation sentence against him. He was given jail credit at the time of 420 days.

County Clerk James L. “Jimmy” Poss Announces Plans to Seek Re-Election

DeKalb County Clerk James L. “Jimmy” Poss has announced his intentions to seek re-election in 2018.
Poss will be a candidate for nomination in the DeKalb County Democratic Primary on March 1.
“I have enjoyed serving as your County Clerk and I am very humbled and honored for the support I have received while serving as DeKalb County Clerk,” said Poss.
“I am asking for each person’s continued support while seeking to serve a second term, in the office as DeKalb County Clerk”.
“During my first term as your County Clerk, I have begun fulfilling my campaign promises, which was to provide efficient and courteous service in the Clerk’s Office and to complete County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) training. I have completed the (COCTP) training receiving my Certified Public Administrator certificate. We have worked hard on improvements throughout the office. We are providing an increase in transactions across the board, but are most proud of new services now offered to our citizens previously not available”.
“I’ve worked with both civic organizations and individuals, providing assistance throughout the county assisting with various individual requests”. I have and will continue making myself available to provide assistance at all times. I would like the opportunity to continue to lead our County Clerk’s Office in a forward direction,”.
“Changes that have been implemented during the last 3 years have proven positive, providing more service and convenience to every citizen who utilize our office. Revenue collected ending Fiscal year June 30, 2017 increased more than $200,000.00. Also, the number of completed daily transactions continue to rise. While we have brought change to our office, my commitment for fair and equal, courteous and efficient service has not changed. “It is my desire to continue to work with honesty and integrity for the citizens of DeKalb County,” said Poss.

Friday is the Deadline to Buy Gifts for Angel Tree Project

You have until Friday, December 8 to support this year’s 22nd Annual DeKalb County Angel Tree Project.
The Angel Tree provides Christmas gifts for underserved and needy children in DeKalb County. You can pick up your Angel at any local bank in Smithville or Alexandria. This year there were 368 children representing 175 local families. The adoption tags have suggested wish items but it is not necessary to purchase everything listed. Donations can also be made at any bank branch if you would prefer to have someone do the shopping for you. It is always the goal to have each child adopted but for those who are not, the shopping will be done for them by others.
The deadline to return your gifts is Friday, December 8th. The continued support of the community is what makes this such a successful program.

Edward Martin

89 year old Edward Martin of Smithville passed away Monday at NHC of Smithville. He was a member of the Center Hill Brethren In Christ and a sewing machine mechanic. The funeral will be Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Larry Steffee will officiate and burial will be in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. until the service at 2 p.m. Martin was preceded in death by his wife Jodie Martin and parents, Tommie and Nancy Lou Martin. Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Tammie and Anthony Burger; two grandchildren, Nancy Burger and Nicole and husband Brandon Gay all of Smithville. Three great grandchildren, Jaxon, Gunner, and Kinslee Gay. One sister, Mallie Harvey of Watertown. Several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

DeKalb Animal Shelter Off to Great Start

The first month of operation for the new DeKalb Animal Shelter has been a great success.
“We have been open for a full month now and we have had 72 cats and dogs through our shelter. We have 49 in house right now. Twenty one have been adopted as of this afternoon. We had two adoptions today,” said Megan Moore, Director of the local shelter who addressed the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.
Moore said over $1,700 has been generated through the shelter and all that money goes right back into running the facility.
“We have brought in $1,708 total in the first month. We’re doing quite well and that money stays in the shelter. We pay our vet bills and any medical needs that arise and normal everyday stuff. Everything it takes to function like paper towels, cleaning agents and stuff like that. That all stays in the shelter,” said Moore.
Along with Moore, the shelter has a part time employee James Wilkerson, who are both employed by the City of Smithville. But Moore said volunteers have pitched in to help.
“Without volunteers it wouldn’t be possible for it (shelter) to function the way it does. We need volunteers during the day. There are so many things that need to be done. It takes a lot of time. Right now our part time guy, who had an accident Sunday, will be out for just a little bit but I made some phone calls this morning (Monday) and people came in and helped,” Moore continued.
In addition to volunteers, Moore said the community has also responded to the call for donations.
“I want to thank everyone for supporting us. We have had a lot of donations come in. That has been great. We have asked for cat food, dog food, puppy food, detergent for our laundry and dishwasher, people have really come through for us and helped out so much”.
Although the bricks have arrived they have not yet been placed.
“The bricks are in but are not laid. We are waiting on the weather and we’ll have to decide where they will be placed. I think they will be placed in front of the building. We’re planning to plant some crepe myrtles out there too,” Moore said.
Anyone wanting to purchase bricks to honor or remember a person, pet or to have other tributes engraved on them may do so.
“It’s an ongoing order. Anytime we get 15 or more requests for bricks we can place an order, they will ship them to us, and they will replace the plain bricks we have down. Forms are available at the shelter,” said Moore.
If you would like to volunteer or adopt a pet, especially with the Christmas holiday upcoming, you may stop by the shelter at 186 Transfer Station Road, located behind Tenneco off Highway 70 east in Smithville. The phone number is 615-597-1363.
Adoption Fees for Dogs Unaltered: $90 (includes a $50 dollar refundable spay/neuter deposit). You will be refunded the $50 dollars deposit with proof of alteration within 30 days. $40 altered Cats: $20/$30.
Moore said the shelter is planning to have adoption events soon and will have pets available during Christmas on the Square Thursday night downtown.
Pet lovers may see what the shelter has to offer on the DeKalb Animal Coalition Facebook page.
The shelter is under the operation of the DeKalb Animal Coalition, a non-profit 501 c 3 organization.

Annie Waltyne LaFevor

Annie Waltyne LaFevor age 89, died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2017 in Murfreesboro. She was born May 17, 1928, daughter of the late Walton Worthington Lawson and Vada Elizabeth Fuson Lawson of Smithville. Tyne as she was affectionately known, was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, James William LaFevor in 2006. They married in 1944 and spent the next 23 years in military deployments during World War II and the Korean War. After retirement in 1966, they made their home in Murfreesboro and were active members of St. Marks’s United Methodist Church. Tyne is survived by her children, James Richard “Jim” LaFevor and his wife, Charlotte of Chattanooga, J. Randall LaFevor and his wife, Holly of Mt. Juliet and Rochelle Northrup and her husband, Vic of Alpharetta, GA; grandchildren and great grandchildren, Andrew and Jenna LaFevor and daughter, Landry, Brooke Weity and sons, Skye, Steve and Codye Garfinkle, Leigh Hinebaugh and children, Andrea, Serenity, Dane and Sean, Jr., Tina Hinebaugh, Jake Northrup and Lucas Northrup; sisters, Nell Hearn Blaylock, Terrellene (Doug) Johnson; sister-in-law, Irene Lawson; brother, Walt Lawson; cousins, Bobbye Davis and Jimmy Davis; nieces and nephews, She was preceded in death by a daughter, Renee Hinebaugh; brother, Wayne Lawson and brother-in-law, Lonnie Blaylock. Funeral services 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 at Hunter Funeral Home in Watertown with Dr. Jim Clardy and Dr. Craig Goff officiating. Visitation 11 a.m. till service time Tuesday. Interment at Jones Hill Cemetery in Watertown. HUNTER FUNERAL HOME, Watertown (615)237-9318.

Convicted Felon Found with Drugs and Paraphernalia

A convicted felon was arrested last week after sheriff’s department detectives found drugs and paraphernalia in her possession while serving a warrant in a separate case.
(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 11/27/2017 Thru: 12/04/2017)
Seagate Crystal Reports – REPOR_50.pdf (3.89 MB)
42 year old Patty Sue Tatrow of Jackson Street, Smithville is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver and unlawful possession of a weapon. She was further cited for simple possession of schedule II & VI drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, Her bond is $23,000 and her court date is December 21.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, November 28 two detectives went to a residence on McMinnville Highway to pick up Tatrow on an active warrant. Upon entering her bedroom, they spotted a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana on a small mirror and a marijuana cigarette on her dresser. A further search of the room turned up several bags of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. The bags weighed 6.3 grams; 0.01 gram; and 8.25 ounces. They also found in Tatrow’s wallet a small baggie which held a clear rock like substance believed to be methamphetamine ice which weighed 0.82 grams. Two sets of digital scales were found and a 22 caliber handgun was recovered from a nightstand next to her bed. Tatrow is a 2005 Warren County convicted felon.
In a separate case, 34 year old Wendy Michelle Steep of High Street, Alexandria is charged with criminal impersonation. Her bond is $3,500 and her court date is December 14.
Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, November 27 a deputy spotted a vehicle setting by the side of the road on County House Road and stopped to investigate. He spoke with the driver (Steep) and asked for identification. The woman identified herself as Kristen Thomason and gave her date of birth as June 17, 1987. A further investigation revealed that her name is actually Wendy Steep. When confronted, Steep admitted to intentionally giving the wrong name because her license were revoked and she didn’t want her probation to be revoked for driving a vehicle.

Architect Study Recommends Replacing/Repurposing Smithville Elementary School (VIEW OPTIONS FOR EACH SCHOOL HERE)

Following an evaluation of current school facilities and projected future needs, the DeKalb County Board of Education has been presented a variety of construction plans at a cost ranging from $17 million to $45 million for new or renovated facilities.
Members of the local board of education met in a workshop Thursday night for their first look at results of a School Facilities Study prepared by the Upland Design Group of Crossville.
The study concluded that Smithville Elementary School, the oldest core building in the district, should be replaced and repurposed for other uses.
The board hired the architectural firm in September to conduct a county-wide facilities study in planning for future building needs. Upland Design is being paid $19,500 for its services.
“We asked them to give us a survey and preliminary report along with a number of options that we can look at for a long range plan for our school system which consists of new facilities. Hopefully we can turn this long range plan into more of a short range plan but we want the county commission involved. This is not just our decision,” said Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III during the September meeting.
The school board plans are to narrow the number of options and then present them to the county education committee and then the county commission for consideration.
The facilities study by Upland Design concluded that DeKalb West School was in the best condition and should remain as is; that Smithville Elementary needs to be replaced and repurposed; and that issues exist at Northside Elementary, DCHS, and DeKalb Middle Schools which need to be addressed.
Derrick Clemow and Brian Templeton of Upland Design Group met with the school board during Thursday night’s workshop to review the findings and to offer options for addressing them.
Upland Design presented six (construction) options (schemes) for the board to consider along with the pros and cons of each option or scheme.
A summary of those options is as follows: (CLICK PDF LINK BELOW EACH OPTION TO VIEW SPECIFICS)
A-OPTION (SCHEME): (2) Pre-K to 5th grade elementary schools; middle and high schools expanded for increased lifespan (CLICK LINK TO VIEW OPTION)scheme a.pdf (22.9 KB)
B-OPTION (SCHEME): Replace Smithville Elementary School; middle and high schools expanded for increased lifespan (CLICK LINK TO VIEW OPTION)scheme B.pdf (162.8 KB)
C-OPTION (SCHEME): All schools Pre-K to 8th grade; high school expanded for increased lifespan (CLICK LINK TO VIEW OPTION)scheme c.pdf (210.56 KB)
D-OPTION (SCHEME) Pre-K to 8 grade options; high school takes over middle school campus(CLICK LINK TO VIEW OPTION)scheme D.pdf (190.78 KB)
E-OPTION (SCHEME) All schools Pre-K to 8th grade; high school takes over middle school campus(CLICK LINK TO VIEW OPTION)scheme E.pdf (189.77 KB)
F-OPTION (SCHEME) New high school; middle school takes over high school campus; elementary school takes over middle school campus (CLICK LINK TO VIEW OPTION)scheme F.pdf (225.27 KB)
Upland Design was asked to come up with another option involving the middle school and to report back to the school board.
Following is a synopsis of each school:
*SMITHVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:
Smithville Elementary School, originally built in 1958, now is 70,557 square feet in size, and has a current enrollment of 575 students.
“For the purpose of this study, Smithville Elementary is to be obsolesced,” said Clemow. Basically, we evaluated and started with a premise that this is a site (Smithville Elementary) that should be repurposed for some other purpose. We looked at maybe moving the central office there. Maybe maintenance could move there. Maybe an alternative school could be located there.”
The facilities study concluded that “as the oldest campus facility, condition is a major concern. In consideration of the following providing an alternative location for the students is a consensus:
A. Campus location is undesirable
B. Traffic flow is poor
C. Cafeteria/Kitchen is undersized
D. Oldest portion is over a crawl space and mold is potential
E. Security is difficult to maintain when multiple buildings are present
F. Spaces are not functionally ideal
G. Three of the second-grade classes are currently at Northside Elementary
Upland Design gave options how Smithville Elementary School could be used for other purposes:
A. Move central office staff to Smithville Elementary
B. Move maintenance storage and staff to area in and around kitchen/cafeteria
C. Relocate Adult Education or Alternative School Classrooms in the eastern wing
D. Make the site available for other county programs.
*NORTHSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:
Northside Elementary School, built in 2000, is 85,000 square feet in size with an enrollment of 655 students.
Upland Design concluded that Northside is at capacity.
“It (Northside) was originally planned for 650 students in grades 3-5. It is at capacity today based on the fact that there are second graders over there that fill it out all the way,” Clemow said. “If you were to pull the second graders out of there it would be back to a fair-sized school and would have a little bit of expansion in it as a grade 3, 4, 5 facility. But as a grade 3,4,5 it doesn’t have the lower grade toilet facilities that are normally connected to existing classrooms. Little kids really need to have a toilet handy. So if this school should become a Pre-K through 8 or whatever, there would have to be some modifications toilet wise. Also for the size kids there and the numbers who are run through there, the cafeteria is just about maxed out in terms of its usage. It takes a few hours to feed the kids. It basically is functioning as intended and conditionally is in fairly good shape. The school was also built during the pre-security days. A parent can walk in and make it to the back of the school without anyone knowing. That is a fairly easy correction in this case because you do have a central entrance and you could make a vestibule there” he added.
The facilities study found that “this site now accepts 3 classes of second graders due to overcrowding at Smithville Elementary. Northside was originally planned for grades 3-5 and 650 pupils. The campus is at capacity. This is quite evident in the afternoon rush. Lower grade in-classroom toilets were not provided. The cafeteria is at capacity.
The site is large enough to consider expansion, although traffic circulation is a challenge. There needs to be a security vestibule created at the entry.
The cafeteria space is limited as is other core spaces encouraging a 625 pupil population.”
*DEKALB MIDDLE SCHOOL:
DeKalb Middle School, built in 1971, is now 86,990 square feet in size with an enrollment of 550 students.
According to the facilities study, “the school was originally designed as a modified open plan and as a result acoustic problems and circulation create an interruptive classroom arrangement. Dining and library spaces lack acoustical isolation. The newer gymnasium provides needed P.E. space although it is not cooled (no air conditioning). Security is a challenge since the administrative space is a central space and students go outside to get to the gymnasium. Toilet accommodations are marginally sufficient for the student population. All spaces are currently utilized. The auditorium is too small for assemblies. The site does not provide for several sports and lacks space for addition without site drainage developments.”
*DEKALB COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL:
DeKalb County High School, constructed in 1963, is now 127,317 square feet in size with an enrollment of 860 students.
“There are portable classrooms. The high school has six to eight floating teachers. What that means is while they have other things they do in their capacity, they don’t have a home room,” Clemow said. “When they go to work they have to use a room that is shared with somebody else. What happens with high schools is that the curriculum changes all the time and with this school it is clear that with the 860 kids who are there now, they are pretty much falling out the doors (overcrowded). The first thing we always hear there (DCHS) is that the corridors are ridiculously tight and when there is a class change, it’s a zoo. That’s a difficult one to treat because it falls right at the core of the building. Security is also really difficult to handle. The only way to handle security at a campus situation like this is to gate it but once you gate it, you have to man the gate but in this case you not only have a high school but a junior high school so there is no telling how difficult it would be to create a security situation for this facility.
It is one of those things that is definitely on the radar as needing repair, update, potential replacement,” he continued. “We looked at all of it. It is not something that we found in particularly great shape and you all know it,” said Clemow
The facilities study found that “the high school has grown on this site for many years. Over the years there have been four major additions and many other renovations. The primary circulation spaces are as original and are woefully undersized. Although well maintained, the original structure shows signs of aging. Campus security is inadequate as many buildings require exterior access. Pedestrian and vehicular flow intersects. Playing field spaces are marginal and do not accommodate all organized team activities. Some P.E. programs are held outside of designated school facilities. Three or four temporary portable classrooms house educational functions. Many spaces have been repurposed for more contemporary curriculum, but many program offerings would require spaces with specific features”.
DEKALB WEST SCHOOL:
The facility study found DeKalb West School to be in the best condition of all the five schools.
DeKalb West School, built in 1974, is now 76,044 square feet in size with an enrollment of 405 students.
According to the facilities study, “this school has adequate facilities for the current population and programs for the near future. Some students are brought by parents from out of the bus routes. Uniquely, the county-wide Middle School baseball program is at this site. Class sizes vary from 40-48 with a downsized 4th grade at 30.
Administrators note that moving on to the high school is a social adjustment when compared to DeKalb Middle School entrants.
For this study, this campus is to remain as is.”

Liberty Parade Helps Usher in Christmas Season (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

Main Street in Liberty was alive with enthusiastic Christmas lovers of all ages on Sunday for the town’s annual Parade.
Liberty Mayor Dwight Mathis and wife Shirley served as the Grand Marshals.
The Salem Baptist Church float with a train and the theme “Only Way to Heaven, Jesus Express” won 1st place. Oakley Thrift Store took 2nd place.
In the category for kids, 4 wheelers, and animals, Alexis Reynolds won 1st place for her Christmas Sleigh. Second place went to William Cole and Haston Waggoner.
Ronald and Cathy Clayton won 1st place for best vintage automobile with their 1969 Z-28 orange and white striped Camaro. Second place went to Chris Hale for his 1952 John Deere MT.
The parade also featured other floats and vintage automobiles, horseback riders and horse drawn wagons, local law enforcement and emergency services, and of course Santa Claus.
After the parade, drawings were held for prize giveaways.
M2U02601 from dwayne page on Vimeo.