Local News Articles

40th Anniversary Celebration Set for DeKalb Community Hospital

August 31, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb Community Hospital's 40th Anniversary Celebration is set for Thursday, September 10th at 5 p.m. and you are invited to attend.

Members of the hospital administration, physicians, and staff urge you to help celebrate the hospital's long history of serving the community. The hospital opened its doors to patients in August of 1969.

There will be pictures on display and stories shared. Bring any pictures or stories you may have of the hospital or its doctors from over the past 40 years.

The Boy Scouts will be performing a very special flag ceremony.

A special invitation is extended to anyone born at DeKalb Community Hospital to come to this event. The babies of DeKalb Community Hospital will be recognized by being given a special ribbon to wear.

There will be tons of family fun- including but not limited to tattoos for the kids (temporary of course!), music and entertainment, and a bunch of balloons.

You may visit with many of the hospital's current employees and doctors. If you are a former employee of DeKalb Community Hospital you are requested to attend . You will be recognized for your contribution to the hospital and to the members of our community.

You will have the opportunity to meet the hospital's new CEO, Bill Little (a Smithville native). Little has big plans for DeKalb Community Hospital. At the event he will share his vision of what the future holds for the hospital and for your healthcare.

There will be a butterfly release. The butterfly has long been a symbol of hope. You are encouraged to come and bring your children to enjoy this unique experience and to support local Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts will play an intricate role in the butterfly release by pairing up with the children in the crowd. They will help them whisper their hopes and dreams onto the wings of the butterflies. At just the right moment all 125 butterflies will be released from their individual envelopes. You will be captivated by their delicate beauty as they flutter about and then finally carry the hopes and dreams of our children up to the heavens.

And last but not least, there will be plenty of cake and ice cream for everyone.

Elderly Dowelltown Man Charged with Assault and Sexual Battery of Home Health Nurse

August 31, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

An elderly Dowelltown man is charged with assault and sexual battery of a home health nurse last week.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 83 year old Lloyd Howard Tisdale of Manhill Road Dowelltown was charged with one count of assault and one count of sexual battery on Monday, August 24th. Detectives received the complaint from a home health nurse who was at Tisdale's residence treating his girlfriend for a medical problem. Tisdale's girlfriend also lives in the residence. The nurse reported that Tisdale grabbed her bottom and pushed her against the wall and that when she tried to make a phone call from her cell phone to advise her employer of what happened, Tisdale grabbed her arm and slammed her wrist against a counter. The nurse was able to leave the home. She went to the emergency room to seek medical attention on her wrist. Detectives charged Tisdale with the crime. His bond was set at $6,000 and he will appear in court on September 17th.

37 year old Timothy Roy Hale of East Main Street, Liberty was charged Monday, August 24th with being a fugitive from justice. He is wanted in Fulton County Kentucky for failure to pay child support. Bond for Hale was set at $50,000 and he will appear in court on October 1st.

21 year old Gerardo Mares Delgado of Red Road McMinnville was stopped for a traffic violation on Highway 70 on Tuesday, August 25th. When the officer asked for Delgado's driver's license, he could not produce one but told the deputy that his name was Fernando Toomes. He also said his name was Fernando Torres. The officer checked and found his real name to be Gerardo Mares Delgado. He was charged with criminal impersonation and driving without a license,
Patrick and his bond was set at $3,000.

On Tuesday, August 25th, a county deputy spotted a vehicle on Old Blue Springs Road going into the ditch, crossing the centerline, and at one point almost running another oncoming vehicle into the ditch. After the officer stopped the vehicle, he found 32 year old Dorothy Marie Herman to be the driver. He noticed Herman to be confused, sweaty, and to have slurred speech. Herman also had a white residue on her lips. Herman submitted to field sobriety tasks which she failed. Found in the car was a bottle with 1-½ pills believed to be xanax. Herman admitting to taking hydrocodone and xanax earlier in the day. Herman was charged with driving under the influence and simple possession of a schedule IV drug (xanax). Her bond was set at $3,500 and she will appear in court on September 17th

On Thursday, an inmate at the DeKalb County Jail, 20 year old Thomas Austin Bagnall of Land O Lakes Blvd. Tampa Florida was charged with vandalism after he set off the fire alarm in the DeKalb County Jail Annex. Bagnall tampered with the sprinkler system in a holding cell causing the sprinkler to activate and spray water into the Annex portion of the jail. Bond was set at $5,000 and he will appear in court on September 17th.

Smithville Home Extensively Damaged in Suspicious Fire

August 29, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Fire Late Friday Night at the Home of Lori Page (Photo by Greg Bess)

A suspicious fire caused extensive damage to the residence of Lori Page at 730 Dry Creek Road in Smithville Friday night.

On scene commander Lieutenant Kevin Adcock of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department says a neighbor across the road saw the flames when she went to feed her dog and called 911. Firefighters were notified at 11:24 p.m. and remained on the scene until 3:18 a.m. Saturday.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

Lieutenant Adcock says the fire appeared to have started near the back porch. The State Fire Marshal's Office has been contacted and will conduct an investigation into the cause of the blaze in cooperation with the Smithville Police Department.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department were called to help support city firefighters with extra manpower and Lieutenant Adcock says he and the Smithville Fire Department wish to thank them for their help.

One of the city firefighters, who was injured in a fall at the scene, and a city police officer, who suffered from heat exhaustion while helping firefighters, were taken to the hospital where they were treated and released.

Citizen Holds Burglary Suspect until Police Arrive

August 29, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings says a resident of Dry Creek Road caught a man inside his automobile on Sunday, August 23rd and held him until officers arrived.

The suspect, 20 year old Christopher Allen Summers of 774 Dale Ridge Road, Dowelltown is charged with theft under $500 and burglary of an automobile. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court September 17th.

Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis was dispatched to 708 Dry Creek Road, Smithville on a burglary in progress call on August 23rd. When he arrived, Officer Davis found the home owner, Robert Brown, behind his garage with the burglary suspect pinned to the ground. Brown told Officer Davis he heard his dogs barking earlier and when he went outside to investigate, he saw the suspect inside his (Brown's) vehicle going through the contents of the automobile. The suspect then took off running. Brown caught up with the suspect on foot and held him down until Officer Davis arrived. The suspect was identified as Summers. He allegedly took a black change purse from Mr. Brown's vehicle. Officer Davis found the purse on the ground near Summers.

20 year old Thomas Austin Bagnall of 1455 Landolakes Boulevard, Tampa Florida is charged with public intoxication, burglary of an auto, and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is September 17th.

Smithville K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow was dispatched to 715 West Main Street, Smithville on August 25th on an intoxicated person call. While on his way to the residence, Officer Tatrow was given a description of the male subject and was told that the suspect was possibly on the Ford dealership property on Broad Street. Officer Tatrow did not see the suspect on his first pass through the property, but on the next pass, he saw a door open on a pickup truck in the parking lot. Inside the truck, Officer Tatrow found the suspect, Bagnall.

19 year old Misty Nicole Gilles of 302 North Mountain Street, Smithville is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court on September 10th. Officer Matt Farmer obtained a warrant on August 22nd for disorderly conduct for Gilles at Evins Manor Apartments. Officer Randy King served the warrant on her.

26 year old Shelly Nichole Brown of 1523 Jefferson Road, Smithville was issued a citation for failing to stop for a red light and she was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $1,000 and her court date is September 16th.

Officer Travis Bryant observed a van failing to stop for a red light at the intersection of Highway 56 and 70 on August 26th. Officer Bryant initiated a traffic stop of the van, which was driven by Brown.

Meanwhile, Chief Jennings says on August 12th, someone entered the vehicle of Ellissa Howard at her residence at 630 Highland Street, Smithville and took her CD player valued at $200.

On the same day, someone entered the vehicle of Helen Lowry at her residence at 637 Restview Avenue and took her CD player valued at $250.

Someone went to the residence of Crystal Bates at 311 Wade Street on August 21st and took her chocolate colored Chihuahua that was on a leash in her yard. The dog is seven to eight years old and answers to the name "Buster".

On August 22nd, someone entered the vehicle of Erica Davidson at 848 Foster Road, Evins Manor Apartments and took approximately 30 CD's. A 20 inch Mongoose brand boy's bike was also stolen.

Someone went to the residence of Miguel Marinez of 302 White Street on August 25th and took a white Chihuahua puppy that was approximately 51 days old.

Chief Jennings says if anyone has information that will help solve any of these or other crimes, please contact the Smithville Police Department. Any information will be kept confidential.

Tigers Beat Oneida 35-28

August 29, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers won their first game of the season Friday night at home beating the Oneida Indians 35 to 28.

The Tigers got on the scoreboard first with 3:30 to go in the first quarter on a three yard touchdown run by quarterback Hunter Poteete. The P.A.T. by Zack Taylor was good and the score was 7-0

Oneida answered with 1:23 left in the first period on a 16 yard touchdown run by Sam Woodard. The P.A.T. by Caleb King was good and the score was tied 7-7.

Tyler Weatherby gave the Tigers the lead with 11:00 to go in the second period on an eight yard touchdown run. The P.A.T. by Zack Taylor was good and the Tigers were on top 14-7.

The Indians tied the game again, this time on a two yard touchdown run by Holden Sexton. The P.A.T. by Caleb King was good and the score was 14-14 with 9:28 left in the second period.

Just before halftime, the Tigers were threatening to score the go ahead touchdown deep in Indian territory, but Sam Woodard picked off a Hunter Poteete pass near the goaline and raced 100 yards for an Oneida touchdown. The P.A.T. by King was good and the Indians led 21-14 with 9.8 seconds left in the second quarter.

Tyler Weatherby scored his second touchdown of the night for the Tigers with 7:05 left in the third quarter on a one yard touchdown run. The P.A.T. by Zack Taylor was good and the game was tied at 21-21.

The Tigers recovered an Oneida fumble at the Indian 40 yard line and moved down field to score. Quarterback Hunter Poteete capped the drive on a three yard touchdown run with 4:48 left in the third period and with the P.A.T. by Zack Taylor, the Tigers led 28-21.
Click here to see all videos at http://www.wjle.com/football-videos

Sam Woodard put the Indians on the scoreboard again with 2:18 left in the third period on a 45 yard touchdown run. The P.A.T. by Caleb King was good and the score was tied at 28-28.

DeKalb County scored the game winning touchdown with 10:28 left in the fourth period as quarterback Hunter Poteete hooked up with Abram Edwards on a pass play that covered 28 yards for the score. The P.A.T by Zack Taylor was good and the Tigers went on to win 35-28.

Stats:
Passing- Hunter Poteete was 10 of 18 for 170 yards and 1 touchdown
Rushing- Hunter Poteete 27 carries for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns
Tyler Weatherby- 10 carries for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns
Matt Collier- 3 carries for 6 yards
Total 40 carries for 313 yards and 4 touchdowns

Receiving:
Abram Edwards- 6 catches for 106 yards and 1 touchdown
Frank Morris- 1 catch for 7 yards
Travon Johnson- 2 catches for 54 yards
Sonni Young- 1 catch for 3 yards

Zack Taylor- 5 of 5 in extra points
Shane Sallie 2 punts for 81 yards

Kick Returns:
Schuyler Allen- 2 returns for 8 yards
Abram Edwards- 2 returns for 42 yards

The Tigers improve to 1-1 on the season and will host the Cannon County Lions next Friday night in Smithville at 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Stanley Passes Certification Exam for Administrators of Elections

August 28, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dennis Stanley Passes Certification Exam

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and State Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins have announced that Dennis Stanley, Dekalb County Administrator of Elections, passed the Certification Exam for Administrators of Elections this week in Nashville.

"This certification demonstrates Dennis Stanley's dedication to meeting the highest of standards in his efforts to serve Dekalb County," Hargett said. "Dekalb Countians can be proud to have a public servant of this caliber."

The exam is a rigorous, one-day exam held at least once a year in Nashville. By passing the exam, participants demonstrate they have the level of knowledge and understanding required to be successful county administrators of elections in Tennessee.

"I applaud Dennis for his hard work, commitment and focus in studying for the exam," Goins said. "I am proud of his great accomplishment."

"I also applaud Dennis for this great accomplishment," added Walteen Parker, DeKalb County Election Commission Chairman. "In addition to studying for the exam, Dennis has worked hard to save taxpayers' money during his short time as AOE by cutting the Election Commission budget and controlling expenses for the Liberty and Alexandria elections. He and Deputy Clerk Muriel Wallace also have a great attitude toward helping the public. This office truly is 'voter friendly' and 'taxpayer friendly.'"

Stanley's certification also insures the county government will continue to receive $18,000 annually in state funds to help with the operation of the election office.

(Pictured from left: Mark Goins, State Coordinator of Elections, Dennis Stanley,
DeKalb County Administrator of Elections, Tre Hargett, Secretary of State,
Wayne Pruett, Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Tennessee Cordinator.)

DeKalb Jobless Rate for July Drops to 10.7%

August 27, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County unemployment rate for the month of July was still in double digits at 10.7%, but down from 11.3% in June. The rate for July 2008 was 6.1%

The DeKalb County Labor Force for July was 10,100. A total of 9,020 were employed and 1,080 were unemployed.

Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2009 was at 10.7 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the June rate of 10.8 percent. The United States' unemployment rate for the month of July was 9.4 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for July 2009, show that the rate increased in 14 counties, decreased in 78 counties and remained the same in three counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.9 percent, down from 7.0 percent in June. Scott County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 19.6 percent, up from 19.5 in June, followed by Lauderdale County at 19.5 percent, down from 19.7 percent in June.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 8.3 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the June rate. Hamilton County was at 9.1 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the June rate. Davidson County was 9.2 percent, down 0.1 from the previous month, and Shelby County was 10.4 percent, unchanged from the June rate.

County Road Department Employee Dies in Accident

August 26, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Pavement Roller after it was pulled back up to the road at lakeside Drive
Alfred Young

An employee of the DeKalb County Road Department died Wednesday after the pavement roller he was operating went off the road and plunged down a steep embankment in Lakeview Mountain Estates

Dead is 61 year old Alfred E. Young of Smithville.

Sergeant Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Young was trying to make a left turn from Mullican Drive to Lakeside Drive when the pavement roller went off the embankment. Young was thrown from the roller and died at the scene.

The accident was reported to 911 at 12:55 p.m.

County Road Supervisor Kenny Edge told WJLE that about ten men from his department were in the area making road repairs and maintenance on Mullican Drive, Lakeview Circle, and Floyd Drive. According to Edge, two men were chipping, four men were driving gravel trucks, one man was operating a grader, two were putting down oil, and Mr. Young was operating the roller. The other men were apparently working on the road ahead of Mr. Young at the time of the accident, and none of them saw what happened.

According to Sergeant Dial there were no witnesses to the accident but a resident in the area apparently heard a noise and went to investigate. The witness reportedly looked over the embankment, saw the roller and then called 911.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department's Cookeville Highway Station and Extrication and Rescue Team responded along with the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, EMS, and Sheriff's Department.

Sources say the roller was found approximately 50 to 75 feet down the embankment off Lakeside Drive and the body was discovered about 20 feet from the equipment.

The fire department's rescue team and the DeKalb County Rescue Squad assisted EMS using ropes and a rescue basket to remove Young's body from the scene. An ambulance then transported it to the hospital.

The accident was investigated by Sergeant Dial, assisted by the Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Two 25 ton tow trucks and a 45 ton wrecker were needed to pull the pavement roller up the hill to the side of the road at Lakeside Drive Wednesday night.

Edge says Mr. Young was a good friend and employee and his heart goes out to the Young family.

GED Classes Begin September 9th at SES

August 26, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
 Betty Hickey

Interested in obtaining a GED?

A GED program is offered free in DeKalb County to anyone age eighteen or older. The classes meet at Smithville Elementary School starting September 9th and will be taught by Betty Hickey and volunteers Tom Werling, Tina Evans and her daughter Kim.

Hickey says the GED classes meet on Monday and Wednesday at Smithville Elementary School starting at 4:00 p.m.

"We have open enrollment. That means we accept people all year long from August when we start until the end of June. We shut down during the month of July. All of our classes are free because we are considered public education but the testing center charges a fee of $55.00 and you have to go to McMinnville or Cookeville to take your test. The Smithville Rotary Club and DeKalb Community Bank helps with this fee and right now the state pays $35.00 on this fee."

"When you come, the first thing we do is give a test. That test gives us a grade level in reading, math, and English. From there, we can work with you, one on one, because our classes are usually pretty small. After we get your grade levels, then we can help you one on one with the areas you are low in until you are ready to go take your exam. The areas that you are tested in are science, social studies, reading, math, and English, which includes an essay. One good thing about the test is that you can go take your exam and you don't have to pass all subjects at once. You can pass what you can, come back to us, and we'll help you through the areas that you may be having more difficulty in."

"I love to call them (students) my second chancers because they are given a second chance. They realize their mistake and they are so thankful and appreciative for classes that give them an opportunity to start over again. We have a lot of students who come back and thank us after getting their GED. It's just a rewarding thing to teach.

Hickey says persons younger and older have taken advantage of this program. "We get a lot of people who have just turned 18. Our oldest student was 65. We have students of all ages."

"I also want to thank my three volunteers, Mr. Tom Werling, who is the 2008 Volunteer of the Year in the GED program, Mrs. Tina Evans and her daughter Kim."

For more information call 597-5404.

Plan Proposed for Dealing with Traffic Concerns at Northside School

August 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Parents Line up to Pick up their Children at Northside Elementary
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 it may be several weeks before it can be implemented.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says he met last week 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.

Concerns were raised last week during a meeting of the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen that an accident could occur in the school zone unless the problem was 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.

Willoughby says the proposal 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've looked at what we can do to address that, hopefully to alleviate some of the problem, I don't know that it will solve the problem. 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. You know, four or five buses will take up a lot of car space. Hopefully, that is going to help some. 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.

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