Local News Articles

Habitat for Humanity to Raffle 11 Foot Jackson Riviera Kayak

May 19, 2017
Dwayne Page
Habitat for Humanity to Raffle 11 Foot Jackson Riviera Kayak

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County will raffle an 11 foot Jackson Riviera Kayak on Saturday, May 27. The drawing will be held on WJLE Radio at 10:00 a.m.

All proceeds will go toward construction of the next partner family home by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Purchase tickets at Kilgore's Restaurant, DeKalb Ace Hardware, DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, DeKalb Farmers Coop, or at Wilson Bank & Trust. The ticket prices are one for $5.00 or 5 for $20.00.

Habitat Board Members Pictured: Michael Martin, Gary Johnson, Dick Kinsey, Jordan Atnip, Alex Woodward, Marie Blair, Diane Lynch, and James L. (Jimmy) Poss. Not Pictured: Chad Driver, Gina Denman, John Carpenter, Glenda Davis, and Rhonda Harpole

Autumn Crook of DeKalb West Named "Classroom Champion"

May 18, 2017
Dwayne Page & Bill Conger
DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler, Jana Crook, Autumn Crook, and Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins (Bill Conger Photo)

This week’s “Classroom Champion” award goes to Autumn Crook, a first grader at DeKalb West School.

The award was presented Thursday by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins.

Autumn is the daughter of Patrick and Jana Crook.

A student in Ashlee Thomason’s homeroom, Autumn says she likes to “learn more stuff” but math is her favorite subject. She enjoys drawing, riding bikes, and helping people. Autumn has two dogs, Liz and Bella along with several cats. When she grows up, Autumn wants to be a Nurse Practitioner.

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE has partnered with attorney Judkins in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection is based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, and citizenship and character,” said Judkins.

Region Champs DCHS Tigerettes to Host Sweetwater in Class AA Sectional game

May 18, 2017
Dwayne Page

For the fifth time this season, the DCHS Tigerettes have beaten Macon County. This time it was for the championship of the region softball tournament.

The Tigerettes won 15 to 2 Wednesday evening in the finals of the tournament played at the DCHS Danny Bond Field .

DeKalb County will now host the Sweetwater Lady Wildcats in the Class AA sectional or sub-state Friday evening in Smithville at 6:00 p.m.. WJLE will have LIVE coverage. The Tigerettes are 29-5 overall. Sweetwater is 19-10.

Already leading 11 to 2, Myranda Bailiff delivered with a grand slam homerun in the 5th inning to end the game on the 10 run rule at 15-2.

The Tigerettes scored 4 runs in the 1st inning, 1 run in the 2nd and 3rd innings, 3 runs in the 4th, and 6 runs in the 5th inning. Macon County scored 2 runs in the 1st inning.

DeKalb County scored 15 runs on 16 hits and made 3 errors. Macon County scored 2 runs on 5 hits and made 3 errors.

Kayley Caplinger was the winning pitcher.

In addition to Myranda Bailiff’s gramd slam homerun, Kenzie France, Joni Robinson, and Hanah Panter doubled. Allison Maynard had two doubles. Hanah Panter, Lexie Bates, Allison Maynard, and Joni Robinson each had two singles. Kayley Caplinger and Hanah Panter also singled.

In the previous meetings this season, the Tigerettes had beaten Macon County 9-3, 9-0, 10-6, and 7-0 in the District Tournament Championship game.

Principal Announces Changes for 2017 DCHS Graduation

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
 DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant

Commencement for the DCHS Class of 2017 will be Friday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. on the football field.

DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant has announced a few reminders and changes this year.

“All graduates must sign-in and be present in the cafeteria by 6:00 pm on May 26th. Line-up will begin at 6:30 pm. Each graduate will be issued 4 tickets for families to sit in the white chairs provided on the field. No lawn chairs or camp chairs will be permitted this year. You must have a ticket to sit on the football field. All additional seating will be permitted in the stadium and bleacher area. More tickets will be available for the graduates after graduation practice,” said DCHS Principal Bryant.

“Graduation practice will be at 10:00 am on May 26th. Graduates must be present and on-time to walk the line. Any senior who needs credit recovery, must complete those credits by Friday to be permitted to walk the graduation line. Additionally, if your child has not taken the citizenship assessment, he or she will not be permitted to walk the line. Please have your child see Mrs. Debi DePriest immediately,” Principal Bryant continued.

“Life Touch will be providing photography for each graduate as they receive diplomas crossing the stage. Families will have a designated area away from the stage to take pictures of their graduates. Life Touch is contracted with us to be the sole provider of close-up graduate/receiving diploma photographs,” added Principal Bryant

“The Senior Walk will be this Friday, May 19th. Seniors must be in good-standing, have a signed permission slip, and have their caps and gowns in order to attend the field trip,” she said.

“Please call 615-597-4094 if you have any questions. Thank you and congratulations to all DeKalb County High School graduates and their families,” Principal Bryant concluded.

The commencement will feature a performance by the DCHS Chorus; an address to the Class by the President Madison Butler and Valedictorian Rachel Fuson; recognition of honor students; presentation of the White Rose and Citizenship Awards, and the awarding of diplomas.

Tommy Webb to Speak at Memorial Day Program

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tommy Webb

The community is encouraged to rally in a show of support for fallen heroes during a Memorial Day program Monday morning, May 29 at the DeKalb County Complex.

The guest speaker will be DeKalb County Historian Tommy Webb.

Sponsored by the American Legion #122, the entertainment program will begin at 9:30 a.m. with special music by Susan Hinton followed by the main program at 10:00 a.m. featuring the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and prayers. Commander William Edmonds will make welcome remarks and Judy Redmon of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary will remember the fallen and introduce the guest speaker. Ronnie Redmon, Post Adjutant of the American Legion Post #122 will adjourn the program at the complex after which attendees will be asked to gather at the veteran’s memorial monument at the courthouse for the laying of a wreath and taps by DCHS band student Josh Moon.

School Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague, from the School Bus Garage, will have a bus to transport anyone who wants to ride to the courthouse from the county complex.

Murphy Awarded for Best Essay During D.A.R.E. Graduation at Northside Elementary School

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Chief Deputy Don Adamson, General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II, DAREN THE LION (D.A.R.E. mascot), Best Essay winner Briahna Murphy, and Sheriff Patrick Ray.
Northside Elementary School D.A.R.E. Essay winners: Micah Gandy, Maleah Ruch, Caroline Tobitt, Jazmine Wagner, Lilly Waggoner, Briahna Murphy, Melanie Bogle, and Ella Pack

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received certificates during the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held today (Wednesday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by D.A.R.E. Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:

Briahna Murphy from Kristy Lasser’s class
Lilly Waggoner from Travis Little’s class
Melanie Bogle from Carrie Gottlied's class
Maleah Ruch from Kristen Rowland’s class
Ella Pack from Alisha Day's class
Jazmine Wagner from Josh Odom's class
Caroline Tobitt from Melissa Odom's class
Micah Gandy from Cheryl Vandagriff’s class

Briahna Murphy was the over-all essay winner. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Murphy gets to keep a plush "Daren the Lion" the D.A.R.E. Mascot. General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II presented Murphy a check for $50.

D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community.

Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Karen Knowles, Assistant Principal Beth Pafford, Guidance Counselor Dr. Linda Bush, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, Road Supervisor Butch Agee. Other members of the Sheriff's department were also in attendance along with Sheriff Patrick Ray, Chief Deputy Adamson, and a real life Daren the Lion

Tigerettes Play Tonight (Wednesday) for Region Tournament Title

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigerettes will meet Macon County tonight (Wednesday) for the Region Tournament Championship.

The game starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Danny Bond Field at DCHS.

This will be the fifth meeting between these teams this season. The Tigerettes are 4-0 against Macon County with scores of 9-3, 9-0, 10-6, and 7-0 in the District Tournament Championship game.

The Tigerettes are 28-5 on the season.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game

SES Cautions Customers to Beware of Electric Bill Scam

May 17, 2017
Dwayne Page

Some business customers of Smithville Electric System have been targeted in a scam in which callers demand payment of overdue bills under threat of having their power turned off.

“We have had 6 businesses this morning (Tuesday) receive a call from a 1-866 number saying if they don’t pay their electric bill within the hour their power will be disconnected,” said Vicky Snow, Office Manager of Smithville Electric System.

Smithville Electric System urges customers who receive suspicious billing calls to avoid giving out any information, hang up and call the SES office if you have questions.

Woman used drugs, passed out in hot car with two year old child

May 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Stacey Lee Woods
Brian Christopher Wigley

A 30 year old Smithville woman who admitted to taking drugs was found passed out with a two year old child in the car with her on a hot spring day last Thursday.

Stacey Lee Woods of Jerry Walker Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and child abuse or neglect. Her bond is $7,500 and her court date is set for June 8.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, May 11 a deputy was called to Short Mountain Highway due to a woman passed out in a vehicle with a child in the back seat. Upon arrival the officer found that all the windows on the vehicle were closed except for the driver side window which was open about an inch. The vehicle was not running and the temperature outside was 81 degrees. After about one minute of beating on the door and the window, the officer got Woods awake and out of the vehicle. Woods showed signs of intoxication which included slurred speech and she was unsteady on her feet. Woods also performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She admitted to having taking xanax and Zoloft before she began driving.

According to Sheriff Ray, Woods’ actions placed the life of the child in imminent danger.

Meanwhile, 34 year old Brian Christopher Wigley of Upper Helton Road, Alexandria is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is May 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, May 10 a detective was sent to a residence on a domestic call. He spoke with a woman there who said that when she returned from taking another person to a doctor’s appointment, she noticed the door open to the residence. As she walked up to the door, the woman called out Wigley’s name. He came to the door screaming and cussing at her. Wigley told the woman that he would rather knock her teeth down her throat than to look at her. She then left to call 911. Wigley was placed under arrest.

DeKalb Adult High School Served 16 Students This Year

May 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Susan Hinton

Susan Hinton, Adult High School Leader and Program Supervisor, gave her annual report to the Board of Education and the Director of Schools Thursday night.

Hinton said a total of sixteen students were served during the 2016-17 school year and three graduated. Several more students should be able to complete courses to graduate this summer or early fall.

“This year we served sixteen students. We had credits earned by those students, 37 classes which is a lot. We have had three graduate to date and we have two or three more that are very close. One young man plans to graduate this summer,” she said.

Hinton then read a portion of “Why is Adult Education Important to me?” from a student’s point of view.

“Adult education has helped me so much in my life. It is giving me the chance to actually do well and do something for myself. You get a lot of one on one attention and that is what some people need. I know that if I stayed in high school I would not have had the chance to graduate when I was supposed to, but now I have that chance. Mrs. Susan has helped my life tremendously and gives me encouragement to do better. Adult education is important to people, especially to people with children and students who are currently in school and dropped out with just a few courses to complete. Some people do not have the time to come to school full time so letting students do it at their own pace or time or even on computers at home while maintaining a full time job or other commitments is still an efficient way to get an education. People need to know someone cares and that is what Adult Education does for us. It gives us encouragement to strive to do better. I believe in adult education for all these reasons. It helps us a lot to know that we can still get an education. Thanks for your support for adult education. We need it."

Hinton then read part of another student’s viewpoint called “How can you make your life better?

“Finally, in your life your only struggle may be getting out of your pajamas or it could be stress because you want a higher position at your job. Whatever it is never feel like you’re alone or you can’t accomplish something because we all feel like that at some point even if deep down we know we can. Never give up on getting your diploma."

In writing to the students, Hinton said in part, “I know that my parents told me as a young girl, “Get your education!. No one can take that away from you.” It has been a source of income for me for well over forty five years now, but it is more than a source of income. My education career is a gift from God and a mission as well. I have to do the best I can for each and every one of these students. It is not only the least I can do but it is my calling and destiny. We were reminded in in-service one year by a visiting minister who said he believed a teacher should not teach one day if he didn’t feel called by God. I discovered that is not only a calling, but a work that has to be weeded, hoed, and planted. It is a new beginning for me each and every school year. These adult high school students are the seeds of our future in our town. They deserve the best I have to offer and my encouragement and support. One student is worth saving, and so I begin my 46th year of teaching. I think it is a pretty remarkable thing considering the fact that I hated attending school when I was growing up and couldn’t wait to be through. Thanks to teachers who invested time in me and kept reminding me, “You would be a great teacher. I think this is a career you should consider.”

Hinton concluded her remarks by reading a portion of a poem called “Don’t Quit”.

“Success is a failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst
That you must not quit”

“I want to say thank you for your support and for the wonderful principals at DCHS as well as the Counselors at the high school, the DeKalb County Board of Education members, parents/families of our students, many of whom work full-time or have part-time employment or other responsibilities, and our Director of Schools, Mr. Patrick Cripps,” said Hinton.


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