Local News Articles

DeKalb County Fire Department Awarded Assistance to Firefighters Grant

August 11, 2017
Donny Green

DeKalb County Fire Department has been contacted by Senator Lamar Alexander’s office notifying Chief Donny Green that the department’s 2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) application, in the amount of $49,815, has been awarded. The AFG Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The funding award will be used to purchase water supply equipment, automatic external defibrillators (AED’s), and portable gas-powered generators. This equipment will serve all 11 (soon-to-be 12) of the department’s stations across the county. The Federal share of this award is $47,443 and the local matching share, to be provided by the DeKalb County Government, is $2,372.

Chief Green says that the firefighting and medical equipment to be purchased with these grant funds will have a huge impact on the department’s daily operations. “We are really fortunate to be able to get federal funding to pay for this essential and expensive equipment. Our grant application aligned perfectly with AFG’s purpose of the grant—‘to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards’—and our county will soon be getting the benefit of $49,815 for a cost to our local government of only $2,372,” said Chief Green. Using a competitive process, grants are awarded to applicants whose requests best address the priorities of the AFG Program.

County Mayor Tim Stribling says he and the DeKalb County Commissioners are appreciative for this federal funding that allows the fire department to purchase this essential firefighting equipment at a cost of only 5% to our county.

The DeKalb County Fire Department wishes to express its sincere thanks to County Mayor Tim Stribling, the DeKalb County Commission, Senator Lamar Alexander, and the Department of Homeland Security for their loyal support of the department’s application for this grant.

DeKalb Schools to be Closed for the Solar Eclipse

August 10, 2017
Dwayne Page
Board of Education and Director of Schools

DeKalb County students will get a day off from school on Monday, August 21 thanks to the Solar Eclipse.

The Board of Education Thursday night voted to consider the date as an inclement weather day and no classes will be held.

In a statement on behalf of the Board, fourth district member Kate Miller said “DeKalb County Schools had originally planned to have school on the day of the Solar Eclipse August 21 and viewed this as an educational opportunity for our students. However, we have realized there are many challenges related to transportation, staffing, and attendance, all of which could impact student safety. It is still our plan to provide safety viewing instructions and supplemental educational resources for our 3,000 students in the days leading up to the Eclipse. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our students and their families.”

Although the proper viewing glasses may have been available that day to students at school, concerns remained about the safety risk of students and potential liability to the district. No decision has yet been made as to whether the school system will provide viewing glasses for students to take home to view the eclipse.

The school calendar includes thirteen days that can be used for inclement weather without any makeup days. One of those days had already been designated as a stockpile day for professional development. After the solar eclipse day, the school system will still have eleven inclement weather days left to use.

In other business, The DeKalb Prevention Coalition has been given permission by the school board to survey students in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades as a means of compiling data for obtaining grants and developing initiatives toward curbing teen drug and alcohol abuse.

Students will not be required to participate

“We will be sending out letters for permission so if you do not wish for your child to take part in this survey you can send the letter back and they will not be required to do the survey,” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.

“The state has offered this survey and for the coalition to have a clear vision of where we want to go with this and plan very strategically, we must have the data. This is the way we want to get the data,” said Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

Questions on the survey are intended to capture data regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drug consumption and provide valuable insight into the number of teens using or abusing these substances. While the survey is anonymous, the information it provides will be useful in strategizing how to reach those at risk of abusing drugs and alcohol and developing an addiction.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps gave his monthly report on personnel to the Board.

Those employed since last month are as follows:

Christina Ferguson, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Cristy Spears, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

MyKayla Duke, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Tony Poss, bus driver

Amy Fricks, teacher at DCHS, replacing Jacob Parsley

Samantha Fletcher, DCHS, replacing Jim Porter

Deborah Autry, DeKalb Middle School behavior teacher

Tommy Hinch, DCHS replacing Michael Shaw

Melanie Fitzgerald, DeKalb Middle School librarian

Erin Turner, educational assistant at DCHS

Clifton Burum, teacher at DCHS replacing Debra Gentry

Lori Gallagher, bus driver

Donna Smith, cafeteria

Norma Dyer, cafeteria

Barbara Weller, teacher at DCHS

Callie Herman, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Teresa Jones, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Alyssa Leslie, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Cindy Herman, educational assistant

Holly Mooney, sign language interpreter at Northside Elementary School

Loretta Young, cafeteria

Elizabeth Lewis, teacher at DCHS replacing Audry Welch

Courtney Reynolds, part-time cafeteria at DeKalb West School

Guylene Atnip, Walter Burton, Carolyn Caldwell, Ginger Caplinger, Brenda Colwell, Donna Davis, Linda Dean, Jayme Dowell, Suzanne Dunn, Donna Evans, Amanda Ford, Debbie France, Carol Hale, Charlene Hallum, Karri Harris, Sherry Hattaway, Jean Hope, Brandi Johnson, Dale Johnson, Isabella Johnson, Rachel Johnson, Sabrina Kirksey, Chris Moore, Kandis Moss, Angela Osment, Pat Parkerson, Bethany Poss, Jessica Rackley, Judy Redmon, Joyce Robertson, Virginia Rose, Kim Taylor, Jan Thomas, Luanna Tollett, Jenny Trapp, Joy Troncoso, Wanda Vickers, Miranda Waggoner, and Kim Young.

Cafeteria substitutes:
Maria Garza and Peggy Sutton

Whitney Brelje, teacher to DeKalb West School

Amanda Dakas, principal at DeKalb Middle School

Tad Webb, assistant principal at DeKalb Middle School

Sarah Noe, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Victoria Vincent, from substitute to educational assistant at Smithville Elementary School

Stephanie Fuson from educational assistant to special education teacher at DCHS

Jimmy Poss from substitute bus driver to full time bus driver

Melissa Wallace from substitute to educational assistant at Northside Elementary School

Julie Hale from substitute to educational assistant at DeKalb West School

Stephanie Stewart from substitute to educational assistant at DeKalb West School replacing Stephanie Fuson

Cathy Driver from substitute bus driver to full time driver

Josh Brown from substitute bus driver to full time driver


Deborah Cunningham, educational assistant at DCHS

Tiffany VanWinkle, educational assistant at DCHS, alternative school

Mary Ann Puckett, art teacher at DeKalb Middle School and DeKalb West School

Laura Parker, pre-K teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Megan Jones, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Jenny Elrod, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Four of the principals gave brief reports on activities at their schools.

"What a great start we have had this week,' said Sabrina Farler of DeKalb West School. " I’d like to say a special thanks to our parents. We re-routed our car lines. A couple of years ago we had the construction but now we are entering and exiting at the main entrance. Thank you parents and grandparents for making that a great transition and a great week with us. We want to invite you to our open house on Thursday, August 24 from 5 until 6:30 p.m." she said.

"I’d like to thank our custodians," said Julie Vincent of Smithville Elementary School. "They worked very hard this summer getting the school looking magnificent. In fact someone came in the other day and asked if we had new tile put down in the lobby because it looked so nice. Thank you to each of the custodians. I want to welcome new employees to Smithville Elementary School. We have Sarah Noe who is going to be in our special education department, Christina Ferguson in first grade and Cristy Spears and MyKayla Duke who will be teaching kindergarten. We are excited to have them join us at Smithville Elementary. With the beginning of school its always a long line in the car line so we are asking parents who pick up their children to please be patient as we get the car line going and to please not block the entrances and exits to Smithville Elementary School so the buses can get in and out. Its also for safety. If we had to have an emergency vehicle get in we would need those entrances open so they could get in," she said.

"At DeKalb County High School we are trying to get schedules situated and kids in classes," said Principal Randy Jennings. "I would like to thank the faculty and staff for welcoming me to the high school. It has been a good transition so far. The football jamboree is Friday night at Baxter. We play at 6:00 p.m. against Clay County. On Saturday the girls soccer team is having a play day which is at home and their first regular season game is next Tuesday, also at home. If you can come out and support them," he said.

"We have had a wonderful start at the middle school this year,' said DeKalb Middle School Principal Amanda Dakas. 'I would also like to thank the faculty, staff, parents, and the entire community for embracing me and Tad Webb as the new administrators of the school. They have been wonderful. The students have been excellent. Their behavior yesterday and today, we could not be more proud. Today specifically we had our very first back to school and first football game pep rally and the student behavior was phenomenal. The staff were very excited. Seventh grade students will be going to the Tennessee Tech University Stem Program field trip on August 17 & 18. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students. Our homecoming week will be coming up at the end of this month August 28-31 and our homecoming game will be August 31 starting at 6:30 p.m. I would also like to take this time to welcome all of our new teachers. Teresa Jones is teaching seventh grade math. She has jumped right in and everyone loves her. Melanie Fitzgerald is our new librarian. She has done a phenomenal job. Deborah Autry is in our special education class. Callie Herman is our new ESL teacher. Cindy Miller is an ESL educational assistant and Alyssa Young Leslie is also doing some inclusion classes as well. We are very happy to have them on board," she said.

Pedestrian Hit by Truck Last Month Dies

August 10, 2017
Dwayne Page
Location of Fatal Accident

A 38 year old pedestrian who was seriously injured after being struck by a pickup truck last month has died.

Jamie E. Carroll of Smithville passed away on Thursday, July 27 at Vanderbilt Hospital, ten days after the accident which occurred at around 10:00 p.m. on Monday, July 17.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Carroll was struck by a 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, driven by 21 year old James J. Messina, Jr. of Smithville. The accident occurred on Highway 56 south near Mystik Market in the Shiney Rock community.

The accident report states that the truck was traveling north on State Route 56 as the pedestrian (Carroll) was walking on the eastbound side of the roadway on the right hand shoulder on the fog line. The truck traveled down a steep grade on the roadway and struck the pedestrian. The scene was dark and the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing at the time of the crash.

A helicopter ambulance landed in the parking lot of the Mt. View Primitive Baptist Church for the airlift. Carroll was flown to Vanderbilt Hospital

Messina was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. No charges have been filed against him.

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

The accident was investigated by Trooper Kyle Herren of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Ambrose Named Fellow at Quail Hollow Golf Club

August 10, 2017
Dwayne Page

Smithville native, Russell Ambrose, has been named a Fellow in golf course management at the Quail Hollow Golf Club at Charlotte, North Carolina where the PGA Championship is being held this week.


Ambrose participated in a pilot program earlier this year at the Quail Institute, introduced by John Deere and the Quail Hollow Golf Club, a first-of-its-kind, world-class, fellowship program focusing on the skills and competencies required to fully develop golf industry leaders. This one-year program begins in 2018 and includes three fellows in the areas of agronomy, golf operations and club management, according to the “Golf Course Industry” publication

“The Quail Institute strives to create and perpetuate a vibrant and diverse learning environment that helps develop the next generation of leaders in golf, while fostering innovative best practices in golf management,” said Ren Wilkes, tactical marketing manager, John Deere Golf. “We’re committed to developing a sophisticated pipeline for this industry, and the Institute is the perfect avenue.”

An initial pilot program was conducted this year, with two fellows – Russell Ambrose, whose focus is golf course management, and Rachel Nesbitt, whose focus is on club management. Through this experience, John Deere and Quail Hollow Club validated the need for a fellowship program to inspire young industry professionals and provide them with real-world experiences to grow their careers.

The 2018 program, will go beyond current club curriculums, challenge each fellow to think critically, analyze and assess practices and create, lead and implement change. Over the course of the year, the three fellows will participate in six different modules enabling them to understand both the macro and micro challenges of their sector and the wider club industry. As part of the curriculum, the fellows will have access to the following:

--Major tournaments and championships
--Operations in a world-class private club
--Cross training in all disciplines within the club business
--Unique exposure to the John Deere and Quail Hollow Club brands
--Academic project and thesis development
--Career development, public speaking and crisis management training

The program doesn’t stop after one year. As fellows graduate from the program and become alumni, there were be additional opportunities for the fellows to participate as mentors for future events. The Quail Institute will also track the successes of the alumni to be documented and communicated to help inspire current fellows.

The Quail Institute will be set up as a 501C3 non-profit organization to help encourage participation. As the founding members of the program, John Deere and Quail Hollow Club hope to grow the number of sponsors involved, and expect other companies, foundations, etc. in the industry see the value in participating and supporting this program.

Further information about the program and the application process will be announced in fall 2017.

Wilson Sentenced for Aggravated Assault

August 10, 2017
Dwayne Page
Daniel Ray Wilson

A man charged in an assault almost a year ago was sentenced Monday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge David Patterson presided.

33 year old Daniel Ray Wilson entered a plea to aggravated assault and received a six year sentence suspended to probation. He was given jail credit of eight days. Wilson must undergo domestic violence counseling.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, September 14 2016 Wilson allegedly assaulted a woman by pulling her hair, striking her in the face with his fist, and trying to strangle her. Due to the assault, the woman suffered injuries to her face and red marks on her throat.

Meanwhile, 37 year old Nathan Myers entered a plea to two counts of simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance (hydrocodone and hydromorphone) and one count of simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run consecutively for a total of almost three years but suspended to probation. He was fined a total of $1,750. The offenses occurred on March 28, 2016.

29 year old Randi Renee Atnip entered a plea to sale of hydromorphone and received a three year sentence on TDOC probation. She was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $90 to the Smithville Police Department. The offense occurred on February 29, 2016.

TWRA Announces Upcoming Hunter Education Course

August 10, 2017
Dwayne Page
TWRA Announces Upcoming Hunter Education Course

A Classroom Hunter Education Course will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 26 & 27 at the DeKalb County Fire Department’s Main Station at 782 King Ridge Road.

Classes will be held Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. TWRA Officer Joe Fortner will be the instructor. The course is offered free of charge. Participants must register on-line at www.tnwildlife.org and follow the prompts or click the link below.


Under state law, every person born on or after January 1, 1969, before hunting, shall possess, in addition to all other licenses and permits required, proof of satisfactory completion of an agency approved hunter education course.

Those under 10 years of age do not need a Hunter Education certificate, but must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device.

The basic Hunter Education Course provides firearms safety training and introduces students to their responsibilities in the fields of hunter ethics and wildlife management. The main objective of the Hunter Education Program is to reduce the potential for hunting accidents and ultimately reduce the number of hunting injuries. The course is taught according to standards established by the International Hunter Education Association. By meeting these standards the Tennessee Hunter Education program is recognized by all states, Canada, and Mexico.

The basic course is free of charge and consists of a minimum of ten (10) hours of classroom participation. Most classes generally last 12-16 hours. Students must successfully pass a written test consisting of 100 multiple choice questions. All students are required to participate in a live fire exercise. Students must attend all classes. Students need to bring their Social Security Number and a #2 pencil to the class.

Course content includes:

*Hunter ethics

•Hunter responsibility toward wildlife, the environment, landowners and the general public

•Archery and the history of modern day bowhunting

•Tree stand safety

•History of firearms

•Blackpowder and muzzleloading firearms

•Knowledge of modern firearms and ammunition

•Proper gun handling and storage

•Marksmanship fundamentals

•Hunt preparation: specific laws and various equipment

•Principles of wildlife management and wildlife identification



•First aid

Saints to Open Season Thursday Night under New Head Coach

August 9, 2017
Dwayne Page
Saints Head Coach Justin Poteete with DMS Principal Amanda Dakas

The DeKalb Saints Football Team will open the season at home Thursday night against Avery Trace under the leadership of a new head coach.

Justin Poteete was recently named to the position after former head coach Tad Webb was promoted to Assistant Principal at DeKalb Middle School.

Poteete is a math and science teacher at DeKalb Middle School. He graduated from DCHS in 2009 and furthered his education at MTSU where he earned a degree in elementary education.

Poteete is no stranger to the program having served the last seven years as an assistant to Coach Webb.

“I am excited. I am really and truly blessed. I feel like this is where God wants me to be. I’m just trying to go out each day with these kids and give them some life lessons along the way and compete in this football league,” Coach Poteete told WJLE.

“I am trying to do big things here. We have a good solid team this year, especially on the defensive side. Offensively we’re going to line up and run it right up the middle so we’re looking to go downhill and be a physical football team,” he said.

Coach Poteete will have Jacob Hale and Chris Chapman helping him coach. “Jacob Hale will be handling the offense and defensive line and Chris Chapman will work with the secondary and running backs,” Poteete said.

The Saints will play six regular season games with an eye toward competing in the cross conference tournament later in the year.

Thursday night’s game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the high school field.

Smithville Rolling Out New Garbage Collection Service

August 9, 2017
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville is phasing in the use of its new automated side loader garbage truck.

The truck is already being used to collect garbage on the Monday and Tuesday routes and it will begin serving residents and businesses on the Wednesday routes starting next week.


“Once we get that route going for two or three weeks, then we’ll set up the Thursday route. It’s being done in phases,” said City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson.

During Monday night’s meeting, the Smithville Aldermen adopted on first reading an ordinance establishing general standards for the new service. Second and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled at the September meeting.

All city residents are being provided one 96 gallon roll out container at no charge to properly store one weeks accumulation of garbage. Those who need more than one container may purchase an additional can for a one time user fee of $100 with a 50% refund should the container be returned to the city in proper condition. Residents must use only the trash containers provided by the city for this new service.

Unlike the city's older garbage trucks, this new one is being manned only by the driver and equipped with an automated side loader for picking up curbside residential household garbage. The side loader can extend up to 12 feet in grabbing a garbage can and lifting it up for disposal into the truck.

For homes on narrow streets, the city has retrofitted two of its existing garbage trucks with rear loaders. Under this system, operators will place the trash cans at the rear of the trucks and the loaders will lift the cans and dump the garbage into the trucks.

Although the city is mailing residents and business owners written copies of the regulations, Robinson said it will take time for them to get used to the new service. “We’ve already had problems with people not setting the cans in the right place, turning them backward or sideways. We are sending an extra guy on the routes right now to make sure the cans are set in the right place and he is placing a tag on the cans to instruct the residents on how the containers are to be placed for the truck to be able to pick them up,” he said.

Those who don’t yet have a new trash container from the city will be getting them soon.

The new ordinance states in part as follows:

*All residents shall be provided one 96 gallon roll out container at no charge to properly store one week’s accumulation of refuse

*Residential households who regularly exceed 96 gallons of garbage a week may obtain an additional container for a one time fee of $100 with a 50% refund should the additional container be returned to the City of Smithville in proper condition. When returned to the city the container is not to be painted, abused, mutilated, altered, or modified in any manner.

*Only refuse in the container shall be collected. Additional refuse left on the ground will not be picked up.

*Household material that will not fit into a roll out container such as appliances, furniture, large boxes, etc. may not be set out with the regular garbage.

*The refuse container shall not be filled to overflowing as to prevent the lid from fully closing. Container lids are to be closed for collection. If the overflow of refuse is regular, the city shall notify the resident to obtain an additional container.

*All residents shall place their refuse containers at curbside or at the edge of the street no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of collection. Containers must be removed from the curb, street, or alleyway no later than 7:00 p.m. on the day of collection.

*The container shall be placed in such a manner as not to interfere with overhead power lines or tree branches, parked cars, vehicular traffic, or in any other way that would constitute a public hazard or nuisance. Containers are to be at least four feet from any tree, pole, mailbox, fire hydrant, etc. and at least ten feet away from any cars parked in the street.

*Each resident shall be responsible for keeping the container clean and sanitary in compliance with health and sanitation requirements and shall keep container lid closed at all times.

*All diapers, animal feces, cat litter, and similar wastes shall be placed in durable plastic bags adequately sealed before being placed in the roll out container.

*Paints, stains, and similar materials still in their liquid form shall not be placed in refuse containers and shall not be collected by the department of public works as a part of regular collection.

*Highly flammable, combustible, explosive, or hazardous materials shall not be placed in refuse containers and shall not be collected by the department of public works as a part of regular collection. Such materials shall be disposed of as prescribed by state and local laws.

*All syringes and other medical waste shall be placed in sealed, puncture proof containers prior to being placed in a refuse container for collection by the department of public works or the authorized collector.

*The container is not to be painted, abused, mutilated, altered, or modified in any manner.

*Scavenging and salvaging is unlawful. No person shall remove or attempt to remove materials from any refuse container belonging to another person or business. All materials placed in a refuse container shall be the property of the City of Smithville or authorized collector.

*Each resident or owner shall be responsible for replacing the container if it is damaged or destroyed by the resident or owner as a result of his negligence, by the payment of current market value plus 20% replacement fee to the city.

*The city shall replace any container that is worn out by normal wear and tear, or if it is stolen or damaged by a person other than the resident to whom it is assigned.

*Residents that are not in compliance with the city’s roll out container rules and regulations will be notified by placement of a sticker on the container. The sticker will be clearly marked what compliance is not being met. If the resident does not meet the compliance by the next week’s collection day, the container will not be emptied.

*Any resident moving to another location within the city limits, or out of the city limits, shall be responsible for notifying the public works department. The roll out container shall remain at the original assigned location. Additional containers shall also remain at the original assigned location unless the resident is moving to another location inside the city limits or may be returned to the city for a 50% refund of the $100 fee assessed for the additional container.

*No person shall deposit refuse in a privately or publicly owned container without the expressed permission of the owner of said container.

Fiddlers’ Jamboree President Performs at Ryman Auditorium

August 9, 2017
Sam Stout (left) played accompaniment guitar to fiddle player Jimmy Bilbrey of Cookeville

Sam Stout, President and Coordinator of the Smithville Jamboree and Crafts Festival, was recently awarded the honor to play at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Stout played accompaniment guitar to fiddle player Jimmy Bilbrey of Cookeville, Tennessee. Bilbrey was recently named the winner of The Annual Uncle Jimmy Thompson Bluegrass Festival Fiddle Competition for 2017. As part of the award, Bilbrey was asked to perform at Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman Auditorium, choosing Stout to play accompaniment to the tune Ashokan Farewell. Bilbrey and Stout performed just after intermission, prior to Dailey & Vincent taking the stage to perform the second half of the show.

Jimmy Bilbrey is a well know bluegrass performer with bluegrass bands across the Upper Cumberland. Both Bilbrey and Stout are also one of the weekly announcers of the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour Bluegrass Dinner Show at Sutton General Store in Granville, Tennessee.

“This was an unbelievably humbling experience,” said Stout, “Thinking about all of the great entertainers and artists that have performed on that stage at the Ryman is simply incredible. It was a privilege to play alongside my good friend Jimmy Bilbrey. He is such a talented musician, and we had a wonderful time. It was an additional honor to perform on the same night as Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, and we appreciated the warm welcome and hospitality that was shown by all.”

Every summer for more than two decades, Ryman Auditorium has celebrated their distinction as the birthplace of bluegrass music with their signature Bluegrass Nights summer series. When the the Grand Ole Opry put down roots there in 1943, the world would never be the same as the live radio and TV show brought the likes of Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline and Roy Acuff to the stage and into living rooms around the country for thirty one years. For more information on the Ryman, go to: ryman.com

Knoxville Couple Identified in Monday Lake Tragedy

August 8, 2017
Dwayne Page
Knoxville Couple Identified in Monday Lake Tragedy, 84 year old Lendon Welch and 83 year old Charlotte Welch, both of Knoxville.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has released the names of the elderly couple found dead on Center Hill Lake Monday.

According to Lieutenant Jimmy Neal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the deceased are identified as 84 year old Lendon Welch and 83 year old Charlotte Welch, both of Knoxville. He is a former Farragut High School Coach.

In a statement to WJLE via email, Lieutenant Neal described the scene as Troopers arrived Monday afternoon at Floating Mill Campground located off Floating Mill Lane in DeKalb County.

“When Troopers arrived on scene, they noticed the top of a white vehicle a 2000 Toyota Tundra in the water. Attached to the vehicle, a boat was floating above and behind the vehicle. Troopers were advised that a male subject and a female subject were discovered floating in the lake. Prior to the Troopers arrival, those two subjects were removed from the lake and placed in a DeKalb County EMS ambulance”.

“Troopers were advised by DeKalb County EMS the male subject had in his possession a TN driver license. The male subject was identified as Lendon Welch deceased age 84 from Knoxville TN. The female was identified as Charlotte Welch deceased age 83 from Knoxville TN.”

“When the wrecker pulled the vehicle out of the lake, the vehicle's transmission was identified to be in the reverse position. Also, the vehicle's emergency brake had been partially applied. The boat was secured in the front to the trailer by the strap,” the statement concluded.


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