Local News Articles

County Clerk Unveils User Friendly Office Updates

April 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
County Clerk Office
License Plate Board
Bulletin Board and Counter
Kiosk Machine

A few renovations have been made in the County Clerk’s Office to update and make it more attractive and user friendly.

“Upon taking office a little over two years ago we decided the current plate organizer in place was an obstruction. It blocked a majority of the drive-thru window from the work stations and was very difficult to view the plates without removing them individually. For the public's convenience we erected three display boards to better view the plates and relocated the original organizer. With the relocation of the previous plate organizer, customers at the drive-thru, our staff and the customers inside can now view transactions at both locations,” said County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss.

“We also decided to relocate the Kiosk machine from the far end of the hallway to inside our office. This allows us to better assist customers with it's use,” he continued.

A large bulletin board has been installed allowing us to post office related information, hours of operation and public notices. Underneath the bulletin board we installed a counter for filling out business and marriage license applications, notary applications, etc.”

“Our office strives to accommodate the public, maintain office cleanliness and a friendly and efficient customer service. We thank everyone for allowing us to serve them and desire to continue being fair and honest servants to the community,” County Clerk Poss concluded.

Man on Probation for Sale of Marijuana Found with More Pot

April 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Sheriff's Department Officials Seize Marijuana from home of Ricky LeRoy Randall
Ricky LeRoy Randall

A suspected marijuana dealer, already on probation for sale and delivery of pot, has been found with more.

47 year old Ricky LeRoy Randall of Old Blue Springs Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a revoked license and possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) for resale. His bond is $28,000 and his court date is April 27.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, April 10 sheriff’s department detectives went to Randall’s home on Old Blue Springs Road to conduct a probation search of Randall, who is currently on probation out of Warren County for sale and delivery of a schedule VI drug.

During the search, detectives found outside of Randall’s residence in a white five gallon bucket approximately ten ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

Inside Randall’s home, detectives found in the bedroom/bathroom a half ounce of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, scales, a pipe, and rolling papers along with $700. They also recovered from the residence a package which contained a white five gallon bucket with approximately four pounds of a green leafy substance that was individually packaged and believed to be marijuana.

Randall was charged with the DRL offense after he was observed operating a motor vehicle on a license which was revoked out of California.

School Board Changes Policy Regarding Student Absences Due to Personal Illness

April 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools and Board of Education

Students will be able to receive up to five excused absences for personal illness during a school year without a doctor’s statement under a policy amendment adopted on second and final reading by the Board of Education Thursday night.

The policy amendment will take effect with the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Under the current board policy, a doctor statement is required for all student absences due to illness in order to be excused. The amendment allows schools to accept notes from parents for up to five absences per school year. “This is for a personal illness. This is not for a sibling’s illness, a parent’s illness, or a trip to Disney World. Its for the child, himself or herself, being sick,” said Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder.

A doctor’s statement will be required for students who are absent after the fifth day of personal illness under the policy amendment.

The board also adopted a policy on second reading which prohibits employees from accessing social media and networking sites through the schools network or by any other means (e.g. smart phones) during work hours.

Pharmacy Burglar Pleads Guilty

April 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Bryan Christopher Matthews

One of three persons allegedly caught breaking into F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria last December appeared for sentencing in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 10.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_19.pdf (2.49 MB)

32 year old Bryan Christopher Matthews of Carthage entered a plea by criminal information to one count of burglary and received a four year sentence on judicial diversion probation. He must make restitution of almost $1,300.

Cases against two other defendants, 22 year old Ericka Lynn Morgan of Granville, and 50 year old Joseph Graylon Nesbitt of Pleasant Shade remain pending in court.

Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell released the following prepared statement after the burglary. “On Wednesday night, December 28, 2016 at approximately 8:15 pm , Officer Flavis Burroughs was on patrol and noticed an audible burglar alarm going off at Webb’s Pharmacy located at 105 South Public Square in Alexandria. Upon arrival Officer Burroughs noticed the front glass door had been damaged and he observed a person inside the building climbing up a hole in the ceiling . As Officer Burroughs made his way around the back of the building , a white Dodge Truck fled the area of the burglary . Officer Burroughs stopped the truck on Edgewood Street a short distance away and detained the driver, Bryan Christopher Matthews , and a passenger , Joseph Graylon Nesbitt. DeKalb County Sheriff's Deputies arrived to assist . When the pharmacy owner arrived on scene and unlocked the building he heard a woman’s voice from inside the ceiling . The woman, Ericka Lynn Morgan was found hiding in the ceiling. Officers placed Ms. Morgan into custody. Further investigation revealed the three had made entry into the building by cutting a vent on the roof and going down through the ceiling. At the time of the report it appears nothing had been stolen . All three were arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail,” said Chief Russell.

WJLE Recognizes DCHS Class of 2017 (View Photo Gallery Here)

April 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
WJLE Recognizes DCHS Class of 2017 (View Photo Gallery Here)

WJLE and participating sponsors are presenting a photo gallery of the DCHS Class of 2017 in April and May. You may now view it at www.wjle.com.

Graduation is set for Friday, May 26 at the DCHS football field.

Click on the link below or the box on the left side of the WJLE homepage to view the senior formals.


Once you open the page, click each photo to view a larger image. The name of the senior you select is at the bottom of the photo. Or you may move your mouse over the photo to view the name.

There are 178 photos in the gallery divided up 30 photos to a page. Notice the box to the left in the photo gallery. After you view page 1 be sure to click the links for pages 2-6 to view the remaining photos. The names of seniors not pictured are also listed inside the box.

The WJLE photo gallery page is sponsored in April by Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, DTC Communications, Arrow Termite & Pest Control, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, Road Supervisor Butch Agee, DeKalb Tire & Service, Alexandria Auto Parts, and DeKalb Funeral Chapel.

Sponsors for May are Fast Pace Urgent Care Clinic, General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten H. Cook, II, Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, and Trustee Sean Driver, in addition to County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, DTC Communications, Arrow Termite & Pest Control, DeKalb Tire & Service, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss.

Regional 4-H Livestock Judging Contest

April 16, 2017
By: Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
(Front) John Iervolino, Brooklyn Ponder, Junior Manning, Marshall Farler, and Riley Ruson. (Back) Elizabeth Seber, Jenna Cantrell, Payton Cantrell, Clayton Crook, Colby Barnes, Caleb Taylor, Ian Barnes, Luke Magness, and Ansley Cantrell.
5th Place The Junior High Livestock Judging Team placed 5th at the regional contest.
Ian & Colby Ian Barnes and Colby Barnes were the 10th and 4th place high individuals, respectively.

Fourteen DeKalb County 4-H members recently traveled to the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro to compete in the Central Region 4-H Livestock Judging contest. In the Junior division of 4th and 5th graders, the team of Ian Barnes, Junior Manning, and Brooklyn Ponder placed 6th.

The team comprised of Ansley Cantrell, Marshall Farler, Riley Fuson, and Luke Magness placed 8th. There were 20 total teams. Ian Barnes was the 10th high individual. In the Junior High divison of 6th-8th graders, the team of Colby Barnes, Jenna Cantrell, John Iervolino, Caleb Taylor, and Elizabeth Seber placed 5th out of 28 teams. Colby Barnes was the 4th place high individual. Payton Cantrell and Clayton Crook also competed as individuals in the Senior High division, 9th-12th graders, and did a great job.

Livestock Judging teaches 4-H members decision-making skills while they learn more about the livestock industry. Beef cattle, sheep, goats, and hogs are evaluated to know which animals would be best in a farm’s breeding program or would make the most profit in a market situation. 4-H’ers also learn how to read and use genetic information (EPDs) to assist in the selection of livestock. This is very useful knowledge if these young people ever buy livestock of their own. Eight total classes of animals are judged at the contest. The Senior division also must give two sets of oral reasons to explain why they placed the class the way they did. This improves their communication skills as they must think under pressure while still using good presentation techniques.

These teams had a great time learning about livestock animals and made new friends along the way. They represented DeKalb County very well in this highly competitive contest! For more information about the 4-H livestock group, please contact the UT/TSU DeKalb County Extension Office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Caption:
Team The DeKalb County 4-H Livestock Judging Teams did an excellent job at the regional contest in Murfreesboro. (Front) John Iervolino, Brooklyn Ponder, Junior Manning, Marshall Farler, and Riley Ruson. (Back) Elizabeth Seber, Jenna Cantrell, Payton Cantrell, Clayton Crook, Colby Barnes, Caleb Taylor, Ian Barnes, Luke Magness, and Ansley Cantrell.
5th Place The Junior High Livestock Judging Team placed 5th at the regional contest.
Ian & Colby Ian Barnes and Colby Barnes were the 10th and 4th place high individuals, respectively.

Boy Scout Court of Honor

April 16, 2017
Bill Conger

Boy Scouts in Troop 347 were honored for their achievements and rank advancement at a Court of Honor on Thursday, April 13.

Two scouts advanced in rank. Kaleb Wildes moved up to Tenderfoot. He also earned merit badges for Chemistry; Citizenship in the World; First Aid; Signs, Signals and Codes; Drafting; Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the Community; Photography; and his Cyber Chip. Jacob Williams advanced from Second Class to First Class and earned merit badges for Leatherwork, Woodworking, Electricity, and Space Exploration.

Nine scouts were recognized for earning various merit badges and awards. Jonathan Birmingham received his Public Health merit badge and Cyber Chip. Zackary Cantrell picked up merit badges for Astronomy, Fingerprinting, Drafting; and Cyber Chip. Gavin Conger earned merit badges for Photography, Disability Awareness, and Reading. Carter Dias earned the Home Repairs merit badge. Friedrich Dodge picked up Crime Prevention and Fingerprinting merit badges along with his Cyber Chip. Cody Robinson earned merit badges for Veterinary Medicine and Personal Management along with his Cyber Chip. Will Stephens earned merit badges for Metalwork, Woodwork, Citizenship in the Community, Communications, and Personal Management. Arthur Sullivan completed merit badges for Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, and Home Repairs. Brenden Wagner earned merit badges for Search and Rescue, First Aid, Citizenship in the World, Chemistry, Fingerprinting, Crime Prevention, and his Cyber Chip.

Dennis Wildes was recognized for completing his training as the newest adult leader for the troop.

Middle Tennessee - Black Fox District Executive Mark Lytle presented Scoutmasters Will and Jen Sherwood and Troop 347 with the 2017 Friends of Scouting participation award.

The Boy Scouts will have a fundraising spaghetti dinner on Sunday, April 23 at the First Baptist Church Family Enrichment Center. The meal will be served 11:00 am through 1 p.m. The community is invited. Donations will be accepted at the door, no ticket required, and will be used for summer camp fees and activities.

Judge Grants Probation in Aggravated Assault Case

April 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Joshua Lorne Tate

A Woodbury man who allegedly went on a drunken shooting spree with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Glock 21 semi-automatic handgun during an argument with family members in November putting their lives in danger appeared for sentencing Monday, April 10 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

Joshua Lorne Tate, charged with five counts of aggravated assault, stop frisk halt arrest, assault, and possession of a handgun while under the influence, entered a plea by criminal information to one count of aggravated assault. He received a six year sentence on TDOC probation with credit for time served in the DeKalb County Jail from November 20, 2016 to April 10, 2017. Tate must also forfeit his weapons.

Although no one was injured, Sheriff Patrick Ray said Tate endangered the lives of his (Tate’s) wife, step daughter (juvenile), brother-in-law and his two sons (both juveniles), and a deputy.

The incident began after Tate and his wife and step-daughter got into an argument. The victims ran toward and hid under a bridge in a creek bottom as Tate produced an AR 15 semi-automatic rifle and began shooting several times in their direction.

Later, as Tate’s brother-in-law and his two sons drove up, Tate produced a Glock 21 semi-automatic handgun and began firing at them as they sat in their vehicle and continued shooting even after they started backing down the driveway to get away. The gunshots struck the automobile at least five times in the front end and the hood.

After 911 was notified, deputies arrived on the scene and found Tate uncooperative. According to Sheriff Ray, Tate disobeyed officer’s commands to stop and halt and he even advanced toward a deputy in a threatening manner. At one point, Tate ran toward his vehicle where officers suspected Tate had weapons. After Tate was forcibly taken into custody, officers found a loaded AR 15 rifle on the passenger seat of his automobile. The Glock handgun was also recovered.

Woodbury Man Gets Six Years Probation for Aggravated Burglary

April 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Charles Edward Moody, Jr

A Woodbury man arrested earlier this year for allegedly breaking into and stealing items from a Dowelltown residence appeared for sentencing Monday, April 10 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

20 year old Charles Edward Moody, Jr. entered a plea by criminal information to one count of aggravated burglary and received a six year sentence on TDOC probation. The term is to run consecutive to Cannon County cases against him. Moody is to make restitution of $200 to one victim and $425 to another.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, February 1 Moody allegedly broke into a residence on East Main Street in Dowelltown and stole handguns, two tablets, Winchester shells, and $1,100 in cash. Four days later on Sunday, February 5 Moody allegedly sold an Armscor 38 pistol to a resident on Pine Orchard Road. Moody, a convicted felon since 2016, cannot legally possess a weapon.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff's Department Detective.

TBI Releases Name of Person Killed During Pursuit

April 15, 2017
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released the identity of the man who led law enforcement officers on a pursuit from Smithville to Sparta Thursday before losing his life in an officer involved shooting.

The deceased individual has been identified as 33 year old Michael Zennie Dial II from Clarksville, TN.

Meanwhile, All three White County officers injured during the pursuit have been released from the hospital.

The incident began at around 4:30 p.m. with an attempted traffic stop in the City of Smithville. Smithville Police Officers tried to pull over a pickup truck hauling a trailer. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop, and the chase by Smithville Police at speeds up to 75 miles per hour continued from the city to about one mile into White County where the pursuit was terminated. Four city patrol units reportedly gave chase. A DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was following Smithville Police in support, ended his involvement in the pursuit at the county line. White County authorities later picked up the pursuit from Highway 70 to north on Highway 111 in Sparta, following the vehicle. The driver of the truck crashed into several of the law enforcement vehicles, hitting them on the side, and from behind.

At some point, the tires of the trailer appeared to have flattened, dumping some of the items from the trailer into the median. As the driver continued down the road, two officers, one with the White County Sheriff’s Office , and one with the Sparta Police Department, fired shots toward the truck. The truck, still hauling the trailer, veered off the highway, went down an embankment, and lodged in the tree line. The driver of the vehicle died.

Three officers, one from Sparta Police Department two from the White County Sheriff’s Office, sustained injuries consistent with being in a vehicle crash and were transported to the hospital.

TBI Special Agents are continuing to investigate and interview witnesses, and the case remains active and ongoing. At the conclusion of this investigation, the investigative case file will be turned over to the District Attorney General for his office’s review.


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