Local News Articles

DeKalb County to Participate in Great American Clean Up

April 19, 2018
DeKalb County to Participate in Great American Clean Up

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County Mayor’s office would like to invite residents across the county to participate in the DeKalb County Clean Up on Saturday, May 5th. The DeKalb Clean Up event will be held in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful initiative going on across the country.

County Mayor Tim Stribling says, “We invite people to come out and help clean up around our communities and highways. Folks are welcome to pick up litter at places of their choice, or we will be glad to assign a safe place for you.”

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, would like to remind everyone that DeKalb County’s peak tourism season is about to begin, so now is a great time to start getting things spruced up for our coming visitors. According to Williams, “I think we are all aware of the value and importance of beautification in our communities to attract newcomers and tourists to our area and to maintain a stable and growing economy.”

To get a head start on clean up, dumpsters will be set up at highly visible and convenient locations a few days prior to the main event. Dumpster locations will be at the Dowelltown Community Center, Liberty Community Center, Alexandria City Parking Lot (behind square), and the County Complex parking lot.

DeKalb Clean Up volunteers are asked to stop by the DeKalb County Complex on May 5th between 9 AM and 10 AM to sign-in and pick up the provided trash bags, rubber gloves, and bottles of water. We will be taking a group picture at 9:30 AM for the media if you like to participate in that.

For early sign-up, you can stop by the Chamber, located in the Courthouse, Room 201, anytime during regular office hours by May 4th to pick up supplies. Or if stopping by is not convenient, call the Chamber office at 615-597-4163 to be counted as a DeKalb Clean Up volunteer -- just give your name and the general area where you will be working. Whether you’re beautifying your street, a highway, a park, ball field, a stream, or your own home, what a difference we can make through working together to make our communities safer, healthier and more livable!

Brandon Parsons, PGA caddy for J.B. Holmes to be Featured on New WJLE Sports Talk Show Friday Morning

April 19, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brandon Parsons, PGA caddy for J.B. Holmes will be the first guest on a new weekly show debuting on WJLE Friday morning, April 20 at 8:30 a.m. called “All About Sports with Ken and Pete”.

Brandon Parsons, PGA caddy for J.B. Holmes will be the first guest on a new weekly show debuting on WJLE Friday morning, April 20 at 8:30 a.m. called “All About Sports with Ken and Pete”. Parsons will be calling from this week’s PGA Tour event in San Antonio, Texas

“All About Sports with Ken and Pete” will feature weekly commentary and special guests talking about golf and a variety of other local, regional, state, and national sporting events. Listeners will also have a chance to win giveways during the show.

The program is hosted by Ken Lacy and Pete Ferguson, who have been associated with Riverwatch Golf & Resort and who now serve as managers of the Smithville Municipal Golf Course and Swimming Pool.

Sports fans be sure to tune in weekly for “All About Sports with Ken and Pete” Fridays at 8:30 a.m. starting this week on WJLE AM 1480 and FM 101.7 and LIVE Stream at www.wjle.com.

Meanwhile, Ken and Pete have announced that the Smithville Golf Course will open at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, April 23 for play. They will be holding a scramble for those interested in playing that will start at 10:00 a.m. as well. The scramble is $23 for green fees + $10 into the scramble pot.

DeKalb Middle School Students Participate in Math Competition at Tech

April 19, 2018
Pictured from left to right: Back Row: Ian Colwell, Evan Sprague, Richard Martinez, Sheridan O’Connor, Jacob Hendrix, and Tiana Clark; Front Row: Jordan Blackwell, Ryder Miller, Haidyn Hale, Evan Carmichael, Madelyn Ray, Kathryn Hale.

Several students from DeKalb Middle School recently participated in the Upper Cumberland Mathematics Competition at Tennessee Tech on April 12, 2018.

These students were chosen by their teachers to represent the school. Pictured from left to right: Back Row: Ian Colwell, Evan Sprague, Richard Martinez, Sheridan O’Connor, Jacob Hendrix, and Tiana Clark; Front Row: Jordan Blackwell, Ryder Miller, Haidyn Hale, Evan Carmichael, Madelyn Ray, Kathryn Hale.

Board of Education Narrows Options for School Building Plan (VIEW TOP THREE OPTIONS HERE)

April 19, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps and Board of Education
County Mayor and County Commissioners Meet with School Board

DeKalb County Commissioners got their first look Monday night at school building construction options under consideration by the Board of Education.

The County Commission’s Education Committee along with other commissioners and the County Mayor met with Director of Schools Patrick Cripps and the Board of Education.

Derrick Clemow and Brian Templeton of Upland Design Group, the Board of Education’s architect, reviewed with the school board members and county commissioners findings of the needs and alternatives for meeting them.

A 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 should be addressed.

Last fall Upland Design presented six options for the board to consider but has narrowed them down to three at the Board’s request.

One of the options (Scheme-E) calls for closing Smithville Elementary School; keeping DeKalb West School as is; converting Northside Elementary to a Pre-K to 8th grade school (existing site); building two new additional Pre-K through 8th grade schools (sites to be determined); and repurposing the existing middle school to the high school (existing location) for use as a 9th grade academy. The total estimated construction cost is $26,800,000. This option would also require the county to be zoned meaning students would have to attend the elementary school within the zone where they reside.

(CLICK PDF LINK BELOW TO VIEW OPTION OR SCHEME-E)

School Building Option Scheme E_0.pdf (398.57 KB)

A second option (Scheme-F) calls for construction of a new high school at a new site (core capacity of 1,200 students) with new athletic facilities, etc (modeled after Stone Memorial High School in Crossville); keeping DeKalb West School as is; Closing Smithville Elementary School; converting Northside Elementary to a Pre-K to 5th grade school; Converting the existing middle school to a Pre-K to 5th grade school; Converting the existing high school to a middle school (6th-8th grades). The total estimated construction cost is $45,100,000.

(CLICK PDF LINK BELOW TO VIEW OPTION OR SCHEME-F)

School Building Option Scheme F.pdf (425.74 KB))

The third and newest option (Scheme-G) is to close Smithville Elementary School; construct a new Pre-K to 2nd grade school (new site to be determined); keeping DeKalb West School and Northside Elementary as they are; Construction of a new Middle School (6th to 8th grades at a new site to be determined); and repurposing the existing middle school to the high school (existing location) for use as a 9th grade academy. Total estimated construction cost $29,930,000.

(CLICK PDF LINK BELOW TO VIEW OPTION OR SCHEME-G)

School Building Option Scheme G_0.pdf (468.58 KB)

Since these options were developed the board has asked Upland Design to modify them to accommodate more students to meet future needs, especially in the event the state should ever mandate pre-kindergarten which would bring more students into the school system. These modifications could also affect the estimated costs.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps said he would like to see the county build a new elementary school and a new high school.

“We have been asked what school do you want? I truly don’t believe one school will do it because of the needs we have. We have outgrown our schools. The high school has from 5 to 7 teachers that roam. They don’t have their own classrooms. Smithville Elementary is packed as well and so is the middle school where you have to go through classrooms to get to classrooms. In the vocational building at the high school we have classrooms in offices and this summer we are looking at dividing a classroom just to create a new classroom. There are challenges within each building that are unique that we are having to face. So when someone asks which school do you want to build, I can’t say there is a (one) school because we need schools (more than one). We realize there is a dollar amount to be paid for this but we have to come up with a vision. We can’t keep doing just one school every 30 years. It has caught up with us. I don’t like it anymore than you do. I hate asking for money but that is what we are doing because we need schools and to best serve our students we need schools, not just one school. If you ask me which scheme I like, I would love to have a brand new high school and a new Smithville Elementary,” said Cripps.

More meetings are expected in the weeks and months ahead between the Board of Education and County Commissioners to try and reach a consensus on the best option and whether and when to move forward.

DMS Soccer Team Remembers Karen Jacobs

April 18, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
DMS Soccer Team Remembers Karen Jacobs

DeKalb Middle School Soccer honored Mrs. Karen Jacobs with Neuroendrocine Cancer Awareness night on April 17.

Mrs. Jacobs, who passed away in October, 2017, was a longtime educator in DeKalb County, an avid supporter of DMS soccer since its inception and the mother of DMS coach, Justin Nokes.

DeKalb Jobless Rate at 4.6% for February

April 18, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for February was 4.6%, down from 4.7% in January but well below the 5.8% rate recorded in February, 2017.

The local labor force for February was 7,790. A total of 7,430 were employed and 360 were without work.

Jobless rates for February among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Jackson: 5.5%
Clay: 5.2%
Cumberland: 5%
DeKalb: 4.6%
Overton: 4.5%
Fentress: 4.3%
Van Buren: 4.2%
Pickett: 4.1%
Warren: 3.9%
White: 3.7%
Putnam: 3.5%
Smith: 3.5%
Macon: 3.2%
Cannon: 3%

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the latest statistics showed improved rates for the majority of the state’s counties during the month.

Sixty-nine of Tennessee’s 95 counties saw lower unemployment rates when compared to January 2018. The rates remained the same in 21 counties and increased in five counties.

“It is great to see unemployment rates decrease in so many counties during February,” said Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips. “While this type of rebound in February is typical after the state usually experiences a slight uptick in unemployment after the holidays, it is not a given.”

Williamson County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate. The February rate of 2.4 percent is a decrease of 0.1 of a percentage point when compared to the previous month.

At 2.6 percent, Davidson County had the state’s second lowest unemployment rate in February, which was 0.1 of a percentage point lower than January’s rate.

Houston County had the state’s highest unemployment rate in February at 6.8 percent, which is the same rate the county had in January. The latest statistic was 0.2 of a percentage point lower than the county’s February 2017 unemployment rate.

Tennessee’s statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2018 was 3.4 percent, a 0.1 of a percentage point increase from the revised January rate of 3.3 percent. The national unemployment rate for the month held steady at 4.1 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

Chattanooga Man Injured in Saturday Night Crash

April 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
One person was injured in a crash Saturday night on Highway 56 south near Ferrell Road and Pine Creek Nursery just south of Seven Springs Road.
Saturday Night Wreck Causes Power Outage for Many

One person was injured in a crash Saturday night on Highway 56 south near Ferrell Road and Pine Creek Nursery just south of Seven Springs Road. The wreck caused a power outage for a large area in the southern portion of the county.

According to Trooper Danielle Neal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 21 year old Brandon Kircher of Smithville was traveling north on Highway 56 in a 2001 Ford Edge and failed to maintain the lane crossing the center line. The vehicle exited the roadway to the left and struck a mailbox before hitting a utility pole. It then went into a ditch and overturned onto its top with one passenger being completely ejected and another partially ejected out of the passenger side window.

Kircher, who was wearing his seatbelt, was not injured.

One of the passengers, 57 year old Michael Patillo of Chattanooga was taken by DeKalb EMS to Vanderbilt Hospital. The other passenger, 31 year old Ashley Ford of Bank, Tennessee was not injured. Neither Patillo or Ford were wearing their seat belts.

Kircher was cited for failing to maintain lane of travel, failing to provide proof of financial responsibility, and driving without a license

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene to provide assistance.

4-H Members Excel at Regional Livestock Judging

April 17, 2018
by: 
Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
The DeKalb County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams at the regional contest in Murfreesboro.  (Front) Chaylea Lunsford, Brooklyn Ponder, Izayah Dowell, Riley Fuson, Ansley Cantrell, Ian Barnes, & Tyler Dunn. (Back) Luke Magness, Marissa Clark, Clayton Crook, Payton Cantrell, Caleb Taylor, John Iervolino, Colby Barnes, Jenna Cantrell, and Elizabeth Seber.
Tyler:Tyler Dunn studies a pen of goats before winning 2nd place in the region.

Seventeen DeKalb County 4-H members recently traveled to the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro to compete in the largest Central Region 4-H Livestock Judging contest on record with around 400 contestants.

The Junior division team of Ian Barnes, Izayah Dowell, Tyler Dunn, Chaylea Lunsford, and Brooklyn Ponder took top honors out of 23 teams. Tyler placed 2nd individually while Izayah placed 4th. The Junior High team comprised of Jenna Cantrell, Colby Barnes, Elizabeth Seber, and Marissa Clark placed 7th and the team of Ansley Cantrell, Riley Fuson, Luke Magness, John Iervolino, and Caley Taylor placed 15th. Luke Magness was 8th high individual. There were 32 total teams in that division. Payton Cantrell, Clayton Crook, and Caleb Taylor competed in Senior High division and also represented us well placing 17th with only a three man team.

Livestock Judging teaches 4-H members decision-making skills while they learn more about the livestock industry. Beef cattle, sheep, goats, and hogs are evaluated to know which animals would be best in a farm’s breeding program or would make the most profit at market. 4-H’ers also learn how to read and use genetic information (EPDs) to assist in the selection of livestock. This is very useful knowledge if these young people ever buy livestock of their own. It also gives them a better understanding of where their food comes from. Eight total classes of animals are judged at the contest. The Senior division also must give two sets of oral reasons to explain why they placed the class the way they did. This improves their communication skills, as they must think under pressure while still using good presentation techniques.

These teams had a great time learning about livestock animals and made new friends along the way. They represented DeKalb County very well in this highly competitive contest! For more information about the 4-H livestock group, please contact the UT/TSU DeKalb County Extension Office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Caption:
Team: The DeKalb County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams at the regional contest in Murfreesboro. (Front) Chaylea Lunsford, Brooklyn Ponder, Izayah Dowell, Riley Fuson, Ansley Cantrell, Ian Barnes, & Tyler Dunn. (Back) Luke Magness, Marissa Clark, Clayton Crook, Payton Cantrell, Caleb Taylor, John Iervolino, Colby Barnes, Jenna Cantrell, and Elizabeth Seber.

Tyler:Tyler Dunn studies a pen of goats before winning 2nd place in the region.

Sheriffs Department Makes Three Arrests for Domestic Assault

April 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Troy Eugene Martin
Wesley Lynn Chandler
Rickie Edward Turner
Jimmy Lee Herman

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department has made three arrests within the last week for domestic assault.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 4/09/2018 Thru: 4/16/2018)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_0.pdf (3.07 MB)

39 year old Troy Eugene Martin of Lee Braswell Road is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, April 4 a deputy responded to a call on Short Mountain Highway in reference to a domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who had red marks, pumpknots and blood on the top and back of her head, and scratches on her left forearm. The woman claimed that Martin assaulted her. The woman said she and Martin had been dating.

30 year old Robert Grady Cox of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Ray said that on February 16 a deputy responded to South Mountain Street in reference to a domestic altercation on Old Snow Hill Road.

Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said that on the night of February 15 she and her boyfriend, Cox got into a verbal altercation before Cox hit her with an open hand across the left side of her face causing redness and bruising. She was unable to call for help that night but reported it later.

40 year old Wesley Lynn Chandler of Page Drive is charged with domestic assault. He is under a $4,000 bond and his court date is May 17.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, April 11 at 11:30 p.m. a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Page Drive due to a physical domestic. Upon arrival the deputy spoke to the complainant who said that her boyfriend, Chandler had been abusing her throughout the day and that he punched her in the nose causing her to fear him. When asked if anything physical had occurred between them prior to the 911 call, Chandler said “we may have gotten into a scuffle”. Chandler was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was placed under arrest.

31 year old Nikita Clark of Patterson Road, Smithville is cited for possession of schedule II & IV controlled substances. Sheriff Ray said that on March 28 a deputy found in Clark’s possession a book bag containing six green pills believed to be xanax and a small baggie with one white pill thought to be Hydrocodone.

65 year old Rickie Edward Turner of Forrest Avenue is charged with driving under the influence. He was also cited for violation of the implied consent law. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, April 7 at 3:37 a.m. a deputy stopped a red Chevrolet Malibu because a brake light was out. The officer spoke with the driver, Turner and smelled a strong odor of alcohol on him. When asked Turner told the officer he had consumed three drinks. Turner was unsteady on his feet and refused to submit to field sobriety tasks or give blood for a test. He was placed under arrest.

37 year old Jimmy Lee Herman of Estie Griffith Road, McMinnville is charged with driving on a revoked license. He was further cited for driving on roadways laned for travel. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is April 26.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, April 14 a deputy spotted a silver car failing to maintain its lane of travel on Midway Road. The officer stopped the car on Adcock Cemetery Road and spoke with the driver, Herman. A routine driver license check through Central Dispatch revealed that they have been revoked since November 16, 2017 in Warren County for driving under the influence.

WJLE Debuting New Sports Talk Show "All About Sports with Ken and Pete" Friday Morning

April 17, 2018
by: 
Dwayne Page
Listen for "All About Sports with Ken and Pete" Fridays at 8:30 a.m. on WJLE

WJLE is debuting a new weekly sports talk program this Friday, April 20 at 8:30 a.m.

“All About Sports with Ken and Pete” will feature weekly commentary and special guests talking about golf and a variety of other local, regional, state, and national sporting events. Listeners will also have a chance to win giveways during the show.

The program is hosted by Ken Lacy and Pete Ferguson, who have been associated with Riverwatch Golf & Resort and who now serve as managers of the Smithville Municipal Golf Course and Swimming Pool.

This week Ken and Pete will be talking with Brandon Parsons, PGA Tour Caddy for J.B. Holmes LIVE from the drive range at this week’s PGA Tour event in San Antonio, Texas.

Sports fans be sure to tune in weekly for “All About Sports with Ken and Pete” Fridays at 8:30 a.m. starting this week on WJLE AM 1480 and FM 101.7 and LIVE Stream at www.wjle.com.

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