Local News Articles

DCHS to host College Application Week

September 17, 2015
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School will host College Application Week September 28-October 2. All DCHS seniors who have not already applied to college or technical school are encouraged to do so during that week. If you need assistance, please visit the counseling office.

The schedule is as follows:

*Monday Sept. 28 – College Planning / Financial Aid Information Night – 5:30PM Cafeteria
Students from all grade levels, bring your parents to this event. Guest speakers will be discussing college admissions, financial aid and scholarships, and TN Promise.

*Wednesday – September 30 – College Shirt Day
All faculty, staff, and students are invited to wear your favorite college shirt.

*Thursday, October 1 – Scholarship / College Essay Lab - Mrs. Walteen Parker’s Classroom – 1st and 5th Blocks
Any senior who is not enrolled in Mrs. Parker’s English classes this semester who would like to sit in on this lesson is welcome to sign up to attend during 1st or 5th blocks. Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Lori Myrick will co-teach a lesson on how to write a well-written scholarship essay. A well written essay greatly increases your chances of winning a scholarship. Please take advantage of this assistance.

*Friday - October 2 – College / TN Promise Application Lab - Library – 1-5th Blocks
The counselors along with Sam Mullins from TSAC and Jonathan Graham from MSCC will set up a college/technical college applications lab in the library. Students may come to the lab during the school day for assistance with college applications. In order to provide better service to students and gage how many volunteers are needed, students are asked to come to the counseling office and sign up for a time-slot. If anyone needs assistance with the TN Promise Application, help can be offered at this time. Computers will be available for student use, but feel free to bring your own computer.

DCHS is also hosting a couple of events the week after College Application Week

*Tuesday, October 6 – College Applications Lab – Library – 3:00-6:00PM during Parent/Teacher Conference
Any student who has not already applied to college/technical college or the TN Promise Scholarship may complete applications during this time. Parents are invited to this event also. Jim Gray from TTU is assisting with this event. Please sign up in the counseling office so it's known how many to expect.

*Friday, October 9 – DCHS 2015 College & Career Fair – 8:35-11:10
All DCHS students will have the opportunity to visit with college and career representatives in the gym.

Fire Destroys Mobile Home (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 17, 2015
Dwayne Page
Fire Destroys Mobile Home

A fire destroyed an unoccupied mobile home Thursday morning at 760 Pine Orchard Road.

The property owner is Marlene Anderson.

Members of the Main Station, Short Mountain Highway, and Midway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the Sheriff's Department.

The cause of the fire is undetermined but under investigation.

Woman Sentenced in Kidnapping Case

September 16, 2015
Dwayne Page
Samantha Devault
Thomas Braxton Nix
 James Michael Tatum

A 27 year old woman pled guilty to being an accessory to kidnapping Monday, September 14 in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge David Patterson presided.

Samantha Devault received a six year TDOC sentence to run concurrently with a Davidson County sentence against her. She was given 344 days of jail credit.

Devault and three others were named in Grand Jury sealed indictments in December, 2013 for allegedly participating in the kidnapping and rape of a woman they thought stole money and Suboxone strips from them in October, 2013. The case was investigated by the Smithville Police Department.

Meanwhile, 20 year old Thomas Braxton Nix entered a plea by information to the charge of schedule II meth and violation of probation in a previous drug case. Nix received an eight year sentence in the meth case suspended to probation. However, the term is to run consecutive to a two year sentence in the previous conviction against him for possession of a schedule VI drug for resale. Nix's probation in the previous drug case was revoked and though he was given jail credit of 55 days, Nix must finish the 180 day mandatory sentence through the 13th Judicial District Drug Court program.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, July 20 a sheriff's department detective stopped a red Grand Am on Terrell Road after observing the car weaving on Highway 70 east. As he approached the vehicle, the detective noticed that the driver (Nix) was moving around inside. The officer asked Nix to exit the vehicle. When Nix got out of the driver's seat, the detective spotted a cellophane pack containing four alprazolam pills. After Nix gave consent for a search of his person, the detective spotted a small piece of ICE (meth) on the ground and behind the vehicle was a baggie containing ICE (meth). Inside of Nix's wallet were seventeen- 7.25 milligram Hydrocodone pills. During a search of the vehicle, the detective also found a blue and black bag that held two Mason jars. One of the jars was full of marijuana and the other had two marijuana buds. Two digital scales, several baggies, and a marijuana shredder were also found in the bag. Nix had a total of 23.4 grams of meth, 2.66 ounces of marijuana, four alprazolam pills, and seventeen hydrocodone pills along with $853 cash. Nix admitted selling meth and he was placed under arrest.

48 year old James Michael Tatum pled guilty by information to aggravated burglary and aggravated assault and received a four year sentence suspended to probation. He was given jail credit of 31 days.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 31 Tatum broke into a home at Wilson Hollow Road in Liberty and knowingly pointed a Glock .45 caliber handgun at the homeowner. Tatum camouflaged his face in an attempt to keep the victim from identifying him. Tatum was later arrested after an investigation by a sheriff's department detective.

30 year old Ellissa Howard pled guilty to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. She is requesting Judicial Diversion. Howard was fined $2,000 and given five days of jail credit.

24 year old Sonny Alan Stults pled guilty to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on supervised probation.


September 16, 2015
Dwayne Page
Portion of  Old Sligo Bridge Comes Down (Photo by TWRA Officer Tony Cross)

Two fifths of the Old Sligo Bridge is now gone.

A portion of the bridge on the Smithville side was demolished late Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the bridge remains standing but will soon come down as well.

"They are shooting it up in pieces and when it falls in the water then they have to retrieve it out. They will put the pieces on barges and ship it out for waste or scrap metal," said Larry Langford, Operations Technician for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.


A portion of the concrete piers supporting the old bridge will also be removed. "They will shoot the piers down into the water but not all the way to the bottom of the lake. The Corps will do a final sonar of the bottom of the lake and anything (piers) that is above elevation 600 feet (mean sea level) has to be removed so the concrete piers will actually remain in the water. They won't shoot them out all the way to the bottom of the lake," Langford said.

Man involved in High Speed Pursuit and Crash Remains at Large

September 15, 2015
Dwayne Page
Warren Glasby
High Speed Pursuit Ends in Crash, Driver Flees on Foot
Trooper Adam Cothron and Sergeant Eric McCormick of the Tennessee Highway Patrol Investigating Crash

A 32 year old Liberty man who led a deputy on a high speed pursuit Tuesday afternoon before crashing his vehicle and escaping on foot remains at large and is wanted by the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that Warren Glasby has an assault warrant against him and is now facing additional felony charges. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white tee shirt. If anyone has information as to his whereabouts please call Central Dispatch at 615-215-3000.

According to Sheriff Ray, the incident began to unfold at 12:37 p.m. when the Sheriff's Department received a call from central dispatch in reference to a wanted person. "Dispatch stated that Warren Glasby of Clear Creek Road, Liberty had an assault warrant out of DeKalb County and that he had just picked up the victim from the complainant's home in White County enroute to DeKalb County in a green 2004 Ford Explorer," he said.

"A DeKalb County deputy made contact with the vehicle on Highway 53 in Liberty and observed it pass several cars and take off at a high rate of speed. The officer activated his blue lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the automobile and pursued it onto highway 70 heading west. The suspect then attempted to turn onto Old Highway 96 but due to his high rate of speed, he lost control of the vehicle and it flipped several times, ejecting the female occupant. Glasby then fled on foot toward Highway 96. Officials of the Tennessee Highway Patrol came to the scene to work the accident. The investigation is ongoing," said Sheriff Ray.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Adam Cothron and Sergeant Eric McCormick of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The female passenger of Glasby's vehicle, 30 year old Juanita Young of Smithville was airlifted from near the scene and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Applicants May Apply for Smithville Chief of Police

September 15, 2015
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen

The City of Smithville is in the hunt for a new Chief of Police.

The aldermen voted 4-0 Monday night to accept applications for the position left vacant after the termination of Randy Caplinger earlier this year.

Aldermen Danny Washer, Josh Miller, Jason Murphy, and Shawn Jacobs all voted in favor. Alderman Gayla Hendrix was absent.

Although Caplinger has a lawsuit against the city still pending in court in which a judge could order his reinstatement as Chief, Mayor Jimmy Poss said he believes it's time the city moves forward.

"I just feel like it's time we do something to address this problem. These guys (police officers) have been doing a wonderful job. (Captain) Steven Leffew has (good job). But I think it's time we carried it a little further," he said.

Aldermen Jacobs and Miller, while voting in favor of taking applications, still expressed reservations with an active lawsuit against the city.

"Mr. Parsley what is the status of the lawsuit?" asked Alderman Jacobs.

"We've got a hearing set in October. Briefs have been submitted and we'll be doing oral arguments that day," replied City Attorney Vester Parsley.

"Correct me if I'm wrong but there is the chance that we could be ordered to re-instate Mr. Caplinger?" Jacobs asked.

"I think that is a possibility but I have no way of knowing. Anything is a possibility right now," Parsley responded.

" I agree I believe we do need to move forward. I'm just concerned we have jumped the gun and perhaps could cost the city some money and also make ourselves look bad if we hired somebody and then we are ordered to reinstate Mr. Caplinger," said Jacobs.

Alderman Miller asked Mayor Poss how long the city should advertise.

"That's what we were wanting to bring up and see how long you wanted to advertise it. It might be a while before you even hire somebody," answered Mayor Poss.

"Mr. Parsley, will they make a ruling in October?" asked Miller

"I don't know. It's up to the judge. The judge can defer that and study the issue and make the decision later or the judge could make a decision that day. If I were guessing I'd say there probably wouldn't be a decision made that day. Usually the judge wants to hear those arguments and not make a rash decision. I would say they wouldn't keep that decision for a long time," said Parsley.

Alderman Miller said if the city names a Chief he would rather it be on an interim basis until Caplinger's lawsuit is settled. "Again I would ask the board if you want to put a new chief in place, I would love to see him be named interim until the lawsuit is settled. I just don't want to see more trouble on the horizon," said Miller

"I don't think you would get anybody that would do it interim. They wouldn't have a guarantee of a job," Mayor Poss replied.

Alderman Jason Murphy agreed with the mayor. "The only reservation I have about designating somebody interim is would anyone apply for the job if they knew in six months they may not be able to keep it? I think that would hurt the people who apply for it. I think it would limit the number of people (applicants)," said Murphy.

The police chief prior to Caplinger, Richard Jennings had also been terminated, yet the city hired Caplinger while Jennings' case still lingered in court. Alderman Danny Washer said he saw no reason why the city could not move forward in this case in the same manner.

"This is not the first time this has happened. What have we done in the past?" asked Washer

"In the past we took applications and then did interviews and hired a chief. The case (Jennings lawsuit) previous to Chief Caplinger's went on for over a year ," replied City Attorney Parsley.

"We didn't have a problem with it the first time so why do we have a problem advertising for it now? We're going to have to have a chief. This (Caplinger lawsuit) could go on for a year or two years," said Washer.

"There could be an appeal if it goes against Mr. Caplinger or if it went against the city. Obviously we have the right to appeal. If it goes up to the Court of Appeals you're talking about many more months. Probably up to twelve to eighteen months. I'm not saying anyone will appeal. I'm saying both sides have the right to appeal," said Parsley.

"Are we willing to wait that long to get a chief? We've been fortunate. Like everybody has said the boys (police officers) have done a great job. I have no complaints. The only thing I have heard is that it's time to get one (Chief). I make a motion that we advertise and see what we get and go from there," said Washer

Alderman Miller offered a second to the motion.

Assessor of Property to Seek Re-Election

September 15, 2015
Dwayne Page
Assessor ofProperty Scott Cantrell Takes Oath from Former County Mayor Mike Foster in 2012

DeKalb County Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell plans to seek re-election.

According to Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley, Cantrell picked up a qualifying petition from the office on Monday . Cantrell plans to run for the nomination of the DeKalb County Democratic Party in the Primary on March 1.

Cantrell was elected to his first term as Assessor of Property in 2012.

Incumbent Sixth District Constable Carl Lee Webb also picked up a petition for constable on Monday for the March 1 DeKalb County Democratic primary.

Four petitions were issued Friday for the office of Constable; three for potential Democratic Primary candidates and one potential Independent candidate.

Petitions were issued to: Paul Cantrell, Constable 4th District March 1 Democratic Primary; Mark Milam, Constable 5th District March 1 Democratic Primary; Johnny King, Constable 7th District March 1 Democratic Primary; and Tom Theriaque, Constable 2nd District Independent (which will not appear on the ballot until August).

The qualifying deadline for all 7 Constable seats and the county-wide Assessor of Property seat is NOON December 10.

Askins Trial Reset for March

September 14, 2015
Dwayne Page
Wendy Askins

Wendy Askins, the former Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Development District was scheduled to appear in U.S District Court in Nashville for a "change of plea" hearing Monday but the case has been reset for trial March 8, 2016.

Last Tuesday, September 8, U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger signed an order scheduling the "change of plea" hearing for Monday, September 14 at 1:30 p.m. But on Friday, September 11 the judge granted an Askins' motion to continue the trial and sealed (made secret) the documents pertaining to the motion.

On Monday, September 14, Judge Trauger signed an order resetting the trial date from September 22, 2015 to March 8, 2016.

The order states as follows:

"This case is reset for jury trial on March 8, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 873, United States Courthouse, 801 Broadway Nashville. As soon as it appears that the case will be tried,the parties shall notify Judge Trauger's courtroom deputy of the anticipated number of trial days that will be necessary."

"Any plea agreement shall be consummated by noon on the Thursday before the trial, and the Courtroom Deputy notified thereof. Any proposed plea agreement shall be submitted to the Court by noon on the Friday before the trial. No plea agreement will be entertained unless it is in compliance with this Order."

"In advance of any plea hearing, the United States Attorney shall submit to chambers a document that lists the elements of each offense to which the defendant is pleading guilty and the statutory penalty for each, including period of incarceration, fine, and period of supervised release applicable".

"If the case is to be tried, the parties shall file the following by the close of business on the Tuesday before the trial:

1. an agreed set of jury instructions
2. alternative versions of jury instructions on which there is not an agreement, with citations to supporting authorities;
3. an agreed verdict form or alternative versions; and
4. motions in limine.

"Responses to motions in limine shall be filed by 4:00 p.m. on the Friday before trial. Parties shall deliver to chambers a computer disc containing all proposed instructions and verdict forms that are filed"

"The requirements set forth herein shall also apply to any continuances of this trial"

Both Askins and the former UCDD Deputy Director Larry Webb were indicted in September 2013 for their participation in a scheme to commit bank fraud and to steal federal and state funds intended to promote economic and housing development through a program called “Living the Dream" which was supposed to be a residential home for seniors.

Webb entered a plea last month to one count of federal bank fraud and will be sentenced November 24 though he apparently faces no fines or prison time. Under his plea arrangement, Webb reportedly agreed to testify against Askins during her trial.

Chamber Presents "Extra Miler" Award to Jim and Diane Loy

September 14, 2015
Chamber Presents "Extra Miler" Award to Jim and Diane Loy

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce presented a well-earned “Extra Miler” award to Jim and Diane Loy Monday. Since 2001, Jim and Diane have picked up over 1,600 bags of litter and have volunteered over 3,000 hours in DeKalb County.

Some of their efforts include:

•In 2001: Adopted Highway 56 from Hurricane Bridge north 2 miles to their home - On their initial cleanup, they spent 2 days picking up litter and collected 71 bags of trash

•In 2002: Adopted League Chapel Cemetery – They spent 2 weeks hauling away trash, and cutting and trimming trees. They built a sign for the cemetery, made wooden crosses and planted roses for each grave site, and created a pathway and sitting area.

•In 2007: Adopted the scenic Center Hill Lake overlook on Highway 56. They cleaned, repaired and painted the support structure for the scenic overlook sign, designed and mounted a new sign, placed landscape timbers and landscape rocks around the sign, planted flowers and cleared the area of weeds and litter.

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver was on-hand to present Jim and Diane with an American flag, a Proclamation, and the rare orange “Blue Book” filled with personal messages to the Loys by numerous legislators. Rep. Weaver also informed the Loys that Governor Haslam will be sending them a congratulatory and commendation letter next week.

In receiving this award, Jim and Diane Loy responded with appreciation for the recognition and for this beautiful area that God has entrusted to each of us. They want to encourage all residents to help with the responsibility of its care. The Loys are truly are "friends of Tennessee" and inspiring examples of going the extra mile.

Pictured l-r:
Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, TDOT Highway Maintenance Supervisor Donnie Smith, Road Supervisor Butch Agee, State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, Chamber Extra Miler Award recipients Diane and Jim Loy, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Chamber Board Members Kathy Hendrixson and Gail Gentry, Jim Sullivan

Tennessee State Court Clerks Show Support for Alzheimer Awareness

September 14, 2015
Dwayne Page
Tennessee State Court Clerks Show Support for Alzheimer Awareness

From Memphis to Mountain City, court clerks and their deputy clerks are expected to wear purple and participate in the first “Purple Out Day” on Friday, Sept., 18, to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and related dementias, as well as raise funds to support the work of Alzheimer’s Tennessee.

Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack and Clerk and Master Deborah Malone from DeKalb County were among the clerks attending the Tennessee State Court Clerk's Conference September 8-10 at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns Tennessee.

To make a donation contact the clerks offices in the DeKalb County Courthouse.


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