Local News Articles

Smithville Police Detective Matt Holmes Promoted to Lieutenant

May 7, 2013
Dwayne Page
Randy Caplinger, Shawn Jacobs, Matt Holmes, and Jimmy Poss

Smithville Detective Matt Holmes has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, effective July 1.

The aldermen Monday night voted unanimously to make the promotion upon the recommendation of Police Chief Randy Caplinger. Holmes' status as detective will be elevated to lead detective within the police department with this promotion.

"Even though he is young, Matt is one of the older officers here," said Chief Caplinger. "When Matt was promoted to detective, it carries the rank of a sergeant. If anyone can't reach me, he is the man they call if we are going to a crime scene. I use him in a lot in the supervisory positions. The men (police officers) have a real good rapport with Matt. He has been a very special officer for all of us. Since he (Matt) has been here if you'll go back a few years I think you'll notice how much of a change there has been in investigations and crimes that have been solved. There has been a lot of good things done. We've really worked a good undercover drug program. We're still working that. We're working on a lot of things right now. As a detective, you are really not supervising the men. If he needs someone on the scene, he is in charge of that scene. As far as being a supervisor in other capacities, whether it be on a wreck or whatever, then he (Matt) has that authority (as lieutenant) to tell those officers what we need to be doing if I'm not here. The promotion will take effect July 1 with the new budget. I want to use Matt now for about the next month and a half until July 1 to help me in this capacity, to be learning and doing things. He has put a lot of effort into this (career) and he has a lot of specialized training," said Chief Caplinger

"I'm very proud of Matt Holmes," said Alderman and Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs. "He came to work for us before I was even on the council. You could tell there was something special about Matt even then. As he was eventually promoted to detective and now receiving another department promotion tonight to lead detective, we have something to be very proud of in Matt and also detective (Brandon) Donnell. I think we have two of the best. I don't think a town this size could want anything any better than these two men and I'm just very proud of the job they do and the rapport they have with the people as well. They are just fine young men and I hope they become fine old men in the service of the Smithville Police Department," said Alderman Jacobs.

After graduating from DeKalb County High School, Detective Holmes furthered his education at the Tennessee Technology Center. He graduated from Walter State Community College and began his career with the Smithville Police Department in 2007. Holmes was later promoted to the rank of Detective.

He is a graduate of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation School and is certified by the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force in drug diversion and the Tennessee Meth Task Force. Holmes is certified in Child Passenger Safety, the United States Department of Justice Amber Alert training and technical assistance program and Pharmaceutical Overdose Death Investigations. During Detective Holmes' six years of employment, he has been awarded three departmental commendations for criminal investigations and narcotics arrests.

In other business, the aldermen named Dwain Snow to fill the unexpired term of Clay Farler on the city planning commission. Farler recently resigned the position.

The mayor and aldermen will also meet in an informal workshop on Tuesday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m. at city hall to make preparations for the 2013-14 city budget. Janice Plemmons, the city's financial advisor will also meet with the board during the workshop. "We will have the departmental heads come in and they will give us their wish list and go over the major projects for the upcoming year," said Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson.

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrest in Break-In at Maggie's Landing

May 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Christopher Trent Barnes
Travis Marcus Melton
William Corey Dickens

The Sheriff's Department has charged one man with breaking into Maggie's Landing on Highway 70.

30 year old Christopher Trent Barnes of Smithville is charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court on June 6.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, March 11 Barnes allegedly entered the front door of Maggies Landing on Highway 70 while the business was closed. He allegedly took two 12 gauge shotguns, a nine millimeter handgun, a 22 caliber rifle, rolled and loose change, and other various items all valued at over $1,000. The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

In a separate case, another man has been charged with breaking into two homes last year on Johnson Chapel Road.
20 year old Travis Marcus Melton of Johnson Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $80,000 and he will be in court on May 16.

Sheriff Ray said that on February 29, 2012 Melton allegedly broke into a residence on Johnson Chapel Road by kicking in a back door. He allegedly took a 20 gauge shotgun, two flat screen TV's, a DVD player, a chain saw and other various items all valued at over $1,000.

Meanwhile on the same day, February 29 Melton also allegedly broke into another home on Johnson Chapel Road through a window. Melton allegedly took a 46 inch flat screen TV, DVD player, laptop computers, a digital camera, and other various items all valued at more than $1,000.

The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

28 year old William Corey Dickens of Forrest Avenue, Smithville is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on May 22.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, April 9, Dickens allegedly unlocked a Seven Up and Coke vending machine and took $160 at Prichard's Foods on Highway 53. He allegedly unlocked the vending machines with a seven pin tubular lock pick ordered off the Internet.

31 year old Christopher J. Nash of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court May 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, April 29 Nash allegedly assaulted his girlfriend at the Lake Motel on Sparta Highway by hitting her in the face and head several times with his fist leaving a knot on her forehead.

41 year old Richard Brandon Turner of Andrew Street, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on June 6.

Sheriff Ray said that on or about Thursday, May 2, a criminal detective of the sheriff's department saw Turner walking in the middle of the street on South Bright Hill Road. Turner was unsteady on his feet, stumbling in and out of traffic. Turner had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and bloodshot eyes.

21 year old James Raymond Graham is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on May 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 4 Graham allegedly assaulted his wife by pushing her into a door. Several times, Graham allegedly refused to let her leave the residence on Young Ridge Road. The woman had a bruise on her leg from the scuffle. Graham was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates New Home

May 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Melba Vinca Receives Keys to her New Home from Nolan Turner (WJLE Photo)
Habitat members join Melba Vinca family for dedication ceremony
Melba Vinca and Grandchildren with Nolan Turner of Habitat for Humanity

A dedication ceremony was held Sunday afternoon by members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County to commemorate the recent completion of the fourth partner family home on Hayes Street in Smithville.

Melba Vinca and her grandchildren, Bradley Mullican and Cayton and Justin Lance are expected to move into the home soon. Vinca said the family loves their new home and are thankful to everyone who helped them.

The dedication ceremony included a greeting, prayers, scripture reading, and consecration of the home all led by Dr. John Carpenter of the Smithville First United and Bright Hill United Methodist Churches.

Local Habitat member Sharon Evans presented Vinca a Bible and Habitat President Nolan Turner gave her the keys to the home.

The program ended with the group reciting in unison the Lord's Prayer.

"This house has 1,050 square feet of living area inside," said Turner. "Its got three bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, and kitchen combination. It has a half bath and closet space. Each house we build is based on the number in the family. Every family we have served has had two or three children. So all of our houses have basically been the same square footage," said Turner.

Officers of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County are: President, Nolan Turner; Vice President, Chad Driver; Secretary, Gayla Hendrix; and Treasurer, Brenda Hooper.

Habitat Board Members are: Michael Barry, Chad Driver, Joy Parker, John Carpenter, Pam Restrepo, Arthur Primrose, Larry Steffee, Mary Nell Summers, Cindy Webb, Lisa Garrison, Larry Green, Rob Willingham, and Hearon Puckett.

Former Board members who continue to serve as committee chairs are: Sharon Evans, Tecia Puckett Pryor, Tom Janney, Glenda Davis, Gary Johnson, John Quintero, Kay Quintero, Kim Wheeler, Laura Stone, Nancy Lewis, and Marie.

Weight Loss Challenge Kicks Off

May 4, 2013
Shan Burlow
Mike Foster, Sue Conley, and Shan Burklow
Connie McCracken, Janice Barnes, Elaine Rigsby, Diana Adams, Brenda Colwell
Sommer Deebanks, Shan Burklow, Jennifer Tramel, Beth Chandler

Over 275 participants came out and signed-up for the Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge on Tuesday night. Individuals and teams will have 90 days to lose all the weight they can. DeKalb Community Hospital will be providing support groups, nutrition classes, and local discounts along the way to make losing weight easier. The individuals or teams with the highest percentage of body weight lost by July 23rd will receive cash prizes and will be named the Ultimate Weight Loss Champions. The Dekalb County winner will go head-to-head against the Cannon County Champion as the County Mayors, Mike Foster and Mike Gannon reveal the winning county champ at the DeKalb County Fair on Friday, July 26th at 7pm.

"This is a great way to get our community thinking about healthy choices, getting active and beating Cannon County in the process," County Mayor, Mike Foster smiles, "Every time you look at a dinner roll, put it down, and think of how happy we will be to bring home that trophy! I can't wait to see the look on Mike Gannon’s face when DeKalb County wins."

“Our hospital was so pleased with the wonderful turnout to support the challenge. Hundreds of people across DeKalb and Cannon Counties will be making healthy choices, getting active and supporting each other,” said Sue Conley – CEO of DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital, “We would like to personally thank Pat Ford of Smithville Subway for partnering with us and encourage other local restaurants to do the same. It’s more fun when we lose the weight together.”

The Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge is sponsored by DeKalb Community Hospital, The Smithville Review, WJLE 101.7FM, WJLE.com, Subway Fresh Fit Menu and other local participating restaurants. To find out how your business can be a part of the challenge, contact Director - Shan Burklow sburklow@dchtn.com

DCHS Baseball Coach Scott Odom Suspended for Alleged TSSAA Rule Violation

May 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Coach Scott Odom

DeKalb County High School Baseball Coach Scott Odom will have to sit out the rest of the season.

DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps suspended Coach Odom this week based on allegations that a TSSAA regulation was violated when Little League umpires were scheduled for the DCHS game against Watertown Tuesday in Smithville. The Tigers won that game on senior night 8 to 7.

"Gene McNeese of the TSSAA called me on Wednesday with a charge that our baseball program had violated a TSSAA rule and regulation," said Cripps in an interview with WJLE Friday. "That violation was using unregistered umpires in a TSSAA game. Upon investigation it was found that we did violate that rule. At that time I decided to suspend Coach Odom for the remainder of the baseball season. We've got to look at what's best for the program," said Cripps.

The suspension only applies to Odom's coaching duties. It has no impact on his teaching job.

The game with Watertown, originally scheduled for Monday, April 29 using TSSAA umpires, was rained out. Reportedly, TSSAA umpires were not available for a Tuesday make-up game and Watertown could not re-schedule for Wednesday. The district tournament began Thursday.

WJLE contacted Coach Odom by email Friday. He replied stating he did not wish to make a comment at this time.

Assistant Coach Andrew Dixon will serve as acting head coach for the remainder of the post season.

Convicted Felon Found with Gun, Meth Lab, and Marijuana Grow Operation

May 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Anthony Mason Adcock
Tammi Faye Adams

While serving a search warrant on a convicted felon for illegal sale of weapons, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Thursday night/Friday morning discovered that the man was also growing marijuana and had a meth lab at his residence on the Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown.

The arrest of 43 year old Anthony Mason Adcock came as the result of a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff's Department. Two other arrests were also made, 42 year old Tammi Faye Adams, also of Old Mill Hill Road; and 34 year old Shawn Bradley Patton of Oak Place, Smithville. Patton, who was picked up at the Adcock residence for violation of parole.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Adcock has an extensive criminal history. “My drug detectives started an investigation on Adcock some time ago. Adcock has a lengthy criminal background and he is no stranger to law enforcement. Adcock has been convicted of many drug offences such as the Manufacture of a Schedule II Drug (Methamphetamine), Simple Possession of a Schedule II Drug (Methamphetamine), Conspiracy to Manufacture/Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana), and weapon charges such as carrying a Weapon for the Purpose of Going Armed and Possession of a Destructive Device (Pipe Bomb)," said Sheriff Ray.

“Adcock was one of DeKalb Counties first methamphetamine lab busts in the late 90’s and was one of the first meth labs I worked on," said Sheriff Ray. Adcock also at that time had an explosive device, which was a pipe bomb, in his home. Adcock was charged here locally at that time and then we were able to get him into the Federal Court System. Since that time he has had even more drug arrests," according to Sheriff Ray.

Sheriff Ray continued “We were able to get a search warrant on Adcock’s residence (recently) after an investigation into the illegal sale of weapons. Adcock is a convicted felon and cannot possess, buy, sale, or trade on any firearms of any kind. When we arrived at the Old Mill Hill Road address (Thursday night) Adcock, Adams, Patton, and three other individuals were there. While conducting the search warrant we found a .22 caliber pistol in his residence and we also found ammunition. During the search we also found marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia such as pipes, plastic grow trays, marijuana seeds, and over 30 small marijuana plants that Adcock had growing in a plastic tote. My Department and I stopped the search and my drug detectives and I went back to the jail and obtained yet another search warrant for the marijuana, the paraphernalia, and any other controlled drugs. When we executed that search warrant for the drugs not only did we find items to manufacture marijuana with, we also found items that are consistent in the manufacture of methamphetamine such as tubing, coffee filters, turkey basters, ammonium nitrate, drain cleaner, and acid in a 20 oz soda bottle," said Sheriff Ray.

Adcock is charged with 2 counts of possession of a weapon by a felon, manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana) and initiating process to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine and his bond is set at $125,000. Adams' charges are manufacture of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana) and initiating process to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine and her bond is set at $50,000. Both will be in court on May 16 2013. Adcock’s money, an outside security system, and car were seized and the residence has been quarantined due to the meth lab discovery.

Sheriff Ray said there are more charges pending in the case and Drug Detectives will be contacting the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for possible federal charges.

Sandy Willingham Named DeKalb County Teacher of the Year

May 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Sandy Willingham Named DeKalb County Teacher of the Year
Teachers of the Year

A third grade teacher at Northside Elementary School was named "DeKalb County Teacher of the Year" Thursday night during the sixth annual Teacher of the Year banquet at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

Sandy Willingham received the honor and a check for $150 from Liberty State Bank, the sponsor of the banquet. The presentation was made by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank.

Willingham was among five local educators who were recognized during the banquet for being chosen by peers as "Teacher of the Year" at their schools. The others were Amanda Rhoady, a first grade teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Suzette Barnes, a seventh grade educator at DeKalb Middle School; Tammy Payne, a fourth grade teacher at DeKalb West School; and Joey Reeder, a History teacher at DeKalb County High School

Every year DeKalb County participates in the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program. Each school picks a Teacher of the Year from their school who is in the running for honors at the county and regional level. Teachers are selected in the categories of Pre-K through 4th grade, 5th through 8th grade, and 9th through 12th grade. The overall Teacher of the Year from DeKalb County is selected from among the five teachers of the year at the school level.

Principals and assistant principals introduced the Teachers of the Year at their schools and remarked on how they deserved the honor.

The guest speaker for the banquet was Billie Friel, Pastor of the Alexandria First Baptist Church.

(TOP PHOTO: Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Sandy Willingham, Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank, and School Board Chairman Johnny Lattimore)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Mark Willoughby, Suzette Barnes, Amanda Rhoady, Joey Reeder, Tammy Payne, Sandy Willingham, Roy Nelson Pugh, and Johnny Lattimore)

May is the Joe Black Effort Membership Drive Month

May 2, 2013

May is the Joe Black Effort Membership Drive Month

For those of you who don’t know who we are, the Joe Black Effort is a “no kill” animal rescue group. In fact, we are the only “no kill” rescue in Dekalb County. By “no kill”, we mean that we do everything we possibly can to help the stray, abandoned, abused or neglected animals that are trying to survive on their own. Occasionally there is an animal that may be too sick to save. At those times, after all options are exhausted we must have them humanely euthanize out of kindness and caring so they won’t suffer.

We currently operate from a small office at 458 W. Broad Street. We house our animals with foster families until we can get them adopted out to a great home with people who will love them and care for them. One of the things we do when we have an animal come into our network is get them the medical care they need. That includes their shots, heartworm and feline tests and also have them spayed and neutered. We have many wonderful supporters who donate food, beds and toys for the animals, however, we are in need of your memberships and generous monetary donations to help pay the vet bills. With your help, we also plan to have a “no kill” shelter built in Dekalb County, which will be manned by the volunteers of the Joe Black Effort! We need it, our members know we need it and we are committed to making that happen. We are asking you to have a heart and do your part by supporting the Joe Black Effort.

That’s why May is our membership drive month! We have several memberships to choose from. One for every budget and every little bit helps. The Regular Joe Membership is $10 a year. You receive a membership card and 10% off all Joe Black Effort items and 10% off all of our events. Our Heart and Soul Membership is free to volunteers who give at least 20 hours a year to Joe Black. Heart & Soul members are welcome to donate as well, if they wish. These members will also get 10% off everything Joe Black Effort items such as t-shirts, bracelets, hats, decals and whatever events we have throughout the year. The Hearts of Gold Membership is sustaining members. This membership means a once a month donation, minimum is $10 up to whatever you’d like to give. A Heart of Gold membership receives 50% off all of our Joe Black Effort events and all items we sell again such as t-shirts, bracelets, hats and whatever we decide to sell to fund raise. If we have lots of members, each helping a little bit financially and a few volunteering some time, we can continue to grow into the kind of rescue Dekalb County animal and citizens need, want and deserve!

If you are interested in becoming a member, please call us at 615-464-LOVE, or email us at joeblackeffort@gmail.com and we will get a membership application to you asap. You can also pick up Membership Applications at Dekalb Animal Hospital (Dr. Little’s office), Dekalb Veterinary Clinic (Dr. Wheeler) and Smithville Veterinary Hospital (Dr. Burke).

Be part of the solution!
Let’s make Dekalb county a safe place for animals to live and a dangerous place for animal abusers to live!

Together we can make a difference…..one pup at a time…. One kitten at a time.

American Cancer Society Celebrating 100 Years of Saving Lives

May 2, 2013
Dwayne Page

Hundreds of caring members of our community will gather at Green Brook Park on Friday, May 10 in the battle against cancer when the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of DeKalb County gets underway. Participants will be marking a major milestone in the Society’s fight against cancer – 100 years of saving lives.

The American Cancer Society is celebrating 100 years of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays. It’s the progress we’ve made together – as a community, as volunteers, as survivors and as leaders – that has helped us reach this incredible milestone with tremendous success. By lending your support to the DeKalb County Relay event this year, you’ll be supporting Society’s efforts to finish the fight and bring an end to cancer as we know it.

The 16th annual Relay in DeKalb County begins with entertainment at 5:00 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. featuring an introduction of cancer survivors and then a Survivors' Lap, during which those who have survived the struggle circle the track together to help everyone celebrate what has been achieved against cancer.

As the sun sets, Luminaria bags lining the track illuminate the night and then a hush falls over the event as Relay participants, survivors and caregivers gather together for a Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.

The schedule of entertainment from the stage is as follows:
5:00: Denise Page
5:10: Infinity
5:25: Kathy Goodwin
5:40: Dessa Ray
Presentation of the Colors by Boy Scout Troop #347
The National Anthem sung by Suzanne Slager
Invocation by B.J. Thomason, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church

Opening Ceremony-Welcome by Renea Cantrell
Introduction of Cancer Survivors
Song honoring Cancer Survivors performed by Shelley Cross and Bonnie Rigsby
Prayer for Cancer Survivors by Don Rigsby, Pastor of Prosperity Baptist Church

6:45: David Turner and Friends
7:00: Denise Page
7:15: Clifford and Glenda Randolph
7:30: Suzanne Slager
7:45: Fluty and the Flutones
8:00: Kevin Roberts
8:15: Tina Boston
8:30: Terry Hodges
8:45: New Life Pentecostal Church Praise Group

Luminaria Ceremony
Prayer by Jeff Armstrong, Pastor of the Smithville Church of God

9:15: Receive It Ministries of the Smithville Church of God
9:30: Rampage Youth Group by the Edge Worship Center
9:45: First Baptist Youth Group by the Smithville First Baptist Church
10:00: Smithville Assembly of God Youth Group
10:15: Brandon and Becky Duke, Elizabeth Chapel Singers
10:30: Denise Page
10:35: 61 Seconds
11:30: Closing Ceremony
Midnight: RELAY ENDS

Carbon Monoxide Threat Forces Evacuation of Apartment Building

May 1, 2013
Dwayne Page

Carbon monoxide from a natural gas water heater Tuesday night forced an evacuation of several occupants at City Walk Apartments on East Bryant Street.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the apartment complex to check out a possible natural gas leak in one of the buildings. After arriving, Chief Charlie Parker said firefighters entered the building to investigate and discovered the presence of carbon monoxide, using CO detectors. Chief Parker said a natural gas water heater in a maintenance closet of the building was the source of the carbon monoxide.

All occupants in the building were evacuated by firefighters and officers of the Smithville Police Department
Chief Parker said Middle Tennessee Natural Gas was notified and sent a crew to shut off the water heater. The fire department brought in fans to clear out the building of the potentially poisonous gases.

The residents of the apartment were later allowed to re-enter the building after it was re-checked for carbon monoxide and found to be safe. No one was injured.


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