Local News Articles

DCHS Seniors Visit Elementary Schools for "Senior Walk" (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page

Donned in their caps and gowns, DeKalb County High School seniors walked through their old stomping grounds – Smithville Elementary School and DeKalb West School – during the inaugural Senior Walk held today (Friday, May 19).


School administrators and staff, some showing emotion, joined in and congratulated each of the soon to be graduates upon their arrival by school bus. Many of the elementary students, lined down the halls, greeted the seniors with waves, high fives, confetti, and cheers as they passed by. Some seniors also got hugs from proud parents and former teachers. Cheerleaders at DeKalb West School led cheers to welcome the graduates there.


“The Senior Walk is an opportunity for our students to return to their elementary campuses and parade through the hallways in their caps and gowns while the Graduation Pomp and Circumstance (song) is played over the P.A. While we hope this will inspire our future graduates, we are excited about our seniors being able to see their elementary school teachers one last time before they graduate,” said DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant.

Car Safety Seat Checkpoint Scheduled for June 7

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Car Safety Seat Checkpoint Scheduled for June 7

The Smithville Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, Safe Journey and the DeKalb County Health Department to offer a car safety seat checkpoint on June 7, 2017 between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Kids Connection on South Congress Blvd.

This is a free event designed to reduce the likelihood of child related motor vehicle fatalities by insuring that children are properly restrained in their car seat. This event will also help inform parents of any safety recalls and checking to ensure that all car seats have not passed their expiration date.

"We encourage anyone that has questions concerning their car seat to stop by and see us. If you are unable to attend this event, you are welcome to stop by the Smithville Police Department and speak with a certified technician," said Police Chief Mark Collins.

DeKalb County to Participate in the Great American Cleanup

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Rhonda Harpole, DeKalb Recovery Court; Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss; County Mayor Tim Stribling; Chamber Director Suzanne Williams

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 20th. 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 20th 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 19th 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!

Habitat for Humanity to Raffle 11 Foot Jackson Riviera Kayak

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Habitat for Humanity to Raffle 11 Foot Jackson Riviera Kayak

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will raffle an 11 foot Jackson Riviera Kayak on Saturday, May 27. The drawing will be held on WJLE Radio at 10:00 a.m.

All proceeds will go toward construction of the next partner family home by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Purchase tickets at Kilgore's Restaurant, DeKalb Ace Hardware, DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, DeKalb Farmers Coop, or at Wilson Bank & Trust. The ticket prices are one for $5.00 or 5 for $20.00.

Habitat Board Members Pictured: Michael Martin, Gary Johnson, Dick Kinsey, Jordan Atnip, Alex Woodward, Marie Blair, Diane Lynch, and James L. (Jimmy) Poss. Not Pictured: Chad Driver, Gina Denman, John Carpenter, Glenda Davis, and Rhonda Harpole

Autumn Crook of DeKalb West Named "Classroom Champion"

May 18, 2017
Dwayne Page & Bill Conger
DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler, Jana Crook, Autumn Crook, and Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins (Bill Conger Photo)

This week’s “Classroom Champion” award goes to Autumn Crook, a first grader at DeKalb West School.

The award was presented Thursday by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins.

Autumn is the daughter of Patrick and Jana Crook.

A student in Ashlee Thomason’s homeroom, Autumn says she likes to “learn more stuff” but math is her favorite subject. She enjoys drawing, riding bikes, and helping people. Autumn has two dogs, Liz and Bella along with several cats. When she grows up, Autumn wants to be a Nurse Practitioner.

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.

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.

Region Champs DCHS Tigerettes to Host Sweetwater in Class AA Sectional game

May 18, 2017
Dwayne Page

For the fifth time this season, the DCHS Tigerettes have beaten Macon County. This time it was for the championship of the region softball tournament.

The Tigerettes won 15 to 2 Wednesday evening in the finals of the tournament played at the DCHS Danny Bond Field .

DeKalb County will now host the Sweetwater Lady Wildcats in the Class AA sectional or sub-state Friday evening in Smithville at 6:00 p.m.. WJLE will have LIVE coverage. The Tigerettes are 29-5 overall. Sweetwater is 19-10.

Already leading 11 to 2, Myranda Bailiff delivered with a grand slam homerun in the 5th inning to end the game on the 10 run rule at 15-2.

The Tigerettes scored 4 runs in the 1st inning, 1 run in the 2nd and 3rd innings, 3 runs in the 4th, and 6 runs in the 5th inning. Macon County scored 2 runs in the 1st inning.

DeKalb County scored 15 runs on 16 hits and made 3 errors. Macon County scored 2 runs on 5 hits and made 3 errors.

Kayley Caplinger was the winning pitcher.

In addition to Myranda Bailiff’s gramd slam homerun, Kenzie France, Joni Robinson, and Hanah Panter doubled. Allison Maynard had two doubles. Hanah Panter, Lexie Bates, Allison Maynard, and Joni Robinson each had two singles. Kayley Caplinger and Hanah Panter also singled.

In the previous meetings this season, the Tigerettes had beaten Macon County 9-3, 9-0, 10-6, and 7-0 in the District Tournament Championship game.

Principal Announces Changes for 2017 DCHS Graduation

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
 DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant

Commencement for the DCHS Class of 2017 will be Friday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. on the football field.

DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant has announced a few reminders and changes this year.

“All graduates must sign-in and be present in the cafeteria by 6:00 pm on May 26th. Line-up will begin at 6:30 pm. Each graduate will be issued 4 tickets for families to sit in the white chairs provided on the field. No lawn chairs or camp chairs will be permitted this year. You must have a ticket to sit on the football field. All additional seating will be permitted in the stadium and bleacher area. More tickets will be available for the graduates after graduation practice,” said DCHS Principal Bryant.

“Graduation practice will be at 10:00 am on May 26th. Graduates must be present and on-time to walk the line. Any senior who needs credit recovery, must complete those credits by Friday to be permitted to walk the graduation line. Additionally, if your child has not taken the citizenship assessment, he or she will not be permitted to walk the line. Please have your child see Mrs. Debi DePriest immediately,” Principal Bryant continued.

“Life Touch will be providing photography for each graduate as they receive diplomas crossing the stage. Families will have a designated area away from the stage to take pictures of their graduates. Life Touch is contracted with us to be the sole provider of close-up graduate/receiving diploma photographs,” added Principal Bryant

“The Senior Walk will be this Friday, May 19th. Seniors must be in good-standing, have a signed permission slip, and have their caps and gowns in order to attend the field trip,” she said.

“Please call 615-597-4094 if you have any questions. Thank you and congratulations to all DeKalb County High School graduates and their families,” Principal Bryant concluded.

The commencement will feature a performance by the DCHS Chorus; an address to the Class by the President Madison Butler and Valedictorian Rachel Fuson; recognition of honor students; presentation of the White Rose and Citizenship Awards, and the awarding of diplomas.

Tommy Webb to Speak at Memorial Day Program

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tommy Webb

The community is encouraged to rally in a show of support for fallen heroes during a Memorial Day program Monday morning, May 29 at the DeKalb County Complex.

The guest speaker will be DeKalb County Historian Tommy Webb.

Sponsored by the American Legion #122, the entertainment program will begin at 9:30 a.m. with special music by Susan Hinton followed by the main program at 10:00 a.m. featuring the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and prayers. Commander William Edmonds will make welcome remarks and Judy Redmon of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary will remember the fallen and introduce the guest speaker. Ronnie Redmon, Post Adjutant of the American Legion Post #122 will adjourn the program at the complex after which attendees will be asked to gather at the veteran’s memorial monument at the courthouse for the laying of a wreath and taps by DCHS band student Josh Moon.

School Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague, from the School Bus Garage, will have a bus to transport anyone who wants to ride to the courthouse from the county complex.

Murphy Awarded for Best Essay During D.A.R.E. Graduation at Northside Elementary School

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Chief Deputy Don Adamson, General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II, DAREN THE LION (D.A.R.E. mascot), Best Essay winner Briahna Murphy, and Sheriff Patrick Ray.
Northside Elementary School D.A.R.E. Essay winners: Micah Gandy, Maleah Ruch, Caroline Tobitt, Jazmine Wagner, Lilly Waggoner, Briahna Murphy, Melanie Bogle, and Ella Pack

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received certificates during the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held today (Wednesday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by D.A.R.E. Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:

Briahna Murphy from Kristy Lasser’s class
Lilly Waggoner from Travis Little’s class
Melanie Bogle from Carrie Gottlied's class
Maleah Ruch from Kristen Rowland’s class
Ella Pack from Alisha Day's class
Jazmine Wagner from Josh Odom's class
Caroline Tobitt from Melissa Odom's class
Micah Gandy from Cheryl Vandagriff’s class

Briahna Murphy was the over-all essay winner. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Murphy gets to keep a plush "Daren the Lion" the D.A.R.E. Mascot. General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II presented Murphy a check for $50.

D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community.

Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Karen Knowles, Assistant Principal Beth Pafford, Guidance Counselor Dr. Linda Bush, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, Road Supervisor Butch Agee. Other members of the Sheriff's department were also in attendance along with Sheriff Patrick Ray, Chief Deputy Adamson, and a real life Daren the Lion

Tigerettes Play Tonight (Wednesday) for Region Tournament Title

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigerettes will meet Macon County tonight (Wednesday) for the Region Tournament Championship.

The game starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Danny Bond Field at DCHS.

This will be the fifth meeting between these teams this season. The Tigerettes are 4-0 against Macon County with scores of 9-3, 9-0, 10-6, and 7-0 in the District Tournament Championship game.

The Tigerettes are 28-5 on the season.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game


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