Local News Articles


February 3, 2018
Dwayne Page

WJLE is in the process of re-designing our website to expand our service to you with more spaces for advertising and local information. Currently to access links to the COMMUNITY CALENDAR, CHURCH NEWS, CLASSIFIEDS, OLD TIME COUNTRY COMMUNITY RADIO SHOW, AND MORE, click the “COMMUNITY” drop down box located just above the Tim Stribling and Jimmy Poss ads near the top of the HOME PAGE or above the St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital and Dr. Mitchell Tatum ads on the LOCAL NEWS PAGE. Our updated site will look very similar to the present site and will be launched soon.

Kurt Bass Appointed as New DTC Board Member

February 2, 2018
Kurt Bass Appointed as New DTC Board Member

Kurt Bass has been appointed as a member of the DTC Communications Board of Directors in the Temperance Hall exchange, filling the unexpired term of Jimmy Oakley who recently resigned. Oakley proudly served on the board from 2011-2017, always keeping the best interests of the cooperative and its members at heart.

Bass serves as a Licensed Funeral Director and Apprentice Embalmer with Bass Funeral Home, Inc. in Gordonsville and Carthage, and Avant Funeral Home in Alexandria, becoming the fifth generation member in his family business. He is a 2010 graduate of Gordonsville High School and attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In 2012, Bass earned a Funeral Director certificate from John A. Gupton College in Nashville. In 2016, he earned an Accounting degree from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Bass is the son of Danny and the late Annette Manning Bass of Lancaster. He is married to Christina Massey of Stonewall, and they have two children, Benjamin and Katherine. He and his family attend Carthage United Methodist Church where he serves on the Board of Trustees, and is involved in both the youth group and choir. Bass is also a member of the Southside Lions Club and the Carthage Masonic Lodge.

“My family has been involved with DTC Communications since the very beginning, previously having several family members serve on the board of directors,” said Bass of his appointment to the board. “Serving people has been a tradition in my family through our business and within the community for over 100 years. It is a great honor for me to serve the members of DTC Communications. I look forward to this opportunity to represent not only the people of Temperance Hall, but each and every member of the cooperative.”

DTC Communications is a member-owned telecommunications cooperative established in 1951. The cooperative provides communication, entertainment, and security products and services to residential and business customers, primarily throughout Middle Tennessee.

DTC Awarded $1.7 Million Broadband Accessibility Grant

February 2, 2018
Dwayne Page
DTC Awarded $1.7 Million Broadband Accessibility Grant

DTC Communications is being awarded a $1.7 million broadband accessibility grant to help build new infrastructure to serve parts of Smith and Wilson counties.

The announcement was made last week by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. A total of $9.844 million in broadband accessibility grants are being awarded by the state that will help build new broadband infrastructure in parts of 13 Tennessee counties.

DTC Communications is in the midst of a major effort to build a world class high-speed broadband network for its five county service area with fiber optics. The $40 million project is being done in phases to serve DeKalb, Cannon, Wilson, Rutherford, and Smith counties. The goal is to complete the initial build-out within five years. The grant will aid DTC in funding the project.

The grants are the result of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, Haslam’s 2017 legislation to increase broadband to more Tennesseans and offset the capital expenses of deploying broadband in areas that currently lack access. The grants will provide broadband service to more than 5,000 locations in counties across the state.

Alongside digital literacy grants announced last week, the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act has already supported nearly $10 million in broadband investments across the state.

“In communities across Tennessee, broadband is an essential service that will increase economic investment and growth to help businesses, families and individuals thrive,” Haslam said. “With the assistance of these grants, underserved communities will now have access to broadband that will benefit not only the communities themselves, but the state as a whole. These grants are a step in the right direction for our state and will help Tennessee reach its full potential.”

TNECD received 71 applications requesting more than $66 million in funding. The nine grantees selected demonstrated a high need for grant funding, the ability to implement and sustain the project long term, strong community support and the economic impact of the infrastructure deployment. Grantees will provide more than $10 million in matching funds for a combined investment of more than $20 million across the state.

“One of our top priorities is creating an environment in Tennessee that promotes job growth and success in rural communities. With the leadership of Gov. Haslam and support of the Tennessee General Assembly, those rural communities will now have access to reliable internet and will be better equipped for success,” Rolfe said.

The grant recipients include:
• Aeneas Communications: $190,000 to serve parts of Hardeman County
• Ben Lomand Communications: $1,025,000 to serve the Pocahontas Community in Coffee County
• Comcast: $850,000 to serve parts of Tipton County
• DTC Communications: $1,725,000 to serve parts of Smith and Wilson counties
• Gibson Electric Membership Corporation: $1,353,148.14 to serve parts of Lake and Obion counties
• Scott County Telephone Cooperative: $1,900,000 to serve Surgoinsville in Hawkins County
• Sunset Digital Communications: $1,375,000 to serve parts of Claiborne and Hancock counties
• Tri-County Fiber Communications: $1,350,000 to serve parts of Sumner and Trousdale counties
• Volunteer First Services: $76,714 to serve the Sunset Ridge Community in Cumberland County

In 2016, TNECD released a commissioned study assessing broadband in Tennessee that found that 13 percent of Tennessee residents do not have access to broadband at federally recognized standards. The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act provides $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for service providers to assist in making broadband available to unserved homes and businesses. The TBAA also permits private, nonprofit electrical cooperatives to begin providing retail broadband services to their members.

DeKalb Celebrates 3rd Annual Tennessee Quit Week

February 2, 2018
County Mayor Tim Stribling

DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling has proclaimed February 5-9 Tennessee Quit Week in DeKalb County. “It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” is an opportunity to celebrate Tennesseans who have quit using tobacco products and inspire more people to join them.

“We support anyone who lives in, works in or visits DeKalb County and wants to stop using tobacco as part of our efforts to make this a healthier community,” said Mayor Tim Stribling. “We’re also encouraging our local health care providers to talk with patients about tobacco use and share resources for quitting with those who use tobacco.”

Tennessee Quit Week is part of a statewide effort led by the Tennessee Department of Health to raise awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products. These proven, effective services can double a tobacco user’s chances of quitting.

“We are here to encourage, support and assist anyone trying to break the addiction to nicotine and move toward a life free from smoking, dipping and/or using other tobacco products,” said DeKalb County Health Department Director Michael Railling. “We know how hard it can be to kick the habit. Call or come see us, call the QuitLine, talk with your health care provider – do whatever it takes to learn about all of the options available that can help you succeed!”

Smokers can call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, use a web-based program or attend in-person counseling services and may receive free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy. Call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to speak with a counselor who will help you assess your addiction and help you create a quit plan. For more information and resources including an online cessation tool, visit www.tnquitline.org.

Why Team Up to Quit?

•Patients who work with their health care professionals are ultimately more successful in attempts to quit tobacco use.

Tobacco users who receive treatment report higher satisfaction with overall health care received compared to untreated tobacco users, according to the U.S. Public Health Service.

•Smokers who quit can add up to 10 years to their life expectancy.

Visit the Tennessee Department of Health online at http://tn.gov/health.
Connect with TDH on Facebook and Twitter @TNDeptofHealth!

Man Charged with Assaulting Girlfriend after Chasing her with a Knife

February 2, 2018
Dwayne Page
Joey Williams
Randy Mitchell Hobbs, Jr.

A man accused of chasing his girlfriend with a knife and assaulting her was arrested last week.

41 year old Joey Williams of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is February 15.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, January 25 a deputy was dispatched to the Sheriff’s Office to speak with a woman who claimed to be a victim of an assault by her boyfriend. She told the officer that after they had gotten into an argument, her boyfriend chased her outside with a knife and then beat and kicked before holding her down and trying to choke her. She had red marks on her neck and bruises on her leg.

25 year old Randy Mitchell Hobbs, Jr. of Retha Frazier Road, Woodbury is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $12,500 and his court date is February 15.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 26 a deputy spotted a blue Ford Mustang on Highway 53 and knew that the driver had warrants against him.

The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Hobbs. A computer confirmed that Hobbs had active warrants against him by the THP for evading arrest and driving on a revoked license for failure to pay fines. He was later charged with a second offense for driving on a revoked license.

Watertown Man on Probation Found with Ecstasy, Meth, Marijuana, and Hydrocodone

February 2, 2018
Dwayne Page
Robert Jacob Hardison

A Watertown man pulled over for a non-working tail light on his car has a lot more trouble on his hands after officers discovered that he was on probation, intoxicated, illegally in possession of a handgun, and had numerous drugs in his possession including methamphetamine and ecstasy.

27 year old Robert Jacob Hardison of Sparta Highway, Watertown is charged with driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, possession of a handgun while under the influence, tampering with evidence, and possession of methamphetamine and schedule I, II, & VI drugs with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell. His bond is $73,000 and his court date is February 15.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, January 25 a deputy stopped a vehicle on Smith Road for a non working tail light. The officer spoke with the driver, Hardison and detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Hardison admitted to having used marijuana and hydrocodone earlier in the day. He submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to implied consent (blood test). During the investigation the officer learned that Hardison is on probation for a previous offense and that his license were suspended on October 14, 2017 for failure to show proof of insurance and that he had continued to drive even after receiving a citation in Wilson County for driving on a suspended license.

A search of Hardison’s vehicle turned up a Jennings 22 caliber handgun which is illegal since Hardison had the weapon in his possession while under the influence.

Drugs were also found in the car including six green pills believed to be ecstasy and three separate baggies of a crystal like substance suspected to be methamphetamine, which were in a metal tin on the driver’s side floorboard along with scales and separate baggies.

During a search of Hardison’s person, the deputy found a white pill believed to be hydrocodone. After being placed in custody and seated in the back of the deputy’s patrol car, Hardison pulled a silver container from the area of his crotch and put several pills from that container into his mouth and into the seat of the car, trying to dispose of them.

After Hardison admitted to the officers that he had other drugs in his home, they conducted a probation search of the residence upon containing consent from Hardison and found 37.19 grams of a leafy substance believed to be marijuana along another baggie of meth and more scales and baggies.

The total weight of all four baggies of meth found during this investigation totaled 3.6 grams.

60 year old Forrest Byrd of South College Street, Smithville is cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). He will make a court appearance on February 23

Sheriff Ray said that Byrd gave an officer consent to search his room and found in the top drawer of a dresser were two marijuana joints wrapped in a plastic baggie. It weighed less than one gram. Byrd admitted that the marijuana belonged to him. The citation was issued on Monday, January 22 by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

32 year old Clint Lee Shehane of Wade Street, Smithville is cited for simple possession of a schedule II drug. He will make a court appearance on February 1.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, January 25 a Sheriff’s Department Detective went to a residence on Wade Street to pick up Shehane on a warrant. He was found hiding in a closet and in the area near him were two baggies of a rock like substance believed to be methamphetamine which weighed 0.37 grams and 0.71 grams.

Tigerette Kristena Bain Signs with Cumberland to Play Softball

January 31, 2018
Dwayne Page
SEATED: Bobby Radar (father), Kristena Bain, Ann Rader (mother); STANDING: Melissa Ruch (Tigerette Assistant Coach), Danny Fish (Tigerette Head Coach), Cumberland Assistant Coach Stephanie Theall,  Randy Farnsworth, Kristena’s Summer Travel League Coach; and Tim Jared (Tigerette Assistant Coach)
Kristena Bain joined by her fellow DCHS Tigerette Teammates

Another outstanding DCHS softball player has signed a letter of intent with Cumberland University of Lebanon to play collegiate ball after she graduates here.

17 year old Kristena Bain, a senior, put pen to paper Wednesday at the DCHS library. Members of Bain’s family, coaches, and fellow players joined her for the occasion.

Cumberland is a member of the Mid-South Conference affiliated with the NAIA.

“The reason I chose Cumberland University was because the school is local and they have a good athletic program and a good nursing program and that is what I plan to major in,” said Kristena.

“I believe Kristena is our fourth or fifth athlete from DeKalb County. We have always had good players from DeKalb County High School and we expect the same from her,” said Assistant Cumberland Varsity Coach and Head JV Coach, Stephanie Theall. Heather Stanfill is the Head Coach at Cumberland.

Tigerette Coach Danny Fish said he is very happy that Kristena will have a chance to play softball at the collegiate level.

“She has been a very hard worker over her career here playing for the Tigerettes. She has come a long way. I can remember hitting with her when she was in the sixth grade and it was a goal of hers to be where she is at today. She is a very goal oriented athlete. She has been behind the plate for us the last three years and she will be back there again this year. We expect good things out of her. She is a very charismatic leader and she really puts everything she has in what she does. Offensively, she swings the bat pretty well but we’re going to ask her to step up her game this year. We want her to get a lot more at bats. Defensively behind the plate we thought we would have a problem when Dani Meadows graduated but she (Kristena) has really slipped into that (role) and been a relentless worker and teammate and because of that we are here today. I am very happy for her. This is a good moment for Kristena,” said Coach Fish.

Before she heads off to college, Kristena has one more high school season in front of her and she is looking forward to it.

“I hope to put in some big hits this season and score some runs and I hope our pitching game steps up and we all hit the way we are supposed to,” said Kristena.

Coach Fish said the DCHS Tigerette softball season begins March 12. “We open up with district play right away and then we will jump into a tournament. We have a really tough schedule this year. We’re going down to Gulf Shores during spring break. It should be an interesting year. We graduated a lot of seniors last year and all of them are playing at the college level now so we have big shoes to fill but our seniors know what it takes to win and I am hoping they will lead the team by example and that we will have a chance to be back where we normally are at the state tournament," said Coach Fish.

Kristena was joined at the signing by her parents, Bobby Rader and Ann Rader; DCHS Tigerette head coach Danny Fish and assistants Melissa Ruch and Tim Jared, Cumberland Assistant Coach Stephanie Theall; Randy Farnsworth, Kristena’s summer travel league ball coach, along with her brothers and fellow Tigerette teammates.

Fire Danger Limits Burn Permits Across Tennessee Today

January 31, 2018
Dwayne Page

Burn permits will not be issued today across much of the state including counties in Middle Tennessee, the Cumberland Plateau, and parts of East and West Tennessee. A forecast for strong winds and the low relative humidity increase the risk for a controlled debris burn to become a wildfire.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry will not be issuing any burn permits online today. The Division will issue permits by phone in some counties, provided certain conditions are met. The county phone number directory is available at burnsafetn.org/phonepermit.html.

The Division of Forestry evaluates debris burning conditions daily. According to the National Weather Service in Nashville, gusty south winds exceeding 30 mph will develop today. These winds, along with low relative humidity values, will elevate fire danger conditions throughout Middle Tennessee. Rain will return to the area on Thursday, with a mix of rain and light snow possible in the Upper Cumberland Thursday evening.

A burn permit is required by law for outdoor debris burning from October 15 through May 15 and is only issued when conditions are conducive to safe burning. The permit is free. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

When permits are issued, the following tips should be followed to conduct a safe debris burn:

- Check with local authorities to make sure there are no local restrictions on burning, especially in cities and towns that have their own burn permit system.

- Notify your local fire department and neighbors of your plans to burn.

- Do not burn on windy days and stay abreast of changing weather conditions.

- Establish control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around burn piles.

- Keep fire containment equipment on hand during the fire (e.g. rake, shovel, water).

- Stay with the fire until it is completely out.

Visit www.BurnSafeTN.org for additional tips to burn safely and to protect your community.

Since first employed in the early 1990s, the Division of Forestry’s burn permitting program has successfully reduced the number of escaped debris burns by effectively communicating with citizens as to where, when, and how to conduct a safe debris burn. You will find more information about the Division and its programs at www.tn.gov/agriculture/section/forests.

Lebanon Man Arrested After Forcing His Way Into Alexandria Home

January 30, 2018
Dwayne Page
Eddie Jacob Maynard
Chad Wilson Johnson
Angela Nicole Vallem

A Lebanon man is facing charges after forcing his way into an Alexandria home where he was not welcome.

27 year old Eddie Jacob Maynard of Martin Avenue, Lebanon is charged with public intoxication, vandalism, and aggravated burglary. His bond is $11,500 and his court date is February 22.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_56.pdf (2.74 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, January 23 a deputy was dispatched to West Main Street in Alexandria due to a burglary in progress. Upon arrival the officer learned that Maynard, who was not welcome at the residence, allegedly forced his way in after repeatedly knocking and beating on the locked door and then kicking it in, causing damage to the door and to the interior of the home. Maynard also allegedly damaged a bumper on a vehicle parked outside the residence. The damage was estimated at more than $1,000.

Maynard was found to be unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and he had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. He was taken into custody.

41 year old Chad Wilson Johnson of Colvert Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property. His bond is $22,500 and his court date is February 8.

Sheriff Ray said that Johnson allegedly broke into a residence on Saturday, January 13 at Jefferson Road and stole property valued at $2,405 including a black Sanyo television, a Panasonic DVD VCR combo, collector plates, home interior pictures, miscellaneous antique figurines, a red tool box with miscellaneous tools, and a pump master bb gun with a scope.

42 year old Angela Nicole Vallem of Curtis Avenue, Alexandria is charged with fugitive from justice. Her bond is $200,000 and her court date is February 1.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, January 25 Vallem was taken into custody for being a fugitive from justice. She is wanted in Dalton, Georgia for several felony drug charges. Central dispatch contacted authorities in Georgia who reported that they would extradite her back there. The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

Former State Senator Mae Beavers Suspends Her Gubernatorial Campaign

January 30, 2018
Mae Beavers

Former State Senator Mae Beavers announced on Facebook Tuesday she was suspending her gubernatorial campaign.

"To the volunteers, supporters, and every person who championed my run for governor, I want to express my deepest gratitude to you. Today, after much deliberation, I am suspending my campaign for the office of Governor of the great state of Tennessee,” the Republican wrote in a social media post.

“After criss-crossing the state and meeting thousands of fellow Tennesseans, it was not a light decision to make because you have embraced our conservative message whole-heartedly; however, it is the right choice to make. Also, I know entering the race has not been in vain as many of my heart-felt issues are now talking points of other candidates.

“Again, I can’t express enough of the sincere thankfulness that I have for you and the out-pouring of love and support as a volunteer and supporter you had for this campaign. Jerry and I look forward to my retirement after decades of being an elected official, and we pray that God blesses you and our great state and nation.”

In August, Beavers resigned from her Mt. Juliet state Senate seat, saying she wanted to fully dedicate her time to running for governor.

According to the Tennessean, Beavers reported raising just under $150,000 in her latest financial disclosure, which covered six months. Her other financial disclosure reported raising just $36,000.

Beavers is the first mainstream candidate to officially suspend their campaign for governor.

Other Republicans remaining in the race include: U.S. Rep. Diane Black, state House Speaker Beth Harwell, Johnson City realtor Kay White, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee.

Candidates vying for the Democratic nomination include former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.


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