Local News Articles

Mark Collins Sworn in as Smithville Police Chief

November 23, 2015
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins was sworn in Monday night at city hall.

With his wife and daughter looking on, Collins took the oath from City Attorney Vester Parsley. Mayor Jimmy Poss was also present along with City Police Commissioner/Alderman Jason Murphy, City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson and members of the police department.

Following the brief ceremony, Chief Collins met with his fellow officers.

Arrest Made in Recent Burglary and Theft

November 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
Brandi Louise Brewer
Travis Fane Reeves
Brent J. Bogle
Glenda Madonna Bogle
Kacy Renee Davenport

The Sheriff's Department has made an arrest in a recent burglary and theft.

24 year old Brandi Louise Brewer of Barnes Mill Road, charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000, is under a $25,000 bond and she will be in court on December 10.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on or about Monday, November 9 Brewer allegedly broke into a building on South Tittsworth Road and stole two chainsaws, an air compressor, an air tank, two wrench sets, an Impact socket, a socket wrench, a hammer drill, a jigsaw, and a 12 volt drill. The total value of the stolen items comes to $1,374. Some of the goods has been recovered and identified by the property owner.

Meanwhile, 43 year old Travis Fane Reeves of Pine Creek Falls Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on December 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, November 16 a deputy responded to the emergency room of Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital to speak with a woman who was injured in an assault by her husband at their home. The woman said Reeves threw boots at her, grabbed her around the neck with his arm, and punched her right thigh with his fist causing bruising. According to the officer, the woman had visible scratches on her neck and left hand. It was determined that Reeves was the primary aggressor and he was placed under arrest.

23 year old Brent J. Bogle and 45 year old Glenda Madonna Bogle both of Young Ridge Road, Sparta are each under a $2,500 bond after being charged in separate assaults on Pine Grove Road last Monday, November 16.

Sheriff Ray said that a deputy, in response to a domestic incident, learned that Brent Bogle had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend's father. Bogle was determined to have been the primary aggressor in that case and he was arrested for domestic assault.

Glenda Bogle allegedly got in a fight with a woman there hitting the victim in the face with her fist. Bogle was charged with assault.

22 year old Kacy Renee Davenport of High Street, Alexandria is charged with domestic assault. She is under a $2,500 bond and she will make a court appearance on December 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, November 19 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on High Street in Alexandria in response to an unwanted guest call. Upon arrival the officer spoke with a woman who said she and her daughter, Davenport had gotten into an argument and that Davenport had thrown milk in her face which resulted in a physical altercation. Davenport allegedly hit her mother leaving a knot on the back of her head. Davenport was placed under arrest.

Wheeler Charged in Several Vehicle Burglaries

November 23, 2015
Dwayne Page
Steven Tyler Wheeler
Joshua Jordan
Christina Love Johnson
Neil Bernard Keenan

Smithville Police have apparently solved several recent vehicle burglaries with the arrest of an 18 year old man.

Police Chief Mark Collins said Steven Tyler Wheeler was arrested on Wednesday, November 18 on three counts of burglary and vandalism. Officers took two reports on Walker Drive where someone had entered vehicles and taken items without the owner's permission. A report was also taken on Tuesday, November 17 of someone busting out a window and possibly trying to hot wire a vehicle at Model City Auto Sales in an attempt to steal the automobile. Upon investigation it was determined that all three incidents were related and that Wheeler was a suspect. After questioning, Wheeler was charged and arrested without incident. His bond is $17,500.

Wheeler was charged with another burglary and theft on Friday, November 20. According to police, an officer took a report on Wednesday, November 18 in which a vehicle had been broken into on Walker Drive. Upon investigation, Wheeler was determined to have been involved in this incident in addition to the other break-ins on Walker Drive. His bond in this case is $4,500 and he will be in court on December 10.

Meanwhile, 37 year old Joshua Jordan was arrested on Saturday, November 14 for possession of methamphetamine with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell methamphetamine. An officer responded to East Broad Street in reference to a suspicious person trying to stop traffic. He spoke to the man, Jordan, who was incoherent in speech. Upon questioning Jordan, the officer determined that he may have smoked some marijuana and taken meth. Jordan had in his possession a small plastic container containing a white crystal like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine. Bond for Jordan is $40,000.

34 year old Christina Love Johnson was arrested on Tuesday, November 17 for domestic assault. Police were dispatched to a residence due to an assault in progress. Upon arrival, an officer spoke with the parties involved and found that they had gotten into a verbal argument that turned physical with Johnson hitting and then biting the victim on the ear. Bond for Johnson is $2,500 and her court date is December 10.

59 year old Neil Bernard Keenan is charged with public intoxication and cited for simple possession. Police received a call on Friday, November 20 of a possible drunk driver that had crashed into a pole in the parking lot of Food Lion. The officer spoke with Keenan in a checkout line inside the store. Keenan was unsteady on his feet. His speech was slurred and he had an odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person. Incident to arrest, a silver pill container with a Schedule IV substance was found in his front pants pocket. Keenan was placed under arrest. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 17.

SES First Graders Host "Packing Party"

November 22, 2015
Dwayne Page
SES 1st Graders Pack Supplies for Children Around the World
Smithville Elementary 1st Graders Host Packing Party

Smithville Elementary first grade students are hosting the 1st annual "Packing Party".

Over the past several weeks, students have been bringing in various supplies such as cars, dolls, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wash clothes, soap, hair accessories, toys, combs, socks, tissues, crayons, coloring books, and pencils with sharpeners. The supplies were used to pack a total of 50 boxes for children around the world that do not get a Christmas.

First grade teachers at SES have been talking with their students in recent weeks about the importance of giving, and how important it is to love others. Teachers explained to their students that some kids around the world get nothing, and all the students were eager to do their part to help.

A "shopping area" was set up in the cafeteria at SES for students to shop for a girl or boy around the world. Students worked in groups to choose from supplies that they thought a girl or boy may like. Students wrote letters to stick in their boxes and are hoping for a reply. The 1st grade students, 1st grade teachers, and parents of SES worked hard to make this happen. The students were able to make 50 boxes total that will be mailed off next week!

Republican to Run for Assessor of Property (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 21, 2015
Dwayne Page
Shannon A. Cantrell to run for Assessor of Property
Tom Theriaque and Lee Plummer to run for Constable

A Republican has announced his candidacy for the office of DeKalb County Assessor of Property.

Shannon A. Cantrell of Smithville made an appearance at a DeKalb County Republican Party meeting Saturday morning at the courthouse to make the announcement.

Meanwhile Lee Plummer in the 1st district and Tom Theriaque in the 2nd district announced their intentions to seek the Republican nomination for constable.

Republican candidates for Assessor of Property and Constable will seek their party's nomination for those offices during the local GOP caucus set for Saturday, December 5 at 9:00 a.m. at the courthouse. Nominees will run in the August 2016 DeKalb County General Election against Democratic nominees and any Independent candidates.

Cantrell, apparently no relation to the Democratic Incumbent Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell, is married with two children. He is also a local Baptist minister.

"I have been married to my wife Tonya for the last 21 years. We have two children, Kaylee and Levi. Kaylee is in her third year at Cumberland University and Levi is in the seventh grade at DeKalb Middle School," said Cantrell.

"I am a local pastor. I have been since 2003 first with Coopers Chapel Baptist Church in the Dismal community and since 2008 I have been pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Smithville," Cantrell continued.

"I am a lifelong resident and with the exception of a couple of years while I was in my early 20s I've always worked here in town. The last eleven years I worked at DeKalb Utility District. I was there up until September of this year," said Cantrell.

A resident of Liberty, Theriaque and Heather, his wife of 20 years have three children, 17 year old Nathaniel, 15 year old Danielle, and 13 year old Dolton. He is the owner of DND Farm, which grows produce for local restaurants. The family attends the Smithville First United Methodist Church.

"I am looking forward to running in District 2. I plan to be active and I will meet state requirements and work with all other agencies if elected constable," said Theriaque.

Plummer, who resides just outside the city limits of Alexandria, is a retired U.S. Army officer and retired college professor. Plummer said he pledges to be an active constable if elected. "I already have more than 90 hours of in-service training as an associate member of the Tennessee Constables Association and they only require 40 hours of training in your first year as constable so I could go the entire first year without going to a single class and I'm still qualified," said Plummer.

Plummer is the father of six children one of whom is deceased. His wife passed away in 1996.

The deadline to get in these races including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents is NOON, Thursday December 10. Independent candidates, like Democrats, must qualify through the petition process. The local Republican Party will select nominees by caucus.

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary will be held in conjunction with the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary on March 1.

Incumbent DeKalb County Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell has already picked up and returned his petition to seek re-election. He will be running for his party's nomination in the March 1 primary.

Meanwhile, Incumbent Constables Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Mark Milam in the 5th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district have all been issued petitions and have returned them to the election commission. They will be running for their party's nomination in the Democratic Primary on March 1.

Meanwhile Travis Bryant, who was elected constable last year as an Independent to fill an unexpired term in the 3rd district has picked up a petition for the same office but this time he plans to run for nomination as a Democrat in the March Primary. Bryant has not yet returned his petition.

Chad Curtis, a Democrat in the 1st district and Republican Chris Tramel in the 2nd district were elected constable last year to fill vacant positions.

County Commission May Name New EMS Director Monday Night

November 20, 2015
Dwayne Page
County Commission

The county commission Monday night may name a new director of the DeKalb County ambulance service.

Members of the County's Emergency Services Committee met Tuesday night, November 10 at the courthouse to interview the five applicants and voted to recommend Hoyte Hale for the job to the commission.

The county commission will convene in regular monthly session Monday night, November 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

Hale has been serving as interim director for two and a half years since the departure of Chip Cook, the former director. Prior to being named interim, Hale served as assistant EMS director for seven years.

In addition to Hale, those wanting the job are Jeremy Young of Dearman Street, Smithville; Charles Nokes of Short Mountain Road, Smithville; Allen Mason of Lancaster; and Jeff Cole of Spencer.

The committee brought in each applicant one at a time for the interviews. The same set of questions was put to each applicant and they were scored numerically from zero through five based on their responses to each question. Hale scored highest among the five applicants.

In other business, the commission will get a sales tax report, consider approval of budget amendments, discuss a litter contract for state roads between TDOT and DeKalb County, discuss Three Star program requirements, discuss Sheriff and Trustee bonds, discuss Sunset Drive, get an update on the Cookeville Boat Dock case, approve notaries, and consider any other business properly presented.

Deer gun hunting season opens November 21

November 20, 2015
Deer gun hunting season opens November 21

One of Tennessee’s long-standing annual outdoors traditions begins Saturday, Nov. 21 with the opening of the 2015-16 gun hunting season for deer. Deer gun season has the permanent opening date of the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving.

The biggest change for hunters in 2015-16 is the statewide bag limit for antlered deer is now two. The number includes those taken during the archery only, muzzleloader, and gun seasons.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency divides the state into three deer hunting units, A, B and & L. No more than one antlered deer may be taken per day toward the bag limit.

For antlerless deer hunting in Units A and B during this season, refer to the list of hunts on page 26 of TWRA’s 2015-16. The bag limit for antlerless deer in Unit L is three per day. An antlerless deer is defined as those deer with no antlers or deer with both antlers less than three inches in length.

A Type 94 permit is required to harvest antlerless deer during this season on all non-quota hunts in Units A, B, & L, except for holders of an Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman, Senior Citizen License Type 167 Permit, or landowners hunting under the landowner exemption. A Type 94 permit is required for all ages.

TWRA personnel will be collecting data at selected check-in stations and deer processors across the state on opening day. Antlered bucks will be measured and aged for management purposes.

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses) while hunting any species in Tennessee.

Crooks Posing as IRS Officials Targeting Local Residents

November 19, 2015
Dwayne Page

Crooks posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials are contacting people by phone in this area threatening to arrest them because they owe taxes. Officials warn not to be taken in by this scam.

One would be victim told WJLE Wednesday that he was contacted this week. This Smithville man and former public official, who asked not to be identified, said he was called early in the morning by a man purporting to be from the IRS. The man said agents were on their way to his home to take him into custody. The caller said his tax accountant had made a mistake and that he (would be victim) owed the IRS money which had not been paid. However the caller told the would be victim that he could go to the bank, get the money, and do a wire transfer to avoid arrest. The would be victim said the caller was very aggressive and intimidating in his threats which gave him cause for concern. But he sent no money.

The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) warns that in most cases the caller will demand a prepaid debit card, wire transfer or a credit card number for payment. If the person doesn’t comply, the caller will threaten to arrest the target, or take away their driver’s license or business.

Thousands of victims nationwide have lost money to these tax scam artists. But there are ways to recognize them and foil their attempts to steal your money.

These scammers often:

•call you. But when the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they do it by postal mail, not by phone

•use common names and fake IRS badge numbers

•know the last four digits of your Social Security number

•demand payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS doesn’t ask for either of these payment methods, nor will they ask for credit card numbers.

•rig caller ID information to appear as if the IRS really is calling

•send fake emails that look like legitimate IRS correspondence

•make a second call claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, rigging the caller ID information

To protect yourself from imposters who call, claiming to be from the IRS:

•don’t provide any account or other personal information. Hang up the phone.

•never wire money to a person or company you don’t know. Once you wire money, you can’t get it back.

•if you owe - or think you owe - federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. You also can visit the IRS website at irs.gov.

•if you’ve already paid your taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.

•forward emails from the IRS to phishing@irs.gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.

•file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. Include “IRS Telephone Scam" in your complaint.

Curtis Family Donates Communications Equipment to DeKalb EMA

November 19, 2015
Dwayne Page
Curtis Family Donates Communications Equipment to DeKalb EMA in Memory of Trena Curtis

The DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency has expressed appreciation to Freddy Curtis and the Curtis family for the recent donation of radio and communications equipment given in memory of Trena W. Curtis.

DeKalb EMA Coordinator Charlie Parker said this equipment will be used to enhance auxiliary communications in DeKalb and surrounding counties in the event of emergency or disaster situations.

Trena Curtis, Freddy's wife, passed away earlier this year.

Hannah James Attends National FBLA Fall Leadership

November 19, 2015
Hannah James

Hannah James, Tennessee FBLA’s 2015-2016 State Secretary attended the National Fall Leadership in Charleston, South Carolina this weekend.

James attended workshops on the topics of Competing, Public Speaking, and Teamwork. The State Secretary also attended a state officer track, where she met and mingled with state officers from across the United States, talking about what they have planned for their state conference.

In addition to attending workshops, the state officers got to tour the city of Charleston and also start planning for their state conference. They are excited up the upcoming year and they think it will be great.


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