Local News Articles

Homeless Woman Gets 10 Year Sentence for Aggravated Burglaries

December 13, 2017
Dwayne Page
Ashley Nicole Tittle

A homeless woman who allegedly went around stealing from homes, outbuildings, barn, and a church in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown areas appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday for sentencing.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

24 year old Ashley Nicole Tittle entered a plea by criminal information to two counts of aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of ten years. The sentence has been suspended to supervised probation except for one year to serve. She was given jail credit from September 12 to December 12.

A co-defendant, 32 year old Joshua Dewayne Brown entered a plea by criminal information on Tuesday, November 7 to three counts of aggravated burglary and received a five year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of fifteen years. He will be on TDOC probation after serving one year in the DeKalb County Jail. He has been given jail credit from September 12 through November 11, 2017.

The couple is to make restitution to the victims totaling $6,535

Brown and Tittle were recently charged with 10 counts of burglary, 3 counts of aggravated burglary, 4 counts of vandalism, 10 counts of theft under $1,000, and 3 counts of theft over $1,000. Brown was also charged with 1 count of evading arrest.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Brown and Tittle were found living under a tent in an old outbuilding on Wilson Hollow Road at Liberty. They had targeted 11 victims in their crime spree including one who was victimized three times.

Sheriff’s Department Detectives recovered some of the stolen property.

Under a negotiated settlement with state prosecutors, Brown entered a plea in three of the aggravated burglaries at the same residence on Alexandria to Dismal Road, Liberty on March 15, September 4, and September 11, 2017.

Tittle entered a plea to aggravated burglaries at the same residence on the Alexandria to Dismal Road, Liberty on September 4 and September 11, 2017.

In a separate case, 61 year old Vicky Elaine Bogle entered a no contest (best interest) plea to a charge of theft over $2,500. Although Bogle is not admitting guilt, she has been granted judicial diversion and the term of two years at 30% has been suspended to unsupervised probation. She must make restitution of $10,000 to Tennessee Credit. If Bogle successfully abides by the conditions of her probation, the case against her will be dismissed after two years and she may apply for expungement of her record

Bogle, a former manager of Tennessee Credit, had originally been indicted in the case for theft over $60,000.

The indictment alleged that "Bogle, between the 1st day of January, 2009 and the 19th day of December 2014 knowingly did obtain or exercise control over certain property, to wit: money/cash being over the value of $60,000, the property of Tennessee Credit, without the effective consent of Tennessee Credit, with the intent to deprive Tennessee Credit of said property, constituting the offense of Theft".

According to the family at the time of her indictment, Bogle was one of five owners of Tennessee Credit and had served as a former operating manager there.

A man accused of assaulting a woman during an argument and then stealing her car was sentenced Tuesday in Criminal Court.

27 year old Randy James Wheeler entered a plea to theft over $2,500 and assault. He received a four year TDOC sentence in the theft case and 11 months and 29 days for the assault. The terms are to run concurrently for a total of four years. Wheeler is to make restitution of $250 to the victim and he is under a restraining order to keep away from her. He was given jail credit from October 23 to December 12.

Sheriff Ray said that on September 16 a deputy was dispatched to Jack Hudson Road in reference to a physical domestic which had just occurred. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the victim who said that she and Wheeler had gotten into an argument because she refused to perform a sexual act for him. Wheeler demanded the keys to her car but she refused. He then pulled her from the car and threw her to the ground, kicked her in the back, and stomped her head onto the ground. He then got in the car and sped off leaving her on the ground.

DCHS Among Top 50 Elite Schools in the Nation for Culinary Arts

December 12, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School has been recognized for having one of the top 50 hospitality/culinary arts programs in the country by the National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University in Kentucky.



Every year, the Elite 50 recognizes secondary schools that demonstrate commitment to hospitality and culinary excellence

Only three schools in Tennessee received this honor for 2018, with DCHS being the only school in Middle Tennessee. Schools nationwide applied for the recognition.

The Elite 50 list is comprised of high schools and tech centers that excel in the areas of culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and/or hospitality management. Some are state and national competition winners from ProStart, SkillsUSA and Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Research was also conducted to establish schools for the list with strong hospitality enrollment and influence in their community.

Additional criteria for those selected for the Elite 50 included: an original recipe with photos or a restaurant management design; two essays from students on the topic, "Why I want to pursue a career in hospitality"; and video(s), brochure(s) and additional information about the school’s program. Further considerations were given to schools that operate a restaurant or offer catering service, etc. as part of culinary/hospitality training.

About The National Center For Hospitality Studies.

Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) has earned an outstanding reputation as one of the finest hospitality schools in the country. NCHS's student competition team has won more than 400 (and counting) gold, silver and bronze medals and awards in regional, national and international competitions. NCHS was the first and only school in the nation entrusted to prepare meals for U.S. athletes in the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics. NCHS has also been honored for its outstanding culinary and hospitality training with a Five Diamond Award of Excellence presented by Hilton Hotels and AAA Kentucky.

Mike Foster Picks up Petition for County Mayor

December 12, 2017
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission has issued more qualifying petitions to potential candidates for the May 1, 2018 DeKalb County Democratic Primary

Those who have obtained petitions to date are as follows:

*Mike Foster-County Mayor
*Tim Stribling-County Mayor
*Bradley Hendrix-County Mayor
*Kevin Robinson-County Commissioner 7th District
*Nora Harvey-County Commissioner 2nd District
*Jack Barton-County Commissioner 3rd District
*Scott Little-County Commissioner 4th District
*Jeff Barnes-County Commissioner 6th District
*Betty Atnip-County Commissioner 6th District
*James L. (Jimmy) Poss-County Clerk
*Jimmy Sprague-Road Supervisor
*Jeff McMillen-Register of Deeds
*Nicole Wright-Circuit Court Clerk
*Mark Milam-Circuit Court Clerk
*Julie Young-County Commissioner 1st District
*Bobby R. Taylor-County Commissioner 4th District

Poss’ petition has been returned and (enough signatures) verified

In addition to Democrats County Clerk James L. “Jimmy” Poss, Road Supervisor candidate Jimmy Sprague, and Circuit Court Clerk candidates Nicole Wright and Mark Milam, Republicans who have made public announcements on WJLE of their intentions to run for election or re-election in 2018 are:

*Trustee Sean Driver
*Sheriff Patrick Ray
*Danny Hale for Road Supervisor
*Reed Edge for Road Supervisor
*Susan Martin for Circuit Court Clerk

The following county offices are up for election in 2018: Road Supervisor, County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and Trustee and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

DeKalb County Democrats will be nominating candidates for county offices in a primary set for May 1, 2018.

Democratic nominees will face any Republican and or Independent challengers in the August, 2018 general election. The DeKalb County Republican Party will be choosing its nominees by caucus. The qualifying deadline for all candidates will be the same, NOON February 15, 2018.

Smithville Elementary Names Students of the Month

December 12, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Elementary Names Students of the Month

Smithville Elementary has recognized its Students of the Month for December. These students were selected for their outstanding character, academics, and other traits that make them an all-around excellent student. Selected as Students of the Month for December are:

PreK – Jolynn O’Connell

K – Ty’Yari Jackson

1st - Colten Harwell

2nd – Edward Crook

Alexandria Man Charged in Burglary and Theft

December 12, 2017
Dwayne Page
Barry Wayne Lewis, Jr.
Chad Wilson Johnson
Chad Dwayne Cantrell

An Alexandria man has been arrested for breaking into an outbuilding and stealing a chainsaw and hedge trimmers.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_51.pdf (2.82 MB)

19 year old Barry Wayne Lewis, Jr. of Liberty Hill Road, Alexandria is charged with burglary, aggravated criminal trespassing, and theft of property under $1,000. His bond is $7,500 and he will make a court appearance January 4.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday November 26 Lewis allegedly broke into an outbuilding on Coon Branch Road and took a Stihl MS 180C chainsaw and a set of hedge trimmers valued at $330.

Lewis illegally came onto the grounds to commit the crimes while being under an active restraining order to keep off the property.

The case was investigated by a detective.

41 year old Chad Wilson Johnson of Greenwood Drive, Smithville is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver. He is under a $5,000 bond and his court date is December 21.

Sheriff Ray said that on November 5 a deputy went to a residence on Colvert Lake Road, Smithville to serve a warrant. While at the residence, the officer conducted a probation search and Johnson was found to have a small white container in his front pocket. Inside the container was a small clear baggie that held a crystal like substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine. It weighed 0.5 grams.

36 year old Chad Dwayne Cantrell of Old Bildad Road, Smithville is charged with filing a false report, theft of property, and criminal trespassing. His bond is $12,000 and he will make a court appearance on December 21.

Sheriff Ray said that on October 14, Cantrell trespassed on the victim’s property on Potts Camp Road, Smithville and took a Hallmark Dual Axle Cargo Trailer from the residence. The total value of the trailer is $5,000.

Cantrell was then charged with making a false statement on Friday, December 1 after lying to a detective during a criminal investigation in the case.

Dillard Charged with Aggravated Arson After Firing Flare Gun Into Residence

December 12, 2017
Dwayne Page
Daniel Lewis Dillard
Brandon Chase Belcher
Vanessa Nicole Freeman
Timothy Shawn Roller
Jimmy Dwight Underhill
Jeffery Lee Johnson
Michael James Culver
Travis Dewayne Hawkins
Ronald Jeffrey Patterson

A 20 year old man is facing a charge of aggravated arson after he participated in firing a flare gun into a home while a woman and minor were inside the residence. There were apparently no injuries.

20 year old Daniel Lewis Dillard of Lee Braswell Road, Smithville is under a bond of more than one million dollars for the Class A offense of aggravated arson. He is also charged with resisting stop, frisk, halt, or search. Dillard was already on probation for a separate offense at the time of the incident. He will make a court appearance on January 4.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, December 4, Dillard did knowingly and recklessly partake in the shooting of a flare gun into a residence on Lee Braswell Road causing damage to the house and some of the furnishings. A female and juvenile were present in the home at the time of the offense.

Five days later while being taken into custody, Dillard tried to resist officers’ efforts in placing him under arrest. The case was investigated by a detective.

29 year old Brandon Chase Belcher of Kendra Drive, Smithville is charged with vandalism. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on January 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on November 9 Belcher was at a residence on Coconut Ridge Road and he spun gravel into the victim’s truck as he drove away causing $1,246 in damage to the vehicle. The case was investigated by a detective.

32 year old Vanessa Nicole Freeman of Sims Street, Dowelltown is charged with disorderly conduct. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is January 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 9 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Floyd Drive, Smithville for a possible domestic. Freeman was outside the home screaming and cursing after being ordered several times to stop. Freeman was then placed under arrest.

48 year old Timothy Shawn Roller of Foster Road, McMinnville is charged with driving under the influence. Roller’s bond is $1,500 and his court date is January 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 10 a deputy spotted a silver Chevy truck failing to maintain its lane of travel on Evins Mill Road in Smithville. The officer stopped the truck and spoke with the driver, Roller whose speech was slurred and he had an odor of alcohol about his person. Roller submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.

48 year old Jimmy Dwight Underhill of Rolling Acres Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. He is under a $2,000 bond and his court date is January 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 10 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Rolling Acres Road due to a physical domestic and spoke with a woman who said that she and her ex-husband (Underhill) who still lived together had gotten into an argument over his drinking alcohol. According to the woman, she ordered Underhill to leave the home but he refused telling her she was the one who was going to leave. Underhill then kicked her in the back of the leg while wearing his cowboy boots which left a mark on the back of her left leg.

50 year old Jeffery Lee Johnson of Pack Circle, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is January 4.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 11 a deputy was patrolling on Lakeside Drive when he spotted a vehicle setting in the eastbound right lane with its lights off. The officer stopped and spoke with the driver, Johnson who appeared to be jittery. The deputy detected an odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle. Johnson’s eyes were glassy and red and his pupils dilated. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and refused to submit to implied consent. A search warrant was obtained for a sample of his blood for testing.

48 year old Michael James Culver of Sparta is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is December 21.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 2 a deputy responded to Highway 56 south near DeKalb Memorial Gardens due to a report of a suspicious man walking down the road and acting erratically. The officer spotted the man, Culver walking into lanes of travel on the busy highway. He was unsteady on his feet. He couldn’t tell the officer where he was at and his speech was slurred. After determining Culver was under the influence of an intoxicant, the deputy placed him under arrest for his safety and that of the public.

30 year old Travis Dewayne Hawkins of McMinnville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and Hawkins will make a court appearance on December 21.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy received a call on Tuesday, December 5 about a black Chrysler Sebring JX convertible traveling inbound toward Smithville from Sparta. The driver of the car was reported to have been involved in an aggravated assault in White County. The officer spotted the vehicle and pulled it over. The driver, Hawkins had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person, and his speech was slurred. Hawkins told the officer that he had taken Percocet and Gabapentin before driving and had consumed some Fireball whiskey. A half filled bottle of whiskey was found in the car. Hawkins submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks.

52 year old Ronald Jeffrey Patterson of Patterson Road, Smithville is charged with violation of bond conditions. His bond is $25,000 and his court date is January 11.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 3 Patterson was found to have violated bond conditions put in place to protect a woman (victim) by contacting her. She was a victim in an aggravated assault case. Patterson was also found to have an alcoholic beverage in his possession, which is also a violation of his bond conditions.

DeKalb Prevention Coalition to Offer Free Training on Use of Naloxone

December 11, 2017
Dwayne Page
Lisa Cripps
DeKalb Prevention Coalition to Offer Free Training on Use of Naloxone

Recognizing an opioid overdose and knowing what to do to help save a life is not just for law enforcement officers and emergency responders.

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition is giving them and anyone else who wants to learn an opportunity to get the training needed to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose including administering Naloxone or Narcan to reverse the overdose.

The FREE training will be on Tuesday, December 19 in the History Room of the Mike Foster County Complex from 12-1pm. (Enter through the “Mike Foster” entrance to the building, turn to your right and the room is on the left). All attendees will receive FREE training in the use of Naloxone and a free Naloxone rescue kit (if available). This is open to anyone who wants to attend. The instructors will be Suzanne and Tommy Angel, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists. Please call or email to reserve your seat.

Naloxone is a safe nasal spray medication that reverses opioid overdoses caused by narcotics like codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and heroin. This training can save the life of a loved one, friend, co-worker, neighbor or anyone using prescription painkillers or heroin who are found to be unconscious, unresponsive, possibly with blue lips and blue finger nails, and there could be signs of drug use around them such as needles or empty pill bottles.

Lisa Cripps, who is the Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition, said this training would be helpful to anyone, especially people who have regular contact with the public.

“With the introduction of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 times more powerful than heroin with a fatal dose only being the size of a few grains of sand, we are thankful to offer our community a training with the medication called “Naloxone”, which is extremely affective medication that can stop opioid overdoses and can actually save lives,” she said.

“We already have our law enforcement trained and some of our first responders and now we want to offer that to the community. You might ask “who should get Naloxone training and have Naloxone on hand”? Certainly people who have overdosed before; people who are injecting drug users; pain patients; family or friends who are associated with active users; business workers who frequent homes to do work such as electricians, cable tv workers etc.; any first responders to wrecks, house fires, rescue workers, etc; and simply just if you want to be safe and have that Naloxone with you in case you need it at any point in time,” said Cripps.

If you are interested in attending this training please leave a message by contacting Lisa Cripps, Prevention Coordinator, at 615-580-9290 (text or voice message) or send a message to the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DeKalbPreventionCoalition to reserve your seat. You may also send an email at dekalbtnprevention@gmail.com.

“Remember there is always hope for recovery for someone living but certainly not someone dead. Naloxone can save lives,” said Cripps.

Steven Jennings’ first Major League Baseball Card Now Available

December 11, 2017
Dwayne Page
Steven Jennings’ first Major League Baseball Card Now Available.

Former DeKalb County High School pitching standout Steven Jennings’ first Major League Baseball card is now available.

The Bowman Company’s latest Draft product features Jennings on an insert card called “Recommended Viewing,” a two-player card that pairs up prospects from the same franchise.

Several copies have already appeared on ebay.

2017 Bowman Draft boxes are available at hobby shops and certain retail outlets.

Drafted this summer in the 2nd round by the Pittsburg Pirates, Jennings appears along with the player the team drafted in the first round, Shane Baz. The card has 4 parallel versions-refractors, gold refractors numbered to 50 copies, red refractors numbered to only 5 copies and a superfractor which is a one-of-a-kind card.

After being drafted, Jennings was assigned to the Pirates Gulf Coast League affiliate. According to rumbunter.com, a Pirate internet fan site, Jennings made 10 starts and compiled 26.1 innings. He had an earned run average (ERA) of 4.10 while striking out 13 batters and walking 10. While his strikeouts per nine innings rate was low at 4.44, he had an impressive groundball rate of 55.6 percent. Opponents batted only .281 off him which gave him a WHIP average of 1.56.

The website said “Jennings will most likely play in Short-Season A ball next season. He will likely make about 10 starts in Bristol and the Pirates will likely try to keep his innings limited in his second professional season.”

The website also said “The expectations are very high for him going forward. MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the Pirates number 10 overall prospect.”

Early Morning Fire Causes Damage at Home on Snow Street (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

December 11, 2017
Dwayne Page

A fire early this morning (Monday) destroyed an outbuilding and caused some damage to the residence of Buck Mooneyham at 710 Snow Street.

911 received the call at 2:15 a.m. and dispatched city police and firefighters. DeKalb EMS also responded.

According to Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker, a police officer was first on the scene and awoke Mooneyham, who had been asleep when the fire started. Mooneyham was not injured.

Smithville firefighters arrived to find flames protruding from the roof of the outbuilding behind Mooneyham’s home. The fire had also spread to the back porch and rear exterior of the house. Heat from the flames melted blinds on windows inside the residence.

Chief Parker said firefighters believe the blaze started from a propane heater inside the outbuilding that had been left on overnight.

103 Year old Carrie Helen Smith Serves as Grand Marshal of Alexandria Christmas Parade

December 11, 2017
Dwayne Page
Alexandria’s oldest resident, 103 year old Carrie Helen Smith with her son Wade Smith
Carrie Smith's sons, James, Wade, and Bill Smith and other family members joined her at the Alexandria Christmas Parade

Alexandria’s oldest resident, 103 year old Carrie Helen Smith, was the Grand Marshal of Sunday's Alexandria Christmas Parade.

The parade also featured the DCHS, Gordonsville, and Watertown High School bands among other attractions including the stars of the show, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Many excited Santa fans poured into town to greet them.

Oakley’s Thrift Store won first place among the float entries. Wilson Bank and Trust received second place and third place went to Lovers Lane Neighborhood.

Don Barrett was awarded first place in the vintage automobile category for his 1965 Chevy truck while Paul Johnson received second place for his 1966 Ford F100. Third place went to Randy Murphy for his 1956 Chevy Bel Air.

Cody Hale took first place for best tractor with his 1952 John Deere MT.

M2U02613 from dwayne page on Vimeo.


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