Local News Articles

DeKalb Students to Return to School Thursday

December 31, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County students and teachers will return to the classrooms this week.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 will be a stockpile day for teachers.

Students will return after the holidays on Thursday, January 4.

The remainder of the school calendar is as follows:

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15 and for President's Day, Monday, February 19.

Spring break will be March 26-30.

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 23. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 24 and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, March 6 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 8 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home from all schools on Tuesday, January 9; Tuesday March 6; and Thursday, May 24.

Brunson Arrested on Meth Charge in Sealed Indictment

December 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
Darby Dee Brunson
Kenneth Harrison Hall
Frank Ervin Morris
Nicholas Cody Walls
Quonisha Vonique Webb

A 29 year old woman has been picked up on a sealed indictment returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury in November.

Darby Dee Brunson of Cookeville was arrested Tuesday, December 26 charged in an indictment for sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) over 26 grams. Her bond is $100,000. She will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on January 17.

The offense occurred on April 5.

60 year old Kenneth Harrison Hall of Olen Drive, Smithville is charged with violation of an order of protection. His bond is $1,500 and court date is January 4.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Friday, December 22 Hall went to the home of a woman and entered in violation of an order of protection against him. Hall admitted going there to retrieve Christmas presents.

50 year old Frank Ervin Morris of Gene Vaughn Road, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was also cited for violation of the open container law. His bond is $3,000 and court date is January 11.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, December 28 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Highway 56 north due to a possible drunk driver. While enroute, central dispatch informed the officer that the vehicle had pulled into the parking lot of the Dollar General Store on Highway 56 north. The deputy located the vehicle there, a white Dodge truck with the engine still running. The driver, Morris was passed out behind the steering wheel. The deputy spotted an open bottle of Vodka in the middle console. The officer awoke Morris and spoke with him. Morris admitted to having had too much to drink. Morris was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were bloodshot and he had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Morris submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Morris has a previous DUI offense against him which occurred on November 5, 2015.

A couple has been charged in a domestic dispute.

32 year old Nicholas Cody Walls of Coconut Ridge Road is charged with aggravated assault for attacking his wife, 19 year old Quonisha Vonique Webb of Sparta but she is charged with violation of an order of protection for being at Walls residence.

Bond for Walls is $7,500. Webb’s bond is $3,500. Both will make a court appearance on January 11.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, December 24 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Coconut Ridge Road for a possible domestic. Upon arrival, he spoke with Walls and his mother. Walls said that he and his wife, Webb had gotten into an argument and that she had left. Webb was located later and told a deputy that Walls had held her down, tried to choke her, and then punched her in the face. Webb had marks on her neck and face.

The officer also learned that Walls had taken an order of protection against Webb on September 29 and that she was not supposed to be near him. That order of protection against Webb is active through June 19, 2018. Both Walls and Webb were arrested.

Happy New Year Greetings From Our Community

December 31, 2017
Dwayne Page
Happy New Year Greetings From Our Community

WJLE and the following participating local and area businesses, public officials, and political candidates wish you and your family a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

*ABTS (Automated Business & Tax Service)
1225 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville

*A Degree Above Heating & Cooling, a RUUD dealer
631 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Alexandria Auto Parts, LLC
905 Brush Creek Road, Alexandria

*Arrow Termite & Pest Control
9341 Short Mountain Highway, Smithville

*Atnip Chiropractic Clinic
205 South Fourth Street, Smithville

*Belk Grocery & Sporting Goods
108 Wright Bend Road, Smithville

*Bumpers Drive-In
303 East Broad Street, Smithville

*Caney Fork Electric Cooperative
580 East Broad Street, Smithville

*Cantrell's Furniture & Appliances
638 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Cash Express
126 East Bryant Street, Smithville

*Center Hill Wine and Spirits
725 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville

*DeKalb County Ace Hardware
702 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-4154 or 615-597-6175

*DeKalb Dental Center, the office of Dr. Mitchell S. Tatum, DDS
201 South Third Street, Smithville

*DeKalb Funeral Chapel
863 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-9400. Obituary line 615-597-9600

*DeKalb County Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell
732 S. Congress Boulevard-Room 104, Smithville

*DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss
732 S. Congress Boulevard-Room 102, Smithville

*DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack
DeKalb County Courthouse, 1 Public Square - Room 303, Smithville

*DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling
DeKalb County Courthouse, 1 Public Square - Room 204, Smithville

*DeKalb County Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen
732 S. Congress Boulevard- Room 101, Smithville.

*DeKalb County Road Supervisor Butch Agee
720 Smith Road, Smithville

*DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray
100 Public Square, Smithville
615 597-4935 or 615 597-4043

*DeKalb County Trustee Sean Driver
732 S. Congress Boulevard- Room 103, Smithville.

*Dogwood Plaza
South Congress Boulevard, Smithville

*DTC Communications
Alexandria Office: 111 High Street.
Smithville Office: 200 Walmart Drive.

*Evins Mill ~ A Tennessee Resort Property
1535 Evins Mill Road, Smithville, TN
615.269-3740 (Nashville)

*Family Care Chiropractic, Dr. Kevin Malone DC.
502 West Main Street, Smithville

*Family Medical Center
302 North Congress Boulevard, Smithville
400 East Public Square, Alexandria

*Florence & White Ford
710 West Broad Street, Smithville

*F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy
608 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville
615-597-5521 Nights & Holidays
615-597-4186 Soda Shop
Alexandria Location: 105 Public Square

*Glynn's Auto Sales
605 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Good Health Family Clinic
414 East Broad Street, Smithville

*Griffins Fruit Market
316 West Broad Street, Smithville

*HG Staffing, LLC
477D North Chancery Street, McMinnville

*Jamie a. Boutique
112 West Main Street, Smithville

*Jimmy Sprague
Democratic Candidate for DeKalb County Road Supervisor

*Jim's Tire & Alignment
449 Evins Mill Road, Smithville

*Johnny's Drugs
516B West Main Street, Smithville

*Lake Homes Realty (Tony Luna)

*Larry's Discount Grocery
309 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-697-6617 or 615-597-6760

*Love Cantrell Funeral Home
100 East Church Street, Smithville
615-597-5275. Obituary line 615-597-7275

*Liberty State Bank
Smithville Branch: 735 South Congress Boulevard
615-597-2265 or 615-597-2266
Liberty Branch: 311 East Main Street, Liberty
Alexandria Branch: 100 North Public Square, Alexandria

*Middle Tennessee Natural Gas
1036 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4388 or 615-597-4300

*Mark Milam
Democratic Candidate for DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk

*The Miller Team-Josh and Melissa
Sunbelt Real Estate and Appraisals
409 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-464-5882 or 615-464-684-0262

*NHC Healthcare
825 Fisher Avenue, Smithville

*Optimus Pest Solutions
409 South Mountain Street, Smithville.

*Pokey's TurnKey Bail Bonding (We have the key to set you free)
633 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Pokey's Fix-A-Flat Tire Shop (new and used tires)
633 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Poppie's Boutique
660 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Rick's Auto
255 Arrowhead Drive, Smithville

*Jackie Smith, State Farm Insurance Agent
315 North Public Square, Smithville

*Smithville Discount Wine & Spirits
413 East Broad Street, Smithville

*Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss
Smithville City Hall- 104 East Main Street, Smithville.

*Smithville Storage (Opening in the New Year)
1000 South Mountain Street, Smithville

*Swallows Insurance Agency
308 West Broad Street, Smithville

*Three Star Mall
1410 Sparta Road, McMinnville

*Webb House Retirement Center
115 Jennings Lane, Smithville

*White Possum Grille
1060 West Broad Street, Smithville
Daily Menu-Smithville 615-464-6108

*Wilson Bank & Trust
576 West Broad Street, Smithville
615-597-4663. Telephone Banker 615-597-2222
Alexandria Location: 306 Brush Creek Road

2606 McMinnville Highway, Smithville

*Woodbury Insurance Agency
234 McMinnville Highway, Woodbury
Smithville Branch at 612E South Congress Boulevard

Wilson County Commission to Appoint New Representative for 46th District

December 30, 2017
Mark Pody

Recently, Mark Pody, former State Representative of the 46th District, was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in a special election that was held during the month of December. The votes of that election have been officially certified, leaving the seat of Representative for the 46th District vacated. The Wilson County Commission is required to appoint an individual to fill the vacated seat until the general election to be held on November 5th, 2018. The Wilson County Mayor’s office has worked closely with the following individuals and offices to ensure that the law is upheld in every aspect of this appointment: Mr. Robin Roberts, CTAS representative; Mr. Phillip Warren, Wilson County Election Commission; Mr. Lee Pope, State of Tennessee Office of Open Records; Mr. Andrew Dodd, Tennessee State Election Commission; County Attorney Mike Jennings; and the State of Tennessee’s Comptroller’s Office.

T.C.A 5-5-111 states that a public notice must run in a paper of general circulation for not less than seven (7) full days prior to the meeting. Upon receiving the certification of the votes from the special election, the earliest possible date that a public notice would appear in most every paper in Wilson County is January 3, 2017. (This article does not serve as a public notice. Rather, a public notice stating the date, time and location of the special called meeting to make this appointment will run in the PUBLIC NOTICE section of this publication.) With this in mind, the County Mayor’s Office surveyed the Wilson County Commission in regards to which date the Commission as a whole would prefer to meet and make the appointment. After tallying the votes, the special called meeting is set for January 10th, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the upstairs County Commission Room of the Wilson County Courthouse. The individual selected by the County Commission to represent the 46th District will take office immediately and serve until the general election on November 5, 2018.

The State Representative for the 46th district includes Cannon County and portions of Wilson and DeKalb counties. Individuals nominated to fill the vacant position must be residents of the 46th district which consists of Cannon County and portions of Wilson and DeKalb Counties. Registered voters of these districts are allowed to submit names for consideration either during the meeting or in writing to the County Mayor prior to the meeting.

The procedure for the night of the special called meeting will be as follows: the public will be allowed to submit names to the Commissioners that they would like to see as State Representative for the 46th District until the next general election on November 5, 2018. After the public comments period has ended, the Commission will then return to regular session and review the nominations that were spoken during the public comments period. At this time, Commissioners will begin making their nominations for a 46th district representative. Though public comments will be accepted and considered, all official nominations must be made by County Commissioners. A County Commissioner can nominate an individual recommended by the public, providing the individual nominated agrees, in writing, to serve if elected. A County Commissioner can, however, choose to nominate an individual that was not discussed during the time for public comments. Should a commissioner nominate an individual that is not present at the meeting, the Commissioner making the nomination must present a signed statement by the nominee that he or she is willing to serve should they be elected. There is no second required to the nominations.

After nominations cease on the floor, the nominated individuals will be given an opportunity to address the Commission. Nominees will be asked to make a brief statement about themselves and why they are seeking the position. Please note that only the nominees that were nominated by a County Commissioner will be allowed to address the full Commission at this time. There will be no public comment period after nominations have been submitted.

Members of the County Commission will be the only individuals allowed to vote on the vacancy issue. The County Commissioners will use paper ballots to vote. It will take a majority vote, of at least 13 votes on the first ballot, or if there is a tie between two individuals, the nominees with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated and a second vote will be taken. This process will continue until one individual receives a majority, or 13 votes. Once the vacancy has been filled, the individual elected will serve until the next general election to be held on November 5, 2018.
The County Mayor’s office has submitted a public notice outlining the meeting date, time and place to every newspaper in Wilson County as well as newspapers in Cannon and DeKalb counties. Copies of the public notice have also been sent to the county mayor in both Cannon and DeKalb counties. In addition, a copy of the public notice regarding this meeting is available to view online at www.wilsoncountytn.gov. If you have any other specific questions related to this process, please contact our office and we will do our best to assist you.

Two Involved in Rollover Crash at Dowelltown

December 30, 2017
Dwayne Page
Two Involved in Rollover Crash at Dowelltown
Two men received minor injuries in a rollover crash at Dowelltown

Two men received minor injuries in a rollover crash early this morning (Saturday) on Highway 70 at Dowelltown near the intersection with Mill Street.

Trooper Rodney Whiles of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 23 year old Cody Griffith of Alexandria was driving west on Highway 70 in a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 when he fell asleep at the wheel. The vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway and struck a sidewalk. Griffith then woke up and jerked the steering wheel, overcorrecting causing the truck to overturn in the highway.

Both Griffith and his passenger, 20 year old Dustin Griffith of Alexandria suffered minor injuries. Dustin was transported by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. Cody refused transport by EMS.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

DeKalb Jobless Rate at 4.2% in November

December 29, 2017
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for November was 4.2%, up from 3.8% in October but still below 5.5% in November, 2016.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner Burns Phillips Thursday announced unemployment rates in November remained low across the state and the vast majority of Tennessee counties continue to experience rates below 5 percent.

The DeKalb County Labor Force for November was 7,640. A total of 7,320 were employed and 320 were without work.

Jobless rates for November among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Clay: 4.8%
Jackson: 4.5%
DeKalb: 4.2%
Fentress: 4.1%
Van Buren: 4.1%
Cumberland: 3.9%
Overton: 3.7%
White: 3.5%
Warren: 3.5%
Putnam: 3.3%
Cannon: 3.1%
Macon: 3.1%
Smith: 3%

Davidson and Williamson counties tied for having the lowest unemployment in the state with rates of 2.5 percent, a slight increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to October.

Eight of the ten lowest county unemployment rates in November were in Middle Tennessee, with Knox and Sevier counties in East Tennessee rounding out the list of the top ten lowest rates in the state. All counties in the top ten had a rate below 3 percent and unemployment rates in 87 Tennessee counties remained under 5 percent in November.

“The economy remains strong in Tennessee, but we are not going to let up on our Drive to 55 to ensure our workforce is ready for the demands of employers in the years to come,” Haslam said. “And we’re keeping our focus on creating a business-friendly environment that will continue to attract jobs and make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

Lauderdale County had the highest unemployment rate in November, at 5.5 percent, a 0.3 percentage point increase from the previous month. Rhea and Bledsoe Counties both had rates of 5.4 percent, which represents a 0.1 percentage point increase for Rhea County and a 0.5 percentage point increase for Bledsoe County.

“While unemployment rates remain near historically low levels in many counties, there are still areas that need our assistance,” Phillips said. “We are working with other state agencies, like the Department of Economic and Community Development, to create jobs and qualified workforces in those distressed counties.”

Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate in November was 3.1 percent – two percentage points lower than it was in November 2016 and one percentage point lower than the national rate.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while the county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic times series.

Election Commission to Issue Petitions for School Board, City Offices, and State Offices Starting January 5th

December 28, 2017
Dennis Stanley

Petitions for five school board seats and spots in all the county’s four cities will be available beginning January 5. That’s according to Dennis Stanley, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections.

“The school board and all city office holders run as non-partisan candidates so the qualifying deadline is different than the other county offices,” Stanley said. “Those candidates will not be on the ballot until August and no primary elections are held for those seats.”

Up for election will be school board seats in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7. City seats up for grabs, pending any resignations/vacancies, are: In Smithville the Mayor and two aldermen seats; in Dowelltown three aldermen seats; in Liberty the Mayor and five aldermen seats; and in Alexandria the Mayor and three aldermen seats.

Qualifying petitions for these races must be returned by Noon April 5.

In addition, candidates interested in running for the 17th Tennessee Senatorial District and State Houses 40 and 46 have the same qualifying deadline.

Following is a list of key dates related to the first two elections in 2018:

DeKalb County Democratic Primary, May 1, 2018
Petition date—Available now
Qualifying deadline—Noon February 15
Voter registration deadline—April 2
Early voting period—April 11 through April 26

County General Election, Municipal Elections, and Tennessee Primary August 2, 2018
Petition date—Available January 5
Qualifying deadline—Noon April 5
Voter registration deadline—July 3
Early voting period—July 13 through July 28

WJLE Features Regular Religious Programs

December 27, 2017
Dwayne Page

WJLE is proud of our partner sponsors of religious programs each week and hopes you will tune in often and let them know you listen.

*Got A Minute?: 60 second message presented by the Smithville Church of Christ with Dan Gulley-Twice a day Monday-Friday each week (various times morning and around noon)

*Cross Connection sponsored by the Upper Helton Baptist Church featuring Jimmy Arms: Monday-Friday at 11:55 a.m. each week

*Morning Devotion: A 5 minute daily devotional by a different minister each week Monday-Saturday at 7:25 a.m.

*Amazing Facts sponsored by the Smithville Seventh Day Adventist Church: Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. each week

The following are weekly sponsored Sunday programs:

*7:30 a.m.: Royce Moore of the New West Point Freewill Baptist Church (The Way of Life Ministry)

*8:00 a.m. Elder Ricky Arnold of the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church (The Firm Foundation)

*8:30 a.m. Outreach Baptist Church with Nathan Thomason (The Outreach Pulpit)

*9:00 a.m. Tom Hafstad of the Keltonburg Missionary Baptist Church (Only Through the Blood)

*9:35 a.m. Trent Colwell of the Smithville Church of the Nazarene (The Living Word)

*10:00 a.m. Steve Warren of Faith Chapel Ministries (Faith for the Hour)

*10:30 a.m. Bobby Thomason of the Covenant Baptist Church (Fountain of Faith Ministries)

*11:00 a.m. Worship Services from either the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian (Isaac Gray) or Smithville First United Methodist (Dr. John Carpenter) Churches

*12:30 p.m.: Music Ministry of Delmas Neal

*1:00 p.m.: Truth that Transforms with Charles and Aaron Wright

*1:30 p.m. The Preaching Ministry of Toy Lawson of the People’s Pentecostal Church

*2:30 p.m. Billy Hale of the Christ Pentecostal Church of Brush Creek (The King is Coming)

*3:00 p.m. Prophet James Ferrell of the Church of Jesus Christ (The Word of the Lord)

*3:30 pm. The Way of the Cross with Joe Elkins

Listen each week on WJLE AM 1480 and WJLE FM 101.7 and LIVE Streaming at www.wjle.com.

Property Taxes Due February 28

December 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Trustee Sean Driver

With the year coming to a close, you may want to pay your county property taxes for 2017, if you haven’t already done so.

Trustee Sean Driver said you can pay them now although they are not due until February 28, 2018.

As of Wednesday, December 27, 40% has been collected of the $9.06 million in 2017 DeKalb County property taxes to be collected by February 28, 2018 which includes property, residential, commercial, personal, and public utility taxes.

Penalties will start accruing March 1 on 2017 taxes not paid by the February 28 deadline.

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.org- 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.

5. Partial Payments are accepted in any amount.

*Remember: Whatever portion of taxes are unpaid for 2017, using the partial payment plan; only the portion left unpaid will accrue 1.5% penalty and interest per month starting March 1, 2018.

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 2017, 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 2016 unpaid property taxes may be paid with interest and penalty through March 31. However any 2016 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.

Hike and Feast New Year's Day at Edgar Evins State Park

December 26, 2017
Anna Bertram
Hike and Feast New Year's Day at Edgar Evins State Park
Hike New Year's Day at Edgar Evins State Park

The old adage goes that whatever you do on New Year’s Day you will do all year so why not start 2018 with healthy exercise and socializing with friends while enjoying a good meal? This free event at Edgar Evins State Park is kid and family friendly. Dogs must be on a leash. All you need to do is show up at 10 A.M. in the marina parking lot near the covered shelters.

Bring a typical New Year’s Day food to share if you wish to stay for lunch. People will drop off their food, sign in and pose for a group picture before car pooling a short distance to the trail head where a Park Ranger will lead a 2 ½ mile easy to moderate hike on the Millennium Trail. After which there will be food and socializing in front of the fireplace in Shelter #1, Those who wish to hike more may do the 2 mile Highland Rim Nature Trail next to the office following lunch.

The park is located at 1630 Edgar Evins Park Road, Silver Point, TN 38582. The entrance is in DeKalb County, on Center Hill Lake, approximately 20 miles north of Smithville, 20 miles west of Cookeville, and 60 miles east of Nashville, across the highway from Big Rock Market and Caney Fork Outdoors. From I-40 take exit 268 at State Hwy. 96 and Center Hill Lake. The physical address is 1630 Edgar Evins Park Rd., Silver Point, 38582

The Annual New Year’s Day Hike and Feast is jointly sponsored by Friends of Edgar Evins State Park and the park. For more information visit the Friends website at www.foeesp.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/friendsofeesp or call the park office at 931-858-2114


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