The following is a tribute to WJLE's Mike Cantrell, written by Dr. W.E. Vanatta, owner of WJLE.
"Mike departed this earthly realm on October 30th, 2007 after a bout with many illnesses with very few complaints and a stubborn determination. He carried on with an optimistic outlook in spite of all odds even needing oxygen to support his breathing. Mike determined to return to his program of gospel music and a listening audience of hundreds he had built up and nurtured for over a period of 10 years. Mike had a rapport with his peolple that few attain. He exuded empathy, love, faith, and hope. His listeners responded with calls of love and concern. Mike is now experiencing another realm that he talked about, sung about, and I am sure prayed about, where there is no heart ache, no pain, or death. Mike will be missed. We will fill Mike's time slot but we cannot replace Mike. We thank you, Mike's family, for sharing this good man with WJLE and his many loyal listeners."
The woman charged with second degree murder in the death of her newborn last week made a brief appearance in DeKalb County General Sessions Court today (Wednesday).
18 year old Lillian Elizebeth Sosa appeared before Judge Bratten Cook II without an attorney.
In determining if she was indigent, Judge Cook, through an interpreter, asked Sosa if she owned any property, assets, or money with which she might could afford to hire an attorney. She indicated "no".
Judge Cook then appointed the District Public Defender to represent Sosa.
Sosa made no request to reduce the bond, which is set at one million dollars. The only mention of bond was by Judge Cook who gave orders that he be made aware of any attempts by Sosa to make bond, so he could approve it, before she is released.
She is due back in General Sessions Court on Thursday, November 8th, unless a bond reduction hearing is held earlier.
The Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree Board of Directors has adopted a new policy on the use of the stage during the annual festival.
According to Frank Buck, attorney for the Jamboree board, "The Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival Board met on October 25th and adopted a policy that applies to all persons, clubs, and organizations."
The policy states that " Due to continued growth and time constraints, the Jamboree Board has noted that we cannot offer stage time to any organization or group in the community wishing to perform, other than paid contestants, during the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. This applies to contestants or groups on Thursday night."
He passed away Tuesday at the V.A. Hospital in Nashville after a long bout with illness including lung cancer.
Mike was the night time announcer on Sunday's, Monday's, Wednesday's, and Thursday's hosting a Gospel music call-in request program.
Mike always enjoyed hearing from his listeners and for many he was more than just a radio announcer, he was their personal friend. He had a special bond with them and when he became so sick he couldn't return to work, several of his friends would often call the radio station to try to find out about his condition.
Mike not only loved playing music on the radio, he enjoyed writing and performing. He authored a couple of inspirational books, including one called "His Loving Touch" and he penned several songs and recitations, many of which he recorded and often played on his radio program, like "The Clown" and "The Old Farmer", among others.
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, acting on a tip, has arrested three alleged major drug dealers.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says on Saturday, October 27th, detectives received information that 31 year old
Gregory W. Hallback of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville, 26 year old Kenneth Lee Bain, and 23 year old Amanda Gail Bain of King Ridge Road, Dowelltown were bringing in a load of dilaudid from Nashville.
According to Sheriff Ray, "Detectives located a vehicle which belonged to Hallback and stopped it on Highway 70 at the city limits of Smithville. Detectives found hypodermic needles on Amanda Bain. She told detectives that when Hallback saw them behind his vehicle, he gave her the hypodermic needles and told her to put them in her pants because the police would not search a woman there. Kenneth Bain also had one and one half dilaudid pills inside a small container hidden in his sock."
In addition to pending charges against 18 year old Lillian Sosa in the death of her newborn Friday night, Smithville Police have filed more reports of thefts, vandalism, assaults, and have made at least one drug arrest within the last week.
Chief Richard Jennings says 21 year old Travis Summers is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law.
An Hispanic man was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville early Sunday morning after being stabbed numerous times.
The man, believed to be in his early 20's, was found in the driveway of a barracks where migrant workers reside at Pirtle's Nursery on Short Mountain Road.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, someone at the barracks heard the man screaming in pain, discovered him lying in the driveway, and called 911 around 2:15 a.m.
Sheriff Ray says since no one apparently witnessed the attack, authorities are uncertain if the stabbing occurred where the man was found, or if it took place somewhere else and he had come to this location to get help.
He says the man suffered numerous stab wounds to his chest, back, and head area. He was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and then flown by Life Flight to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. He is listed in very critical condition.
Incumbent Assessor of Property Timothy (Fud) Banks has qualified to seek re-election. Banks will be a candidate for the nomination in the February 5th DeKalb County Democratic Primary.
He will face opposition from Seventh district county commissioner and Smithville alderman Willie Thomas, who has also qualified to run for Assessor of Property.
Meanwhile, three people have qualified to run for constable in the primary.
Thomas was elected to the county commission from the 7th district in August 2006, and was elected alderman in the Smithville Municipal Election in June of this year.
Banks was first elected Assessor of Property in 1996 and will be seeking his fourth term.
Meanwhile, Mary Thomason has qualified to run for constable in the seventh district, Cantrell Jones will be a candidate for constable in the sixth district, and Incumbent Mark Milam will seek re-election as constable in the fifth district.