Local News Articles

School System Needs Bus Drivers

February 10, 2015
Dwayne Page
Jimmy Sprague

The DeKalb County School System is in search of experienced bus drivers.

Persons interested may contact Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague. "We offer competitive pay and retirement. It's perfect for a stay at home mom who wants to be on the same schedule as her kids; for a person with their own business such as someone who mows yards or does landscaping; or someone who does seasonal work. You must have a CDL license, Class A or Class B. You must have a P&S endorsement. I provide training for the P&S endorsements. You have to carry a current medical card. You must have a clean DMV record and you must be able to pass a background check and drug screening. After a bus driver is hired, there are random drug tests at the bus garage for all drivers. If you are interested in driving a school bus call or come see me. You may fill out an application on line or I have hard copies and we can fill them out at the office," said Sprague.

Motorists Advised to Stop for School Buses

February 10, 2015
Dwayne Page
Motorists Advised to Stop for School Buses

The most dangerous part of a school bus ride is getting on and off and if motorists don't stop for buses when they're supposed to the potential for a tragic accident increases.

Jimmy Sprague, Transportation Supervisor for the DeKalb County School System, told WJLE Monday that he is concerned that too many motorists are failing to stop when school bus lights and stop signs are deployed as students get off and on buses in school parking lot loading zones and on roads, including four lane highways. "The amber lights are supposed to come on two hundred feet before the bus stops and the red lights are to come on at the bus stop itself," he said.

And the problem is not just on the highways according to Sprague. "This happens also at our schools. Each school has a designated area, car line, or car pickup and drop off line. I still have people (motorists) who want to pull up in the designated bus load and unload zones at the schools to unload their children where the designated line has been set up in a certain area at each school," said Sprague.

Bus drivers are trained to keep a watchful eye out for the children and Sprague says they do a good job. " I train my drivers to watch the danger zones, which are ten feet from the front of the bus, ten feet down each side, ten feet out, and ten feet from the rear. When the bus stops and we're loading or unloading students, the driver is to monitor his mirrors to check these zones. He is also watching the children because we must keep accountability of them before we drive away. We go over this every year at in-service. Our drivers are trained to watch for the children, to give them a hand motion or a nod before they cross the road to go home or before they cross the road to get on the bus. We make sure all traffic is stopped before we allow that student to step out in the roadway or in front of the bus," said Sprague.

Highway 70 in Smithville is of particular concern. "It is a four lane highway with a driveable median but traffic in all four lanes have to stop. When that bus driver deploys his stop sign and red lights, all four lanes of traffic must stop. That's state law," said Sprague.

The penalty for passing a stopped school bus is a class-A misdemeanor and that penalty is actually from $250 up to $1,000. "I have been in contact with our local law enforcement and state law enforcement on these issues and I have been getting assistance from them (on enforcement). Right now the only thing we can do is make a report and send it to the state. The state, in turn, sends a letter to whoever the violator is stating that the stop arm laws have been violated on a certain date, time, and location," Sprague continued.

Unless motorists heed the warning, Sprague is concerned that accidents will occur that could injure or kill someone. "I just want people to stop and think. This could be a child's life that you (motorist) are taking a chance on. Statistics show that 85% of the fatalities on a school bus happen at the bus stop. Not on the bus but at the bus stop. When you're getting ready to go to work, if you know you're going to be behind a bus either leave a little early or change your route. Always think ahead" said Sprague.

Tennessee law requires that:

Vehicles must stop before reaching a bus that has its flashing red warning lights and/or stop signal arm extended (B). Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off.

Vehicles traveling in the same and opposite direction as the bus on an undivided road are always required to stop. (The four lane Highway 70 is an undivided highway and all motorists traveling in both directions must stop when a school bus stops to pick up and drop off children)

Vehicles traveling on a divided, or separated, highway do not have to stop when meeting or passing a bus on the other side of the road.

Drivers never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results.

Boy Scout Troop 347 & Pack 347 celebrate Scout Sunday

February 9, 2015
Boy Scout Troop 347 & Pack 347 celebrate Scout Sunday

Smithville-First United Methodist Church and Boy Scout Troop 347 & Pack 347 celebrated Scout Sunday on February 8, 2015. Senior Patrol Leader, Thomas Webb, and Chaplain’s Aide, Jonathan Birmingham, led the congregation and members of the Boy Scouts of America in the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. Dr. Will Sherwood, Scoutmaster, and Jen Sherwood, Pack Committee Chair, thanked the church for its long tradition of participation and support of the local scouting units as the charter organization. The Boy Scouts of America celebrated 105 years. It is a program designed to teach leadership and character through the fundamentals of outdoor skills, citizenship and service. All boys ages 1st grade through 18 years of age are encouraged to participate. For more information, contact Jen & Will Sherwood at 615-597-4851.

Picture: Top Left-Right: David Robinson, Cody Robinson, Jonathan Birmingham, Alan Webb
Middle Left-Right: Will Sherwood, Thomas Webb, Austin Hosse, Darren Waggoner, Jen Sherwood, Erin Turner
Front Left-Right: Mayakle West, Adrian McElroy, Colin Carpenter, Jamison Hooper, Aidan Turner

Inebriated Man Points Handgun at Deputies

February 9, 2015
Dwayne Page
David Scott Davis
Mark Anthony Thompson
Tommye Lou Bell
Tisha Elaine Burns
Betty Marie Davis
Heather Marie Davis

An inebriated man was arrested last week after allegedly pointing a handgun at deputies and firing shots away from them into the woods.

65 year old David Scott Davis of Neil Drive, Smithville is charged with public intoxication; resisting stop, frisk, halt, or arrest; two counts of aggravated assault; and one count of possession of a handgun (Smith & Wesson 44 Magnum) while under the influence of alcohol. His bond is $14,500 and he will be in court February 26. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, February 3 deputies were dispatched to Neil Drive on a report of a person with a gun. When the two officers arrived, they saw Davis point a handgun at them and then fire shots across the road into the woods. Davis was found to be unsteady on his feet and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Multiple beer cans were on the ground there. As the officers placed him under arrest, Davis resisted and had to be forcibly taken to the ground.

55 year old Mark Anthony Thompson of Brush Creek is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court February 19. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, February 2 a deputy was dispatched to Bob Mathis Road due to a report of an intoxicated driver. Upon arrival, the officer found the driver, Thompson sitting in the truck. While speaking with Thompson, the deputy detected a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Thompson's speech was slurred and very slow. He told the deputy that he had been "driving around drunk all day". Due to his level of intoxication, Thompson was unable to stand to undergo field sobriety tasks. He was placed under arrest and taken to the hospital for a blood withdrawal. Thompson was then taken to the sheriff's department for booking. His prior DUI offense was in April 2007.

53 year old Tommye Lou Bell of Hawkins Drive, Smithville is charged with a third offense of driving under the influence and having contraband in a penal institution. She was further issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). Her bond is $9,500 and she will be in court March 19. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, February 4 a deputy was dispatched on a report of a reckless driver traveling east bound on the Nashville Highway. The officer spotted a silver 2012 Honda SUV heading eastbound from the Dollar General Store. As he followed, the deputy observed the vehicle cross the center line of the highway several times into the passing lane. He activated his emergency blue lights, trying to get the driver of the SUV to stop. When the driver, Bell saw the deputy behind her, she crossed the center turn lane into westbound traffic and almost hit an oncoming Ford pickup head-on. The SUV turned onto Tiger Drive, pulled into a parking lot, and stopped. Bell's speech was slurred and she had difficulty finding her drivers license and other vehicle information. After performing poorly on field sobriety tasks, Bell was placed under arrest and taken to the jail. Prior to a pat down and search, Bell was asked if she had any illegal substances on her. She replied "no". During the search, a female correctional officer found in Bell's bra a bottle containing 54 Dilaudid tablets.

43 year old Tisha Elaine Burns of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. Her bond is $3,000. She will be in court March 5. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, February 6 a deputy was dispatched to New Bildad Road on a report of a suspicious vehicle having been seen parked by the bridge. The officer spotted a white Crown Victoria there and spoke with the driver, Burns. He detected an odor of alcohol on her person. Her eyes were glossy and she was unsteady on her feet. After performing poorly on field sobriety tasks, she was arrested and taken to the hospital for a blood withdrawal and then to the sheriff's department for booking. Meanwhile Burns and a passenger of her vehicle, 44 year old Comer Thomas Vance of Railroad Avenue, Shelbyville were each cited for criminal trespassing after it was determined they were trespassing on private property at the bridge where two "No Trespassing" signs are posted.

49 year old Betty Marie Davis and her daughter 25 year old Heather Marie Davis of Corinth Church Road, Rock Island are each charged with domestic assault. Bond for each is $1,500 and they will be in court February 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, February 7 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Corinth Church Road due to a domestic complaint. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Heather Davis and Betty Davis who said that they had gotten into an argument over a car. Heather claims her mother hit her in the left eye causing it to become red and swollen. Betty claims Heather punched her in the face, busting her nose.

Vehicle Belonging to Murder Defendant Destroyed by Fire

February 8, 2015
Dwayne Page
Vehicle Belonging to Murder Defendant Destroyed by Fire
Mazda Millenia also damaged by heat from Tahoe Fire

Two days after a fatal stabbing there, members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were summoned to 3870 Cookeville Highway, where a Chevy Tahoe caught fire and burned Saturday morning.

Central dispatch received the fire call at 8:59 a.m.

The Tahoe reportedly belongs to 42 year old Anthony (Tony) Crews, the man charged with second degree murder in the stabbing of his girlfriend, 28 year old Ashley Bain.

Upon arrival, county firefighters found the Tahoe ablaze. It was setting in the driveway near the home, parked beside a Mazda Millenia, which reportedly belonged to Bain.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze but the Tahoe was destroyed. Heat from the fire also caused some damage to the driver's side of the Millenia.

Members of the Main Station, Short Mountain Highway, and Cookeville Highway Stations responded. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department was also on the scene. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE Saturday that Crews remains incarcerated. He has not yet posted bond since his arrest on Thursday night. Crews is under a $250,000 bond and has been moved to another facility outside DeKalb County.

Firefighters also responded to a fire at a residence on Winter Drive at 3:05 a.m. Saturday morning.

County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that the home belongs to Tommy and Maria Clayborn but that Michael and Tosha Whitson are renting it and living there.

According to Chief Green, the blaze started in the kitchen as a grease fire from the stove. The Whitson's called 911 and firefighters were dispatched.

Although the fire was brought under control, it caused some damage to the kitchen and a portion of the living home. Smoke spread to other parts of the residence. No one was injured.

Members of the Main Station, Cookeville Highway, and Liberty Stations responded along with DeKalb EMS and Sheriff's Department.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to a chimney fire at a residence on Juniper Lane Thursday afternoon. Firefighters put out the blaze and kept it from spreading to the rest of the house. Although there was some smoke in the home, no one was injured. Because of concerns with the home's electrical wiring, the family was temporarily relocated.

According to a Red Cross spokesperson, two families were living in the residence, including ten people, five of whom are children. The local chapter of the American Red Cross assisted the families. Jeania Poss and Steve Repasy were the case workers.

Meanwhile, a Red Cross Recruitment Meeting will be held Monday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. Anyone wanting to be a Red Cross Volunteer is asked to attend the meeting which will be held in the Smithville Red Cross Office, located at the County Complex. For more information, contact Jeania Poss.

District Tournament Begins Thursday, All District Team Selections Announced

February 7, 2015
Dwayne Page

The DCHS Lady Tigers will face Upperman in the District 8 AA Basketball Tournament at Cookeville High School on Thursday night, February 12 at 8:30 p.m. The winner will take on either Central Magnet or Macon County on Saturday. Upperman is a two seed in the tournament while the Lady Tigers are a seven seed.

Meanwhile, the DCHS Tigers will meet Macon County on Friday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the District Tournament. The winner will face either Livingston Academy or Central Magnet on Saturday. Macon County is a three seed in the tournament and the Tigers are a six seed.

WJLE plans LIVE coverage of all games involving DCHS teams.

The Thursday night, February 12 tournament schedule is as follows:
(1) Livingston Academy vs (8) York Institute (Girls) at 5:30 p.m.
(2) Livingston Academy vs (7) Central Magnet (Boys) at 7:00 p.m.
(2) Upperman vs (7) DeKalb County (Girls) at 8:30 p.m.

Friday night, February 13:
(3) Central Magnet vs (6) Macon County (Girls) at 4:30 p.m.
(3) Macon County vs (6) DeKalb County (Boys) at 6:00 p.m.
(4) Smith County vs (5) Cannon County (Girls) at 7:30 p.m.
(4) Upperman vs (5) Smith County (Boys) at 9:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, DeKalb County's Justin Bone was named to the All-District Second Team while Isaac Beck received Honorable Mention. For the girls, Maggie Knowles was selected to the All -District Freshman Team. Knowles and Ashli Chew made the All-District third team. Loren Cripps earned Honorable Mention.

Josh Ruehlen of Cannon County and Colton Blevins of York Institute have been named Co-Most Valuable Players of District 8AA while Callie Hackett of Smith County is this year's District MVP for girls.

The All-District Team selections were announced Friday.

Meanwhile, Dana McWilliams of Upperman and Leslie Riddle of Livingston Academy have been selected as Co-District Coaches of the Year for girls while Matt Rigsby of Cannon County is the boys District Coach of the Year.

Seth Carlisle of Macon County and Akira Levy of Upperman are the District's Freshmen of the Year and the District Defensive Players of the Year are Colton Blevins of York Institute and Callie Hackett of Smith County. The District's Most Improved Players are Austin McWilliams and Abby Greenwood both of Upperman.

Members of the All-District First Team for boys are as follows: Wade Eldridge and Zac Craig both of Livingston Academy, Jacob Nave of Cannon County, Ben Guffey of Upperman, and Evan Perrigo of Macon County.

All-District Second Team: Cameron Huff of Smith County, Justin Bone of DeKalb County, Austin McWilliams of Upperman, and Michael Ashburn and Seth Carlisle both of Macon County.

All-District Third Team: Garrett McReynolds of Cannon County, Hunter Shrum of Upperman, Kaleb Qualls and Xander Miller both of Livingston Academy and Seth Hackett of Smith County.

Honorable Mention: Marshall McReynolds, Austin Martin, A.J. Daniel of Cannon County, Patrick Blair of Central Magnet, Isaac Beck of DeKalb County, Loren Crowder of Livingston Academy, Trace McPherson of Macon County, Shermar King of Smith County, Austin Shrum of Upperman, and Pacey Pyle and Jordan Wright both of York Institute.

Freshman Team: Shermar King, Jaylon Shepperson, and Bryant Goolsby all of Smith County, Carter Hayes of Livingston Academy, and Nick Hamlett of Central Magnet.

All-Defensive Team: Wade Eldridge and Loren Crowder both of Livingston Academy, Marshall McReynolds and Austin Martin both of Cannon County, and Evan Perrigo of Macon County.

Members of the All-District First Team for girls are as follows: Claudia Smith and Ola Obi both of Central Magnet, Akria Levy and Gracie Maynord both of Upperman, and Kailey Winningham of Livingston Academy.

All-District Second Team: Kellie Davis of Cannon County, Tatum Dillon and Jameson Dailey both of Livingston Academy, Briley Driver of Macon County, and Abby Greenwood of Upperman.

All-District Third Team: Keelie Lamb of Livingston Academy, Erin McReynolds of Cannon County, Maggie Knowles and Ashli Chew both of DeKalb County and Bri Melton of Smith County.

Honorable Mention: Kristen Hale and Kendra Maynard both of Cannon County, Paige Clark, Leah Anderson, and Lyndsey Belton all of Macon County, Sophie Fielder of Central Magnet, Loren Cripps of DeKalb County, Allison West of Smith County, Taylor Crouch of York Institute, and Sarah Eldridge of Upperman.

Freshman Team: Maggie Knowles of DeKalb County, Emily Sewell of York Institute, Kyndall Bullington of Macon County, Maleah Scott of Cannon County, and Riley Hurst of Upperman.

All-Defensive Team: Abby Greenwood of Upperman, Sophie Fielder of Central Magnet, Erin McReynolds of Cannon County, Alexis Savage of Livingston Academy, and Lyndsey Belton of Macon County.

Man Charged with Second Degree Murder in Stabbing Death of Girlfriend

February 5, 2015
Dwayne Page
Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews
Ashley Bain Found Stabbed to Death at her Home
Ashley Bain

A 28 year old woman was found stabbed to death in her home on Cookeville Highway Thursday afternoon and her boyfriend has been charged with killing her.

42 year old Anthony (Tony) Tyrone Crews was taken into custody Thursday night and charged with second degree murder in the death of Ashley Bain. He remains in the DeKalb County Jail under a $250,000 bond. He will be in General Sessions Court February 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE Thursday night that Bain's body was found lying on the floor of a bedroom at the home she and Crews shared at 3870 Cookeville Highway north of Smithville. She had been stabbed numerous times about the upper body. It's not known exactly how long Bain had been dead by the time authorities were notified but Sheriff Ray said she had been seen alive earlier in the day on Thursday. A knife, believed to have been the murder weapon, was found in the home.

According to Sheriff Ray, Crews called 911 at 2:33 p.m. to report that he had discovered Bain's body when he entered the residence. Sheriff Ray and members of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were alerted and quickly arrived on the scene. The TBI and District Attorney General's Office also joined the investigation. Sheriff Ray said authorities determined that Crews had committed the crime and made up the story about finding the body. Although officials believe they know the motive for the stabbing, Sheriff Ray said they are not releasing it at this time.

The warrant against Crews alleges that "on February 5th, 2015, at 3870 Cookeville Highway, Anthony Tyrone Crews did intentionally and knowingly kill Ashley Bain by stabbing her numerous times about the upper body".

Bain's body has been sent to Nashville for an autopsy.

Basketball Legends Honored at DCHS

February 5, 2015
Dwayne Page
Basketball Legends Honored at DCHS
Coach Harold Luna
Danny Foutch
Kevin James
Betty Carol Fite (unable to attend)
Mary Ann Puckett
Cynthia Woodward

Six basketball legends at DeKalb County High School were honored Thursday night between games as the Tigers and Lady Tigers hosted Cannon County.

Former Lady Tigers (Tigerette) Betty Carol Fite, Mary Ann Puckett, and Cynthia Woodward were recognized along with former Tigers Danny Foutch, Kevin James, and longtime Coach Harold Luna.

Each honoree stepped to center court during the introductions and stood beside current Tiger and Lady Tiger players who held banners bearing the names and jersey numbers of these former basketball stars as public address announcer Chris Vance cited their high school career accomplishments. Coach Luna's banner bears his overall 516-179 win loss record. Each standout was greeted by enthusiastic applause from a gym filled with basketball fans. But the greatest fan reception was for Coach Luna. Touched by the rousing applause and standing ovation, the long time coach became emotional during the tribute to his long and successful career.

The following is a brief narrative of each honoree's achievements at DCHS

Coach Harold Luna: Coached both boys and girls from 1964-69 and then he coached the boys program only through 1984. His total record was 516-179

Danny Foutch: (1974-78)
Foutch was All-District and All-Conference for three years, and as a senior in 1978, he was first team All-State, midstate Most Valuable Player, and led the state in scoring with a 31.4 points per game average, with a season high of 50 points. After high school, he went on to play four years at Belmont in Nashville.

Kevin James: (1976-80)
After averaging 23 points per game as a Junior and 20 points per game as a senior, Kevin James received many honors before his graduation in 1980. He was All-Conference, All-District, and All-Region as a Junior, and as a senior, he was a second team All-State selection and was first team Class AA All-Midstate. After high school, he continued his basketball career at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville.

Betty Carol Fite: (1961-1965)
During her illustrious career at DCHS she averaged 40.65 points per game and scored 3,481 career points as a high school player. She set a school record for 67 points in one game and held another record for most points in one quarter at 29. One season she scored 72 points more than the combined total of the Tigerette opponents. She made the All-Midstate Teams two years and was named Most Valuable Player in the mid-state as a senior in 1965. She also set two free throw records in the Tennessee State Playoffs.

Mary Ann Puckett: (1989-93)
She won the team's MVP Award for three years in a row from her sophomore to senior years. Puckett rewrote the DCHS record book for five on five style girls basketball with 2,375 career points and 1,408 rebounds. Also named Best Defensive Player and Best Athlete, Puckett's senior season statistics included 696 points (24 points per game), 393 rebounds (13.6 rebounds per game), 155 blocked shots and 77 steals. Puckett went to Duke University on a basketball scholarship and played for one season before transferring to Belmont University where she continued her basketball career which was cut short due to a medical condition.

Cynthia Woodward (2006-10)
During her high school basketball career, Woodward scored over 1100 points. Cynthia was named to the All District team in 2010; led her Lady Tigers to the program's first post season win in 17 seasons, and her team advanced to the regional semi-finals in Cynthia's senior season. After graduation, she began her collegiate basketball career at Freed Hardeman where during her senior season at one point she led the nation in 3-point percentage and helped guide Freed to an NAIA National Championship game.

Habitat For Humanity has Annual Meeting, Elects New Officers

February 5, 2015
Michael Barry
Evan Reid, Vice-President; Chad Driver, President ;Michael Barry, Secretary; and Larry Steffee, Treasurer.
Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Board Members

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County recently held its annual meeting. In addition to a regular agenda which included the highlights of 2014, outgoing President Larry Green presided over the election of the officers and board of directors for 2015.

Those elected as officers for the upcoming year include: Chad Driver, President; Evan Reid, Vice-President; Michael Barry, Secretary; and Larry Steffee, Treasurer. They will be joined on the board of directors by Marie Blair, John Carpenter, Brandon Cox, Glenda Davis, Jim Eddings, Rhonda Harpole, Gayla Hendrix, Gary Johnson, Mary Nell Summers, Becky Thompson, and Cindy Webb.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry which builds and repairs houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. Partner families purchase these houses through no-profit mortgage loans or innovative financing methods. Habitat has constructed five homes in DeKalb County and is currently raising funds for its next project. If you would like to assist with fundraising efforts or donations, please contact a board member.

Smithville Fire Department Officers Named for 2015

February 4, 2015
Dwayne Page
Members of Smithville Fire Department

The Aldermen Monday night approved the list of officers and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department for 2015.

Officers for the year are unchanged with Charles Parker to continue serving as Chief. Hoyte Hale is Deputy Chief, Jeff Wright is Captain, and Danny Poss, John Poss, and Donnie Cantrell are each Lieutenants.

Other members of the department are firefighters: William Brown, Wallace Caldwell, Gary Johnson, James R. Hunt, Stephanie Wright, Glen Lattimore, Cory Killian, Kevin Adcock, Patrick Edge, Becky Atnip, Bradley Johnson, C.J. Tramel, Photographer Greg Bess, Rookies Tyler Ludwig, Cody Fults, and Dalton Roberts, and Auxiliary Shawn Jacobs.

Chief Parker informed the Mayor and Aldermen that the process for selecting officers is being changed within the department from popular vote to being based on credentials and performance. "It will be based on years of service, amount of training, and other minimum requirements. We also evaluate on their attendance and performance," said Chief Parker.


Follow Us


News Feed

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree