Local News Articles

DESA Delivers Over 270 Thanksgiving Meals to Needy Families

November 23, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
DESA members and others preparing food trays for delivery to needy families for Thanksgiving
County Mayor Tim Stribling delivers Thanksgiving meal to Shirley Pascal
Mitchell League Receives Thanksgiving Meal from  James Tramel (left), Smithville Firefighter C.J. Tramel, and DeKalb County Firefighter Calvin Tramel
Carmine Bain Receives Thanksgiving meal from Dustin Johnson, Captain of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad and Lieutenant of DeKalb Fire Department, and Kristie Johnson, DeKalb Fire Department Station Commander and Safety Officer, Secretary of Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad,  Secretary and Treasurer of the DeKalb Emergency Services Association, and Critical Care Paramedic at DeKalb EMS and Training Officer.
Larry Lepley Receives Thanksgiving meal from Lora and Anderson Webb (shown) along with Thomas Webb and Viviane Bezerra.  (not shown). Lora was a recent graduate of the DeKalb Fire Department’s Citizens Fire Academy

Local emergency service providers and other volunteers found another way to serve their community Thursday morning by making sure a few of the most needy and underserved among us had a hot delicious meal for Thanksgiving.

Over 270 food trays were prepared and delivered by more than 50 volunteers. The meals included smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green beans, and rolls along with a homemade dessert.

The project was organized by members of the DeKalb Emergency Services Association in partnership with local businesses and volunteers.

“Over the last couple of days we’ve cooked turkeys and gathered up all the food. Today we’ve been preparing and packing up the food at the county complex. We’re serving 272 meals to people all over DeKalb County. We feel this is just another way for our local emergency service providers to serve our community,” said Blake Cantrell, DESA President.

Cantrell said the DESA learned of these families through referrals and from others who called wanting to be added to the list. “We had different people who were referred to us and then through WJLE we put out the word and many people called in and then we had others who called in for loved ones who would not have had a Thanksgiving dinner otherwise,” said Cantrell.

Along with the volunteers who helped prepare and deliver the food, the DESA received great support for the effort by others in the community through donations of money or food and a special thanks goes to them.

DMS Junior Beta Club Bound for National Convention Again

November 23, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club

Members of the DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club will be making a return trip to the National Junior Beta Convention next summer.

The group’s performance of their human video presentation called “United We Stand” earned them a 2nd place finish in the state competition this week after landing a spot among the top 5 following the preliminaries. The state Junior Beta Club Convention was held November 19-21 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

The DMS Junior Beta Club will now prepare for competition at the National Junior Beta Club Convention which will be held in Savannah, Georgia in June, 2018

Last November, the DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club won 1st place at the state convention for their anti-bullying Human Video presentation called “Be The Change” and finished 3rd at the national convention this past June in Orlando, Florida.

Three Women Arrested for Aiding Jail Escapees

November 23, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Margaret Ann Taylor
Miranda Nicole Johnson
Jessica Anne Jenkins

Three women have been arrested in separate incidents of aiding jail escapees Bryon Gibbs and Daniel Hamilton who broke out of the DeKalb County Jail Annex Tuesday night and remain at large.

40 year old Margaret Ann Taylor of Store Road, Rock Island; 40 year old Miranda Nicole Johnson of Joe Blanton Road, Woodbury; and 29 year old Jessica Anne Jenkins of Bright Hill Road, Smithville are each charged in separate cases of “permitting or facilitating an escape”.

Although accused of the same offense, Sheriff Patrick Ray said these three women, Taylor, Johnson, and Jenkins, are charged individually for separate contacts with both escapees.

Sheriff Ray said “Taylor picked up Gibbs and Hamilton, who were known to Taylor to be escapees from the DeKalb County Jail, and took them to several different places in DeKalb County. She eventually left them at a residence in DeKalb County”.

The warrant states that “Margaret Taylor did pick up and transport Bryon Gibbs and Daniel Hamilton in Smithville knowing they had escaped from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department (Jail)”.

According to Johnson’s warrant, “Miranda Nicole Johnson did willingly pick up and transport Bryon Gibbs and Daniel Hamilton from a location in DeKalb County knowing they had escaped from the DeKalb County Jail.”

The charge against Jenkins states that “Jessica Anne Jenkins did unlawfully, intentionally, and knowingly permit and facilitate the escape of Bryon Gibbs and Daniel Hamilton from the DeKalb County Jail”.

“Jenkins had conversations Tuesday with inmates in the DeKalb County Jail Annex by phone. Inmates, Gibbs and Hamilton, after their escape from jail, went directly to Jenkins’ home on Bright Hill Road in Smithville. While there, the escapees used Jenkins’ phone, with her permission, for the purpose of contacting someone for transportation to further their escape,” said Sheriff Ray.

All three women were taken into custody Wednesday by detectives of the sheriff’s department. Bond for both Johnson and Jenkins is $10,000 each. Taylor’s bond is $5,000. All three will make a court appearance on December 7.

Sheriff Ray said investigations are continuing and more arrests are forthcoming.

DWS Student Places in Visual Arts at State Jr. Beta Convention

November 22, 2017
by: 
Bill Conger
Summer Crook (Photo by Bill Conger)
DeKalb West School students attended the Tennessee Junior Beta Convention Nov. 19-21 at Gaylord Opryland Hotel. (Photo by Bill Conger)

A DeKalb West School student placed at the Junior Beta State convention. Judges awarded Beta President Summer Crook with a 4th place ribbon for her black and white photography entry titled “Teamwork” in Visual Arts. There were more than 111 students who entered the competition.

“This picture is two horses that work together on our farm,” says Crooks. “I chose this subject because these animals work on our farm to help us out with certain tasks like pulling wagons, plowing the garden and more. They can be a big help when you need a lot of horsepower. I wanted to show how our ancestors used to farm, even though some people still use his today.”

Twenty-nine students from DWS attended the convention November 19-21 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Competing in the academic contests were Rebecca Lawrence, Science, and Dawson Bandy, Social Studies. Teaming together for the Tower of Power contest were Madison Martin, Aniston Farler, Aly Griffith, Alex Antoniak, and Ella Hendrixson. Within 15 minutes, they were tasked with using straws to put together a freestanding tower that could hold up a tennis ball at its pinnacle. Participating in Living Literature were Bralin Moss, Dawson Bandy, Riley Fuson, Nathaniel Crook, Ellie Vaughn, Alyssa Crook, and Caleb Dies. They recreated a scene from the non-fiction book, “Who Was Abraham Lincoln?” Brayden Antoniak, Presley Finocchairo, Allen Curtis, and Madison Tarpley worked together for the team contest, “Book Battle.” For Quiz Bowl, Jonathan Littleton, Karson Smallwood, Bonnie Hale, and Ally Tarpley answered trivia questions against other schools. 6th graders Tess Barton, Brynn Harvey, and Blair Gipe participated in Advertising Design. Competing in Visual Arts were Jathan Willoughby, Color Photography, Ethan Curtis and Kayleigh Overstreet, Wreath, Brooklyn Sutherland, Handmade Jewelry, Lydia Willoughby, Woodworking, and Jon Littleton, Pen, Pencil, or Ink.

The theme for the convention was “Beta on Our Minds,” a play of the song, “Georgia on my Mind.” The national convention will be held next summer in Savannah, Georgia.

One of Three Jail Escapees Captured

November 22, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jack Mullican, Jr.

One of the three escapees from the DeKalb County Jail over night has been captured.

38 year old Jack Mullican, Jr. is back behind bars and has now been charged with escape. He is under a $150,000 bond for this offense and will make a court appearance December 7. Mullican was found in an underground water drain. He became trapped there after making his escape.

The other two escapees, 32 year old Bryon Ray Gibbs and 26 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton remain at large.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that "at 9:31 a.m. this morning (Wednesday) someone called DeKalb Central Dispatch and reported having car trouble when they heard someone yelling for help in an underground water drain. It was a man and he advised the complainant he was one of the escapees from the jail. After officers arrived on the scene, a backhoe operator was summoned to remove a drain grid and at 9:47 am, Mullican. was taken into custody without incident. Mullican advised law enforcement officers that he split off from the other two escapees in the drain and decided he was ready to give up. Mullican has been charged with escape. His warrant reads, “Jack Mullican did escape from the DeKalb County Jail while he was incarcerated on felony charges. This did occur in DeKalb County," said Sheriff Ray

Sheriff Ray asks anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gibbs and Hamilton to call DeKalb Central Dispatch at 615-215-3000, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department at 615-597-4935, or the DeKalb Crime Tip Line at 615-464-6400.

Assessor Asks County Budget Committee for More Help

November 22, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shannon Cantrell

Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell is in search of an employee to fill a vacancy in his office and he is asking the county budget committee to add a new position.

During a meeting with the budget committee at the courthouse Monday night, Cantrell said one of his employees has resigned and he needs more help.

“An employee who had been there for about three and a half years has resigned. Her last day was Friday so now I’m in the process of trying to replace her. Looking at it optimistically it will be six months to a year before I can train someone to the point where they can actually become productive in the office. There is a learning curve there,” he said.

In addition to the Assessor, the office is budgeted for three employees. Earlier this year Cantrell asked for an additional employee beginning with the current budget year but the request was denied by the budget committee at that time.

With the loss of an experienced worker and an increase in the workload, Cantrell said that a fourth employee is needed now more than ever.

Cantrell said he believes based on the number of parcels in the county at more than 18,000 he is entitled to a fourth employee under state law. Others say the law provides for an employee per 4500 parcels, after the first 4500 parcels.

The budget committee voted to table Cantrell’s request until January when it meets again to take another look at salaries of county employees.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated 67-1-506 in regard to deputy assessors and secretaries:

(a) (1) In order to assure that each county assessor of property shall have a minimum staff to assist the county assessor in carrying out the duties and responsibilities required by law, the assessor is authorized to appoint at least one (1) deputy assessor for each four thousand five hundred (4,500) parcels of property, as determined by the division of property assessments, over and above the first four thousand five hundred (4,500) parcels of property within the assessor’s taxing jurisdiction.

Each deputy assessor shall have the same power, duties and liability of the assessor of property with respect to the appraisal, classification, and assessment of property.

(b) (1) In any county where the assessor does not qualify for a deputy assessor under the provisions of this section, the assessor is authorized, with the approval of the county legislative body, to employ or appoint a secretary to assist the assessor in the operation of the assessor’s office. The compensation of such secretary shall be fixed by the county legislative body and paid out of county funds.

(2) The assessor shall employ such additional staff as the assessor deems necessary and establish rates of compensation for all employees within the appropriation established for the assessor’s office by the county legislative body.

(c) The assessor of property shall be liable for any malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance of the assessor’s deputy.

Three Inmates Escape from DeKalb County Jail

November 22, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jack Mullican, Jr.
Bryon Ray Gibbs
 Daniel Trey Hamilton
Bryon Ray Gibbs Tattoos
Jack Mullican, Jr. Tattoos
Daniel Trey Hamilton Tattoos

Three inmates at the DeKalb County Jail escaped overnight.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 38 year old Jack Mullican, Jr. of Adcock Cemetery Road; 32 year old Bryon Ray Gibbs of Gin Alley, Alexandria; and 26 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton of Jacobs Pillar Road broke out of the jail annex.

“We are still investigating but it appears they escaped from the back of the jail annex through a door we believe they jimmied open,” said Sheriff Ray.

Mullican was incarcerated for a violation of probation and charges of aggravated burglary, theft of property, vandalism and a child support attachment.

Gibbs was in jail on charges of aggravated burglary, evading arrest, failure to appear, vandalism, and theft of property. According to Sheriff Ray, Gibbs was charged with these offenses on September 9 and posted bond. Gibbs was then arrested again on October 27 for aggravated assault and vandalism and made bond on those charges. When he went to court on November 9, the judge revoked his bond for getting into trouble while out on bond.

Hamilton was serving a 60 day sentence after which he is to begin serving a sentence of 11 months and 29 days for failure to appear and violation of probation. Polk County also has a hold on Hamilton for charges against him there.

Sheriff Ray said Mullican is caucasian and 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He weighs 174 pounds. Mullican is bald and has blue eyes. He also has multiple tattoos including a “joker” tattoo on his right arm.

Gibbs is caucasian with short brown hair. He stands 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 149 pounds. He has multiple tattoos all the way up to his neck and a sleeve tattoo on both arms

Hamilton is caucasian with short brown hair (almost shaved head) and hazel eyes. He is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 137 pounds. Hamilton also has multiple tattoos including a “money sign” tattoo on his right arm.

If you have information that could lead to the arrests of these escapees call the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department at 615-597-4935, Central Dispatch at 615-215-3000, or the crime tip line at 615-464-6400 if you wish to remain anonymous or you may Facebook the sheriff.

Thanksgiving Greetings from Our Community

November 21, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Thanksgiving Greetings from Our Community

WJLE and the following participating local and area businesses, public officials, and political candidates wish you and your family a HAPPY THANKSGIVING:

*ABTS (Automated Business & Tax Service)
1225 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-8846

*A Degree Above Heating & Cooling, authorized RUUD dealer
631 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-215-4822

*Alexandria Auto Parts, LLC
905 Brush Creek Road, Alexandria
615-529-2580

*Arrow Termite & Pest Control
9341 Short Mountain Highway, Smithville
615-597-7988

*Atnip Chiropractic Clinic
205 South Fourth Street, Smithville
615-597-5375

*Belk Grocery & Sporting Goods
108 Wright Bend Road, Smithville
615-597-4196

*Bumpers Drive-In
303 East Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-6190

*Caney Fork Electric Cooperative
580 East Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-5626

*Cantrell's Furniture & Appliances
638 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-7871

*Cash Express
126 East Bryant Street, Smithville
615-597-3427

*DeKalb County Ace Hardware
702 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-4154 or 615-597-6175

*DeKalb Dental Center, the office of Dr. Mitchell S. Tatum, DDS
201 South Third Street, Smithville
615-597-4798

*DeKalb Funeral Chapel
863 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-9400. Obituary line 615-597-9600

*DeKalb County Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell
732 S. Congress Boulevard-Room 104, Smithville
615-597-5925

*DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss
732 S. Congress Boulevard-Room 102, Smithville
615-597-5177

*DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack
DeKalb County Courthouse, 1 Public Square - Room 303, Smithville
615-597-5711

*DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling
DeKalb County Courthouse, 1 Public Square - Room 204, Smithville
615-597-5175

*DeKalb County Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen
732 S. Congress Boulevard- Room 101, Smithville.
615-597-4153

*DeKalb County Road Supervisor Butch Agee
720 Smith Road, Smithville
615-597-4144

*DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray
100 Public Square, Smithville
615 597-4935 or 615 597-4043

*DeKalb County Trustee Sean Driver
732 S. Congress Boulevard- Room 103, Smithville.
615-597-5176

*Dogwood Plaza
South Congress Boulevard, Smithville

*DTC Communications
Alexandria Office: 111 High Street.
Smithville Office: 200 Walmart Drive.
615-529-2955

*Evins Mill ~ A Tennessee Resort Property
1535 Evins Mill Road, Smithville, TN
615.269-3740 (Nashville)

*Family Care Chiropractic, Dr. Kevin Malone DC.
502 West Main Street, Smithville
615-215-2273

*Family Medical Center
302 North Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-4395
400 East Public Square, Alexandria
615-529-2116

*Florence & White Ford
710 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-2300
615-597-5718

*F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy
608 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-5974185
615-597-5521 Nights & Holidays
615-597-4186 Soda Shop
Alexandria Location: 105 Public Square
615-529-2160

*Glynn's Auto Sales
605 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4533

*Good Health Family Clinic
414 East Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4432

*Griffins Fruit Market
316 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-5030

*HG Staffing, LLC
477D North Chancery Street, McMinnville
931-474-1300

*Jamie a. Boutique
112 West Main Street, Smithville
615-215-7233

*Jimmy Sprague
Democratic Candidate for DeKalb County Road Supervisor

*Jim's Tire & Alignment
449 Evins Mill Road, Smithville
615-597-2198

*Johnny's Drugs
516B West Main Street, Smithville
615-597-7822

*Larry's Discount Grocery
309 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-697-6617 or 615-597-6760

*Love Cantrell Funeral Home
100 East Church Street, Smithville
615-597-5275. Obituary line 615-597-7275

*Liberty State Bank
Smithville Branch: 735 South Congress Boulevard
615-597-2265 or 615-597-2266
Liberty Branch: 311 East Main Street, Liberty
615-536-5101
Alexandria Branch: 100 North Public Square, Alexandria
615-529-2375

*Middle Tennessee Natural Gas
1036 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4388 or 615-597-4300

*Mark Milam
Democratic Candidate for DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk

*The Miller Team-Josh and Melissa
Sunbelt Real Estate and Appraisals
409 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-464-5882 or 615-464-684-0262

*NHC Healthcare
825 Fisher Avenue, Smithville
615-597-4284

*Optimus Pest Solutions
409 South Mountain Street, Smithville.
615-215-7378

*Pokey's TurnKey Bail Bonding (We have the key to set you free)
633 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-9174

*Pokey's Fix-A-Flat Tire Shop (new and used tires)
633 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-215-9174

*Poppie's Boutique
660 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-318-1440

*Rick's Auto
255 Arrowhead Drive, Smithville
615-587-8318

*Jackie Smith, State Farm Insurance Agent
315 North Public Square, Smithville
615-597-8486

*Smithville Discount Wine & Spirits
413 East Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-9463

*Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss
Smithville City Hall- 104 East Main Street, Smithville.
615-597-4745

*Smithville Storage (Opening in the New Year)
1000 South Mountain Street, Smithville
615-597-7757

*Swallows Insurance Agency
308 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-215-4455

*Three Star Mall
1410 Sparta Road, McMinnville
931-473-1515

*Webb House Retirement Center
115 Jennings Lane, Smithville
615-597-8888

*White Possum Grille
1060 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-9009
Daily Menu-Smithville 615-464-6108

*Wilson Bank & Trust
576 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4663. Telephone Banker 615-597-2222
Alexandria Location: 306 Brush Creek Road
615-529-4663

*WJLE
2606 McMinnville Highway, Smithville
615-597-4265

*Woodbury Insurance Agency
234 McMinnville Highway, Woodbury
615-563-2123
Smithville Branch Opening Soon at 612E South Congress Boulevard

Sheriff Ray Offers Holiday Tips to Guard Against being a Victim of Crime

November 21, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Patrick Ray

It's the holiday season and Sheriff Patrick Ray wants to remind you of some tips to guard against being a victim of crime.

“As we are approaching one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday I would like to offer some tips for shoppers. When you go to a store, whether it be Black Friday or any time park as close as you can to the store and take notice of where you are parked,” said Sheriff Ray.

*Never leave your car unoccupied with the engine running.

*Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. If you must leave something in your car lock it in your trunk or put it out of sight.

*Keep a secure hold on your purse or handbag. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.

*When approaching or leaving your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings.

*Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

*Ask the mall or store security you are in for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINE (ATM):

*If you use an ATM choose one located inside a mall or a well lit location. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need in case your wallet or purse is stolen or lost.

*Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you because they could look over your shoulder and see what numbers you are punching in.

*Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

SHOPPING:

*It is a good idea to shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Don’t shop alone.

*Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.

*If you can, do not carry a pocketbook or wallet. Just Keep cash in your front pocket.

*Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas who may try to grab them from your pockets or shoulder.

*Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

*Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

CHILDREN:

*If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.

*If you do take your small children with you, teach them to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case the child is separated from you.

*Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.

*Never allow children to make trips to the restroom alone.

*Also, children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.

*Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security in case they get lost.

*Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

AT HOME:

*Be sure to lock your doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

*When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.

*Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer if possible.

*When you do leave your home, make sure to leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.

*Never put large displays of holiday gifts that are visible through the windows and doors of your home.

*Know who is knocking at your door before you unlock and open it. Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.

*Donate to a recognized charitable organization. People from charitable organizations often call and ask for money especially during the holidays. Make sure you know to whom you are giving your money. If you don’t know them, don’t donate. Instead give it to someone in our county, maybe to a local church that has a food pantry or a Christmas for Kids program. Never send money by Western Union and don’t give anyone purporting to be doing charitable organization work your credit card number. Protect yourself from scams.

If you have questions you may call Sheriff Ray at 615-597-4935, find him on Facebook, or stop by the Sheriff’s Office on the public square.

Chamber Breakfast Unites Community in Prayer

November 21, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Chamber President Isaac Gray, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, and guest speaker Steve Cantrell at Prayer Breakfast this morning (Tuesday)
Chamber Prayer Breakfast: Jen Sherwood, Rita Bell, Isaac Gray, Beth Adcock, Steve Cantrell, Suzanne Williams, Kathy Hendrixson, Shan Burklow, Jane Brown, Connie Tjarks, and Chris Summers

Members of the community gathered for a time of invocation Tuesday morning at the county complex during the 47th annual Chamber Prayer Breakfast.

Steve Cantrell was the keynote speaker for the program. A member of the Senior Executive Service, Cantrell has served in the Department of the Air Force as Director of the Civil Aviation Intelligence Analysis Center, Washington D.C.

“The focus of my speech was prayer and how God answers our prayers. Sometimes he answers our prayers immediately and sometimes although we pray God answers our prayers on His time. In my case it was life changing for me. At one time I was in a terrific situation. There was no question that when that situation was resolved which was a medical situation on a very fast Interstate in Washington D.C. during rush hour that God was answering prayers that had been said for me by my wife, mother, and many others over the years when I was deployed. It was just that those prayers needed to be answered at that time,” he said.

Cantrell has spent much of his adult life in the military.

“I grew up as a military brat growing up with my dad (Waniford Cantrell) and moved around the country. When I got ready to graduate from the University of Kentucky I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. Dad wanted me to be a lawyer. Others were pushing me toward other things. I finally decided I wanted to go into the military and follow my dad’s footsteps,” said Cantrell.

“I now work for the Air Force. I was in one position but I just got detailed. I am now a Special Assistant for the Secretary of the Air Force involved in a project looking at all the directive publications and regulations in the Air Force to see if we can’t whittle them down, make less of them, make them shorter and more concise, and put them in plain English,” he said.

Cantrell's plans are to relocate here upon retirement.

“I’m looking to relocate here within two years. My mother (Kathryn Cantrell) when she passed away left me a beautiful home site that she wanted me to build on and it’s my goal to come back and do that and retire here in Smithville and try to see how to contribute back to this beautiful community,” Cantrell said.

The prayer breakfast program included the following:

*Welcome by County Mayor Tim Stribling

*Opening prayer and Blessing by Chamber President Isaac Gray

*Presentation of Flags/Pledge by Boy Scout Troop #347

*National Anthem by Suzanne Slager

*Breakfast prepared by Jason Evans of The Inn at Evins Mill

*Special music by Suzanne Slager

*Prayer for the Military and Emergency Response Personnel by DeKalb Fire Chief Donny Green

*Scripture Reading by Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss

*Prayer for our Children and Families by Rita Bell, Haven of Hope

*Introduction of Speaker by Shan Burklow

*Keynote Speaker: Steve Cantrell

*Community and Leaders Prayer/Health and Healing for the Community by Nancy Trapp of Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital

*The Lord’s Prayer in unison led by Chamber Past President Kathy Hendrixson

*Announcements by Jen Sherwood.

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