Local News Articles

Tips for Safe Viewing of Solar Eclipse

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tips for Safe Viewing of Solar Eclipse

If you plan to view the solar eclipse Monday you must obtain a pair of eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, which must meet an international safety standard, otherwise you risk causing damage to your eyes.

NASA recommends checking the safety and authenticity of eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to make sure they meet all the following:

• Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.
• Have the manufacturer's name and address printed somewhere on the product.
• Have no scratched or damaged lenses.
Do not use homemade filters.

Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse-viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.
With counterfeit eclipse glasses hitting the market, NASA and the American Astronomical Society suggest that consumers purchase products only from a list of verified brands and vendors to ensure safe viewing.

The American Astronomical Society says a number of manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products.

Some eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers come with warnings that users shouldn't look at the sun through them for more than three minutes at a time and that they should be discarded if they are more than three years old. Be sure to read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the item.

According to the American Astronomical Society, you must cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking at the sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and then remove your filter. Do not remove it while looking at the sun.

If you are viewing the eclipse within the path of totality, remove your eclipse glasses or solar viewer only when the moon completely blocks the sun and the sky suddenly darkens. Enjoy this rare and striking experience of totality. But as soon as the sun's bright face begins to reappear, cover your eyes again with the eclipse glasses or solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

Outside the path of totality, you must always use safe eclipse glasses or a solar viewer to look directly at the sun.

Remember to always supervise children using eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.

Looking at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers can cause eclipse blindness or retinal burns,.Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun."

If you normally wear eyeglasses, the American Astronomical Society says to keep them on and put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Smithville Couple Charged with Stealing Electricity from Neighbor

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
Steve Franklin Mabe Jr.
Martha Conger Hale

A Smithville couple has been arrested for allegedly trying to steal electricity from their neighbor.

43 year old Steve Franklin Mabe Jr. and 37 year old Martha Conger Hale who reside on Charity Lane were arrested on Friday, August 11 and charged with theft of services and vandalism. Mabe was also charged with trespassing and reckless endangerment.

In the case against Hale, Smithville Police report that on Friday, July 28 Smithville Electric System received an alarm that showed the meter at Hale's residence on Charity Lane had been pulled off of the electrical box. Police were informed by Smithville Electric that the electrical meter box was bypassed with foreign wires not supplied or installed by the company and that Hale had vandalized the meter and stolen electricity.

Smithville Police were also advised that Mabe had been seen digging a ditch to his neighbor's property in order to connect an electrical wire to the power source of his neighbor’s air conditioning unit. Upon arrival, police observed the trench that had been dug approximately 30 feet onto the neighbor's property and the wire run to the air conditioning unit. In order to disconnect the wire, the unit had to be taken apart.

Smithville Electric System was called to disconnect the wire from the air conditioning unit and to pull up the wire that extended from the victim's property into Mabe's yard. Mabe did not have permission to be on his neighbor's property or to dig the trench. Investigators concluded that Mabe knowingly placed the victims in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury by creating a fire hazard. Mabe’s bond is $12,500. The bond for Hale is $5,500. Their court date is August 31.

34 year old Johnny Lynn Devault was cited for trespassing and shoplifting from Wal-Mart on Saturday, August 12. On May 2, Devault signed a form prohibiting him from being on the property of Wal-Mart but he was spotted at the store on August 12. Devault had on him an item that he had not paid for that belonged to Wal-Mart. His court date is August 31.

29 year old Lynette Eileen Hawkins was arrested on Saturday, August 12 for driving under the influence. Police responded to a reported wreck with no injuries but upon speaking with the driver of the vehicle, Hawkins, it was determined that no accident had occurred. The officer smelled the odor of alcohol coming from Hawkins' person. She was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. She submitted to field sobriety tasks but she became unruly and refused to finish the tasks. She was then taken into custody. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is August 31.

TWRA Announces DeKalb Youth Dove Hunt

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
TWRA Officer Joe Fortner

The DeKalb County Youth Dove Hunt will be held Monday, September 4 at the farm of Gene Young.

Registration will be from 1:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. followed by the hunt from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

TWRA Officer Joe Fortner said the hunt is open to youth ages 9 to 17 who have completed the hunter education course. Be sure to bring ammo, plugged shotgun, glasses, ear protection, stool/bucket.

Must be hunter education certified and properly licensed.

Forty staked hunting positions will be available in the field. A supervising adult must be at each stake. Two youths may share a stake but only one gun per stake.

To reserve a staked position email:

Joe.Fortner@tn.gov or Tony.Cross@tn.gov.

County Offices and Libraries to Close for Solar Eclipse

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
County Offices and Libraries to Close for Solar Eclipse

The DeKalb County Courthouse, County Complex County Offices and the DeKalb County Health Department will be closed Monday August 21st from 12 noon to 2 pm for the eclipse.

Justin Potter and the Alexandria Libraries will be closing on Monday, August 21 from noon until 2 p.m. for the solar eclipse so that the staff can enjoy this historic event with the community.

Helen Sefsik will have eclipse crafts for the kids from 10 a.m. until noon at Justin Potter Library so come by and make a craft for this special occasion.

A limited supply of solar eclipse glasses will be available during the Downtown Block Party starting at 12:30 p.m. in Evins Park behind city hall. The glasses will be given away on a first come, first served basis with one pair per person.

Meanwhile Jackie Smith is asking anyone who picked up solar eclipse glasses from her office, not to view the sun or the eclipse with them due to notification from Amazon from where the glasses were purchased.

According to the notification, Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier that they sourced the glasses from a recommended manufacturer. "We recommend that you do not use the glasses to view the sun or the eclipse".

Jackie urges those who obtained solar eclipse glasses from her office to discard them.

Tigers Open Football Season at Warren County Tonight (Listen to WJLE's Tiger Talk Here)

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
WJLE's Tiger Talk debuts Friday night at 6:30 p.m. featuring Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Jesse Smith, Tyler Cantrell, and Bradley Miller. The host is the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor
DCHS Football Team

The DeKalb County High School Tigers will open the football season tonight at Warren County.

Kick-off is at 7 p.m. and WJLE will have LIVE coverage on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor and Luke Willoughby.

Coach Steve Trapp, speaking on WJLE’s Tiger Talk program, said he is hoping to get the season off to a great start.



“X’s and O’s wise we have been a team that has been known for the past decade that likes throwing the football. I have been blessed with some very talented quarterbacks, wide receivers and some really good guys up front that were able to move and allow us to play that type of offense. As long as we keep getting those types of guys that is what we are going to keep doing. If that changes then we will have to change with it. But that’s what we are so I don’t foresee a whole lot of difference in what we have looked like for the past decade this year. We have a very talented guy (Quarterback Tyler Cantrell) that is getting the ball in their hands and we have some talented young men he can throw it to as well. It should be an exciting year on offense for us,” said Coach Trapp.

“Defensively we are going to line up and play what we are. We’ll play fast, physical, and get after it. Ultimately we want to stop the run first but a lot of those guys who are catching the football on offense are in the secondary so they should recognize it when that ball goes up in the air. When you have a pre-season and last year an All-State guy (Bradley Miller) that had eight interceptions, we feel pretty good what we have in the back end,” Coach Trapp added.

As for Warren County, Coach Trapp says the Pioneers have a very talented quarterback who can make things happen. “This guy (Isaiah Grayson) is a three year starter. He has the ability to scramble. That is a concern for us. We have preached to our guys to keep him caged up. He has the ability to throw if he has time to set his feet. We do want him to move but we don’t want him to get loose. Grayson also has some very good skilled guys he can hand the ball off and throw the ball to as well. I don’t believe they are as big as they were up front last year but they seem to be moving very well so it’s a quality opponent for us and a big time challenge. They have our respect so we will prepare to give it our best,” said Coach Trapp.

WJLE’s Pre-Game shows begin with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. featuring former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former UT assistant coach Doug Matthews with broadcaster Larry Stone talking Tennessee and SEC football.

“Coach to Coach” is followed by “Murphy’s Matchups at 6:00 p.m., a look at Tennessee High School Football from Murphy Fair with commentary on games and coaches interviews.

“Tiger Talk” debuts at 6:30 p.m. with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor interviewing Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Tyler Cantrell, Jesse Smith, and Bradley Miller.

The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with play by play coverage on WJLE with John Pryor and color commentary by Luke Willoughby.

WJLE thanks our sponsors of Tiger football:

*Absolute Kobota

*Wilson Bank & Trust

*Caney Fork Electric Cooperative

*Gill Automotive (DeKalb Tire & Service)

*Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company

*DTC Communications

*Adams Dental

*Liberty State Bank

*DeKalb Funeral Chapel

*Curtis Supply

*St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital

*Three Star Mall

*Bert Driver Nursery

*Alexandria Auto Parts

*Woodbury Insurance Agency

*Bumpers Drive-In

*Optimus Pest Solutions

Tiger Talk sponsors:

*Woodbury Insurance Agency

*Kilgore’s Restaurant

*Jim’s Tire & Alignment

*A Degree Above Heating & Cooling

*Belk Grocery and Sporting Goods

“Coach to Coach sponsor:

*Stonehaus Winery

Smithville Man Nabbed in Multi-County Meth Investigation

August 17, 2017
Joseph Israel Neely

Partner law enforcement agencies from across the Upper Cumberland region have worked together to secure charges for 12 individuals including a Smithville man in connection to an eight-month investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine in several counties.

Authorities from the Cookeville Police Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Crossville Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Overton County Sheriff’s Department, the Pickett County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the office of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, began investigating the operation in September 2016. During the course of the investigation, authorities developed information about 12 individuals connected to a multi-county methamphetamine distribution operation.

At the time of this release, nine of the individuals had been arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail:
◾29 year old Ronnie Edward Argo, Jr., of Gainesboro ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾36 year old Joseph Israel Neely, of Smithville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $250,000 bond

◾30 year old Kristan Nicole Harville, of Baxter ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $250,000 bond

◾29 year old Darby Dee Brunson, of Cookeville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $250,000 bond

◾22 year old Lindsey L. Goad, of Gainesboro ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾36 year old Megan Alissa Fuller, of Gainesboro ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾35 year old Ryan Lee Underwood, of Cookeville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾36 year old Nathaniel Harrison Payne, of Crossville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

◾50 year old James Preston Cumby, of Cookeville ◾Conspiracy to Distribute Over 300 Grams of Methamphetamine, $75,000 bond

At the time of this release, efforts to arrest the additional three individuals implicated in this investigation remained active and ongoing. Updates to this news release will be published online: www.tbinewsroom.com.

DeKalb Recognizes Upper Cumberland Primary Care Board Members

August 17, 2017
Dwayne Page
Left: Michael Railling, Smith County Health Department Director, Middle: Merril Harris, recipient, Right: Debbie Johnson, Upper Cumberland Regional Health Director

The DeKalb County Community Health Center/Health Department celebrated National Health Center Week Aug. 13-19. The goal of this observance was to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the course of more than five decades.

There are 14 community health centers/health departments across the Upper Cumberland Region. These health centers provide full service adult and pediatric primary care as well as preventive health services to anyone with private insurance, TennCare or Medicare as well as those without insurance.

“I would like to recognize Merril Harris for being a valued member of the Upper Cumberland Primary Care Board for 6 years,” said DeKalb County Health Director Michael Railling. “

To learn more about the services of your local community health center, please call 615-597- 7599.

Visit the Tennessee Department of Health online at http://tn.gov/health.

Connect with TDH on Facebook and Twitter @TNDeptofHealth!

DeKalb Democratic Party to Hold Primary on May 1

August 17, 2017
DeKalb Democratic Party Officers and members of Executive Committee

The DeKalb County Democratic Party will choose its candidates by a local primary on May 1, 2018.

The primary will be held to nominate candidates for the county-wide offices of County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Road Supervisor, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, Trustee, and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

"The Democratic Party has a long history of expanding voting rights and opening participation in the political process beginning with the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson (D) during which the long struggle for women’s right to vote culminated with the passage of 19th Amendment in 1920 and later with the leadership of Lyndon Baines Johnson (D) the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965," said DeKalb Democratic Party Chairman Jordan Wilkins.

"Voting is the fundamental principle of a Democracy. The Democratic Party has long advocated that access to voting should be made easier not more restrictive with what amounts to voter suppression laws. The Democratic Party specifically advocates for early voting laws, automatic voter
registration, same day voter registration, ending partisan gerrymandering, and making Election Day a national holiday," said Wilkins.

"In March, 2017, the DeKalb Democratic Party held an open meeting with all interested Democrats in the county invited to discuss whether we should select our candidates a) by convention with officers and executive committee members of the Party selecting candidates or b) by primary
during which all Democrats would have a voice by voting to select candidates. The community of people who attended the meeting voted to continue to use the primary means for selecting candidates. They value the role of the citizen voter to act in the general interests of the county," added Wilkins.

Anyone interested in running for one of the county offices should contact Jordan Wilkins, Chair of the DeKalb County Democratic Party, at either a) jwilkins16@yahoo.com or b) 615-597-7231.

Members of 1972 DCHS Football Team to Reunite

August 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Members of 1972 DCHS Football Team
Members of 1972 DCHS Football Team to Reunite
The 1972 Tigers were led by head coach Wayne Cantrell and assistants John Eaton and Donnie Elledge

The 1972 DCHS Tiger Football Team will reunite on Friday night, September 1 at the White Possum Grille at 5:00 p.m. All members of this team regardless of class year, coaches, managers, and spouses are invited to attend. Following a Dutch-treat meal, the team will take a short walk to VanHooser Stadium to watch the Tigers compete with Stone Memorial High School.

The 1972 Tigers Football season was in jeopardy due to a school budget crisis that year. The team overcame a slow start to post the first winning season in the history of DeKalb County High School. Forty-five years later this team will break huddle one more time and wish the present team success in its first home game of the year.

The team finished the 1972 season on the field at 6-4 but actually was credited with another win to go 7-3 after one of the opponents on the schedule that year, Brentwood had to forfeit. The 1972 Tigers defeated Woodbury 28-12, Baxter 8-6, Montgomery Central 44-8, Gainesboro 42-0, Monterey 6-0, and Grundy County 16-6. The Tigers lost to Huntland 20-0, Brentwood 33-0, Gordonsville 8-0, and Watertown 26-6.

The 1972 Tigers were led by head coach Wayne Cantrell and assistants John Eaton and Donnie Elledge.

Members of the team included Mike Corley, David Colwell, Randy Prichard, Jay Whiteford, Raymond Miller, Jackie Gaither, Eddie Evans, Jimmy Knowles, Fred Dowell, Robert Rowe, Bill Owen, Robert Donaldson, David Davis, Don Page, Doug Hooper, Ronnie Hawkins, Alan Bradford, Joey Goodwin, Kirk Wills, Phil Owen, Ricky Hale, Doug Davis, John Colvert, Randy Bond, Gwynn Prater, and Bobby Turner.

If you have any questions, contact Mike Corley at Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District at 615-597-0530

Todd Van Dyne Aiflifted After Car Crash with Semi Truck

August 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Car Crashes into Semi Truck
Smithville Fire Department Performing Extrication

A 50 year old Smithville man was airlifted Wednesday afternoon after his car crashed into a tractor trailer truck on East Broad Street near the Industrial park.

Todd Van Dyne was flown by a Life Force helicopter ambulance to Erlanger Hospital.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Van Dyne was traveling east on US 70 in a 2004 Chevy Malibu as a 2012 Kenworth tractor (truck) pulling a trailer was attempting to turn west from Moog Boulevard onto US 70. 48 year old Jeffrey Turley of Westmoreland was driving the truck.

According to the THP, the truck pulled out into the path of Van Dyne’s car as he (Van Dyne) was passing another tractor trailer that was turning right into Moog Boulevard. Van Dyne’s car then ran underneath the left side of the trailer and came to rest.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to extricate Van Dyne who was pinned inside his car. DeKalb EMS and the Smithville Police Department were also on the scene.

After Van Dyne was removed from the car, he was taken to the helicopter ambulance which had landed near Tenneco Automotive.

The crash was investigated by Trooper Ronnie Smith of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. No charges have been filed pending the investigation.


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