Local News Articles

Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for Saturday, April 22

March 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for Saturday, April 22

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition encourages all DeKalb County residents to join the effort to reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse by participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event will be held on the public square in front of the Smithville City Hall on Saturday, April 22 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition urges DeKalb County residents to come out to this event and drop off any unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription medication for safe disposal. This is confidential and no names or information will be collected.

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in association with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Office of Diversion Control in providing this service.

On Saturday, April 22, in communities across the state, Tennesseans have the opportunity to take part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs from homes and offices.

Take These Steps to Remove Prescription Drugs From Your Home or Office.

•Check for unused prescriptions in medicine cabinets, bathroom, closets, bedside tables and kitchen drawers, under the sink, and in closets, purses, handbags, and containers.

•Remove all labeling and packaging on bottles and containers before disposing to ensure the protection of your privacy and personal information.

Keep in mind: the majority of Tennessee’s Take-Back Boxes are in locations that are accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. While there is special focus on take-back events each year in April and October, most boxes are located in law enforcement buildings and offices, where they are available for safe disposal anytime you need them.

If you or someone you care for is in need of substance use treatment, call the Tennessee REDLINE anytime at 1-800-889-9789 for help now. Resources are available across the state.

Members of the Real Estate Team Honored at Banquet

March 20, 2017
Members of the Real Estate Team Honored at Banquet

The Real Estate Team recently attended The Eastern Middle TN Association of Realtors Awards of Excellence Banquet at the Nashville Airport Marriott.

Three members of the team received the Gold Honor that represents sales in excess of $2.5 million and one silver honor in excess of $1.25 million.

Recipients’ include Tony Fuston, Betty Lattimore, Jennifer Hannah and Danny Conger. Some were saying this was the winners table for Dekalb County. The Real Estate Team strives for success and has added five new agents since October. They would like to thank all of our clients and DeKalb County for our continuing success. The firm is dedicated in representing the buyers and sellers in their best interest.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Increases to 7.2% in January

March 19, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for January was 7.2%, up from 5.9% in December and above the rate of 5.8% in January, 2016.

The local labor force for January, 2017 was 7,670. A total of 7,120 were employed and 550 were unemployed.

County unemployment estimates for January 2017 show the rates increased in all 95 counties.

Jobless rates for January among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:

Clay: 8.9%
Pickett: 8.2%
Cumberland: 8.1%
Van Buren: 7.2%
DeKalb: 7.2%
Overton: 7.2%
Fentress: 6.8%
White: 6.1%
Smith: 6%
Putnam: 5.9%
Warren: 5.6%

For the month of January, Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 4.1 percent, increasing from 3.7 percent the previous month. Knox County is 4.7 percent, an increase from the previous month’s 4.2 percent. The Hamilton County rate is 5.5 percent, increasing from a previous rate of 4.8 percent. Shelby County has a 6.3 percent rate, increasing from December’s 5.6 percent.

Tennessee and the U.S. have experienced an increase in the preliminary unemployment rates for January. Tennessee’s rate is 5.4 percent, increasing from the previous month’s revised rate by three-tenths of a percentage point. An increase of one-tenth raised the U.S. preliminary rate to 4.8 percent.

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

Woman Uninjured in Rollover Crash

March 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Woman Uninjured in Rollover Crash

A woman escaped injury in a one car rollover Thursday night on Keltonburg Road (Highway 288).

Trooper Ronny Smith of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 35 year old Melissa Edmunds of Antioch Road, Smithville was traveling west in a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt when the car went off the right side of the highway, struck a dirt bank, and then overturned in a field. She was not injured.

Members of DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.

THP Troopers Make Felony Drug Arrest After Pursuit

March 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Contraband seized included seven bags of a clear rock like substance believed to be methamphetamine totaling 4.93 ounces, one bag, 6.6 grams, of marijuana, seven Xanax pills, three other pills listed as controlled substances, one .380 caliber handgun, one .22 caliber handgun, and various drug paraphernalia

A Cookeville man who failed to stop at a THP checkpoint in DeKalb County and then led State Troopers on a pursuit before crashing at Baxter Friday has been arrested.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_16.pdf (2.39 MB)


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_15.pdf (2.52 MB)

Christopher Todd Montgomery, who was found with drugs, paraphernalia, and handguns, is charged with evading arrest by use of a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, possession of schedule II controlled substance for resale/delivery, simple possession of schedules II, III, IV, & VI controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, reckless endangerment, possession of a handgun while under the influence of an intoxicant, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, driving under the influence 1st offense, driving on a revoked driver’s license, reckless driving, altering a license plate, and four other miscellaneous traffic offenses.

According to THP Sergeant Greg Tramel, State Troopers were conducting a seatbelt checkpoint on State Highway 56 in DeKalb County at the Putnam County line Friday when a vehicle traveling north failed to stop for the checkpoint. At that time, the driver threw what appeared to be drugs out of the window and continued driving north on State Highway 56 into Putnam County.

Troopers Brandon Jackson and Chris Delong pursued the vehicle on Old Baxter Road until it crashed east of the Boma Community Center in Baxter. No one was injured during the crash. The driver, Montgomery, was arrested. Contraband seized during this incident included seven bags of a clear rock like substance believed to be methamphetamine totaling 4.93 ounces, one bag, 6.6 grams, of marijuana, seven Xanax pills, three other pills listed as controlled substances, one .380 caliber handgun, one .22 caliber handgun, and various drug paraphernalia

School Board to Change Policy Regarding Student Absences Due to Personal Illness

March 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Board of Education and Director of Schools

Students will be able to receive up to five excused absences for personal illness during a school year without a doctor’s statement under a policy amendment adopted on first reading by the Board of Education Thursday night.

Under the current board policy, a doctor statement is required for all student absences due to illness in order to be excused. The amendment allows schools to accept notes from parents for up to five absences per school year. A doctor’s statement will be required for students who are absent after the fifth day of personal illness.

The amendment will be up for passage on second and final reading next month.

The board also adopted a policy on first reading which prohibits employees from accessing social media and networking sites through the schools network or by any other means (e.g. smart phones) during work hours. Passage of the new policy on second reading will be considered next month.

In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps announced in his monthly report on personnel moves that Lindsey Bouldin and Nikita Johnson, both teachers at Smithville Elementary School have been granted a leave of absence as requested.

Two Local Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers Honored

March 17, 2017
Trooper Jeremy D. S. Tramel  (left) has been named Trooper of the Year for the 6th District. THP Sergeant Dewaine Jennings has received a Lifesaver Award

Two local Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers were honored last Thursday evening at the THP Trooper and Dispatcher of the Year Ceremony in Murfreesboro. There, troopers and dispatchers were recognized for their outstanding service to the State of Tennessee.

Trooper Jeremy D. S. Tramel was named Trooper of the Year for the 6th District, citing an incident that occurred last summer.

On June 5, 2016, Trooper Tramel was at the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department when a call was received for a suicidal female. THP assistance was requested due to a firearm being involved.

He arrived at 12:00 midnight to find the front door of the facility open and the lights turned off. Trooper Tramel noticed the door to the female restroom was closed and the light inside on. When he approached the door, and announced himself, the female occupant told him she had a gun up her nose and would pull the trigger if he opened the door.

He began to talk with her in an attempt to gain her trust and keep her calm, while the other officers notified dispatch to send additional resources, including a negotiator. The woman stated she needed mental help and wanted to go to Massachusetts. She also requested a friend to come to the scene; however, he was in Lawrenceburg and would not arrive for two hours.

Trooper Tramel continued to converse with the woman, who requested a cigarette. He began to slide her cigarettes under the door, trading them one at a time for bullets from her weapon. A negotiator with Putnam County Sheriff's Office arrived and determined that allowing Trooper Tramel to continue negotiations would be best since he had been doing so for nearly one and a half hours.

Three and a half hours after arriving on scene, she had just two bullets remaining, when her friend from Lawrenceburg arrived. She gave up her weapon and remained inside the door. Trooper Tramel finally got her safely out of the room, gently placed her in handcuffs, and then accompanied her to the hospital for evaluation, riding with her in the back of a DeKalb County Sheriff's Office patrol car.

THP Sergeant Dewaine Jennings was also recognized at the ceremony with a Lifesaver Award for a call he responded to last Spring.

On May, 30, 2016, at around 1:40 AM, Sergeant Jennings arrived on the scene of a boy standing on a billboard, threatening suicide. When he arrived, there were two other officers present, but none were attempting to make contact with the youth. He felt he needed to get to the teen and attempt to evaluate him and see what his needs were.

With the assistance of Trooper Al Seitner, Sgt. Jennings was eventually able to be lifted high enough to grasp a ladder on the billboard, and climb up to where the boy was located. He made contact with the teen and began conversing with him.

The boy stated that he was fed up and did not want to go on with life. Sgt. Jennings noticed blood all over the boy's arm from self-inflicted wounds. He learned that boy was 16 years old, and began to talk with him about his hobbies and school.

Sgt. Jennings conversed with the teen for approximately one hour and ultimately convinced him to go to the hospital for evaluation. The Cookeville City Fire Department responded with a ladder truck to help them get off the billboard safely. Sgt. Jennings secured the boy with a safety belt, and moved him to the platform of the ladder truck, before securing his own safety.

At the request of the boy's mother, Sgt. Jennings transported him to the hospital, in lieu of EMS, because he had developed a rapport with him, and exhibited great concern for his safety.

“Kick Butts Day” Unites Students for Anti-tobacco Campaign

March 16, 2017
“Kick Butts Day” Unites Students for Anti-tobacco Campaign
Students recognized the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids-Kick Butts Day on March 15

Thousands of youth nationwide participated in a campaign to curb tobacco use, many events took place across the state on March 15. Students at DeKalb County High, DeKalb Middle, and DeKalb West schools recognized the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids-Kick Butts Day on March 15, 2017. The event was sponsored by DeKalb Prevention Coalition, DeKalb County Health Department, Coordinated School Health, and St. Thomas Hospital.

The schools had informational booths pertaining to the consequences of tobacco, a tobacco free pledge, and games. There were many items for giveaways, including t-shirts donated by St. Thomas hospital and water bottles, frisbees, bracelets, etc., donated by The Health Department. Participants included the DeKalb County High Wellness classes, the DeKalb Middle School SADD (Students against Destructive Decisions) club, and DeKalb West Beta club. Student participation reached almost 1500 students.

Jasmine Parker of DCHS is "Classroom Champion" of the Week

March 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Jasmine Parker of DCHS is "Classroom Champion" of the Week
Attorney Jim Judkins, DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant, Jasmine Parker, John Parker (father), Dwayne Page of WJLE

This week’s “Classroom Champion” award goes to DCHS student Jasmine Parker.

The award was presented by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins and WJLE .

Jasmine is 16 years old and a Junior.

She is also a student at Motlow State Community College through dual enrollment while serving as a member in several organizations in high school including the Senior BETA, HOSA, Student Council, and FBLA clubs. Jasmine has been a member of the Student Council and FBLA for three years and is the FBLA concessions manager for the second consecutive year.

Math is her favorite subject and she hopes to major in Chemistry in college.

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE has partnered with attorney Judkins in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week for the next several months.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection is based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, and citizenship and character,” said Judkins.


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