Local News Articles

State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Job Shadows THP Trooper

February 3, 2017
Dwayne Page
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver with THP Trooper T.J. Withers
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Job Shadows THP Trooper

State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver is getting a first hand look at what a typical day is like for a Trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Following her monthly public forum she calls “Coffee and Conversations” this morning (Friday) at Angie’s Diner in Smithville, State Representative Weaver took a ride with Trooper T.J. Withers for a day of job shadowing.

“The State House Transportation Committee doesn’t just deal with pavement and bridges. We are actually over Homeland Security and Safety. Today I am shadowing Trooper T.J. Withers of the Tennessee Highway Patrol just to see what his day is like,” she said.

State Representative Weaver, who serves as Sub-Committee Chairman of the State House Transportation Committee, said she has a deep appreciation for the THP and wants to learn more about their job and the challenges they face each day.

DeKalb Man Robbed During Online Date

February 3, 2017
Nicholas James Klingerman
Cheyenne Cook

DeKalb County man was the victim of a robbery after connecting with a woman he met on an on-line date site known as Plenty of Fish.

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_9.pdf (2.9 MB)A

According to a report from the Southern Standard in McMinnville, the 27-year-old DeKalb County man, who was not identified, was robbed at gun point at a Warren County cemetery recently and his car was stolen. The man had to walk to a nearby house to call 911.

The story unfolded after Warren County deputies were summoned to Blues Hill Cemetery on Short Mountain Road and learned the victim had been ambushed soon after parking there with his date, a woman the victim knew at the time only as “Patricia.” He had connected with the woman on the internet dating site.

The newspaper reported that a male subject then tapped on the victim’s window and showed a handgun. The DeKalb man then rolled down the window and the assailant grabbed him and made him get out of the car. The victim was then struck in the mouth with the gun.

The suspect, later identified as Nicholas James Klingerman, age 25, jumped into the victim’s new Ford Mustang and fled the scene along with the woman, identified as Cheyenne Cook, age 18.

According to the story, the victim said he had never met the woman before their date but said they had gone to Walmart, the skating rink, bowling alley and Applebee’s before she suggested they drive to the isolated cemetery.

When authorities suspected Klingerman and Cook were responsible for the crime, they went to their home and were given permission to search. Authorities found 24 grams of marijuana and paraphernalia

In the end, the two were charged with carjacking and aggravated robbery. The crimes carry a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.

DeKalb West School Honors February Students of the Month

February 2, 2017
Bill Conger
DeKalb West School Honors February Students of the Month

Some of the best at DeKalb West were recognized Thursday morning (Feb. 2) for their outstanding character, academics, and other traits that make them an excellent student. Selected as Students of the Month for February are Kaden Mullinax, Kindergarten; Averly Moss, 1st Grade; Izzy Prichard, 2nd Grade; Izzy Hendrixson, 3rd Grade; Grant Buterbaugh, 4th Grade, Jackson Vantrease, 5th Grade, Emma Martin, 6th Grade, Jathan Willoughby, 7th Grade, and Jaden Johnson, 8th Grade.

Director of Schools Announces Teachers of the Year

February 2, 2017
Dwayne Page
Whitney Brelje
Jessica Hale
Jeanna Caplinger
Jenny Elrod
Todd Cantrell

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps has announced the 2017 "Teachers of the Year" at the building level of the five schools in the county.

This year's honoree are Whitney Brelje at Smithville Elementary School; Jessica Hale at Northside Elementary School; Jeanna Caplinger at DeKalb West School; Jenny Elrod at DeKalb Middle School; and Todd Cantrell at DeKalb County High School.

"The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors outstanding teachers in Tennessee. We applaud teachers who devote their professional lives to enriching the lives of Tennessee children and who demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement, while encourage a sense of professionalism and connection with their fellow teachers and community,' said Director Cripps.

Brelje is a first grade teacher and is in her 4th year as a teacher.

Hale teaches second grade. She is in her 10th year.

Caplinger is in her 23rd year. She teaches Math and Science for the 5th grade.

Elrod is in her 10th year of teaching Reading/Language Arts

Cantrell teaches Career Technical Principals of Machining I and II and Manufacturing. This is his 8th year in the classroom.

Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for 7th through 12th grades said "Again this year, we're going to participate in the Teacher of the Year program, which begins on the school level, moves to the system level, the regional level, and finally to the state level," she said.

Competition for system-wide Teacher of the Year continues through February, and will be announced at the Teacher of the Year Banquet in the spring. There will be three teachers chosen by a committee to compete at the regional level in March, and if selected they will represent DeKalb County at the state level competition.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for teachers; to stimulate interest in teaching as a career; and to encourage public involvement in education.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year represents Tennessee at the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Teachers of the Year are selected competitively through five cycles: Building, System, Field Service Core Center Region, Grand Division and State; and from three categories (levels of teaching); Grades Pre K-4, 5-8, 9-12.

Teachers selected at each cycle receive local recognition and awards underwritten by local sources. State recognition/awards include a banquet honoring the nine State Teacher of the Year finalists and certificates of appreciation from the Governor. In addition, the State Finalists and the State Teacher of the Year receive cash awards.

Two DCHS Football Standouts Sign to Play at Lindsey Wilson College

February 2, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Seniors Tayvian Nokes (left) and Eli Cross sign to play for Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raiders Football Team
DCHS Football Standout Tayvian Nokes has signed with Lindsey Wilson College in Ky. His parents Toby and Jamie Nokes and siblings Jayde Nokes Stanley and Desmond Nokes joined him for the signing
DCHS Football Standout Eli Cross has signed with Lindsey Wilson College in Ky. His parents Tony and Shelly Cross and siblings Silas, Isaac, Ally, and Abby joined him for the signing
DCHS Football Coach Steve Trapp Joins Tayvian Nokes and Eli Cross at signing with Lindsey Wilson College

Two football standouts at DCHS have signed to play college football.

Seniors Eli Cross and Tayvian Nokes put pen to paper Wednesday at noon making a commitment to Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. The home of the Blue Raiders. DCHS football coach Steve Trapp, fellow teammates, and members of their families joined them for the signing.

LWC is a private four-year college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school currently offers associate degrees in 10 areas of study, bachelor's degrees in 26 areas of study with Minors in 20 areas, and master's degrees in counseling and human development, Education, and interactive design. Lindsey Wilson is a member of the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA.

“It’s national signing day for college football players and we’re fortunate to have a couple of guys, Eli Cross and Tayvian Nokes, who have done well in high school both in the classroom and on the field to have the opportunity to continue to play football. They have both signed with Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky and we’re proud of those guys,” said Coach Trapp.

For DCHS, Nokes played on the offensive and defensive line at right guard and defensive tackle. At Lindsey Wilson, he is expected to be a defensive lineman. “For us he was a two way player on the line but he really excelled in the middle of our defense, especially this past year. He is being looked at more as a defensive lineman with Lindsey,” added Coach Trapp.

“Lindsey Wilson is a great school academically and their football program is usually top ten in their conference and division every year. I am really excited to be playing college football and especially to be playing for their team. They had me listed at first as offered for both offensive and defensive lineman but they officially have me on the roster as a defensive lineman now. I would like to thank my mom and dad. My father coached me all the way until high school basically. I was a quarterback in junior pro and defensive lineman. At the high school, Coach Trapp, Coach (Michael) Shaw, and Coach Clarence (Trapp) pushed me to be a better player and to get better every single day. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. Last but not least is God. I definitely couldn’t be here without Him and the gifts He has given me,” said Nokes.

Cross played for the Tigers at left tackle and defensive end. He is expected to play on the offensive line at Lindsey. “Eli is going to be looked at more on the offensive side of the ball and maybe inside as a guard or maybe as a tackle,” said Coach Trapp.

“From the time I visited them I really thought I would be a good fit there. The major that I am going to major in is a really good business program. They are on the rise right now. They have only had a (football) program for like seven years but they went 11-1 last year. I love the coaching staff and I am really impressed with what they have been able to accomplish so far. I think we have a shot at winning a national championship with them. I would like to thank my entire family. They have been a blessing my whole life. They have pushed me to be the greatest I can be. I definitely want to thank Coach Trapp. Honestly you can’t ask for a better coach than him. Coach Shaw is a great defensive coordinator. Coach Clarence has been my line coach ever since I’ve been in high school. He has been a great influence on me. But without God I couldn’t have done anything," said Cross.

At the annual awards banquet last month, Nokes was named Best Defensive Lineman and Cross received the Best Offensive Lineman Award. Nokes was also named Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman in Region 4 3A while Cross was selected to the 1st Team All Region. They were further selected to the All Herald Citizen Team from the Upper Cumberland. Nokes was named to the 2nd team as Defensive Lineman and Cross received Honorable Mention.

“Although they will be representing a new color and logo at Lindsey Wilson College they will always still represent DCHS black and gold and Tiger Pride wherever they go,” added Coach Trapp.

DCHS Tigerette Boosters Appreciate Community Support for Dodgeball Challenge

February 1, 2017
Dwayne Page
Women's Division First Place: Average Joe's
Women's Division Second Place and Best Dressed Team: All Dodge No Balls
Women's Division Third Place:Teach Me How to Dodgey
Men's Division: First Place:The Mighty Duckers
Men's Division: Second Place: The Benchwarmers
Men's Division: Third Place: Sniper Gang
High School Division: First Place: Snoop Dodgers
High School Division: Second Place: The Dirty Dodgers
High School Division:Third Place: Ball of Duty

The DCHS Tigerette Booster Club would like to thank the community for coming together and making the Tigerette "Last One Standing" dodgeball challenge a great success.

Women's Division Winners:

First Place: Average Joe's
Lexi Bates, Hannah Panter, Maddi Dickens, Myranda Bailiff, Maddison Parsley, Kayley Caplinger

Second Place and Best Dressed Team: All Dodge No Balls
Annieka Norton, Lindsey Taylor, Brandi Norton, Mindy Versluis, Katie Hall, Crystal Vickers, Chelsey Brannon

Third Place:
Teach Me How to Dodgey
Chelsye Madden, Kristina Stephens, Kristian Nelson, Dondra Marcum, Victoria Bennett, Cynthia Woodard, Morgan Atnip

Men's Division:
First Place: The Mighty Duckers
John Barber, Sebastian Phillips, Lucas Phillips, Tyler Kent, Tyler Caldwell, Zack Rowland

Second Place: The Benchwarmers
Tad Webb, Ethan Roller, Relley Yott, Waylon West, Kalab Ferrell, Joey Agee

Third Place: Sniper Gang
Hunter Parkhurst, Gage Duggin, Brady Bates, Alex Hall, John Roller, Ian Johnson

High School Division:
First Place: Snoop Dodgers
Paxton Butler, Christian Pruitt, John Maynard, Lee Randolph, Jacob Self, Hunter Jennings

Second Place: The Dirty Dodgers
Riley Sexton, Jessie Smith, Omar Aldino, Colton Seifert, Braxton Linder, Ethan Martin

Third Place: Ball of Duty
Bill Miller, Daniel Puckett, Alan Munoz, Jake Ramsey, Dallas Cook, Justin Washer

DCHS Class of 2017 Seeks Donations for Project Graduation

February 1, 2017
Dwayne Page
Steven Jennings

Members of the DCHS Class of 2017 are asking for your support of Project Graduation.

Steven Jennings, a DCHS Senior, urges you to stop by any DeKalb County branch office of Liberty State Bank to make a donation.

“I am a captain on the baseball team, a captain on the football team, a member of the Literature Club, Science Club, FBLA, FCA, and the National BETA Club at DCHS. More importantly, I am a member of the 2017 graduating class. We are raising funds for our Project Graduation event that will take place the night of graduation in May. We will have food and fun activities. It is designed to keep us safe from the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol. In order to hold this event, we must raise funds and request the community’s help. Please stop by your local branch of Liberty State Bank in Alexandria, Liberty, or Smithville and make a donation to our account. All help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support,” said Jennings.

Meanwhile a raffle for a 50 inch flat screen TV will be held Monday night, February 6 during the DCHS basketball games against Smith County at home. Tickets are 2 for $15 or $8.00 each. Proceeds will benefit DCHS Project Graduation.

A Corn Hole tournament is also set for February 25.

After 136 Years, F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy Relocating from Public Square

January 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
After almost 136 years Smithville’s oldest business, F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy, will soon be leaving the public square and moving to the former location of the Family Dollar building on South Congress Boulevard.
F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy Moving from Public Square to former location of Family Dollar  and the Big Bounce on South Congress Boulevard

The end of an era.

After almost 136 years Smithville’s oldest business, F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy, will soon be leaving the public square and moving to the former location of the Family Dollar and more recently the Big Bounce on South Congress Boulevard.

“We’re not going out of business. We’re moving and expanding,” Alan Webb told WJLE Tuesday.

Webb, owner of the pharmacy, said that his son-in-law Justin Hooper, who is also a pharmacist, will be joining him in the business.

“My new son-in-law, Justin Hooper is buying into the store and we will be partners. The pharmacy will be owned by me and my wife Lora along with Justin and his wife and our daughter Martha. That will bring along a fifth generation of ownership to Webb’s Drug Store,” said Alan.

While he hates to leave downtown, Webb said having the pharmacy on South Congress Boulevard will make it more visible and hopefully draw more business. “ We decided to move out on the highway where there is more traffic. Since the courthouse moved so many of their offices to the county complex there has not been as much activity downtown in recent years,” he said.

The new pharmacy is expected to offer more services and conveniences including a soda fountain, something F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy was once known for at the present location until it was discontinued several years ago. “We’re going to be remodeling the building and we’re planning to put the old soda fountain back in. We’ll have a drive-through window and consultation rooms and there will be plenty of parking. We don’t yet know what all we are going to offer but it will be good for DeKalb County and the surrounding areas. We expect business to grow there because there will be more space for growth,”said Webb.

Although a target date has not yet been set for the move, Webb said it will be sometime within the next few months. "I don’t know when or how long it will take to get the building remodeled but we plan to move sometime this year,” he said.

F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy was founded in 1881 and now has locations in Alexandria and McMinnville in addition to Smithville. “We appreciate all our loyal customers and the families we have served for generations and hope you will continue to patronize us. We also hope to make new friends and customers. As in the past we will continue to operate as a locally owned independent pharmacy,” added Webb.

F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts, operated by Webb’s sister Annette Greek, will remain in operation downtown on the public square.

17 Year old Smithville Boy Missing

January 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
17 year old Jacob Linder of Smithville Missing

A 17 year old Smithville boy has been missing for two weeks and authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating him.

Jacob Linder is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. His hair is light brown and he has blue eyes. He was last seen on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anyone with information should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210.

Deadline Approaching to Pay Property Taxes

January 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
Trustee Sean Driver

The Trustee's Office will be a busy place for the next month as taxpayers rush to beat the February 28 deadline to pay their 2016 county property taxes.

The $8.8 million in 2016 DeKalb County property taxes to be collected by February 28, 2017 includes property, residential, commercial, personal, and public utility taxes.

Penalties will start accruing March 1 on 2016 taxes not paid by the deadline.

Trustee Sean Driver reminds taxpayers that you may:

1. Come in person to pay at the office.

2. Mail in your payment.

3. Pay online at tennesseetrustee.com- select, DeKalb.
*There is a fee to use debit/credit card-2.75% of your total tax bill or submit an e-check for $2.75 on any total
*Online accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express.
*Business Information Systems collects the fees, not DeKalb County

4. A Dropbox is also located on the outside wall of the county offices section at the county complex building (where the Trustee's Office is located) for your convenience after hours or on weekends. If you choose to use the drop box on February 28, the mail will be gathered on Wednesday morning, March 1 and no penalties will be applied to the 2016 tax bill.

5. Partial Payments are accepted in any amount.
*Remember: Whatever portion of taxes are unpaid for 2016, using the partial payment plan; only the portion left unpaid will accrue 1.5% penalty and interest per month starting March 1, 2017.

You may also qualify for the State of Tennessee Property Tax Relief Program. If you would like to check on a possible tax relief for 2016, visit the Trustee’s Office at 732 South Congress Boulevard, Room 103, or call 615-597-5176. The last day to sign up for tax relief is April 5.

The Trustee's Office is open regular hours from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday.

Any 2015 unpaid property taxes may be paid with interest and penalty through March 31. However any 2015 unpaid taxes will be turned over to the Chancery Court on April 1 for collection. The Trustee's Office will soon be sending out a notice to those still delinquent.


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