Local News Articles

Cooking Fire Quickly Spreads Through Dowelltown Housing Projects Quadraplex (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

January 28, 2017
Dwayne Page

A cooking fire forced residents in four units of a quadraplex from their homes Saturday at the housing projects on Circle Drive in Dowelltown.

All victims of the fire got out unharmed but were left homeless as the blaze quickly spread through the attic of the building.

“We were called to 207 Circle Drive in Dowelltown to the housing projects due to a fire. It was a cooking fire. Some grease caught on fire. The occupants were unable to put it out and it spread up the back of the stove area to the attic. There was a common attic between four units and the wind spread the fire across the attic. We were able to contain the fire to the attic but there was damage from the fire to all four residential units beneath the attic due to the fire and water. All four units were pretty much totaled,” said County Fire Chief Donny Green.

“Everybody from each unit got out okay. No one was hurt. The management of the housing projects helped locate housing for the displaced residents. The American Red Cross also worked to provide shelter for at least one of them and has worked to provide food and clothing for all the victims of the fire,” added Chief Green.

Members of the Liberty, Main Station, Cookeville Highway, and Belk Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker truck. The Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department was called to provide extra manpower under a mutual aid agreement between the Alexandria and county departments. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.

DeKalb GOP Names Party Leaders

January 28, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb GOP Officers: Vice Chairman Clint Hall, Treasurer Tom Chandler, Chairman Mingy Bryant, State Executive Committee Woman Jennifer Winfree, Secretary Brandon Cox, and Assistant Treasurer Dustin Estes.
DeKalb GOP Elected Officials and Party Leaders

Members of the DeKalb County Republican Party met Saturday morning at the courthouse to elect officers to serve for the next two years.

Local attorney Mingy Bryant was re-elected Chairman of the Party.

Other officers are Vice Chairman Clint Hall, Secretary Brandon Cox, Treasurer Tom Chandler, and Assistant Treasurer Dustin Estes. The new officers were nominated as a group and elected by acclamation with no other names placed in nomination.

Jennifer Winfree, State Executive Committee Woman and former DeKalb Party Chairman was also in attendance along with local elected Republican officials Sheriff Patrick Ray, Trustee Sean Driver, Road Supervisor Butch Agee, Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell and Fifth District County Commissioner Jerry Adcock.

Smithville Deputy Fire Chief Three-peats for "Highest Attendance Award"

January 28, 2017
Dwayne Page
Deputy Fire Chief Hoyte Hale Receives "Highest Attendance Award" from Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker
Seth Wright (left) and Garrett Johnson (right) tied for most documented training hours among non-officer city firefighters in 2016 at 125.5 hours each
Smithville Volunteer Firefighters

Smithville Volunteer Firefighter and Deputy Chief Hoyte Hale received the "Highest Attendance Award" Friday night during an appreciation dinner for city firefighters at the Smithville First United Methodist Christian Fellowship Center.

The award was presented to Hale by Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker. This is the third straight year Hale has earned this award.

Hale, a 32 year veteran of the department, attended 148 out of 175 calls during the year 2016. This includes calls, trainings, and workings.

Other firefighters with high attendance responses to their credit were Lieutenant Donnie Cantrell with 139, Lieutenant John Poss with 125 calls, Lieutenant Danny Poss 116 and Lieutenant Kevin Adcock with 95.

Meanwhile two first year firefighters, Seth Wright and Garrett Johnson tied for most documented training hours among non-officer firefighters during the year at 125.5 hours each. Wright and Johnson were also sworn in during the dinner. The swearing in for first year firefighters has never been done before at an awards dinner but Chief Parker said it will now become a tradition each year.

Meanwhile city firefighters were recognized for years of service including the following:
Ryan Herron: Rookie
Garrett Johnson: 1 year
Seth Wright-1 year
Kim Johnson-1 year
Robin Summers-1 year
Bradley Johnson- 3 years
Dalton Roberts-3 years
C.J. Tramel- 3 years
Shawn Jacobs-Auxiliary 4 years
Cory Killian-6 years
Glen Lattimore-9 years
Stephanie Wright-11 years
Gary Johnson-12 years
James Randall Hunt-12 years
Wallace Caldwell- Chaplain 13 years
Lieutenant Kevin Adcock- 18 years
William (Wink) Brown-19 years
Greg Bess-photographer 22 years
Lieutenant John Poss-26 years
Captain Jeff Wright-31 years
Deputy Chief Hoyte Hale-32 years
Lieutenant Donnie Cantrell-37 years
Lieutenant Danny Poss-37 years
Chief Charlie Parker-37 years

Chaplain Caldwell spoke briefly of the meaning behind the “Maltese Cross”, the badge of a firefighter.

“The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection and a badge of honor. Its story is hundreds of years old".

"When a courageous band of crusaders known as The Knights of St. John fought the Saracens for possession of the holy land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple, but horrible device of war. It brought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the cross".

"As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were struck by glass bombs containing naphtha. When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracens would hurl a flaming torch into their midst. Hundreds of the knights were burned alive; others risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms from dying painful, fiery deaths".

"Thus, these men became our first Fire Fighters and the first of a long list of courageous men. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded each hero a badge of honor – a cross similar to the one fire fighters wear today. Since the Knights of St. John lived for close to four centuries on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross".

"The Maltese Cross is our symbol of protection. It means that the Fire Fighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for others just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is a Fire Fighter’s badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage – a ladder’s rung away from death,” he said.

Police Charge Man with Deceptive Business Practices over Car Deal

January 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Joseph Matthew Giles II
Thomas Patrick Courtney
Matthew Donald Loveday
Ryan Lee Walden
Manuel Gutierrez
Spencer Montgomery Wallace

Smithville Police have charged a man with deceptive business practices after he allegedly tried to sell a car he had already traded.

24 year old Joseph Matthew Giles II was arrested on Monday, January 23 and will be in court on February 2. His bond is $1,500.

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_7.pdf (2.4 MB)

The intended victim reported to Smithville Police that she saw an ad on the internet for a 2005 Chrysler 300 that was for sale. She contacted the person who placed the ad, Giles and arrangements were made for her to buy the vehicle from him. Before money was exchanged it was discovered that Giles had traded the 2005 Chrysler 300 for another vehicle at a Smithville dealership on Saturday, January 21. Giles allegedly tried to follow through on his deal with the woman and he met her at City Hall where police were waiting. Giles was subsequently placed in custody and taken to the police department for processing. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on February 2.

47 year old Thomas Patrick Courtney was arrested on Saturday, January 21 for DUI and illegal carrying or possession of a weapon. Police responded to a reckless driver call and spotted the described vehicle in the parking lot of McDonald's Restaurant. The officer found the driver, Courtney to have blood shot eyes and slurred speech. He was also unable to perform field sobriety tests satisfactorily. Courtney was asked if he had any weapons in the vehicle. The officer searched and recovered a firearm in the back seat floor board. Upon a further investigation it was discovered that Courtney is a convicted felon for being an habitual offender and for a 4th offense of driving under the influence. He is not to be in possession of a firearm. His bond is $6,500 and his court date is February 9.

33 year old Matthew Donald Loveday was arrested on Thursday, January 26 for two counts of simple possession. Police responded to Potters Home Center where they found a man passed out in his vehicle. Upon arrival, an officer awoke the man who had been slumped over the steering wheel. Loveday was confused as to where he was and how he had gotten there. EMS was called to the scene to check on Loveday's health. He was cleared and released by EMS. After receiving consent to search, police found behind the driver's seat on the floor board a small amount of a crystal substance that field tested positive for meth. Inside a bag on the front seat was a clear container that held a small amount of a white powdery substance which field tested positive for cocaine. Loveday was taken into custody without incident. Loveday’s bond is $10,000 and his court date is February 9.

33 year old Ryan Lee Walden was arrested on Friday, January 20 for violation of an order of protection. Police were called to do a welfare check on a vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The officer observed Walden and another person together at the vehicle. Upon a warrants check it was revealed that there is an existing order of protection involving Walden and the person who was with him. Bond for Walden is $1,500 and his court date is February 9.

33 year old Manuel Gutierrez was arrested on Saturday, January 21 for DUI and he was cited for violation of implied consent, no driver's license, and failure to maintain lane of travel. An officer was traveling west on West Broad Street when he observed a small car turn on to Broad Street from a side road. Within a short span of time, the vehicle left it's lane of travel over a dozen times. The officer tried to stop the vehicle on West Broad but it continued onto Carter Street before pulling over. The driver identified himself as Gutierrez but could not provide any other IDs. Gutierrez’s speech was slurred. He was unsteady on his feet and he performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He was taken to the hospital but refused to submit to a blood/alcohol test. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is February 9.

20 year old Dylan Allen Crook was cited Monday, January 23 for simple possession and having a suspended driver's license. While investigating a possible fraud case involving Crook's vehicle, police approached the automobile and detected an odor of marijuana coming from inside. Upon a search, two pills believed to be Oxycodone were found. Crook had no prescription for the pills. A computer check revealed that Crook's license were also suspended. His court date is February 9.

27 year old Spencer Montgomery Wallace was arrested on Wednesday, January 25 for driving while his license were suspended or revoked. Police observed Wallace operating a vehicle traveling north on Congress Boulevard. Knowing that Wallace's license were revoked, an officer stopped Wallace and placed him in custody. Bond for Wallace is $5,000 and his court date is February 9.

32 year old Rebekah Jeane West was cited on Thursday, January 26 for theft of merchandise. Police pulled over West on a routine traffic stop in reference to a report of stolen merchandise from Dollar General Store. During the investigation, the stolen merchandise was recovered. Her court date is February 16.

“One Last Standing” Dodge Ball Tournament Saturday

January 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Boys High School Division
All Women’s Division
Age 18 and older Division

The DCHS Tigerette Softball Booster Club will be hosting a “One Last Standing” dodge ball tournament at Northside Elementary School on Saturday, January 28 starting at 2pm.

In the Boys High School Division:
*New Life United Pentecostal Church faces an opponent at 2:00 p.m.
*Los Demonios vs Snoop Dodgers at 2:10 p.m.
*Head Knockers vs Dirty Dodgers at 2:20 p.m.
*1 Hit Wonders vs Balls of Duty at 2:30 p.m.

All Women’s Division:
*Suspendinators vs West School Dodgers at 2:00 p.m. The winner will face Average Joes at 2:40 p.m.
*All Dodge No Balls vs Teach Me How 2 Dodgey at 2:10 p.m. The winner will meet Dodging Divas at 2:50 p.m.

Age 18 and older Division:
*City of Smithville vs Dodge Fathers at 2:00 p.m.
*Mighty Duckers vs TTU Bassin at 2:00 p.m.
*Ginos vs Benchwarmers at 2:10 p.m. The winner will face Big 20
*Friendship Baptist vs Global Gym at 2:10 p.m.
*Gym Class Heroes vs Dodgers at 2:20 p.m.
*Lisdexie Read Speeders vs Beef Cakes at 2:20 p.m. The winner will meet Short Bus Ballers

"Classroom Champion" Award Goes to Alex Antoniak

January 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
"Classroom Champion" Award Goes to Alex Antoniak
Attorney Jim Judkins, DWS Principal Sabrina Farler, Jessica  Antoniak, Classroom Champion Alex Antoniak, Sean Antoniak, and WJLE manager Dwayne Page

Alex Antoniak is the recipient of this week’s “Classroom Champion” award presented by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins and WJLE.

The 10 year old 5th grader at DeKalb West School recently received the award and a special gift card from Judkins and Dwayne Page.

Alex is the son of Sean and Jessica Antoniak of Dowelltown. He enjoys playing basketball and his favorite studies are math and science

“Alex is a very good student. A leader among his peers and we are very proud to have him as a student at DeKalb West School,” said Principal Sabrina Farler.

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE has partnered with attorney Judkins in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week for the next several months.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection will be based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, and citizenship and character,” said Judkins.

Smithville Man Arrested for DUI after Asking Trooper for Directions

January 27, 2017
Christopher B. Tatrow

A Smithville man allegedly driving under the influence was arrested Tuesday in Putnam County after asking a state trooper for directions and then trying to elude officers in a pursuit.

According to the Herald-Citizen, 27 year old Christopher B. Tatrow was charged with driving under the influence, evading arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, registration violation, no insurance, no driver’s license on his person, driving through the median, two counts of not properly stopping, a signal on a hill violation, a turning on a hill violation, following too closely, seatbelt violation, two counts of improper passing, having an open container and possession of drug paraphernalia after a search of his vehicle turned up three pipes used for smoking drugs.

THP Trooper Mark Miller said the incident began when Tatrow stopped him to ask for directions at a bridge crossing Interstate 40 near mile marker 295.

According to the report, Trooper Miller saw that Tatrow had a Mike’s Hard Liquor and observed that his speech was slurred and eyes were red and watery.

After Trooper Miller asked him to stand in front of the patrol car, Tatrow instead got in his vehicle and drove away. Tatrow later crashed at mile marker 294 westbound on I-40 after a tire blew out but he kept going until he ran over a spike strip on Highway 70 in Cookeville near the intersection of Old Kentucky Road and Hudgens Street.

After the vehicle finally was disabled, Tatrow got out and tried to run away behind a row of townhouses.

After a short foot pursuit, he was taken into custody.

Tatrow reportedly told Trooper Miller that he was wanted on charges in DeKalb County and that he needed to go to the hospital.

Tatrow submitted to a blood draw to determine the level of intoxicant in his system at the time of the incident.

WSMV's Rudy Kalis to Present Award to DCHS

January 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Rudy Kalis

DeKalb County High School will receive the "Right Spirit of Sportsmanship" award presented by Rudy Kalis of WSMV on Thursday, February 9th during the final home basketball games of the regular season. DeKalb County will host Macon County that night.

“We were nominated by a referee from one of our ballgames. On February 9th, we want to fill the gym with fans. We are asking all fans to wear black and gold attire. A video of our fans will be made and aired on WSMV. Please come out and support your local Lady Tigers and Tigers. This night is also our Senior Night for all of our senior basketball players, managers, and cheerleaders,” said DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant.

“Also on Monday, February 6th, during the half-time of the boys' game with Smith County, we will be recognizing all students who are a member of our ACT 21 and up club. Those students will receive free admission to that night's games and will be awarded with a field trip and certificate,” said Bryant.

Action begins each night at 6 p.m. starting with the girls games. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

DeKalb GOP to Elect Officers

January 27, 2017
Dwayne Page
Current DeKalb County GOP Officers shown here: Treasurer Tom Chandler, Chairman Mingy Colwell Bryant, Secretary Sharon Rhoten, Assistant Treasurer Dustin Estes, and Vice Chairman Clint Hall

The DeKalb County Republican Party will be hosting a County Convention on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at 9AM for the purpose of selecting the Officers of the Dekalb County GOP. Positions include Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice-Treasurer.

The Convention will be held in the County Commission Room at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

All Republicans are invited to attend this Convention to select the officers that will represent the county party for the next 2 years. Interested candidates can contact current Republican Party Chair Mingy Bryant at 615-597-2600 or current Vice Chair Clint Hall at 931-201-6962. For more information, go to the Facebook Page at Dekalb County Republican Party.

Current DeKalb County GOP Officers shown here: Treasurer Tom Chandler, Chairman Mingy Colwell Bryant, Secretary Sharon Rhoten, Assistant Treasurer Dustin Estes, and Vice Chairman Clint Hall

Several from DeKalb County Join "Women's March"

January 26, 2017
Jordan Wilkins
Several from DeKalb County Join "Women's March"

Several women from DeKalb County joined the millions of women and men Saturday, January 21 to participate in an international movement by marching in Washington, D. C., Nashville, Tennessee, and Denver, Colorado dedicated to advancing the principle that "women's rights are human rights" and reminding our newly installed government leaders that protection for families means healthcare, education, jobs and basic respect for individuals and families regardless of political perspective, ethnicity, social class, gender or age is the foundation for civil society.

Amanda Blair, Anna Rachel Blair, Sara Buck Doude, Melinda Buck Brown, Emaline Brown, and Ellie Brown marched in Washington, D.C., Lori Adcock marched in Denver, Colorado. Norene Puckett, Elizabeth Napier, and Donna Davis marched in Nashville, Tennessee.


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