Local News Articles

Community Pays Tribute to Veterans

November 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Wreath Laid at Veterans Monument at Courthouse
Billy Hawkins Speaks During Veterans Day Program
DCHS Chorus Performs During Veterans Day Program
DCHS Band Performs During Veterans Day Program
DCHS Band member Emma Rigsby Blows TAPS

The community paused to recognize veterans in a special Veteran's Day observance Monday at the county complex auditorium.

The program, sponsored by the VFW POST 7623 and the American Legion POST 122, featured performances by the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Band under the direction of Jonathan Wright and the DCHS Chorus under the direction of Josh Gulley. Our National Anthem was sung by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

M2U00900 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Commander Edward Frazier presided over the program. Chuck Olsen opened with prayer and Doyle Smith led the audience in the pledge to the flag.

Billy Hawkins, Retired Brigadiere General of the Tennessee State Guard, one of the featured speakers, paid tribute to our veterans and their volunteerism. "Tennessee is known as the volunteer state. Many veterans in our county volunteered their services when duty called. Veterans are a society of protectors of home, country and freedom," said Hawkins. It has been said if you can read, thank a teacher. If you have freedom, thank a veteran. We remain free today because of the sacrifice, loyalty, and courage of our veterans," he said.

"Today we have two and a half million troops that have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The V.A. says that twenty percent of these veterans come home with post traumatic stress disorder. That's about 500,000 veterans coming home with PTSD which is very alarming. Suicide rates are going up. Not all veterans casualties are on the battlefield. A lot of them are returning home to us to be cared for," said Hawkins.

Many honorably and homeless veterans are cared for through Operation Stand Down Nashville, Inc. Executive Director of Operation Stand Down Nashville, Retired Lieutenant Colonel William J. Bill Burleigh addressed some of the services provided.

Operation Stand Down Nashville, Inc operates programs that train and support honorably discharged and homeless veterans as they work themselves off the streets and back into the community as responsible and contributing citizens.

Since 1993, a coalition of over 50 Nashville organizations has used this concept to organize a three day event for veterans who are homeless. The event provides outreach, information, and a variety of social services for this area's homeless veterans. The event has been held annually each fall. Coalition members represent over 25 community services agencies, over 25 veteran service organizations, and many businesses.

Burleigh said Operation Stand Down Nashville became a full time service organization in 1999. "Since July 1999 we have been a full time organization serving veterans everyday and we have grown," said Burleigh. "Some of the services we provide are employment, food, clothes, housing, shelter, and veterans benefits. We are the only veterans service center in Tennessee approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. We provide jobs, clothes, and money when its needed to complete the process of a veteran and their family receiving the help they need," said Burleigh.

Following the program, a wreath was placed at the site of the veterans memorial monument outside the courthouse downtown. The wreath was placed by Ronnie Redmon, Jr. Carlton Miller, Joe Goodwin, Edward Frazier, and Jimmy Sprague.

Emma Rigsby of the Fighting Tiger Band, blew Taps to bring the observance to a close.

Three Arrested on Meth Charges

November 12, 2012
Dwayne Page
Jeremy Austin Scruggs
Amanda Gail Maxwell
Danny Ray Murphy

The Sheriff's Department arrested three people Saturday who were allegedly setting up a meth lab off Old West Point Road.

34 year old Jeremy Austin Scruggs of Highland Avenue, Smithville, 31 year old Danny Ray Murphy of Shady Drive, Smithville, and 28 year old Amanda Gail Maxwell of King Ridge Road, Smithville are each charged with initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. Bond for Scruggs and Maxwell is $25,000 each. Murphy's bond is $50,000. All three will be in court on November 29.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that his department received a call of three suspicious persons on Old West Point Road. Upon arrival officers found Scruggs, Murphy, and Maxwell and several components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including rubber tubing, a 20 ounce plastic bottle with tubing from the top, aluminum foil, a plastic baggie of lye, and several other items. After being mirandized, Maxwell allegedly told the officer that she was paid by Scruggs and Murphy to carry them there in her vehicle in order to make meth. They were arrested and brought to the jail for booking. Murphy will be in General Sessions Court on a separate but similar offense on December 10.

Meanwhile, 45 year old Richard Len Judkins of Greenhill Road, McMinnville is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on November 15.

Sheriff Ray said that on November 8 an officer spotted Judkins operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70. Having prior knowledge that his license were suspended, the deputy stopped Judkins at Eastside Citgo. Judkins had been arrested earlier that day for a failure to appear in court, where he has several other driving on suspended license charges pending. Judkins had already been warned earlier that day not to be driving. Judkins was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

Habitat Home May be Finished by Christmas

November 12, 2012
Dwayne Page
Habitat Home May be Finished by Christmas
Eric and John Barber working on Habitat Home
Bill Crook of B&D Custom Log Home Builders working on Habitat Home
Brandon Starnes working on Habitat Home

Two months after ground breaking the fourth Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County is under roof and could completed by Christmas.

The house is located on Hayes Street in Smithville and upon completion will become home to the Habitat partner family, Melba Vinca and her grandchildren Bradley Mullican, Cayton Lance, and Justin Lance.

"A lot of progress has been made, "said Larry Green, Vice President of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. "We have had a lot of good volunteers who have come out and done a lot of work on it so we're coming along. We're hoping to have (partner) family in the home by Christmas. We've had a professional crew that's come in and done the framing. We had professionals to do the blocks and the wiring. We've got guys out here doing the siding. That's what they do for a living. They can do it so much faster than we can and that's really helped out. We've also had a lot of volunteers," said Green.

"They've donated their time," said local Habitat President Nolan Turner, referring to the professional crews. "Except for the block layers. Of course, that's understandable. We had to pay them some but they discounted. Most of the materials we purchase are at a discount," added Turner.

"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.

Green said Habitat is in search of more volunteers. "We're getting to the point now where we can use a lot of volunteers. People don't have to wait until they're asked to come out and volunteer. They can come out just about on any Saturday and do some work out here," said Green.

Turner said donations are also welcomed. "We're going to take this one first and hope the funds come in for the second house because we already have another family who has already been approved (as partner family) if things work out financially for them by the end of the year. So we need funds for the next house. Anyone who wants to contribute, we would appreciate that," said Turner.

"Another thing we're looking for is land to build on," said Green. "If you have a lot somewhere that you would like to donate to us or maybe give us a good price on it, we're in the market now to buy another lot," said Green

"It (land)doesn't have to be in Smithville," added Turner. " We're looking for lots in Dowelltown, Liberty, Alexandria or anywhere in the county. This is a county project not just a Smithville project," he said

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181.

Man Seriously Injured As Car Breaks In Half during Crash

November 10, 2012
Dwayne Page
Man Seriously Injured As Car Breaks Apart during Crash
Car Crashes into Tree and Breaks Apart

A 40 year old Dowelltown man was seriously injured Saturday night after his car crashed into a tree and broke in half on Holmes Creek Road beside the Smithville Golf Course.

Central dispatch received the call at 6:23 p.m.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Phillip Carroll of the Possum Hollow area was driving north in a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire when he crossed the center line, overcorrected and ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree. Carroll was ejected. A small fire also ignited from the engine compartment of the car. It was quickly entiguished by members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department who arrived on the scene.

Carroll was taken by DeKalb EMS to the Smithville Municipal Airport and flown by helicopter ambulance to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Trooper Johnson said he does not know the full extent of Carroll's injuries but he was conscious when help arrived to tend to him.

Members of the Smithville Police Department were also on site to render assistance.

Trooper Johnson said the cause of the wreck remains under investigation.

Haley Marie Hale Captures Fall Fest Crown

November 10, 2012
Dwayne Page
Haley Marie Hale Captures Fall Fest Crown
Fall Fest Queen and Runners-Up
Miss Congeniality Hannah Renea Walker

Haley Marie Hale captured the Fall Fest Crown Saturday night during the annual pageant at the DeKalb County Complex auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

Nine young ladies ages 14-18 competed for the title.

Hale, the fifteen year old daughter of Chad and Melissa Hale of Smithville, succeeds the retiring Fall Fest Queen, 16 year old Lauren Ashley Medlin, daughter of Greg and Teresa Medlin of Smithville

First runner-up in the pageant was Tyra Grace Graham, the fourteen year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

Katie Sue Haggard was second runner-up. She is the eighteen year old daughter of David and Vicki Haggard of Smithville.

Seventeen year old Rebekah Grace Webb, daughter of C.D. and Cindy Webb of Dowelltown was the third runner-up.

Fourth runner-up went to Liz Abigail Qualls of Smithville, the fifteen year old daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp and Jason and Stormy Qualls.

Meanwhile, Hannah Renea Walker was named Miss Congeniality. She is the fourteen year old daughter of Scott and Misty Walker of Smithville.

Others in the pageant were sixteen year old Jayde Nokes of Smithville, daughter of Toby and Jamie Nokes; seventeen year old MaKayla Shea Funk of Dowelltown, daughter of Amie Funk; and fifteen year old Brooke Roller of Smithville, daughter of Richard and Rose Roller.

(Top Photo: Fall Fest Queen Haley Marie Hale)
(Middle Photo: Left to Right- Liz Abigail Qualls-4th Runner-Up, Katie Sue Haggard-2nd Runner-Up, Haley Marie Hale-Fall Fest Queen, Tyra Grace Graham-1st Runner-Up, and Rebekah Grace Webb-3rd Runner-Up)
(Bottom Photo: Hannah Renea Walker-Miss Congenality)

Morgan Faith Green Wins Autumn Sweetheart Pageant

November 10, 2012
Dwayne Page
Morgan Faith Green Wins Autumn Sweetheart Pageant
Autumn Sweetheart and Runners-Up
Madison Faith Whitehead Miss Congeniality

13 year old Morgan Faith Green won the 2012 Autumn Sweetheart pageant Saturday night.

The beauty contest, sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club, was held at the DeKalb County Complex auditorium. Sixteen contestants, ages 11-14 competed for the crown.

Green, daughter Suzanne and Jon Harrison of Smithville, succeeds the 2011 Autumn Sweetheart, 14 year old Tyra Grace Graham, daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville

First runner-up in the pageant was Sarah Anne Colwell, the twelve year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville.

Addison Grace Oakley of Liberty, the eleven year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley was second runner-up.

Third runner-up went to Macy Elizabeth Hedge . She is the twelve year old daughter of David and Trina Hedge of Smithville

Destiny Danielle Franklin, fourth runner-up, is the thirteen year old daughter of Charlie and Jennifer Ware of Smithville.

Madison Faith Whitehead was named Miss Congeniality. She is the 11 year old daughter of Keneth and Tina Whitehead of Smithville

Others in the top ten were Jessica Price, the fourteen year old daughter of Charles Stubbe of Smithville; Julia Grace Curtis, the eleven year old daughter of Bruce and Amy Curtis of Smithville; Abigail Hope Taylor, the twelve year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville; Brooklynn Storm Estes, the twelve year old daughter of Chris and Shanna Bogle of Smithville; and Kaitlyn Elizabeth Roller, the thirteen year old daughter of John and Michele Roller of Smithville.

The rest of the contestants were twelve year old Anna Rachel Blair of Smithville, daughter of Keith and Amanda Blair; eleven year old Shaunta Rose Koegler of Smithville, daughter of Brian and Leticia Koegler; eleven year old Shelby Sprague of Smithville, daughter of Jimmy and Johnna Sprague; thirteen year old Kyra Orlando of Smithville, daughter of Shellie Bain and Shane Orlando; and thirteen year old Susan Marie Webb of Dowelltown, daughter of C.D. and Cindy Webb.

(Top Photo: Autumn Sweetheart Morgan Faith Green)
(Middle Photo: Left to Right- Destiny Danielle Franklin-4th Runner-Up, Addison Grace Oakley-2nd Runner-Up, Morgan Faith Green-Autumn Sweetheart, Sarah Anne Colwell- 1st Runner-Up, and Macy Elizabeth Hedge-3rd Runner-Up)
(Bottom Photo- Madison Faith Whitehead-Miss Congeniality)

Addison Jean Puckett Crowned Autumn Princess

November 10, 2012
Dwayne Page
Addison Puckett Crowned Autumn Princess
Autumn Princess and Runners-Up
Talon Kendall Billings Miss Manners (Photo provided by Smithville Review)

Eight year old Addison Jean Puckett is the 2012 Autumn Princess

Puckett, daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett of Smithville, succeeds the retiring Autumn Princess, Anna Rachel Blair, the eleven year old daughter of Keith and Amanda Blair of Smithville.

The pageant, featuring twenty eight girls ages 7 to 10, was sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club and held Saturday at the DeKalb County Complex auditorium.

First runner-up was Madison Rae Rackley, the nine year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville

Second runner-up was seven year old Alexis Danyelle Rigsby, the daughter of Caleb and April Rigsby of Smithville

Seven year old McKenzie Faith Sanders, daughter of James and Misti Sanders of Smithville was named third runner-up.

Natalie Morgan Snipes was fourth runner-up. She is the eight year old daughter of Tim and Michelle Snipes of Smithville.

Talon Kendall Billings was named Miss Manners. She is the nine year old daughter of Jerry and Sandra Billings of Billings Road, Sparta.

Rounding out the top ten were eight year old Addison Roller, the daughter of John and Chana Roller of Smithville; ten year old Sophia Helane Mahan, the daughter of David and Melody Mahan of Dowelltown; Kyleigh Breanne Hill, the eight year old daughter Kyle Hill and Colleen Clary of Smithville; Ellisyn Kelsey Cripps, the nine year old daughter of Troy and Jamie Cripps of Smithville; and Mary Grace King, the ten year old daughter of Scott and Michelle King of Smithville.

Others participating in the pageant were:
Eight year old Maggie Fay Felton of Smithville, daughter of Misty and Russell Ross and Adam Felton; eight year old Jillian Elizabeth Lockard of Smithville, daughter of Brittany Lockard and John Lockard; eight year old Keirstine Robinson of Smithville, daughter of Nick and Stacey Robinson; eight year old Mackenzie Leigh Sprague of Smithville, daughter of Wanda Sprague; seven year old Carlee Elizabeth West of Smithville, daughter of D.J. and Megan Stewart; ten year old Malia Nichole Stanley of Dowelltown, daughter of Steve Stanley and Larry and Phyllis Stanley; nine year old Kennedy Grace Agee of Liberty, daughter of Josh and January Agee; ten year old Kaitlyn Ann George of Smithville, daughter of Ashley and Frankie Bryant and Jeff and Kim Walls; ten year old Payton Brook Bowman of Smithville, daughter of Mike and Lisa Bowman; seven year old Kenlee Renae Taylor of Smithville, daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor; nine year old Alexis Grace Atnip of Smithville, daughter of Veronica Atnip; eight year old Sarah Elizabeth Mahan of Dowelltown, daughter of David and Melody Mahan; ten year old Trista Lopez of Smithville, daughter of Tammy Nokes; ten year old Haylie Lockard of Smithville, daughter of John and Brittany Lockard; eight year old Ellie Elizabeth Webb of Dowelltown, daughter of C.D. and Cindy Webb; eight year old Kadee Beth Ferrell of Smithville, daughter of Anthony and Trena Ferrell; and ten year old Jaley Grace Hale of Smithville, daughter of Mike and Tara Hale.

(Top Photo: Autumn Princess Addison Jean Puckett)
(Bottom Photo: Left to Right: Natalie Morgan Snipes-4th Runner-Up, Alexis Danyelle Rigsby-2nd Runner-Up, Addison Jean Puckett-Autumn Princess, Madison Rae Rackley-1st Runner-Up, McKenzie Faith Sanders-3rd Runner-Up)

Tremor from Kentucky Earthquake Felt in DeKalb County

November 10, 2012
Dwayne Page

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck eight miles west of Whitesburg, Kentucky on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The tremor was felt by many in DeKalb County.

"I had gone down the hallway to the restroom to brush my teeth and the floor started shaking under me," said Janice Zoller, who resides on Antioch Road in the Keltonburg area. "The things setting on the sink and on the back of the commode were shaking. I thought, my washing machine is really off balance, and then I realized I didn't have my washing machine on. I thought, this has to be a tremor from an earthquake somewhere because it was pretty shaky. It shook the whole floor under my feet. I was surprised. I think it lasted five or six seconds. It was enough that you really knew something was going on," said Zoller.

Barbara Noyola, a caretaker for a resident on New Home Road, said she also felt the tremor." I was sitting there in the chair and all at once the house just shook and the dishes rattled and it was very intense. It was like a hard shake. It was for two, three or four seconds. It just floored me because I've never experienced anything like that. It was scary," she said.

The epicenter of the shallow, light earthquake was 0.7 miles deep under the Appalachian Mountains town of Blackey, near the Virginia border, the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of damage in the eastern Kentucky area.

The tremor was felt from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Atlanta, Ga., USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso told NBC News.

Tigers Eliminated from State Play-Offs by Livingston Academy

November 9, 2012
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers lost 37-14 at Livingston Academy Friday night in the second round of the 2012 Division I BlueCross Bowl Class 4A Football Playoffs. With the loss, the Tigers have been eliminated and wrap up the season at 10-2. Both losses were to Livingston Academy.

The Tigers got the ball to start the game and scored on a nine play, 80 yard drive. Will Molander caught a four yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips. Ben Driver converted the extra point and DC led 7-0 with 7:49 left in the first period.

The Wildcats got on the board with 1:55 left in the first period on a 29 yard field goal by Eli Saddler

Livingston Academy took the lead with 2:10 left in the second period on a four yard touchdown run by quarterback Brock McCoin. Eli Saddler converted the extra point and the score at the half was 10-7 in favor of Livingston Academy.

The Wildcats extended their lead with 7:14 left in the third period on a 19 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brock McCoin to Wade Eldridge. The P.A.T. by Eli Saddler was good and Livingston Academy led 17-7.

DeKalb County answered on the ensuing kick-off on a 90 yard return by Devonte Miland. Ben Driver converted on the extra point and the Tigers cut the Wildcat lead to 17-14.

Livingston Academy went up 24-14 with 2:43 left in the third period on a nine yard touchdown run by quarterback Brock McCoin. The extra point kick by Eli Saddler was good.

Brock McCoin, on fourth and 16, found Mark Winningham on a 31 yard touchdown pass play. The extra point attempt by Eli Saddler was no good but Livingston Academy led 30-14 with 5:12 left in the fourth period.

The Wildcats scored their last touchdown of the night with 4:02 left in the game on an 18 yard pass from Mark Winningham to Brock McCoin. The extra point by Eli Saddler was good and Livingston Academy went on to win 37-14.

Smithville Elementary Students Pay Tribute to DeKalb County Veterans

November 9, 2012
Dwayne Page

A Veterans Appreciation assembly program was held Friday morning at Smithville Elementary School in recognition of Veteran's Day.

Kelly Birmingham led students from pre-K to the second grade in singing "God Bless the USA" and other patriotic songs in honor of veterans who have served in each branch of the military.

M2U00891 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Adrienne McCormick read the following "Veterans Day" poem by Cheryl Dyson:

"On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call,
Soldiers young, and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold

M2U00890 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride,
We're proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white, and blue,

They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights,
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same."

The purpose of the assembly was to honor veterans and try to instill in these children at an early
age the importance of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country.

Veterans attending the assembly program pictured above are:

Front Row: Toddy Reynolds, Guy Mathis, Alan Stenger, Edward Frazier,
Ronnie Redmon, Sr.

Middle Row: Ray Vaughn, Mike Hattaway, Edsell Frazier, Paul Cantrell,
Jimmy Sprague, Billy Miller

Back Row: Kenny Dyal, Travis Thomas, Walter Johnson, John Hummer, Jim
Dean, Garry Davis, Norman Emmert, William Winter, Tom Hutcheson


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166
Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net
WJLE AM FCC Public File
WJLE FM FCC Public File

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