Local News Articles

Two Airlifted After Monday Night Wreck

June 10, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Two Airlifted After Monday Night Wreck

Two people were airlifted after being involved in a rollover crash Monday night on Highway 56 just south of Seven Springs Road.

Central dispatch received the call at 9:18 p.m.

Trooper Jeremy Wilhite of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 21 year old Michael Briley of Blue Springs Road, Smithville was driving north on Highway 56 in a 2003 Nissan Altima when the car crossed over the center line, went off the left side of the road, struck an embankment , overturned and hit the end of a guardrail. A sixteen year old female passenger was also injured.

Both Briley and the girl were treated by DeKalb EMS and then taken to meet Life Flight and Life Force helicopter ambulances which landed in a field near the scene. They were believed to have been flown to Vanderbilt hospital.
Trooper Wilhite was assisted in the crash investigation by Trooper Craig Wilkerson.

Members of the Keltonburg and Blue Springs Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene along with officers of the sheriff's department.

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrest After Rolling Meth Lab Found During Traffic Stop

June 10, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brandon Keith Thomas
Jason Kenneth Cline
Clifton Eugene Brown
Timothy Ross Bogle

A drug detective of the Sheriff's Department found a rolling meth lab during a traffic stop last week.

27 year old Brandon Keith Thomas of Evins Mill Road, Smithville is charged with initiation of a process in the manufacture of methamphetamine. He was also issued a citation for driving on a revoked license. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court June 13. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, June 4 Thomas was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 south when he was stopped by a drug detective for driving at a high rate of speed. After stopping, Thomas allegedly pulled from his pocket a bag of marijuana and a hypodermic needle and laid it on the vehicle. Inside the automobile was a backpack containing a plastic bottle with a rubber tube protruding from the top of it (gasser), drainout (lye), Coleman fuel, coffee filters, and other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Thomas told the detective to go ahead and take him to jail because the meth lab in the backpack belonged to him. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking. Thomas' drivers license were found to be revoked for a prior DUI.

35 year old Jason Kenneth Cline of Ford Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. He was also issued citations for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), (failure to give) immediate notice of accident, (failure to exercise) due care, and failure to maintain his lane of travel by not driving on the right side of the roadway (causing him to wreck). His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on June 13. Cline was arrested on Wednesday, June 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, May 14 Cline was operating a motor vehicle and was involved in a crash on Bright Hill Road. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he could not stand on his own. Because of his level of intoxication, Cline could not perform field sobriety tasks. He did submit to a blood test.

52 year old Clifton Eugene Brown is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court July 25. Brown was also issued citations for simple possession of schedule II, IV, & VI drugs (methamphetamine, Xanax, & Marijuana). Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 7 Brown was found passed out behind the steering wheel of his vehicle in the parking lot of the Handlebar Restaurant on Highway 70. The keys to the automobile were in the ignition. As the deputy approached, he smelled an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He awoke Brown and found him to be intoxicated. Brown had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Brown admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Brown reached into his pocket and tried to throw away a container which held a small amount of methamphetamine and four and a half blue pills believed to be Xanax. Brown also had on his person a small bag of marijuana. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and submitted to a blood test. Brown was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

49 year old Timothy Ross Bogle of Walker Drive, Smithville is charged with a third offense of driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. His bond is $12,500 and he will be in court on June 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, June 8 Bogle was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 when he was stopped by a deputy, who had prior knowledge that Bogle's drivers license were revoked. Bogle had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Bogle told the officer that he was unable to perform field sobriety tasks but he did submit to a blood test. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking. A computer check revealed that Bogle's license were revoked for a DUI on November 29, 2012.

Smithville Volunteer Fire Department Extinguishes Kitchen Fire

June 10, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to a grease fire at a trailer home on West Main Street Sunday afternoon.

Chief Charlie Parker said the resident left something unattended cooking on the kitchen stove for a few minutes and discovered the fire when he returned. The fire department was notified and arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the trailer.

The fire, confined to the kitchen, was quickly extinguished. It burned the stove hood and charred cabinets around it. No one was injured.

DeKalb 4-H Wildlife Judging Team Places in Region Competition

June 10, 2013
by: 
Apri Martin
DeKalb County 2013 4-H Wildlife Judging Team

DeKalb County 4-H Wildlife Judging Team Members recently competed in the Central Region 4-H Wildlife Judging Team competition held at The University of Tennessee Knoxville.

The senior team as well as the junior high team placed sixth in the regional event.

Senior team members include: Justin Bass, Preston Cripps, and Eli Oliver. Junior High team members included: Will Stephens, Wyatt Martin, Cody Goff, Caitlyn Lawrence, and Derek Young.

In wildlife judging, 4-H members learn to identify wildlife species, interpret wildlife habitat from aerial photographs and make recommendations for on-site wildlife management practices for landowners. Wildlife judging gives young people the opportunity to develop their decision making skills.

A special thanks goes to the coaches for the team which includes TWRA officer Joe Fortner, Army Corp. of Engineers Ranger Terry Martin, Co-Op Crops Advisor Gilbert Martin, and Extension Agent April Martin.
The University of Tennessee Extension offers several 4-H judging team opportunities throughout the year for 4-H members in grades 6 – 12 to learn decision making skills.

(DeKalb County 2013 4-H Wildlife Judging Team. Pictured, left to right: Derek Young, Wyatt Martin, Preston Cripps, Will Stephens, Caitlyn Lawrence, Justin Bass, Cody Goff, and Eli Oliver (photo by April Martin)

Local Hometown Hero Honored During 40 Year High School Reunion

June 9, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sergeant Major Eddie N. Evans (left) and Captain Nathaniel McClung (WJLE Photo)
Family Members of Sergeant Major Eddie N. Evans (WJLE Photo)

A surprise award ceremony was held for a local hometown hero Saturday night during his 40 year high school reunion at the First United Methodist Church Christian Fellowship Center in Smithville.

Sergeant Major Eddie N. Evans, US Marine Corps, whose military career spanned 30 years from 1974 to 2004, was formally recognized for receiving the Bronze Star Medal in 2004. Evans' fellow 1973 DCHS Classmates and teachers attending the reunion rose to their feet as Captain Nathaniel McClung, US Marine Corps, made the presentation.

"We have an American Hero here in our midst," said Captain McClung in an interview with WJLE. "This is a certificate for the Bronze Star Medal that was previously received by Sergeant Major Evans at the end of his service in 2004. We wanted to bring this certificate to this 40 year class reunion and honor him in front of his hometown," said Captain McClung.

Sergeant Major Evans said this recognition was quite a surprise. " I came here to attend my 40 year reunion and I wasn't expecting this since I received it (Bronze Star Medal and citation) in the mail when I retired. It was a good honor and a surprise in what they did in recognizing this. I have not seen most of these people (classmates) in 40 years," said Sergeant Major Evans in an interview with WJLE.

Having his mother, siblings, and other family members attend the ceremony made the evening even more special for Sergeant Major Evans. "I was surprised for them being here but it was good to see everybody because I don't get a chance to come up here and see my family that often. I live in Rockwood, Tennessee," he said.

In making the presentation, Captain McClung read from the following certificate: "The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Medal to Sergeant Major Eddie N. Evans, United States Marine Corps for service set forth in the following: For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy as Regimental Sergeant Major, Regimental Combat Team-2, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, while assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, from January 6 to June 24, 2003."

"During movement, to secure two vital bridge heads in An-Nasiriyah, Iraq Sergeant Major Evans, along with security vehicles and the Regimental Commander, moved up to 1st Battalion's 2nd Marine Regiment area of operations to check on their progress in securing the southern Euphrates River Bridge and northern Saddam Canal Bridge."

"During this movement, the Regimental Commander came under direct fire from Iraqi positions from the west of the railroad bridge south of An-Nasiriyah that included small arms fire and rocket propelled grenade fire. Sergeant Major Evans, without regard for his personal safety, directed the movement of the security element and the Regimental Commander's vehicle to a more secure position. His quick and selfless actions ensured the safety of the Regimental Tactical Command Post and ensured the Regiment's ability to continue to fight, resulting in the Regimental Combat Team's completion of their first objective. He significantly contributed vast experience and expertise gained from previous combat operations."

"By his zealous initiative, courageous actions and exceptional dedication to duty, Sergeant Major Evans reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United State Naval Service."

"The combat distinguishing device is authorized. For the President, James T. Conway, Lieutenant General, US Marine Corps, Commanding General, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force."

Hospital Receives ‘Stroke Ready’ Affiliation

June 9, 2013
by: 
Shan Burklow
Linda Gagne (Volunteer stroke patient)

This past month, DeKalb Community Hospital completed a successful stroke drill and training with Saint Thomas Health to make them the newest member of the St. Thomas Health Stroke Network. This affiliation comes from hard work in an effort to expand accessible, quality care to stroke patients in outlying areas.

The Saint Thomas Stroke Network was introduced in 2009 as an expansion of network services currently provided by the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network.

“We are proud to announce the partnership with DeKalb Community Hospital,” said Amy Howard, Clinical Coordinator with the Saint Thomas Stroke Network. “We work with community hospitals to develop the protocols to effectively treat stroke patients, which will ultimately benefit the community at large.”

As part of the partnership, DeKalb Community Hospital and Saint Thomas held a stroke drill that started at the DeKalb County Complex and included the 911 call all the way to the hospital treatment protocols. The stroke drill was a collaborative effort between DeKalb County Emergency Medical Services, DeKalb County Complex, Saint Thomas Health, and DeKalb Community Hospital and allowed all parties to showcase the stroke education Saint Thomas Health has provided over the past several weeks. The stroke drill began at the complex with DeKalb Community Hospital Infection Control Director, Linda Gagne, playing the role of stroke victim. The drill outlined the stroke network procedure from start to finish, with all parties acting out their roles in the drill as realistically as possible.

“I was happy to participate in the drill,” Gagne said. “This kind of training makes us an even better hospital and it is educational to the community to bring awareness in how to identify a stroke.”

During the drill, Gagne was transported to DeKalb Community Hospital, where she “received” the appropriate stroke screenings and treatments. The stroke drill not only provided a practice opportunity for DeKalb Community Hospital’s stroke readiness under the new partnership, but also served to educate the public on the warning signs of a stroke and how to respond. To remember the signs of a stroke, you have to act F.A.S.T – Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, and Time to Call 911. Just like a heart attack, the faster you respond to the symptoms of a stroke, the better your chances of recovery.

“Our partnership with the Saint Thomas Stroke Network is an important step for DeKalb,” said Sue Conley, CEO of DeKalb Community Hospital. “We would like to thank Saint Thomas Health for their efforts in education and their commitment to quality patient care. We appreciate the support we will receive from being part of the Stroke Network, and the efforts of Saint Thomas in being a recognized leader in regional stroke care.”

“The drill was a great success,” said Marketing Director, Shan Burklow, after the drill was completed. “I know I learned a lot about the effort it takes on all parts to provide excellent care. I believe in this partnership between DeKalb Community Hospital and Saint Thomas Health Services and am excited about the future of stroke care here in DeKalb County. The earlier a stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances are of full recovery. We want to assure the community that we are fully equipped to handle stroke patients and that we have the capabilities to provide rapid treatment and support through our partnership with Saint Thomas Health – giving patients the best opportunity for positive outcomes.”

Photo: Linda Gagne (Volunteer stroke patient) is wheeled in to DeKalb Community Hospital from the ambulance as part of a community stroke drill. DeKalb Community Hospital is the newest member of the St. Thomas Health Stroke Network.

Bullard Arrested in Smithville Police Department Drug Investigation

June 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Anthony Bullard (Older Photo)

One man has been arrested in an undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

47 year old Anthony Bullard is charged with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid). His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court on June 20

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Friday that detectives of the Smithville Police Department conducted undercover drug buys on November 14th and 15th in the parking lots of two local businesses using a confidential source. In both cases, Bullard allegedly sold two small round yellow pills believed to be dilaudid to the confidential source. The undercover buys were videotaped and audio recorded.

Meanwhile, 21 year old Kristen N. Waggoner is charged with five counts of forgery. More charges may also be pending against her.

Chief Caplinger said Waggoner allegedly stole several checks in May belonging to a former roommate and passed them at local businesses totaling more than $2,000.

Waggoner is under a $25,000 bond.

In other cases, 27 year old Joshua Bain is cited for simple possession. Chief Caplinger said Bain was stopped by police on Saturday, May 25 for an equipment violation on his vehicle. After being questioned, Bain gave the officer consent to search the vehicle and found were two grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in the glove box compartment.

41 year old Patsy Estes is charged with public intoxication and simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone). She is under a $5,000 bond and will be in court on June 13. Chief Caplinger said that on Saturday, May 25, police were called to a local business where a woman, Estes was alleged to have been harassing customers. The officer spoke to the store manager who pointed out Estes as the person responsible. According to the officer, Estes was hostile and confrontational. She had slurred speech and was unsteady on her feet. For her safety and that of the public, Estes was arrested. While walking into the police department, a plastic bag fell out of her pants, containing two plastic strips believed to be suboxone

35 year old Christopher Douglas Griffith is cited for theft. He will be in court on July 25. Chief Caplinger said that on Friday, May 24 Griffith was allegedly caught shoplifting from Walmart. When confronted, Griffith allegedly admitted to taking a pair of Wrangler blue jeans and a pack of three Hanes tee shirts.

39 year old Jared Lee Hendrixson is cited for shoplifting. He will be in court on June 13. Chief Caplinger said that on Thursday, May 23 an officer was called to check out a shoplifting incident at Walmart. The officer spoke with the manager and an employee. Hendrixson was confronted about some missing items and he allegedly admitted to taking them, valued at almost $300.

18 year old Kellyie Wilkey is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on June 13.

Chief Caplinger said that on Saturday, June 1 Wilkey allegedly assaulted a family member at a residence on Earl Avenue by hitting her in the head with her hand.

TWRA Names 2012 Boating Officers of the Year

June 7, 2013
TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter with Tommy Stockling
Nick Luper, TWRA Boating Officer of the Year

Nick Luper has been named the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2012 Boating Officer of the Year while Tommy Stockling is honored as Part-Time Boating Officer of the Year.

The recipients of the annual awards were announced by Darren Rider, TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division Chief. Both officers serve in TWRA District 31, which encompasses 12 counties in northern Middle Tennessee and has popular boating and fishing destinations. The officers were presented their awards at the May meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Luper inspected close to 600 vessels for compliance with Tennessee boating laws. He issued 43 citations and 69 warnings. He also arrested 19 operators for Boating Under the Influence (BUI). He took the lead in boating accidents, including three which resulted in fatalities. He was involved in the rescue of a pair of fishermen from a disabled vessel and made numerous other assists to boaters who were stranded because of mechanical failure.

Active in boating safety education, Luper taught six courses and monitored more than 160 exams. In addition, he also trains wildlife and boating officers in boat operations and BUI procedures.

He is active in public outreach in the Upper Cumberland area. He is responsible for scheduling and setting up the TWRA BUI simulator at public functions to demonstrate the dangers associated with alcohol and boating. He initiated a media event on Center Hill Reservoir in preparation for Operation Dry Water.

Stockling is a member of the agency’s part-time boating officer program. As part of his duties, he inspected almost 3,000 vessels for compliance with Tennessee boating laws in 2012, often as boaters prepare to launch their vessels. He performed courtesy inspections to see that the vessels were incompliance, and gave boaters the opportunity to correct any infractions.

He issued 49 citations and 31 warnings. He also made two BUI arrests. He also assisted boaters who were experiencing various problems.

Stockling's education efforts included teaching a pair of boating safety classes and assisted with other classes. He worked with the Free Fishing Day events to promote boating safety. He also worked with a Center Hill Reservoir marina staff and customers to hold a BBQ event to help assist families of military personnel at Fort Campbell.
---TWRA---

(TOP PHOTO: TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter with Tommy Stockling)

(MIDDLE PHOTO: Tommy Stockling (left) and Nick Luper are with their respective awards after being introduced as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency part-time Boating Officer and Boating Officer of the Year for 2012. Both officers serve the TWRA in Region III’s District 31. The officers were presented the awards at the May meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission. Also pictured are (from left) District 31 Lt. Tim Singleton, District 31 Cpt. Roy Cannon, Region III Maj. CJ Jaynes, Boating and Law Enforcement Division Chief Darren Rider, and Asst. Boating and Law Enforcement Chief Glenn Moates.

(BOTTOM PHOTO: TWRA Officer Nick Luper)

County Budget Committee Trying to Avoid Tax Increase

June 7, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

Could your county property taxes be going up?

Members of the county budget committee are working hard to avoid that but they may have their work cut out for them.

During Thursday night's meeting, the budget committee, while not taking a vote, looked at cutting over $300,000 from the proposed county general fund budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. But even with those cuts, the proposed budget still shows a deficit of more than $700,000. To make that up, the county would need an additional seventeen cents on the property tax rate, according to the county's financial advisor Steve Bates.

A major new spending program affecting next year's budget is the federally mandated Affordable Health Care Act in which the county and school system must offer health insurance coverage to every full time employee. County Mayor Mike Foster said the cost to the general fund to meet this mandate could run from $360,000 to more than $400,000.

Foster said it's too early to say if any tax increase will be needed. He said more cuts may yet be made in the proposed budget for the general fund.

One place the budget committee is looking to possibly cut back on is the proposal for four additional School Resource Officers. To fund all four, the county would need to come up with $236,969.

A majority of the budget committee members, Wayne Cantrell, Jerry Scott, and Larry Summers suggested cutting that back to two new SRO officers, which would slice the cost in half to $118,485.

Committee members Jack Barton and Marshall Ferrell preferred leaving four new SRO officers in the proposed budget.

"If the right thing happened, I would like to see four (SRO Officers) total, " said Summers.

"I think you could split one (SRO Officer) between Northside and Smithville Elementary School," said Cantrell.

Foster and members of the budget committee stressed that things remain "fluid" when it comes to the proposed budget and nothing has yet been finalized.

The board of education is expected to have a workshop and a special meeting Monday night to revise their proposed budget. The county commission's budget committee will meet again next Wednesday night to review all budgets.

TDOT Announces Projects for DeKalb County

June 7, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced road projects this summer which may affect traffic.

TDOT plans to resurface State Route 56 from the bridge over Pine Creek to south of U.S. 70.

Lane shifts will be altered throughout the project to allow shoulder work to be performed. Weather permitting; the contractor could have temporary lane closures. In the event of a temporary lane closure, the contractor will use flaggers to maneuver motorists through the project .Estimated project completion date is July 2013.

TDOT also plans to install a flashing beacon on U.S. 70 at the intersection of State Route 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant.

The contractor may have short lane closures in order to install a flashing beacon at the intersection of SR-83. Estimated project completion date is July 2013.

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