Local News Articles

Tigers Still In The Hunt for State Play-Off Berth

October 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tigers Still the Hunt for State Play-Off Berth

The DCHS Tigers will travel to Crossville tonight to face the Cumberland County Jets in the final game of the regular season. But a win for the Tigers would qualify them for the state play-offs starting next week.

It’ll be a region showdown. Both teams have struggled this season. DeKalb County is 2-7 but Cumberland County is 0-9.

“This is the third year we will have played them and they have had a different offense every time. They are on the Wing T now. That is basically what they are doing. They have a big fullback and a real good speedy guy. We’ll have to be ready to gang tackle their big full back and be ready to make sure we have good leverage and angles on their speedy guy. They have a couple of pass concepts that if your eyes are wrong and you’re not paying attention to them then they can look really good. Its really up to us again to make sure we are mentally ready to go for the task at hand,” said Tiger Coach Steve Trapp.

“Defensively, again this is the third year we’ve seen them and its going to be the third different defense they have had. Its basically the same defense that Livingston ran against us. I like what we could potentially be able to do if they stay in what they have been showing. But just because there is a lot of opportunity there doesn’t mean it will be easy. We still have to pass protect. We have to run block and make good decisions with the football and we have to protect the ball. It may be wet. We have some opportunities to do some things but are we going to be consistent at being inconsistent or are we going to click and have this thing rolling?”

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the football game on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor and Luke Willoughby.

WJLE’s Pre-Game shows begin with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. featuring former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former UT assistant coach Doug Matthews with broadcaster Larry Stone talking Tennessee and SEC football.

“Coach to Coach” is followed by “Murphy’s Matchups at 6:00 p.m., a look at Tennessee High School Football from Murphy Fair with commentary on games and coaches interviews.

“Tiger Talk” airs at 6:30 p.m. with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor interviewing Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Nick May, Tyler Cantrell, and Jesse Smith.

The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m.

College Street Bridge Open Again

October 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
College Street Bridge Reopens

After 16 months being closed the Veterans Memorial Bridge on South College Street is back open again.

Bridge repairs were completed this week by Mid-State Construction Company, Inc. of Livingston, the contractor for the project.

The bridge had been closed since Monday, June 27, 2016 when a county landfill truck hit it causing major damage. After it was closed, the bridge was hit twice more this year, once by a freightliner car hauler in July and in August by a truck pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with a large asphalt roller.

The project was initially delayed through the bidding process. In the February 10 letting, Mid-State bid $238,600.58 but there were no other bids and TDOT rejected it as too high. TDOT let bids for the project again on Friday, May 12 and Mid-State was the only bidder. In June, the Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded the contract to Mid-State for $222,894.68.

Former Store Clerk Accused of Stealing Lottery Tickets

October 26, 2017
Dwayne Page
Melody Ann Bandy
 Patty Sue Tatrow
Michael Brandon Redmon
Rhonda Joy Goff
Sonny Roman Smith
Christopher Michael Denney
Jennifer Mathis
Eva Louise Dover
Caleb Mason Gantt
Xochitl Silva Escobedo
John Wilfred Colenso

A former employee of Kwik N Ezy was arrested on Friday, October 13 for theft of property over $10,000 after allegedly stealing over $18,000 in lottery tickets from the store.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_45.pdf (2.49 MB)

Smithville Police report that 45 year old Melody Ann Bandy is under a $20,000 bond and will make a court appearance on October 26.

According to the warrant, while working as an employee at Kwik N Ezy, Bandy committed the offense of theft of property by taking without paying or without consent of the store owner lottery tickets valued at approximately $18,717.00 between July 1 and October 11, 2017.

A woman was found with methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia during a police welfare check last week.

42 year old Patty Sue Tatrow was arrested on Wednesday, October 18 for possession of methamphetamine for resale and she was cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. After observing a vehicle stopped in the road way, police stopped and conducted a welfare check. Both the driver and passenger, Tatrow said that they were on probation and consented for the officer and a county deputy to do a search. In Tatrow’s possession, the officers found 2.8 grams of a clear crystal substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine along with .112 ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Tatrow also had 19 baggies, two glass pipes, and a set of digital scales in the same container with the methamphetamine and marijuana. She was then taken into custody without incident. Her bond is $15,000 and her court date is November 9.

33 year old Michael Brandon Redmon was arrested on Thursday, October 12 for theft after he took a trash container belonging to the City of Smithville from a residence on Dry Creek Road without permission. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is October 26.

A woman accused of assaulting the family member of a state witness in a court case and then fleeing the scene of the fight to avoid being arrested has been charged with retaliation for a past action and evading arrest.

33 year old Rhonda Joy Goff was arrested on Saturday, October 14 and is under a $10,500 bond. Police were called to Wal-Mart and upon arrival found that a fight had broken out in the parking lot between several females. Upon identifying all the parties involved it was determined that Goff was the aggressor and that she had committed the offense of retaliation for a past action by assaulting and causing bodily injury to a family member of a State witness at an official proceeding. Goff was ordered to the ground but she fled the scene. Goff was later located in a wooded area near Easterly Motors on Highway 70.

25 year old Sonny Roman Smith was arrested on Wednesday, October 4 for public intoxication and cited for vandalism. Police received a call that Smith was breaking out a window at his apartment to get inside. He was later reported to be intoxicated and walking toward Jackson Street. The officer found Smith on Jackson Street and observed him to be unsteady on his feet. He also learned that Smith had used a pipe to break out the apartment window. Smith was taken into custody for his safety and that of the public. His bond is $1,000 and his court date is November 2. One week later on Wednesday, October 11, Smith was cited for criminal trespassing after he was found to be on the property of the Smithville Housing Authority. He was banned from the premises on Friday, October 6.

Three people have been charged with theft of property over $1,200 after allegedly stealing a single axle trailer.

37 year old Christopher Michael Denney, 37 year old Jennifer Mathis, and 48 year old Eva Louise Dover are each under a $5,000 bond and will make a court appearance on October 26.

According to police, the victim reported the theft on Monday, October 9 stating that the trailer had been parked beside Lack's Muscle Shack. A witness informed the victim that a man and woman in a black Chevy dually diesel with a rebel flag on the back had taken the trailer. When the witness approached the couple, they informed him that they had purchased the trailer. Video surveillance from a nearby business showed a black dully backing up to where the trailer was located and then driving off with the trailer. Upon investigation, police learned that the truck belonged to Denney, who is from Lebanon. Wilson County authorities were notified and went to Denny's home where the truck and trailer were found. Denny and his girlfriend, Mathis were confronted at the residence and told officers they had permission to borrow the trailer from Dover. Text messages between Mathis and Dover revealed that Dover told Mathis that "he (the victim) said you could use it". Dover said that she may have said that but she was only joking.

19 year old Caleb Mason Gantt was arrested on Saturday, October 14 for disorderly conduct. Police were called to Hardees Restaurant due to a large crowd assembled in the parking lot which is posted with a no loitering sign. Upon arrival, the officer observed a large crowd in the parking lot, filling most every parking space on the east and north sides with vehicles blocking passage around the building. Some people began to leave after the crowd was informed by the officer that no loitering was permitted in the parking lot but Gantt, who was sitting on a tailgate of a parked vehicle, refused. Gantt began arguing with the officer stating that he was not leaving and that the officer couldn't make him. After several unsuccessful attempts to get him to leave, the officer took Gantt into custody for disorderly conduct. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is October 26.

37 year old Xochitl Silva Escobedo was arrested on Wednesday, October 25 for driving while suspended and cited for expired license and failure to maintain lane of travel. Police observed a vehicle changing lanes multiple times without using a signal and crossing the white center line twice. An officer conducted a traffic stop and identified the driver as Escobedo. A check through Central Dispatch verified that Escobedo doesn't have a valid license as it was suspended in Mount Juliet City Court for failing to pay fines and costs. She also has a failure to appear warrant against her in Smithville City Court. She was taken into custody due to the likelihood that she would continue to drive without a valid license and possibly would not appear in court. Her bond is $3,000 and her court date is November 9.

37 year old John Wilfred Colenso was arrested on Wednesday, October 25 for domestic assault. According to police, Colenso and his victim met in McDonalds parking lot to exchange custody of their child when Colenso started a verbal altercation and threatened to stab her (victim) in the neck with a key. All the while the victim was recording the incident with her phone. When Colenso realized that he was being recorded he lunged at the victim in an attempt to get the phone from her causing an injury to her fingernail. Bond for Colenso is $3,000 and his court date is November 9.

Drive Thru Mobile Food Pantry Set for Saturday, November 11

October 26, 2017
Dwayne Page
Volunteers place food directly in vehicles in Mobile Food Pantry pickup line
Pick up line for Drive Through Mobile Food Pantry in past events has extended from the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church on College Street to Greenbrook Park

As part of its community outreach ministry, the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church is again sponsoring a drive thru mobile food pantry Saturday morning, November 11 rain or shine.

In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, the church plans to prepare enough food boxes to serve up to 300 families regardless of their income status, on a first come, first served basis. Families will receive enough food to last them for a full week. Second Harvest will bring in pallets of food on trucks. The food will then be off loaded and organized in preparation for the distribution.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the food will be delivered from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Unlike most food distributions, those being served by the mobile pantry will not have to get out of their automobiles. They will drive thru in a pickup line and volunteers will deliver the food directly to their vehicles, placing the food boxes either in the back seat or trunk. Cars will line up facing north on College Street across from the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

"It's a mobile food pantry but it's also a drive thru. The recipients will stay in their cars. They will line up starting at 8:00 a.m. on College Street and when we have everything prepared and organized we'll start the line moving, hopefully around 9:00 a.m. Recipients will drive through. As they enter in we'll have a team there to put a box of food in their cars, either in their back seat or trunk," said spokesperson Teresa Trapp Brown.

"We will line up right across from the church (Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church) on College Street. We'll start registration at 8:00 a.m. We'll need the name of the recipients and how many families are being served. We're limited to two families per vehicle to make sure we have enough food," added Isaac Gray, Minister of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Others who wish to volunteer may show up Saturday, November 11 or call for more information at 615-464-7896 or 615-597-4197.

Man with Local Ties and Extensive Military Background to Speak at Chamber Prayer Breakfast

October 26, 2017
Dwayne Page
Steven “Steve” A. Cantrell

A man with ties to DeKalb County who has spent much of his life associated with the military will be the keynote speaker for the annual Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber Prayer Breakfast next month.

Steven “Steve” A. Cantrell will deliver remarks during the event to be held Tuesday, November 21 from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. at the DeKalb County Complex Theatre, 712 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville. Doors open at 6:30 a.m.

Cantrell is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is currently serving in the Department of the Air Force as the Director of the Civil Aviation Intelligence Analysis Center, Washington D.C. Steve retired from active duty as an Air Force officer in 1999 after serving 22 years in various intelligence and politico-military assignments which include serving on General Norman Schwarzkopf’s personal staff during DESERT STORM and commanding an Air Intelligence Squadron in the Republic of Korea. Since joining the Senior Executive Service in 1999, he has held numerous Senior Executive Positions within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of the Air Force, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Steve is the son of Smithville natives, Mr. Waniford A. Cantrell and the late Kathryn Cantrell. Steve grew up as a military dependent and an “absentee resident” of Smithville as his father’s military service had the family constantly on the move until then Colonel W.A. Cantrell retired from the U.S. Army. Steve and his wife Gloria currently live in Fairfax Station, Virginia, but plan to permanently move to Smithville within the next 2 years.

The Prayer Breakfast theme is “Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed.” On the program, Suzanne Slager will be singing the National Anthem and performing special music. Local Boy Scout Troop #347 will present the flags. Leaders from our community will lead prayers for our Children and Families, Health and Healing for our Communities, and for Military and Emergency Response Personnel making this a meaningful and memorable experience. A delicious breakfast will be prepared by Jason Evans, head chef of The Inn at Evins Mill and served with the help of the 2017 Chamber Board of Directors.

Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased from the Chamber Board of Directors or emailing Suzanne Williams at: swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org or texting her at: 615-464-7760. We’ll be glad to hold your tickets at the door.

Chamber Prayer Breakfast organizers, Jen Sherwood and Josh Issac would like to invite everyone to join them at this special and inspirational event in giving thanks to God for the abundant blessings He has given us in our county and for His direction as we move forward into the future.”

The Chamber Prayer Breakfast is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season. A BIG THANK YOU to the current Chamber Prayer Breakfast Sponsors: Saint Thomas Healthcare/Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, DTC Communications, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas “Project Hometown Help,” Pates Ford Marina & Fish Lipz Grill, Sligo Marina and Restaurant, and Sunbelt Realty.

DeKalb West School Selects Students of the Month

October 26, 2017
Pictured front row left to right are Abby Crook, Brylee Key, Emeri Barrett, Makenna Lomas, and Aiden Ramirez; Back Row left to right are Principal Sabrina Farler, Ellie Vaughn, Jathan Willoughby, Tess Barton, and Lauren Fry.

DeKalb West School has selected the Students of the Month for October. Students are chosen for the honor based on their academic ability, character, and other traits that make them an outstanding student at DWS.

Students selected were Brylee Key, Kindergarten; Makenna Lomas, 1st grade, Aiden Ramirez, 2nd grade, Emeri Barrett, 3rd grade, Abby Crook, 4th grade, Lauren Fry, 5th grade, Tess Barton, 6th grade, Ellie Vaughn, 7th grade, and Jathan Willoughby, 8th grade.

Pictured front row left to right are Abby Crook, Brylee Key, Emeri Barrett, Makenna Lomas, and Aiden Ramirez; Back Row left to right are Principal Sabrina Farler, Ellie Vaughn, Jathan Willoughby, Tess Barton, and Lauren Fry.

SES Ribbon Cutting Held for John Robert Nixon Substation (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

October 26, 2017
Dwayne Page
Hilton Conger, Mayor Jimmy Poss, John Robert Nixon, Walter Burton and Tony Hagan all Board Members of Smithville Electric (Amy Martin Photo)
John Robert Nixon pushes the breaker button firing up a portion of the new substation that bears his name. He is joined by Richie Knowles, Interim Manager of Smithville Electric System
Members of the SES staff are Jeremy Ashburn, lineman; Keith Randolph, lineman; Ed Rowland, lineman; Kevin Martin, line supervisor, and  Interim Manager Richie Knowles
Members of John Nixon Family: Harrell Tolbert, Joey and Shelby Reeder, Dr. J.C. Wall, Tara Tolbert, Sandra Wall, John Robert Nixon, Gwen Tolbert, Dare Collins, Danielle and Mark Collins, Faye Reeder, and Bobbie Young.
Displayed on the exterior wall of the John Robert Nixon Substation
SES Ribbon Cutting Held for John Robert Nixon Substation

The John Robert Nixon Substation is now officially up and running.

Directors and staff of Smithville Electric System held a ribbon cutting and dedication Thursday morning at the substation located on South College Street which is named for the longest serving member of the Smithville Electric System Board of Directors. Mr. Nixon himself cut the ribbon joined by his fellow board members Hilton Conger, Mayor Jimmy Poss, Tony Hagan, and Chairman Walter Burton and then pushed an energizer breaker button to mark the official start of the substation, owned and operated by SES.

Nixon said he has enjoyed his service on the SES board of directors. “I’ve had some good board members to work with. Its been good to have been on this board. We have got the best employees I have ever seen. They are people who know what they are doing and they are not afraid to work,” said Nixon. As evidence of his dedication to SES, Nixon said he has only missed maybe three board meetings in his 48 years as a member.

Nixon’s daughters, sons-in-law, and granddaughter joined Mr. Nixon at the ceremony, Dr. J.C. and Sandra Wall, Harrell and Gwen Tolbert, and Tara Tolbert.

With the new substation, the City of Smithville now has two electrical power sources. The second substation located on West Main Street will continue to be shared by SES, TVA, and Caney Fork Electric Cooperative.

“Today we celebrate a first for the City of Smithville. The City of Smithville now has two sources of electricity. What this means for the city and our industrial customers is no more outages,” said Chairman Burton, who presided over the dedication program.

“In just a few days the West Main Street Substation will go off line with needed updates and improvements and the city will be served entirely by the John Robert Nixon Substation. As soon as the work on West Main Street is completed both stations will be on line to provide power to the city,” he said.

“In 1969 the City of Smithville purchased what became SES from the McMinnville Electric System. The original board members were John Robert Nixon, Clarence Braswell, John Bill Evins, Dr. W.E. Vanatta, and Bill Maffett. The original board started with a bond issue of $450,000 to begin operation. They retired these bonds and today the system is debt free. This capital project, the John Robert Nixon Substation was built without any debt to the City of Smithville ratepayers. Much of the work was done by our manager, Richie Knowles along with an outside staff and inside staff of Smithville Electric. As far as we know this is the first in the TVA region of a utility our size building their own substation,” he said

Burton gave credit to Mr. Nixon for his leadership and conservative business practices in the success of SES over the years. “He was the first chairman and he was re-elected chairman for 48 continuous years until he stepped down as chairman this year at his request. The board would only accept his request to step down as chairman if he agreed to stay on the board”.

Burton also recognized the service of two other original SES board members the late John Bill Evins and the late Dr. W.E. Vanatta, who served until they passed away in 2008 and 2010 respectively.

Members of the SES staff are Interim Manager Richie Knowles; Kevin Martin, line supervisor; Ed Rowland, lineman; Jeremy Ashburn, lineman; and Keith Randolph, lineman. Office staff are Vickie Snow, Office Manager; Amy Martin, payroll clerk and Human Resources; Beth Vandergriff, customer service specialist; and Megan Nixon, accountant.

Local minister and Chamber leader Isaac Gray opened the ribbon cutting and dedication program with a prayer. Burton then recognized Mayor Poss, Alderman Danny Washer, Police Chief Mark Collins, and City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson who were in attendance. He also called for a moment of silence due to the passing of Karen Jacobs, wife of Alderman Shawn Jacobs.

The idea of building a second substation had been in the making for several years but the SES board began to put the plan in motion two years ago when it purchased the property on College Street after receiving approval from TVA to proceed.

According to Interim Manager Knowles, the new substation will provide the City of Smithville an alternate power source. “We will be able to supply power to the entire city from either substation. We can do maintenance work on the West Main Street substation without shutting off the power to the entire city,” he said.

The new substation will also be a plus for industrial recruitment to the city and lessen power outage concerns of industries already here. "Taking a city wide outage is very expensive for everyone involved. A planned outage cost to our industries alone is approximately $200,000 an hour. The new substation will help keep that from happening. It will also provide us a secondary feed for industries that might be looking at possibly coming to Smithville. That is usually their first question "do you have a dual feed"? Now we'll be able to say "yes we do". Hopefully that will help attract new industry and help us keep the industry we have,” said Knowles.

In a recent interview with WJLE, Nixon reflected on the history of Smithville Electric System. “We started in May 1969. The City of Smithville issued utility service bonds to purchase the electric system for $450,000 from McMinnville Electric, which had been operating the system for 25 years. McMinnville Electric had bought it from Tennessee Electric in 1944. After Smithville Electric System was formed, the city appointed a board to make all the decisions for the electric utility,” he said.

Today, Smithville Electric System serves more than 2,500 metered customers, more than double the number in 1969.

Nixon said Smithville is fortunate to have its own electric utility with directors who have managed it so well over the years. “When we decided to build this new substation, we didn’t have to borrow the money or raise rates to do it. We already had the $3 million dollars needed to complete the project,” he said.

Born in the Cove Hollow area, Nixon grew up and was educated in DeKalb County. He started college in 1948 at MTSU in Murfreesboro. He married June Judkins in 1951 and was drafted later that year. After serving in the U.S. Army including a tour of duty in Korea, he returned home to his wife and a job offer.

“Jim Amonett approached me about going to work at the Chevrolet garage”, he said.

Nixon later joined Amonett as partner owners of the business which became known as Amonett-Nixon Chevrolet. Nixon sold his interest in the dealership and left in 1983 to take on a new role as Clerk and Master for the DeKalb County Chancery Court, after having been appointed by Chancellor Vernon Neal. He served in that position for sixteen years.

His wife June passed away in 2009.

54 Cast Ballots During First Week of Early Voting for Senate Primary

October 26, 2017
Dwayne Page

After 7 days of early voting, only 54 votes have been recorded in the 17th Senatorial District Special Primary election.

A total of 45 of those votes were in person and 9 were absentee votes. A further breakdown shows 30 votes have been cast in the Republican Priimary and 24 in the Democratic primary.
Early voting continues through November 2.

Early voting hours today (Thursday) are 2-5 p.m.

Two candidates are seeking to fill the remaining months of the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers, who is now running for Governor.

Mark Pody is unopposed for the Republican nomination. Mary Alice Carfi is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The primaries will be Tuesday, November 7.

The general election will be December 19

All early voting is on the first floor (basement) courtroom of the courthouse.

DeKalb Health Department to Administer Flu Shots at Two Upcoming Events

October 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Health Department to Administer Flu Shots at Two Upcoming Events

The DeKalb County Health Department will be giving flu shots during the LBJ & C Smithville Head Start Open House on Friday, October 27 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and during the Prescription Drug Take Back Day at Smithville City Hall on Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

If you have insurance, please bring your insurance card.

Fees are based on a sliding scale of income in your household.

DCHS Tiger Boutique to be held Thursday

October 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tiger Boutique to be held Thursday
Clothing to be given away to needy DCHS Students Thursday during Tiger Boutique

Students in need of clothing at DCHS will be treated Thursday, October 26 during the third “Tiger Boutique” organized by the Climate Crew.

Members of the Climate Crew have been collecting donations of name brand clothes and will be setting up shop for one day only in the DCHS library for other students to take advantage of for free.

Hundreds of clothing items were given away at the second Tiger Boutique held in the spring.

The DCHS Climate Crew is made up of students who have a desire to change the school culture at DCHS.


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