Local News Articles

Work Beginning on Bridge Replacement Project

October 4, 2016
Dwayne Page
Contractor Clears Area Around Holmes Creek Road Bridge

Almost a year after being closed, work is beginning to replace the Holmes Creek Road Bridge over Fall Creek.

During Monday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jimmy Poss said the contractor has cleared the site and construction should start by next week. “They’ve got all the trees cut and the way I understand it probably next week they will be taking that bridge out,” he said.

Twin K. Construction of Helenwood, Tennessee was awarded the bid last month to build the new bridge. City officials are hoping the project will be completed over the winter or by spring.

Twin K’s bid of $687,791 was the lowest of the five bids submitted and was recommended for approval by the city’s engineer for the project, Professional Engineering Services in Sparta. In addition to the construction bid, other added costs including engineering, design, and inspection fees, geotechnical exploration, right of way, temporary construction easement, asbestos study, and permits, put the total costs at $778,655.

The project is being funded under the state's Bridge Grant Program. The matching cost to the city is going to be $196,625

The bridge, at the bottom of town hill behind Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, has been closed since October 30, 2015

The state forced the City of Smithville to close the bridge due to a Tennessee Department of Transportation Evaluation Report which detailed various bridge deficiencies making it potentially unsafe.

Meanwhile, City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson reported Monday night that the manhole replacement project on West Main Street was recently completed and that the actual cost was under budget. “We originally awarded the contract to Flow- Line for $227,000 but it came in at $62,000 under budget. It will only cost the city about $165,000. They didn’t have to do as much excavating as they had anticipated,” said Hendrixson.

Street paving in the area of the manhole work on West Main should begin soon. “According to the engineers we have to allow time for settlement with those manholes where it went in but it will be paved,” added Hendrixson.

Paving and striping is also completed around the public square. The city still has funds budgeted this year to pave several other city streets.

Police Chief Mark Collins reported to the Mayor and Aldermen that the department has been approved for a Governors Highway Safety Office Grant. “Sergeant Travis Bryant has been working hard. We were approved for another GHSO grant. Last year it was for $5,000 and this year it is for $10,000. This grant money will be used for equipment and overtime during the summer months when we need it the most,” said Chief Collins.

The aldermen also approved Chief Collins’ request to allocate funds to purchase a patrol car to replace a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria with 130,000 miles which has been taken out of service due to transmission problems.

McMinnville Driver Services Center to Re-Open

October 4, 2016

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announces the McMinnville Driver Services Center will re-open Monday, October 17 in the original location.

The driver services center is located at 594 Vervilla Road in McMinnville.

State and local officials cooperated to re-open the center. After much discussion, city and county officials agreed to pay the rental building space cost for the center that had been removed from the department’s state budget.

The state has agreed to provide personnel and the equipment to operate the center.

Driver Services Assistant Commissioner Lori Bullard expressed her thanks and appreciation to both state and local leaders for collaborating to re-open the center.

McMinnville is a full service driver services center open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (CDT), Monday through Friday.

This center offers driver licenses, identification card issuance, motor vehicle records, vision testing, knowledge and skills testing, and handgun permits.

DeKalb Recovery Court Celebrates 10 years of Success

October 4, 2016
Norene Puckett
Judge Bratten Cook, II, Lisa Dillon (graduate), Recovery Court Coordinator Norene Puckett, Christina Murphy (graduate), Case Manager Rhonda Harpole
Smithville Alderman Gayla Hendrix, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, Juvenile Case Manager Kristy Longmire, State Rep. Terri Weaver, TBI Director Mark Gwyn, Asst. Public Defender Allison West, John Quintero Haven of Hope Counseling, Probation Officer Holly Baugh, Counselor Kay Patton Quintero, Recovery Court Coordinator Norene Puckett, Adult Case Manager Rhonda Harpole, Recovery Court Judge Bratten Butch Cook, Sheriff Patrick Ray, DCS Probation Officer Sara Hoenstine, DCS Probation Officer Tish Mccloud, Chamber
TBI Director Mark Gwyn
Nathan Payne

A celebration was held last week to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the DeKalb County Drug Court Program now renamed the “DeKalb County Recovery Court” and to recognize the latest persons to graduate from the program, Lisa Dillon and Christina Murphy.

The celebration banquet ceremony and ribbon cutting were held at the New Life Connection Center in Smithville on Monday, September 26.

Not only was the event held to commemorate 10 years of restoring lives, reuniting families, and helping participants begin their journeys into recovery through the program, but also to raise awareness for the disease of addiction.

Norene Puckett, Program Coordinator welcomed the crowd of over 90 people, and stated “The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors. September is National Recovery Month and that is why we chose to have our event tonight, in honor of this. The national slogan for recovery month is ‘Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover.’ Our program and drug courts like ours across the country target non-violent, high risk, high need offenders and give them the treatment they need, rather than punishment through incarceration. Lives are transformed through judicial monitoring, random and frequent drug testing, evidenced-based treatment, support of the drug court team, and holding our participants accountable for their actions. Addiction is a treatable disease!”

Puckett went on to say, “Tennessee is in the top 3 in the country for prescription drug abuse. And our leaders across the state have recognized this and are acting on it. The TN Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has selected drug courts across the state to take part in a vivitrol pilot program. We are one of 4 drug courts in the Middle TN region and 1 of 11 in the state to have been selected to be in the pilot program. Vivitrol is a once a month injection used in treating alcohol dependence and opiod use disorder. In my opinion, this is lifesaving medication and I am so thankful to be able to give our participants access to it.”

In 2013, the TN Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, which funds and monitors drug courts across the state, wanted to be more inclusive of all the types of treatment courts throughout the state (i.e. veterans court, drug court, DUI court, juvenile drug court, etc.) and to show the positive aspects of the programs, so they changed the name to Tennessee Recovery Courts. Following Puckett’s speech a ribbon cutting ceremony was done with the Smithville-DeKalb Chamber of Commerce to unveil the new name of the drug court program, the DeKalb County Recovery Court.

Speakers that night were Judge Bratten Hale Cook II, who gave an overview of the program and the 10 year history, along with the history of drug courts throughout the country. Nathan Payne, Region Coordinator for Lifeline of Tennessee spoke on his personal story of addiction and spoke about the need to reduce stigma for persons suffering from addictive disease. The keynote speaker was the Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Mark Gwyn, who praised the work of recovery courts across the state and nation. He addressed the perception that he himself along with many officers he has worked with once had towards drugs. "We will lock-up everyone and get us out of this problem!” He told the audience his views did not change toward the drug problem until he was hired with the TBI and worked with a drug court program in Davidson County. During his time with that program (during a methamphetamine pilot program) his mind was made up. When he saw how people’s lives can be transformed through treatment and accountability, he has been a firm supporter of recovery courts ever since.

The evening also celebrated two more graduates of the program, Lisa Dillon and Christina Murphy. Each woman was presented with a plaque recognizing them for successfully completing the requirements of the DeKalb County Recovery Court program.

DeKalb County Recovery Court would like to thank the sponsors for the evening: Bradford Health Services, Buffalo Valley Treatment Centers, Community Probation Services, DeKalb Community Advisory Board, DeKalb Florist, DeKalb Prevention Coalition, Gayla Hendrix Law, Haven of Hope Counseling, Health Connect America, Power of Putnam, Smithville Church of Christ, Smithville Church of God, Sober Living Services (Omega House), Turn Key Bail Bonding, & Volunteer Behavioral Health. The DeKalb County Recovery Court program is funded by multiple sources which include State funded grants through the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, court fees and fines of individuals charged with drug or alcohol related charges, additional funding appropriated through the County Commission and through donations of time from the Honorable Judge Bratten Hale Cook II, the Office of the District Attorney General, the Office of the District Public Defender , Sheriff Patrick Ray, Haven of Hope Counseling and Community Probation Services.

City to Weigh Impact of Losing DUD as Water Customer

October 4, 2016
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

What impact will losing the DeKalb Utility District as a water customer have on the City of Smithville?

Will the city have to eventually raise water rates to its own customers because of it?

During Monday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen, City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson said a new rate study is being conducted to determine the city’s actual cost of producing water. “Through J.R. Wauford (city’s utility engineer), they have recommended a gentleman to us. He is out of Hermitage and he does water and sewer rate studies. He has been working with us, going through our data. We’re trying to figure out where we are at and where we are going. DUD is probably going to be leaving us in the next few months. They are getting ready to start up their plant. We’re trying to get a plan together as far as how that is going to impact the city. They are our biggest customer but they are also our biggest expense. This is unknown territory. Hopefully by the next meeting, I’ll have him here and he can give a report. We need to see what it’s costing us and see what we may need to do in the future as far as our water and sewer rates. Hopefully we won’t have to do anything. I just want you to know we’re working on it. The number we have (from previous water rate study) $2.67 per thousand gallons to produce water is now five or six years old. A lot has changed since then,” said Hendrixson.

City water customers currently pay $5.00 per thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are $7.50 per thousand gallons. City sewer customers pay $5.00 per thousand gallons plus the flat usage rate of $3.62. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District is $2.67 per thousand gallons.

In this year’s budget, the city reduced projected revenues from the sale of water to the DUD from $765,000 for the year ended June 30, 2016 down to $400,000 for half the year 2016-17. City officials said earlier this year that such a loss of income may eventually force the city to look at ways of cutting spending or raising new revenues to make up the difference.

DeKalb Utility District is nearing completion of its own water plant but the DUD has not yet announced a launch date.

October is National Chiropractic Health Month

October 3, 2016
County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss sign proclamations designating October National Chiropractic Health Month. Dr. Robert Atnip and wife Guylene also pictured.

Dr. Robert R. Atnip, the City of Smithville, and DeKalb County are joining chiropractic physicians nationwide this October during National Chiropractic Health Month to help raise awareness of non-drug approaches to pain management in the face of the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The campaign promotes the use of alternative therapies for pain, such as chiropractic services, before turning to opioids and other riskier treatments.

“Chiropractic is an important and effective first line of defense against pain," says Dr. Atnip. “It’s vital today that patients who are in pain know they have non-drug options.”

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that as many as one in four patients who receive prescription opioids long-term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction. In addition, a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that nearly 50 percent of Americans say they personally have known someone who is addicted to prescription painkillers.

Many respected health care organizations now recommend non-drug treatments. Using treatments such as spinal manipulation, chiropractic physicians take a drug-free approach to treating common conditions such as back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. High-quality research has found spinal manipulation to be effective and safe.

Hosted by the American Chiropractic Association, National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) is a nationwide observance held each October. The event raises public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to pain and health and wellness.

Robert R. Atnip, D.C. is a graduate of National College of Chiropractic. He has been in private practice in the Smithville area for more than 44 years. For more information about how D. Atnip can help you achieve better overall health and wellness, please visit ACAtoday.org or www.nuhs.edu or call 615-597-5375.

Last week, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss signed proclamations designating October as “National Chiropractic Health Month” in Smithville and DeKalb County. Dr. Atnip and his wife Guylene were on hand for the occasion.

The proclamation is as follows:

“WHEREAS, Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health;

WHEREAS, Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs and headaches;

WHEREAS, Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are physician-level providers who focus on the whole person in their conservative drug-free approach to health care and pain management;

WHEREAS, To date, the failure to adequately address chronic pain in today’s health care system has resulted in unnecessary suffering and an enormous loss of human potential, as well as massive financial and personal costs;

WHEREAS, With the increase in chronic pain, there has been a simultaneous rise in opioid use, which has been associated with adverse outcomes (e.g. addiction, overdose, insufficient pain relief).

WHEREAS, There is a growing body of research that validates the effectiveness of chiropractic services as a first line of defense against pain.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Smithville and DeKalb County officially join with the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in proclaiming the month of October 2016 as National Chiropractic Health Month”.

Runners Raise Funds in Support of Down Syndrome Awareness

October 3, 2016
Bill Conger
4 year old Jase Alvis (Bill Conger Photo)
Matthew Sinclair, 11, was the overall male winner with a time of 20:18 (Bill Conger Photo)
The overall female winner of the race was Diana Moon with a time of 22:44 (Bill Conger Photo)

“Don’t limit a child that has Down syndrome. They can learn just as well as a normal child can.” That's the message that Brandy Pipes would like for other people to understand. She and Brandon Alvis are the parents of Jase Alvis, 4, the youngest of Pipes’ four boys.

“He’s a loving child,” she says. “He loves people. He’s a happy child.”

Jase, who is enrolled at First Baptist Church Mother’s Day Out in Alexandria, was the face of the race at the 3.21 Run for Down Syndrome 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run that was held Saturday, Oct. 1 at DeKalb West School in Liberty.

“It means a lot to know that everybody is supporting your son that has something a little extra special about him,” Pipes says.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, one in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. Pipes say she didn’t know that Jase had D.S. until after he was born.

At first I was upset,” she admits. “I thought he wouldn’t be able to have a normal life. But he’s taught me that I’m not going to put a limit on him.”
The genetic disorder occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, which alters the course of development.

“With my other children, they could walk at a year old,” Pipes said. “It took him until he was 2 ½. It’s just a waiting period, but it’s worth it.”

Jase likes to play ball, dance, and listen to music. He also enjoys practicing sports with his older brothers and cheers them on from the sidelines during the games.

“They (Jase’s brothers) don’t treat him any different. They get out there, and they play with him. They already said if somebody makes fun of him, they’ll take care of it,” she adds with a laugh.

Proceeds from Saturday’s race will go to benefit special needs children in DeKalb and Smith Counties. More than 135 racers participated in the event including Team Beckett, a group of race supporters who ran for 2-year-old Beckett, who has Down syndrome.

“They’re the most precious children you can ever imagine to be around, and I wouldn’t change them for the world, say Courtney West, Beckett’s mom.

The overall female winner of the race was Diana Moon with a time of 22:44. Matthew Sinclair, 11, was the overall male winner with a time of 20:18.

The following are the race results by age category:

9 & Under 10-15
1st Thomas Damron 1st Cody Antoniak
2nd Caroline Crook 2nd Cole Miller
3rd Emily Young 3rd Brayden Antoniak

16-20 21-30
1st Austin Brown 1st Cody Webb
2nd Devon O’Brien 2nd Kalah Donnell
3rd Landon Woodcock 3rd Michelle Lorio

31-40 41-50
1st Josh Miller 1st Bonnie Grandstaff
2nd Cedron Moon 2nd Karen Hatchett
3rd John Barlog 3rd Jarrett Pistole

51-60 61-70
1st Kim Foutch 1st Mary Ray
2nd Randy Queen 2nd Lene’ McKinney
3rd Deborah Bane 3rd Galen Fish

71+ 1 Mile Fun Run Results
1st Mary Jane Brown Carson Davis
2nd Carolyn Poteete Mia Foutch
3rd Ron Poteete Addison Miller

Two Charged in Burglary at DeKalb West School

October 2, 2016
Dwayne Page
Photo from school video surveillance shows Brian Clinton Howell holding a burglary tool after entering DeKalb West School last Sunday, September 25
Brian Clinton Howell
Shauna Melissa Fleetwood

A break-in at DeKalb West School last Sunday, September 25 has resulted in the arrest of a man and woman. It turns out that the two, 30 year old Brian Clinton Howell of Vantrease Road, Brush Creek and 25 year old Shauna Melissa Fleetwood of Martha-Leeville Road, Mount Juliet, are also believed to be responsible for burglaries at elementary schools in Wilson and Smith Counties.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, video surveillance showed that Fleetwood, driving a green Ford Taurus, pulled up at DeKalb West School and dropped off Howell. He then used a pry bar to enter a side door and broke into a soft drink vending machine, taking $20.00. Fleetwood later returned to pick up Howell and they drove away.

After being contacted by the Principal, Sheriff Ray said his department started an investigation. “We got a report Sunday that somebody had broken into DeKalb West School and vandalized a coke machine. The intruder got into the machine and stole money out of it. A detective went down to the school, reviewed the video, and got a good description of the intruder and the vehicle which dropped him off,” Sheriff Ray told WJLE Saturday.

After learning that a school in Watertown had also been recently burglarized, the detective contacted authorities there and during their joint investigation discovered that burglaries had occurred in Smith County as well and that a “BOLO” had been issued for area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the suspects. On Thursday evening, September 29, Wilson County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Lebanon Police Department officers located the suspects, Howell and Fleetwood, at the Traveler’s Inn in Lebanon.

In the DeKalb County case, Sheriff Ray said Howell is charged with burglary, vandalism, possession of burglary tools, and theft under $500. Fleetwood is charged with burglary and theft under $500 for being involved in a burglary in which she dropped off Howell in her vehicle , went to a gas station nearby, and then returned to pick him up. Both have admitted to detectives their involvement in the crimes.

Bond for Howell is $15,500 and Fleetwood’s bond is $12,500. Both will make an appearance in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on October 27. At last report, Fleetwood was still incarcerated in Smith County and Howell is in jail at Wilson County.

According to the “Smith County Insider”, the three elementary schools burglarized in Smith County were New Middleton Elementary, Forks River Elementary, and Carthage Elementary; and in Wilson County, Tucker’s Crossroad Elementary and Sam Houston Elementary. The burglaries took place between September 17th and September 28th.

County Commissioner Gets Probation for DUI

September 30, 2016
Dwayne Page

A 5th district member of the DeKalb County Commission, charged with a first offense of driving under the influence in June, was sentenced in General Sessions Court Friday.

65 year old Jerry David Adcock of Four Seasons Road, Smithville entered a plea to the offense and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation. He will spend 48 hours at the Rutherford County Alcohol Education Center. Adcock was also fined $360 . He must pay court costs and he will lose his driver license for one year

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, June 9 a sheriff’s department deputy observed a Ford pickup truck failing to maintain its lane of travel on Sparta Highway. The officer stopped the truck and spoke with the driver, Adcock. While speaking with Adcock, the deputy noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. According to the warrant, Adcock admitted to having consumed four or five alcoholic beverages earlier in the evening. Adcock submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Adcock’s eyes were bloodshot. He was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slow. Adcock also submitted to a blood alcohol test.

Adcock is in his second four year term as a county commissioner from the 5th district. He has served since September 2010.

Meanwhile, a cocaine charge has been dropped against a woman arrested in March by Smithville Police.

36 year old Martha Conger Hale was charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (cocaine) but the state prosecutor moved to dismiss the case against her. The case against a co-defendant, 42 year old Steve Mabe, Jr. remains active and has been continued until November 29.

Hale entered a plea to a separate charge of simple possession of a schedule VI drug and violation of probation. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation in the drug case to run consecutive to the VOP but the term could be furloughed if she is accepted into the Recovery Court Program.

Hale and Mabe, believed to have been involved in the sale and delivery of illegal narcotics, were arrested at their home on Charity Lane on March 16 as the result of an investigation by the Smithville Police Department. Each were charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine). Mabe, a convicted felon, was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Hale was further charged with violation of probation.

According to Police Chief Mark Collins, the evidence against the two was discovered during a probation search at the residence. "Hale was on probation from a DUI conviction but probation officers had taken warrants on her for probation violation after she failed a drug test. We (Smithville Police) accompanied the probation officers to Hale's home on Wednesday, March 16 to execute a probation search on Martha. During that search we found illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, guns and a safe in their bedroom which they (Hale and Mabe) refused to open. Martha was arrested that day (March 16) on a charge of violation of probation. She later posted bond and was released," he said.

Police seized the safe and later obtained a search warrant to open it. " The search warrant on the safe was executed Thursday, March 24. In that safe we found 16 grams of cocaine, a large sum of money, personal documents belonging to both Martha and Steve and other miscellaneous items including jewelry, coins, and things like that. Based on what we found in that safe we had reason to believe there was more evidence in their house so we obtained another search warrant which was later executed," said Chief Collins.

Judge Tiffany Gipson of Jackson County heard these and other cases Friday for Judge Bratten Cook, II, who had a conflict.

DCHS Celebrates Homecoming (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 30, 2016
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School students celebrated the last day of Spirit Week with a Homecoming Day parade Friday afternoon.

The Tiger football team's homecoming opponent Friday night is the Sequatchie County Indians and the floats in the parade had a Tiger versus Sequatchie County theme.

The parade featured Homecoming Queen Kaitlyn Roller and Attendants Susan Webb, Bailey Redmon, Emme Colwell, Nalia Ramos, and Madison Judkins; class and club floats, lots of decorated cars and trucks, county and city law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and other emergency vehicles, among others.

The event concluded with a pep rally led by DCHS Football cheerleaders and a performance by the DCHS band on the square.

Winners of the float competition were as follows:

First Place: Sophomore Class-"Tigers Roast the Indians"
Second Place: Junior Class-"Tigers Smoke Out Sequatchie"
Third Place: Freshman Class-"DeKalb Will Reign Over Sequatchie"

Best Decorated Automobiles:
First Place: Cynthia May
Second Place: Alexis Roller
Third Place: Kristena Bain

DCHS Field Competitions:
First Place-Sophomore Class
Second Place-Senior Class
Third Place-Junior Class
Fourth Place-Freshmen Class

DeKalb West Junior Beta Club Leads Student Body in “See You at the Pole" Assembly

September 30, 2016
Bill Conger
Music Teacher Emily Phillips leads the first grade classes in a performance of the National Anthem.
 Junior Beta President Garrett Hayes reads scripture during the annual "See You at the Pole" event at DWS.

The DeKalb West School Junior Beta Club led the student body in the voluntary assembly, “See You at the Pole” on Wednesday, September 28. Students across the globe gather around the flagpole on the last Wednesday in September each year to pray for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities.

Hannah VanDyne opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Music Teacher Emily Phillips and the first grade classes leading the National Anthem. Grace Griffith read the First Amendment while Levi Driver opened in prayer. Garrett Hayes and T.J. Alexander read scriptures, and SRO Lewis Carrick delivered a rousing inspirational message on religious liberties. Jaden Johnson closed the event in prayer.


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree