Local News Articles

County Commission Approves Air Ambulance Deal for Residents

July 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Erlanger Lifeforce

In an effort to ensure DeKalb County residents can afford to be flown to a trauma facility for treatment and not be burdened with emergency helicopter bills in the future, the county commission Monday night voted to contract with the AirMedCare Network to provide the service. But County Mayor Mike Foster told WJLE Wednesday that questions have since been raised and the contract won't be signed until more information is provided by AirMedCare.

If the deal goes through, the cost to the county is expected to be more than $71,000 this year. According to Foster, the original proposal by AirMedCare, as discussed in previous budget committee meetings, was too expensive and wasn't included in this year's budget. But after the proposed budget was finalized, the county reconsidered and decided to fund it with a budget amendment after AirMedCare revised its offer. During Monday night's meeting, the county commission adopted the agreement on a 10-2 vote. Those voting in favor were Mason Carter, Elmer Ellis, Jr., Jerry Scott, Bradley Hendrix, Jerry Adcock, Rick Cantrell, Jeff Barnes, Marshall Ferrell, Larry Summers, and Jimmy Poss. Wayne Cantrell and David McDowell voted against it.

The AirMedCare Network is an alliance among Air Evac Lifeteam, EagleMed, REACH Air Medical Services, and Med-Trans Air Medical Transport creating America's largest air ambulance membership network. An AirMedCare Network Membership automatically enrolls patients in all 4 membership programs, providing membership coverage in over 200 locations across 28 states.

According to AirMedCare, the average bill for a medical air flight is now $25,000. But under this program residents who live within DeKalb County and are air lifted by Erlanger Life Force or the Air Evac Life Team from any location in the county for emergency treatment, will not be billed for the flight as long as they are insured at the time of transport. Patients who are not insured will be billed the "Medicare Allowable Rate". The deal does not apply to patients served by Vanderbilt Life Flight or any other service not in the AirMedCare Network.

Coverage is limited to accidents or medical events inside the county unless residents sign up and pay the $35 upgrade membership fee that covers them and their entire household within AirMedCare's network.

Without the county's participation, patients can get the same coverage from AirMedCare by paying an annual $65.00 household membership fee.

According to County Mayor Foster, the numbers show that the AirMedCare Network (Lifeforce or Air Evac) completed a total of 224 medical flights from DeKalb County between July 1, 2013 to July 28, 2014. Vanderbilt Life Flight completed a total of 71 flights from DeKalb County between January, 2013 to July 28, 2014.

AirMedCare apparently proposes to send the following letter to DeKalb County residents if the contract is signed by the county:

"Great news! Your County Commission has partnered with Erlanger Lifeforce to provide you with a tremendous opportunity. As a DeKalb County resident, you are now covered by a limited AirMedCare Network membership. While you are in DeKalb County, and are insured at time of flight, you will have no out of pocket expense. If you are uninsured at the flight, you will have a reduced bill at the Medicare Allowable Rate."

"In addition to this limited membership, you now have the ability to upgrade to full membership benefits with coverage in the entire AirMedCare Network service area. DeKalb County residents are eligible to upgrade your Entire household for only $35 per year."

"As your local air ambulance, serving area residents from our surrounding bases, Erlanger Lifeforce understands the critical aspect of time in treating medical emergencies. For those of us living in rural America, recovery from illness or injury can depend on how much time it takes to be transported to definitive emergency medical treatment. Erlanger Lifeforce can cut that transportation time in half."

"Even with medical insurance, an air medical transport can leave you with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, burdening you and your family's finances. Upgrading to a full AMCN membership will alleviate this burden. As an AMCN member, if you or family household members are flown by any AMCN provider throughout our 28 state coverage area for a life or limb threatening emergency, you will receive no out-of-pocket expenses. We will work with your benefits provider to secure payment for your flight and what insurance pays will be considered payment-in-full. If you do not have air medical insurance, as a full member of AMCN you will still not be billed."

"Erlanger Lifeforce is part of the AirMedCare Network, the largest United States Air Ambulance Membership Network. A full AMCN membership automatically enrolls you in all provider membership programs, (Air Evac Lifeteam, Med-Trans Air Medical Transport, EagleMed, and REACH Air Medical Services) giving you membership coverage in over 220 locations across 28 states. All AMCN service providers work cooperatively to provide the highest levels of care for you, your family, and your community."

"Upgrade today and you can receive a full membership in the AirMedCare Network at an even lower price compared to the standard individual membership programs, giving you membership across four leading air ambulances operators for the price of one," the letter concludes.

Reyes Gets 32 Year Prison Sentence for Child Rape

July 29, 2014
Dwayne Page
Jose Reyes

A man who stood trial earlier this month and was convicted of raping an eight year old boy received a 32 year prison term Monday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

During a sentencing hearing, Judge David Patterson gave 31 year old Jose Reyes just eight years short of the maximum penalty on the charge for which he was found guilty, Rape of a child. The range of punishment in the case was 25 to 40 years.

A motion for a new trial will be heard on August 28

Reyes is accused of raping the boy between November 2012 and March 2013.

The trial was held on Tuesday, July 1 in DeKalb County Criminal Court and it took the jury of six men and six women only half an hour to find Reyes guilty of the crime.

According to Gary McKenzie, Deputy District Attorney General, one of the prosecutors in the case, Reyes was a trusted friend of the boy and his family prior to this incident and he had been renting a room in the home of the child's aunt. "Jose was an acquaintance of the aunt. Somehow there was a friendship. He asked to rent a room and it kind of went from there. It (offense) occurred at the aunt's home. That's where it took place," said McKenzie following the trial.

The child, who has just turned ten years old, testified during the trial that he was at his aunt's home when Reyes committed the act while the two of them were alone in Reyes' bedroom. Although the child did not immediately report the incident to his aunt, he did relate it to his grandmother later while at her home. When the boy's mother learned of the incident, she took him to the sheriff's department to report it, according to the grandmother.

During Monday's hearing Greg Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, asked Judge Patterson to impose the maximum penalty for the crime of 40 years and argued that several enhancing factors called for it including that the victim was particularly vulnerable because of his age or physical or mental disability; the offense was committed by the defendant to gratify his desire for pleasure or excitement; that the defendant had no hesitation about committing a crime when the risk to human life was high; that the defendant abused a position of public or private trust in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission or the fulfillment of the offense; and that the defendant knew or should have known that, at the time of the offense, he was HIV positive.

Strong noted that the family's Victim Impact Statement further explains how the crime has affected them. The child's mother wrote that the crime of child rape affects the whole family. It has affected her child in many ways. He has been in trouble at school and is not able to concentrate. He has mood swings and suffers from low self esteem. And because of the rape, the child has to be frequently tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

While the family sought the maximum sentence for Reyes, they are praying for him, according to a brief statement from the child's mother read by Assistant DA Strong during Monday's hearing. "I and (the child) forgive you and pray for you daily and pray you find peace and forgiveness for yourself".

In a formal statement to the court, Reyes maintained his innocence. For some thirty minutes, Reyes through an interpreter talked about his relationship with the victim and his family and explained why he was not guilty of the crime.

Allison West, Assistant District Public Defender, asked the court to impose the minimum sentence and to discount the enhancing factors offered by the state prosecutors. " We understand that Mr. Reyes has been convicted of a very serious offense. As the court can tell from what he has to say, he maintains his innocence. Mr. Reyes does not have a significant criminal history. He has only two DUI's (from 2005 in DeKalb County and another from 2009 in White County). He has no felony history and no violent history. He is not a native to our country and does not understand the appropriate actions or consequences of his actions as we might see them. We would ask the court to impose a 25 year sentence," said West.

While Judge Patterson did not find appropriate all the enhancing factors offered by the state in this case , he did take into consideration Reyes' previous history of criminal conviction or behavior; the personal injury inflicted or impact on the victim; and an abuse of Reyes' position of trust in reaching his decision for a 32 year sentence.

Grand Jury Indicts Thirty Eight

July 29, 2014
Dwayne Page

The new term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury began Monday and thirty eight people were indicted including two named in sealed indictments. The names of those charged in sealed indictments cannot be made public until they are arrested. Arraignment day for each defendant is Monday, August 11 in DeKalb County Criminal Court

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Billy Braswell and Quastaia Braswell-Initiation of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Schedule II drug over .5 grams, Aggravated Child Abuse, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Speeding, Open Container, and Financial Responsibility

Jeri N. Beckham- Theft under $500 (3 counts)

Kevin Bogle- Driving under the Influence, Driving on a Suspended License, and Reckless Driving

Lucas Shane Bogle- Theft over $1,000

Dustin Burgess- Driving on a Suspended License (2nd offense), Vandalism over $1,000, Theft over $500, Criminal Trespass

Terry Burton- Reckless Driving

Rhonda Butler- Driving under the Influence, Financial Responsibility, and Registration Violation

Latasha Nicole Cantrell- Theft under $500

Elizabeth Chalfant-Forgery, Theft under $500, Driving on a Suspended License (4th offense)

Ronald Collins, II- Driving under the Influence, Open Container, Failure to Stop at Stop Sign, Violation of the Light Law, and Failure to Change Address on Drivers License

Alton David Estes- Theft over $1,000 (3 counts), Theft over $1,000 (2 counts), and Theft over $500

Philando Fullilove- Possession of a Schedule II drug, Possession of a Schedule VI drug, and No Seatbelt

Patrick Jess Gilliam- Evading Arrest, Reckless Endangerment (2 counts), and Driving on a Suspended License

Edward Lee Judkins-Burglary and Theft over $500, Possession of a Schedule VI drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts), Registration Violation, and Financial Responsibility

Travis Kinnaird-Telephone Harassment

Roxanne Landis- Theft under $500

Stacy Dawn Lannon- Theft over $10,000

Steve Mabe, Jr.- Theft over $500

John Thomas Mason- Evading Arrest and Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Karla Montgomery- Theft over $500 (2 counts) and Criminal Trespass

Christopher Mooneyham- Possession of a Schedule III drug and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Stephen Jason Moore- Burglary and Theft under $500

Pamela Moyers- Driving under the Influence, No Driver's License, and Financial Responsibility

Nieka Danielle Barrett Patton- Possession of a Schedule IV drug (2 counts), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving on a Suspended License, Financial Responsibility, and Failure to Maintain Lane of Travel

Deanna Brooke Pedigo- Assault

John Hargrove Perry- Assault

Danny Ray Prater- Domestic Assault

Christopher Prince- Possession of a Schedule VI drug

Lisa Lue Ray- Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Institution

Dwayne Allen Reeder- Domestic Assault (2 counts)

Martin Riley, III- Theft over $10,000

Kenneth Roberts- Theft under $500 (2 counts), Theft over $500 (2 counts)

Dorothy Hellene Thaxton- Aggravated Assault

Johnny Trapp- Driving under the Influence (7th offense), Driving on a Revoked License (2nd offense), and Violation of the Habitual Motor Offender

Jeremy Robert Vaughn- Vandalism under $500

County Commission Adopts New Budget, Sets Tax Rate

July 29, 2014
Dwayne Page

The county commission adopted the 2014-15 consolidated budget and set the property tax rate during Monday night's meeting at the courthouse. The new budget totals $43,847,750 and the tax rate remains the same for another year at $1.62 per $100 of assessed value.

"This is pretty much the same budget we had last year with very little in the way of changes," said County Mayor Mike Foster during Monday night's meeting.

The largest single project expected to be undertaken this budget year is the development of a solid waste transfer station. The county is currently seeking sealed bids through 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 5th for the furnishing of all labor, material, equipment, and services. The facility will be constructed on property in the Smithville Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco Automotive. The Smithville Industrial Board deeded the land to the City of Smithville, who in turn, deeded it to the county for the transfer station. According to the bid notice, the work under the contract will include the construction of a 5,400 square foot pre-engineered metal building as a solid waste transfer station including a scale house building and office building; construction of an access road with erosion control measures; stripping of 8,900 cubic yard top soil; 7,500 cubic yard site excavation; 6,000 cubic yard borrow material; 6,500 tons of mineral aggregate base stone; and 3,175 tons of hot mix. The bid opening will be Tuesday, August 5 at 10:00 a.m. in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

"This is one of those things (Transfer Station) that we tentatively began planning for ten years ago," said Foster in a recent interview with WJLE. "We started setting aside depreciation and (landfill) post closure money. We put that (money) into a fund because we knew we eventually wanted to get out of the Class 1 landfill business. We started saving for it and we now have that money in the bank," said Foster. The existing Class I landfill, located off Billings Road in the eastern portion of the county, will soon be full. Foster said he is hopeful that the transfer station can be opened by December. "According to the engineering estimates, we probably have nine months left on it (existing landfill). It's probably going to take five months to get the transfer station going. But we'll still put some stuff in there (existing landfill) until we fill it. Then we'll do a Class III/IV cell for construction material," he said.

Full time county general and sheriff's department employees due a pay raise under the existing step wage scales will get them and part time workers can expect at least a quarter per hour increase in pay under the new budget

The budget also includes funds to offer health insurance to full time county general employees under the Affordable Health Care Act. Some part time employees could see their hours adjusted in order to comply with the federal law. "We considered them part time if they worked 35 hours or less. The federal government now considers them part time if they work 30 hours or less so we had to do a little bit of adjusting. They are all actually supposed to work 28 hours anyway but some, through attrition, etc, had shuffled around and were working 33 and 32 hours. By law we have to do this (adjust hours) or pay insurance for these guys," said Foster.

As a result, Foster explained that the hours of operation at some solid waste convenience sites will be changed a bit " We had to do a little bit of adjusting to some of the hours at some of the stations but we have done that to where nobody works more than three days a week. Village Market (Cookeville Highway Convenience Site) is open six days a week. Most of the time it opens at eight o'clock but we have one day where we open at seven o'clock, from seven until five. Four days its open from eight until five. Friday its open from nine until six and Sunday its open from nine until five," said Foster. "Snow Hill is one of our busy sites too. It's basically the same thing. We try to have it open later a day or two during the week and a day or two that's early. Those two sites (Cookeville Highway and Snow Hill) are open seven days a week. Shiney Rock is open six (days a week). Blue Springs is open six (days). Keltonburg is open six (days). Belk is open five (days) and fewer hours because it gets less use than a lot of the others. Midway is open six (days). It has a lot of lake traffic. We open it on Monday from eleven until six. Tuesday eleven to six. Closed on Wednesday. Open Thursday eleven until six. Friday eleven until six. Saturday nine until six and Sunday from nine until six. Alexandria is closed on Thursday. Liberty is closed on Wednesday. At Temperance Hall we open the gates seven days a week. Silver Point is closed on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in order to benefit lake traffic on the weekends and late in the afternoons. People can bring garbage to the landfill on Monday from six until five and we have somebody there from two thirty until five. Tuesday its six until two thirty. Wednesday its six until five. Thursday is six until two thirty. Friday is six until two thirty. Saturday is seven until three and closed on Sunday," said Foster.

One cent of the tax rate generates $42,953 in local money with a 7.7% delinquency rate figured into the equation.

The proposed tax rate is broken down as follows:
County General: 82 cents
Highway/Public Works: 3 cents
General Capital Projects: 10 cents
Debt Service: 12 cents
General Purpose Schools: 55 cents.

The solid waste fund, under this budget, will not receive any property tax money but will continue to be supported by revenues derived from payment-in-lieu of taxes, local option sale taxes, hotel-motel tax, bank excise tax and wholesale beer tax, etc.

Capital projects fund expenses for the year total $641,000 including:
*"Motor Vehicles" Ambulance- $120,000
*"Other Equipment" (Heart monitors for ambulance service)-$90,000
*"Motor Vehicles" Patrol Cars-$80,000
*"Motor Vehicles" for litter truck-$8,000
*"Other Equipment"- Fire department Turnout Gear-$23,000
*"Building Construction" Courthouse-$110,000 (new roof and parapet wall)
*"Solid Waste Equipment" Skidsteer/Backhoe-$70,000 (for transfer station)
*"Solid Waste Equipment" Rollback Truck-$131,000 (landfill)
*"Other Construction" for speed bumps and paving- $9,000.

The county commission also adopted a resolution making appropriations of $145,584 to the following non-profit organizations:
Upper Cumberland Development District- $3,411
Tennessee Division of Forestry-$1,500
DeKalb County Rescue Squad- $16,821
Plateau Mental Health-$7,180
Families First-$750
Senior Citizens Program-$26,934
DeKalb Soil Conservation District-$34,062
DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce-$15,000
Imagination Library- $7,200
Genesis House- $1,500
Upper Cumberland Child Advocacy Center- $1,780
DeKalb County Fair- $1,500
WCTE-TV- $5,000
Prospect Incorporated-$12,500
Upper Cumberland Human Resources-$1,200
UCHRA Assessment-Homemaker Aide, etc-$9,245

The new school budget includes funding for a new second grade teacher as well as an English teacher, Chemistry teacher, and a part time English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at DCHS; funds for additional coaching supplements including two DCHS assistant soccer coaches (one for the girls team and one for the boys team) totaling $5,570; two assistant DeKalb Middle School soccer coaches ($2,790), a DeKalb Middle School assistant basketball coach ($1,395), a DeKalb Middle School/West School Cross Country Coach and a DCHS Cross Country coach (2 positions totaling $5,000), an assistant DeKalb West School basketball coach ($1,395), an assistant DeKalb West Baseball coach ($1,395); and an assistant high school football coach ($2,785); a half-time speech pathologist; a new full time Technology position; and a four thousand dollar pay raise for the Transportation Director position.

Man Charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty

July 29, 2014
Dwayne Page
John Michael Turner

In his latest report on crime, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that 45 year old John Michael Turner of A.B. Frazier Road, Smithville is charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal and reckless endangerment. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court on August 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 21 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on A.B. Frazier Road where a man was reported to be shooting at a mobile home. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with neighbors who said that a man (Turner) was on the roof of his house shooting at a dog as it ran toward their home with two children playing in the yard. The deputy went next door and spoke with Turner who admitted that he had shot and hit the dog as it ran limping from his yard. A shotgun and three shell casings were found at the scene. According to the warrants, Turner intentionally shot the dog causing serious physical injury to the animal and that he placed the neighbor's children in imminent danger.

44 year old David Dewaine Anderson of Gard Lane, Smithville is cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana), simple possession of a schedule II drug (morphine), and possession of drug paraphernalia. He will be in court on August 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 18 a deputy arrested Anderson on active warrants. Upon searching Anderson, the officer recovered a small plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana which weighed approximately 2.5 grams, rolling papers, other baggies, and a 100 milligram morphine pill.

58 year old Genevieve Sonnier of Dale Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence and evading arrest. She was further issued a citation for driving on roads laned for traffic, violation of the implied consent law, and simple possession of a schedule IV drug (Diazepam). Her bond is $3,000 and she will be in court August 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 22 while patrolling Dale Ridge Road, a deputy observed a white Hyundai failing to maintain its lane of travel. The officer activated his blue lights and siren to make a traffic stop but the driver of the vehicle, Sonnier did not pull over until traveling another two miles down Dale Ridge Road. Upon speaking with her, the deputy noticed that Sonnier had a strong odor of alcohol on her person. Sonnier refused to submit to a blood test and said she couldn't complete field sobriety tasks due to health issues. She admitted to having consumed three beers at a local bar. Found in her purse were three small yellow tablets believed to be Diazepam. Sonnier was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

42 year old Willard Darrell Brown of Earl Avenue, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 25, a deputy saw Brown at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria and noticed that he was very unsteady on his feet. The officer spoke with Brown and detected an odor on him associated with a fermented substance. Brown told the deputy that he had been drinking. As the officer began to place Brown into custody, a small scuffle ensued but Brown was subdued and placed under arrest without further incident.

47 year old William Trent Roller of Lucky Road, McMinnville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, July 26 a deputy was dispatched to Pates Ford Marina in response to a physical domestic. The officer spoke with three persons including a woman who said that they were all on a boat when her father, Roller turned the music up loud. When one of the persons on the boat asked Roller to turn down the music, Roller replied "come get you some big boy" and turned the music up even louder. Roller's daughter grabbed the auxiliary cord and pulled it out so the music would stop. Roller then grabbed and twisted her wrist. The victim's mother came over to get Roller to stop the assault . As the daughter pushed him away, Roller punched her in the face causing swelling to her cheek bone. Another person came to the victim's defense and began fighting with Roller. After an investigation, it was determined that Roller was the primary aggressor and he was arrested after being treated for wounds to his face which required stitches.

37 year old Nathan Cantrell of Puckett's Point Road, Smithville is charged with violation of an order of protection. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court July 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, July 26 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Puckett's Point Road. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to a woman who said that she had an order of protection against Cantrell and that he had come to her home beating on the door, yelling and cussing, wanting in the house. He then left and went walking down the road. Cantrell was arrested after a computer check confirmed that the order of protection was active.

42 year old Daniel Scott Moore of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, July 26 a deputy was dispatched to Moore's residence in response to a physical domestic. Upon arrival, the officer found a woman bleeding from the head and locked inside a pickup truck. The woman said that on their way home, she and Moore began arguing and when they arrived home, she told Moore several times to leave but he refused to go. When she went outside to smoke, Moore followed and kicked her off the porch, forcing the victim to land on her hands and knees. As she started to get up, she felt something wrong with her head, so she laid down in a crawl position and found that she was bleeding from the head. When she got up and ran inside the house, Moore followed her. The woman then grabbed a towel, ran back outside, got inside the truck, and locked herself in. Moore is believed to have struck the woman in the head with a full unopened can of beer, causing a laceration to her head. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

21 year old Ryan Michael Dahlhauser of Nashville and 21 year old Andrew Thomas Dahler of Germantown are cited for simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana). They will be in court August 28. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 25 a deputy responded to a noise complaint on Shady Place. After an investigation, the officer asked Dahlhauser if there were drugs in his vehicle. He produced a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Dahler produced a green leafy substance from a backpack, also thought to be marijuana. Both Dalhauser and Dahler confirmed that what they had was in fact marijuana.

28 year old Matthew Lee Tinsley is charged with failure to appear. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, June 23 Tinsley failed to return from a furlough as ordered by General Sessions Judge Bratten Cook, II. Tinsley was furloughed on Friday, June 20 and ordered to return to the DeKalb County Jail no later than 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 23.

New Emergency Medical Responders Graduate

July 28, 2014
New Emergency Medical Responders Graduate

The latest class of Emergency Medical Responders graduated July 1.

This class is made up of members of Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Fire Department, Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, Alexandria Fire Department, 911 Dispatch, and Rock Island-Campaign Volunteer Fire Department. This program is a vital part of Emergency Medical Services at DeKalb EMS. These students, once certified, will be dispatched to different medical emergencies. They are completely volunteer, and live throughout the county, especially in the areas where EMS has a lengthy response time. They are often first on scene and can provide Basic Life Support, such as CPR, stabilizing fractures and gathering vital signs before EMS arrives. This can save time and lives. The program
consists of 76 hours of classroom and hands on skills practice, and a grade average of 80 or above. The next step for these students is to be certified through National Registry.

Pictured are: 1st row L-R: Ashlee Gunter, Chase Ferrell, Anthony Johnson, Lyndon Powell, Chip Avera, 2nd row: Hoyte Hale DeKalb County EMS Director/Instructor, Ashley Bryant, Jerry W. Johnson, Brian Partridge, Andy Pack, Jessica Pack, Mark Stewart, and Kristie Johnson Lead Instructor

Liberty Man Walks Away from Crash with Only Minor Injuries

July 28, 2014
Dwayne Page
Liberty Man Walks Away from Crash
Friday Night Truck Crash on Highway 96 near Cove Hollow
John Strayn Escapes Serious Injury in Truck Crash

A Liberty man walked away from a horrendous pickup truck crash Friday night on Highway 96 near Cove Hollow.

Trooper Troy Withers of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 22 year old John Strayn was driving south in a 2001 GMC Sierra extended cab pickup when he went off the right side of the road and lost traction in the grass. The truck turned sideways, struck a tree in the passenger side, and then went on to crash into another tree. The impact forced the truck to overturn and it skidded across the highway on its side before turning upright as it left the road and struck another tree.

After DeKalb EMS, Sheriff Department officers, and DeKalb County Volunteer Firefighters arrived and found no wreck victim at the scene, members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad were summoned to help conduct a search.

According to Trooper Withers, Strayn was found hours later at a residence near the crash scene. He claimed to have only suffered some scratches and bruises in the accident. Strayn was reportedly taken by family to the emergency room of the hospital where he was treated and released.

Trooper Withers, who was assisted in the investigation by Trooper Bobby Johnson, said the accident remains under investigation.

Over 2,000 Vote Early

July 27, 2014
Dwayne Page

A total of 2,048 persons have cast ballots during twelve days of early voting for the August 7 elections. That's 1,917 in person and 131 by absentee.

Of the 2,048 voters, a total of 745 have voted in the Tennessee Republican Primary, 600 have voted in the Tennessee Democratic Primary, and 703 have voted only in the DeKalb County General Election without voting in either state primary.

Early voting continues for two more days, Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse.

WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night

One Killed in Saturday Night Crash

July 27, 2014
Dwayne Page

A 19 year old man lost his life in a one car crash Saturday night on Highway 146.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Roberto Cruz was traveling east on Highway 146 in a 2003 Nissan passenger car, when he went off the right side of the road and overturned several times. Cruz, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected.

The crash, which occurred around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection with New Home Road, was investigated by Troopers Jeremy Wilhite and Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Others on the scene were members of the Short Mountain Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and DeKalb EMS.

Toddler Winners at the DeKalb County Fair

July 26, 2014
Dwayne Page
Boys (13 to 18 months) Levi Bryson Nixon (left) Braxton Levi Knowles
Girls (13 to 18 months) Izzabella Mai Boner (left) Allionna Marie Rench
Boys (19 to 24 months) Zayne Ryan Thomas (left) Daniel Crew Adams
Girls (19 to 24 months) Lillian Rose Dillard (left) Mekazya Waggoner
Boys (25 to 30 months) Billy James Clark (left) Jacob "Jake" Trenton Sprague
Girls (25 to 30 months) Zoie Dee Ashburn (left) Brylee Key
Girls (31 to 36 months) Charley Loren Prichard (left) Emily Grace Roberts
Boys (37 to 47 months) Adonis Cooprider (left) Grayson Dean Brown
Girls (37 to 47 months) Emily Danielle Johnson (left) Mia Nicole Hall
Twins (13-47 months) Emma and Will Marshall

Winners of the annual Toddler Show were announced Friday evening at the DeKalb County Fair.

First place winners received a blue ribbon. Red ribbons went to those receiving second place.

This year's recipients are as follows:

Twins (13-47 months)
Emma and Will Marshall, the 30 month old children of Melonie and Jason Marshall of Liberty

Boys (13 to 18 months)
Winner: Levi Bryson Nixon, the 14 month old son of Nathan and Jessica Nixon of Smithville
Runner-up: Braxton Levi Knowles, the 15 month old son of Justin and Mary Knowles of Smithville

Other participants: Brantley Cole Wilkey, the 15 month old son of Kellyie Wilkey and Josh Anderson of Smithville; Raymond Lippart, IV, the 17 month old son of Raymond and Ashley Lippart of Smithville; Silas Hale, the 15 month old son of Connie and Josh Hale of Liberty; Turner Reece Stanley, the 16 month old son of Matt and Jessica Stanley of Alexandria; and Noah Bradley Hall, the 16 month old son of Bradley and Lacy Hall of Alexandria

Girls (13 to 18 months)
Winner: Izzabella Mai Boner, the 15 month old daughter of Robert Askew and Kia Boner of Smithville
Runner-up: Allionna Marie Rench, the 16 month old daughter of Jackie Gibbs and David Rench of Dowelltown.

Other participants: Jordyn Annabeth Shinabery, the 18 month old daughter of Friday and Marie Shinabery of Smithville; Kynlee Jade Griffith, the 17 month old daughter of Danielle Farler and Billy Griffith of Liberty; and Averi Gracella Speaks, the 13 month old daughter of Justin and Donna Speaks of Smithville

Boys (19 to 24 months)
Winner: Zayne Ryan Thomas, the 22 month old son of Zoe Whaley and Devin Thomas of Smithville
Runner-up: Daniel Crew Adams, the 19 month old son of Blaine and Kayla Adams of Smithville

Other participants: Conner Alexander Robinson, the 20 month old son of Heath and Tiffany Robinson of Dowelltown; Nicholas Adon Lackey, the 23 month old son of Linda Bain and Jason Lackey of Smithville; and Cooper Stanfield, the 19 month of son of Hunter and Nicole Stanfield of Smithville

Girls (19 to 24 months)
Winner: Lillian Rose Dillard, the 23 month old daughter of Anna and Edward Dillard of Dowelltown
Runner-up: Mekazya Waggoner, the 23 month old daughter of Rebecca Waggoner of Smithville

Other participants: Arraya Jenae Taylor, the 22 month old daughter of Angie Taylor and Michael Owens of Smithville; Averie Cheyanne Winchester, the 23 month old daughter of J.J. and Amanda Winchester of Dowelltown; and Hillary Michel Walker, the 21 month old daughter of Ed and Penny Walker of Smithville.

Boys (25 to 30 months)
Winner: Billy James Clark, the 27 month old son of Nikki and Bryan Clark of Smithville
Runner-up: Jacob "Jake" Trenton Sprague, the 28 month old son of Jimmy and Johnna Sprague of Smithville

Girls (25 to 30 months)
Winner: Zoie Dee Ashburn, the 30 month old daughter of Jeremy Ashburn and Trista Johnson
Runner-up: Brylee Key, the 28 month old daughter of Shannon and Holly Key of Alexandria

Other participants: Kimber Davis, the 26 month old daughter of Jared and Kelli Davis of Smithville; Nevaeh Adriana Herron, the 27 month old daughter of Gregory and Chrishanna Herron of Smithville; Alexis Nicole Graham, the 27 month old daughter of Derek and Andria Graham of Smithville; Lyra Dell McMinn, the 28 month old daughter of Nathan and Amanda McMinn of Dowelltown; and Kayleigh Ramirez, the 29 month old daughter of Tasha and Luiz Ramirez of Smithville

Boys (31 to 36 months): NONE

Girls (31 to 36 months)
Winner: Charley Loren Prichard, the 35 month old daughter of Andy and Chrissy Prichard of Liberty
Runner-up: Emily Grace Roberts, the 34 month old daughter of Kevin and Tonya Roberts of Liberty

Boys (37 to 47 months)
Winner: Adonis Cooprider , the 43 month old son of Rebecca and Heath Cooprider of Liberty
Runner-up: Grayson Dean Brown, the 42 month old son of Stacy and Jamie Brown of Smithville

Girls (37 to 47 months)
Winner: Emily Danielle Johnson, the 45 month old daughter of Clint and DeDe Johnson of Smithville
Runner-up: Mia Nicole Hall, the 39 month old daughter of Bradley and Lacy Hall of Alexandria

Other participants: Allie Nevaeh Tarpley, the 38 month old daughter of Steven and Mandy Tarpley of Smithville; Cora Marie Cox, the 40 month old daughter of Brandon and Whitney Cox of Smithville; India Aja Herron, the 42 month old daughter of Gregory and Chrishanna Herron of Smithville; Teagan Mae McCormick, the 44 month old daughter of Steven and Brelle McCormick of Dowelltown; Jo Cool, the 37 month old daughter of Sarah Lincoln and Aren Cool of Liberty; Caitlyn Lee Adcock, the 40 month old daughter of Jessie and Tia Adcock of Smithville; and Kenli Faith Fish, the 45 month old daughter of Tiffany Pedigo and Cody Fish of Smithville


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