Local News Articles

Smithville Police Investigate Rollover Wreck

November 26, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Firefighters Stabilizing Truck
Smithville Firefighters Working to Get Driver out of Truck
Ford Escape Involved in Accident

Two people were involved in a rollover accident Saturday at the intersection on East Main Street and North Congress Boulevard.

According to Smithville Police Officer Will Judkins, 37 year old Bobby Cross of Smithville was traveling north on Congress Boulevard in a 2014 Ford Escape as 66 year old Jeffrey Wood of Smithville was heading east on Main Street. The vehicles collided in the intersection at the traffic light. The impact caused the truck to rollover up on the driver side where it came to rest.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and Extrication Team were summoned to help get Wood out of his truck. Neither he nor Cross were seriously injured and they refused transport by DeKalb EMS to the hospital.

Cross was cited for driving without a license and violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance).

Bystanders Help Alexandria Police Officer Apprehend Jail Escapee

November 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
Bryon Ray Gibbs

Another jail escapee is back in custody thanks to an alert Alexandria Police Officer and a few citizen bystanders.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_49.pdf (3.3 MB)

32 year old Bryon Ray Gibbs of 200 Gin Alley, Alexandria was taken into custody Saturday afternoon by Alexandria Police Officer Josh Arnold but the arrest didn’t come easy. After being confronted, Gibbs resisted and began fighting with Arnold. Citizens who witnessed the scene came to the aid of the officer to help subdue Gibbs. Deputies and detectives of the Sheriff’s Department also responded to provide assistance.

The incident occurred at around 12:55 p.m. Saturday, according to Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell.

“Alexandria Police Officer Josh Arnold was patrolling on Edgewood Street when he observed a male subject run into the middle of the street. Officer Arnold recognized the male as Bryon Ray Gibbs , a recent escapee from the DeKalb County Jail. Officer Arnold got out of his patrol vehicle and ordered Gibbs to the ground. While attempting to place handcuffs on Gibbs he disobeyed the officers commands and began to resist arrest . Gibbs continued to resist arrest by fighting with Officer Arnold . Several citizens observed the incident and offered assistance. With the help of the bystanders , Gibbs was handcuffed and placed into custody. DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputies and detectives responded to provide assistance,” said Chief Russell.

Gibbs was charged by Alexandria Police with resisting arrest and aggravated assault.

“I would like to thank the citizens who assisted by placing themselves in danger to help in the apprehension of Gibbs," said Chief Russell.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, detectives and officers with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and officers with the Alexandria Police Department had been working throughout the previous night planning Gibbs’ apprehension after receiving information that he was in the Alexandria area.

Sheriff Ray said he wishes to thank Alexandria Police Chief Russell and Officer Arnold for all of their assistance.

Gibbs is back in the DeKalb County Jail and has been charged by the Sheriff’s Department with escape.

Gibbs is one of three inmates who broke out of the jail annex Tuesday night. He, 38 year old Jack Mullican, Jr., and 26 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton, escaped from the back of the jail annex through a door they jimmied open.

Mullican was captured Wednesday morning after being found in an underground water drain near Mapco Express. He became trapped there after making his escape.

Hamilton remains at large.

Please contact Central Dispatch at 615-215-3000 or the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department 615-597-4935 if you have any information on Hamilton’s whereabouts.

Another Woman Charged with Aiding Jail Escapee

November 25, 2017
Dwayne Page
Alesha Rushell Scott
Margaret Ann Taylor
Miranda Nicole Johnson
Jessica Anne Jenkins

Another woman has been charged with aiding one of the jail escapees.

28 year old Alesha Rushell Scott of Gin Alley, Alexandria was arrested on Friday, November 24 at her home in Alexandria and charged with "permitting or facilitating an escape". Scott’s bond is $20,000 and her court date is December 7.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said her charges stem from an investigation into the escape of Bryon Ray Gibbs.

Three other women were arrested last week in separate incidents of aiding jail escapees Bryon Gibbs and Daniel Hamilton who broke out of the DeKalb County Jail Annex Tuesday night along with Jack Mullican, Jr.

40 year old Margaret Ann Taylor of Store Road, Rock Island; 40 year old Miranda Nicole Johnson of Joe Blanton Road, Woodbury; and 29 year old Jessica Anne Jenkins of Bright Hill Road, Smithville are each charged in separate cases of “permitting or facilitating an escape”.

Although accused of the same offense, Sheriff Ray said these women are charged individually for separate contacts with both escapees. Bond for both Johnson and Jenkins is $10,000 each. Taylor’s bond is $5,000. All will make a court appearance on December 7.

Sheriff Ray said as the investigation continues more arrests are expected.

Steven Jennings Major League Baseball Card Soon to be Released

November 24, 2017
Steven Jennings

Former DeKalb County High School pitching standout Steven Jennings will soon see his face on a Major League Baseball card.

The Bowman Company has released the checklist for its popular Bowman Draft produce and Jennings will appear on an insert card called “Recommended Viewing,” a two-player card that pairs up prospects from the same franchise.

Drafted this summer in the 2nd round by the Pittsburg Pirates, Jennings will appear along with the player the team drafted in the first round, Shane Baz. The card will have 4 parallel versions-refractors, gold refractors numbered to 50 copies, red refractors numbered to only 5 copies and a superfractor which is a one-of-a-kind card.

The product is expected to be released December 6th.

Meanwhile, Panini Elite Extra Edition, another prospect-filled baseball card set, is scheduled to hit hobby shops at the same time and there is speculation Jennings will also appear in that product, possibly even with an autograph card, although Panini has yet to release the checklist.

After being drafted, Jennings was assigned to the Pirates Gulf Coast League affiliate. According to rumbunter.com, a Pirate internet fan site, Jennings made 10 starts and compiled 26.1 innings. He had an earned run average (ERA) of 4.10 while striking out 13 batters and walking 10. While his strikeouts per nine innings rate was low at 4.44, he had an impressive groundball rate of 55.6 percent. Opponents batted only .281 off him which gave him a WHIP average of 1.56.

The website said “Jennings will most likely play in Short-Season A ball next season. He will likely make about 10 starts in Bristol and the Pirates will likely try to keep his innings limited in his second professional season.”

The website also said “The expectations are very high for him going forward. MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the Pirates number 10 overall prospect.”

"Fill the Police Car" Collection Drive Seeks Food, Toys, and Coats

November 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
The Smithville Police Department is partnering with Cash Express to "Fill the Police Car" on Black Friday, November 24th at 126 E. Bryant Street. Fill the police car with food, toys, and coats.

Cash Express will be hosting its annual "Fill the Police Car" event on Black Friday, November 24th at their business location 126 E. Bryant Street. A Bake sale is also being held. The Smithville Police Department is partnering with Cash Express in this event and providing the vehicle to fill up with non-perishable food items, toys, and coats. Please stop by with your gift of love and grab a bite to eat as there will be food available.

“Friday we are doing a fill a police car for our annual toy and coat drive for DeKalb County and everything will stay in DeKalb County. Its from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. We will take new or used toys, coats, clothes, and non-perishable foods. We’ll also be serving hot dogs and chips that day,” said Athena Knauer.

“We have over 100 drop box locations in DeKalb County including Liberty and Alexandria but you can also drop off your donations at our location on East Bryant Street. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.,” said Knauer.

“All the toys will be distributed to needy families by the Smithville Police Department. The Clothes Closet will also get some (toys) and of course the coats and clothes go to them as well. All of our non-perishable foods will go to “Gods Food Pantry” in DeKalb County for families who need help with food. We will get with the schools and the class with the most donations from each school will get a pizza party. We also get with the schools to see if there are any kids that need a winter coat and if so we’ll distribute the coats after we wash them,” Knauer continued.

For questions concerning this event, you may contact Jamie Dawson or Athena Knauer at Cash Express, 615-597-3427.

Man Dies After Car Accident

November 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Man Dies After Car Accident on Walker Creek Road near Alexandria
Marvin Oppenheim lost his life in Thanksgiving night accident
A 69 year old Smithville man lost his life in a car accident Thanksgiving night on New Hope Road (Walker Creek Road) near Alexandria

A 69 year old Smithville man lost his life in a car accident Thanksgiving night on New Hope Road (Walker Creek Road) near Alexandria.

Dead is Marvin Oppenheim.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Oppenheim was traveling east in a 1990 Lincoln Towncar when the vehicle went off the right side of the narrow road over a steep embankment beside Walker Creek where it came to rest after hitting several small trees. Oppenheim was trapped inside the car

Members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad and DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department Rescue and Extrication were summoned to stabilize the car.

Oppenheim died at the scene. His body was removed from the car and taken by DeKalb EMS to the hospital.

Because the car was not badly damaged in the accident, Trooper Johnson said Oppenheim may have suffered a medical condition causing him to wreck. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department was also on the scene.

Sheriff Patrick Ray Announces Re-Election Bid

November 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray Announces Re-Election Bid

Sheriff Patrick Ray has announced that he will be seeking the nomination to be a candidate for re-election in the 2018 DeKalb County General Election.

In a prepared statement, Sheriff Ray said he is humbled and honored for the support that he has received while serving as Sheriff of DeKalb County.

“During my time as your Sheriff, I have fulfilled my campaign promises, which was to run a professional and accountable Sheriff’s Department, to spend our tax dollars wisely, to work hard on the trafficking of illegal drugs, and to provide responsive and respectful law enforcement services to the citizens and visitors of DeKalb County,” he said.

“I’ve worked closely with civic organizations throughout the county and I have tried to make myself available to you at all times. I would like the opportunity to continue to lead our Sheriff’s Department in a forward direction. I have enjoyed serving as your Sheriff and I am very humbled and honored for the support I have received while serving as Sheriff of DeKalb County. While a lot of things have changed over the years in our communities, my commitment for professionalism and accountability has not changed. It is my desire to continue to work for the citizens of DeKalb County,” said Sheriff Ray.

The DeKalb County Republican Party selects its nominees for the general election by caucus. Sheriff Ray will seek the GOP nomination for Sheriff.

Angel Tree Project Seeks Gifts for 368 Children

November 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Angel Tree Project Seeks Gifts for 368 Children

The 22nd Annual DeKalb County Angel Tree Project is currently underway. The Angel Tree provides Christmas gifts for underserved and needy children in DeKalb County. You can pick up your Angel at any local bank in Smithville or Alexandria. There are 368 children representing 175 local families. The adoption tags have suggested wish items but it is not necessary to purchase everything listed. Donations can also be made at any bank branch if you would prefer to have someone do the shopping for you. It is always our goal to have each child adopted but for those who are not, we will do the shopping for them. The deadline to return your gifts is Friday, December 8th, The continued support of the community is what makes this such a successful program.

DESA Delivers Over 270 Thanksgiving Meals to Needy Families

November 23, 2017
Dwayne Page
DESA members and others preparing food trays for delivery to needy families for Thanksgiving
County Mayor Tim Stribling delivers Thanksgiving meal to Shirley Pascal
Mitchell League Receives Thanksgiving Meal from  James Tramel (left), Smithville Firefighter C.J. Tramel, and DeKalb County Firefighter Calvin Tramel
Carmine Bain Receives Thanksgiving meal from Dustin Johnson, Captain of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad and Lieutenant of DeKalb Fire Department, and Kristie Johnson, DeKalb Fire Department Station Commander and Safety Officer, Secretary of Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad,  Secretary and Treasurer of the DeKalb Emergency Services Association, and Critical Care Paramedic at DeKalb EMS and Training Officer.
Larry Lepley Receives Thanksgiving meal from Lora and Anderson Webb (shown) along with Thomas Webb and Viviane Bezerra.  (not shown). Lora was a recent graduate of the DeKalb Fire Department’s Citizens Fire Academy

Local emergency service providers and other volunteers found another way to serve their community Thursday morning by making sure a few of the most needy and underserved among us had a hot delicious meal for Thanksgiving.

Over 270 food trays were prepared and delivered by more than 50 volunteers. The meals included smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green beans, and rolls along with a homemade dessert.

The project was organized by members of the DeKalb Emergency Services Association in partnership with local businesses and volunteers.

“Over the last couple of days we’ve cooked turkeys and gathered up all the food. Today we’ve been preparing and packing up the food at the county complex. We’re serving 272 meals to people all over DeKalb County. We feel this is just another way for our local emergency service providers to serve our community,” said Blake Cantrell, DESA President.

Cantrell said the DESA learned of these families through referrals and from others who called wanting to be added to the list. “We had different people who were referred to us and then through WJLE we put out the word and many people called in and then we had others who called in for loved ones who would not have had a Thanksgiving dinner otherwise,” said Cantrell.

Along with the volunteers who helped prepare and deliver the food, the DESA received great support for the effort by others in the community through donations of money or food and a special thanks goes to them.

DMS Junior Beta Club Bound for National Convention Again

November 23, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club

Members of the DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club will be making a return trip to the National Junior Beta Convention next summer.

The group’s performance of their human video presentation called “United We Stand” earned them a 2nd place finish in the state competition this week after landing a spot among the top 5 following the preliminaries. The state Junior Beta Club Convention was held November 19-21 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

The DMS Junior Beta Club will now prepare for competition at the National Junior Beta Club Convention which will be held in Savannah, Georgia in June, 2018

Last November, the DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club won 1st place at the state convention for their anti-bullying Human Video presentation called “Be The Change” and finished 3rd at the national convention this past June in Orlando, Florida.


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