Funeral Friday for former Oakmont Principal Janey Thomas

Janey Thomas
Janey Thomas

A funeral service will be held Friday for former educator and long-time Oakmont Elementary School Principal Janey Thomas. Mrs. Thomas died Tuesday at the age of 67. A Montgomery County native, Mrs. Thomas spent 30 years in the Dickson County school system. She started her career as a history teacher at Charlotte Junior High School, then spent five years as principal at Vanleer Elementary School. She is most remembered for her 19 years as principal at Oakmont where she remained until she retired. Mrs. Thomas also was a Sunday school teacher and attended Calvary Baptist Church. Visitation with the family will be 4-8 pm Thursday and 9 am until the service Friday at Taylor Funeral Home. A funeral service for Janey Sue Kirkland Thomas will be at 11 am Friday from the chapel of Taylor Funeral Home with Joe Epley and Tommy Marvin officiating. Burial will be in the Dickson County Memorial Gardens. She is survived by a son, Jeff Thomas; a daughter, Kelli Miller; a brother, Don Kirkland; five grandchildren, Anthony Thomas, Michael Scott, Taylor Grace Thomas, Seth Mangrum and Greg Mangrum; a great-granddaughter, Katlyn Mangrum; special cousin, Millie Rittenberry; and several nieces and nephews. For those desiring, memorials can be made to the Humane Society of Dickson County or the American Heart Association. Arrangements for Mrs. Janey Thomas are under the direction of Taylor Funeral Home.

Creek Wood JV holds off Indians for tournament win

Faced with playing four games in four days and with an important district matchup tonight, Creek Wood High School turned Wednesday’s seventh-place game in the Rossview Roundball Christmas Tournament into a junior varsity contest and came away with a 57-54 win over Montgomery Central in Clarksville. The Red Hawks had lost their first two games and were facing an Indians squad they had just played last week. With a visit from Waverly coming up tonight, coach Charles Taylor played his junior varsity squad and they held off a Montgomery Central rally for the win. Creek Wood led by 13 points going into the final quarter before the Indians fought back to pull within one point on two occasions. But the Red Hawks hit free throws down the stretch, led by Timothy Randolph who was perfect in six trips to the foul line in the fourth. Randolph led Creek Wood with 13 points while Andre Darden added 11. The Creek Wood varsity returns to action tonight to host Waverly in a District 11-AA doubleheader to wrap up the pre-Christmas schedule. Creek Wood-Waverly will be live on WDKN, 101.5 The One FM, wdkn.com and the WDKN app with coverage starting with the A-1 Signs Pregame Show at 5:45.

County starts process to eliminate road commission

The Dickson County Commission has begun the process to eliminate the Dickson County Road Commission. The commission voted Monday night to send a resolution to the county’s legislative delegation requesting a private act be presented when the Tennessee General Assembly convenes in January that would allow Dickson County to do away with the six-member elected board at the end of their current terms in 2018. If approved by the legislature, the act would then return to the Dickson County Commission where it would have to be ratified by a two-thirds majority. If all that happens, the road commission would cease to exist Aug. 31, 2018. After passing a private act through the same process, Dickson County reduced the road commission from 12 to six members in 2014 by using the same combined districts for constables and school board members. Despite the fewer number of positions, there still were two districts that had only write-in candidates and only one district saw an opposed race. The 5th Road District seat has been vacant since the death of John D. Baggett in September. Dickson County Road Superintendent Jerry Burgess said Monday night the road commission has not conducted a business meeting for the last four months because it has not had enough members show up to have a quorum. County attorney Brian Ragan said under Tennessee’s County Uniform Highway Law, most of the authority of operating the county highway department is given to the elected road superintendent. And under the Fiscal Control Acts of 1957 adopted by Dickson County, the authority for establishing and approving the highway department’s budget rests with a five-member Budget Committee and the county commission. “It’s more of an advisory board than anything else. And so, with Mr. Burgess operating that department, having poor attendance and the fact that those decisions are made by him, I think that’s why it’s before this body,” Ragan said. Commissioner Cotton Dawson asked if the road commission is abolished, who will take residents’ complaints about roads. “When there’s a complaint, somebody in the districts, whatever, who do they go to? Do they come to us? Do they go to the road superintendent, or what?” Dawson said. Dawson said he has received complaints about the road department not answering or responding to complaints. Burgess said his office already receives the complaints about roads and took issue with claims that his office doesn’t respond. He said when they meet, the road commissioners bring the complaints to his office anyway. Burgess said he doesn’t see the sense in paying road commissioners $75 a month regardless of whether they show up for a meeting when all they do is present the complaints to him. The commission voted unanimously to send the resolution seeking a private act to abolish the Dickson County Road Commission to the Tennessee General Assembly, which convenes its 110th session Jan. 10.

Property rezoned for 11th Dollar General on Hwy. 48

With a new store opening last month on Highway 70 East and a new store under construction on Beasley Drive, a rezoning request approved on first reading Monday night starts the process for Dickson County’s 11th Dollar General store. The Dickson County Commission passed on first reading a request to rezone 1.5 acres on Highway 48 South from agricultural to commercial for the future site of another store. The Goodlettsville-based company just recently built and opened a store at 910 Highway 70 East in Dickson and is building a store at the corner of Beasley Drive and Cowan Road to replace the current store at 188 Beasley Drive. Dickson County Planning and Zoning Director Donnie Thiel told the commission Monday that Turner and Associates Realty of Nashville has requested the rezoning of property owned by Billy and Kathy Fussell for the future site of a Dollar General store. The 9,100-square-foot store is planned for a site adjacent to R&R Mobile Home Park across from Harris Road near Interstate 40. There were no speakers at a public hearing on the rezoning request at Monday night’s meeting and the commission approved the request unanimously on first reading. A second and final reading will be on the agenda for the Jan. 16 meeting. Dollar General currently has stores on North Main Street, Beasley Drive, Henslee Drive, Highway 70 East and Highway 46 in Dickson, Highway 70 West in Tennessee City, Highway 49 in Vanleer, Highway 48 North in Charlotte, Highway 70 East in White Bluff and Highway 96 in Burns.

Commission reappoints 10 judicial commissioners

The Dickson County Commission reappointed the county’s 10 judicial commissioners for new two-year terms. At Monday night’s meeting, the commission approved the recommendation of its Judicial Committee and Dickson County General Sessions Court Judge Craig Monsue to keep the same commissioners. At the work session two weeks ago, committee Chairman Shane Chandler said there were only nine applications submitted by current commissioners. At Monday’s meeting, Chandler said he still doesn’t know if Carol Harmon wants to continue serving as a judicial commissioner for the town of White Bluff after retiring as municipal court clerk, but recommended her reappointment anyway. Appointed for new two-year terms are general sessions court Deputy Clerk Leslie Shelton, on-call judicial commissioners Doyle Wall, Royce Hafner, Michael Adams, Ronnie Morgan and Becky Wright, and White Bluff judicial commissioners Jeff Martin, Brent Aulidge, Misty Rogers and Harmon. Judicial commissioners determine whether there is probable cause to issue an arrest warrant or search warrant and set bonds, among other duties. The new terms begin Jan. 1.

Back-to-back losses put Red Hawks in 7th-place game

Back-to-back losses have put the Creek Wood Red Hawks in today’s seventh-place game of the Rossview Roundball Christmas Tournament in Clarksville. The Red Hawks will face District 11-AA rival Montgomery Central at 11:30 am Wednesday to avoid last place in the tournament. Coach Charles Taylor announced Wednesday morning that the game would be switched to a junior varsity contest. The Indians handed Creek Wood a tough 54-41 loss just last week. In Monday’s tournament opener, host Rossview rolled over Creek Wood 64-25. The Class AAA Hawks used their superior size to dominate inside and Creek Wood’s normally reliable outside shooting suffered a cold spell. Rossview hit a trio of three-pointers in the first period to build a 13-5 lead and blew the game open with a 20-6 second quarter to lead 33-11 at halftime. A 24-7 third period put the mercy rule into effect as reserves played out the final frame of a 39-point Rossview win. Coulter Dotson led the Red Hawks with 10 points. Dropping into the consolation bracket, Creek Wood faced a Central Magnet squad Tuesday that was beaten by Cheatham County in the first round. The Red Hawks held the lead until the final five minutes of the game before the Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter for a 46-37 victory. In a defensive battle, Creek Wood led 24-16 at halftime and was up by six at the end of the third, 34-28. But Will Carver and Patrick Blair each scored 7 points in the fourth to key an 18-3 rally for Central Magnet. Carver’s three-pointer with five minutes remaining put the Tigers ahead 36-35 and the Red Hawks never recovered. Carver finished with 16 and Blair had 11 while Devon Higgins and Micah Westerman led Creek Wood with 8 points each and leading scorer Dotson was held to 7. The losses force Creek Wood into a rematch with Montgomery Central, which fell to Stewarts Creek 74-55 Monday and Northwest 68-61 on Tuesday. In their last game before the tournament, the Red Hawks suffered their second consecutive district loss to the Indians on Thursday. Creek Wood-Montgomery Central will be heard on WDKN, 101.5 The One FM, wdkn.com and the WDKN app starting with the A-1 Signs Pregame Show at 11:15 Wednesday morning. Creek Wood returns to District 11-AA action Thursday hosting Waverly for a doubleheader.

Hohl’s trey gives Lady Red Hawks win at Dyersburg

Raegan Hohl had a career-high 21 points including a game-winning three-pointer with six seconds left as Creek Wood beat Bolivar 55-53 in the Charles Cawles Classic in Dyersburg Monday. The host Lady Trojans handed the Lady Red Hawks a 56-42 defeat to end their trip to West Tennessee. In Monday’s opener, the Lady Tigers led deep into the fourth period before Hohl’s trey completed the rally. Bolivar was ahead 46-38 heading into the final quarter. After a nine-point second period, Hohl came back with seven in the fourth including the game-winner with six seconds remaining. Hohl finished with her best night as a Lady Red Hawk with 21 points including three treys. Taylor Moore added 12 points all on three-pointers. But Creek Wood couldn’t carry the momentum of Monday’s exciting win into Tuesday’s contest with Dyersburg. The Lady Trojans took a 32-16 lead at halftime and held on to the double-digit advantage for the rest of the game. Hohl had 13 with a pair of treys while Elayna Gass hit four of six three-pointers for 12 points and Moore sank three treys for 9. After their trip to West Tennessee, the Lady Red Hawks return to Charlotte to host Waverly in a District 11-AA doubleheader on Thursday. Next week the Lady Red Hawks head to the 4th annual Christmas Tournament in Summertown where they will face the host Lady Eagles Thursday and Community High School Friday to wrap up the 2016 half of the schedule.

Cougars drop 3 of 4 games across 5-day stretch

Dickson County’s Cougars head into the Christmas break after a five-day stretch in which they dropped three of four games. The Cougars pulled out a 50-49 thriller over Harpeth Saturday but fell to Beech 62-50 Friday and dropped both games in the Columbia Christmas Classic this week. In the makeup game with the Indians, Dickson County overcame a 10-point deficit in the final three minutes with an 11-0 run capped by D.J. Stacey’s three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining. Trey Weidman led the Cougars with 17 points. The night before, Dickson County had trailed the Buccaneers by 10 points in the fourth but could get no closer than six points despite a 16-point night from Weidman and 11 points from Darian Burns. It was different storylines for Dickson County’s two games in the Columbia classic but the same result. The Cougars fell to Martin Luther King Magnet 59-46 Monday and Wilson Central 58-49 Tuesday. In Monday’s contest, the Cougars rallied in the second half to overcome a double-digit deficit but couldn’t complete the comeback. Against the Royals, a Burns three-pointer cut the margin to 46-42 and a Stacey steal gave Dickson County a chance to get closer but the Cougars missed two shots and MLK iced the victory at the foul line. Stacey finished with 17 and Burns had 11. Against Wilson Central, it was the Wildcats who rallied in the second half. Burns had a career night with 26 points, including the last 11 for Dickson County. After trailing at halftime 26-22, Wilson Central tied the game at 28-28 on a three-pointer and then used a three-point play to take the lead. Burns pulled the Cougars within two at 48-46 on a three-point play but the Wildcats hit enough free throws in the closing minutes to take the nine-point win. The Lady Cougars wrapped up their pre-Christmas schedule with a 52-36 win over Beech and a 45-24 win over Harpeth. Dickson County overcame foul trouble for its two leading scorers against the Lady Buccaneers. Emily Beard led the way with 18 points and Cierra Smith added 12. In a battle of post players, Kailey Rosenbaum’s 19 points and 15 rebounds carried the Lady Cougars to the win over Harpeth. Dickson County returns to action in the Above the Rim Invitational at Hickman County High School next week. Both teams will open against Scotts Hill from Henderson County on Wednesday. The girls play at 1 pm and the boys at 5:30.

Phone tirade prompts higher bond for murder suspect

Wallace Wade Brasel
Wallace Wade Brasel
Thomas Lee Wortham
Thomas Lee Wortham

After listening to an expletive-filled phone conversation that included a threat to beat a TBI agent senseless, a judge increased the bond for one of two defendants awaiting trial for a 1998 murder. Attorneys for 58-year-old Wallace Wade “Wally” Brasel and 47-year-old Thomas Lee “Tommy” Wortham had filed second requests to have their clients’ bonds reduced from $350,000 as they await separate trials for the Aug. 20, 1998, murder of Eric Baxter. But in a hearing in Dickson County Circuit Court that began last week and concluded Thursday, Judge David Wolfe left Wortham’s bond unchanged but increased Brasel’s bond to $500,000. Wortham is scheduled to stand trial on murder charges Feb. 21 and Wolfe reset Brasel’s trial to March 14. During Thursday’s hearing, the judge listened to a recording of a phone conversation from the Cheatham County Jail between Brasel and Wortham’s wife in which Brasel talked about “hunting down” and getting even with everybody involved in his prosecution and said if he gets out of jail he would make it a “personal crusade” to beat senseless the TBI agent who worked on the Baxter investigation for the last 18 years. That Nov. 1 conversation led to a charge of retaliation for a past act being filed against Brasel by the TBI Monday. During an arraignment in Cheatham County General Sessions Court Wednesday, attorney Leonard Belmares waived the charge to the grand jury and bond was set at $10,000. In an expletive-laced tirade, Brasel is heard cursing his lawyer, family members, the judge and TBI Special Agent Joe Craig. “I’m going to beat him senseless if I ever get out,” Brasel is heard saying on the recording played in court Thursday. In reference to Craig, Brasel also says, “I’ll make him a personal crusade,” “There’s going to be payback” and “I’m going to deal with him.” With regard to the investigation that led to his indictment and arrest in April, Brasel said, “I’m going to hunt down everybody responsible and get even” and “paybacks are Hell and they’re going to come.” Belmares and Wortham’s attorney Mike Flanagan incorporated the same arguments for reducing bond that they made in a prior motion hearing June 2. Three brothers of Brasel’s testified Thursday they have property they are willing to put up for bonds for Brasel and Wortham, who is a half-brother. Following his October 2015 arrest, Wortham’s bond was reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 under an agreed order between Flanagan and District Attorney Ray Crouch Jr. In June, Wolfe refused to reduce Wortham’s bond again and dropped Brasel’s bond from $1 million to $350,000. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld Wolfe’s ruling on the bond motion and Wolfe said Thursday he heard no new evidence to convince him to reduce the bonds again. And based on the threats heard in Brasel’s jail phone call, Wolfe said he believes Brasel’s bond should be higher and increased it to $500,000. Wortham and Brasel face one count of first-degree murder and two counts of felony murder for the death of 32-year-old Baxter, who was shot 6-8 times in the Jones Creek Road home he shared with his mother, Joy Marsh. Wortham had leased a Dickson market from Baxter’s family-owned company and prosecutors say he was angry after the West Meade Corporation refused to sell him the store when he missed a contract deadline. A former Hickman County Sheriff’s Office detective, Wortham unsuccessfully sued the company and lost an appeal of his lawsuit just weeks before the shooting. The indictments charge Wortham and Brasel also planned to kill Marsh but she was not home and discovered her son’s body after returning from out of town.

Library, Extension Office to re-open 8 am Monday

A section of the library extension wall fell over Nov. 20. (photo courtesy UT Extension-Dickson County Facebook page)
A section of the library extension wall fell over Nov. 20. (photo courtesy UT Extension-Dickson County Facebook page)

The Dickson County Library and Life-long Learning Center and the UT Extension-Dickson County office will re-open at 8 am Monday. Mayor Bob Rial announced Thursday that while a comprehensive review of the building will continue, structural engineers have determined that the entrances to the building are safe. Engineers from HDR Inc and local contractor Kerry Pruett examined the building on Henslee Drive this week after a concrete exterior wall panel fell Nov. 20. The library and affiliated offices have been closed since Nov. 21. Rial said temporary fencing has been installed to create a fall zone around the exterior walls but his primary concern is making sure the entrances are safe before employees and patrons return to the building. The temporary fencing will be replaced with permanent fencing and the county commission is expected to be asked Monday to approve a contract for engineering services to assess the building and develop a plan of action to address any structural needs. With the entrances determined to be safe, the library and Extension office will resume normal hours of operation Monday. The library announced that all late fees for materials not returned while the building has been closed will be waived.