Local News Articles

Man Airlifted After Thanksgiving Day Crash

November 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Kenneth Johnson, Jr. Seriously Injured in Thursday Crash (Kimberly Johnson Photo)
Man Airlifted After Thanksgiving Day Crash

A 22 year old man was seriously injured in a one car crash Thursday on Four Seasons Road.

Central dispatch received the call at 2:13 p.m.

Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Kenneth Johnson, Jr. of Poss Road Smithville was west on Four Seasons Road in a 1991 Ford LTD when he lost control while trying to negotiate a curve. He went off the right side of the road, overcorrected, and came back across the road before going off an embankment and hitting trees.

Johnson was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS and then airlifted by Vandy Life Flight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Johnson Chapel, Midway, and Short Mountain Highway Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene.

Grand Jury Indicts Man in Liquor Store Burglary and Theft

November 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Amail John Land

A man believed to be responsible for a recent burglary at a Smithville liquor store was indicted Monday by the grand jury.

50 year old Amail John Land is indicted for burglary, theft under $500, and vandalism under $500. He will be arraigned in criminal court on December 7.

Captain Steven Leffew of the Smithville Police Department said that while conducting an investigation concerning a burglary earlier in the morning on Friday, September 25 at Center Hill Wine and Spirits, Detective Brandon Donnell arrested Land for burglary, vandalism, and theft. At approximately 5:12 a.m. that morning Sergeant Travis Bryant responded to the store in reference to a burglar alarm. Upon arrival he noticed that the door to the business was busted out and a large rock was lying inside the store. Upon speaking with the owner of the business, it appeared that two bottles of Vodka had been taken. Land became a suspect in the case from store surveillance video.

King Indicted for Possession of Meth

November 28, 2015
Dwayne Page
Terry Allen King

The Grand Jury Monday indicted a Smithville man found with baggies of methamphetamine on him by a Sheriff's Department Detective during a recent home probation visit.

37 year old Terry Allen King of West Broad Street, Smithville is indicted for possession of a schedule II drug over 0.5 grams for sale. He will be arraigned in criminal court on December 7.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, August 27 a detective went to King's residence on West Broad Street with state probation and parole authorities. Upon arrival the detective spoke with King who is on probation. King held in his hand a cigarette pack that contained 10 small baggies. In each baggie was a white substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine. Each baggie weighed . 4 grams. The total weight in all ten baggies combined was 4 grams. King also had $73 cash which was seized. King was then placed under arrest.

Tis the Season for Burglaries and Thefts

November 27, 2015
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The holiday season is a time for celebrating with friends and family. It’s also prime time for break-ins and thefts. Sheriff Patrick Ray urges you to start the holidays off right—and relieve some of your stress—by making sure your home and your car are protected.

"Between now and usually the first of the year we see a rise in home burglaries and burglaries of vehicles so we're asking everyone to notice their surroundings a little more and take note of strangers in their neighborhoods. If you see something or someone suspicious please call us and we'll come and check," said Sheriff Ray.

"Make sure you secure your items. If they are in a garage, barn, shed, or outbuilding make sure they are locked up where no one but you can get to them. Don't leave things on the outside in plain sight. That may bait someone to come up in your yard and steal things. Don't leave garage doors open. It allows thieves to see what's there just by driving down the road in front of your home," he continued.

You are also urged to record serial numbers on all your valuables that have them in case of theft. "We've had a pretty good rash of break-ins within the last two weeks. Most of them have been happening at night. But out of all the break-ins very few of those have serial numbers (recorded by victims). It's very difficult for the detectives to find (stolen) items without (knowing) the serial numbers. If an item (personal belonging) doesn't have a serial number you can take a dremel tool or something else and inscribe an owner (identification) number on it which can be anything from the last four digits of your social security number, date of birth, or other numbers you would know in case of theft. Marking your belongings is very important and always helpful in a theft investigation," Sheriff Ray said.

"Black Friday is a big day for people to shop for Christmas and thieves know that so after Black Friday is a time when thieves often times start breaking into homes and garages where those Christmas packages are kept," he added.

It's also a good idea to have a security light on your property to help keep thieves away at night. "If you have a barn or garage, especially if it sets off to itself away from your house, make sure it has some kind of light source that shines on it at night such as a security light or if it has porch lights, it never hurts to leave those on. Also be sure to keep doors to those type buildings locked or chained," said Sheriff Ray.

To report a burglary and theft or suspicious activity call central dispatch at 615-215-3000.

"Love Lights a Tree" Campaign Underway

November 27, 2015
Dwayne Page
"Love Lights a Tree" Campaign Underway

The American Cancer Society invites you to make a special donation in honor or in memory of a loved one during the holiday season through "Love Lights a Tree". A special memory board is being erected on the south side of the courthouse that will list the names of loved ones being honored and remembered.

The DeKalb County Unit of the American Cancer Society seeks your support in the "Love Lights a Tree" fundraising campaign to raise money for research to find a cure as well as cancer education and patient services. Donations may be made throughout the holiday season. The persons you honor or remember do not necessarily have to have suffered from cancer.

The names are in "honor of" and in "memory of" for a donation of five-dollars per name. Forms may be obtained at the local banks. For more information, contact Ivadell Randolph at 615- 597-5296, Lynda Luna at 615- 597-5837, Renee Cantrell at 615-597-4551, Melanie Judkins at 615-597-1132, or Gail Taylor 615-597-5936.

State Representative Mark Pody Speaks Out on Issues Facing Tennessee (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 26, 2015
Dwayne Page

State Representative Mark Pody commented on a variety of state legislative issues during a forum held Saturday at the courthouse.

Among the tops discussed were the proposed "Defense of Marriage Act", reducing the fee as part of the requirement for obtaining a life time handgun carry permit, the Syrian refugee resettlement, and his opposition to any move toward an increase in the state gas tax.

DeKalb Fire Department Recognized for Participation in “100 For 100” Challenge

November 26, 2015

The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) proudly announces that eight fire departments who accepted the SFMO’s second “100 For 100” smoke alarm installation challenge more than doubled the goal of the Nov. 14, 2015 event.

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department made the list.

Created to commemorate the SFMO’s 100th anniversary, the “100 For 100” challenge is a fun way for fire departments to test their limits while providing crucial alert devices and safety education to the citizens of their local communities. Eight Tennessee fire departments accepted the SFMO’s challenge to install at least 100 alarms on Nov. 14 – then went above and beyond and installed 1,758 smoke alarms during the event. So far, over 2,800 new smoke alarms have been installed during the two "100 For 100” events.

“I am proud to thank all of our participating fire departments for their outstanding efforts to help ensure the safety of the citizens they serve,” said State Fire Marshal and Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “Our ‘100 For 100’ partners are showing their commitment to their communities by going above and beyond during these events. We look forward to individually recognizing our ‘100 For 100’ partners in the coming weeks. Congratulations to everyone!”

The eight participating departments for the November challenge included:

Dresden Fire Department (FD)

Martin FD

Willette Vol. FD

DeKalb County FD

Murfreesboro FD

Crossville FD

Sneedville Vol. FD

Sweetwater FD

Total: 1,758 alarms installed

According to National Fire ProtectionAssociation research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, three out of five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The SFMO created the “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” smoke alarm program in 2012 to help address this problem through the installation of free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the state. Since then, more than 26,000 homes have received the alarms and 106 lives have been potentially saved when the devices alerted occupants to fire danger.

The “100 For 100” initiative began in October with 10 fire departments completing the inaugural challenge with a total of 1,116 alarms installed.

A third challenge is planned for December. A date has not been finalized.

Participating fire departments will receive a special recognition from the SFMO for their work in making these events a success.

Legislative Update from State Senator Mae Beavers (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 25, 2015
Dwayne Page

State Senator Mae Beavers gave her views on state legislative issues during a forum held Saturday at the courthouse.

Among the issues discussed were the proposed "Defense of Marriage Act", the teaching of Islam in the classroom as part of the state's 7th grade standards, a proposal for eliminating "No Go Zones" where handguns cannot be carried in Tennessee, concerns about whether abortion procedures include the selling of baby body parts, a plan by UT to start using gender neutral pronouns, members of the Tennessee National Guard being able to openly carry guns, the Syrian refugee resettlement, concerns about Common Core standards, and her opposition to any move toward an increase in the state gas tax.

DeKalb Jobless Rate Drops to 6.6% in October

November 25, 2015
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for the month of October was 6.6%, down from 7.1% in September and 7.8% in October, 2014.

The local labor force for October was 7,100. A total of 6,630 were employed and 470 were unemployed.

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for October was fifth highest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:
Clay: 7.8%
Van Buren: 7.4%
Jackson: 6.8%
DeKalb: 6.6%
Fentress: 6.3%
Overton: 6.3%
White: 5.7%
Warren: 5.7%
Putnam: 5.4%
Cannon: 5.3%
Smith: 5%

County unemployment rates for October 2015 show they decreased in 90 counties, increased in four, and remained the same in one county

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in October at 4.2 percent, down from September’s rate of 4.6 percent. Knox County was 4.4 percent in October, down from 4.8 the previous month. The Hamilton County October rate was 5.1 percent, down from 5.6 in September. Shelby County was 6.4 percent in October, down from 6.7 percent the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for October was 5.6 percent, down one tenth of a percentage point from from the previous month. The U.S. preliminary rate for October was 5.0 percent, also down one tenth of a percentage point from September.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.


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