Betty Louise Barnes

Betty Louise Barnes age 84 of Smithville passed away Thursday afternoon, December 14, 2017 at NHC HealthCare. She was born August 4, 1933 to her parents, the late James Milous and Eva Rose Herman Ayers. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first and second husbands, George Barnes and Harold Pack; 1 grandson, Kevin Barnes. She attended the Short Mountain United Methodist Church and was a nursery worker. Survivors include 3 children, Shirl Barnes of Smithville, James (Pam) Barnes of McMinnville, Rick (Cynthia) Barnes of Smyrna; 4 grandchildren, Doug Barnes, April Barnes, Donnie Barnes and Gracie Barnes; 9 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-granddaughter; 2 sisters, Ruth Wilson of Lebanon and Jody Ferrell of McMinnville. Funeral services will be conducted 3:PM Saturday, December 16, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Lori Myrick and Bro. Michael Hale officiating and burial to follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be Friday 5 PM until 8 PM and Saturday 9 AM until the time of the service at 3 PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Jeffrey Ponder

Jeffrey Ponder age 54 of Dowelltown, passed away Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital ER. He was born November 13, 1964 to his parents, Mary Frances Pratt Ponder Smith and the late Frank Eugene Ponder. In addition to his father, Eugene Ponder, Jeff was preceded in death by a sister, Charlotte Evans and step-father, Bill Smith. He was a Baptist and an electrician with Federal Mogul. Survivors include 1 son, Brandon Carpenter of Dowelltown; 1 granddaughter, Kylie Carpenter; mother, Frances Smith; 2 brothers, Danny Ponder of Nashville and Gary Ponder of Dowelltown; 2 step-brothers, Randy Smith of the Blues Hill Community and H.L. Smith of Smithville; 2 step-sisters, Tina Knowles and Angela Bain both of Warren County; several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles survive. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 PM Saturday, December 16, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with burial in Burton-Ponder Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be on Friday 3 PM until 8 PM and Saturday 10:AM until the time of the service at 1 PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Midnight Fire Destroys Home on Coconut Ridge

A midnight fire destroyed a residence on Coconut Ridge Road early Thursday morning.
Central dispatch received the call at 12:19 a.m.
County Fire Chief Donny Green said that firefighters were called to the residence of Timothy White. A neighbor had spotted the blaze and called to report it.
No one was home at the time.
According to Chief Green, Mr. and Mrs. White live in Brentwood and use the home on Coconut Ridge as a secondary residence.
The home was fully involved in flames by the time it was discovered and firefighters could not save it. They were able to keep the fire from spreading into the woods around the home. The cause is undetermined.
Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

DeKalb West Names Students of the Month

DeKalb West School announces its Students of the Month for December. Making the grade as the top students this month are Alex Vincent, Kindergarten, Gabriel Blair, first grade, Kaden Mitchell, second grade, Olivia George, third grade, Johnathan Keith, fourth grade, Emily Young, fifth grade, Brayden Carter, sixth grade, Lexi Rayl, seventh grade, and Rebecca Lawrence, eighth grade. Students are chosen for the honor based on their academics, character, and other traits that make them an outstanding student.
Pictured first row left to right are Alex Vincent, Gabriel Blair, and Kaden Mitchell.
Pictured back row left to right are Assistant Principal Joey Agee, Rebecca Lawrence, Brayden Carter, Lexi Rayl, Emily Young, Johnathan Keith, and Principal Sabrina Farler. Not pictured Olivia George.

Judge Hands Down Prison Sentence to DeKalb West School Burglar

A man responsible for a burglary and theft at DeKalb West School over a year ago was sentenced Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.
Judge Gary McKenzie presided.
31 year old Brian Howell entered a plea to burglary and received a four year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The term is to run concurrent with sentences against him in Wilson County in which he is to serve eight years in prison. Howell must make restitution jointly and severally of $525 to DeKalb West School.
A co-defendant, 27 year old Shauna Melissa Fleetwood of Mount Juliet received a two year sentence for burglary on Monday, November 27 and will be on probation. The term is to run consecutive to another case against her. She must make restitution of $525 jointly and severally to DeKalb West School.
The burglary occurred on Sunday, September 25, 2016.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, video surveillance showed that Fleetwood, driving a green Ford Taurus, pulled up at DeKalb West School and dropped off Howell. He then used a pry bar to enter a side door and broke into a soft drink vending machine, taking $20.00. Fleetwood later returned to pick up Howell and they drove away.
After being contacted by the Principal, Sheriff Ray said his department started an investigation. “We got a report Sunday, September 25, 2016 that somebody had broken into DeKalb West School and vandalized a coke machine. The intruder got into the machine and stole money out of it. A detective went down to the school, reviewed the video, and got a good description of the intruder and the vehicle which dropped him off,” said Sheriff Ray.
After learning that a school in Watertown had also been recently burglarized, the detective contacted authorities there and during their joint investigation discovered that burglaries had occurred in Smith County as well and that a “BOLO” had been issued for area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the suspects. On Thursday evening, September 29, 2016 Wilson County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Lebanon Police Department officers located the suspects, Howell and Fleetwood, at the Traveler’s Inn in Lebanon.
In the DeKalb County case, Sheriff Ray said Howell was charged with burglary, vandalism, possession of burglary tools, and theft under $500. Fleetwood was charged with burglary and theft under $500 for being involved in a burglary in which she dropped off Howell in her vehicle , went to a gas station nearby, and then returned to pick him up. Both admitted to detectives their involvement in the crimes.
The pair also faced charges for the burglaries at elementary schools in Wilson and Smith Counties.

Smithville Man Sentenced for Tax Evasion

A Smithville man was in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday to answer to charges of tax evasion.
Judge Gary Kenzie presided.
31 year old Brandon Alan Tramel entered a plea to two counts of evading taxes and received a two year sentence to serve at 30% in each case to run concurrently for a total of two years. The sentence has been suspended to supervised probation and he must make restitution of $5,538. 55
The case was brought by the Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue and taken to the DeKalb County Grand Jury on July 24 which led to an indictment against Tramel for tax evasion, theft, and aggravated perjury.
Specifically Tramel was indicted on seven felony counts of tax evasion, seven felony counts of aggravated perjury, and one felony count of theft over $2,500 but less than $10,000. The indictment alleged that Tramel evaded taxes due to the Tennessee Department of Revenue by fraudulently registering two vehicles and five boats with the DeKalb County Clerk’s office.
“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity,” said Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano. “This indictment underscored the Department’s ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee’s tax laws.”

Homeless Woman Gets 10 Year Sentence for Aggravated Burglaries

A homeless woman who allegedly went around stealing from homes, outbuildings, barn, and a church in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown areas appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday for sentencing.
Judge Gary McKenzie presided.
24 year old Ashley Nicole Tittle entered a plea by criminal information to two counts of aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of ten years. The sentence has been suspended to supervised probation except for one year to serve. She was given jail credit from September 12 to December 12.
A co-defendant, 32 year old Joshua Dewayne Brown entered a plea by criminal information on Tuesday, November 7 to three counts of aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of fifteen years. He will be on TDOC probation after serving one year in the DeKalb County Jail. He has been given jail credit from September 12 through November 11, 2017.
The couple is to make restitution to the victims totaling $6,535
Brown and Tittle were recently charged with 10 counts of burglary, 3 counts of aggravated burglary, 4 counts of vandalism, 10 counts of theft under $1,000, and 3 counts of theft over $1,000. Brown was also charged with 1 count of evading arrest.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Brown and Tittle were found living under a tent in an old outbuilding on Wilson Hollow Road at Liberty. They had targeted 11 victims in their crime spree including one who was victimized three times.
Sheriff’s Department Detectives recovered some of the stolen property.
Under a negotiated settlement with state prosecutors, Brown entered a plea in three of the aggravated burglaries at the same residence on Alexandria to Dismal Road, Liberty on March 15, September 4, and September 11, 2017.
Tittle entered a plea to aggravated burglaries at the same residence on the Alexandria to Dismal Road, Liberty on September 4 and September 11, 2017.
In a separate case, 61 year old Vicky Elaine Bogle entered a no contest (best interest) plea to a charge of theft over $2,500. Although Bogle is not admitting guilt, she has been granted judicial diversion and the term of two years at 30% has been suspended to unsupervised probation. She must make restitution of $10,000 to Tennessee Credit. If Bogle successfully abides by the conditions of her probation, the case against her will be dismissed after two years and she may apply for expungement of her record
Bogle, a former manager of Tennessee Credit, had originally been indicted in the case for theft over $60,000.
The indictment alleged that “Bogle, between the 1st day of January, 2009 and the 19th day of December 2014 knowingly did obtain or exercise control over certain property, to wit: money/cash being over the value of $60,000, the property of Tennessee Credit, without the effective consent of Tennessee Credit, with the intent to deprive Tennessee Credit of said property, constituting the offense of Theft”.
According to the family at the time of her indictment, Bogle was one of five owners of Tennessee Credit and had served as a former operating manager there.
A man accused of assaulting a woman during an argument and then stealing her car was sentenced Tuesday in Criminal Court.
27 year old Randy James Wheeler entered a plea to theft over $2,500 and assault. He received a four year TDOC sentence in the theft case and 11 months and 29 days for the assault. The terms are to run concurrently for a total of four years. Wheeler is to make restitution of $250 to the victim and he is under a restraining order to keep away from her. He was given jail credit from October 23 to December 12.
Sheriff Ray said that on September 16 a deputy was dispatched to Jack Hudson Road in reference to a physical domestic which had just occurred. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the victim who said that she and Wheeler had gotten into an argument because she refused to perform a sexual act for him. Wheeler demanded the keys to her car but she refused. He then pulled her from the car and threw her to the ground, kicked her in the back, and stomped her head onto the ground. He then got in the car and sped off leaving her on the ground.

Lillie Mai Lawson

100 year old Lillie Mai Lawson of Smithville passed away Tuesday at NHC of Smithville. She was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church and she was a seamstress. The funeral will be Friday at 1 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Elder Ricky Arnold will officiate and burial will be in the Mt. View Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. until the service at 1 p.m. She was preceded in death by her parents, Waymon and Julia Redmon Young; husband, Clarence Lawson; and ten brothers and sisters. Survivors include a son, Vann and Elaine Lawson of McMinnville. A granddaughter, Twana and Jonathan Green of Smithville. Great grandchildren, Justin and Nicole Atnip of Mt. Juliet and Trista Atnip of Smithville. Great great grandchildren, Brody Atnip of Mount Juliet and Brennan and Jase Atnip and Anniston Davidson all of Smithville. A sister, Ethel Arnold of Smithville. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Josephine Graham Hale

Josephine Graham Hale age 84 of Smithville passed away Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville. She was born August 15, 1933 to her parents, the late John Edward and Fannie Mai Caldwell Graham. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Loyd Hale; brother, Wayne Graham; brothers-in-law, Hoyte Hale and James (Hazel) Hale. She was a faithful member of the Smithville First Freewill Baptist Church, a factory worker, childcare giver and homemaker. She leaves to cherish her memory 2 children, Rickey (Diane) Hale and Mark (Patty) Hale both of Smithville; 7 grandchildren, Chris Hale, Alicia Setzer, Justin Hale, Addison Hale, Brittany Richards, Christina Ferguson and Kaylene Ferguson; 1 sister, Ann (Phillip) Hawkins of Smithville; 2 brothers, Carlon (Melba) Graham of Smithville and Billie (Helen) Graham of Akron, Ohio; sister-in-law, Helen Hale of Smithville; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be conducted 1 PM Friday, December 15, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bros. Bernard Houk and Dathan Hale officiating and burial will follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be on Thursday 2 PM until 8 PM and Friday 9 AM until the time of the service at 1 PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

DCHS Among Top 50 Elite Schools in the Nation for Culinary Arts

DeKalb County High School has been recognized for having one of the top 50 hospitality/culinary arts programs in the country by the National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University in Kentucky.
Every year, the Elite 50 recognizes secondary schools that demonstrate commitment to hospitality and culinary excellence
Only three schools in Tennessee received this honor for 2018, with DCHS being the only school in Middle Tennessee. Schools nationwide applied for the recognition.
The Elite 50 list is comprised of high schools and tech centers that excel in the areas of culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and/or hospitality management. Some are state and national competition winners from ProStart, SkillsUSA and Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Research was also conducted to establish schools for the list with strong hospitality enrollment and influence in their community.
Additional criteria for those selected for the Elite 50 included: an original recipe with photos or a restaurant management design; two essays from students on the topic, “Why I want to pursue a career in hospitality”; and video(s), brochure(s) and additional information about the school’s program. Further considerations were given to schools that operate a restaurant or offer catering service, etc. as part of culinary/hospitality training.
About The National Center For Hospitality Studies.
Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) has earned an outstanding reputation as one of the finest hospitality schools in the country. NCHS’s student competition team has won more than 400 (and counting) gold, silver and bronze medals and awards in regional, national and international competitions. NCHS was the first and only school in the nation entrusted to prepare meals for U.S. athletes in the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics. NCHS has also been honored for its outstanding culinary and hospitality training with a Five Diamond Award of Excellence presented by Hilton Hotels and AAA Kentucky.