Local News Articles

SES Students Participate in Wildcat Fun Run

September 20, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Students from pre-K to the second grade helped raise money for their school during the 18th annual Wildcat Fun Run held Friday at Smithville Elementary School.

The event was held in the gym due to the inclement weather.

The Fun Run is a project of the PTO, held each year in an effort to raise money for the school. Students are asked to accept pledges or donations prior to the day of the run. During the Fun Run, students walk or jog around a track with each lap being recorded for each student. After the event, the students then collect money from their pledges.

Cripps Arrested in Attempted Burglary

September 19, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged a 24 year old man accused of trying to break into an apartment on Friday, September 18th

Chief Richard Jennings says Joshua Rhyan Cripps of 118 Steeple Chase Drive was arrested for simple possession, unlawful possession of a weapon and attempted aggravated burglary.

According to the police report, Officer Travis K. Bryant responded to 320 West Broad Street Apartments in regard to a burglary in progress, Upon arrival, Officer Bryant made contact with Cripps, who was walking down the sidewalk. Bryant asked Cripps what he was doing and he responded that he was looking for a friend who lives in the apartment. Officer Bryant then asked Cripps if he had any weapons and he replied that he had a knife. Officer Bryant asked fellow Officer Matt Holmes to pat down Cripps and the search turned up a large knife. A subsequent search incident to arrest also uncovered a pill bottle containing sixteen white bar shaped pills. The investigation further revealed that Cripps had attempted to break into the apartment by sliding his drivers license card between the door frame and door and he was attempting to pry open the window in an effort to gain entry. The victim told police that she feared for her life.

Meanwhile, 48 year old Danny Ray Ponder of 7851 Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow reports that on September 11th he received a call of a non personal injury traffic accident in the parking lot of City Walk Apartments. Upon arrival, Officer Tatrow made contact with the two drivers involved, one of whom was Ponder. According to Officer Tatrow, Ponder appeared to be intoxicated but was not in physical control of the vehicle. Ponder said that he is on parole for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. He gave Officer Tatrow consent to search both his person and his vehicle and a small blue container was recovered from Ponder's right pocket. There was one small yellow pill inside the container believed to be K-4 Dilaudid, which is a schedule II controlled substance. Ponder was placed under arrest.

22 year old Hunter Wayne Patterson of 728 Short Mountain Street, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence, felony evasion and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Officer Nathan Estes reports that on September 13th he observed a vehicle squeal tires causing excessive noise at the intersection of Highway 56 and 70. Upon activating emergency equipment to signal the vehicle to stop at the entrance to Mapco Express, the automobile sped up going westbound on Highway 70. It continued to evade by turning left and going southbound on South Mountain Street. Officer Estes alerted dispatch. The automobile kept going south until it stopped at the intersection of South Mountain Street and Gentry Avenue where Officer Bradley Tatrow and a county deputy were standing by to assist Officer Estes in the apprehension of the suspect. Patterson was taken into custody and charged with felony evasion. Upon further investigation, probable cause was found to charge him with contributing to the delinquency of minors because he allegedly purchased alcohol for persons under the age of 21. Patterson had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person, his speech was slurred, and he was unsteady on his feet. Patterson submitted to field sobriety tasks and performed poorly. Patterson submitted to a test to determine the alcohol and or drug content of his blood.

40 year old Thomas Lane Smith of 857 Luttrell Avenue, Smithville was arrested on September 14th for driving on a revoked license due to a second offense of driving under the influence. Officer Matt Holmes reports that he was at Regions Bank on Short Mountain Highway when he observed a vehicle traveling north and noticed that the driver, Smith, was not wearing his seatbelt. The vehicle was stopped at Pennzoil on East Broad Street. When Officer Holmes asked Smith for his drivers license, he replied that it was revoked due to a DUI. A computer check through central dispatch revealed that the license was revoked for a DUI in 1989 and that Smith had multiple offenses for driving on a revoked license since then. Smith was arrested and taken to the police department. He was also cited for not wearing a seatbelt and for not having insurance.

26 year old Randall Keith Crutcher, Jr. of 1870 Coconut Ridge, Smithville was arrested on September 14th for a first offense of driving on a suspended license. Officer Travis Bryant reports that he observed a vehicle traveling 41 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Officer Bryant stopped the automobile and made contact with the driver, identified as Crutcher. A check of his drivers license revealed that it was suspended in Smith County on June 1st for failure to satisfy a citation. He was placed under arrest and transported to the police department.

42 year old Anthony George Franklin, Jr. of 844 College Street, Jackson Tennessee was arrested on September 15th for a second offense of driving on a suspended license. According to the police report, Officer Matt Holmes responded to the scene of an accident at the intersection of West Broad Street and Short Mountain Highway. Upon investigation of the accident, Officer Holmes made contact with Franklin who was in a Chevy Blazer. A computer check of his drivers license revealed that it was suspended in Hardeman County on January 17th, 1996 and on January 28th, 2007. Franklin was arrested for driving on a suspended license and cited for traffic offenses after being involved in an accident with injuries.

21 year old Silvia Nicole Hawkins of 390 Cecil Hale Road, Smithville was arrested on September 16th for driving under the influence and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. According to the report, K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow, while running stationary radar at South Mountain Street and Miller Road, observed a small silver SUV fail to maintain the lane of travel going northbound on Mountain Street. The vehicle made a sharp erratic turn left onto Miller Road. Upon getting behind the SUV north on Anthony Avenue, Officer Tatrow observed the vehicle weaving within the lane of travel and fail to maintain the lane of travel to the right side of the roadway. He also paced the SUV at 53 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Officer Tatrow activated his emergency equipment but the vehicle continued traveling for about a quarter of a mile before coming to a stop. He asked Hawkins to exit her vehicle, and while she complied, Hawkins reacted slowly and was unsteady. After asking her if she had any weapons, narcotics, or alcohol, she produced an allergy medicine bottle containing eight green speckled pills believed to be Hydrocodone. She submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Hawkins was placed under arrest for a first offense of DUI as well as simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. She was transported to the Smithville Police Department by Officer Nathan Estes. Hawkins refused a chemical test to determine the alcohol/drug content of her blood. She was charged with violation of the implied consent law.

Shoreline Cleanup Planned at Center Hill Lake

September 19, 2009

The chance to have fun while helping to preserve the natural beauty of Center Hill Lake is coming. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is once again sponsoring the annual Fall Shoreline Cleanup at Center Hill Lake and seeking volunteers for the effort.

This year's cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. - noon, rain or shine. Sign-in and garbage pick-up sites will be located at the Floating Mill and Ragland Bottom Recreation Areas. Participants will be provided gloves and garbage bags and assigned a section of shoreline to work. A free lunch for all participants, complete with door prizes, will be provided. Volunteers should wear work clothes and sturdy footwear and, depending on the weather forecast, pack rain gear . . . just in case.

All participants should pre-register for the cleanup by calling the Center Hill Lake Resource Manager's Office at (931) 858-3125 or (615) 548-4521. Pre-registration will help planners prepare the proper number of lunches and select desired lakeshore cleanup areas. On the day of the cleanup, individuals and groups not pre-registered may still take part by signing in at Ragland Bottom or Floating Mill Recreation Area.

Organizers predict one of the best ever such events and invite all to help keep one of Tennessee's lakes one of the most beautiful in the country.

Tigers Fall to Smith County 28-21

September 19, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers fell to the Smith County Owls 28 to 21 at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville Friday night.

It was the second loss of the season for DeKalb County and their first in District 8AA.

The Owls scored first on a nine yard touchdown run by Jose Silva with 2:40 left in the first period. The P.A.T. kick by Blake Richmond was good and the score was 7-0. The scoring drive covered 65 yards in seven plays

The Tigers got on the board with 1:01 left in the second quarter as Quarterback Hunter Poteete tossed a six yard touchdown pass to Tyler Weatherby. The P.A.T. by Zach Taylor was good and the game was tied at 7-7. The drive went for 89 yards in thirteen plays.

Smith County took the lead with 8:27 left in the third period on a 13 yard touchdown run by Jose Silva. The P.A.T. by Blake Richmond was good and the score was 14-7. It was a 50 yard, four play drive.

The Owls extended their lead with 9:55 left in the fourth period on a 49 yard pass play from Quarterback Brandon Johnston to Shawn Pinson for a touchdown. The P.A.T. by Blake Richmond was good and Smith County was on top 21-7. The drive covered 80 yards in seven plays.

The Tigers struck quickly in the next drive on a 56 yard pass play from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Sonni Young for a touchdown with 8:56 left in the game. The P.A.T by Zach Taylor was good and DeKalb County cut the Smith County lead to 21 to 14. That drive went for 56 yards in just two plays.

Smith County stretched their advantage again with 3:41 to go in the fourth period on a 17 yard touchdown run by Jose Silva. Blake Richmond's kick for the P.A.T. was good and the Owls led 28 to 14. The drive covered 68 yards in nine plays.

DeKalb County's last touchdown of the night came with 3:11 left in the game on a 59 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Derick Ward. Zach Taylor's kick for the P.A.T. was good and the Tigers trailed 28 to 21. The drive went for 72 yards in two plays.

DeKalb County travels to Hixson next Friday night. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Riley Brothers Charged in Area Burglaries and Thefts

September 18, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Martin Riley
Timothy Riley

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested two men believed to be responsible for several recent burglaries and thefts in DeKalb and other counties.

43 year old Martin Riley is charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of theft of property over $1,000. His brother, 49 year old Timothy Riley is charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Both are residents of Poss Road, Smithville.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says the Riley brothers didn't just allegedly steal small things, they also allegedly took large expensive household appliances. "We've recovered all kinds of stainless steel refrigerators, stainless steel stoves, stainless steel freezers, radios, cd players, microwaves, toaster ovens, anything they could go into a house and get."

According to Sheriff Ray, the Riley's favorite targets were lake homes although they allegedly burglarized other residences as well "They would make entry into the houses, mostly lake homes, where people are not there everyday, push all these appliances up next to the door or on the front porch, and then they would go, get a vehicle, come back and load it all up, and sell it right then."

A couple of the break-ins, for which the Rileys are believed to have been responsible, were on Shady Drive and Ponder Road. "On September 9th, detectives investigated a break-in at a residence on Shady Drive where someone had stolen a lawn mower, a six foot trailer, and a generator. Another was on Ponder Road where they had broken into a cabin and stolen refrigerators and other appliances."

Sheriff Ray says the Rileys also allegedly burglarized homes in the City of Smithville. "There have also been some cases in the City of Smithville with which we were able to help the Smithville Police Department. They (Rileys) took some of the same things they were taking out in the county such as lawn mowers. In one case they took lots of health and beauty aids that an individual had bought by the boxes, things like shampoo and toothpaste, and they (Rileys) sold that to an individual."

The investigation also implicated the Rileys in a scheme to steal a bobcat. "A couple of weeks ago, there was a bobcat that was rented in Warren County. It was delivered here in the City of Smithville. These two individuals were involved with that. Martin Riley went up there (McMinnville) and gave the people at the rental center some fake information and when they brought the bobcat down here he and his brother Tim loaded the bobcat on a trailer and sold it to a man in Indiana. We've been working closely with the Warren County Sheriff's Department on that case. The detective was also able to find the guy who still had the bobcat and they're returning that to the Warren County Sheriff's Department."

After stealing the goods, Sheriff Ray says the Rileys then tried to sell them as quickly as possible. "We believe they went around the county, asking people if they wanted to buy a lawnmower or refrigerator or whatever, but the people who bought the items didn't realize they were stolen. At one of the places where they sold some of the items, the guy (buyer) had a vehicle tag that was laying over on the ground, which was still in date. They (Rileys) took the tag, stole it from him, and put it on their vehicle."

According to Sheriff Ray the Rileys didn't just peddle the stolen goods locally. " In one case, they took a lawnmower from one of the break-ins and sold it to a guy on the street in Nashville."

He says in some cases, the Riley's were so anxious to make a sale that it aroused the suspicion of the buyers. " At two places in the county where they had made a sale, the people noticed something strange about the refrigerators because they were still cold. Some of them actually had ice still in the ice box."

Sheriff Ray is asking for your help in this investigation. If you believe you may have made a purchase from the Rileys, please contact the Sheriff's Department . "We're posting their pictures at www.wjle.com. Look at them because even though you might not know who you bought it from, you might remember their faces. If you have bought any type of appliances, radios, lawn mowers, flat bed trailers or anything, contact us. We would like to look at it. We're asking the community to help us get these items back to the victims."

Sheriff Ray says you might also recognize the truck the Riley brothers were driving. "It was an early 90's model S-10 pick up truck, long wheel base. It was gray at one time but they spray painted it a little darker color. It would look like a black truck now. We were able to find the truck and retrieve the stolen license plate and give it back to the owner."

Smithville Police to begin Directing Traffic in School Zone at Northside Elementary

September 16, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Police Chief Richard Jennings

A Smithville Police Officer will again be directing traffic in the school zone at Northside Elementary beginning Thursday morning (September 17th)

Police Chief Richard Jennings phoned WJLE Wednesday afternoon to say that an on-duty road officer will be assigned to direct traffic each morning and afternoon in the Northside Elementary School zone in the interest of public safety. Jennings says he is making this decision himself, in his authority as Chief of Police.

The issue surfaced last month at a city council meeting and it was discussed again during a workshop Monday night.

A plan has been proposed between officials of the city and school system to address the problem without someone directing traffic, but Alderman Shawn Jacobs says many parents are not pleased with that.

The mayor and aldermen are expected to discuss it again Monday night during the regular city council meeting, but Chief Jennings says he will go ahead and start the service now.

Chief Jennings says that the police department will continue to have an officer at Northside directing traffic even after the proposal is implemented to extend the school zone, to prohibit parking on the shoulder of Highway 56 north, and to route buses entering and exiting the school via Smith Road.

He added that only when all available officers are tied up on other calls, would the service not be provided.

Two Arrested in Armed Robbery at Dollar General Store

September 16, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jacob Gadberry
Nina Sullivan

Smithville Police have charged a man and a woman in an armed robbery at the Dollar General Store on South Congress Boulevard Tuesday night.

28 year old Jacob Gadberry and 24 year old Nina Sullivan both of Toad Road, Dowelltown are each charged with one count of aggravated robbery.

According to Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis' report, Sullivan entered the store around 7:20 p.m. and asked to use the restroom. After she left, Gadberry came in the store, opened an office door where the manager was counting money, and ordered her at knife point to open the safe where he took more than three thousand dollars and left the store. No one was injured.

Shortly after the robbery, county deputies Chris McMillen and Steven Barrett stopped a 1991 Nissan at Walnut and North Mountain Street, where the two suspects were taken into custody.

Officer Davis' actual report states as follows:" I was dispatched to 513 South Congress (Dollar General Store) in reference to a robbery. Upon my arrival, I made contact with the witness who advised that the suspects were a white male wearing an orange Tennessee shirt, and a white female who was driving an older model red Nissan."

The defendant (Sullivan) opened the door where management was counting money and asked if she could use the bathroom. The witness, Dawn Allen, stated "yes" and the defendant (Sullivan) went to the bathroom. Ms. Allen stated that a few minutes later the male suspect (Gadberry) yanked open the door and had an open utility tool knife and stated " open the safe, don't hit the alarm or be stupid, get back into the chair". The suspect then took a blue and red money bag from the safe and fled the store."

County deputies McMillen and Barrett, who were apparently at the jail at the time, heard the radio traffic and saw a vehicle fitting the description driving around the public square the wrong way. They pulled the car over at the intersection of Walnut and North Mountain Street

Officer Davis' report states that "the suspects vehicle had money thrown inside the floor board and some of it was stuffed under the passengers seat. Once both suspects were removed from the vehicle, Sullivan was placed into Sergeant Joey Jones' patrol car where she attempted to hide money taken from the robbery. The amount of the money taken in the robbery is estimated at $3,011. The money was recovered in the suspects' vehicle and placed into the evidence room. At 11:59 p.m., I was attempting to locate the money bags that were taken during the robbery. I located the money bags at 201 South Third Street. These items were placed into evidence. "

DeKalb Health Department to offer Seasonal Flu Vaccine Friday

September 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Health Department will offer seasonal flu vaccine on Friday, September 18th at the DeKalb County Health Department from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Seaonal flu is a preventable illness that can be serious and even deadly. Each year 5 to 20% of the country's population gets seasonal flu. Nationwide, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year with complications from seasonal flu and more than 36,000 die from the illness. In Tennessee, an estimated 700 people die from seasonal flu each year.

The DeKalb County Health Department urges seasonal flu vaccinations to prevent illess. The vaccine is particularly recommended for the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease since they are at high risk for complications from seasonal flu.

The cost of the flu shot is $25.00. The Health Department will bill Medicare and other third party payors as appropriate.

The DeKalb County Health Department will also offer H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. This vaccine is now being manufactured and tested in a manner similar to that of seasonal flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine available now is not effective against the H1N1 virus, and both kinds of flu are expected to circulate this year. The health department therefore strongly encourages everyone to get both types of flu vaccine. The public will be notified immediately when the H1N1 vaccine is available

Alderman says Parents Not Pleased with Traffic Plan at Northside Elementary

September 15, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shawn Jacobs
 Parents Line up to Pick up their Children at Northside Elementary

Officials of the City of Smithville and the DeKalb County School System have come up with a plan for dealing with traffic problems in the school zone at Northside Elementary School, but Alderman Shawn Jacobs says many parents still want someone to direct traffic there.

During a workshop meeting of the mayor and aldermen Monday night, Alderman Jacobs says parents are upset and they want the city to take action. "No one is satisfied with the plan that was worked out. These mothers are mad. They're saying it's just playing politics and that it's something that should have been fixed in fifteen minutes, but it's been drawn out for a month. If nothing else, for public relations gentlemen, I think we need to put an officer directing traffic at Northside. I mean, that's public safety and that's what police departments do. I'm just speaking from the number of complaints I get and I'm just trying to be responsive to the people that call me. I hate to get into this blame game where everyone is saying that everybody is trying to blame everybody else and whose responsibility it is. I don't care whose responsibility it is, I just want to address what is being perceived, at least, as a safety concern and try to be responsive to the people, especially if we can do it without costing any money."

The aldermen are expected to discuss the issue again during the regular meeting Monday night at seven p.m. at city hall.

Concerns were raised last month during a meeting of the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen that an accident could occur in the school zone unless the problem is addressed. The issue is that parents who pick up their children in the afternoons have to line up on the shoulder of Highway 56 north which makes it difficult for motorists exiting the school parking lot from being able to see around them. And because of the heavy traffic on Highway 56 during that time, many motorists leaving the school have to wait a long time before they can get back out on the road. Some say either the city, county, or school system should have an officer or trained civilian to direct traffic there during the mornings and afternoons.

To come up with an alternative, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby met last month with Smithville Alderman and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks, Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, Northside Elementary School Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, and Transportation Supervisor Peggy Pursell.

Willoughby says the proposal they came up with is to extend the school zone at Northside Elementary to Smith Road and to have the buses enter and exit on Smith Road. Parents would no longer be permitted to park on the shoulder of the road but they would have more room to enter and exit the school from Highway 56. There are apparently no plans under this proposal to have anyone directing traffic. " We'll be re-directing our buses to enter and leave through the Smith Road area. Therefore, the buses will not be lined up with car traffic in the mornings or afternoons, which we're hoping will help some. We're not going to start this right now, we're going to wait for a few things to happen,. We're going to move the flashing lights down there at Smith Road, then we will move (extend) the school zone a little bit further down the road. By doing that, we're hoping to get those buses away from the cars. And then the cars would be snaking through the parking lot, similar to what they have in the past. But we'll be getting the buses out of the way. The cars would be entering and exiting the same place they have always have, the only difference is that the buses will not be entering or exiting in the places where they have in the past. The buses will only be entering and exiting at Smith Road.."

Again Willoughby says the plan has not yet been implemented. TDOT may have to grant permission to extend the school zone before the signs and flashing lights can be relocated and some minor work has to be done at the entrance to the school property from Smith Road in order for buses to have easier access.

Baker Charged with Aggravated Assault for Allegedly Shooting at his Mother

September 14, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Matthew Allen Baker

A 27 year old man faces an aggravated assault charge after allegedly firing a weapon at his mother last week.

Matthew Allen Baker is under a $5,000 bond and he will be in court October 1st.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies were dispatched to Pine Orchard Road Smithville on Tuesday, September 8th where a man had shot at his mother and was still armed. Upon arrival, officers found Baker at his residence and placed him into custody without incident. County detectives charged Baker with aggravated assault after they learned that Baker had a loaded shotgun and pointed it at his mother, shot twice in the ground in front her, and once over his mother's vehicle. Baker also busted out a tail light on his mother's vehicle with the butt of the gun as she was leaving. The woman was apparently not injured during the incident.

Also on Tuesday, deputies responded to an auto accident on Banks Pisgah Road Smithville and found the driver of the car 24 year old Flint Wilson Gilley II to be in an intoxicated state. Gilley had an odor of alcohol on his person. He was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech, and red watery eyes. Gilley was asked to perform field sobriety tasks which he failed. Gilley did admit to drinking a six pack of beer prior to the accident. Gilley was charged with driving under the influence and his bond was set at $1,500. He will appear in court on October 1st.

On Friday, September 11th, a deputy spotted a vehicle driven by 45 year old Charles Wayne Smithson on Highway 56 North swerving and passing two cars on a double yellow line. After the stop, officers noticed Smithson had an odor of alcohol on his person, slurred speech, and was unsteady on his feet. Smithson was asked to perform field sobriety tasks but he refused. Smithson also refused a blood test to determine how much alcohol and/or drugs were present in his system. Inside the vehicle, deputies found beer cans and a .357 pistol. Smithson did not possess a valid hand gun carrying permit for any weapons. Smithson was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a weapon, and he was issued written citations for violation of the implied consent law and for open alcohol containers. His bond was set at $4,000 and he will appear in court on October 29th.

On Sunday, deputies stopped 33 year old Jamie Lynn Cozart of Highway 96 Auburntown for a traffic offense. When the officer asked for his driver's license, Cozart said that he had left it at home. The deputy then ran a computer check which revealed that the driver's license was suspended for failure to satisfy citations in both Wilson and Rutherford Counties. Cozart was charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond was set at $1,000 and will appear in court on October 14th.

Pages

Follow Us


facebook.jpg

News Feed
feed.png

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