Local News Articles

Grecco Wins Habitat Raffle Drawing for Yeti Tundra 45

December 16, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
11 year old Jaxon Humphrey with Gary Johnson

Danny Grecco was the winner of an ice blue Yeti Tundra 45 in a Habitat for Humanity raffle drawing on WJLE Saturday morning.

Gary Johnson of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County said money was raised through the raffle ticket sales and all the proceeds will go toward construction of the next partner family home by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Eleven year old Jaxon Humphrey drew the name during the on-air giveaway Saturday

Jamie Nokes and her family were recently selected to be Habitat’s sixth partner family in DeKalb County. The home is to be located on Hayes Street and groundbreaking will be held in February or March.

16 Year Old Boy Found at County Complex with Gun and Marijuana on Him

December 16, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and Smithville Police Department gathered at the County Complex Friday where a 16 year old boy was found with a pistol and a bag of marijuana. This photo shows officers after the boy was taken into custody and placed inside the car.

A 16 year old boy was taken into custody Friday at the county complex after a Sheriff’s Department Deputy found a pistol and marijuana on him.

The officer was called to the complex around 11 a.m. Friday after the boy, who has a violation of probation offense against him, was spotted in the weight room.

The deputy confronted the boy and asked him if he had anything on him. As the officer conducted a pat down search, the boy reached into his own waistband where he had a 9 millimeter pistol. The officer quickly took the boy to the ground, placed handcuffs on him, and found the gun and a bag of marijuana.

Other officers from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and Smithville Police Department quickly responded to provide support.

Sheriff Patrick Ray explained how the incident unfolded.

“I received information that the juvenile was at the County complex in the weight room. He had a violation of probation out of juvenile court to pickup and hold him. I had a deputy respond to the complex and he saw a young boy in the gym area and asked the boy his name. It was the juvenile. The deputy asked the juvenile several times if he had anything on him. The juvenile stated no. The deputy began a pat down search on the juvenile and the juvenile reached into his own waistband. The deputy then grabbed the juvenile and took him to the ground. After placing cuffs on the juvenile the deputy found a 9mm pistol with a loaded clip in the juvenile’s waistband. There was not one chambered. Also found on him was a bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana weighing 0.25 ounces in a pair of shorts the juvenile was wearing under his pants,” said Sheriff Ray.

The officer has taken juvenile petitions on the boy for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and unlawful possession of a weapon. He will be in Juvenile Court on Wednesday, December 20th.

Big Changes at Your Health Department

December 15, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Health Department and Community Health Center is pleased to announce the upcoming adoption of a technology based electronic medical record system or EMR beginning mid-January.

What should you expect at your next visit?

“While technology and clinical specialist across the state are helping with this transition, there is no question that we will experience a learning curve during this implementation. We ask for everyone’s patience as we learn this new technology,” said Michael Railling, DeKalb County Director. “If you need medication refills or an appointment for other services, please call today.”

DCHD/CHC staff are completing numerous hours of training as they ready for the transition. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the DeKalb County Health Department and Community Health Center today, 615-597-7599.

Smithville Police Treat Head Start Children to Gifts for Christmas (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

December 15, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins Presents Bag of Gifts to Head Start Student
Santa Visits with Excited Kids at Smithville Head Start Center
Brad and Sean Driver and Danny Hale of "Right On Time" sing Christmas songs for Children at Smithville Head Start Friday

Children at the Smithville Head Start Center were treated to bags of gifts today (Friday) thanks to the Smithville Police Department’s “Cops4Kids” program.

Police Chief Mark Collins, Mayor Jimmy Poss, and other members of the police department presented the children with the gifts. Other guests included Sean and Brad Driver and Danny Hale of “Right on Time” and local minister Donnie Kelly, who were on hand to sing Christmas songs. Dwayne Cornelius, another local minister and Chaplain of the Smithville Police Department shared the Christmas story with the children. Santa also stopped by for a visit with the kids.

Members of the Police Department participated in “No Shave November to help raise money to purchase gifts; Woodmen Life Lodge 1077 made a cash donation; and Cash Express recently held a "Fill the Police Car" event to collect gifts in support of the “Cops4Kids” program. Other local businesses also contributed.

“Each year the Smithville Police Department tries to do something around this special holiday. This year we again chose the Head Start. What we do is we collect donations and presents and we give them to the kids. They get to interact with us. Its really enjoyable for all of us to interact with the kids. This is a good event for us. Its a way we can give back to the community and these kids really appreciate it and seem to enjoy it," said Police Chief Mark Collins.

DCHS to Retire Jerseys of Two Former Basketball Stars

December 15, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jerry Foster (Photo from 1975-76 season)
Rosa Stokes (Photo from 1982-83 season)

Two former DCHS basketball legends will soon be honored.

During Thursday night’s regular monthly meeting, the Board of Education granted a request from the DCHS basketball program to retire the jersey of Jerry Foster. Board member Jerry Wayne Johnson asked that the jersey of the late Rosa Stokes also be retired. The board requested that the ceremonies be held on different nights of basketball at DCHS.

Foster was a basketball star for DeKalb County during the 1970’s and went on to shine as a college and professional athlete. He graduated from DCHS in 1976. After his playing days, Foster became a teacher and high school coach. Foster was head coach of the DCHS Lady Tiger basketball program from the 1993-94 season to 1999-2000. He is now a teacher at Northside Elementary School.

Coach Foster was recently diagnosed with cancer and is being treated. DCHS hosted a fundraiser for him and another is scheduled next month. DeKalb Middle School and DeKalb West School will have benefit basketball games for Coach Foster on Saturday, January 6 at DeKalb Middle School. It's called "Battle on the Hill". The junior varsity game will start at 3 p.m. followed by the varsity game. Proceeds will go to Coach Foster. Everyone is urged to come out and support this event.

At the time of her death in August 2003, Stokes was head women’s basketball coach at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia.

Stokes was a star athlete for the DCHS Lady Tigers (Tigerettes as they were known then) during early 1980’s. She graduated from DCHS in 1983 and then played collegiate basketball at Cumberland University in Lebanon (1984-89) scoring more than 1,000 points. Stokes was a graduate assistant at the University of Louisville during the 1989-90 season and Murray State University in 1988-89. From 1990-92, she was the assistant coach at Tennessee Tech University. Stokes came to Georgia Southwestern State University as coach after a five-year run with Long Beach State University in which the last two were as the associate head coach. Previously, she served two years with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga as assistant coach.

In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps gave his monthly report on personnel.

Employment:
Justin Coats, Mechanic
McKenzie Dunaway, Education Assistant at DeKalb West School

Leave of Absence:
Kim Violet, Custodian at Northside Elementary School

Resignation:
William Jennings, retirement, DCHS teacher.

Midnight Fire Destroys Home on Coconut Ridge

December 14, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
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

December 14, 2017
by: 
Bill Conger
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

December 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brian Howell
Photo from school video surveillance shows Brian Clinton Howell holding a burglary tool after entering DeKalb West School on Sunday, September, 2016

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

December 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brandon Alan Tramel

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

December 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ashley Nicole Tittle

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.

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