A Smithville man has been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department in several burglaries and thefts which have occurred over the last three months
24 year old Ryan Davis Taylor of Holmes Creek Road, Smithville is charged with one count of aggravated burglary, five counts of burglary, one count of theft of property under $1,000, three counts of theft of property over $1,000, two counts of theft over $10,000, and two counts of vandalism. His bond totals $160,500 and his court date is November 2.
Initially, Taylor was charged in two burglaries and thefts after he allegedly broke into the same shed twice on Hannah’s Branch Road at Liberty.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, October 3, Taylor entered a shed, cut a padlock and chain secured to a generator, and stole the generator, two log chains, grease gun, tamping bar, an adjustable wrench, and rubber handled pliers all valued at $690. He returned to the same shed on Thursday, October 5 and stole a 22 rifle, 22 pistol, Milwaukee band saw, threading set, Makita angle grinder, Makita drills, Makita saw, laser mark, three chainsaws, floor jack, extension cord, and grease fitting valued at $2,786.
Additional charges were filed against Taylor on Monday, October 16 after Sheriff Ray, detectives, and deputies went to Taylor’s home on Saturday, October 14 to serve a search warrant and found more stolen property from other burglaries.
The other cases against Taylor are as follows:
*On July 14, Taylor entered a barn on Game Ridge Road, Smithville causing damage to it and took several hunting bows, hunting clothes, a computer, bullets, reloading equipment, rods and reels, and lights, valued at $10,000
*On July 18, Taylor assisted in the forcible entry into a mini-storage building on Nashville Highway. Entry was made by removing the lock to a storage container at the mini-storages. He then assisted in the theft of several musical instruments, cameras, cds, video games, and jewelry, valued at $34,276.
*On September 30, Taylor entered a motor vehicle and stole a custom built AR-15, Craftsman tool set, drill, floor jack, Garmin GPS, and boots and glasses, valued at $2,120
*On October 6, Taylor entered a residence on Allen Ferry Road and stole various jewelry, TV, coffee pot, keys, remotes, laptop, and a tablet, valued at $1,300
Students and teachers at Smithville Elementary School will pay tribute to hometown heroes during the school’s annual Veterans Appreciation assembly program on Friday morning, November 3 at 9:30 a.m.
Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11
Last year Kelly Birmingham led students from pre-K to the second grade in singing "God Bless the USA" and other patriotic songs in honor of veterans who have served in each branch of the military.
(NOTE: VIDEOS BELOW ARE FROM LAST YEAR'S VETERANS APPRECIATION PROGRAM)
Smithville Elementary School Students sang for the veterans last year (BELOW)
Adrienne McCormick read the following "Veterans Day" poem by Cheryl Dyson:
"On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call,
Soldiers young, and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride,
We're proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white, and blue,
They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights,
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same."
Veterans either attending or who were recognized or remembered for their service last year were:
Edsel Frazier, U.S. Army in World War II-
Edward Frazier, U.S. Army in World War II-
Ben Franklin, U.S. Army in Vietnam-
Bethel Golden, U.S. Army in Korean Conflict-
John Washer, U.S. Air Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom-
William Russell, U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam Era-
Brian Reed, U.S. Air Force in Desert Storm/Euduring Freedom-
Jimmy Sprague, U.S. Army in Operation Just Cause-Panama
Walter Johnson, U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict-
Tommy Webb, U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict-
Barbara Boehm, U.S. Army Nurses Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan-
Clyde Thomas family. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War-
Jerry and Judy Pistole, U.S. Navy in Vietnam
Jack Allen Midgett, Jr., U.S. Navy in Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Global War on Terror
Ricky L. Fury, U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam
James T. Owen, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Vance Walker, U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom
Wayne Storey, U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy in Vietnam
Eddie M. Young, U.S. Navy in Vietnam and Desert Storm
Allen Morse, U.S. Army
Jason Moseley, U.S. Marine Corps
Ronald W. Gray, U.S. Army in Desert Storm
Jason Oakley, U.S. Army in the War on Isis
William Heath Phillips, U.S. Navy
Earl Sims, U.S. Army in World War II
Wayne Vanderpool, U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam
Family of Gene Cripps
Almost two weeks after suffering a serious injury to her throat in a fall leaving her unable to breathe on her own, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams remains hospitalized at the LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville.
If you would like to send Suzanne a card, mail it to LeConte Medical Center, Patient Suzanne Williams, ICU Room 6, Sevierville, TN 37862.
Meanwhile, in appreciation for the prayers and outpouring of community support, the family has sent WJLE the following letter from Suzanne to share with you:
"Dear Community Friends,
I wanted to take a moment to say a very heart-felt thank you for all of the support and prayers during my recent injury. Although I am miles away in Sevierville, TN ICU, I can feel your love from here. I am overcome with emotion as I think about all of the cards, baskets of food, monetary donations, help with travel, and personal visits that I, along with my family, have received over the past 13 days.
After my most recent run of tests, I have been told that I will remain unable to speak for many weeks to come, so I wanted to use this opportunity to share my written voice of gratitude with all of you. First, I would like to thank each one of you that took time out of your busy lives to pray for me upon hearing of my accident. Second, I am humbled and overwhelmed to know that many of you stepped up to volunteer to answer phones and keep the Chamber office open during my absence, and thirdly, for those of you that coordinated and participated in a prayer vigil in my honor at the courthouse, ‘thank you’. It still brings tears to my eyes. In addition, I would like to acknowledge and thank my friends in tourism, across the state of Tennessee, that joined together to offer lodging for my family, and came back to visit multiple times to lend a hand and a smile.
To anyone that had even the smallest part in supporting me through this challenging time, I want you to know that I have prayed for the Lord to bless you and yours. Although I have always known that DeKalb County was one of the finest places on earth to live, I now have an even greater reason to know how right I was. I hope to come home soon, and get back to work promoting the people and place that I love most on this earth.
My deepest thank you until I see you again,
Smithville-DeKalb Chamber of Commerce"
Eleven years after its beginnings in DeKalb County, the Recovery Court program (formerly known as Drug Court) has grown and is making a difference in the lives of more people, juveniles and adults.
Recovery Court for adults, started by DeKalb County General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II in 2006, provides an alternative to incarceration for eligible non-violent offenders, who are deemed substance dependent. Judge Cook began the recovery court program for juveniles in 2002.
“Our capacity is 25. We have 22 participants today and 8 people waiting. We have 8 people who have applied. We have treated over 150 people with a 65% graduation rate. Seven drug free babies have been born to mothers in our program and our recidivism rate, repeat offenders is only one percent. We track three years out,” said Norene Puckett, Coordinator of the DeKalb County Recovery Court Program.
Mark Young, who is on track to graduate soon, said the DeKalb County Recovery Court Program has been a life changing experience for him.
“I started off and had some charges in DeKalb County. I had a DUI and a violation of probation. Through that I got in contact with Recovery Court, filled out an application, and went in front of Judge Cook and got approved. They sent me to treatment,” said Young.
Although he experienced some setbacks along the way, Young said he is a changed man today because of this program.
“From that time to now I have had multiple setbacks. I have done things wrong along the way but the judge has been just and fair. He has never given up on me. He has always given me the benefit of the doubt in anything I’ve ever done. Even when I wasn’t doing right, he was there for me. About nine months ago, the judge and the panel decided to send me to Savannah Georgia to Mission Teens, a mission Bible training center. That has been a life changing experience,” he said.
Young said he has learned to take control of his life and be more responsible through the Recovery Court Program and would recommend it to others.
“The court panel never gives up on you. They are one of the best support groups to have on your side. They teach you how to hold yourself accountable by them holding you accountable. That’s what it takes to get through this whole addiction process. You’ve got to have lots of support and people who are there for you in a time of need. You’ve got to have somebody to turn to and somebody to call for help. If you are struggling with addiction you just have to be willing to seek change first before change can take place. Humble yourself enough to be able to ask for help. Addiction is a hard battle but if I can change, anyone can change,” said Young.
Recovery courts are a nationwide program which started 28 years ago in Miami, Florida. Today there are more than 3,000 recovery courts across the country.
After Judge Cook learned more about the success of Recovery Courts, he decided to start them here.
“Judge John Hudson of Cookeville and I were the first judges in the state to have a juvenile drug court program. It did so well in about a three year period that we got together and decided to have an adult drug court. We went to three separate one week period trainings in 2005 and then began the adult drug court program in 2006,” he said.
According to Judge Cook, addiction is not a condition but a disease and treating it successfully can make a major difference in the rate of crime.
“Probably 80-90% of the crimes in DeKalb County are some way or another related to drugs or alcohol. Many people who are on drugs or alcohol are stealing to try and get money for more drugs, forging checks on their parents, stealing credit cards and running them up, just things like that. It became the revolving door for jail. Unfortunately, there are still people who think that drug addiction is not a disease. That it is just a condition. They say “why don’t you just quit”? That is not what science has shown us over the years. Not that it is comparable to cancer, but when someone says “ just quit” and don’t take those pills anymore it’s almost like telling someone who has a tumor in their stomach, just reach in there and get it and throw it away and you’ll be okay. That’s just not the way it works. In fact, as the years have clicked by more and more of the science has been that addiction has indeed been a disease affecting the brain in various ways. When drug courts began, generally they were a one year program, divided into four different phases of three months each. We found out early on that one year just gets your toe wet. What science now shows is that it takes the brain at least a year of abstinence from drugs to even have the ability to try and stay abstinent. That’s the struggle these people have, especially when they first begin any type of program. The longer they are in the easier it becomes. But now two to three years is probably an average for our people to be in drug court,” he said..
Judge Cook said the program is an alternative to incarceration.
“The people in our program are non-violent offenders. They are people who are our next door neighbors. After all, spending $20,000 a year putting them in jail as opposed to approximately $5,000 a year treating them is a no brainer. One of my philosophies for many years has been as far as jail, we need to incarcerate the people that we are afraid of and treat the ones we’re mad at. Most of the drug people we all know, our family members that steal our credit cards or our guns and sell them for drugs, we’re not afraid of them. We’re just angry. We’re mad at them and those are the ones we need to treat,” said Judge Cook.
Participants are required to stay drug free and sober, get a job, and meet all other conditions expected of them
“They are drug tested frequently. We see them in drug court once a week. They have to go to probation. They have treatment they go to. There are meetings. There is something every single day. We keep our thumb on them and we have to. But it is so rewarding especially when we see people who have had their children taken by DCS because of their addiction and then they get their kids back. Because one thing I have learned as juvenile judge is it doesn’t matter how sorry a parent is, those kids love them and want to be with them. It is so rewarding when they regain custody. They get a job. They get housing and they become responsible, respectable people. That’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Puckett added that those who do well in the program are rewarded and those who don’t are sanctioned.
“ We as a team get together every week. We staff every person’s case in the program, and we go over what is going on with them. Are they doing good or bad?. If they have messed up some way, missed a meeting, failed a drug screen, or any kind of infraction in our program we issue a sanction that week. There is immediate response to any type of negative behavior. Let’s say someone failed a drug screen. The case manager would explain what’s going on in the person’s life. The treatment provider may talk about what they’re doing in treatment and the progress they are making or barriers they are having, and then the probation officer would say, for example, yes on March 1 he failed for marijuana. We, as a team, would then come up with recommendations to help this person and determine what the sanction should be for the negative behavior, but Judge Cook has ultimate say on the sanctions. We also reward them for positive things such as getting a job, GED or things like that,” said Puckett.
Team members who oversee the program locally in addition to Judge Cook and Recovery Court Coordinator Puckett are Sheriff Patrick Ray, Assistant District Attorney General Stephanie Johnson, John and Kay Quintero from Haven of Hope, primary treatment providers; Assistant Public Defender Scott Grissom, Probation Officer Jay Colton, Juvenile Case Manager Kristy Longmire, and Adult Case Manager Rhonda Harpole.
For more information about the Recovery Court Program call 615-215-8690 or visit the office on the main floor of the courthouse.
Judge Cook, Recovery Court Coordinator Puckett, and Recovery Court participant Mark Young appeared on WJLE's Tech Talk program Thursday morning hosted by Dan Delacruz of Smithville Computer who sponsors the weekly show.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on September 29 a correctional officer entered the jail annex holding cell to check on Cantrell who was on suicide watch and reported to have an ink pen. As the officer entered, Cantrell tried to force her way out of the cell and bit him on the left arm as he grabbed her. After Cantrell was placed back into the holding cell, she wrapped herself around the officer’s leg and bit him in the area of his knee as he was exiting the cell. Another correctional officer came in to assist in pulling Cantrell off the man.
54 year old John Wesley Wall of Dry Creek Road, Dowelltown is charged with filing a false report. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is October 26.
Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, October 5 Wall reported to officers that his 1991 Toyota pickup truck had been stolen but later recanted after a detective learned that the truck had instead been involved in a wreck and that the driver had left the scene because he was intoxicated.
38 year old Jack Mullican, Jr. of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated burglary, theft of property, and vandalism. His bond is $20,000 and his court date is October 26.
Sheriff Ray said that on August 31, Mullican entered a home on Pea Ridge Road by breaking a glass out of a window. Taken from the home were a black digital camera, a case, and miscellaneous jewelry with a total value of $250. Damage to the glass was estimated at $200.
43 year old Mark Thomas Williams of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is October 26.
Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, October 10 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Cookeville Highway where a man was in the yard with a machete. Upon arrival the officer found the man, Williams to be unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and he stated that he thought people were out to get him. Williams was placed under arrest.
38 year old Jeremy Elton Green of Clear Creek Road, Liberty is charged with driving on a suspended license. He was further cited for no insurance, driving an unregistered vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident. His bond is $4,500 and his court date is November 9.
Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, October 15 a deputy responded to the area of Nashville Highway due to a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival the officer found the automobile unoccupied but a wallet was inside the vehicle belonging to Green. Officers later located Green and a computer check revealed that his license had been suspended in Wilson County for refusing to take an alcohol test on October 20, 2016. Green already has seven prior offenses for driving on a revoked license.
Another edition of Reeling in the Years is coming up Friday night, October 20th.
The four-hour quarterly program features former WJLE announcers Dennis Stanley and Shawn Jacobs and music from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
“For this show we decided to give it a littler ‘Halloween’ flavor and we’ll be playing songs like Monster Mash, Witchy Woman, Spiders and Snakes and more throughout the 4 hours,” the two said. “It’s just a little added flavor to our normal programming that we hope the listeners will enjoy. We’ll also be playing songs that were popular during the month of October during various years.”
Reeling in the Years will air Friday, October 20th, from 6 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Two employees of the DeKalb County Ambulance Service have been honored for their response to a serious traffic accident in July.
Marie Turpin, Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic Critical Care (EMT-PCC) and Jamie Parsley, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) were recognized Friday during the Region IV Upper Cumberland EMS Director’s Association Fall Symposium held in Cookeville.
Turpin received a 2017 “Paramedic of the Year” award and Parsley was honored as “EMT of the Year” for Region IV. Turpin was one of three “Paramedic of the Year” award recipients in the region.
During this conference, the association awarded EMTs and Paramedics from within the Upper Cumberland Region, who have excelled in their patient care and overall performance in service to the counties in which they serve. The nominations for these awards are carefully reviewed and considered by the members of the Director’s Association.
Turpin and Parsley were nominated for these awards by DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale. They were on duty at the ambulance service when a two vehicle crash occurred on Sunday, July 30 at Highway 70 near the intersection of Hurricane Ridge Road
Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that a 17 year old boy was driving a 2007 Pontiac G5 pulling from Hurricane Ridge Road to go east on Highway 70 when he crossed the path of a 1999 Ford F-150, driven by 45 year old Steven Glynn of Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown. Glynn was traveling west on Highway 70.
Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s Extrication and Rescue Team were summoned because the teen was pinned in his car. The boy was picked up at the scene by a helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.
Glynn was not injured.
In nominating Turpin and Parsley for the awards, Director Hale described their response in treating the injured wreck victim. “Arriving on the scene, they could see a vehicle with significant damage to the driver’s door and a 17 year old male patient unresponsive and not breathing until C-spine was taken. Once natural alignment was obtained the patient began breathing again. Turpin requested air medical be launched due to signs of closed head injury. The patient remained unresponsive during extrication but Turpin and Parsley remained with the patient continuing treatment. When the patient became accessible and total spinal immobilization was established the patient was moved to the ambulance. The life of this young man was in the hands of these two Emergency Technicians. The patient was intubated with assistance of Life Force 2 medical staff and flown to a level I trauma center. He remained in the hospital for 25 days and is expected to make a full recovery,” said Hale.
“Being mothers of their own boys, these two outstanding EMS personnel put all emotions aside and used every effort and years of training to keep this young man alive. Many other pre-hospital providers from our region have provided great service for their community and deserve to be recognized but I feel this crew deserves the EMT of the Year Award. Due to their hard work, and pulling together as Turpin and Parsley did, this young man has a new chance on life,” wrote Director Hale in making the nominations.
In response to Turpin and Parsley receiving the awards, Director Hale said “As a director I am proud of these two ladies for their caring and dedication for their patients on a daily basis and I am honored that DeKalb County EMS has received an award for the fourth year running now in the Region IV area. Congratulations to Marie and Jamie,” Hale concluded.
The DCHS Fighting Tiger Marching Band added several more trophies to the walls after this past weekend’s competition.
Under the direction of Tracy M. Luna and Dalton Hawkins, the band won 2nd place in its division Saturday (Oct. 14) at the Middle Tennessee Small Band Championship in Chapel Hill.
“Their performance was perhaps their best of the season with all units firing on all cylinders,” Luna said. “All six in the panel of judges offered critiques that help in the preparation of the final competition. Performing in the late afternoon at 4:15, the band was in a tough class of three bands, facing the formidable Houston County and Hickman County Scarlet Regiment. Making this competition unique was the fact that there were 16 other bands in the entire field within Division 1, 2, and 3.”
For at least the third year in a row the band came home with the coveted Spirit Award. Field Commander Junior Ingram walked away with second place honors as did the percussion section. The DCHS Color Guard held its own with third place by a slim margin.
The band has an off week during fall break with three weeks to prepare for the final competition of the season, the Division 2 State Band Championship at Stewart's Creek High School in Smyrna.
One person died and nine others were injured in a two vehicle crash Saturday night on Highway 56 near WJLE.
Dead is 63 year old Judy L. Bullard of Smithville.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Bullard was driving south on Highway 56 in a 1995 Toyota Tercel when the car drifted into the northbound lane of travel and sideswiped a 2015 Dodge Journey van driven by 30 year old Virginia R. Carrier of Smithville. Carrier’s van came to rest on the right side but off the highway while Bullard’s car came to a final stop in the roadway.
Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to the scene to extricate Bullard, who was entrapped in her vehicle. Others on site were members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Smithville Police Department, and DeKalb EMS. A helicopter landing zone was set up near the crash scene on Highway 56.
Bullard was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
Two passengers with Bullard, 65 year old Mary C. Miller and a 7 year old boy were injured and taken to the hospital.
Carrier was injured along with her six passengers including boys ages 1 year old, 5 years old, and 10 years old and three girls, two of them ages 13 years old, and the other who is 2 years old. All were transported to the hospital.
According to the THP, all ten crash victims were properly restrained. No charges or citations have been filed.
The crash, which occurred at around 8:18 p.m. was investigated by Trooper William Jackson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
DeKalb County Schools will be closed this week for fall break October 16-20.
After this week, the next time off for students will be for Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving break has traditionally been for three days, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This year, schools will be closed for an entire week for Thanksgiving, November 20-24. Those two extra days off for Thanksgiving will be made up at the end of the school year in 2017-18. The last day of school was originally set for Tuesday May 22, 2018 but has now been changed to Thursday, May 24, 2018.
The Christmas break will be December 21 through January 3.
Wednesday, December 20 will be the last day students attend before Christmas break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Wednesday, January 3, 2018 will be a stockpile day for teachers.
Students will return after the holidays on Thursday, January 4.
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 24 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 26 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.
Report cards will be sent home from all schools on Tuesday, October 24