Local News Articles

TWRA Announces DeKalb Youth Dove Hunt

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
TWRA Officer Joe Fortner

The DeKalb County Youth Dove Hunt will be held Monday, September 4 at the farm of Gene Young.

Registration will be from 1:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. followed by the hunt from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

TWRA Officer Joe Fortner said the hunt is open to youth ages 9 to 17 who have completed the hunter education course. Be sure to bring ammo, plugged shotgun, glasses, ear protection, stool/bucket.

Must be hunter education certified and properly licensed.

Forty staked hunting positions will be available in the field. A supervising adult must be at each stake. Two youths may share a stake but only one gun per stake.

To reserve a staked position email:

Joe.Fortner@tn.gov or Tony.Cross@tn.gov.

County Offices and Libraries to Close for Solar Eclipse

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
County Offices and Libraries to Close for Solar Eclipse

The DeKalb County Courthouse, County Complex County Offices and the DeKalb County Health Department will be closed Monday August 21st from 12 noon to 2 pm for the eclipse.

Justin Potter and the Alexandria Libraries will be closing on Monday, August 21 from noon until 2 p.m. for the solar eclipse so that the staff can enjoy this historic event with the community.

Helen Sefsik will have eclipse crafts for the kids from 10 a.m. until noon at Justin Potter Library so come by and make a craft for this special occasion.

A limited supply of solar eclipse glasses will be available during the Downtown Block Party starting at 12:30 p.m. in Evins Park behind city hall. The glasses will be given away on a first come, first served basis with one pair per person.

Meanwhile Jackie Smith is asking anyone who picked up solar eclipse glasses from her office, not to view the sun or the eclipse with them due to notification from Amazon from where the glasses were purchased.

According to the notification, Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier that they sourced the glasses from a recommended manufacturer. "We recommend that you do not use the glasses to view the sun or the eclipse".

Jackie urges those who obtained solar eclipse glasses from her office to discard them.

Tigers Open Football Season at Warren County Tonight (Listen to WJLE's Tiger Talk Here)

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
WJLE's Tiger Talk debuts Friday night at 6:30 p.m. featuring Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Jesse Smith, Tyler Cantrell, and Bradley Miller. The host is the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor
DCHS Football Team

The DeKalb County High School Tigers will open the football season tonight at Warren County.

Kick-off is at 7 p.m. and WJLE will have LIVE coverage on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor and Luke Willoughby.

Coach Steve Trapp, speaking on WJLE’s Tiger Talk program, said he is hoping to get the season off to a great start.



“X’s and O’s wise we have been a team that has been known for the past decade that likes throwing the football. I have been blessed with some very talented quarterbacks, wide receivers and some really good guys up front that were able to move and allow us to play that type of offense. As long as we keep getting those types of guys that is what we are going to keep doing. If that changes then we will have to change with it. But that’s what we are so I don’t foresee a whole lot of difference in what we have looked like for the past decade this year. We have a very talented guy (Quarterback Tyler Cantrell) that is getting the ball in their hands and we have some talented young men he can throw it to as well. It should be an exciting year on offense for us,” said Coach Trapp.

“Defensively we are going to line up and play what we are. We’ll play fast, physical, and get after it. Ultimately we want to stop the run first but a lot of those guys who are catching the football on offense are in the secondary so they should recognize it when that ball goes up in the air. When you have a pre-season and last year an All-State guy (Bradley Miller) that had eight interceptions, we feel pretty good what we have in the back end,” Coach Trapp added.

As for Warren County, Coach Trapp says the Pioneers have a very talented quarterback who can make things happen. “This guy (Isaiah Grayson) is a three year starter. He has the ability to scramble. That is a concern for us. We have preached to our guys to keep him caged up. He has the ability to throw if he has time to set his feet. We do want him to move but we don’t want him to get loose. Grayson also has some very good skilled guys he can hand the ball off and throw the ball to as well. I don’t believe they are as big as they were up front last year but they seem to be moving very well so it’s a quality opponent for us and a big time challenge. They have our respect so we will prepare to give it our best,” said Coach Trapp.

WJLE’s Pre-Game shows begin with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. featuring former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former UT assistant coach Doug Matthews with broadcaster Larry Stone talking Tennessee and SEC football.

“Coach to Coach” is followed by “Murphy’s Matchups at 6:00 p.m., a look at Tennessee High School Football from Murphy Fair with commentary on games and coaches interviews.

“Tiger Talk” debuts at 6:30 p.m. with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor interviewing Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Tyler Cantrell, Jesse Smith, and Bradley Miller.

The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with play by play coverage on WJLE with John Pryor and color commentary by Luke Willoughby.

WJLE thanks our sponsors of Tiger football:

*Absolute Kobota

*Wilson Bank & Trust

*Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

*Gill Automotive (DeKalb Tire & Service)

*Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company

*DTC Communications

*Adams Dental

*Liberty State Bank

*DeKalb Funeral Chapel

*Curtis Supply

*St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital

*Three Star Mall

*Bert Driver Nursery

*Alexandria Auto Parts

*Woodbury Insurance Agency

*Bumpers Drive-In

*Optimus Pest Solutions

Tiger Talk sponsors:

*Woodbury Insurance Agency

*Kilgore’s Restaurant

*Jim’s Tire & Alignment

*A Degree Above Heating & Cooling

*Belk Grocery and Sporting Goods

“Coach to Coach sponsor:

*Stonehaus Winery

Smithville Man Nabbed in Multi-County Meth Investigation

August 17, 2017
Joseph Israel Neely

Partner law enforcement agencies from across the Upper Cumberland region have worked together to secure charges for 12 individuals including a Smithville man in connection to an eight-month investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine in several counties.

Authorities from the Cookeville Police Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Crossville Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Overton County Sheriff’s Department, the Pickett County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the office of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, began investigating the operation in September 2016. During the course of the investigation, authorities developed information about 12 individuals connected to a multi-county methamphetamine distribution operation.

At the time of this release, nine of the individuals had been arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail:
◾29 year old Ronnie Edward Argo, Jr., of Gainesboro ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾36 year old Joseph Israel Neely, of Smithville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $250,000 bond

◾30 year old Kristan Nicole Harville, of Baxter ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $250,000 bond

◾29 year old Darby Dee Brunson, of Cookeville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $250,000 bond

◾22 year old Lindsey L. Goad, of Gainesboro ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾36 year old Megan Alissa Fuller, of Gainesboro ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾35 year old Ryan Lee Underwood, of Cookeville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾36 year old Nathaniel Harrison Payne, of Crossville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾50 year old James Preston Cumby, of Cookeville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

At the time of this release, efforts to arrest the additional three individuals implicated in this investigation remained active and ongoing. Updates to this news release will be published online: www.tbinewsroom.com.

DeKalb Recognizes Upper Cumberland Primary Care Board Members

August 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Left: Michael Railling, Smith County Health Department Director, Middle: Merril Harris, recipient, Right: Debbie Johnson, Upper Cumberland Regional Health Director

The DeKalb County Community Health Center/Health Department celebrated National Health Center Week Aug. 13-19. The goal of this observance was to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the course of more than five decades.

There are 14 community health centers/health departments across the Upper Cumberland Region. These health centers provide full service adult and pediatric primary care as well as preventive health services to anyone with private insurance, TennCare or Medicare as well as those without insurance.

“I would like to recognize Merril Harris for being a valued member of the Upper Cumberland Primary Care Board for 6 years,” said DeKalb County Health Director Michael Railling. “

To learn more about the services of your local community health center, please call 615-597- 7599.

Visit the Tennessee Department of Health online at http://tn.gov/health.

Connect with TDH on Facebook and Twitter @TNDeptofHealth!

DeKalb Democratic Party to Hold Primary on May 1

August 17, 2017
DeKalb Democratic Party Officers and members of Executive Committee

The DeKalb County Democratic Party will choose its candidates by a local primary on May 1, 2018.

The primary will be held to nominate candidates for the county-wide offices of County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Road Supervisor, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, Trustee, and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

"The Democratic Party has a long history of expanding voting rights and opening participation in the political process beginning with the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson (D) during which the long struggle for women’s right to vote culminated with the passage of 19th Amendment in 1920 and later with the leadership of Lyndon Baines Johnson (D) the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965," said DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins.

"Voting is the fundamental principle of a Democracy. The Democratic Party has long advocated that access to voting should be made easier not more restrictive with what amounts to voter suppression laws. The Democratic Party specifically advocates for early voting laws, automatic voter
registration, same day voter registration, ending partisan gerrymandering, and making Election Day a national holiday," said Wilkins.

"In March, 2017, the DeKalb Democratic Party held an open meeting with all interested Democrats in the county invited to discuss whether we should select our candidates a) by convention with officers and executive committee members of the Party selecting candidates or b) by primary
during which all Democrats would have a voice by voting to select candidates. The community of people who attended the meeting voted to continue to use the primary means for selecting candidates. They value the role of the citizen voter to act in the general interests of the county," added Wilkins.

Anyone interested in running for one of the county offices should contact Jordan Wilkins, Chair of the DeKalb County Democratic Party, at either a) jwilkins16@yahoo.com or b) 615-597-7231.

Members of 1972 DCHS Football Team to Reunite

August 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Members of 1972 DCHS Football Team
Members of 1972 DCHS Football Team to Reunite
The 1972 Tigers were led by head coach Wayne Cantrell and assistants John Eaton and Donnie Elledge

The 1972 DCHS Tiger Football Team will reunite on Friday night, September 1 at the White Possum Grille at 5:00 p.m. All members of this team regardless of class year, coaches, managers, and spouses are invited to attend. Following a Dutch-treat meal, the team will take a short walk to VanHooser Stadium to watch the Tigers compete with Stone Memorial High School.

The 1972 Tigers Football season was in jeopardy due to a school budget crisis that year. The team overcame a slow start to post the first winning season in the history of DeKalb County High School. Forty-five years later this team will break huddle one more time and wish the present team success in its first home game of the year.

The team finished the 1972 season on the field at 6-4 but actually was credited with another win to go 7-3 after one of the opponents on the schedule that year, Brentwood had to forfeit. The 1972 Tigers defeated Woodbury 28-12, Baxter 8-6, Montgomery Central 44-8, Gainesboro 42-0, Monterey 6-0, and Grundy County 16-6. The Tigers lost to Huntland 20-0, Brentwood 33-0, Gordonsville 8-0, and Watertown 26-6.

The 1972 Tigers were led by head coach Wayne Cantrell and assistants John Eaton and Donnie Elledge.

Members of the team included Mike Corley, David Colwell, Randy Prichard, Jay Whiteford, Raymond Miller, Jackie Gaither, Eddie Evans, Jimmy Knowles, Fred Dowell, Robert Rowe, Bill Owen, Robert Donaldson, David Davis, Don Page, Doug Hooper, Ronnie Hawkins, Alan Bradford, Joey Goodwin, Kirk Wills, Phil Owen, Ricky Hale, Doug Davis, John Colvert, Randy Bond, Gwynn Prater, and Bobby Turner.

If you have any questions, contact Mike Corley at Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District at 615-597-0530

Todd Van Dyne Aiflifted After Car Crash with Semi Truck

August 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Car Crashes into Semi Truck
Smithville Fire Department Performing Extrication

A 50 year old Smithville man was airlifted Wednesday afternoon after his car crashed into a tractor trailer truck on East Broad Street near the Industrial park.

Todd Van Dyne was flown by a Life Force helicopter ambulance to Erlanger Hospital.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Van Dyne was traveling east on US 70 in a 2004 Chevy Malibu as a 2012 Kenworth tractor (truck) pulling a trailer was attempting to turn west from Moog Boulevard onto US 70. 48 year old Jeffrey Turley of Westmoreland was driving the truck.

According to the THP, the truck pulled out into the path of Van Dyne’s car as he (Van Dyne) was passing another tractor trailer that was turning right into Moog Boulevard. Van Dyne’s car then ran underneath the left side of the trailer and came to rest.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to extricate Van Dyne who was pinned inside his car. DeKalb EMS and the Smithville Police Department were also on the scene.

After Van Dyne was removed from the car, he was taken to the helicopter ambulance which had landed near Tenneco Automotive.

The crash was investigated by Trooper Ronnie Smith of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. No charges have been filed pending the investigation.

Student Enrollment Up in DeKalb School System

August 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder

Enrollment in the DeKalb County School System is up by 57 students compared to last year at this time.

Comparing the numbers for the sixth day of school, total enrollment from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade district wide is 3,071 as of today (August 16), up from 3,014 last year.

According to Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder, the numbers are up at all five schools. "We're up by 57 students county wide from where we were a year ago. Of course, this is an ever changing number and it will be changing daily from now until probably after Labor Day. Usually it's the Monday after Labor Day before you get numbers firmed up about who has moved in and moved out," Reeder told WJLE.

As of today (Wednesday, August 16), enrollment at each school is as follows compared to last year:
DCHS: 883 (up by 18 students)
DeKalb Middle School: 549 (up by 18 students)
Northside Elementary: 645 (up by 6 students)
Smithville Elementary: 585 (up by 3 students)
DeKalb West School: 408 (up by 13 students)

Enrollment at DCHS breaks down as follows:
9th grade: 226 students
10th grade: 222 students
11th grade: 235 students
12th grade: 200 students

Enrollment District-Wide by grade level is as follows:
Pre-Kindergarten: 121(SES & DWS combined)
Kindergarten: 215 (SES & DWS combined)
1st grade: 232 (SES & DWS)
2nd grade: 233 (SES, Northside, & DWS)
3rd grade: 206 (Northside & DWS)
4th grade: 239 (Northside & DWS)
5th grade: 260 (Northside & DWS)
6th grade: 227 (DMS & DWS)
7th grade: 219 (DMS & DWS)
8th grade: 234 (DMS & DWS)

Enrollment by School:

DeKalb Middle School:
6th grade: 183
7th grade: 176
8th grade: 189

Northside Elementary:
2nd grade: 54
3rd grade: 167
4th grade: 210
5th grade: 214

Smithville Elementary:
Pre-K: 99
Kindergarten: 171
1st grade: 184
2nd grade: 131

DeKalb West School:
Pre-K: 21
Kindergarten: 44
1st grade: 48
2nd grade: 48
3rd grade: 39
4th grade: 29
5th grade: 46
6th grade: 44
7th grade: 43
8th grade: 45

Reeder urges parents to make sure their children attend school on time every day classes are in session. “Students who miss 18 school days per year-regardless of the cause-will be considered chronically absent under a new regulation from the State Department of Education. The number of chronically absent students will also reflect on the overall performance score given to the school system. The state is using a new accountability measure called the Chronically Out-of-School Indicator. Students who miss more than 10 percent of the school year, for any reason, are considered chronically out of school. This would typically be students that miss 18 or more school days out of our 180-day school year calendar,” reported Reeder.

Under state law, if a student misses as few as five days of school “unexcused” he or she is considered “truant”. “We won’t take you to juvenile court for five days missed but we will send a letter to the parents to arrange a meeting with them to see what can be done to improve their child’s attendance,” said Reeder.

Tardies are also a concern, especially early in the morning. “We don’t have a lot of tardies during the day. Its like during first block in the morning when they are getting there a few minutes late. We ask parents bringing their children to school to please arrive on time by 7:45 a.m. because three tardies can equal one unexcused absence,” said Reeder“

Meanwhile, Reeder urges parents who are home schooling their children to contact the school system to let them know.”I wish you would come by and register with us. It helps us to know where they (students) are and what they are doing. Some people withdraw their kids from the school system to home school and we never hear from them again in the following years. Legally, parents are suppose to register but there is really not a penalty if they don’t. It just helps us keep up with where the students are at. Registering is not a big deal. It doesn’t take but five minutes and it would help us out some,” said Reeder.

DeKalb County GOP Will Select Candidates by Convention in 2018

August 16, 2017
DeKalb GOP Officers: Vice Chairman Clint Hall, Treasurer Tom Chandler, Chairman Mingy Bryant, State Executive Committee Woman Jennifer Winfree, Secretary Brandon Cox, and Assistant Treasurer Dustin Estes.

The DeKalb County Republican Party Executive Committee recently voted to select the 2018 Republican Candidates for Local Office by County Convention. The County Convention will be held in early 2018 so as to meet the candidate qualifying deadline. The Republican candidates elected at the Convention will be placed directly onto the August 2, 2018, General Election ballot as the Republican Nominees. Republican candidates will be selected at the County Convention for the following Offices in DeKalb County: County Mayor, Sheriff, Trustee, County Court Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, Road Superintendent, and County Commissioners in all 7 districts (2 each).

“This is a win-win for the County, as well as the DeKalb County Republican Party,” Chairman Mingy Bryant said. “We are saving county taxpayers by not having to staff and print ballots for a local primary, while also selecting the best and most qualified Republicans to represent us on the General Election ballot.Local Democrats had the same option, but unfortunately, they chose to spend more taxpayer dollars instead of saving them," she said.

"The August 2, 2018, Ballot will be very full with many seats up for grabs. In addition to the Local Races, voters will also select the person who will likely be the next Governor, US Senator, US Congressman, State Senator, and State Representative for DeKalb County," Bryant said.

“With DeKalb County voting solidly Republican in the last few election cycles, and with so many Republican candidates running for open seats, we should all expect a record Republican turnout in the August 2018 election,” continues Bryant. “This will also bode well for our Republican candidates for local offices. Republicans will be more motivated than ever to vote Republican all the way down the ballot.”

Interested candidates for these offices can contact Republican Party Chair Mingy Bryant at 615-597-2600 or Vice Chair Clint Hall at 931-201-6962. For more information, go to our Facebook Page at DeKalb County Republican Party.


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